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.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

8 days of Denali Prep

Denali is the tallest mountaineering undertaking in North America. It is cold, the are is rarefied, the crevasses are wide and the summit is the goal of the six participants on this trip. They are aware that Denali is an ambitious undertaking. The first step of setting themselves up for success is training. These Denali hopefuls added an 8 day mountaineering course on Mount Rainier to their training regimens.
Through out the 8 days we covered a ton of material on all aspects of climbing Denali from climbing steep snow to high-altitude physiology to crevasse rescue. Every one of the participants lead, aided, and played the victim in a crevasse rescue scenario over a cornice. Not only did they do a great job of setting up pulley systems to increase their mechanical advantage, they showed great bravery roping up and jumping off a cornice over deep snow below trusting their peers to arrest their fall.

The stormy weather provided excellent training for the group but when the sky did clear it was time for some cardio training. The team hiked southeast from their camp and up to the paradise glacier. We traversed above the lower paradise glacier and finally roped up and made an ascent of the Paradise and Cowlitz glaciers to camp Muir. Views of Mounts Hood and Adams in addition to a moon-esque glacial landscape made for breath taking views.

It was a joy instructing you all and best of luck on your expeditions. See you next year on the Kahiltna Glacier!