Tuesday, June 30, 2009

AAI Welcomes Three New Guides!

AAI’s new guide training is over. As one of the new hires, I’m happy it is done and eager to work. I'm incredibly glad that I decided to work for the Institute. I was impressed by the quality of the training offered, and came away a much more well-rounded guide.

AAI Guide Training - Class of 2009
(left to right) Alaina Robertson, Mike Powers (instructor), Kevin Hogan, Scott Massey
Photo by Dana Hickenbottom

Big smiles after a successful ascent of the Beckey Route on Liberty Bell.
Photo by Dana Hickenbottom

We spent two weeks putting our blood, sweat and tears into our training with Mike Powers, AAI’s technical director and the former AMGA technical director, who’s technical guiding skills are impossible to do justice for on paper. Our days with him started at 5am and ended at so-far-north-it’s-almost-Canada dusk.

Mike Powers teaching effective short-roping technique high on the S. Early Winter Spire.
Photo by Dana Hickenbottom

Scott and Kevin Belay Ice Climbing Students in a Crevasse
Photo by Jason Martin

There are three new faces to AAI this year, Scott Massey, Kevin Hogan, and me, Alaina Robertson. We all entered guide training with strengths in specific areas of climbing and guiding, but by the end of the three weeks spent practicing “systems” (a blanket term for “everything in the American Mountain Guiding Association’s guide manual”), we are all worthy of wearing the AAI logo.

New AAI Guide Kevin Hogan Demonstraits a Highly Useful Skill
Photo by Jason Martin

So what can you look forward to if you are lucky enough to find one of us guiding your upcoming trip?

Kevin, the alpine wonder, has put over 13,000 miles on his boots walking from Canada to Mexico three times on various North-South trails. Ask him about his band, Pahoehoe. His talents include storytelling, balancing trekking poles, and “hucking meat” (he’s a downhill mountain biker). His favorite food is teriyaki and after a trip he loves a good IPA.

Kevin and Mike psyched to make it to the summit of the South Early Winter Spire.
Photo by Dana Hickenbottom

Scott, the desert rockman and über outdoor leader, has spent nine years employed leading groups through the wilderness and is a hardcore rock climber. He’ll always be the first one up in the morning and gets everyone going. He’s the one you want to play “name that movie quote” with. His favorite food is noodles with processed cheese and he always could go for a cup of coffee.

Scott and Alaina after a successful display of numerous snow skills.
Photo by Dana Hickenbottom

You’ll have to ask the other two what my nickname is, but I’ve traveled and climbed in 14 different countries on four continents. When not climbing, I tend to be sedentary, and consider eating and organizing to be hobbies. I like food, and at the end of the day, I enjoy a good glass of Merlot.

--Alaina Robertson, AAI Guide


Anonymous said...

Wow! That Kevin Hogan...hunka, hunka!

cheech said...

congratulations Widchild! i'm super proud bro! keep following your dreams! FB

Anonymous said...

congratulations Wildchild! super proud bro! keep following your dreams! FB

Cloudraker said...

K-man reprezent hella badass bro!!!