slabs

Summer comes on slow in the Sawtooths – it can feel warm and sunny in the valley, but the high peaks are still locked in snow. So when does summer officially begin? For those of us at SMG, the official start to summer is our yearly guide training.

Guide training is essential to our operation. Most of our guides receive outside training through the American Mountain Guides Association, but there are still many skills to review in-house. We always begin by reviewing our Operations Plan which lays the framework for operating as safely as possible and for dealing with emergencies should one arise. Risk management is a constantly evolving process and consequently our Operations Plan receives frequent updates. Next, we head to the mountains to review old skills, share new ones, and get warmed up for the busy summer ahead.

We did most of our field training on the Super Slabs a few miles up Redfish Canyon. This 7 pitch climb is our most popular and provides a great venue to practice skills. Near the top of the climb, one of the climbers (Chris) somehow “broke” his leg and a mock rescue ensued. Splinting a leg mid-climb and lowering an injured person is no small feat, and we learned new tricks every time we do practice.

While there’s still snow up high, there is plenty of climbing open and summer is underway! See you out there!