Instructors

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Kelly Cordes

Kelly is a native of the East Coast but now resides in Estes Park , CO where he specializes in mixing up margaritas and climbing big  alpine routes. Rumor has it he’s become professional at avoiding full-time work and spending as much time outside as humanely possible. This minimalist attitude has trickled over in to his career as a climber and led to a “disaster style” ascent of the Azeem Ridge of The Great Trango Tower, Pakistan, first ascents in the Alaska Range, Utah and many other rad places. Kelly will be presenting a slide show on his part-time stint at Pizza hut and a life long pursuit of being good at Top Roping. Check him out here!

Scott Bennett

Scott Bennett is most at home on long, committing alpine routes in the mountains. He has put up many first ascents in Patagonia and the quieter corners of North America. When mountains aren’t available, he also has a liking for big in-a-day route link ups and speed challenges. Scott picked up the climbing bug at his university, cutting his teeth on the sandstone of the Red River Gorge in Kentucky. However it wasn’t long before the desire for bigger walls and bigger objectives grew. Following the classic dirtbag circuit around the west coast, he consolidated his skills and developed his personal style of ‘fast and light meets thrutch and whine’. One-day and speed ascents of El Capitan, including a 6½ hour ascent of The Nose, followed on from here. Scott is psyched to be joining Mountaifest for the first time, don’t forget to check out his slide show! Wanna know more about Scott? Check him out here.

Chuck Boyd

Chuck is a professional alpinist and ski patroller who owns and operates Vertical Realms, a climbing school and guide service based in Suffield, CT. He has climbed and skied extensively throughout the world, and he has made first ascents of mountains in Pakistan’s Karakoram and Peru’s Cordillera Blanca. In May, 2004 he reached the summit of Mount Everest. On ice, snow or rock, Chuck’s goal is to teach people to safely experience the mountain world. Chuck is a nationally registered avalanche instructor and a member of the National Ski Patrol and AIARE. He became an avalanche instructor in 1996 after two close avalanche encounters in the Alps. A graduate of the National Avalanche School, Chuck regularly attends the ISSW, an international conference on snow science.

Kevin Mahoney

Kevin resides in Richmond Vermont with his wife Claire and two daughters Annika and Eliza. Kevin worked rock climbing and mountaineering courses for the NOLS for six years averaging 30-40 weeks a year in the field. After college, where Kevin had discovered his new passion for rock and ice climbing, he was now living his dream of spending more time in the backcountry than not. Kevin decided to settle down and pursue guiding full time. Kevin guided for several schools for many years before he decided to start his own business, Mahoney Alpine Adventures. He is now an IFMGA certified guide and has been coming to Mountainfest for years!! Don’t miss out on Sunday Nights slide show know as the “locals show” where Kevin will be talking first ascents from the Northeast to the Karakorum, success and failures on big peaks! More info on Kevin here.

Bill Dodd

Bill Dodd has been a Rock & River guide since 1866, when he guided a client on the second ascent of the Matterhorn. Since then he has climbed approximately 6,000 days, most of them on rock or ice right here in the Adirondacks. All that climbing takes its toll: he now out-climbs the youngsters with two artificial hips. Affectionately nicknamed “Gramps,” he is actually not that old.

Jeremy Haas

Energetic is an understatement. Local guide and alpinist Jeremy Haas has spent two decades in the northeastern mountains, from West Virginia to Gaspe. In addition to the years spent alpine climbing and ski mountaineering throughout the Rockies, Jeremy has made trips to the Cascade and Selkirk Mountains, and overseas to the Mont Blanc massif.

After a few years of living in Colorado, he returned to New York and sought out the alpine potential of the East. Jeremy’s home is the Adirondack Mountains, with their unique blend of roadside climbing and technical mountaineering in an expansive backcountry. He is the coauthor of the new rock climbing guidebook for the Adirondack Park, through which he has discovered a wealth and variety of climbs. Patient out of practice, he has been with Adirondack Rock and River Guide Service since 2002.

Carl Heilman

Carl has been involved in the sport of snowshoeing ever since making his first pair of snowshoes in the early 1970′s. He has written numerous articles and has been a consultant on the sport of snowshoeing. He’s been leading beginner’s and advanced snowshoeing workshops for the Adirondack Mt. Club and Appalachian Mt. Club since the mid 1980′s and has also done programs and workshops for many organizations and schools throughout the United States. Carl still hand crafts a limited number of snowshoes each year. His snow-shoes have been used all over the world, and some of his ideas for snowshoe design have been incorporated into commercial styles. While he enjoys passing along his expertise on snowshoeing and winter travel, he enjoys most seeing folks turn-on to the sport after using snowshoes for the first time!

Matt Horner

Matt moved to the Adirondacks in 1994 and has taken his climbing from the first days of fumbling with the “coolest gear ever” to many significant first ascents in the Adirondacks.  He has been a successful guide with Adirondack Rock & River Guide Service for over a decade. Teaching and guiding come naturally and his infectious enthusiasm for climbing rubs off on everyone he spends time with. His passion for ice climbing has led him to pursue adventures in the Canadian Rockies, Peruvian Andes and Mongolia’s Altai Mountains as well as throughout the lower 48 and Alaska.

