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Some emails we've received...
I hope this finds you well - I am contacting you on
behalf of Outside Magazine's Premier Active Traveler Team! We are currently
working on our February issue and it appears that Vertical Adventures is going
to be covered in our School's In Feature Story in the February issue! Outside's
Editors attended the world's best camps to master a new skill and found your
rock-climbing clinics to be the best in the business...Congrats!
Active Travel Director, Outside Magazine
For all the right reasons I suspect that this email
is a repeat for you, but...I wanted to say thank you again for the incomparable
time this Wednesday out in JT. Your instruction came through precise, informed
and professional. I enjoyed our conversations, and while climbing really dug
when you knew when to toss up a little beta- and when to let me or my dad just
enjoy working it out on our own. You really fleshed out the whole experience as
I got some perspective not just of the rock but the plants and the wildlife
surrounding us. I felt your love of the place reflected. Now I love it there
Thanks again. I always say there's 1000 days in your life that define
it. Wednesday was one of the 1000 for me. hell- it was one of the 100.
Cant begin to tell you how much I enjoyed
climbing with you. Many thanks for the entire experience. Ive made a
lifetime memory with your help. I cant remember when Ive had more
All the best,
What a terrific class! Your instructors were
amazing, cool, fun, and absolutely brimming with experience and knowledge!
Looking very forward to finding time to take the next progression of classes
Thanks a million.
I climbed with two of your guides in Joshua and
loved the experience. I have gone quite a few places to climb and hired guides
and none have been as good as yours - safe, knowledgeable, friendly. I really
appreciated their time.
I just wanted to reach out and say that
my fiancee and I had the best experience yesterday with our guide Chris at
Joshua Tree. As you know, it was our first time outdoors and we absolutely
loved it and it really had a lot to do with our guide. He was beyond
knowledgeable, safety conscious and made sure we had fun and got our money's
worth. Thank you so much for a great experience and also having such a high
standard for your employees. We will definitely be back for another trip and
couldn't imagine using a different company.
I just wanted to say what a fantastic day my kids
(10 & 7) and I had climbing with Jarad. He was great company, and set up
some excellent top-rope climbs for all of us. He was incredibly knowledgeable,
patient, and of course ultra-safe. It was far and away the highlight of our
trip. Well look forward to climbing with Jarad when were back in
Joshua Tree next year. Thank you!
I just wanted to thank you again for hosting
such an incredible weekend. The training I got from both you and Peter will
undoubtedly enhance my climbing and help me reach my goals. It was truly an
experience of a lifetime and it will be permanently ingrained in my memory. I
have gained so much from each of your classes and I look forward to enjoying
more of them in the near future. You are a fantastic teacher with an incredible
wealth of knowledge and I'm grateful to have your help taking my climbing to
I wanted to send this to say thank you for our
experience! Sofia and I had an amazing 2 mornings with Chris.
He was an
incredible guide! Friendly, funny, kind, a great instructor. He managed to
create an experience for us that took into account our different levels and
provided climbs that had challenges for each of us and were also at levels
where we could both really enjoy the experience. He was also fun to talk to! He
provided helpful instruction and a safe experience. He was excellent with my 15
year old and coached her through a couple of challenging climbs. She was
thrilled with the experience and it has really fueled her enthusiasm for the
I will certainly recommend your company to others and I will highly
Angela Schillace (and Sofia Schillace)
The true testimonial to an art form is the
impression. Teaching others to engage in a sport that requires you to step
outside your comfort-zone and really challenge individual boundaries, makes a
genuine art form out of teaching others "how" to rock climb.
I want to
thank you not only as a group but personally, because both you and your guides
have inspired me (as an amputee and previous rock-climber) and an unusual group
of individuals (some of whom probably never saw themselves climbing a rock in
their lifetime) to pursue rock climbing further and that is the true
testimonial to the success of your craft. Through their instruction, your
guides absolutely reinforced in me (and I think the group as whole) that the
limits of an individual is readily defined by their ability to understand that
limitation and embrace it as a foundation, more so than a place to end...and
for two days worth of climbing instruction, you have definitely left a profound
impression in all of us as to what it is to be a rock climber.
and you will definitely be hearing from this band of hooligans again :)
Just wanted to send you a letter letting you
know what an influence you had on myself and the Solana Beach rest of my fellow
mates in the class this past week. The patience you showed in teaching us all
the proper knots and placements for our anchors was phenomenal. You are a truly
gifted climber and I am proud to be able to tell people "Bob Gaines taught me
that". Josh and I have already told a few people that your company is a great
resource to use for a start in rock climbing. Once again thanks a bunch and
keep up the good work.
