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madrasrock


Dec 26, 2013, 10:10 AM
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How qualified to instruct are you?
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How qualified to instruct are you?

I thought talking about qualifications was better in the general forum.
Back Ground topic:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2640311;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;page=unread#unread


So how would you determine a persons qualifications?

Whether you are paid or not, all of us have been instructors or guided at one point in our climbing adventures. We take our friends or someone took us climbing. How did you determine they were not going to kill you?

You have all seen people with groups of friend, and they had no clue what they were doing.

So how would you evaluate people if you were King?
Witten test like every collage in the county?
Times Skills test?
Just a climbing bio?
???


majid_sabet


Dec 26, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Re: [madrasrock] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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madrasrock wrote:
How qualified to instruct are you?

I thought talking about qualifications was better in the general forum.
Back Ground topic:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2640311;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;page=unread#unread


So how would you determine a persons qualifications?

Whether you are paid or not, all of us have been instructors or guided at one point in our climbing adventures. We take our friends or someone took us climbing. How did you determine they were not going to kill you?

You have all seen people with groups of friend, and they had no clue what they were doing.

So how would you evaluate people if you were King?
Witten test like every collage in the county?
Times Skills test?
Just a climbing bio?
???

Are you trying to hire instructors or want to know where you are as far as been an instructor?


Gmburns2000


Dec 26, 2013, 12:09 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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majid_sabet wrote:
madrasrock wrote:
How qualified to instruct are you?

I thought talking about qualifications was better in the general forum.
Back Ground topic:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2640311;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;page=unread#unread


So how would you determine a persons qualifications?

Whether you are paid or not, all of us have been instructors or guided at one point in our climbing adventures. We take our friends or someone took us climbing. How did you determine they were not going to kill you?

You have all seen people with groups of friend, and they had no clue what they were doing.

So how would you evaluate people if you were King?
Witten test like every collage in the county?
Times Skills test?
Just a climbing bio?
???

Are you trying to hire instructors or want to know where you are as far as been an instructor?

I think he's trying to blend that subtle difference between taking newbies to the crag vs. paid guides. In other words, what's the real difference between the two, and which happens more often?

Considering my own experience of never having hired a guide and having taken lots of newbies...I'd say the balance is in favor of friends playing "guide" but that also, I at least, folks taking friends out when said friends are beginners should be done in a very limited capacity.


madrasrock


Dec 26, 2013, 1:58 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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I think you have stated it very well there really is no difference between a paid guide and you taking your friend climbing. So if there is no difference should all of us that take people climbing start acting more professional and get training and certifications?

Which brings me back to my talking point. How do you decide if someone is qualified?

There are lots of people that do not like the AMGA model of certification, and I am one that is skeptical of there process.

Who has better Idea?


madrasrock


Dec 26, 2013, 2:07 PM
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Re: [majid_sabet] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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I have been climbing and teaching climbing for over 40 year. I never considered my self a guide until a few years ago. When I looked into this certification stuff. Checked out the PCIA, AMGA and PCGI. Besides all the very good technical information, the big lingering question is certification and what dose it really mean?

The bottom line question is if you were in charge of certifying climbing guides. What would that be based on?


Gmburns2000


Dec 26, 2013, 2:30 PM
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Of course there is very little practical difference in terms of "teaching" or "guiding," so to speak, between a paid guide and someone taking friends. You need to consider the risks and the more experienced people in the part really need to pay attention in a similar fashion as a guide would.

However, there is a HUGE difference between paying someone to take you climbing and not paying someone.

Paying someone to provide a service makes a big difference in expectations. Taking friends climbing has almost never led to an expectation on their part that I provide for them beyond my ordinary knowledge and encouragement; it was a simple day out, maybe doing something different than what others had done before. We were simply going climbing.

That's ^^ not the same expectation of hiring a guide.


USnavy


Dec 26, 2013, 3:14 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
madrasrock wrote:
How qualified to instruct are you?

I thought talking about qualifications was better in the general forum.
Back Ground topic:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2640311;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;page=unread#unread


So how would you determine a persons qualifications?

Whether you are paid or not, all of us have been instructors or guided at one point in our climbing adventures. We take our friends or someone took us climbing. How did you determine they were not going to kill you?

You have all seen people with groups of friend, and they had no clue what they were doing.

