The High Altitude Symposium was absolutely fantastic. It was worth going to the meeting just for that.
Following the symposium, there were a number of "normal" clinics. I attended clinics on Advanced Tour Planning, Advanced Beacon Search Techniques, and Marketing.
One of the most important parts of the annual meeting is the "Main Event." It is at the main event that they provide awards and generally have an excellent slideshow.
At the main event they presented two awards. The President's Award went to Majika Burhardt and the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Kathy Cosley. Both Majika and Kathy started their careers at the American Alpine Institute.
The slideshow was presented by Dylan Taylor. Dylan started his career with AAI and still picks up work for us in the Alps. Dylan's slideshow was about his experience climbing and skiing in Afghanistan with Danny Ulmann and Aiden Loher, both guides who occasionally work for AAI.
Dylan's Afghanistan presentation was fantastic. He just returned from the region. However, he went there with Aiden, and Aiden was not able to get a visa out. As of this writing, he is still there! To learn more about this epic, check out Aiden's blog.
Finally the grand meeting was over, and it was time for me to get down to work with the Board. We had a long and hard day working through a myriad of issues that affect American guides. At the end of the day we were rewarded with a high-end-dress-your-best dinner.
It was an exciting trip and I'm looking forward to more meetings in the future. But more importantly, I continue to look forward to serving the American Guide Community on the AMGA Board of Directors...
--Jason D. Martin