I cannot stress enough, the importance of having a mentor for the sport of rock climbing. With the explosion of climbing and the increased risks of accidents, injuries and even fatalities, a weekend trip out with a guide is not enough to consistently practice and dial-in skills and practices that are mastered over the years.
Last week, my partner and I made an attempt on the Grand Central Couloir on the North Face of Mt. Kitchener. It would be our first attempt at climbing ANYTHING in the Canadian Rockies. Among many other things, I find going to a new region to be daunting because each seems to have its own climate that requires adapting to. The Rockies are a colder and drier range than the Cascades, Patagonia, or other places I have climbed. We did what I am sure many end up doing – debating our layering and sleeping systems for a good half hour.