THANK YOU MILLET for your financial generosity in supporting my journey deeper into the world of rock guiding. It is a fun journey full of learning, believing and little accomplishments that add up to be something pretty amazing.
I was introduced to rock climbing over 20 years ago and every since then I have been basing where I live and work on how little I have to drive to climb. I know that’s what most dedicated climbers do, if they can. I have been fortunate and persistent in this effort. My journeys have landed me in Colorado, California, North Carolina, and West Virginia, too name just a few places. With jobs ranging from cocktail waitress in Tahoe, Art Director at Rock and Ice magazine to Graphic Design in many arenas, as well as guiding rock routes in North Carolina and West Virginia. I came to guiding as a profession partly as a necessity, due to the decreased need for publication designers. After much soul searching into possible careers, I decided to jump on the AMGA train. I had guided before, but with no formal training. Wow, I think I made one of my best decisions ever! I have learned so much about technical skills, rescue systems and more importantly, myself. And I am always surrounded by the mountains that I love.
I was by far the oldest person in my recent Rock Guide Course & Aspirant Exam (RGCAE), doubling the age of the 2 youngest candidates. That was pretty cool. I am on a mission to show that it is never too late to follow your dreams, learn something new or decide that you can do anything. It has taken me most of my life to believe this myself, but it’s true. When I completed the Rock Instructor Certification, I told myself that I had gone far enough. That I didn’t need the stress of training and gaining the Rock Guide Certification (RGC). I told myself that since I lived in the south and there are no big rock faces taller than grade III, I was just fine with the RIC. After a bit of time passed, I changed my mind and decided I really wanted to gun for the RGC. I began to believe that I was capable.
I had the incredible fortune to take the Rock Instructor Exam with Elaina Arenz, who is on a similar same path as myself. We joined forces, began training together and spurred on each other through the sometimes overwhelming process. She shared my same fears, doubts, excitement and commitment. Perfect. In October of this year, I arrived in Red Rock and kicked some RGCAE butt. Now, I have returned to Las Vegas for the winter and possibly longer to pursue guiding in the western states area. The actual full 6 day Rock Guide Exam (RGE) is coming up in 2014 and Red Rock is the perfect venue to sharpen skills and send the RGE with confidence and style. I will be 50 years old in 2014. I will also be 1 of 15 women in the US to gain the American Mountain Guide Association Rock Guide Certification!
Thanks again, Millet for the financial support. And a BIG Thank You to AMGA for organizing the scholarship Program, and the opportunity to learn from such talented instructors.
Tracy Martin, November 2013