Yesterday my friend Scott and I had the privilege of making another winter climb of MT Washington. This was our third use of EMS and it’s guide service.
The first two occasions were great. We had Sara Reeder as a guide and she was fantastic. Yesterday we had Rob. Rob was phenomenal! His attention to detail, positive disposition, understanding of the climb and overall demeanor was second to none. He made an great day awesome!
Please know that a good guide makes all the difference in the world. Please take good care of Rob because when we come back we would love to have him as our guide.
A special thanks also goes out to George in the office for making it easy to plan our trip as well.
Sincerely yours,

On January 31, 2014, two mountaineering guides from Eastern Mountain Sports Schools in North Conway, NH led Kyle Bork and six other guests on an arduous winter ascent of Mount Washington. A mere four mile journey, it would take the team almost eight hours and everything they could physically and mentally give to summit. This is Kyle’s story.

My wife and I did the Mount Washington Observatory overnight course, 1/31/14 to 2/1/14. WOW!! We’ve winter hiked and overnighted on our own at Hermit Lake Shelters several times, but could never get up Lion’s Head winter route to summit Mt. Wash. Too much gear, too little sleep, too late start, not in shape. This was PERFECT, just like Keith says in the video on the EMS MWO page! Keith and George were patient and helpful on the phone answering all questions and giving great advice before we arrived from NJ! Get there the day before to have your pack inspected, as they suggest. We eliminated two layers and added a few items from the store we still needed. Thanks to Paul, Adrienne, Bob, Alec and others in the EMS store! A word about EMS stock: Like the mountain conditions, there are no guaranties. They were cleaned out on a lot of items just because of the massive cold weather this winter. It’s a store. It happens. So be sure to gear up ahead of time. What we didn’t find at the store, we found on the Internet. Back to the adventure: Cheyenne and Ann were awesome guides! (Keith S. too, but he was the safety “turn-back” 1/2 day guide.) Great small group of 7 of us plus guides. Summiting was exhausting and incredible! We went from sunny, gusting, 17 degrees F, to fogged in, 50-80 mph winds, and 7 degrees F! The MWObs staff, tour, snacks, dinner, overnight and breakfast IN the observatory were fantastic! Hiking down the next day in sunshine, below 30 mph gusts and around 10 degrees was a treat! Be sure to have a lot of hours in your boots. If you don’t and you’re using EMS (Koflach Degre) boots, take their Winter Climbing 101 – two from our group did and said it was well worth it. The Gear List for this trip is excellent, the guideline to keep pack weight under 20 lb is key. However, “… fit the hat so you can wear it under a helmet” doesn’t apply on this trip – no helmets needed. To save more weight, bring a pillowcase and a sleeping bag liner for the bunks instead of a sleep bag- pillows and blankets are provided. The ONLY thing we missed was self-arrest practice like in the EMS MWO video, but we forgot to speak up and ask for it, our bad. When we do this again, we will prepare with more leg and cardio training, like lots of squats and spinning. Otherwise, our legs finally stopped screaming at us after a few days but the glory remained. Remember: Pain is weakness leaving the body! (Unless it’s a medical issue.) (FYI: We’re in the 50-60 year old group.)

Thanks for the effort and thought you put into making my time at the ‘Gunks exceptional. The knowledge I gained and the amazing experiences I had on the rock were way beyond my expectations. I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to experience such great climbs as Shockley’s Ceiling, High Exposure and CCK.

My friends that know something about climbing are envious. And of course my Katahdin guide, Ryan Howes of Synnott Mountain Guides, knew of High Exposure. Thanks also for the great photos. I guess that’s another advantage of a GriGri – you can sometimes get one hand free to snap a quick pic. I’ve posted many of them on my facebook page (with appropriate identification of the excellent EMS guide).

I’m sure I’ll be back to the ‘Gunks this fall, hopefully not long after Katahdin. Probably to the Peters Kill area, depending on who comes with me. If I don’t see you this fall, I might be back next year to start to learn to lead.

I recently took the two day rock climbing class in the Gunks with Matt Carter. Matt was a superb instructor — both encouraging and pushing both myself and the other person in the class to keep trying. He was able to answer any question completely and explained everything clearly. His knowledge and calm demeanor, while underscoring safety, put me at ease and allowed me to have a truly unique experience. Matt’s skill was so impressive that a gentleman who was not part of our group commented that Matt was by far the best guide he had seen that weekend. I concur and cannot recommend Matt highly enough!

I just wanted to check in and thank you for a truly remarkable experience on Sunday. The entire hike up Marcy was fantastic, from the first contact and planning with you to Jack’s phenomenal guiding. While I had every confidence in EMS, the trip exceeded my expectations. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect guide than Jack – hiking with him was a blast. He was both professional and personable and his enthusiasm for what he does was contagious. He was a terrific guide in every way. Again, Dan, thanks so much for helping make my trip so memorable. I’ll definitely be looking into some of your winter climbing programs – what a great excuse to get back to Lake Placid!
Best regards,

Good morning,
I have been interested in learning outdoor rock climbing skills for some time. My friend Bill and I signed up with EMS for a day of private rock climbing instruction. It was held last Saturday, November 3, at Chickies Rock park in Pennsylvania.
The day of climbing and instruction far exceeded my expectations. The instructor, Scott, was a highly skilled and experienced rock climber, and an excellent instructor. He was friendly and fun to work with, and his instructions were very clear and informative. His supportive attitude helped me to overcome my fears and I did more than I had expected. I cannot thank you enough for providing such an excellent, skilled instructor. We wasted no time throughout the day; it was a day filled with meaningful activity, new learning, and fun. Safety was always prioritized, as it should be. I was thrilled with all that I accomplished.

