Though Beaton started climbing as a youth, he didn’t get serious until his 40s. And, he says, he didn’t become competent until his early 50s. “I gradually became what I had imagined long ago: a real climber,” he writes. And he’s not alone, he adds. “Every year climbers in their 50s and 60s stand atop Mount Everest.”So how did he, from “the over-the-hill crowd,” get up the hill? By studying instruction books, buying the right gear, training and staying fit, being honest and realistic about your abilities, and, most importantly (at least we think so), is finding “your new best friend”–an AMGA-certified guide.
“The purpose of the guide isn’t so much to show you the way (that’s usually apparent),” he explains. “It is to show you the how. Trial and error isn’t the way to learn climbing; there are no mulligans in this game.” He suggests you form a strong relationship with a good climber who is also a good guide.
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