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Ben Rhinesmith

Ben“Now stand up on your right foot and reach for the top with your left hand” were the encouraging words from my father as I finished my first boulder climb in our front yard. With a beaming smile I quickly ran down and around to do it again, and again, and again. Is it brain washing or responsible to teach a 2 year old, who is still peeing his pants, how to climb rocks and explore the wonders of nature around him? Whether it is or not, I loved it and still do.

I studied and interacted with nature consistently while growing up but my formal education came with a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership from Colorado Mountain College. While not historically thrilled with school (bless my Mom’s heart and persistence) I did enjoy studying for classes like ice climbing, high angle rescue, and geology. But the places the degree has taken me are even better! Within the last few years I have ventured through Central America via local chicken buses, explored south east Alaska in sea kayaks, rafted the Grand Canyon, and helped a start-up climbing company in Morocco - all among many small but equally fun adventures. Needless to say the draw of exploration weighs heavily upon me. The unknown and its challenges have brought me to some incredible places.

Upon arrival to Zion I wrote my first impressions and even now still feel the same way after exploring its depths. For “Zion is not a place for the faint of heart as without as much as a breeze a persons’ existence will diminish. Yet with a strange embrace Zion holds, cradles, and nurtures the natural awe and fosters the feelings of acceptance. The patterns and colors upon and in the stone are forever petrified mid dance while the leaves, grass, and birds divinely care on their own interpretation of life’s meaning. The processes of force are strong and defined. The carved geology tells a tale of long standing dunes and bedding formation, only to be cut clean to its core in relatively spectacular speeds and time. It reminds a person that no matter how long and hard they work to build themselves into what they may “be”; it only takes one dramatic force to cut them in two. What insignificance! A true paradise of nurturing only to be humbled to nothing.”

Safe travels,

Ben