I do not have Scott’s contact information, but if you are able to forward this to him, I would appreciate it. I am very grateful for his work with us, and to EMS for making this experience possible.


Hi Eric
I just wanted to say thank you again for a great day at the Gunks. You are an excellent host and guide. My boys and I felt really safe and your patience and teaching went a long way to making climbing a strong interest for them.
Thanks again !
Barry, Dylan and Bryan

Thanks again Dave for sharing your knowledge, patience and fellow love of the outdoors with us today. We had a blast and it dominated our conversation for the 4 hour drive back to the Cape! By the way, great blog! We will be in touch as we continue exploring our newest activity!
Be well,
Carol, Eric, Jack & Sam

Last week my family and I had visited the Lake Placid area for a family vacation where the plan was for my daughter to learn to climb which is something that she has been asking to do for a number of years but never had a way for her to do it safely. We found the EMS web site and sighed her up for the Fast Track class as well as an additional private day so she could finally get to climb. As it turned out, she was the only one that had signed up for class. Dan at EMS notified of this a couple days before we left for our trip and said that they would work with us to ensure that we could still get the climbing in for our daughter and possibly even myself as well. Climbing day #1 came, we met our guide (Matt W.) at the store bright and early, gathered up our necessary gear and headed out to our first climb. Matt was very thorough with all aspects of the climbing instruction, reinforcing everything both visually and verbally. By the end of the first day the daughter and I had both had about 6 – 8 climbs in and had been able to conquer climbs that we didn’t think we would see over the entire weekend. Since it was just the two of us (along with Matt) and the weather was a little iffy, we choose to just climb two days and get a chance to take in some of the other sites in the area. Day #2 of climbing we started our with a beautiful hike into woods with the morning sun beaming through the trees onto the trail soon followed by more rock climbing. Throughout the day we had experienced some beautiful scenery and plenty of climbing. Unfortunately I had to end my climbing a little early due to some leg cramping but my daughter turned the rest of the day into a climbing fest. We did encounter many other climbers during our two days of climbing but Matt was quick to locate either another route on the rock face or an entirely different area so no time was wasted. Both the daughter and I had a really good time and could not have asked for a better guide than Matt. Dan and the others at the EMS store were also very helpful and friendly as well. We look forward to making another trip back to the area for another climbing excursion next summer.I would just like to thank everyone at EMS for making our trip a very memorable one.
Mark & Alexa
Erie, Pa

Paul and Joan. Thanks so much for taking the scouts of Troop 29 (Wilmington, DE) out last week at Pinkham Notch. As I’ve come to expect from the climbing school, your leadership and guidance were top notch, and you both made all the boys comfortable in what was, for some, their first outdoor climbing experience. They really loved rappelling and climbing and learning how to belay, and hopefully some of them will continue with it. All the boys thought you guys were great and the beautiful weather and views of Mt. Washington made the day. Thanks again. We look forward to climbing with you again soon.

Good Afternoon,
On July 4 my wife and I took the all day kayaking course at Lake Placid. Daniel Sandberg was our instructor.
We are both in our sixties and presented several challenges. Dan was extraordinarily patient. We both left knowing we got our monies worth and more.
We both highly recommend this course to anyone wanting to improve skills or work on rescue techniques.
Take good care.

We had a great day of climbing with Dustin on Saturday (in spite of the heat) and wanted to thank you for hooking us up with such a capable guide and really a nice person.He did not have a business card with him, but if you’d be so kind to send me his contact information I would like to follow-up with him directly.

Thanks Dan, and thanks again for a wonderful lesson. We really enjoyed it — and used what we learned the next day doing some kayaking on Lake Placid!
Scott and Shelly

Matt, Dan:
Thanks again for arranging Saturday’s successful climb of the Regular Route on Chapel Pond Slab. I had a fantastic experience, and as always, Matt, you were totally professional, and I felt safe and secure the entire time, despite some challenging conditions. I really enjoy friction climbing, which I found came to me quite naturally.
I’ve read about the Wiessner Route on Upper Washbowl and agree that this would be a great next step for me. I can’t wait to do this climb and have a full day out with you, Matt, hopefully in early June. So I’ll be in touch with both of you in the next couple weeks in regard to specifics.
By the way, Dan, my wife Katherine really enjoyed meeting you, saying she could tell you have a lot of experience as a teacher and an instructor. Matt, she was hoping to meet you, but hey, we’ve always got that awesome photo in Adirondack Rock.
Thanks again. Saturday was incredible.

