Monday, July 21, 2008


Several years ago I had a realization. As much as I enjoyed rock climbing I was never going to be a world class climber. I also found that even though I really enjoyed the sport what I loved more was exposing others to it for the first time. So with that goal in mind I really had a good time this weekend.
Friday after work five of our best scouts got together with me and another leader and we headed up to Mount Yonah. Our goal was to hike up to the base of the main face and camp for the night. Then on Saturday we'd climb as much as we could until the heat took over.
We got up to the boulder and camped there. The weather was clear so we just pulled out our sleeping bags and slept under the stars.
Saturday morning after a light breakfast we finished our trip up to the main face. I went up and set top ropes on a few of the easier routes. They were probably 5.6 or 5.7 but no harder than that. We got lucky and all of the guys were able to fit into some of my hand me down shoes. That made a big difference. All five of our guys were able to make it to the top of each of the routes that we set up on.
Once the sun started coming around onto the face we decided to go work on something else in the shade. In retrospect we should have just stayed there and toughed out the heat.
As we started walking back to the boulder and the lowers area we passed a huge group of kids who were part of an "at risk" youth group. They were pretty much infesting the lower half of the rock. They had as much right to be there as we did. I just wish they'd have split the group into smaller more manageable numbers, so they could have shared the rock with others.
So we bailed out a little earlier than I'd planned but the guys all got a great chance to look at the world from a new perspective.


  1. Sorry you had to cut the trip short but it was still a lot of fun for the guys while you were here. They are so lucky to have you as a leader.

  2. Discretion is always the better part of valor.
    Your story brings to mind an occourance some years back that caused me to rethink things a bit.
    I was in charge of a scout encampment for the entire district. There were about 300 scouts and leaders at camp and things were going well.
    Late on Saturday afternoon several busloads of "new" campers arrived unannounced. They were loud, out of uniform, undisciplined and very disruptive. There were even a bunch of girls with them!!?! I was MAD. Who were these people?
    I later learned that the city of Atlanta took a number of "high risk" kids from shelers, out of the city due to the Rodney King incident.
    A DEFACS worker had heard that we had space and food to spare and dropped them with us. On Sunday morning we woke them all and shared a church service that truthfully changed the lives of some of those kids - and some of the scouts.
    I am glad I took the time to get details before jumping to conclusions. The kids that need our help the most are not the college bound successful kids from good homes...

  3. I love the photos. Aaron really enjoys outdoor activities because of your encouragement. Good Job

  4. I spoke to a couple of the parents that said the boys were spooked by the exposure, but at the same time they were proud of themselves for getting through it it and climbing. They realized they were braver than they knew the day before. Good stuff...great photos!