So how would you evaluate people if you were King?
Witten test like every collage in the county?
Times Skills test?
Just a climbing bio?
???

Are you trying to hire instructors or want to know where you are as far as been an instructor?

I think he's trying to blend that subtle difference between taking newbies to the crag vs. paid guides.
One gets paid and has liability, the other doesent.


Gmburns2000


Dec 26, 2013, 4:10 PM
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Re: [USnavy] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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USnavy wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
madrasrock wrote:
How qualified to instruct are you?

I thought talking about qualifications was better in the general forum.
Back Ground topic:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2640311;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;page=unread#unread


So how would you determine a persons qualifications?

Whether you are paid or not, all of us have been instructors or guided at one point in our climbing adventures. We take our friends or someone took us climbing. How did you determine they were not going to kill you?

You have all seen people with groups of friend, and they had no clue what they were doing.

So how would you evaluate people if you were King?
Witten test like every collage in the county?
Times Skills test?
Just a climbing bio?
???

Are you trying to hire instructors or want to know where you are as far as been an instructor?

I think he's trying to blend that subtle difference between taking newbies to the crag vs. paid guides.
One gets paid and has liability, the other doesent.

It's perfectly possible to get sued without getting paid.


lena_chita
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Dec 26, 2013, 6:35 PM
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Re: [Gmburns2000] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
Of course there is very little practical difference in terms of "teaching" or "guiding," so to speak, between a paid guide and someone taking friends. You need to consider the risks and the more experienced people in the part really need to pay attention in a similar fashion as a guide would.

However, there is a HUGE difference between paying someone to take you climbing and not paying someone.

Paying someone to provide a service makes a big difference in expectations. Taking friends climbing has almost never led to an expectation on their part that I provide for them beyond my ordinary knowledge and encouragement; it was a simple day out, maybe doing something different than what others had done before. We were simply going climbing.

That's ^^ not the same expectation of hiring a guide.

It is a simple fact that people who are least knowledgeable and are most in need of safe and qualified instruction are also least able to judge a good instructor from the bad one.

IMO, this is where the difference between a professional guide and a friend comes in. When you (as a newbie) go out with a friend, you are relying on your own opinion of how experienced your friend is. When you hire a guide, you expect that someone out there, someone who is qualified to make such decisions, deemed this person to be knowledgeable enough to act as a guide. It is a shift of responsibility...


potreroed


Dec 26, 2013, 9:39 PM
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Because of my many years of experience I feel qualified to teach trad and sport climbing but I would have to brush up on my first aid and rescue techniques before I would call myself truly qualified to guide.


JimTitt


Dec 27, 2013, 12:35 AM
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potreroed wrote:
Because of my many years of experience I feel qualified to teach trad and sport climbing but I would have to brush up on my first aid and rescue techniques before I would call myself truly qualified to guide.

Yup, and on how to cope with groups of varying ages, how to work with underage children without ending up in prison, how to provide a value day for paying customers etc, etc.


Gmburns2000


Dec 27, 2013, 3:03 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
Of course there is very little practical difference in terms of "teaching" or "guiding," so to speak, between a paid guide and someone taking friends. You need to consider the risks and the more experienced people in the part really need to pay attention in a similar fashion as a guide would.

However, there is a HUGE difference between paying someone to take you climbing and not paying someone.

Paying someone to provide a service makes a big difference in expectations. Taking friends climbing has almost never led to an expectation on their part that I provide for them beyond my ordinary knowledge and encouragement; it was a simple day out, maybe doing something different than what others had done before. We were simply going climbing.

That's ^^ not the same expectation of hiring a guide.

It is a simple fact that people who are least knowledgeable and are most in need of safe and qualified instruction are also least able to judge a good instructor from the bad one.

IMO, this is where the difference between a professional guide and a friend comes in. When you (as a newbie) go out with a friend, you are relying on your own opinion of how experienced your friend is. When you hire a guide, you expect that someone out there, someone who is qualified to make such decisions, deemed this person to be knowledgeable enough to act as a guide. It is a shift of responsibility...

yup. totally agree. The expectations make the difference.


gunkiemike


Dec 27, 2013, 6:29 AM
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Re: [JimTitt] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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JimTitt wrote:
Yup, and on how to cope with groups of varying ages, how to work with underage children without ending up in prison, how to provide a value day for paying customers etc, etc.

