MM Collection
Checking in from the Condor's Nest on Illimani, Bolivia. MM Collection
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June 8, 2012

Family Climbing Trip - Finding New Possibilities in the Cascades

Here at Mountain Madness, we love the opportunity to get out to the mountains with younger generations of climbers. It gives us some perspective and perhaps allows us to prioritize a new agenda. One great way to do that is to set up a custom climb or course with our guides and we will make sure our itinerary fits your family's needs. 

Last weekend I had the opportunity to work with Doug and his 11-year-old daughter, Gina, in the Washington Pass area. Our goals stayed consistent throughout our 4-day trip. They were; learn to travel well in the mountains; techniques for moving efficiently, and manage our risk in a mountain environment. We also had plans to get ourselves physically exhausted and have a blast doing it. 

Rob Schiesser photo

As we crested over the pass from Seattle, the sky opened up and the warmth of the Methow Valley beckoned us to practice rock climbing movement skills. Here we are practicing various knots and the basics of 5th class climbing skills and rope work.

Gina enjoying some gourmet pizza! Doug DeLancey photo

For our first night in camp we had what I would consider a restaurant quality dining experience. Not bad for the camp food. Pizza with fresh mozzarella, basil and pepperoni. 

Rob belaying Gina on Fun Rock. Doug DeLancey photo

Our second day we got into the business of belaying and climbing vertical crack systems. We also investigated anchor building systems and rock protection. We finished the day off with a visit to Winthrop and some homemade ice cream.

Not a bad place to set up camp! Rob Schiesser photo

We left our vehicle at the hairpin turn and headed into Kangaroo Pass for the mountaineering portion of the trip. We were greeted by several skiers on our way in as well as gorgeous temps and a generally firm snowpack. After establishing a camp below what appeared to be the hulking ramparts of Wallaby Peak above, we got right into learning the intricacies of traveling over technical snow slopes. 

On the ascent! Rob Schiesser photo

We began our ascent of Wallaby peak with perfect cramponing conditions. On the fly, we learned about the walking styles that would give us the ability to ascend the more technical slopes of Wallaby Peak above.

All smiles at the top of Wallaby Peak. Doug DeLancey photo

After our ascent we hung out and gathered our senses to prepare for the hike out. We had a blast and, looking back at the peak and our 2,400 foot ascent from camp, found some perspective on what can be accomplished even in the thick of doubts and fear. At Mountain Madness we are in a line of business to help our guests manage their emotions on a climb while continuing the language of possibility.

~ MM Guide Rob Schiesser

Great Father-Daughter team! Doug DeLancey photo


From Dad:

Our trip was exactly what I had hoped for and exceeded all expectations, due to Rob's professionalism, skill, outstanding attitude and just a knack for when Gina needed a little space to work through her fears.  Rob planned an absolutely perfect Custom Trip for us that was the best imaginable combination of skills and fun.  He handled over ten thousand questions from Gina, and was always great to be around.

I couldn't have hoped for a better trip, and I want you to know he represented MM amazingly well.  Our adventure was safe and exciting.  I know Rob has a great future, as does your company.

Thank you for an experience that Gina and I will remember forever.  

~ Doug DeLancey

Taking a break. Doug DeLancey photo

From Daughter:

Ever been to the top of an 8,000 foot mountain?  Ever camp out in the snow?  I sure have and it's not easy, try doing it in 20 feet of snow.  Yeah!  And here's a plus, I got to wake up at 4:00 in the morning in freezing weather.  But it is fun.  I went to Seattle, Washington with my father and our guide Robert, Rob for short... We rock climbed huge mountains.  I have to admit it was scary at times, but I was roped in so I wouldn't fall.  My dad and I had a great time.  We had homemade pizza.  It was delicious.  Our guide Rob made it, he was a good cook... We climbed a bigger rock face...and learned some new techniques.  I was scared, but I didn't show it too much, I think... I didn't get all the way to the top, but my dad got farther than me, go Daddy!  After that we got some ice cream... best ice cream, ever.  We had salmon that night, it was good, too.  We went to sleep... woke up at 4:00 in the morning... had to get straight to climbing Wallaby Peak.  It was almost the hardest thing I have ever done.  It took 4 hours to climb, not to mention it was freezing.  But like I said, fun!  

~ Gina DeLancey