I thoroughly enjoyed the class. Devin and Stephen did a great job of preparing us for every day of the expedition. With the weather changing almost every day, they made the necessary adjustments to the activities and updated the group in a very timely manner. This certainly helped us maximize the enjoyment of our experience. I was always given the opportunity and time to do all of the activities that everyone in the group had a chance to experience. As far as using the skills, never mind future climbs, I had the chance to try out most of them on this climb. Excellent course quality. Pretty much everything in the information that I was given prior to the trip was covered.
Devin and Stephen were both great at this. Leadership means serving others and developing them. Your guides worked closely with everyone to make sure that they were learning new skills or improving on them. They also would not let us fail. They motivated us in one way or another to try harder. There were also times when he was very direct in giving directions and at times this was necessary. Adult learners need to know why they are learning something and they need to see fairly immediate application to help them learn. When setting up a walk across a snow bridge at 9000 feet, in a snow storm, over a 200-foot crevasse, I don’t think there was much time to explain why I needed to follow his steps exactly. I did see the immediate application though. Stephen helped us in the same manner. They also did explain why we were doing things in an effective manner when safety was not such an immediate concern.
What can I say, I can hike up a pretty good grade in steep snow, I know how to self-arrest myself if I fall, I can tie an overhand knot as well as a few others. I know how to take care of myself in bad weather, I can repel, I can pack a backpack and I know that I hate dehydrated food. (I’ll learn to cook next time.)
Yeah, they kidded with us constantly, making jokes and being part of the group. I can’t say enough about how great they were to have with us. If I take another mountain trip, I want them to be my guides.
Awesome. Great scenery. Devin and Stephen gave us great insight into how the mountains, the glaciers and riverbeds formed. Devin and I had a discussion on the way down about how the lower trails were built using pack mules and volunteers. We learned about how the glaciers have receded. There should be more programs for younger people to learn somewhat in this manner. You can read all the books you want and watch all the shows, but nothing is like being there.
I rented most of the equipment through Alpine Ascents Gear Dept. and they did a great job. Things were pretty well organized at the beginning, but more important than that, the return process was well run and easy.
Your program’s strengths are the people training the material. They need to have a servant’s heart in which they sincerely want the people they are training to develop and succeed. Both Devin and Stephen demonstrated this many times over the six days. On the last night on Mt. Baker, Devin came by my tent to acknowledge the good job we did and to ask if I had something to eat. These type of actions mean things to people.