The Guide's Blog

The Guides’ Climbing Adventures

A Week in the Life of My Deuter Speedlite

January 13, 2017 fmg-adminGear Reviews Rock Climbing The Guides' Climbing Adventures

I like versatility. I love it when my gear can transition between many tasks and suit each one with ease. In fact, as a guide, I NEED my gear to be able to fill multiple roles. This single best piece of gear I have that fits this bill is the Deuter Speedlite 20. To iIlustrate just how versatile it is, consider how it performed as I got ready for a climbing trip to Las Vegas recently.

Saturday - Sunday: I spend my weekends guiding guests who have waited all week to get out into the mountains and enjoy a carefree day of rock climbing in Western North Carolina. Often this is a multi-pitch, day and I'm meeting my guests in the Linville Gorge. Our objective is Table Rock on Saturday and the remote Amphitheater on Sunday. I put my harness on with my “Guide’s Rack” on my waist. In my Speedlite, I have climbing shoes and a chalk bag, first aid kit, 2L water bladder, single rack of protection, and an extra layer or two. Inside the small, quick access pocket, I put in my lunch, snacks and headlamp. On the outside, using the compression straps, I secure my helmet neatly on the outside. This pack goes from a full 20+L and compresses to less than 10




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What to Bring Cragging: Trad Climbing

December 13, 2016 fmg-adminGear Reviews Rock Climbing The Guides' Climbing Adventures

In the time I have spent rock climbing, I have really loved going to crags that rely on the use of traditional gear. What I love most is the type of terrain and the areas that can be visited. You can challenge yourself on hardstuff or climb really fun, longer, moderate terrain too. Multi-pitching allows you to get higher off the ground, giving a greater feeling of exposure. It usually involves climbing with a partner, and you can develop strong bonds with those you share a rope with. Crack climbing has been my favorite traditional pursuit. I love the art of jamming! Cracks form striking natural features that catch the eye first. It’s an obvious path to the top, and they usually protect really well.

Trad climbing is gear intensive, requires a higher level of technical skill, and is a more thoughtful type of climbing. These places are rich with climbing history, can feel more adventurous, bold, and at times (especially on slabs, or here in North Carolina) downright scary. I recommend getting guidebooks because they are a great source for this information. They can be expensive, but they make a great souvenir, and help avoid unnecessary epics.




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Jolly, the Extreme Elf

December 5, 2016 fmg-adminEvents and Slide Shows The Guides' Climbing Adventures Uncategorized

What’s it like being an Elf and working for Santa?”

This is the question that everyone is eager to have answered. Well I hate to burst any bubbles but I’m not actually an elf!!!! Nope, 100% human here. It’s pretty obvious from my height and lack of pointed ears.

“Imposter!!!”

No, think not. I’m the real deal. I’ve been training Elves with the SPG-E2 for two amazing years! The South Pole Group - Entry and Escape, specialized in contained structures and escape. SPG-E2 deals with all the housing units that don’t have chimney access or common access, such as hotels; apartment buildings; condominiums; and airports. They also specialize in escapes.

“What do you mean escapes?”

Well not everything always goes to plan and sometimes during a package drop, an elf or Santa will require assistance or extraction. I was fortunate to find the South Pole Group, and be offered an instructor position teaching an amazing group of talented jolly people. My past military experience translated into functional methods for entry and extraction as well as the understanding that secrets must be kept at all costs.

“South Pole? Wait.




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Changing of Season

September 28, 2016 fmg-adminRock Climbing The Guides' Climbing Adventures Uncategorized

As climbers, we all know those magical months of Sendtember and Rocktober. The temperatures begin to shift into pleasant ranges and we start to spend more time on our projects and trying to squeeze in as many pitches in the day before the glorious fading to dark which always seems to come just a bit too soon. The joys of climbing in the fall are always something I look forward to each year. This year I have plenty of routes on my tick list that I hope to send or at least make some progress on.

With the changing of the season from a risk management perspective this is the time of year, I start to change how I pack for a day out and how I plan for the day. The earlier sunsets remind me to change out my headlamp batteries and have spares in my pack in case I decide that one more pitch by headlamp is worth it. Adding extra layers and a warm hat to my multi-pitch pack also just in case my leader gets off route on that last pitch and we have a longer than intended night. In addition to those things when it comes to warmth I plan for some extra food to keep the furnace stoked. Other items I may try to find room for may include a good size trash bag,




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Bumblebee Buttress: A Linville Gorge Adventure

September 22, 2016 fmg-adminRock Climbing Route Beta The Guides' Climbing Adventures

With the recent lifting of Peregrine Falcon closures (http://carolinaclimbers.org/closures/2016lifted.html) , cool temperatures in the Linville Gorge, and a willing partner, I decided to venture to the rarely traveled North Carolina Wall to sample a classic NC moderate, Bumblebee Buttress (5.8).

I have heard many stories of BB, and it’s intimidating reputation. Imagine the classic movement of White Lightning on Table Rock with the remoteness and position of the Amphitheater. Put those two things together and you have the truly classic climbing that is Bumblebee Buttress. Here is a detailed description of the route with some personal accounts and suggestions of each pitch. As always, please use this information in conjunction with a guide book and other sources like Mountain Project and trip reports.