These things are not easy to teach. They are what most folks call "people skills", and some folks just aren't good at it. Yes, AMGA programs address "client care", route selection, and efficiency throughout the day. But some folks are really good climbers and just not that good at these softer aspects. Quite often it makes the difference between a client's good experience, e.g. "Had a great time, can't wait to climb with you again", and a less memorable, ho-hum day.

As far as "underage children"... if a guide is doing something that has potential prison consequences...what can I say? They are doing something VERY wrong.


(This post was edited by gunkiemike on Dec 27, 2013, 7:56 AM)


Partner happiegrrrl


Dec 27, 2013, 6:58 AM
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Re: [gunkiemike] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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Mike, I think that person might simply be referring to being aware of boundaries that in the past would have been passed without thinking twice.

I don't think many football coaches these days swat their junior high players on the butt in congratulations or empathy, but when I was a kid, it would have been normal.

A climbing guide would not probably run the rope and tie the knot on a little boy or girl's harness when there was nobody else in the vicinity. At least I wouldn't!




As for the OP - When I started climbing, for some reason I understood very quickly that it is up to ME to take responsibility for my safety. To the point that I MUST learn to decipher what is going on with enough competency that I could evaluate my risk level.

I climbed with a LOT of pick-up partners in my early days, and yet never experiences some of the horror stories I have heard others describe.

How does a person know when THEY are ready to take others out? That's a tough one, because as you can see, there are tons of idiots out there doing just that who clearly are clueless, and THEY don't think so!

I believe it's important to push that "you are responsible" aspect, and that is what I tell newbies. But, not everyone is able to do that. I tell girls to stay away(that is - don't trust your safety to them if you do not yet understand how to adequately assess situations) from any guy who has been climbing less than five years or leading less than three. (I would say the same about women, but...women don't tend to take n00bs out when they are n00bs themselves). And again stress the importance of understanding the systems themselves.



This disdain for "paying the guide when a friend can teach for free" - I do not get. Maybe I have been lucky, but each and every working guide I have ever met has been very competent and safe.

Is it expensive to hire a guide? HELL NO! It is a BARGAIN. Anyone who has a cell phone plan of more than $25 a month, and a car they paid more that $800 for, bitching about paying $200 to learn the basics from someone who is competent, is a fool.

A Prana outfit - top, pants beannie and chalkbag - costs about the same as a day of guiding. A Starbuck coffee every morning before work for a month costs about the same as a day of guiding.


JimTitt


Dec 27, 2013, 12:09 PM
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gunkiemike wrote:
JimTitt wrote:
Yup, and on how to cope with groups of varying ages, how to work with underage children without ending up in prison, how to provide a value day for paying customers etc, etc.


As far as "underage children"... if a guide is doing something that has potential prison consequences...what can I say? They are doing something VERY wrong.

Its is a compulsory element in the UK and German climbing instructor qualification schemes (Ive done both) that all involved know the current legislation and guidelines for working with underage persons (and comply of course). You mean you guys just take a chance that you THINK you know the law?


madrasrock


Dec 27, 2013, 12:40 PM
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In the United Sates, most youth protection training is put on by organizations, like the Boy Scouts, 4-H and Boys and Girls clubs. It is all about the money. Guiding companies have no money. So if a guide molests a client he might go to jail but the company is off the hook. Why would I care about training you?


USnavy


Dec 29, 2013, 12:02 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
USnavy wrote:
Gmburns2000 wrote:
majid_sabet wrote:
madrasrock wrote:
How qualified to instruct are you?

I thought talking about qualifications was better in the general forum.
Back Ground topic:
http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=2640311;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;page=unread#unread


So how would you determine a persons qualifications?

Whether you are paid or not, all of us have been instructors or guided at one point in our climbing adventures. We take our friends or someone took us climbing. How did you determine they were not going to kill you?

You have all seen people with groups of friend, and they had no clue what they were doing.

So how would you evaluate people if you were King?
Witten test like every collage in the county?
Times Skills test?
Just a climbing bio?
???

Are you trying to hire instructors or want to know where you are as far as been an instructor?

I think he's trying to blend that subtle difference between taking newbies to the crag vs. paid guides.
One gets paid and has liability, the other doesent.

