Lectures & Courses Zone

I’ve been involved in Outdoor Education since 1994 when I started teaching basic backpacking skill clinics while still in High School. While serving in the Marines I taught Wilderness Navigation in North & South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Since I was hired as a climbing guide in 2004 I’ve taught hundreds of courses in Rock & Ice Climbing, Mountaineering, and Avalanche Education.

Teaching outdoor skills and sharing my passion for the mountains is what drives me. For some lectures I can travel and present to climbing gyms, outdoor clubs, schools, scouting groups, etc. See below for the specifics on what I teach and contact me at nealpinestart@gmail.com with any questions.

Wilderness Navigation

Wilderness Navigation

Wilderness Navigation

This comprehensive 8 hour course goes far beyond a basic map & compass skills clinic. Morning classroom sessions cover such topics as “Survival/Improvised Navigation”, reading topographic maps, understanding the many uses of a compass, triangulation, magnetic declination, with emphasis on practical real life use! After lunch the class will head into the field on a short easy/moderate hike to practice skills learned in the morning session; single point resection, using hand-rails, creating a white-out navigation plan, all with plenty of 1 on 1 coaching and modeling.

Locations:

I primarily teach this course in North Conway, NH. I also teach this course annually for the Appalachian Mountain Club at both the Highland Center and Pinkham Notch locations. Once the dates for next season are posted they should be searchable on the AMC’s website here. I can also bring this course to you just about anywhere in the Northeast. Contact me at nealpinestart@gmail.com for more info.

Avalanche Awareness:

I’ve designed a number of 2-3 hour avalanche awareness talks to help aspiring mountain travelers start to figure out what kind of questions they should be asking before heading out into consequential terrain. With a back-ground as an ice climber & a skier I have separate talks that focus on issues specific to each user group. Contact me at nealpinestart@gmail.com for more info.

Rock Climbing:

Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing

From taking the whole family from ages 4 and up out top-rope climbing in very kid friendly areas to long alpine multi-pitch routes with private clients I love to rock climb.

Ice Climbing:

ice climbing cathedral ledge

Ice Climbing- Photo by http://www.brentdoscher.com/

The only thing I think I like better than rock climbing is ice climbing. I got so hooked on the sport at 22 that I sold all my skiing gear so I could focus exclusively on ice climbing for a few seasons (I’ve since returned full circle to being a skier thanks to the back-country). Whether crushing multiple short Grade 4 routes all day or tackling a long alpine gully I feel most at home in the mountains when everything is frozen (and I have a gazillion tricks to stay warm).

Mountaineering (Mount Washington Ascents):

Mountaineering

Mountaineering

I have over 100 winter ascents of Mount Washington in winter and have since stopped keeping track. Climbing Mount Washington is more than putting one foot in front of the other. The trips I lead up the hill are packed with information from trip planning, to snow science, to hard skills like self-arrest and proper crampon use. While the average round trip climb may take about 8 hours we won’t run out of things to talk about.

Back-country Skiing

Backcountry Skiing

Backcountry Skiing

Other than the hundreds of days leading students into avalanche terrain on Mount Washington I love exploring the other “off-piste” areas the White Mountains provide. With experience touring in the Andes, San Juans, Cascades, Adirondacks, Katahdin, and the Whites I’m sure I can help you dial in your back-country trip planning, snow assessments, and travel skills.

Rock Skills: Self Rescue

(page still WIP)