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, 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.

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