Chad Kennedy

Born in the neighboring town of Peru, Chad is one of Rock and River’s two “native born” guides. Soft spoken, friendly and always professional, his designation as one of the few local AMGA certified guides demonstrates his strong commitment to his chosen profession. Having guided locally for over 10 years, Chad explains his deep affection for the Adirondacks as “one of the few areas you can rock climb, ice climb, back country ski, mountain bike, trail run and paddle, all within minutes of your front door”. Widely traveled with several international mountaineering adventures and western cragging/skiing trips under his belt, Chad’s priorities are simple, his family (wife Jill, dog Tenko and cat Phiggy), his friends and a day in the mountains doing just about anything.

Matt McCormick

Matt McCormick is a Vermont based climber who has been pursuing his passion for the vertical world of the last 13 years. He has traveled extensively to destinations from Pakistan to Canada, and has spent much of his time inspired to explore the terrain close to his home in New England. Matt started climbing 13 years ago psyched on doing it all, from bouldering to ice climbing. Today he still holds that psyche for all forms of climbing and works hard to climb at his best in all of these mediums. Recently Matt has been most excited about putting up new, traditionally protected rock climbs in the Adirondacks of NY and trying to capitalize on those ephemeral new drips of ice that occasionally form around New England.

Matt works as a teacher in Vermont and also as a mountain guide and climbing coach across the northeast. Check out is website at mattmccormickclimbing.blogspot.com

Don Mellor

Teacher, guide, author. Interested in country music, camping, walks on the beach, NASCAR, honest conversation. Been climbing for a long time.

Ian Osteyee

Ian Osteyee has been climbing in the Adirondack Mountains since 1983. Around here he’s known for his first ascents on the thinnest, nastiest, most challenging routes of the region – “Bobo the Circus Idiot,” “Wilheim Jorge,” “Sea Tips,” “Grandma’s Still,” and “Simian” to name a few. He’s also climbed some of the most daunting ice routes in the Canadian Rockies, and around the world and has several first ascents in Nepal. One of Ian’s favorite climbing partners is renowned blind climber Erik Weihenmayer. Ian has taken Erik up Nepal’s famous ice route “Losar” WI5 700m. He’s also climbed with Erik in Scotland, Alaska, and around the Northeast. Ian enjoys climbing wherever he goes, but is still most excited by the climbing right here in the Adirondacks. Ian is sponsored by CAMP and BlueWater Ropes.

James Pitarresi, Ph.D.

James (the “Ice Doctor”) first started climbing in Western New York and Southern Ontario in the 1970s (and he still wears his vintage Joe Brown helmet). After taking time off to complete graduate school, start a family and a career, he returned to ice climbing in the early 1990s. Since that time, he has spent his winters climbing ice throughout the Northeast. It was a conversation with Jeff Lowe who first gave him the idea that teaching ice climbing would be a great way to give back to the sport. Accepting that sage advice, James has been active in combining his passion for ice climbing with his enthusiasm to share his knowledge with others so that they can learn to move confidently and safely on vertical ice. Over the past decade, James has taught ice climbing to individuals and groups and he has been involved with the Mountainfest for many years. James is a licensed guide and when not climbing, he is a professor and Assistant Provost at Binghamton University (SUNY).

Emilie Drinkwater

In 2001, after graduating from St. Lawrence University with a degree in Anthropology and 4 years of NCAA Nordic skiing, Emilie begged her way into a job as a rock climbing guide in NY’s Adirondack Mountains. Today she is the 9th American woman and 100th American Mountain Guide to be certified at the highest level of training and credential attainable by a professional mountain guide. Emilie now lives in Salt Lake City, UT with her husband but has an affinity for the Northeast. She has climbed all over the world and has first ascents ranging from the Adirondacks, Alaska and the Karakoram. During her free time you’ll find her exploring new mountain ranges, cultures, hot springs, practicing yoga and happily being home at night. For more info on Emilie, click here

Jim Shimberg

Jim is the owner Rhino Mountain Guide Service and the Rock Barn climbing gym in Plymouth, NH. He has climbed all over the world, including Peru, Scotland, the Canadian Rockies and Quebec, and is well known in the northeast for his link-ups of hard routes at Cathedral (Repentance, Remission, Diagonal) and Lake Willoughby (Called on Account of Rains, Last Gentleman, Promenade), as well as hard climbing on Cannon and in the Adirondacks.

Jim has climbed Omega 13 times, the Black Dike on Cannon 17 times one winter, the Whitney Gilman ridge in 56 minutes car to car, Moby Grape on Cannon in 74 minutes car to car, guided the West Face of Mt Huntington in Alaska, and guided in Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico all in the same year. Still the fossilized Hebrew of New Hampshire…he can’t wait until Mountainfest! In addition to his climbing accomplishments he is a proud father and a marathon runner.

 

Emilie Drinkwater

Despite being cold for ten months of the year, Emilie loves the Adirondacks for their abundant ski and climbing terrain (though the Canadian Rockies are a close second). She has been guiding rock, ice, and skiing for eight years and is AMGA certified and NYS licensed. Her more recent adventures have included Canada’s Chic-Choc Mountains, Maine’s Mt. Katahdin, and Little Switzerland, Alaska.