2023 Guest Guides - We are so thrilled to welcome such an amazing crew of guides!

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John Willard

John was born in Singapore but moved to the state of Massachusetts in 2000 at the age of 5 and is the youngest of 6 boys. Moving to the United States is where his love of sports and athletic activities began. Playing football for 10+ years, he got the chance to understand what being a part of a team meant and learned many life lessons through the sport. Hard work and determination are ingrained into his DNA.

Coming from a low-income family, outdoor activities such as climbing, hiking, snowboarding, mountaineering, etc. were out of the question as a youth. It wasn’t until the age of 13 where John fell in love with the outdoors when he got his first snowboard. Climbing didn’t come into the picture until an intro to climbing course in college. The physical and mental aspects of climbing is what John loves the most about climbing. Being able to understand the risks and ways to mitigate them is what makes climbing such an amazing sport, activity, or hobby. It helps you to tap into your brain and understand that your brain can be your worst enemy. John is a big advocate for continuing education and will continue to gain certifications through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA).


Kelsey Rex

Kelsey fell in love with the therapeutic aspects of climbing in early 2017, shortly after returning home from service in the US Peace Corps in Malawi. Since then, she’s done all that she can to make climbing as much a part of her life as possible, which included moving from a “9-5” lifestyle in Portland, Maine to working in a climbing shop (International Mountain Equipment!) in North Conway, New Hampshire. She excitedly accumulated multiple years worth of mileage climbing outside, in all seasons, nearly every day, and became especially fond of winter climbing. In 2019, Kelsey became an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor. In 2022, with a scholarship from The North Face to an affinity AMGA Women’s Rock Guide Course, she became an AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide. Kelsey is also a Wilderness First Responder with AIARE Level 1 Certification. When she’s not climbing or guiding, Kelsey enjoys spending time with friends, reading with cups of tea, big days trail running in the White Mountains and snuggling with her black cat, Taco.

Sam Bendroth

Sam Bendroth

Sam Bendroth was introduced to climbing at a young age, by his papa. He might have been too young to know what love at first sight was, but that's what it was. Love. From there the relationship progressed. At many times bordering on unhealthy obsession and climbing trying to kill Sam on more than one occasion. But through thick and thin they have been there for each other. Sam and climbing are now celebrating their orchid anniversary. Sam is also a board member of Friends of the Ledges, the area's LCO, MRS member, sponsored by DMM and Color Concepts, Marshall of Crusade fleet Vindicta, and the Ulcerated Desecrator of Plague Fleet Sepsis. Sam recently has learned that there are other things besides climbing and when not climbing he enjoys cooking amazing meals with his spousal equivalent, a Liverpool FC supporter (Klopp will turn the season around), and painting small plastic miniatures to then do his bidding on the battlefields of Warhammer 40,000 Universe.


Kitty Calhoun

In 1985, I was hired at the American Alpine institute and sent to Alaska, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, and Nepal to guide - mostly peaks above 19,000'. During personal time, I climbed the Cassin, the second ascent of the Bouchard Rt on Chacraraju, and the W.Pillar of Makalu. I received the AAC's Underhill Award in recognition of mountaineering achievement. Since then, I had a son, married Jay Smith and live in Castle Valley UT and Ouray CO. Alpine ascents with Jay include new routes in the Ak-Su, a new route on Middle Triple Peak, AK, and an ascent of the Diamond Couloir in Kenya. I love cragging on ice, rock and mixed as well as backcountry skiing. More recently, I've been quenching my desire for adventure via El Cap routes with other women. Climbing with women is something I never got to do in my early stages of climbing since not many women climbed. Now, as a partner in Chicks Climbing and Skiing, we are educating and empowering women through mountain sports. Later, Kitty became a partner of Chicks ...Since retiring, she has also become a mentor for the SCARPA Athlete Mentorship Initiative. I have also become interested in climate change and as alpinists, we are like canaries in a coal mine. In recognition of this fact, I have created a slide show called Last Ascents, and a Tedx talk by the same name.

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Cynthia Su

Cindy Su is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Brown Girls Climb Leader, and Arc’teryx Store Ambassador. She started climbing when she stumbled upon a Groupon day pass to the Boston Rock Gym in 2013 and got hooked ever since. She is excited to come back to Icefest this year as a guide and take part in the second-ever BIPOC affinity climbing clinic at Mount Washington Icefest.

