Thursday, March 5, 2015

What's up next?

2016 .... Starting off with a BANG!
The 2016 season is well underway with reservations for great adventures. Even though we have bookings all the way thru October, there are still lots of dates and adventures to choose from. To speak to someone in the office about any of our offerings, group, family or private, call the office, call 866. 455.8672 or mobile 301.667.3560

If there is something you want to do or learn, you are the one who decides the date!!! CONTACT US with the dates YOU want... we'll do our best to make them work!
These activities are great corporate team programs and challenges!

Rappelling into a fantastic pool
 The 2016 Cascading season is going to be one for the books!! Maybe the most fun you can have in the outdoors... seriously! Guests come, (and are coming) from all over the world... literally!

Knots and Anchor Construction classes - learn the techniques that will allow you to climb, safely and guide-free!
 Guided Rock Climbing ... In Shenandoah National Park, most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, May thru September, by appointment.

Basic Fieldcraft and Outdoor Skills  (for the average person)
 We teach Fieldcraft from backpacking to
Backcountry navigation
navigation to survival to mountain rescue skills ..Wilderness Skills. This class is a logical extension of what we do.. and incredibly valuable for any and all  who may find themselves working or recreating in an outdoor setting. Classes are being offered by request. (Contact the office for details. 301.667.3560) 

Destination Trips/Hiking- available every day by reservation... stunning waterfalls and remote mountain tops! See why Southern Living says we're the best!!!

Multiple Day Backpacking trips for groups of 2 or more. Travel to, and camp in some of the most stunning, spectacular sites in the mid Atlantic mountains! 

Of course, ANY day you have free, there are great guided adventures to be had! Call us!!!

Towards the end of the 2014 season, we were pleased to host and guide the team from the CW Network's "Rock the Park" TV show, featuring climbing and other adventures in Shenandoah National Park.. watch for it on your local CW Network station!

Well it's happened again! We, (Shenandoah Mountain Guides) were selected as one of the top six guides for guided, mountain  adventures in the Southern Appalachians! (The first time was in Southern Living Magazine..) by Blue Ridge Outdoors.

We keep an "almost daily" presence on our Shenandoah Mountain Guides Facebook page. "Like" us.. it is much more up to date than our blog. 

Our staff is always available to assist you on any and all of your Blue Ridge adventures and adventure planning.. for more information on any of our activities, see our website, call us (tf) 866.455.8672 or e-mail us at:
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If you're thinking about a weekend program for your family or group, you need to let us know sooner rather than later..midweek dates are usually much more available.. however a 2-week advance registration is still recommended. Check the calendar at the bottom of the page for a complete listing of "open registration" opportunities. 2015 registrations, thru winter, are already well underway!
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We are proud to have been selected by Southern Living as The Best in the South for our summer cascading, and waterfall programs! See the link here!
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This is a very interesting read..
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"Remember what Bilbo used to say: It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to." (J.R.R. Tolkien)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Knowledge, with Skill, is Power

One clear, summer night a few years back, I asked a group of teenaged Scouts how they would navigate without a compass... "Use the Sun", one said. Another responded, "Use the North Star".. Both were valid, well-rehearsed answers. I smiled, hoping my doubts were going to be proven wrong.  My follow up questions were "Tell me how" and "Show me how". Unfortunately at that, I was met with blank, slack jawed stares. 

"Kinder and gentler".. oh how I remember those thoughts and words from the early 1990s. For social issues, and in raising children and dealing with our neighbors.. and others.. there are few words of advice that are more timely. 
The problem is that somehow people have started to think that the wider natural world is a "kinder and gentler " place. Nothing could be much further from the truth.

At Teamlink/Shenandoah Mountain Guides, we work with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, colleges and universities, as well as with the broader worldwide public, and somehow, it seems, those who are the "deciders" have decided that it may not be as necessary today as it was 10, 15, 20 or 100 years ago, to go into the outdoors armed with solid knowledge and proven outdoor skills, prepared to handle any situation that may come your way.

Too many magazine articles have espoused that "with the right gear" you can do and survive anything. And besides, if anything does go wrong your SPOT/EPIRB/cell phone is always within reach... you can call on someone who DOES have the skills to come and "save " you. Too many folks have grown into adulthood thinking that safety and comfort in the outdoors natural world is a right... not something that has to be, not earned.. but rather,  LEARNED.
Reading about outdoor adventure is enjoyable, but actually knowing HOW is a different thing altogether.
(I can read about brain surgery and rocket science... does that prepare me to actually do brain surgery or build a rocket??.. heck no.) 

It's not that  outdoor adventure skills are hard, they just take time and focus, to master. Our immediate gratification society is increasingly willing to dispense with mastery of outdoor skills in exchange for rolling the dice... will we, or will we not need assistance...

Am I the only one who would find it hugely embarrassing to have to be "rescued" for simply not being prepared??

At SMG, we LEAD trips into mountain wilderness areas all the time. We SERVE as Search and Rescue (SAR) volunteers in those same mountains. We TEACH technical high angle rescue to professional mountain rescue teams.
We KNOW the sorts of things that can go wrong, and we know how to teach folks to be prepared and how to avoid getting into bad situations in the first place.

So, take the time to learn to get more enjoyment from the outdoors! LEARN to be more fully self reliant! 

How cool would it be to know a bunch of KNOTS? (each of which having a unique function). .. or how to navigate without a compass? (and not get lost).. or something as simple as how to dress and prepare for a long hike (without buying a bunch of shiny new gear whose function is questionable)? The answer is really cool!
Or just maybe you want to be in the position of knowing exactly what to do (and how to do it) when things beyond your control,  go really, really wrong. (THAT could be as cool as saving a life!)

  Call us today.. 866.455.8672. Our Spring and Summer classes are open for you.

 (as the Suunto Compass ad goes: "Replacing Luck")