“One of the Greatest Experiences I Have Had in Years”
Earlier this week I made a wonderful climb with my guide from Colorado Mountain School, Ryan Pedersen. I am from Florida, age 67, and it was not only my first climb up the Second Flatiron, it was my first climb up any mountain ever. So I freely admitted that I was an “absolute beginner” and yet he never made me feel stupid. On the contrary he made me feel safe, especially by keeping that rope taught. And yet he also knew how to give me slack when I had to backtrack, once I realized I chose a wrong path with fewer holds. I believe it is rare to see real excellence and real humility combined in one person. And by “humility” I mean that Ryan never told me (before I asked at the end) about his many ascents up mountains all over the world (four up El Cap!) and he also never told me that he would be my personal photographer who could take great pictures of my first ascent. Climbing with Ryan was one of the greatest experiences I have had in years: the rock itself was beyond our puny human scale, and seeing a hawk soaring right there at eye-level was amazing. Also, that panoramic view from the top was well worth sore legs. And I finally realized about half way up that I could climb all the way to the top (only with his help of course). And since I am nearing 70, that meant the world to me. Ryan also advised me on equipment to buy for future climbs, and how to get better at climbing. I sure respect the staff you hired at CMS, and just know that I can’t wait to climb with Ryan again.