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Ben Mirkin

Ben Mirkin is an associate professor of Outdoor Education, Leadership, and Tourism at Northern Vermont University - and is passionate about helping others develop their outdoor skills! He is an avid backcountry skier, mountain biker and climber, guiding rock and ice climbing, as well as backcountry skiing. Ben is an AMGA certified Rock Instructor, apprentice Ice, Alpine, and Ski guide.

Janet Wilkinson

Janet Wilkinson

Janet Wilkinson has been teaching climbing and mountaineering in the White Mountains since 2004. Currently navigating the chaos of parenting a pair of wildling children while pursuing a separate career as an organizational development consultant, she treasures her precious days out at Ice Fest and during the rest of the year with Cathedral Mountain Guides. Some of her favorite personal climbing adventures over the years have been making a coveted ‘Nose In A Day’ ascent in Yosemite Valley, exploring her way up first ascents of mountains in India, and climbing new cliffs on the south coast of Newfoundland.


Majka Burhardt is a professional climber, certified climbing guide, conservation entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker; she is also the founder and executive director of the international conservation and development organization Legado and the author of More, an epistolary memoir coming out in March about how all of that intersects with her life as the mother of twins. Learn more at majkaburhardt.com
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Jordan Cargill

Jordan was born and raised in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and fell in love with vertical adventures in his backyard as a teen. That passion quickly manifested into a career in the mountains and over the last decade he has shared summits from Antarctica to Denali with folks from around the world. He still calls the White Mountains home where he owns and operates a
small guide service, Mountain Shadow Adventures. He currently shares challenge, joy, and adventure in the hills with folks across the continental US, Alaska, South America and wherever passion and psyche drive him and his guests.

Noah Kleiner

Noah Kleiner

Noah Kleiner started climbing in 2006 during an orientation trip at College of the Atlantic. He fell in love with climbing and went on to become a licensed Maine Guide, Multi Pitch Instructor and taken the Ice Instructor course. Climbing is not just the sport I am enamored with. it's my life, its taught me more things about myself than I will ever understand. Gratitude for this life is not a big enough word for what it has given me. I continue to grow and learn and challenge myself in the vertical mental realm, challenging my beliefs but accepting the reality of the mountains in front of me. Before climbing, there was a mountain, while climbing, there is still a mountain, after climbing the mountain is still there. I live this every day and strive to see it for what it is. Life.

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Ted Teegarden

Ted’s passion is to share the mountains with his guests and he loves to climb and instruct on the steep waterfall ice and rock cliffs of New England. He splits his time as the Accreditation and Scope of Practice Manager for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) and guides for Mooney Mountain Guides as a certified AMGA Rock Instructor and AMGA Ice Instructor as well as an AMGA SPI Provider. When not working Ted and his wife Colby can typically be found trying to keep up with their five year old daughter Lulu on skis, a mountain bike, or in rock shoes while their Icelandic Sheepdogs herd the whole family.

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Laurie Watt

@lauriewatt_climbs is a full time guide for Mooney Mountain Guides, working here in New Hampshire as well as in the North Cascades during alpine season.  While she enjoys all the climbing disciplines, ice climbing was her first love and what got her hooked.  Two years ago, she retired from her career as a Physical Therapist to go all in on training and guiding and hasn’t looked back.  She is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor, Apprentice Rock Guide and Apprentice Alpine guide.  She loves to run Women’s Only programs and facilitate the amazing self discovery that can come from trying something new.  Ice Fest is one of her favorite events and she can’t wait to see you all there.


Brian O'Leary

Brian has spent the last few years working through a tick list of hard mixed climbs in New England. Mostly he is focused on the hard and steep climbs that require gymnastic movements. Besides climbing he likes skiing and foosball. He’s also a co-owner of @forecast_equipment

Keith Sidle

Keith Sidle

Keith has spent the last 12 years guiding ice, rock and alpine climbs between the Mount Washington Valley, the Tetons and Alaska. He is an AMGA Rock Guide and Assistant Alpine Guide. He greatly enjoys wandering (or snowmobiling) around in the woods looking for obscure and ‘off the beaten path’ ice climbs. His favorite winter climb in the MWV is ‘The Big Flush’ on Cathedral Ledge.

