We’re back this morning to give a shout out to the remaining guides of the International Mountain Climbing School – the regular cast of characters that can be found guiding and exploring in the White Mountains on a daily basis.  These folks have logged an incredible amount of time in the mountains, at the crags, and on the backcountry ski runs that the North Conway area is known for.  They’ve been there both personally and professionally, and going out climbing with any one of them is always a treat.

AJ Hunter balances his time between guiding for IMCS, working at IME, and running his own guiding operation, Mountain Life International.  Fortunately, he was available to guide Ice Fest weekend 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!


Most ice climbers know Al Hospers as the generous, hardworking guy behind NEClimbs and the White Mountain Report, he has also been involved in the guiding game for quite some time.  Al enjoys working with clients of all levels and experience, helping them to find that same enjoyment that he finds every time he climbs.  Plus the guy can play a mean bass line.


With climbing and education being Alex Lyttle’s passions, it’s no wonder he makes for a great guide.  He works here in the Valley for IMCS, as well as in the Gunks for Mountain Skills.  When not guiding, he focuses on outdoor education and works across the country for high school and university outdoor programs.  Recently, he even helped to start an outdoor-ed program based out of Colorado!  Check it out – BOAT!


Chris Graham 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.


Conrad Yager.  Calm, cool, crusher.  Conrad’s climbing career began in the Marine Corp as a climbing instructor.  Since that time, he has been guiding in New Hampshire and chasing personal climbing pursuits in Nepal, Alaska, Ecuador, Spain, Malta, Thailand, and Canada.  He can be spotted on the cover of “An Ice Climber’s Guide to Northern New England” wearing a onesie and sending hard.


Due to extended stints of guiding in the Pacific Northwest, as well as impressive carpentry projects, Chris Magness has been missed in recent years.  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.


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.  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.


Pat Ferland has been part of the IMCS family for a long time, and we’re always lucky to have him back on board!  Known for his local knowledge and sweet demeanor, Pat is just the kind of guy to be honing in your mountaineering skills with!


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.