Squamish Rock Camp

1.4.5-stawamus-chief-1OnwardUp has created a tradition of hosting outdoor skills and adventure camps for dealers selling the products we represent.

July finds us travelling to Squamish, BC for a rock climbing camp with 6 sales team members from across Western Canada.

In exchange for 3 days of climbing and learning with qualified guides, while also getting a chance to test the best products out there, we asked applicants to provide a story about how a piece of equipment (of a brand that OnwardUp represents) helps them to experience the outdoors to the fullest. A story about a favourite piece of gear (new or old) or a specific instance where having a certain item was key to their comfort or even survival!

Our first winner to be profiled is Drew:

My name is Drew, and I am a current staff member at Valhalla Pure Outfitters in Squamish, BC. I was told about this contest today so I figured why not? I believe writing is an extremely creative way to express ones view, so here is a little blurb that I took from my blog on how I feel Petzl products inspired my outdoor experiences. I was drawn to ice climbing way before I was ever interested in rock climbing (my writeup below sums up my attraction towards ice climbing perfectly). When it was time to purchase my first set of tools and crampons, there was no decision needed; Petzl nomics and sarken crampons. Hands down the best feeling tools I have ever held. Every swing is a swing of confidence and security into the ice. The combination took me from TR ing to leading WI3 in my first season (after proper training of course: I have just completed a 2 year guiding diploma with TRU in Kamloops). As my climbing skills advance and I venture into more wild and committing environments I will always have Petzl tools in my hands and crampons on my feet!

“To live is to suffer, to survive is to find some meaning in the suffering”  -Friedrich Nietzsche

Ice climbing can only be summarized as the antithesis of comfort. Purposefully braving the frigid temperatures, persistent winter winds, and curtailed daylight to salvage enjoyment from a relentlessly hostile environment. Yet we avail to a higher degree of self enjoyment and satisfaction. Why? Is it the gratification of defying gravity against a frozen body of water, overcoming both physical and mental challenges to come out on top? perhaps. For me there are many qualities that manifest sublimity, amongst other outdoor activities I engage in. First off, ice climbing is so f**king RAW! No other sport requires the intense amount of respect required to navigate through such an unpredictable medium that at any point could collapse and send you home humbled; assuming you survived of course. Armed with two ice tools, a pair of crampons on your feet, and an arsenal of ice screws, you venture upward into the frozen unknown, battling nerves and physical exhaustion. Ice climbing brings out modesty; A sport where consequences are directly related to ones actions. As a climber your are 100% responsible for every swing of your tool, every placement of your screw, and every step of your boot. If you cheat, you are only cheating yourself. As you progress as a climber, you develop perseverance, resilience, and the true understanding of suffering, resulting in the becoming of a stronger person. People ask me why I risk my life pursuing the lifestyle that I do. Generally I retort with the question, “why are you risking your life with complacency”? I would rather risk my life doing what I love doing, than risk my life doing what other people expect me to be doing.

Thanks Drew, and see you next week!


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