Raised a New Englander, I first learned to climb in the Mount Washington Valley. As an avid outdoor enthusiast and aspiring alpinist, I made the leap to sign up for my first ice climbing course at the Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest years ago. I was relieved to see that women’s specific courses were being offered, I signed up without a thought. Fast forward, I am now the head of Women’s Programs at IMCS and guide the very same clinics that I was inspired by. When it comes to guiding, I am most passionate about empowering new climbers by teaching the skills to become more independent in the outdoors.
I currently call homebase Bozeman, MT but make the seasonal migration to North Conway to guide some of the best ice climbing the US has to offer. I am an American Mountain Guide Association trained instructor and Apprentice Guide. I have spent the last few years climbing rock, ice and alpine extensively throughout the US while living out of my van. I spend my free time climbing, trail running, cycling, and listening to metal.
I was born and raised in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. My love for the outdoors was immediate and permanent thanks to family vacations, summers, and weekends exploring the mountains, rivers, and lakes of the northeast.
In my early teens I ventured into the vertical for the first time on New Hampshire’s classic Cathedral Ledge. Immediately, I was enraptured by the unique experiences, places, and people climbing unlocked. Since that first climb, my passion for the mountains steadily increased alongside a desire to share access and respect for these places through guiding and education.
Since then, I’ve explored the globe, guided on three continents, and put up a few first ascents and descents. You’ll catch me smiling whether it’s a short trail run to catch the sunrise behind my home in New Hampshire, or at 20,000’ watching the mountain shadow unfold on the plains below. My limitless excitement for mountain adventures (plus a lot of training and certifications!) enables me to provide safe, customized, and unforgettable client experiences.
I found climbing through Scout trips and running around in the woods of my hometown, Milford, MA. Constantly seeking to learn more, I took 3 different NOLS courses focused on outdoor education, climbing, and wilderness rescue. In 2018 I moved to the Mount Washington Valley to be closer to the mountains and cliffs where I felt most at home. Now, with more than 13 years of climbing experience, and with a passion for teaching, I am excited to be guiding with IMCS where I can share my knowledge and work to make climbing a more accessible and inclusive sport.
Mountains, crags, desert towers, and ice pillars, give me a profound sense of awe, wonder, and curiosity. Climbing is the means by which I get to explore these places through creative movement and well practiced systems. I believe that climbing is for anybody who is interested, whether you are wanting to explore the world in a new way, find community, or you are on a personal journey of healing and growth. I bring a balance of enthusiasm, patience, compassion, and knowledge to guiding and I look forward to working with you to help you reach your goals.
You can find me playing in the mountains, woods, rivers, or deserts, helping to plan Ice Fest, or behind the counter at IME.
The seed of my climbing interest started in the late 1990’s when I was first introduced to the world of climbing by my middle-school gym teacher. (Thank you Mr. Case!) While at college in the Adirondack Mountains my passion for climbing & training for climbing fully blossomed, and where I first started guiding. I am a proud graduate from Paul Smith’s College with a B.S. in Recreation Adventure Travel & Eco-Tourism.
In the early 2000’s I began coaching youth competitive climbers. By 2016 I became a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). I enjoy training and sharing knowledge of movement with clients. Many of my climber clients progressed all the way to compete at the national level.
I have coached youth and collegiate athletes alike, working with climbing teams, clubs, programs & individuals from Paul Smith’s College, Yale University, Southern Connecticut State University, West Chester State University, and Kennesaw State University in Georgia.
My primary focus is to share the wonderful world of climbing and movement in the mountains with you.
Raised in New Hampshire, I grew up in the heart of the White Mountains where I found a passion for skiing, hiking, and climbing at a young age. Since cutting my teeth in New England, I have spent time climbing extensively across North America as well as in Europe, South America and remote regions of Nepal.
After graduating from high school, I went straight into the guiding profession. I currently spends Fall & Winter in New England guiding rock and ice. I spend Spring & Summer in Alaska as a Denali Lead Guide and member of Denali Volunteer Rescue.
