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.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ice Climbing Progression

I recently had the pleasure of spending 3 days working with Steve and Mitch. They were on a father-son trip to Ouray to learn to ice climb. As an ice climbing instructor it is important to me to not only show guests a great time but to lay out a logical progression over multiple days. I strive to make each day challenging and educational and have each day build on the previous day's skills. By the end of a few days it is a joy to watch my guests make their way up Ouray's ultra classic ice climbs and say to themselves with a smile "I can't believe I did that!"

Steve, Mitch, and I spent a day in the Ouray Ice Park learning the fundamentals of ice climbing and laying the groundwork for the next two days. Day two we took on some small multi pitch climbs up camp bird road and practiced ascending and descending multiple pitches. Our final day took us to Ouray's famous ice climb The Ribbon. Steve and Mitch were lucky to climb this rarely forming classic. It was, in San Juan Mountain Guides owner Clint Cook's view, a proud tick. Hopefully it was a father-son trip Steve and Mitch will cherish for a long time to come.

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