What to Bring:

 Pack: I prefer to tackle multi-pitch objectives in Linville by placing all of my things comfortably into my 32 Liter Deuter Guide Lite and then, upon reaching the top of the cliff, switch out with my Deuter Speed Lite 20 for decent and climbing.

Rack: Full set of cams from single set BD C3’s 00-2, BD C4’s .3-4 with d




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Patagonia Trip Report

July 21, 2016 foxmountain_adminAlpine & Ice Climbing Rock Climbing The Guides' Climbing Adventures

In November 2013, Derek DeBruin, Kevin Shon, and Karsten Delap traveled to Argentina to attempt a new route on the east face of Cerro San Lorenzo. San Lorenzo is located in central Patagonia, north of Chaltén in the Santa Cruz province. Entrance to the southern reaches of the Argentine portion of the mountain is gained through Parque Nacional Perito Moreno.

The trio began the trek via the Rio Lacteo Valley on November 15 with enough time and provisions for approximately 8 to 10 days while waiting for a weather window. After 5 days camped in the morainal talus near the head of Glaciar Lacteo, the group experienced only poor weather, predominantly freezing rain and snow with extreme winds.

Finally, a morning of fair skies led to a brief 12-hour weather window. This was not enough time to attempt a route on San Lorenzo’s approximately 5,000 foot east face, but did provide an opening for climbing on the agujas of nearby Cerro Penitentes. The team completed a first ascent of the northernmost pillar of Cerro Penitentes at an elevation of 2211 meters (7,254 feet). The pillar included approximately 80 feet of 5.7 climbing atop approximately 5




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Where’s That Fox?

July 21, 2016 foxmountain_adminAlpine & Ice Climbing Guiding Rock Climbing The Guides' Climbing Adventures

Congratulations to Karen Peress for correctly identifying The South Face of the Petit Grepon and winning a new Black Diamond X4!!




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The White Coast

July 21, 2016 foxmountain_adminGuiding Rock Climbing The Guides' Climbing Adventures

When you mix the world’s two largest features, the mountains and the sea, you can bet there will be breathtaking views with vast, dramatic landscapes and succulent food to round out the climbing experience.  The Costa Blanca region of Spain didn’t let me down.

If I ignored the setting and just had raw climbing, I would have still had fun. The steep limestone feeds the need for a pump while the larger formations give the enduro day its due. The area is mostly bolted with the longer routes needing supplemental gear. We climbed routes ranging from 3+ to 7a+ (5.6 to 5.12) and only tapped the surface. There is much unclimbed rock in the region for those FA adventure seekers.  Here are a few crags, restaurants, and sites one doesn’t want to miss:

The Climbing

Penon de lfach: The landmark of the Costa Blanca, this 332m tower perched above the Mediterranean Sea has multi pitch routes ranging from 5+ to 7b (5.10 to 5.12b).  We climbed a 6a+ variation of Via Valencianos, a route with quite a bit of loose rock and polished cruxes but with a view that is among the most spectacular in the world.

Olta:  Fantastic rock quality and bir




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Where’s That Fox?

July 21, 2016 foxmountain_adminGuiding Rock Climbing The Guides' Climbing Adventures

Congratulations to Michael Morely for correctly identifying this route as "White Trash" (12a) at Smith Rock and winning a BlueWater 9.1 Icon rope.




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A Quick Jaunt Up The Glass

July 21, 2016 foxmountain_adminGuiding Rock Climbing The Guides' Climbing Adventures

Nineteen years ago I came to North Carolina for the first season at Camp Blue Star as a climbing ‘specialist’ to work for the summer. Nineteen years later I am still proud to be affiliated with Camp Blue Star and serve in a staff hiring and training role for their climbing program. This year, sounding like the start to a cheesy joke the climbing team is an American, a New Zealander and two English guys. Trey is AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Certified and Callum is the UK equivalent (MLTE Single Pitch Award) but Blue Star is still putting him through the AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course and Assessment. All four will also be taking the two day AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Course this weekend and eight day Wilderness First Responder certification (as well as five days of climbing training with me later this month). For me this is what sets Blue Star apart from other summer camps, the comprehensive unparalleled staff training for their Outdoor Adventure Program Staff.

Even though we don’t technically start climbing staff training for another week I rounded them up the other night at the dining hall to take them on a quick trip up the ‘N




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REI Presentation: Aconcagua

July 21, 2016 foxmountain_adminAlpine & Ice Climbing Events and Slide Shows The Guides' Climbing Adventures

The tallest mountain outside of Asia, Aconcagua stands at 22,840 feet offering all inspired climbers an exhilarating experience full of physical and mental challenges. From hiking through the Vacas Valley, crossing flowing rivers lush from summer glacial thaw to cramponing snow fields above Camp 2 at 20,000 ft, Aconcagua offers it all!

Join guides Karsten Delap and Lindsay Fixmer as they lead teams trekking through the beauty of an Argentinian summer in the mountains. Follow them on an amazing journey with breathtaking views, overcoming numerous.

March 8th: @ 7pm @ REI Atlanta

REI Atlanta located at 1800 Northeast Expy NE. Atlanta, GA 30329

404-633-6508

March 9th: @ 7pm @ REI Kennesaw

REI Kennesaw located at 740 Barrett Parkway Ste. 450 Kennesaw, GA 30144

770-425-4480

March 10th: @ 7pm @ REI Asheville

REI Asheville located at 31 Schenck Parkway Asheville, NC 28803

828-687-0918




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