When I'm guiding a trip in one season, I'll often be asked what I do in the other. And just as often, my guest is surprised to learn that I'm still guiding then too. I find myself explaining how backcountry skiing, mountaineering, alpine climbing, and rock climbing are all inter-related. I started drawing up a ven diagram of it, and realized even more that several other sports share movement in the mountains as well.
Most of us get introduced to the mountains through a very specific gate. For a lot of my older guests, inspiration was found looking up at Mt Rainier, Mt Baker, or Mt Hood:
What happens next really depends on their backgrounds. So for example, someone who want to climb more may get into outdoor rock climbing and alpine climbing:
But those with ski backgrounds often will pursue backcountry skiing instead:
What I really found interesting is how the gates have changed - a lot of folks are introduced to the mountains through the climbing gyms:
I got into it through downhill skiing, then rock climbing, then mountaineering. Alpine climbing was the perfect venue for me to blend everything I loved about moving in the mountains. The last discipline I discovered was trail running. So in the end, my ven diagram looks like:
Is it relevant? I'm not sure - but its been a fun exercise in thinking about how my work and passions relate to each other.