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International Mountain Climbing School in North Conway, New Hampshire


International Mountain Equipment, Inc. (IME) was founded in 1974 by Frank Simon, Bill Aughton and Paul Ross.

In August 1979, Rick Wilcox purchased IME from its founders. Over time, the International Mountain Climbing School (IMCS) developed into it’s own brand and was co-owned by Wilcox and Brad White. 

In 1993, Rick Wilcox and Nick Yardley started the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest, and it has been the premier ice climbing event in the northeast ever since. The founders were inspired by other events in the country which featured ice climbing clinics, slideshows, and of course beer and a fun community atmosphere. The MWV Ice Fest tradition continues to grow and develop each year.

In the fall of 2022 long time climber and guide Paul McCoy and partner Lisa McCoy purchased IMCS from Wilcox and White, who still serve as advisors to the business.

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International Mountain Equipment

The IMCS office is located upstairs from International Mountain Equipment (IME), the Northeast’s legendary climbing, alpine touring & telemark skiing, and expedition retail shop. IME has a sister location in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Though IMCS and IME are now two separate businesses, we share a space, community, and staff. We partner on events and programs, including the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest, the largest ice climbing festival in the region.

Because of this partnership, IMCS clients receive 10% off all new retail items at IME on the day of their course.


Here at International Mountain Climbing School, we pride ourselves on our staff. We believe in paying our guides as employees so everyone is covered under workers compensation and liability insurance. We strive to make our guiding rates viable for our guest, but also so that we can pay our guides a livable wage.

For the last 45+ years we have combined our efforts to provide safe, enjoyable and worthwhile experiences to everyone that climbs with us. No matter your age or ability, we look forward to sharing the excitement of climbing with you and helping you learn valuable skills along the way.

IMCS guides have accumulated many years of climbing, guiding and teaching experience. We are a mix of American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) certified guides, world class climbers, dedicated teachers and backcountry masters. From indoor wall climbing programs for young children to international climbing expeditions in the great ranges of the world we have guides that can take you there.


Organizational Membership

We are proud to be members of the Mount Washington Valley outdoor and small business community. We believe that our participation in these organizations fosters greater visibility to the robust climbing community in the valley. We are members and supporters of the following organizations and chambers.



Non-profit partnerships are a big part of what makes us who we are. These organizations play a critical role in the vibrancy and accessibility of the region. We support the following organizations:

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