I hope all is well and that you're having a
great week! I wanted to send along some positive feedback for you! Last year,
we began sending out surveys to our customers after they enjoy their experience
and Vertical Adventures has received great feedback. We've received several
responses and the overall experience rating is 10 out of 10 and the last
customer we sent had the following comment: "It was a really great time. So
laid back and fun, yet still packed with tons of information and hands on
experience. I really loved it...I am so happy with my experience."
so much for taking great care of our customers - it shows! In a world where
people typically only reply to surveys to complain or point out the negatives,
this is fantastic. Keep up the good work!
Lindsey Weller|Cloud 9 Living
Hi Bob- just wanted to shoot you a quick note to let you
know Jarad did a great job guiding yesterday. Hes a great addition to
your team! We had a phenomenal day and really got in a lot of quality mileage.
Great pointers for me for crack climbing too.
Omg love the photos so much. We had the best time
ever. Mentoring under you, Michael and I both won the lottery. We both learned
so much in the two days we spent together. We can't stop talking about you and
Thanks so much for such a wonderful enlightening vertical
I just wanted to say thank you again for
providing Corey such a great experience in Joshua Tree on Monday. He learned a
lot and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We feel doubly lucky that the
weather was so great and that circumstances conspired to have you be his guide!
Best to you in the New Year,
Hi Bob, Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend of
training! I can't wait to practice all my new skills and read your new books
when they come out. I found all your anchor, gear, guiding, and technique
expertise to be invaluable, and I'm sure I will rely on it for many years to
Good luck with your books and thanks again,
Thanks for all your help this year with all of
our SPI candidates. I have already told you, but it deserves repeating, you
have made a big difference in the quality and safety of our Sierra Club rock
programs. Aside from that you are a great guy to boot! Thanks again for all
your help and Happy Holidays to you and yours.
We all had a great time, and it was an
excellent learning experience. Without exception, the four girls are convinced
they will be climbing the rest of their lives! Tony did a fine job--relaxed,
patient and confident. A good choice for us!
Thanks very much, Bob. It was
good to see you again, and we look forward to more adventures!
It was an absolute pleasure to meet you, get to
know you a little and see how you work. Thanks for a great course and getting
across a huge amount of valuable information!
With very best wishes,
Wills Young (& Lisa)
I wanted to thank you for the great training
this passed weekend. The information was interesting and insightful. Your
teaching technique is clear and straightforward which made the course a huge
asset for me...
I'm excited to practice these new skills and fine tune my
climbing and teaching ability so that one day I can help others to safely
develop a passion for this incredible sport.
Ryan and I have made plans to
work together to practice the techniques you showed us and I am looking for any
opportunity to embed these new skills into my climbing repertoire.
again and I'll see you in the fall if not sooner.
I cant tell you how much I enjoyed the
Rockcraft seminar last weekend. I was concerned that it might be too basic for
me, but that wasnt the case after all. My confidence on rock has
increased dramatically. Both Chris and Jarad are top notch, passionate climbing
instructors, and I believe uniquely talented in their ability to teach
sometimes complicated topics efficiently. Beyond that they just seem like good,
fun people. I felt immediately comfortable out there with them and I think the
rest of our group did too.
Thanks for great weekend.
We had a great day with Tony while we were at
Joshua Tree! He is a perfect climbing guide--patient, encouraging, instructive,
and a lot of fun to be with. We look forward to another opportunity to come
back to Joshua Tree, and will certainly call you when we do. He was especially
inspiring to our 11 year old son!
Thank you and best regards,
I just wanted to let you know that we had a great
outing with Chris. He is an awesome guide! He really helped us have an
experience we could not have had elsewhere or with someone else. Ill be
sure to post an online review but just wanted to say thank you to you.
Thanks again for making the intermediate class
work on Wed. Jarad is a great instructor, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and
I just wanted to drop you a quick note and mention
to you that I really appreciated your assistance with setting up this half-day
for me. I was working on a very tight and ambitious schedule and your diligence
was greatly appreciated. Also, Chris was absolutely top-notch.
In the past,
I have gone out with guides from Eastern Mountain Sport Climbing School up in
New Paltz. Although they were good, none had gone through technique nearly as
much as Chris went through with me. He was also highly knowledgeable of the
Joshua Tree stone and eco-system. It was really a pleasure to go out with him
and learn from him. While my hands are still scabbed up and sore, I love it and
cannot thank you and Chris enough for such a wonderful afternoon.
