We are excited to announce our reopening for the season this coming October 1st, 2020! We have been closed for roughly 7 months and are ecstatic to get back to the business of sharing our wonderful home of Joshua Tree National Park from a bird’s eye view.
Guiding in the era of Covid-19
Hello Dear Friends. We have missed you! It has been a long, strange year full of unprecedented events and situations. We hope that this finds you all healthy and navigating your way through this new landscape with all the grace, perseverance, and flexibility that any one of us can muster. This has been a challenging time for everyone in so many ways and the future remains uncertain. We have spent the last few months thinking deeply about how we can maximize the safety of our guests and staff while providing the increasingly essential service of getting people outside in the natural world, away from screens and zoom meetings, and experiencing the joy and rebuilding of spirit that has always been the gift of wild places. We feel so fortunate that we can provide the opportunity to you all to access the vast rocky otherworld that is Joshua Tree and feel the much-needed release that comes of adventure and beauty.
Cliffhanger Guides was the first guide company in Joshua Tree to voluntarily close during the onset of Covid-19. This was a hard decision, but we felt it was the right decision in the face of a novel situation that swept up the world. We take the health of our guides, our guests, and our community very seriously. The good news is, 7 months into this pandemic we have a much better idea of what we’re dealing with. Strong data suggests that transmission of Covid-19 is very unlikely in an outdoor environment and that taking precautions that minimize the risk of transmission makes us feel strongly that we can provide the highest caliber experience to our guests while maximizing everyone’s health and safety. Many of our existing approaches to guided adventures already set us up to be a great recreational and entertainment choice. We always provide private trips with no mixed groups. We always seek the less traveled areas of the park to maximize privacy and enjoyment. We always maintain our equipment to be clean and hygienic. In addition to our already high standards we are implementing protocols to protect all participants of Cliffhanger adventures.
1) Minimizing trip numbers: we will not exceed 10 climbers as per the regulations of JTNP. As always there will be no mixed groups
2) Masks will be worn by both guides and guests whenever we are within 6ft of one another, including, but not limited to: Instructional moments, fitting equipment, multi-pitch belay stances, etc.
3) All gear will be sanitized daily or put into a 72 hour quarantine.
4) Picnics will be prepared and packaged to reduce contact between guests and guide and minimize risk with extra hand washing and sanitizing opportunities beyond our already high standards
5) Guides will complete a daily wellness check-in and temperature check prior to meeting guests. No one will guide if they do not meet health criteria.
6) Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the day on all trips.
We feel strongly that taking these additional measures on top of the benefits we already realize by being in a well-ventilated outdoor setting will enable us to safely provide the amazing climbing experiences we pride ourselves on.
With nearly 73,000 US small business permanently closed because of Covid-19, we feel incredibly grateful that we have the opportunity to re-open this fall and continue our life’s work of giving people a chance to connect with the natural world, release stress and uncertainty, and recharge through joyous adventure. We are so happy to bring our staff back on and keep contributing to the local economy when so many tourism-based areas have been devastated. We thank all of you for all the goodwill and support you have extended to us, and we are so excited to finally get to climb with you! As always, families and return guests get a 10% discount and we would also like to provide that 10% off to the guests whose trips we had to postpone in the spring. We can’t wait to climb with you!
Seth, Sabra, and all the Cliffhanger Gang