This years Academy was better than ever. It was powerful for the participants due to the high quality courses and well experienced teachers and for the team in that we honored one of our past team members Marc-Andre Leclerc. He passed too soon and was one of those “one of a kind souls”. He brought an excitement to all whom he met and positively loved the adventure of the outdoors. Thursday night was all about honoring him and his past adventures and accomplishments in addition to demonstrating what kind of person he was with others.
Additionally, we heard from Craig Demartino about his 100 foot fall years ago and how he overcame the enormous injuries. Incredible story really, Craig is top notch. Read of on his experiences and be sure to watch his video Craig’s Reaction
Another presenter who was completely inspiring was Leo Houlding. He spoke about his recent challenge in the south pole. I was in awe as he spoke of the harsh Antarctic environment and how he and his team overcame all the obstacles that came before and after the climb.
Finally, this was the second year for the photo showdown. Six professional photographers had two days to make a slide show with a Arcteryx Athlete and a chosen climber. I was fortunate to be one of the Arcteryx athletes and we worked ourselves into destroyed human beings as we walked all over the Chief climbing for the shots that our fearless leader wanted. Mateo was my partner in for the two days and it was great to have a positive spirit who was also becoming a local as he had just began climbing only 3 years ago. Our team did not win the competition, but we laughed a lot and climbed new routes all day long which was all that we could ask for. Photos by Thomas Burden Thanks Thomas for doing a great job and having so much fun with us!
Finally, I got to teach an Off-Width clinic in the Smoke Bluffs. I had a wonderful group of climbers who wanted to know the ins and outs of off width climbing. Everyone was worked at the end of the day from trying all the different techniques for ascending those odd sized cracks.