John T. Cofresi, Esq.
Yesterday was such an amazing day. Perfect
weather in the most gorgeous surroundings. Tony was terrific. He showed me a
couple of challenging climbs that were just so exhilarating to get through. I
really wish I could come out more often. Thanks as always for providing such
great guides every time I the climbing bug hits me.
Just wanted to let you know that I had a great
three days with Chris (March 9-11). I learned a lot and visited a bunch of
areas in the Park. Tops for me was my first multipitch -- The Swift. I also
really enjoyed Sundog too, the new slab that you guys put up in Echo Park area.
Chris was flexible, a good teacher, and overall a great guy to spend three
days with. Please pass along my thanks to him.
Thanks again for the lead climbing classes!
Jarad did an awesome job as usual. Looking forward to reading your new book and
more great classes with Vertical Adventures!
Had another great outing with Chris last week.
He is wonderful.
I just wanted to thank you for the guiding
last Monday. Harrison and I really enjoyed ourselves and look forward to
climbing with you/Vertical Adventures again. Most likely this Summer up in
I cannot stress enough what an amazing
guide Chris was, he was so patient, calm, and educational. We could not have
asked for a better experience this week!
I wanted to reach out and tell you what an amazing
trip we had rock climbing in Joshua Tree at Turtle Rock. Jarad was a fantastic
guide. Pushed everyone's limits, but not too far. It was truly the highlight of
the trip and it was an excellent vacation.
We will definitely be back. And
have recommended it to others.
Just a quick email to say thanks so much for a
great 4 days.
We really couldn't have asked for more and we adored Chris,
really great guide, patient mentor, and honestly one of the best dudes we've
ever met. Instant family.
We'd love to talk about doing self rescue as soon
as our schedules allow and we'd like to do that with Chris...Let us know and
thanks again. It really was a life changer.
Just wanted to let you know what a terrific job
Jarad did as our guide last week. He is super patient and so knowledgeable, he
made my first outdoor climbing experience as enjoyable as possible considering
its a big change from climbing in the gym.
He even carried my open
can of Yerba Mate as we scrambled into climb Cat House.
Thank you and Chris for another great day out!
Jessica and I had a wonderful time and learned even more. Chris was a wonderful
Jess gave me a big bear hug and thanked me for being her mom and the
Thanks for setting this up for me! I had a
great day with Jarad and the two others. Jared was a good coach and I felt very
safe with him the whole time. Also, I matched with the other two climbers quite
If I ever return, Vertical Adventures will be my first stop for
What a great experience we had with Chris! He
I wanted to write in to give you a great report
for what an awesome time we had with your guide Jarad last Thursday in Joshua
Tree. We couldnt have asked for a better experience, or guide. We hope to
purchase some of our own gear and schedule another time with you that Jarad
could guide us through safely using our own equipment.
Thank you again,
Stevie & Randy Chapa
Chris did a great job. My wife and I had a ton of
fun! Will be in touch next time we are in town.
Thank you so much. Chris was absolutely perfect. A
great teacher and really fun to spend time with. I will definitely try to set
something up to climb with you guys again.
Jarad is an amazing instructor! He is very
knowledgeable and super helpful and supportive. We are looking forward to
taking another class with him.
Enjoyed climbing with Chris very much.
Hes a good teacher with a good patient manner and gave me everything I
wanted out of the weekend.
Thanks so much, we had a great time climbing with
My wife and I recently climbed with one of
your guides, Chris Baumann, in Joshua Tree (you and I met briefly in the car
park at intersection rock). I just wanted to say thank you for everything. We
had an excellent two days climbing with Chris - he was great. Chris balanced
our two requirements very well and even though I've climbed for many years I
learned some new stuff. I will fully recommend Vertical to all my friends.
Simon (and Liz)
Thank you for reaching out! We had a great time.
Jarad was a terrific guide. He gave good lessons on technique and safety as
well as made the experience fun for all. Joshua Tree was just beautiful!
Wanted to let you know that Tony did a great job.
He was both professional, but easy going and fun. As a former guide, I pay
attention to the little things....his willingness to take pictures, his
encouragement and positive attitude served me well. Thanks for the opportunity
to help me reach my goal of fifty classic climbs on my fiftieth.
