Making an Appearance
6th Apr 2011Posted in: Blog 0
Making an Appearance

You may have seen me…

Yes..this ad has caused me some grief….enough so that I didn’t allow myself to wear this awesome alibi jacket until I thought the ad had stopped getting used, and I avoided the entire Banff Film Festival unable to swallow the idea that my face was going to be on the laps of a theater full of friends and strangers!  I discovered yesterday at the base of Louise Falls that the target had not yet been removed.  Friendly heckling had me once again questioning the pros and cons of such PR.  I love Outdoor Research.  They are an amazing company to be supported by and I always want to try and give back to them for all the help they have given me in pursuing my career and helping with women’s courses.  Their gear is truly amazing and I am proud to stand behind the product. It certainly isn’t standing behind the product that I struggle with… 🙂

I have been a rigger for a number of photo shoots in the past.  Once I had the opportunity to follow Kim to Zion where Sally Dean Shatz shot her solo aiding Lunar Eclipse.  Other then an unfortunate dark descent that led me to tweezing prickly pear prickers from her butt…it was a super cool opportunity.  Kim was/is the real thing.   We were telling a story, and she was an inspiring subject.  Her picture made the cover of the Utah section of 24/7 .

Another time I remember showing a couple European ice heros how to get to Bear Spirit before the light went away.  A quick rap down from the photographer showed one climber with his BD gear near the crux, pulling moves.  Take, lower and switch with the next.  Switch the draws to Petzl, pull up the rope and pose by the curtain of ice, swinging, trying to make some ice spray.  The cover shot on Gripped not long afterward displayed this effort.  Of course either of them could very easily climb the mixed route, but it was a funny experience for me at the time to witness.

A little while back I was guiding in Grotto where Linda and I found ourselves surrounded by 40 plus kids with their teachers and parents milling below the climb “Hers”.  Loud screams and laughter filled the canyon and eventually we managed to relay to them that we would like to climb the ice and that because they didn’t have helmets, they might want to step back a bit.  Before I knew what was happening the crowd organized themselves into a multi-rowed amphitheater of crosslegged 11 year olds all waiting to watch “magic” happen. I’ve never been so scared in my life….every swing and kick…I swore to myself…don’t fall now- or they will NEVER consider climbing again in their lives!  At the top I received a round of applause and once lowered to the still quiet crowd…I took a round of questions and answers! The kids were curious, intrigued, and some, inspired.

A few days ago Outdoor Research asked me to get a few ice shots and so I hooked up with an old friend and talented photographer, Ryan Creary,  another OR ambassador Gord McArthur and my friend and coworker Kris Irwin to do some rigging.  We drove out on the snowy late March day towards Murchison and managed to get some interesting shots on “But my Daddys a Psycho Killer”.  It was a super fun day out with friends and it felt a lot easier then standing in my ice gear in a warehouse in front of a whitewall on a hot June day in Seattle.

I used to religiously wait for the latest Climbing mag to hit the stands and never taking more then a minute to read anything, flipped through the glossy pages looking at the pictures.  Now I must say I seem to choose “Dwell” over “Rock and Ice”, but when I do look through these magazines I see places I have been and friends who I have climbed with.  The world has gotten smaller and I find myself in a position I never thought I would be in…feeling closer to this glossy pictured world then I ever thought tangible.  With that proximity I have also seen the realities of it all, and learned how uncomfortable I can feel being in it…yet still desiring inclusion.  Bottom line is that climbers want to be inspired.  Pictures of cool places, harder climbs, easier climbs, people living their dreams and passions.  I am so fortunate that through my job as a guide, I am able to turn some of these pictures into peoples realities. I remember dreaming of the day I could proudly answer the question “what do you do?”, with “I am a certified Alpine Guide in Canada”! I guess my dream turned into a full page ad….sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for!

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