I grew up among the moss, ferns, cedars, saltwater and glacial till of the Salish Sea basin – the fjord between Washington State’s Olympic Mountains and Cascade Mountains that was carved out by continental ice sheets during the last major ice age. Although my family always resided in Seattle or its suburbs, the Cascade Mountains were always close at hand, and were always our secondary backyard. I have been hiking, alpine skiing and nordic skiing in the mountains since before I can remember, and a desire to climb the steeper, higher peaks was inevitable I think. I got my first axe for a climb of Mt. Hood when I was eleven years old, and the following summer I was introduced to technical alpine climbing when my father took my brother and me up the classic West Ridge of Forbidden Peak. With a bit of chaotic glacier travel, exposed rock climbing on a spectacular ridge, a tedious descent and off-route rappels in the dark, I learned the core elements of alpinism – exhilaration, exertion, exhaustion, fear, awe and finally relaxation and an elemental satisfaction. From that moment on I have been hooked, and climbing mountains has been the primary focus of my life.
I come from an old-school background, in that all my early climbing experiences were in the mountains, not at the crags. I learned to climb in a swami belt, with hip belays, on 8mm static rope, in boots and with crampons that were much older than myself. Although I did eventually get a pair of rock shoes and learned how to rock climb, the mountains have always been my priority. For many years I would go alpine climbing almost exclusively, and only rock climb on a few weekends of the year when conditions in the mountains were absolutely terrible. This gave me a huge wealth of experience in the mountains by the time I had finished highschool, but I eventually realized was also limiting me. So, in recent years I have learned to embrace rock climbing on its own, and I feel that this in turn is beneficial for my alpine climbing.
My loftiest dreams are big, committing, beautiful and highly-technical. For now I am mostly climbing in the Western Hemisphere, because the mountains of Alaska, Canada and Patagonia are far from climbed-out and are world-class, without the red tape, bureaucracy and fees of the Himalaya, although I’m sure I’ll return there at some point. I feel that every year I am improving as a climber, and I think that every year I become more dedicated and disciplined. This dedication has led me to the great opportunity to climb nearly full-time, which was my dream since fourteen-years-old.
Thank you to our partners at Patagonia for making this charity event possible and supporting Mountainfest by providing us with an Ambassador.
Anne Gilbert started rock climbing in college, but it wasn’t until she moved west to spend time in big mountains that she fell in love with every discipline of climbing. Since then she’s climbed around the world, including India, Patagonia, France, Spain, Alaska and Canada. She calls Bozeman, MT home where she works as a registered nurse at the local hospital.
- Free Ascent of Jaded Lady (VI 5.12a) on Mount Hooker, Wind River Range, Wyoming
- Second female ascent of Winter Dance (450’ WI6+ M8 IV), Hyalite Canyon, Montana
- Ascent of All Along the Watchtower (3000’ VI 5.12-), North Howser Tower, Bugaboos, Canada
- Ascent of South West Ridge of Peak 11,300 (V 5.8 M4), Ruth Gorge, Alaska
- Ascent of the Northwest Face of Half Dome (2200’ VI 5.12a/b or 5.9 C1) in a day, Yosemite National Park, California
Thank you to our partners at Patagonia for making this charity event possible and supporting Mountainfest by providing us with an Ambassador.
Angela grew up in suburban Detroit, which she describes as “wild and raw, a string of epic adventures.” Angela’s curiosity and love for adventure kept her thriving in Detroit, but also kept her mind wandering elsewhere, to bigger adventures. Eventually, she left the mitten state for an extended bike trip through Canada and the U.S. Northwest. After returning to Michigan, Angela decided to sell all of her belongings and hit the road hitch-hiking across the western half of North America. Eventually, Angela found herself in Ouray, CO and discovered what would become her lasting passion; ice climbing.
Thank you to our partners at Rab and Grivel for making this Charity event possible and for supporting Mountainfest by providing us with an Ambassador .
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.
Matt Shove is the founder and director of Ragged Mountain Guides. He has climbed, instructed and guided guests in mountain areas all over the United States since 2001. Matt’s work experience includes guiding and instruction in central Connecticut’s Traprock crags; the Gunks, Catskills and Adirondack Mountains in New York; New Hampshire’s Cannon Cliff, Cathedral and Whitehorse Ledges, Mt. Washington and Presidential Range; significant guided ascents in the Grand Tetons; Katahdin and Acadia National Park in Maine; western North Carolina’s Looking Glass Rock; Alaska’s Wrangell-St. Elias and Chugach ranges; City of Rocks in Idaho; Kentucky’s Red River Gorge; the Needles of So. Dakota; Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower; multiple ascents of Mt Rainier via 4 different routes, along with other significant ascents in the Cascade Range
Will’s first exposure to climbing was at age 13 over 3 days with Rock & River way back in 1993! But it wasn’t until attending college at Plymouth State in NH that he first really got involved with the sport. Luckily Jim Shimberg was around then, and still is, to show him the way. After seeing the cover of the Jan 2005 issue of Climbing Magazine, and reading the associated article about the ice climbing scene unfolding in the Adirondacks, he decided to move to Keene Valley that winter and hasn’t left the area since. He chases the ice, snow and alpine in the Adirondacks and the Northeast, around the country from Cascade volcanoes to San Juan ice to Teton alpine rock, and internationally in Peru, Bolivia, United Kingdom and France. Will works year round as a NYS Rock and Ice Guide, an adjunct for the Plattsburgh State Expeditionary Studies program and North Country Community College Wilderness Recreation Leadership program. He is a American Mountain Guides Association Rock Instructor and has completed the Ice Instructor course. Will lives to be outside sharing his love of climbing. And now he and his wife Sara get to share it with their new to the world daughter!
Mark grew up hiking, climbing and attempting to ski in the Champlain Valley and Adirondack High Peak Region. These days he’s still doing the same with the addition of guiding and instructing rock and ice climbing year round, raising his daughter and diving into the endless quagmire of home renovation. His goal when out with guests is to share his appreciation of the Adirondacks with them and to provide an experience that is both memorable and educational.
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 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 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.
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 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 with Sky Ambitions in Vermont and also as a mountain guide and climbing coach across the northeast. Check out is website at mattmccormickclimbing.blogspot.com
Teacher, guide, author. Interested in country music, camping, walks on the beach, NASCAR, honest conversation. Been climbing for a long time.
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 “Ruination” WI6 X 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 and Rab.
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 Vice Provost at Binghamton University (SUNY).
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.