Friday, November 25, 2011

Post-season climbing Trip: 2011 Pre-Patagonia Departure.

So, I am sitting in Dallas/Fort Worth airport. Waiting for my 2:00 pm flight to Denver, Colorado. I am brewing up another adventure and this time, on my own time and terms.

   I am about to meet my dear friend Stephanie Maltarich for a week of climbing spread out between Moab, Utah and Red Rocks, Nevada. After having worked hard for 4 months outside of the Catskill Mountains of the Hudson River Valley for New York City Outward Bound, we were ready to leave the comfort of the Shawamgunks and head west to scale routes greater than 3 pitches. Take note, and have no doubt, the Gunks was a great training ground for our late-Fall climbing soiree.

   This of course is the preamble to a few other adventures I have in the chamber: Taking my SPI exam for the AMGA ( "SPI" stands for Single Pitch Instructor. If I pass my exam, I will be qualified to guide clients in 5th class terrain, while belaying them up to an anchor and lowering them back to the ground, managing their climbing site either from below, or from above. This is a major step forward for me in my "private sector" side of my outdoor education pursuits.

   Post Red Rocks, post Asheville (where I will take my SPI exam), I will then be heading to San Carlos de Bariloche in the Patagonia region of Middle-Western Argentina. Here I will commence with my love and responsibility to North Carolina Outward Bound, as I will be instructing one "Alpine Backpacking" course, and then serving as the "Proctor" for our 72-day International Leadership Semester Course. This course will start in early February and campaign on, sojourning boldly until the tail end of April...  This is a huge honor and undertaking to infuse continuity, personal attention, and high quality to my crew of students, which could be anywhere from 1- to 13 students. Enrollment numbers are still clicking away, so we will see how large my ILS Spring 2012 crew of students will be.

  In addition to heading to Patagonia for work, I also venture for reasons two-fold:
a) I love Patagonia. The landscape captivates my soul - it calls me, begs me to return. A bit dramatic, I know - but, well, go there yourself and see what it does to you...

b) I don't mind being a little personal here on such a forum as my blog for my friends. Last April, I ended a 2-year relationship with someone from Argentina who was very dear to me. So, I am excited to return to the land that I love down south to feel what it is like to be there and be single. To feel what it is like to take steps forward in a land that I know associate with heartbreak. I have such good friends there in Bariloche and I feel set up for success professionally, emotionally, and personally.

   Have no fear my friends, with such text-based content, specially content that i can admit is rather dry (being merely personal updates on my life full of dull facts), I will assuredly incorporate some great photos at the end of this post. My next few posts will be reflecting on my adventures in my more natural, creative non-fiction style of writing.

   For now? You are stuck with the play-by-play of what I had been up to, and what I am about to be up to. The Twilight Zone of my life: those funky in between transitions where most of you see me nowadays. Those two days that I am in Manassas visiting my family, or when I text you that I will "be in town tomorrow, what u up to?! Want to hang out?"

   Your patience is so deeply revered and appreciated in our friendship and kinship. I am a professional adventurer who is constantly circling. I will light one day, as Eagles do, but for now I dry my wings in the sun. 

OOps! Time to board a plane. Photos in a jiffy!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What now?

This was the question I started off with back in May, when I had then recently returned from Argentina. Freshly single. Freshly returned. So much was raw and ready to be thought over and since then so much growth has found its way to me front step. I'd like to fill you in on where I've been and what's new...

The quick version of my summer is that I returned to the US from South America to work at North Carolina Outward Bound School. I did. It was amazing. I was surrounded by good friends and could really focus on doing a job well done with my profession, while also picking up the pieces from my former relationship and make new sense about what I wanted in my life.

Throughout the summer I had ongoing conversations about potential employment with New York City Outward Bound. In July, I committed to joining the NYCOB team (which meant I would forfeit my eligibility to be considered "seasonal staff" in Patagonia this season).

I definitely saw the benefit in the opportunity to work with urban kids from Expeditionary Learning School of NYC ( , here is a link to NYCOB's website ( and so I made the decision to be in New York for the Fall. I just finished my 8-week stint there and had been living in Queens/Fishkill New York for 4 months. The season was long, challenging and amazing all at once! Keep posted for more photos to come from this Fall!

What's next for me?

- 5 day climbing trip in Nevada with my close friend Steph Maltarich, a week in Asheville preparing for my SPI (Single Pitch Instructor Exam), and then a flight to Argentina, where I will instruct a 14-day Alpine Backpacking course, and a 72-day International Semester course.

Stay tuned for more...

For now that is all. Expect more regular updates now.