It's perfectly possible to get sued without getting paid.
A guide has inherent liability. Some random dude at the crag that showed you how to use a GriGri does not. You would probably have a hard time successfully suing some random cragger because he dident show you how to use the GriGri right and you got hurt as a result. A guide, however, would be far easier to sue.

As far as I am aware, in the United States, there has never been a successful lawsuit involving a climber suing a non-professional guide, AKA random Joe, over negligence. There has only been one case in US history in which a climber sued the landowner for an injury, and the suit was not successful.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Dec 29, 2013, 12:05 AM)


socalclimber


Dec 31, 2013, 4:01 AM
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I can't count how many new climbers I have taken out over the years. When I first started guiding about ten years ago I thought I had it all figured out. I WAS VERY WRONG. After about five years I was hired by one of the two top guide schools out here. They come to you, you don't solicit them.

I started working with two very legendary climbers and guides. One has 25 years of guiding experience, the other has over thirty. Both are very well known Yosemite climbers. One of them has done more El Cap routes than anybody, this includes early first ascents etc. The other is a well known valley guide book author and worked for YMS for years.

These guys have been guiding longer than I have been climbing.

I got schooled on how to guide. I suddenly found out I didn't know a thing about guiding or instructing people on how to climb. For the first two years I got worked by them. It became very apparent that I had a lot to learn.

Boy have I learned a lot. I still have more to learn.

For the most part we have private guide days where we have a couple of people. When we have large groups, we work together. Things are very different for me now. We all work together as a solid team.

There is no class you can take, or cert you can get, that will prepare you for what guiding really is all about. Just like climbing, it just takes time. I have known a number of heavy hitter sponsored climbers who tried guiding and were terrible at it. They quit. That's fine.

I see people all the time out here "teaching" people how to climb. They really should not be doing this. Just like I should not have been doing it way back when.

Guiding/Instructing and climbing are two very different things. That is just the way it works.

EDITED

I still take new climbers out for free all the time. The difference is that my approach has changed dramatically.

THINK BEFORE YOU TEACH!


(This post was edited by socalclimber on Dec 31, 2013, 4:18 AM)


USnavy


Dec 31, 2013, 5:20 AM
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Re: [socalclimber] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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socalclimber wrote:
Guiding/Instructing and climbing are two very different things.
I am not sure I agree. How many of your clients say "I just want someone to climb with, and I am not in any way interested in learning anything from you"? Guides are instructors. I know a number of top guides, AMGA Rock Guide certified and YMS guides, and the vast majority of the work they do is instruction. Sure, they haul tons of people up After Six as well, but if a guide is hauling some noob up some multi-pitch climb, there is going to be some level of instruction. There is no way any reputable guide would just rope up with some noob to climb a 6-pitch route and say "okay, on belay bro, see you at the top". No way. The guide is going to cover the climb in detail to make sure the guide and client are on the same page, and the guide is going to instruct the client on what needs to happen.


(This post was edited by USnavy on Dec 31, 2013, 5:28 AM)


Partner happiegrrrl


Dec 31, 2013, 6:06 AM
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By nature of needing someone TO climb with, a client is learning from their guide. Even if it is just the approaches and descent routes in an area they don't know.

If a person truly did not need anything from their guide, it would include finding partners to climb with.


dagibbs


Dec 31, 2013, 1:29 PM
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Re: [USnavy] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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USnavy wrote:
socalclimber wrote:
Guiding/Instructing and climbing are two very different things.
I am not sure I agree. How many of your clients say "I just want someone to climb with, and I am not in any way interested in learning anything from you"? Guides are instructors. I know a number of top guides, AMGA Rock Guide certified and YMS guides, and the vast majority of the work they do is instruction. Sure, they haul tons of people up After Six as well, but if a guide is hauling some noob up some multi-pitch climb, there is going to be some level of instruction. There is no way any reputable guide would just rope up with some noob to climb a 6-pitch route and say "okay, on belay bro, see you at the top". No way. The guide is going to cover the climb in detail to make sure the guide and client are on the same page, and the guide is going to instruct the client on what needs to happen.

I think you misread what he wrote. I think he intended to say:

(Guiding and/or Instructing as a combined or related activity) are very different from climbing.