Matty Bowman

Matty Bowman

Matty moved to New Hampshire in December, 1995 to start his first season on Mount Washington as Harvard Cabin Caretaker. In 1999, while working for the AMC, he met his partner Jenna, and they soon eloped in the AMC Visitor Center Dining Room. Twenty years later they have two teenagers and own/operate a busy café bookstore in Gorham, NH. Although Matty has climbed in Alaska and Nepal, he most enjoys chasing ice around New Hampshire and Maine, as well as guiding trips every July in the North Cascades.



Forrest Stavish

Forrest Stavish has been guiding for a decade primarily in Western NC. He has experience on rock, ice, and alpine terrain around the country. He is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Assistant Rock Guide and has successfully completed the AMGA Ice Instructor Course. While climbing rock and ice are Forrest’s main passions, he also enjoys mountain biking, skiing, and just spending time outdoors.


Matt Shove

Matt Shove is a full time guide and climbing instructor and life long New Englander. Matt is an AMGA Certified Alpine Guide and AMGA Certified Rock Instructor, and a long time SPI Program Provider. Matt guides in many places during the year including the Gunks, Ragged Mountain, and the Teton range. His favorite thing to do is climb frozen stuff. At home Matt has an understanding and tolerant wife, Stacy, a daughter Riley, and son Ryan. Matt is also a Little League Majors baseball coach!


Marcus Garcia

If you’re looking for the definition of an all-around climber, Marcus Garcia may very well be your man. From an impressive list of more than 200 routes put up all over the US and Mexico to a spot on the UIAA board pushing to bring mixed climbing to the Winter Olympic Games, Marcus’ ambitions don’t stop at “simply” projecting a new, difficult line. As his climbing career has evolved, he finds himself undertaking a new era mentorship. Marcus's commitment to the climbing world goes beyond establishing hardcore 5.13 trad routes. A lot of the youth he has mentored are now mentor future climbers.


Austen Bernier

Austen Bernier (@austen_out_of_ten) is a Mount Washington Valley native and local guide who loves sharing the cliffs, crags, and flows of the White Mountains with visitors from far and wide. When he’s not roped up on rock or ice, you can find him enjoying a good book, or brushing up on his Spanish or Portuguese. He’s thrilled to see you at Ice Fest!

Grant Simmons

Grant Simmons

Grant Simmons is a certified Rock Guide and a certified Ice Instructor. He is an owner and the head guide at Cathedral Mountain Guides. In the summers and winters, he spends his seasons on the incredible terrain that our local White Mountains have to offer. In the spring and fall, he chases long routes and endless climbing days in the desert Southwest. Really, Grant is just a climber. He loves it, lives it, and feels lucky to be able to share that with the folks he climbs with.


Josh Lemay

Quiet, soft spoken, mumbles, but enjoys extremely long slogs in the snow in search of the next great adventure or at least a mediocre story to tell. Whether climbing or skiing Josh, enjoys seeking out the lesser traveled areas. Growing up in the MWV, he learned to climb with IMCS starting in the early 90’s. Since then he was hooked and always wanted to one day be able to guide with IMCS; so now feels privileged to be doing so with some of the people whom he originally looked up to.

Zac St. Jules

Zac St. Jules

Zac is a New England climber originally from Canada. Climbing for about 10 years, he has focused primarily on dialing in his winter climbing, with emphasis on harder ice and mixed routes. He is a family man, raising three boys (Jack, Beau and Ira) with his wife Sarah. It is said that he once killed two stones with one bird, and that he does not sleep, he waits. With Martin Theriault and Brian O'leary, they are Forecast Equipment.


Max Lurie

Max Lurie is an AMGA certified Rock and Alpine Guide, as well as an accomplished alpinist. Climbing in the alpine on rock, snow and ice has always been Max's biggest passion. Sharing the mountains with people has been his career. By curating mountain experiences and teaching people mountain craft so they can be self-sufficient, Max makes stewards of everyone he climbs with. So that they can safely and respectfully appreciate the wild and hard to reach places that Max loves. Max owns and operates Alpine to the Max, a Boulder based climbing guide service.

