Advice For Yosemite Mountaineering School – Rock Climbing Guides

My wife and I are visiting Yosemite for a week with my cousin Jimmy. Prior to coming here, I decided I wanted to do some rock climbing in what is known as the Mecca of climbing. My wife and cousin are not climbers and none of my other climber friends were coming. I thought about walking over to Camp 4 and making some friends, but thought that I wouldn’t have enough time for that and also wouldn’t know how safe the climbers I joined up with would be. I also am not a trad climber so I would only be able to follow and clean. I did some research for professional guides and found that the only option was Yosemite Mountaineering School. I called them and set up a one on one guided day.

The person who scheduled me on the phone told me that I couldn’t request any routes or talk about plans on the phone, and that I wouldn’t even know who my guide was until the day of the climb. I was hoping to maybe do a long and easy multipitch route like Royal Arches, or a shorter and harder route closer to my limit.

On the day of the climb, I showed up at the climbing shop and met with my guide Allen . He asked me about my climbing experience and I said my limit is about 5.9 – 5.10a in Joshua Tree for climbing without falling, and that I had only followed on trad a few times and never led. He said okay and told me to take the #20 bus to the #8 spot and meet him there.

I went to the bus stop and waited 15 minutes for the bus then took a long bus ride to the #8 stop. I arrived at about 9:30, and my guide Allen was waiting for me. We walked over to his apartment so he could get his gear, then hiked up a trail to the wall. We did see something really cool then- a bobcat attacked and killed a squirrel right in front of us.

We got set up for the climb and started a multipitch 5.8. It was mostly pretty easy for me, though I did have a challenge figuring out a chimney move that took me a couple of minutes working through. I have six years experience belaying leaders on sport, but a lot less on trad. My guide said if I short roped him we would come down, so I made sure to always leave him with plenty of slack to work with. My guide showed me how to work on the anchors safely and move quickly.

After the multipitch 5.8, we did a very easy 5.7. Probably did a total of 7 or 8 pitches, then the guide called it a day around 3 or 4.

I had fun and learned a little bit, but I definitely wish we had climbed more challenging climbs and had a longer day as I had paid for the long day. I do not think that I got my money’s worth overall. If I had either learned a lot more about setting gear and anchors on easy climbs, or really challenged myself with climbs closer to my limit I think it would have been better.

My advice for climbers with Yosemite Mountaineering School:

  • Be very clear about your thoughts for the day right off the bat with your guide
  • I’d recommend doing a group class. I wish I had done the intro to trad climbing now. I read other reviews online and people said they got all the climbing they wanted to, and also learned how to set gear and build anchors. Plus it’s a lot cheaper to do a group class than a solo climb.

My advice for Yosemite Mountaineering School:

  • You have a monopoly on climbing in Yosemite, but I think it is still important to look to your competitors in other regions for best practices.
  • Talk to your climbers more about what they are looking to get out of the day. Some newbies may just want you to tell them what to do, but I am guessing that a lot of climbers have certain hopes for what they would like to do. I would start the day off with a standard series of questions: What is your climbing experience? What are you looking to get out of today? Did you have any routes or types of climbing you are specifically interested in? Is there anything you wanted to learn today?
  • Overdeliver on your services… don’t call it a day early. Ask your climber how they feel and if they can do more.
  • Set up communications ahead of the day of between the guide and the climber. That way the guide doesn’t feel rushed in the morning and the climber can have time to clearly communicate what they are hoping to do.

I think next time I will just try to recruit a climbing partner on my own.

Private Equity Destroys Companies and Industries

Private Equity firms are a serious drain on our country. Most operate by trying to hack our free market system. They either saddle companies with huge debts while stealing all the cash (Toys R Us), or they try to build monopolies by rolling up all the companies in an industry. Private Equity hurts the customers and the employees of these businesses as they attempt to enrich themselves.

Global Government Needed

I strongly believe we need a global government for several reasons:

  1. Every major company and government is working on building artificial intelligence to gain an advantage over other people… but superintelligent AI will have vast advantages over our species and could result in our extinction. We need a global government to regulate and protect against this possibility as I believe it will happen in the next five years.
  2. If you truly believe that all men are created equal, and that everyone should have a fair shot at improving their standing in life, you must support this.
  3. We would see massive gains in the world economy by freeing up labor and trade to go to where it most needed, and by removing artificial constraints and monopolies.

How would I set up this global government? I would use a federal – state model similar to what we have in the US. I would set up restrictions on the federal government to keep it weak, but give it enough strength to prevent state by state revolutions or things like that. Core principles would be:

  1. The federal government and the states cannot maintain a standing army. They may have police forces, but these need to be limited. An army can only be raised in periods of external threats (states not joining the federation, AI, or aliens) and only for a year at a time and require 70% of Congress to approve.
  2. All borders must be open for emigration and trade.
  3. The federal government can maintain police, and courts but that is pretty much it.
  4. Checks and balances should be in place for courts vs congress vs executive offices.
  5. Strict constitutional limits should be placed on the growth of government with very high hurdles for changing the constitution.
  6. Taxation must be transparent, simple, and fair. No special exemptions or gifts to special interests.  Perhaps a flat sales tax exempting anyone below the poverty line.


I recently promoted a new President to run operations at Coalition and also a Director of Marketing to lead our marketing team. I am hopeful that these two will free up my time to work on improving the structure of the company (processes, checklists, software, etc).