Opening up your participant packet can feel a lot like Christmas with all the local love that is shown for our Clinic participants by some of our favorite local spots! As if killer instruction in beautiful New England locations wasn’t enough! We wrangled a bunch of awesome deals for you from our good friends in the valley.
A little run down on some local love:
Sign up for your clinics soon, they are filling up!! (603) 356- 7064
This morning we want to give a shout out to the guides of the International Mountain Climbing School – the hometown heroes of the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest. This crew has an incredible amount of experience climbing and adventuring in the White Mountains and beyond. Both personally and professionally, these guides have done it all and being out climbing with any of them is always a treat!
Chris Magness has been missed in recent years due to his extended stints in the Pacific Northwest where he has been guiding huge objectives in the Cascades. Now that he’s back in town, we are psyched to see him again and to tap into his skill set and knowledge for a Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue Clinic. We’re also grateful for Chris’s work as a founding member of the nonprofit, Keep the Whites Wild.
Paul McCoy came to North Conway in 2002, inspired by the mountains and their limitless playgrounds. Whether it has been tied in to a rope, or clicked into a pair of skis, he has explored every nook and cranny of these hills. His experience isn’t limited to New Hampshire though – Paul has climbed extensively throughout the American West, as well as in New Zealand, Australia, and Spain. In 2008, he started guiding with IMCS, and has been a staple to the scene ever sense.
Zebulon Jakub is known for his fascination with the technical components of climbing. The dude is a treasure trove of information, and in an alternate universe, he probably exists as a brilliant engineer! In addition to being a stellar skier and climber, he is also a super experienced paraglider and snow kiter.
Craig Taylor has been working as a guide in the Mount Washington Valley for 24 years. In that time he has become well-versed in all forms of guiding and has served as an advocate for the profession. The dude is psyched on guiding and is a proud father. An excellent and knowledgeable instructor, be sure to check out his and Alain Comeau’s 1 Day Ice Rescue Clinic, sponsored by Sterling Rope!
Paul Cormier. This guy has been everywhere and climbed everything, and often he did so well before anyone else. From backcountry rock routes in New England to remote peaks in the Southern Andes, Paul has a remarkable climbing resume. He has guided extensively on large, glaciated mountains in Bolivia and Argentina, making him the perfect choice for our glacier travel and crevasse rescue clinic.
Chris Graham’s 25 year climbing career, he has established numerous first ascents in New Hampshire, climbed all over the American West, and travelled internationally to Ecuador and Peru. Guiding for over 20 years, “Grammy” is known to be a thoughtful and patient instructor on the rock, ice, and alpine zones that New Hampshire offers.
Joan Veilleux has dedicated her professional life to helping others. Whether it is those struggling with their health or those who wish to push their limits by going climbing, Joan is an excellent advocate and mentor. She has guided all over New England and is known for her patient teaching and calm demeanor. Perfect skills for working with beginners and those attempting an objective such as Mt. Washington!
John Kascenska is the go-to guy for IMCS’s avalanche curriculum. Having taught over 100 AIARE courses, this guy is dialed and it’s no wonder that the avy courses fill up so far in advance. Sorry that we are full, but look for more dates on the IMCS website – there are still a few spots left later in the season! When John isn’t out with a beacon, shovel, and probe, he can be found at Lyndon State College where he founded the Adventure Leadership degree program.
AJ Hunter is often found hustling around the gear shop at IME, but we were lucky enough to steal him away for Ice Fest weekend! Which is awesome because AJ is a great, patient teacher who always puts his clients’ comfort and care before all else. With climbing experience from Alaska to Nepal, this is one good dude to spend a day in the mountains with!
Sue Barnett is a hard one to pin down these days. More often than not, she’s spending time taking care of patients as an EMT on the local ambulance or teaching others the wilderness medicine skill set as an instructor for SOLO. For her, it’s all about teaching folks to be safe and have fun in the outdoors. Fortunately for us, she likes guiding too!
