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Guiding in Suicide Rock for FYJ (University of Redlands)

On August 22nd, I assisted Becky Lyons and Jay Harcum in a guiding extravaganza at Suicide Rock near the town of Idyllwild, CA. The clientele included University of Redlands students on their First Year Journey trip, as well as trip leaders, Mary and Jesse. The purpose of the trip was simple: give some first year college students an outdoorsy climbing experience.

The trip began with a good cup of coffee followed by a good “ol’ fashioned” trudge up to the crag. Approaching Suicide Rock is definitely a classic climber-trail experience, with a steepening and slippery trail up to the climbing area. Becky, Jason and I loaded ourselves up with gear and headed up to the crag. Jason then had the pleasure of returning back to the trail head to assist the students with finding their way to the climbing area. Becky and I set up a few climbs, including Graham Crackers (5.5), Tabby Treat (5.1), Harms Way (first pitch at 5.6), Yours (first pitch at 5.7),and Peer Pressure (5.10a and for those feeling the need for further challenge). After setting top ropes up on these climbs, the students arrived. Then a good “ol’ fashioned safety brief” ensued from Becky. “This is a helmet. This is how to use your helmet. This is a belay device. This is how you use a belay device.” Pretty soon, the students had it all figured out and were ready to begin their climbing experience.

I had the pleasure of first working with Iris, Tati, and Amalia. We worked on the first pitch of “Harms Way”, a 5.6 pitch that climbed up through a flake and into a corner. One by one, the girls made it to the top! It was amazing to see the excitement of success and watch the students learn as they climbed.

Meanwhile, Jay was supervising a few of the boys climbing Tabby Treat (5.1) next to us

After the first go around, everyone was getting hot from the sun and very hungry. We broke for lunch.

Soon after lunch, everyone was ready for round 2. I assisted Dylan, Shaun, and Rob on “Yours” (5.7). After a few rounds, we broke for an impromptu class on jamming, and then resumed.

Meanwhile, Griffen was kind enough to catch a lot of the action on the school’s camera

All in all, it was a successful trip. I was reminded why I love guiding, and the students all found their moment on the rock. I am glad to have had the pleasure of safely assisting these young men and women in their outdoor pursuits.


August 30, 2013. Posted by: nelsonday