This conference was my fourth representing the American Alpine Institute. I have attended the conference in Keystone, Colorado; in San Antonio, Texas; in Snowbird, Utah; and finally, this year in College Park, Maryland, just outside of Washington DC.
One of the valuable things about the AORE conference is that the clinics and seminars don't just revolve around hard technical skills. Many discuss academic papers and studies concerning the outdoors, as well as issues that young outdoor professionals might face. I attended seminars on everything from mentorship to how to fix a van that broke down on a program. I also presented on two topics. I co-presented a lecture with Ed Crothers from the American Mountain Guides Association on "How to Become a Professional Mountain Guide," and I presented a lecture on "Professionalism in the Outdoor Industry." Both of which were well attended.
AAI Guide Mike Pond, presented a lecture from his outdoor recreation thesis on spiritualism in climbing. He didn't look at religion as much as how individuals feel when they are in the moment on a climb when they feel connected spiritually to the universe.
Following is a photo essay on the conference as well as on my journeys in Washington DC.
Sorry for the "my trip to DC" slideshow, but it was my first time there. Next year the AORE Conference will take place in Portland, Oregon. I'm looking forward to another spectacular conference...
--Jason D. Martin