If you’re a climber, chances are you’ve taken a climbing trip or two that didn’t exactly go as planned. I’ve certainly had some disasters.
One trip started pretty hopelessly when we couldn’t find the start of the climb. It didn’t help that we started too late in the day. By the time we fumbled our way to it, the route was in full sun and pretty much unclimbable. So, we changed crags for the afternoon, but again, not knowing anything about the area, we found ourselves in full sun yet again. We roped up anyway and tackled a multi-pitch climb.
….only to discover we had no idea how to get down. Two hours, a few instances of getting lost, and a bit of a scary hike (in climbing shoes) later, we were finally down and ready to set up camp. As soon as we got settled in, a ranger informed us we were not allowed to camp there and would need to move half a mile down the road.
On my next trip, I hired a guide simply to avoid all the trouble of getting the approach and camping beta, even though I didn’t require most of his services. It was essentially like hiring a local climbing partner…a very expensive local climbing partner!
Surely, I thought, there has to be a better way to get crag information. Isn’t there some happy medium between climbing blind and spending too much money for more information than needed?
Solution: Plan your self-guided climbing trip with GuideGap.
What is GuideGap?
Based in Denver, Colorado, GuideGap is a new online guiding agency that connects climbers, hikers, campers, bikers, and even 4×4 offroaders with trip guidance tailored to their interests. “Less Research, More Adventure,” they say!
Just tell GuideGap what you want out of your trip, and they’ll tailor-make a Destination Guide aimed at your interests and abilities. Unlike hiring a guide or guide service, the guide will not physically accompany you on your activities or hold your hand; they’ll just create a Destination Guide that provides you with all the local know-how and pro tips.
Why Moja Gear Loves GuideGap
GuideGap bridges, well, the gap between the self-planned trip and the totally guided trip experience. Most climbers already know how to climb safely, so it’s rare to want to pay hundreds of dollars to hire a guide trained to teach climbing safety.
The “devil” of climbing trips is in the dirty details, and detailed information simply doesn’t exist online. Guidebooks may not be available in many areas, or information may not be up to date. Most climbing databases require you to already know the route you want to research (or require you to scroll for hours through petty message board drama). Neither resource starts with your interests and capabilities, and both require you to already know quite a bit about your trip.
From gear suggestions to approach beta to a legal place to park your van at the end of a long day, these locals take the grunt work out of planning a climbing trip. For only $30 for the climbing report and $40 for a camping report, you can not only save hours of time researching, but you can also look forward to the adventure with a lot less fear that you missed something or may have made the wrong choice.
No need to spend days researching or thousands on a guided trip. GuideGap can get you to the most envied places on earth.
Plus, GuideGap is a whole new way to support a local outdoor professional. By using GuideGap, you are supporting less “touristy” towns as well as the local experts that have poured their hearts and souls into the local climbing scene. Many of GuideGap’s guides are, in fact, professional guides. Others are shop owners, or route developers. All of them are most qualified to connect you with the absolute best cragging experience in the area.
I also love how GuideGap takes public land stewardship to heart. They recognize that in sharing lesser-known outdoor gems and “locals only” locations, they’re creating the possibility of increased traffic and impact in certain areas. That is why they plan to donate future profits as they grow toward helping locals maintain and preserve such areas.
Let’s not forget that conservation begins with appreciation, and GuideGap does nothing if not cultivate a wider appreciation for the variety of public lands.
Plan your trip with GuideGap now, and get the ultimate beta for your self-guided trip!
Essentially, “GuideGap leverages a crowd sourcing platform to provide a unique Destination Guide every time.” In other words, they’re in the business of connecting you with tips to turn a potentially cool trip into an epic one.
And get this: they do this for a mere $20-$40, depending on the type of activity.
Start by filling out a simple questionnaire regarding your desires and experience level. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, GuideGap can accommodate! They’ll even provide recommendations for activities that are dog-friendly, child-friendly, and wheelchair accessible.
You’ll receive an insight page on the town where you’re climbing, including three customized activity or campsite suggestions (with three pros and cons of each), so that you can go into the trip fully prepared.
Climbing Destination Guides cost only $30 and allow you to specify:
- what type of climbing you aim to do (bouldering, sport climbing, multi-pitch, or trad)
- how hard you want to climb
- how hard you’re willing to work to get to the climbing
- what sort of gear you have or might need
1. Help people spend less time online and more time outside!
2. Help our Locals pursue their passions.
This means GuideGap isn’t just a great service for traveling climbers and adventurers, it’s a flexible opportunity for knowledgeable local guides to make a little extra remote income to support their passion (while simultaneously drumming up business to support the local community).
While some are outdoor professionals (like park rangers, search and rescue crew, and wildland firefighters), some are just regular folks with an outdoor resume to prove their experience. Each guide is rigorously vetted by the company based on both knowledge and experience to ensure they have the ability to not only provide information but to /provide tailored recommendations that are appropriate for different clients based on their questionnaire answers and needs.
Learn more about GuideGap’s local guides at GuideGap.com
Since these locals are the real heroes that make this company work, GuideGap ensures a “significant portion of the fee goes directly to your local guide.”
They currently have over 150 local climbing experts in Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, New England, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, but they’re always searching for new local guides in the areas you’re interested in visiting. As the company continues to grow, we hope to see them offering local climbing expertise in every state.
GuideGap is founded on the conservation of one of our greatest resources; our public lands. We strive to create a positive outdoor experience for individuals and families alike to create advocates and future advocates for the outdoors.
Even now during the COVID-19 closedown you can help support the local guiding community with a Destination Guide from GuideGap.
So for your next climbing trip, instead of visiting the same old over-trafficked crags with routes that are now hopelessly sandbagged due to polish, go out on a limb (err, rope) and experience something a little more unique. After all, sometimes unconventional beta is the best beta.
For more information, or to “know where the locals go” for your next climbing vacation, connect with GuideGap on their website, Facebook, or Instagram.