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Jon Nicolodi

Jon is an outdoor education and leadership program facilitator that is always excited about all forms of climbing. This season, he was actually quite sad when rock season was over, but has moved into relishing the camaraderie, scrappiness, ingenuity, and oftentimes failure of his favorite form of winter climbing - mixed climbing. When not out climbing, Jon is fixing clothes, vehicles, or gear, making things out of wood, baking bread, or being coerced into other outdoor activities by his loving partner, unless they're already out climbing together.
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Paul Cormier

With 54 years of climbing experience and 32 year of guiding, Paul Cormier is one of the most experienced mountain guides in New Hampshire. He has more than 150 first ascents on both rock and ice, and unparalleled knowledge of our local peaks. Personal and professional trips have taken him to Patagonia, British Columbia, Yosemite, ( El Capitan, Half Dome, Leaning Tower, Washington Column , Higher and lower Cathedral Spire),  Zion, and a
64 day traverse of the Chilliwack region of the North Cascades. He has guided in Grand Teton National Park, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Shasta, Chamonix, Kilimanjaro, Ecuadorian Volcanos, Cotapaxi, Chimborazo, Antisana, and
Illaniza. He has guided 10 expeditions to Bolivia. He recently came back
from a trip to Liberty Bell and Early Winter Spires in June. American Avalanche Institute  Level 2, Wilderness first responder, Peak Rescue Institute certified instructor, SEI military instructor.

Ben Coryell

Ben (he/him) has been exploring the mountains since he could walk. He has been climbing for over 16 years and guiding for 10. What started out as a way to skip classes turned into an obsession. Every chance he gets, Ben is out exploring the backcountry climbing, hiking, or skiing. While he does love long multipitch trad routes, Ben is more recently psyched on ice climbing and the surreal places it's taken him.
When not guiding, he works as an adjunct professor in the Colorado Community College system teaching many courses including ice climbing, rock climbing, and mountaineering. Ben also volunteers with the Colorado Mountain Club and has run their Trad Lead School since 2013. He loves to teach climbing because there is no better feeling than watching and helping someone overcome an obstacle to succeed.
When Ben isn't out climbing, he can be found backcountry skiing, drinking way too much coffee, or spending time with his wife and two children.


Alex Teixeira

Alex Teixeira is a full time guide and owner of Mooney Mountain Guides LLC, a New Hampshire based Mountain Guide Service. Alex climbs and guides all over creation: including but not limited to New England, North Cascades, and the desert southwest. His favorite part of the guiding life is sharing amazing places experiences with his guests, daughter Anna and wife Meaghan. When not guiding, he works as an adjunct professor in the Colorado Community College system teaching many courses including ice climbing, rock climbing, and mountaineering. Ben also volunteers with the Colorado Mountain Club and has run their Trad Lead School since 2013. He loves to teach climbing because there is no better feeling than watching and helping someone overcome an obstacle to succeed.
When Ben isn't out climbing, he can be found backcountry skiing, drinking way too much coffee, or spending time with his wife and two children.

Ian Welsted

Ian Welsted

An accomplished Canadian climber with a long list of first ascents, climbs on 5 continents, and a Piolets D’or, Ian has explored and experienced mountains as in his wildest dreams. More and more with the passing of years, the friendships that were formed and the memories that were made in the mountains are more important than any summit.
In the Canadian Rockies 100 day ice seasons, an early soloed of Mount Robson's Emperor Ridge and a series of first ascents built his repertoire, which led to trips to the greater ranges of Asia. Lately his attention has focused on the most obvious and impressive possibilities: long technical routes through massifs that involve the climber in a deeper sense of adventure. Most recently he is also enjoying growing his guide business from his hometown of Golden BC., helping others to achieve their own goals and adventures in the mountains and creating new memories and friendships of their own.



Ryan Stefiuk

I’ve been climbing in the northeast for three decades. During that time I’ve worn many hats as a climber - itinerant guide, backcountry first ascensionist, route developer, trail and crag builder, LCO volunteer.  I’ve known from my first day as a climber that my life would forever be different and interesting if I used climbing as a lens with which to view things. I’m super excited to come back for another icefest, it’s the best winter climbing event in the eastern US!

Craig Taylor

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Bob Baribeau

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Sarah Garlick

Sarah Garlick

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Chris Little

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Tyler Allen

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