- Pre-Trip Planning
A mentor is someone who has skills and knowledge in an area you want to learn more about. It is someone you get along with, but more importantly, there is trust and respect between the two of you. A mentor has spent years participating in the activity you want to engage in. Safety, both physical and emotional, should be a mentor's #1 concern.
Please remember, however, that everyone going into the backcountry should be informed. Take an AST course yourself and use a mentor to enhance your knowledge. If you ever feel unsafe or don't agree with your companion's or mentor's decisions, turn around and head home. There is always tomorrow to go out and play in the mountains.
Having trouble finding someone who fits a mentor's description but want to get out in the backcountry? Here are some ideas of places to find a mentor. Remember, it takes a while to become comfortable with something new and to build a relationship with someone or a new group. It can be intimidating joining a new group! It takes a bit of courage and gumption but usually results in new adventures and new-found friendships. Dont be discouraged if it takes a while to find a group that works for you.
The internet and your community are great places to explore the following options and make connections. Spend a bit of time doing some detective work and googling sites. Make sure to check out "Links/Resources" of the various sites...they may lead you to what you are looking for! If you are able, go in person to talk to someone from the organization to get a feel if the organization is a good choice for you.
Peers are not yet experienced enough to act as your mentor
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