Tiptoe through the wildflowers: Another Skurka Guiding Trip

I recently guided for Andrew Skurka.  Something I’ve also done in the past.

A chance to show off my “backyard” of twenty years, assist in imparting new skills, and (ideally) give people some appreciation for the outdoor places we pass through.

My fellow guide would be Mike Clelland.  Well-known illustrator, author, outdoors person, and wrote one  of my favorite backpacking books.  I have three of Mike’s books in my collection and found it a pleasure to work with him.  His humor and knowledge in person mirrored the same style found in the books. With his extensive NOLS experience, Mike proved to be not only an excellent guide but also a someone who I can take lessons from in any future guiding endeavors I may partake in going forward.

Together, Mike and I  spent eight days on two different trips guiding clients. Eights days where not only did we teach new skills and immerse people in the Colorado Rockies. But to also show the majesty that surrounds us in the natural world.

Skills can be taught. And knowledge can be shared.  But I’d like to think a contagious and deep passion for the outdoor world, and newly gained confidence in this environment, illustrated by two experienced outdoors people is perhaps the best gift we, as guides, can give to anyone who sees the value of guided trips with a learning focus.

And there are few things in life as satisfying to me as sharing this gift I love.

I could give a day by day account of both trips.

But I think the photos tell the tale far better.

Some talks in the field…

Being amused at certain places…

Or simply enjoying the hiking.

And alpine slushies may hay been enjoyed once or twice, too.

The clients learned and put to use some key outdoor skill sets…

And the students sometimes teach the instructors.

Someday I’ll learn the nuances of hammock camping.

And I like to be reminded there are always more outdoor skill sets to learn.

And the camaraderie of shared meals while in the backcountry is always welcome.

And the Rocky Mountain eye-candy never disappoints.

Another good experience that adds to the rich memories. For the clients of course. But for me as well.

All the five-day trip photos.

All the three-day trip photos.

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