Happy New Year, Ice Festers! May it be a year full of cold temps, fat ice, and big sends!
To ring in the New Year, we’d like to make a big announcement about the Friday night show at the the 25th Annual Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest! We will be showing the film, Mixtress, and Jesse Huey will be delivering a presentation! It’s going to be an awesome night!
First up for the show will be the film, Mixtress. Produced and directed by one of mixed climbing’s hardwomen, Dawn Glanc, the movie follows the evolution of mixed climbing and the women who have left their mark on the sport over the last 20 years. Get ready to be inspired by steep lines, big sends, and a group of badass women! Check out the movie’s trailer!
Next up for the evening is headliner, Jesse Huey. Jesse is a Colorado-based climber who is a wizard of all climbing disciplines. Being a bunch of alpinists and ice climbers, we of course drool over his tick list of big mountain routes like The Slovak Direct on Denali and The Dru Couloir Direct in Chamonix; his first ascents in Patagonia and the Bugaboos; his regular crushing of mixed routes to M11. And in the summer, when we don rock shoes and chalk our hands, we think about him sending Freerider on El Cap, The Shadow on the Chief, or last summer’s FA of Original Sin on Mount Hooker in the Wind River Range. Basically, this guy can crush! But he’s more than just a hard-hitting send machine; his is an honest and real approach to the climbing game and a life spent in the big mountains.
As Jesse says, his show on Friday will focus on “my journey and experience from a lifetime of climbing ice and being in the alpine. That narrative follows a journey that started in the Canmore region where I climbed extensively before a very successful trip to Alaska. In 2010 I climbed the Slovak Direct on the South Face of Denali which put me on a path that I didn’t really see coming. I was then injured terribly in China and faced with a horrendous decision in Pakistan in 2013. Since then I have been climbing things that have called more to my soul, rather than to the notoriety that often accompanies an epic ascent. This presentation will be an honest conversation about this experience; the highs, the lows, and the loss of really really amazing people along the way.”
Doors will open at 7:00 PM on Friday, February 2nd at Theater in the Wood. Be sure to get there early to get a seat!
Want the opportunity to climb with Jesse and to learn some of the tricks to success in the mountains? Check out CAMP’s Light & Fast Alpinism Clinic! This will be a two-day clinic (Saturday & Sunday) geared towards those who already lead WI 3 and are looking to go deeper into the hills to climb bigger objectives with a Light & Fast approach.
We are constantly blown away by how many guides return, year after year, to work the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest. This year is no different and here are a few fantastic New England guides that we are stoked to say are coming back!
Erik Thatcher is a guide based on the west side of the White Mountains, where he can be found either in his garden or at the cliff. A wonderful and patient instructor, he runs the Holderness Climbing Team and enjoys facilitating the growth of these young climbers year -round. At the moment, Erik is soaking up the desert sun with his crew in Joshua Tree!
Jordan Cargill was born and raised in the White Mountains, and winter comes easy to him. What began as a love of skiing has evolved into a life devoted to exploring the cold mountains of the world. Jordan currently spends his summers guiding on Mount Rainier and his winters here in New Hampshire (although my latest email from him came from Quito, Ecuador!).
Matt Bowman is a New Hampshire guide known for his love of exploring his home range of the White Mountains. I swear, this guy is always in the mountains! With extensive local experience, as well as seasons spent in Alaska and the Cascades, there is no one better to spend a day in the alpine with!
Ben Mirkin is a teacher, and lucky for us, what he is passionate about teaching is being in the mountains. Whether it is as a Mountain Recreation Professor with Lyndon State College, or as an avalanche instructor and guide for Mooney Mountain Guides, Ben is constantly imparting mountain wisdom on his students and guests. Climbing, skiing, and making the big decisions in the mountains, Ben has it all wired!
International Mountain Climbing School
2733 White Mountain Highway (Rt. 16)
North Conway, NH 03860