With years of experience in the Cascades, Alaska Range and other big mountains I love helping folks get ready for their next adventure whether it’s their first time climbing or preparing for a multi-week expedition.
I am also the author of New Hampshire Ice: A Select Guide and Kinsman Notch Bouldering.
I was raised between North Carolina and New Hampshire. I joined the Army and deployed to Iraq in 2006. After my time in the service, I went to college where I fell in love with climbing. I thrive on the freedom of movement, creativity, and exploration that climbing provides. I started guiding in 2017 and have worked here at IMCS and in the Cascades; big rugged snow covered peaks have always inspired me.
Outside of guiding I run a gear company where I design hunting saddles and other hunting equipment. Focusing on lightweight and modular gear, my goal is to make quality, versatile equipment. Hunting and climbing go hand in hand for me as they both help me explore, connect with nature, and test myself. As a general “woodsman” sharing that knowledge is important–at IMCS I feel like my job is to educate as much as simply guide.
I began climbing as a kid in Western Massachusetts when I was playing soldier in the woods. I wanted to emulate the soldiers at D-Day who scaled cliffs over the beach to attack a gun position. I used rope scavenged from my dad’s ladders, and my brothers and I would pull ourselves up using sling harnesses we made ourselves. My parents wisely bought us actual equipment so we wouldn’t break our necks and I was set on a life of exploring and adventuring.
With a desire to become a guide and instructor, I went to the Green Mountain College to study Adventure Recreation. There, I met Paul, the current owner of IMCS, and began my formal education. I began guiding in 1997 and worked for a few years all over the USA. Then after graduation in 2001 and having been the first guide to do an internship with IMCS, I was hired for full time work and never left.
Since then, I’ve added kite boarding, SCUBA, kayaking, surfing, etc. to my repertoire. A lifelong tinkerer and inventor, I really enjoy the systems and creative process climbers use to protect themselves and their partners. My favorite types of clients are those seeking to solve problems or overcome obstacles. I enjoy sharing my technical knowledge to come up with solutions.
I started with IMCS as a guide in the year 2000, which makes me the longest running guide in the company’s history. I guide rock, ice, skiing, and especially climbing systems and technical skills.
If you’re a ham radio operator, you can find me at KC1 QLE!
I started climbing in the Cascade Range in Washington State over 40 years ago. I spent a few years looking at the mountains from a distance and then decided I wanted to find out what they had to offer. I found that in the mountains, I get a deep satisfaction that is spiritual, mental and physical. I enjoyed the experiences I had climbing so much that I wanted to help others find that same sense of satisfaction and adventure that I was getting.
In 1987 I started working for Rainier Mountaineering and International Mountain Guides. In 1999 I started working during the winter for IMCS. I have been lucky to travel all over the world climbing and guiding. With 219 ascents of Mt. Rainier and over 60 high altitude expeditions to Alaska, the Himalaya, Andes, Africa and beyond, I still get that same sense of satisfaction and purpose as I did over 40 years ago.
My goal is to have the climbing partners I lead, experience the same emotions I do and to help them achieve goals they though once impossible.
I am an avid climber and explorer with over 30 years experience in the mountains and wilderness. From an early age, I’ve found outdoor adventure to be the most fulfilling way to experience the world. This has taken me to various parts of the world while climbing, hiking, paddling, skiing, riding motorcycles, or on a surfboard.
I’m also a husband, father, health and wellness coach, personal trainer, and plant-based nutrition educator. My passion as a guide is promoting longevity and helping you adventure well in a holistic way. When with clients, I like to be a resource, as well as a partner in order to help them along a lifetime of peak experiences.
I am a wandering + pondering bean: often teal in color, though increasingly covered in cheetah print. I enjoy swimming, biking, climbing, hiking, rafting, zines, book clubs, laughing, dancing, being covered in dirt, playing with friends, and watching things grow. I may be found lurking around icicles, mountains, deserts, farms, puddles of water of all sizes, food, art supplies, or IME.
