Mallorie's Rock Guide Course

Hi everybody. I recently applied to a scholarship for a Women's Rock Guide Course through the American Mountain Guides Association. The $2,000 scholarship would have significantly eased the burden of the $2,850 course. I spent hours working on my application, compiling details from the last 5 years of climbing (50 multipitch climbs, 10 grade III+ climbs, ten 5.10a leads in different places, etc.)

Surprise: I didn't get the scholarship. Apparently there are 42 other women on the waitlist with me (which is awesome that so many women went for it! But still disappointing.) A small, defeated part of me wanted to give up and say that it wasn't meant to be. But I need this career development and boost. So I'm going to make it happen by whatever means necessary. Which brought me here.

What is the Rock Guide Course?
This course is the entry-level course to becoming a credentialed guide through the American Mountain Guides Association. Besides preparing me to be a better guide to my clients, the course will set me up to pursue further credentials in the rock and alpine disciplines which will make me more competitive in my guiding career.

Why am I asking for money?
This is the awkward part. If I get so much as $10 out of this, I will be greatly appreciative. Since I did not get the scholarship, I will be paying for this course out-of-pocket. It will cost me 19 days of work to pay the tuition alone; which doesn't take into consideration the travel, food, etc. to get to West Virginia to take the course. Unfortunately, I still need to feed myself and pay bills in the meantime (just like everybody else, I know.) I'm asking for help because I believe in every word that I put into my scholarship application. Even though I didn't get it this time around, I believe that I'm a deserving candidate.

Here's a link to the Women's Rock Guide Course scholarship info: 

Why should you donate?
I am invested in women's representation and education in the outdoors. I make a point of teaching women's courses to empower women with the skills they need to get out and into the mountains. Just like I believe in each of my female students, clients and climbers, I believe in myself. I could use a little financial help to become more qualified to help more women (and men, too!) Like I said before, any help that I can get is extremely appreciated. I had a minor ethical struggle with myself before posting this; I've had a lot given to me, I'm a very capable person, I will work hard to make up whatever difference I need to finance this course and subsequent courses down the line. I expect nothing; but if there was ever a time to ask for a leg up, this seemed like it for me. I appreciate anything you can pitch in to help a girl out.

Am I supporting a climbing vacation? Absolutely not. The course will be rigorous and will equip me with more technical skills to move folks through complex rock terrain in the mountains. Guiding and rock climbing are not at all the same; one is a professional career, the other is a recreational activity.

Why don't you get a real job like a normal person? Guiding is absolutely a real job. In order to do it more and do it better, I need to invest in these AMGA credentials. They're not cheap. Once I get this first step out of the way, I will be more qualified for more guiding work; more competitive for future scholarships; a more attractive candidate for different guiding jobs. (Last climbing season, I was guiding and desk-jobbing simultaneously and it was insane. I'm answering my calling and figuring out the details as I go. Something, something about the mountains are calling and I must go.)
My guiding work season began with a women's leadership and climbing retreat in Joshua Tree in March; I will be working for Mountain Madness in the Cascades and will work in Alaska with Mountain Trip in June. Long story short: I'm going to work as much as I can to make this happen. For more thoughts on this career path: 

Is this course worth the money? Definitely. Anything that I can do to invest in my education to provide a safer experience to my clients is worth an arbitrary dollar amount.

Any other questions? Ask me: [email redacted] 
More details about the Rock Guide certification process:
My program and dates: R10 RGC 19, Seneca Rocks, 10/8 to 10/17/19
Tuition amount and due date: $2850 on 7/30/19

THANK YOU FOR READING THIS FAR. This work means the world to me. I appreciate all the help I can get.


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Mallorie Estenson 
Bellingham, WA
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