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.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Mount Rainier: Disappointment Cleaver

It was great to back on Mount Rainier, my home turf, guiding with an all-star cast of Alpine Ascents guides. The team enjoyed great weather the whole trip. In anticipation of a storm front moving over the mountain we decided to climb the mountain in the after noon-evening rather than do the typical mid-night wake up and potentially miss our opportunity to get to the summit.

The team was excited to get to travel up the Disappointment Cleaver by daylight and enjoy the incredible views. On the other hand we could all see how deep the crevasses were as we walked over the ladders!

On the way down, the mountain cast its immense shadow across the landscape. In the fading light it was as if we could see forever, Seattle natives Tim and Tamara could appreciate how far away the wind farm in Cle Elum, the buildings in Yakima, and the peaks of the Cascades are despite how clearly we could see them on out descent.

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Making of an Alpinist

It is hard to sum up an intense 13 days of alpine climbing in a few paragraphs but i'll try. The course started on Mount Shuksan where participants learned the basics of alpine climbing: basic rock climbing, glacier travel, anchor building, and crevasse rescue. The team put their new skills to the test and made an ascent of Shuksan's aesthetic Southeast Ridge.

Next, we took those basic rock and anchor skills and applied them to rock climbing in Leavenworth, WA. Participants learned
to lead climb on gear and build anchors in the incredible central WA granite. In order to get the climbers more milage on the rock this section of the trip ended with an ascent of a classic 700' rock climb R&D.

The group's solid rock skills allowed us to spend a day climbing the Southwest Buttress of South Early Winter Spire. Though we enjoyed great wether for most of the climb, strong gusts of wind a bit of precipitation on the descent gave this 5.8 classic a very alpine feel.

Finally we took our group of increasingly solid alpine climbers back into the mountains for an ascent of the Northeast Ridge of Mount Triumph. It was a long and intense day on an exposed knife edge ridge. All day we enjoyed some of the best views of the North Cascades I have ever seen. The team dug deep climbing all day long and rappelling into the night and did an incredible job climbing this huge objective.

There is no doubt in my mind that each of our four participants now has a solid foundation and some valuable experience to draw from as they begin their careers climbing in the mountains. Congratulations guys and I look forward to running into you in the mountains.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

6-Day Course in Boston Basin

Boston Basin is one of my favorite places in the North Cascades. It offers stunning scenery from every vantage point and a wide variety of alpine climbing adventure. Though these two gentlemen from Cleveland did not have a 1-hour TV special showcasing their decision, they decided to 'take their talents' to Washington for an alpine mountaineering course.

The three of us were
blessed with 6 days of glorious weather where we trained in climbing skills from leave-no-trace camping to crevasse rescue. With our small group and great weather we were able to take on two objectives, Boston Basin's Sharkfin Tower and Mount Sahale.

We got tons of climbing, adventure, and laughs in in six days and I can't wait to hear about these guys adventures as they apply their new skills in the mountains.