Some things come in binges! In June it was sweet alpine sending action. Mid-July brought a ton of traversing. Now, since that Evolution Traverse, my guiding world has revolved around the theme of family time.
First, and connecting the summer with a welcome continuity, is the ever-more popular and polished “Scramblers” program. Barbara and Neil have worked together to set up an itinerary that shows kids everything that climbing is: ropes and bouldering, cracks and face, challenge and reward, frustration and elation, socialization and individual effort. What an honor it is for me to participate. These kids come with parents and siblings, and leave a part of the climbing family.
|Scramblers Bouldering Day. July 31, 2012|
Then, in the first couple weeks of August I worked a continuous stretch of family-themed trips. First it was Neal and Sam W., from Chicago. Neal came on his own a few years ago, but quickly discovered the Sierra was too great to not share with 9 year old Sam. Neal and Sam have now returned twice to sample ever-more challenging climbing opportunities. This time we went to Hurd Peak.
|Sam and Neil on Hurd Peak. Our “secret”, fish-filled lake below.|
Following Sam and Neal’s trip, we booked an uncanny selection of trips. Three days, three trips, three families, each with three people. Each day we went to the Mammoth Lakes basin, each day was characterized by supportive family members trying and succeeding on new challenges.
|Horseshoe Slab. My favorite place to take new climbers!|
Finally, my most recent trip at first appeared like a “typical” 1:1 alpine climb. Ana booked to come out from Virginia to climb the East Buttress of Whitney. Unbeknownst to me, traveling with her to support her the whole way, was her entire family. Her husband and two teenage girls accompanied her to Lone Pine and cheered (via text) us up the peak. Weather didn’t cooperate for the East Buttress (I mean, it rained on us at 4 am on summit day. wtf?) but we quickly adapted to the Mountaineers Route.
|some knobs, a lake, the sky, a mom|