Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Power Of Leading By Example - Linden's Story

Dijukno that as a Colorado native who spent his youth exploring, climbing, and skiing in the Rockies, mountaineering seemed like a natural choice for Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. (RMI) guide Linden Mallory?

Hiking fourteener’s led to chasing bigger peaks in the Northwest, up to Alaska and eventually he found himself on the international scene. Although Linden has had extensive Leave No Trace training through a National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) course as a teenager and his guiding certifications, he says his first exposure to the ethics of Leave No Trace was informal, through the friends and mentors he spent time with in the mountains.  “The formal training came in school, I am still continuing to expand my knowledge and practice my skills in places such as Mount Rainier, leading climbs with an emphasis on protecting our resources. Because Leave No Trace can often be applied differently internationally, I am interested in promoting ethics abroad to help it become more prevalent and widely practiced.”

The way Linden likes to approach Leave No Trace on a climb is two-fold: first, by having a discussion or speaking generally about why it is important, and second, leading by example. If someone drops a candy bar wrapper, it is commonplace for Linden to chase after it. He noted that “when clients or climbers see me taking the time to do so, it really goes a long way”, reminding him of an inspirational event during a trip to Mount Kilimanjaro. “After a successful summit, I handed out bags and challenged the guides and porters to collect more trash than I. I remember seeing guides, porters and clients spread out at 15,000 feet, sprinting to grab pieces of litter and stuff them in their bags and empty lunch sacks. Because we had already summited, the focus was on being there and being a part of the effort, it really added to the positive experience of the climb.” The competition ended at the local bar, where Linden bought everyone a round of drinks. The experience “struck a very powerful chord” with Linden as a unique demonstration of the power of leading by example.

Linden is constantly on the go, traveling all over the world as well as continuing to add to his already impressive 50 successful summit attempts on Mount Rainier. However, he still manages to find time to promote Leave No Trace awareness. Linden is part of the team that established the new Mountaineering principle and it’s his goal that these principles be accessible and applicable to everyone who practices winter sports, beyond the mountaineering community. “We wanted to take the winter skills and look at a spectrum of users, such as people who frequently spend time in the mountains as well as though who are just getting started, or doing things on a much smaller scale. Professionals might look at this curriculum and see the obvious, since many of these ethics are already being practiced. However, for those looking to get more involved there is a lot of good information about how to apply Leave No Trace to specific endeavors.” Linden believes in the “bigger picture beyond immediate action”, and enjoys speaking the different languages of Leave No Trace wherever he goes, always by example.

Wherever your journeys may take you this winter, it is important to remember that you can always find a way to practice Leave No Trace. One piece of advice Linden would give to those participating in any other activities would be to plan ahead (learn a new activity for teaching this principle in the Leave No Trace Tips Section).  “When you are in colder environments, it is crucial that you know what you are getting into and plan accordingly. Ask yourself, ‘do I have enough warm layers, or the right amount of food? Should I use a canister or a liquid stove; how do they react in colder temperatures?’” Doing research before you go and taking the appropriate steps to avoid a troublesome situation can make practicing Leave No Trace in the winter much easier and safer.

Rainier Mountaineering, Inc (RMI Expeditions) is one of America's most reputable and long-standing guide services with over 42 years of mountain



guiding experience. An American Mountain Guiding Association (AMGA) accredited guide service specializing in mountaineering expeditions, alpine 

 climbing, trekking and ski touring programs, RMI is committed to leading exceptional mountain adventures.

1 comment :

  1. It is just sad to see people nonchalantly dirtying such beautiful places. It is certainly a good thing there are people like Linden Mallory who go the extra mile to set a good example.


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