A Note of Appreciation: Millet Scholarship Recipient Tracy Martin

Tracy Martin Mille ScholarshipTHANK 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