Many of my goals in life revolve around community building and healing through a trauma informed lens. I recently started practicing massage, and run the All Outdoors Collective here in town. In 2023 we organized the first LGBT+ ice clinic in the MWV. I aim to create more supportive, compassionate, and community-oriented spaces with IMCS!
I am a passionate educator and guide based out of Jackson, NH. My areas of focus are youth outdoor programming, avalanche education, and rock climbing instruction. I place particular importance on the relationships facilitated through outdoor experiences. If you’re looking for me, I can often be found at one of the local crags on summer evenings, or the east side of Mt. Washington on winter mornings.
At the age of fourteen on a fly-fishing trip with my father in Jackson Hole WY, I was intrigued by a brochure for rock-climbing and begged my dad to let me hire a guide for the day. I learned the ins-and-outs of belaying and safe climbing. Since that pivotal day, I have been hooked.
Back home in upstate NY, I sought boulders, cliffs, and crags – anything to play on. In 1999, I learned to climb ice. While obtaining my degree in Adventure Recreation from Green Mountain College in Vermont , I had the opportunity to climb in Northern Spain, New Zealand’s southern Alps during a year-long study abroad, and spent a month rock climbing at Mt. Arapiles in Australia.
I grew up in New Jersey and have lived in Londonderry, NH since 1981. My first year in NH I took a multi-day rock climbing class followed up that winter with a multi-day ice climbing class – with IMCS. After 40 years climbing is still my life long passion.
I guided part time for a few years in the mid 1990s and after a successful business career retired in 2015. Since then I have focused on professional development and guided for the last five years in New England, West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina.
Over the years I have climbed all over the world in all disciplines – rock, ice and alpinism. Some of my favorite places to climb are Bolivia, Canadian Rockies, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Black Hills, Colorado and of course New England with its diversity of climbing terrain.
Guiding and instructing enables me to share my passion for climbing which hopefully leads my clients to life long pursuits of mountain adventures and fun.
I’m Nickel and I’ve been guiding in one form or another since 2007. I appreciate that guiding offers opportunities to work with multi-talented people from diverse backgrounds in stunning landscapes.
Cultivating experiences that heighten enjoyment of life while deepening engagement with fear serve to broaden my overall perspective and appreciation for individual and collective existence. That’s what I dig about life…I get older and it stays muy interesante.
Let’s go climbing!
I started climbing in 1986 at the Marine Corps Mountain Warfare Training Center. Instantly, I knew I wanted to continue climbing and do more. I became an instructor in 1989 for the Special Operations Training Group, eventually training other trainers. By the time I left the Corps, I was the senior enlisted climbing instructor.
After Desert Storm, I decided to change course and left the Marines. I landed in North Conway to begin my life as a mountain guide. In 1995, I began working for EMS climbing school, where I stayed for 17 years. In 2012, I joined the IMCS roster, where I have been happily serving clients ever since.
My experience in the Marines makes me a solid skills instructor and I enjoy sharing that knowledge at all levels. I’ve guided all over the world on rock, ice, and alpine ascents. Every climbing trip I’ve ever been on has been the best trip ever, but the Gunks, Acadia, and Joshua Tree are my favorite places to return to.
Climbing came late in my life. I was a full fledged adult when I first got into it, so I went after it with all that I could. I went and got a job in the rock gym, I took classes, made climbing friends, and I learned all that I could soak up. It’s been great for me both physically and socially and I don’t regret a single day of it.
I moved to the MW Valley slowly over the last few years, but now that the IME staff, Frontside baristas, and Ledge bartenders all know my name, I feel like a part of the community. It’s a fantastic place and I love the variety and accessibility of activities we have.
I joined Paul and Lisa at IMCS when they took over in 2022 as the “office guy with no clear title or responsibilities.” Not much has changed in that regard but I love the flexibility and “do what needs doing” aspect of the job. I might answer the phone while writing a newsletter one day, and answer the phone while organizing the gear closet the next day. Sometimes I even get to be a guide!