Partner rgold


Dec 31, 2013, 1:50 PM
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I don't want to put words in socalclimber's mouth, but I think there is a vast difference between the way one climbs with friends and the way guiding is, or should be, carried out. I also think that even within the parameters of guiding, there is a valid distinction between guiding and instructing.

The purpose of a day of instruction is, obviously, to teach the student things about technique (either climbing or equipment usage or both). Other things are secondary to that goal. Conventional climbing goals may or may not be achieved, but the point is to learn stuff, not get somewhere.

The purpose of guiding is to help the client achieve specific climbing goals. Such clients are not beginners and may have a relatively high level of skill in some restricted areas. (Lionel Terray remarked that, thanks to training on small crags, his clients sometimes climbed better on rock than he did.)

The two types of guiding mentioned above are not mutually exclusive, but it is wrong, as some posters have suggested, to use the fact that the classes overlap to argue that they are identical. The main difference, I think, is in the mindset of the guide, and no doubt one of the things that makes a good guide is the recognition of these two genres and the ability to adapt an approach that is appropriate to the student and their goals,

Note that, depending on the students in question, the same climb might be a guided experience for one and an instruction experience for the other. An example of the different mindsets the guide might adopt is how and where they choose to belay. The instruction scenario calls for belays that afford clear and easy communication so that the guide can provide appropriate advice and monitor the student's progress. The guiding scenario might well involve longer pitches and practices more oriented to team efficiency than to constant guide-client communication.


jt512


Dec 31, 2013, 3:39 PM
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socalclimber wrote:

I started working with two very legendary climbers and guides. One has 25 years of guiding experience, the other has over thirty. Both are very well known Yosemite climbers. One of them has done more El Cap routes than anybody, this includes early first ascents etc. The other is a well known valley guide book author and worked for YMS for years.

Gee, I can't imagine who those two guys could be.


USnavy


Dec 31, 2013, 3:43 PM
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Re: [rgold] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
I don't want to put words in socalclimber's mouth, but I think there is a vast difference between the way one climbs with friends and the way guiding is, or should be, carried out. I also think that even within the parameters of guiding, there is a valid distinction between guiding and instructing.

The purpose of a day of instruction is, obviously, to teach the student things about technique (either climbing or equipment usage or both). Other things are secondary to that goal. Conventional climbing goals may or may not be achieved, but the point is to learn stuff, not get somewhere.

The purpose of guiding is to help the client achieve specific climbing goals. Such clients are not beginners and may have a relatively high level of skill in some restricted areas. (Lionel Terray remarked that, thanks to training on small crags, his clients sometimes climbed better on rock than he did.)

The two types of guiding mentioned above are not mutually exclusive, but it is wrong, as some posters have suggested, to use the fact that the classes overlap to argue that they are identical. The main difference, I think, is in the mindset of the guide, and no doubt one of the things that makes a good guide is the recognition of these two genres and the ability to adapt an approach that is appropriate to the student and their goals,

Note that, depending on the students in question, the same climb might be a guided experience for one and an instruction experience for the other. An example of the different mindsets the guide might adopt is how and where they choose to belay. The instruction scenario calls for belays that afford clear and easy communication so that the guide can provide appropriate advice and monitor the student's progress. The guiding scenario might well involve longer pitches and practices more oriented to team efficiency than to constant guide-client communication.
Sure, I got you. I agree that teaching a class and guiding a client up a long route pose different mindsets and goals on part of the guide.


socalclimber


Dec 31, 2013, 7:18 PM
Post #25 of 35 (4300 views)
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Re: [USnavy] How qualified to instruct are you? [In reply to]
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I just want someone to climb with, and I am not in any way interested in learning anything from you?

As usual, RGOLD has far more eloquently phrased my point.

As a guide you are always in that mode. The OP asked "How qualified to instruct are you?". The answer is that the vast majority are not. I see it all the time. Knots unfinished, people encouraged to lead routes completely over their heads, sloppy rope management etc. The list is endless.

None of my statements have anything to do with selling guide services. They directly address the issue the OP brings up. I applaud the post. It's a very interesting topic. People are going to do what they are going to do. There is no stopping that.

jt512

In reply to:
Gee, I can't imagine who those two guys could be.

Yup! Unfortunately around here nobody could be bothered with researching the history of the very activity they claim to so dearly to embrace. It's all about who's the really rad dude/chick on the cover of Cock & Is Nice and Slimbing magazines.

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