International Man of Mystery...

My photo
I grew up in the Boston area and lived there until my junior year in high school when I attended the Mountain School, a semester program run by Milton Academy in Vershire, VT. I then attended Colby College in Waterville, ME. During my time at Colby I studied anthropology, spent a semester in Northeast India, and became fluent in Nepali. Before I became a guide I earned my black belt in kenpo karate and taught karate for 6 years. I began guiding in college on the rocky coast of ME with Acadia Mountain Guides and on ice at the International Mountain Climbing School in NH. After graduating I took to the highway and drove from ME to WA for the big mountains and glaciers. I spend my winters in lovely Ouray, CO guiding in the famous ice park. I am currently working towards becoming a certified guide through the American Mountain Guides Association. I live, work and play in the hills and on the rocks. On the rocks both literally and, well, with ice.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Modern Nomad

Nomadic peoples move over the landscape seeking pastures for livestock, game to hunt, or other resources. Many of these peoples have only minor interactions with the cash economy if at all. A nomadic lifestyle is not the nasty, brutish, and short lives lived in an imaginary past, but rather research has shown that many nomadic peoples have more leisure time than those of us who participate in a cash economy.

As a guide I too am nomadic. I follow the seasons to various "pastures" around the country where the climbing is in season and there is guiding work. I put a lot of miles on my Hyundai Santa Fe. I have devised a system to make living out of my Santa Fe convenient and comfortable; however, I have quickly learned that both socially and bureaucratically we do not live in a country that deals well with mobility. Where do I register my car (home)? Where am I from? Where do I pay taxes? Where do I want to be? are the question marks of a nomadic lifestyle

I have a friend who spent a couple of austral summers (northern winters) in Antarctica. He explained that since no one is "from" there, instead of "where are you from" they ask, "where do you pay taxes?"

Travel, like access to information is becoming increasingly easy. Airports, roads, and hightech boots have all made flying, driving and walking respectively much easier. The result: we are freer than ever to pursue our dreams and follow our passions. So, go for it.

Wandering but not lost,

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Shredding on Site

The fresh powder that has been dropping here in Ouray is fantastic! Hannah and I went out for a ski up the Weehawken Trail on Camp Bird Road. There were a few tracks that already laced through the aspens so we pushed the trail further up hill for some fresh pow.

I grew up skiing the ice rinks of New England, but through a glitch in my upbringing I somehow got the idea that snowboarding was cool. Anyway, enough Freud. This winter I am back on skis (my girlfriend's) and in the back country. I have had new experiences like skiing in powder and buying an avalanche beacon. So now my winter recreation has expanded beyond ice climbing to include hucking myself down fluffy slopes as I try to channel Lindsey Vonn and imagine myself in a neon one piece like in the 80s classic Aspen Extreme.

Steep and Deep,

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Ouray 911

This winter has been fantastic so far! My first season in Ouray has been full of terrific climbing, a wonderful local community, and stunning views of the San Juans. Working for Clint Cook at San Jaun Mountain Guides and doing rope accessed snow removal in Telluride has provided interesting and satisfying work that leaves plenty of time to climb.

I just finished a Wilderness upgrade for medial professionals with NOLS' Wilderness Medicine Institute. This course really dialed my medical skills even more and will allow me to keep my Wilderness EMT-B certification for another two years. Like my beacon, probe, and shovel, I hope I won't need it!

Climbing continues here through March so hit me up if you want to come check out the legendary Ouray Ice Park!