Guiding, Teaching, Climbing, Learning

Off we go, on the road to Smith Rocks with TRU…

Here goes the first leg of our Thompson River University rock expedition. Graeme Taylor and I are taking a group of Adventure Guide students down on what may be their first climbing road trip ever! Crazy! Kinley and I drove up to Kamloops last night and I crashed in the van outside a pal of hers’ place. I woke at 4:15am and made coffee and cereal with deadly calm and quiet because the house I was in had a sleeping newborn inside. I crept in, boiled water and thanked a god for the creation of Starbucks instant coffee. We packed the immense white whale of a bus with all our gear and were gone before the birds finished their songs. I dub this vehicle, for which I got my class 4 drivers license, Monstro, after the white whale of Pinocchio. Driving this bus is an exercise in relaxing, in not gripping too hard and going with the flow. Monstro is a beast that sits 25 people and has a v12 diesel. Massive. Now, as I write, we’re on our way to Smith Rocks Oregon to get the students crack climbing in the basalt gorge and sport leading on the welded tuff of the Dihedrals. This stop is going to be the warm up, the testing ground for some new techniques that will come in handy in the Valley. The Valley, Yosemite Valley, is our second stop. This is where the boys and girls become men and women. Steep granite, polished cracks, famous routes and the birthplace of modern cleanly protected trad climbing and the YDS, the Yosemite Decimal System. Come on Monstro, take us to Smith…

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