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.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

That's all (For the Disappointment Cleaver) Folks!

A couple days ago wrapped up my final trip on Mount Rainier for the season. The conditions on the Disappointment Cleaver were very exciting indeed! The usual climbers trail that forms up the Cleaver was blown over with snow and the rock trail was filled in as well. Our team fought gusts up to 45mph as we cramponed up the steep untrammeled slopes of the Cleaver. As we worked our way up we were concerned about the possibility of small avalanches on our descent of the Cleaver from pockets of snow collected by the rocks. We continued to the top of the Cleaver to continue to assess conditions on the upper mountain.

From the top of the Cleaver, the traverse out onto the Emmons Glacier was steep firm, and heavily loaded with snow. We feared as the day warmed up the avalanche conditions would become increasingly 'spicy' as well. The potential for avalanches, in addition to the steep, difficult climbing lead us to turn the climb around at the top of the cleaver.

I love to summit but the trail-less Cleaver presents some of my favorite guiding conditions. It requires good rope technique and constant reassessment of the snow, the climbers, and the route, all very exciting! On this particular trip I had the pleasure of climbing with some really fun folks. The team was comprised of two couples from Burlington, VT, three long time friends from Milwaukee, and a local. While we did not get to summit everyone was in great spirits having pushed beyond their comfort zones and having enjoyed one of the best sunrises I have seen all summer as we descended to the Ingraham Flats. Congratulations everyone on a safe and fun climb!

1 comment:

  1. Hi! Your blog is really wonderful- so pro (no surprise there!) Way to go, keep it up, we'll keep reading! xoKim & Jeff