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.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Rock Climbing in Red Rock, Las Vegas

I recently enjoyed the chance to explore Red Rock Canyon outside Las Vegas with Elena. We consistently marveled at how despite being so close to a huge city Red Rock feels so far away both physically and mentally from the busy city of neon lights.

Together, Elena and I explored the rock climbing in the canyons of Red Rock. The park consists of a 13-mile scenic drive. The climbing is located off this loop road. Driving the loop, we could see our climbs. Each day we marveled at what we climbed the day before and looked ahead to the adventures we were about to embark on.

Red Rock is home to endless pitches of climbing of all levels and all styles. Whether you are looking to climb hard or learn the ropes, whether you want to climb the big routes or stay close to the ground, Red Rock is a terrific, not to mention convenient place to do it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Scenic Cruise

Often referred to as the best rock climb in Colorado the Scenic Cruise is stacked with incredible pitches of climbing. It is amazing how many hand cracks are on this 2000' route! Because the route is one of the most famous in the Black Canyon, it receives considerable traffic (which by standards outside the Black is not much) which means the that much of the loose rock has been cleaned off the route.

Still, with a pumpy 5.10d crux and many in your face pitches of 5.9 and 5.10, the route is an in-your-face undertaking for many climbers. The difficulty of retreating from any of the Scenic Cruise's 13 pitches (or any other route in the Black for that matter) gives the route a seriousness that keeps the crowds away.

Still open to guided access, The Black Canyon of the Gunnison offers incredible rock climbing adventures beyond the Scenic Cruise for intermediate and advanced climbers. Hiring a guide is a great way to demystify and defang this otherwise serious and sometimes intimidating venue.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Black Canyon

Only 2 hours from our office in Ouray, CO, The Black Canyon is home to some of the most adventurous, not to mention spectacular, rock climbing in the lower 48. The Black is one of those places that it is easy to fall in love with. The giant canyon drops, in some places up to 2,000 feet, down to the Gunnison River. The canyon is all but invisible until you round a corner to hike down into it and suddenly the spectacular scenery unfolds below you.

Though guided access was recently threatened in the Black Canyon, thanks to CO legislators, companies with permits like SJMG can guide the incredible multi pitch rock routes in the canyon. With many long 5.8, 5.9, and 5.10 rock climbs the Black Canyon is a great place for intermediate and advanced climbers to experience a wild multi pitch outing. Because it is a canyon, the climbs in the Black top out at or near the campground (and beer cooler) tucked away in the junipers.

Yesterday I climbed a pleasant 5.9 in the canyon named, Casually Off Route. The climb is not very sustained at 5.9, only a couple hard moves, and makes for a great introduction to climbing in this unique and unforgettable venue.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ouray Rocks!

Ouray is, of course, world famous for its ice climbing. When spring time comes and you put the ice tools away you shouldn't stop thinking of Ouray.

Have you ever sat in the hot springs looking up at the cliffs above? There are hundreds of rock climbs sprinkled throughout Ouray from single pitch sport climbs to long adventurous multi-pitch routes.

Imagine a couple days of rock climbing followed by an alpine ascent into the rugged Sneffels Range or the incredible Grenadiers.

In the spring, the airport ramps up its flight schedules making logistics of getting here even simpler. At the same time mining roads that wind up into the mountains are cleared. Ouray's already incredible access only gets better! The only question is when do you want to come climb?