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.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

San Juan Powder Skiing!

Awesome! It is hard to believe it is only November. Fellow guides, Matt, Mark and I headed up into Commodore Basin on the hunt for early season powder skiing. What we found was snow that exceeded our expectations in both quality and quantity.

We cut several beautiful laps through the November fluff exclaiming to each other at the base of each run.   We skied a bit off the shoulder of the alpine bowl that is Commodore Basin but the skiing in the pleasant open glades was probably the best. Tons of warm sun,  cold powder, and phenomenal scenery made for a classic San Juan ski day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Off the Beaten Path

I climb in Ouray a lot. Probably more than any other single destination in the country. I live her. I get into a routine and get stronger. Early season means South Mineral Creek. Then Eureka starts to form. Next I head up to Camp Bird Road for the ice climbs. They start thin and get fat and I get stronger. And I repeat the process all winter with forays to Telluride mixed in. I love it.

It is easy, however, to get tunnel vision. To see the same climbs over and over again and let your eye wander over little drips and smears of ice looking for "the ice climbs". But wait, look at those drips and smears again. Forget your ice screws. Think rock gear: thin pitons, small cams, tiny rps. Grab some extra short screws and play a wintery connect the dots. The result? a refreshing perspective on rarely climbed terrain.

I don't know the name of the route we climbed. I am pretty sure Vince Anderson put the route up and drilled bolts for the anchors. It is incredible what you can find once you take a fresh look at the same old scenery.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Can't Wait for More Colorado Ice Climbing

 I spent the last three days climbing early season ice with Stefan form New Brunswick Canada. Stefan, in town for a geology conference, gave me a new appreciation of the geology of the San Juans and its mining history. Together we explored the awesome back country ice climbs that grace the cliffs that once lured miners for silver and gold.
When it is frozen, water behaves like a mineral. With limited supply in the mountains and a significant demand building among ice climbers around Colorado, ice is the early season's valuable mineral commodity. With relatively little snow on the ground, the approaches to the ice climbs are as easy as you could ask for. It was a treat getting to sample the new season's icy treats especially knowing that a whole winter of skiing and ice climbing lies ahead! Thanks Stefan.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

New Routes on Camp Bird Road

 Andres and I went up Camp Bird Road, drill in hand to expand the dry tooling options up there. There are a number of routes that have gone up there in the past couple of years that are worth checking out if you like to pull on rock with ice tools or are looking for a safe way to get comfortable on real steep terrain.

Many people know about the M6 that makes use of the shackle next to skylight and the M7 that shares the anchors. There are many more that don't get as much attention and are as good. We bolted an M3 that is good for beginners and there are a couple of M4s and M5s that have gone up in the past few years. One of my favorites is the thin, pumpy seam near the mile 4 marker up by chockstone it goes at about M5. If you want to try out this dry-tooling business and are looking for some easier options come on down and give some of these newer routes a try.

I am headed out ice climbing tomorrow so check back soon to find out about local ice conditions.

Monday, November 7, 2011


It is nice to be home in Ouray Colorado where winter is in full swing. After Yosemite Zack and I went to explore the massive sandstone monoliths of Zion National Park. Zion, like Yosemite is an incredibly popular national park full of incredible climbing. Enjoy the photos!