Just wanted to drop you a quick note about my
trip last week to Joshua Tree. I had an awesome time and it was exactly what I
wanted and more. Chris was fantastic. He provided the perfect mixture of
climbing, coaching and technical sessions. It was great to meet someone who so
obviously enjoys his job and is passionate about what he does. He really
inspired me to get out climbing more often which was what I was looking for.
I'd like to fly down again for a 3-4 day trip in late Feb / Mar if that works.
Thanks again for a super weekend,
Chris, Let me first apologize for taking so long to send
these to you. The second we hit the ground back home, it's been a constant
whirlwind of activity from everyday life to planning our new relationship
together. Just looking at these pictures again took me out of the moment and
put me back there for a short period of time. Everyone and everything has been
going great and Diana and I are on overdrive with the planning.
day with you, we kind of sat down with each other and contemplated the gravity
(no pun intended) of what it all meant to us. Climbing aside (which I am now a
huge outspoken advocate of) it was utterly life changing. Hanging out with you,
just having fun, and showing us things we probably would have never discovered
on our own really shifted our focus and priorities in a way we really didn't
even imagine possible.
Just us getting to know you as a person and then not
having more time to spend with you is something we both wish we had more time
of after our return. You really did help change our lives, not just in what you
helped me setup; but the perspective, clarity, and utter enjoyment you had in
climbing and with us. It's a feeling that has been at least with me every day
since we have been back and reminds me to stop and breathe every so often.
1000% I want to go back and spend more time in the park and hang out with you -
hopefully next time I can bring more friends to experience what I have.
Your description of climbing has been my best description to people over
here - that it is, "The only thing I've done in my entire life that has
completely removed any thought or worry from anything else going on. It is the
only thing you are focused on." This description alone intrigues everyone here
because it's something alien hat they simply don't know how to do. I couldn't
imagine going back and not bringing you along again, the confidence and
guidance you've given us in not only climbing, but taking that to other facets
of our life has been amazing. I hope these pictures find you well, I am pretty
sure this is all on our end but will certainly triple check. Hope to speak to
you very soon! If you have a hard time downloading these, just let me know and
I will split them up and send them in smaller groups.
Mike and Diana
Eric and I wanted to let you know what a
fantastic guided experience we had with Chris last Monday (3/18) during our
time in JT. Below is a little write-up / review for you, Chris, and V.A. Feel
free to cut and paste as you see fit. Thank you Vertical Adventures for a
spectacular climbing trip! Our guide, Chris, made our experience in Joshua
Tree. Not only did he quickly hone in on our climbing ability, (climbing gym,
but little to no outdoor experience) he also encouraged us in a manner that
built on our strengths and he intuitively knew how we needed to be challenged.
It was clear that Chris loves his job. His enthusiasm for the park,
knowledge of the area, 25+ years of climbing experience was infectious and we
were smiling from ear-to-ear all day. His respect for you (Bob) and the other
guides at V.A. was clearly evident and confirmed what we already knew based on
a friend's recommendation, that Vertical Adventures is a great climbing
company. By the end of the day, Chris had become a friend - his kindness,
encouragement, and humor made us feel at ease, and, needless to say, we're
totally hooked on outdoor climbing!
Thanks for the list. My last day with Tony was
incredible. It was 2pm before either of us even thought about lunch and even
then, carried on. He's a wonderful teacher. Words cannot express the quality of
my experience with all three of you.
Many thanks for everything.
My friends and I hired a guide a few weeks back
from your company to help us tighten up some of our anchor skills. Chris
Baumann was great. After getting a feel for our competency levels he provided
great instruction and provided knowledgeable feedback on our existing skills. I
have noticed a great increase in my climbing confidence since our day with
Thank you for having such expert staff.
I had a blast climbing with Chris today. We got
tons of climbing in. He had lots of great suggestions to improve my climbing.
He also seems like a really good person and was fun to hang out with. Do you
have his email address so that I can thank him again?
Just a note to say how pleased and impressed I was
this last weekend with both your company and our Guide Tony.
sure what I expected, but what we (my son Jesse and I) experienced was beyond
my usually high expectations. The small class size ( only three of us) and the
super patient and knowledgeable Tony got me hooked again on the sport we have
put on the back burner for such a long time.
Thank you, and we will see you
again real soon, hopefully for the leading class.
So Cal Ship Services
I wanted to offer some positive feedback
on our guide Chris. He was very professional and exceeding our expectations.
I Just wanted to say we all had a great time
working with Chris on anchor building and placements. He was easy going
friendly and handled the day in a manner that flowed well. He reaffirmed some
key concepts for us and we learned a lot of new things as well. Thank him again
for us. And thank you for providing us with a great guide!
