We survived. Two intercontinental flights with not-yet-three twin boys and no international scandals, no diverted aircraft, no visits from Homeland Security. Just a little puke, a few minutes of crying, and three great weeks in Italy. Now I’m home, a little chubby, and looking forward to my AMGA Advanced Alpine Guides Course and Aspirant Exam. There’s a mouthful.

Prep time. Gotta pass the rescue drill (again), the knot pass drill (again!), and a movement exam consisting of several elements: up to 5.10a in rock shoes, 5.8 in boots, up to WI 4 with two tools, and finally a timed course to be covered using only French (flat-footed) technique on ice/neve/snow. Better get practicing!

My course starts September 4 in the Cascades. Weather could be anything, really, so I’m already obsessing about boots, tents, the works. Typical course routes are Sharkfin Tower, West Ridge of Forbidden, or the Beckey Route on Liberty Bell.

Time to get serious! Back to the Alpine Training Center, get in some guide days with Alpine World Ascents, and hopefully make a trip out to the Cascades to practice a bit in August.

This is my final course for the AMGA–I start my final exams possibly this October (rock), but more likely next spring. Stay tuned!