The Guide's Blog

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Tethering on Multipitch Rock Climbs

December 15, 2021 fmg-adminUncategorized

When multipitch climbing, it is imperative that we attach ourselves to the rock with some form of tether. After I first got into multipitch climbing, many people were using daisy chains as a method of securing themselves to the mountain. Due to my lack of experience at the time, I assumed that this was a standard and safe practice. Fast forward a few years, and I learned that daisy chains are intended for aid climbing and are not designed to be used as a personal anchoring system (PAS), and in fact can be dangerous if used as such. I ditched my daisy chain and started attaching myself with a sling, or sometimes two slings. While not an unsafe practice, I learned that this system is unnecessary, inefficient, and creates clutter at the anchor. Eventually I learned the practice of anchoring myself by tying a clove hitch into the rope I’m attached to and securing the clove to a locking carabiner on the master point of the anchor. 

Clove Hitch Tether

When I first discovered using the clove hitch, I felt stupid for not learning it sooner. “How simple but utterly genius!” I thought. By attaching yourself to the anchor with the rope, yo




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Why You Should Tie In with the Figure Eight Knot

May 19, 2020 fmg-adminRock Climbing Uncategorized

Do you remember the first time you ever went rock climbing? Everything is new: slipping into a harness, buckling down your helmet, shoving your feet into small climbing shoes, and tying into a rope. When you learned to tie into the rope, your teacher probably told you a story about choking aliens, punching cyclops, or following a race car track to help you tie the “figure eight” knot. Then you likely learned how to retrace the figure eight to create a figure eight “follow-through.” But were you ever taught WHY we typically use the figure eight knot when there is a myriad of other knots that we could use to tie ourselves into a climbing rope? Some are even simpler and easier to learn than the figure eight. So let’s dive into a few advantages of the figure eight knot:

Easily recognizable - If tied and dressed properly, it should be really easy to count five sets of parallel lines. Because of the knot’s natural symmetry, almost every climber will be able to check it even from a distance.Takes two gestures to fail - If you undo the last “pass through” of the follow through, you would still have a complete knot that won’t come un




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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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