During the second week of January, CC students Lauren Hubert, Michael Kauzmann, Sawyer Connelly, Matt Zia, and I embarked on a migration Southwest in search of the sunny, granite paradise of Joshua Tree, California.

We explored everything from off-width cracks to perfect splitters for two days before beginning our American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) Single Pitch Instructor course. Led by two AMGA-Certified Rock Instructors – Markus Jolliff, a local guide, and Ryan Hammes, Director of Outdoor Education at CC – we dove into learning rope systems, rescue techniques, and guiding skills.

The intensive three-day course left us with new abilities and the opportunity to continue soaking up all the desert locale had to offer: road runners, Joshua Trees (reminiscent of Truffula trees), number five cam placements, pristine climbs, and a nighttime scrambling excursion into the “Chasm of Doom.”

Hubert and Zia continued on to take the full assessment and receive their official Single-Pitch Instructor certification.

Big thanks to the Ritt Kellogg fund for the Education Grants that made this incredible trip possible!

Emma Longcope

Active Life Editor

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