Thursday, August 02, 2007

"Guides....."





I find myself reflecting today upon adventure experiences with 'Guides...'
I have had such good mentors, who shared their hard won wisdom and so freely passed on their experience... Guides have often been described as the 'Older Brother or Sister' of our wild lands...
In the midst of this summer of mountaineering, I respect that there have been many high places, among other wildernesses, that we would not have enjoyed if not for time with seasoned guides... Those who slowly mentor us through gaining the necessary skills, the grooming of confidences, and the development of our essential motivations out there...
In ancient Greek mythology, 'Mentor' was a guide & teacher, whose key function was supporting and fostering relationships. What is often not also known from the Greeks, is that 'Mentor' was actually 'Athena', the Goddess of Wisdom... and imparting adventure wisdom is what wilderness guides are all about...
I remember... climbing Mt. Louis, peaks of the Columbia Icefields, and a very challenging summit of the Colorado... with seasoned souls...
I also remember... dog sledding, river rafting, and canyoneering first experiences with guides...
I love to recall guides' words that resonate with me like, "Hello altitude, my old friend; back to temper me, yet again", and "When it seems too hard, ask yourself, 'compared to what'...".
Time with these special kind of Stewards is never lost... Until as Grey Wolf says, "Let the mountains and the waters themselves be your guide"... and we become 'guided' by the elements...
DSD


1 comment:

Jake Norton said...

Great post! When I began my climbing life as a 12 year old boy climbing Rainier with my father, we went with Rainier Mountaineering, and our guide was none other than Phil Ershler. I will never forget Ersh's kind but forceful ways, mountain musings and insights, and the joys of the hills he helped me and my father to see. Later, my trips took me to the mountains with guides like Nick Yardley in New Hampshire, Bernard Prudhomme and Dennis Le Roi in Chamonix...all great people and great memories. Their influence, drive, and zest for the mountains were what encouraged me to begin climbing in earnest and eventually become a guide as well alongside Phil Ershler, whom I still work for. Sometimes things come full circle. All of life's mountains - physical and metaphorical - can sometimes be better climbed with a wizened friend, confidant, and advisor.
Thanks for the post!
-Jake