I had a great time. Chris was excellent. In fact
all your guides have been outstanding. Feel free to use this feedback on your
website. If I'm back in Ca I will climb with you again.
Just wanted to say thanks for a great day.
Jason and I had a fantastic time; your company is very professional and the
course was well done and tons of fun!
Thank you for an excellent program. The most
frequent Boy Scout "Rose" was earning the merit badge and the most frequent
"Thorn" was not being able to stay longer. I will recommend Vertical Adventures
to all my Scouter friends.
Cathy Lesnick, Troop 412
I had another great experience with Vertical
Adventures. The anchoring class was great and I learned a ton. I had an
especially good time climbing again with Chris. Thanks. I'll definitely be in
touch with you in the future about another course or guided climb.
It was very nice meeting you this morning at
Joshua Tree. I had a great experience today in my first-ever rock climbing
class with Todd and Chris. They did an excellent job instructing as well as
building confidence. I've been teaching and coaching my entire adult life and
these guys are first-cabin!
I had an outstanding time climbing with Tony
today. He picked a selection of routes that were excellent climbs and also
helped expand my climbing ability. I have been very impressed with the service
offered by yourself and your guides both times I have climbed with you.
It was nice seeing you again on Saturday.
Just wanted to let you know that Rico and I absolutely LOVED the class this
weekend! Tony was wonderful, he was able to beautifully balance a mixture of
beginner and intermediate climbers, giving each of us exactly what we needed to
progress in our individual levels. His knowledge of various routes that could
accommodate not only our differing levels but also the temperature and time of
day was invaluable. Before taking the class, I felt like a "general" climber,
but now I feel much more specific and conscious of each move and understand
more clearly which moves work better under which conditions and why (and which
moves I am better at and why).
Rico and I really want to send our praise to
Tony. He made the class the success that it was. He is a phenomenal teacher,
very supportive, patient and clear, and we absolutely loved learning from him.
Thanks for the fantastic instruction and service your school provides and
thanks again for the discount. We are definitely looking forward to our next
course with Vertical Adventures (and Tony!) when we are ready!!!
I just wanted to write to say what a great
experience I had with Tony. I figured that your guides would be knowledgeable
and expert climbers, but he was also incredibly patient and truly wanted my
experience to be a great one. Physically, I probably should have waited until I
was in better shape post surgery, but mentally, I needed to get out and do
something to challenge myself. I haven't climbed in about a year (and was
certainly no expert even then) and this has definitely reinvigorated my desire
to get climbing again. I will definitely use your company again in the future.
Tony is top-notch. He has a gift for explaining
key concepts and the rationale clearly. He's an excellent teacher.
I just wanted to deeply thank you for your
professionalism all throughout the two day anchoring. You did a great job
adapting to each level of experience to ensure that each one in the end were
more competent when the class ended. Your down to earth instruction truly
brought together the important principles of anchor systems, knots but more
importantly the safety aspect.
I truly enjoyed the way your shared your
wisdom and experience, this truly brought every aspect of safe anchoring
systems together. That reinforced key principles that need to be considered
when placing and building a anchoring system. Each system that was built, you
talked through it and helped the class learn so many different aspects that
must be considered each time a system is place.
Lastly, I want to thank you
for giving that little attention at the end. This attention brought home some
key parts that I know are take away's for me to be more confident.
thanks for being a true guide and mentor to my son and I.
Just wanted to say thank you, and that Tony was an
awesome guide. We all had a great experience and are looking forward to using
everything we learned. Might even do the leading or rescue classes in the near
Thanks for setting this class up! Tony did an
excellent job! We all learned a lot, and really enjoyed having him as our
Go confidently in the direction of
your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. --Thoreau
Infinite thanks. I really love what you guys do
and the level of service. Outstanding operation. Thank you!
and Happy New Year!
Finished the 2 day Rockcraft class... I had a
blast. Both instructors are first rate climbers and first rate people. Each day
was fun, safe, and full of learning- I can't wait to come back to do more
classes with you guys. Please let them know how much I appreciated all their
Happy New Year,
From a post on rockclimbing.com:
Thought I'd follow up
with a trip report. I climbed at Tahquitz yesterday with a Tony Sartin, one of
the guides from Vertical Adventures. We ended up doing The Consolation (5.9) on
the Northwest Recess. The weather was excellent and the climb was very good.
Tony was a great guide. I'm looking forward to getting back to the West coast