International Man of Mystery...

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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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Mixed Climbing at the Ouray Ice Festival

With the Ouray Ice Fest coming up and its Ice Fest Mixed Competition you may be asking yourself WTF? Ice gear is for ice climbing and rock gear is for rock climbing. Not so my friend. Mixed climbing is a natural offshoot of mountaineering. the idea that you just want to climb to the top regardless of the medium. Pioneers like Jeff Lowe applied the age old strategy of training on the crags for the big mountains to mixed climbing. Because ice only gets so steep it can only be so hard. Mixed climbing can get even the most accomplished athletes friggin' pumped!

Ouray has some great mixed crags to let beginners and experts hone their craft of pulling on the rock with ice tools. After a day of overhung mixed climbing plain ol' ice seems easy. the technique for mixed climbing is deceptively similar to ice, straight arms and good foot-work will get you to the top with minimal pump. Mixed climbing, whether bolted or on traditional gear is a skill set every climber should have in their bag of tricks!

Want to check out the pros? Competitors to keep your eye on in this year's Ouray Ice Fest Comp : Andres Marin, Dawn Glanc and Jason Nelson. Good luck you all!

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