Last week I climbed with your guide John Knight and I just wanted to let you know my impressions.
I have been climbing for about 5 years and have climbed with nearly 10 different guides. John by far has been the best climbing instructor I have had. His explanation of movement on the rock was superb. He came prepared with a number of climbing exercises that measurable improved my technique in one day. Using photos and video, John was able to explain what I was doing well and what I needed to improve. John’s toprope setups were quick, efficient and solid and his knowledge of Quincy Quarry’s routes was excellent. I had an outstanding day.
Best wishes,

We have just returned from our trip with EMS to the Mount Washington Observatory. We had a fabulous time and want to thank both Charlie and Keith for providing us with both a safe and really fun trip!!! Both of these instructors were professional, knowledgable and made the trip such a fantastic experience! Looking forward to our next adventure with EMS.
Thanks again!!!
Mark and Kim

For the second time in little more than a year, I must thank Eastern Mountain Sports for the first-rate instruction provided by its schools—as well as extol the virtues of Climbing Guide Matt Wiech.Today, in the Gunks, Mattonce again showed remarkable professionalism, displaying why he’s such an excellent teacher and mentor. After assessing my current skills and status over the phone early in the week, he chose the perfect route for me—a 5.3 multi-pitch named “Three Pines” that features a 5.6 variation on the final pitch. I had a total blast on this route, today was an amazing day, and I couldn’t be happier.Mattis awesome, and I’m very grateful to him. He really listens to his clients. He’s always calm, composed, and upbeat, always encouraging. He tailored the climbing session to suit my needs and goals. And once again he taught me a lot, just like the last time we climbed together. Most important, I felt (and was) completely safe and secure every moment when we were on the wall and at its base.Matt Wiech is great at what he does. I love climbing with him and look forward to many more days of EMS instruction over the next few years. Thanks a lot, Dan! You’ll be hearing from me again soon.
Sincerely, Joe

I just wanted to let you know that Nate and I had the best, best, best time with Dustin last weekend. He is a phenomenal guide and made our trip safe and exhilarating. We definitely hope to be back next year!!
Thank you for arranging everything, and especially for introducing us to High Peaks. We enjoyed staying there and very much appreciated the discounted room.
All the best, Baily

The day was exceptional. Matt selected a couple of excellent climbs and as always was the consummate instructor. I learned so much form Matt yesterday. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable, but he effectively and patiently conveys the information. All in all a memorable day.
Thanks, Pedro

Hey guys,
Just wanted to thank you guys again for being just completely and totally awesome!!! We all had the time of our lives and, thanks to you, have some life long memories that we will cherish forever!!
You were both very professional, patient, fun… the list could on and on!! I’m beyond impressed, words cannot explain!!
In short, the experience was absolutely perfect and I attribute much of that to you guys!! Can’t show my gratitude enough!! Thank you!!
Jim from Rochester NY

I took your Avalanche 1 class two weeks ago. It was very well organized, and presented by Dave Lottmann. It was an incredible amount of critical information needed in the backcountry, and I would recommend the course to others that travel there. Thank you for offering the program.
Regards, John

To whom It May Concern: I drove 7 hours from NYC to North Conway, NH this weekend to train for an upcoming climb of Denali, AK. I have previoulsy climbed Mt. Rainier, and Aconcagua, and signed-up for a 3 day EMS climbing program (i.e. 201, glacier skills, Mt. Washington climb) to listen, learn, experience, and re-fresh my skills. During these 3 days, I found Conrad, Sara, Paul, and Joan to be highly professional, highly experienced, very caring,and fun! They are truly the best of the best, and they lead a top-rate training program, that is clearly a couple steps above the rest, and, in my opinion, 2nd to none. With them, and EMS, you know you will learn and test, your mental and physical skills in a very supportive environement,on premier venues, and get excellent advice that can be appled in real-time. While I was in town to climb, I also enjoyed the EMS Mountaineering slide show on Saturday 2/11 evening and was very impressed to see them also honor our US Veterans (handicapped)as part of the event. Thank you for the EMS climbing school and having an A-Team to support our training goals! I can’t thank you enough and look forward to sharing my experience with others. Best regards, Warren

I’ve heard nothing but praise and gratitude from anyone on the trip. Your guides were all really great guys and anxious to meet us at whatever skill level we brought to the trip. Some had never seen an ice axe before, and others of us got some good instruction on ice screws and anchor placement. The cherry on top was the crazy stories that Charlie and Peterwere able to tell us of the “good old days.” We’ll be back.Best,
Tyler (Boston University School of Medicine)

To whom it may concern,Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Garrett and I’ve been working for EMS down in Dulles for about a year and a half now. I recently had the opportunity to participate in the AIARE Avalanche Level 1 class hosted by the EMS climbing schools up in North Conway. I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this class, but what I came away with was a ton of incredibly valuable information. Dave Lottmann was the sole instructor of 7 students, all of whom had varying degrees of experience in the backcountry. Dave fielded questions from each and every one of us with both, confidence, and in depth explanations, often going above and beyond with his descriptions. The true definition of an expert.The AIARE Avalanche Level 1 course is an important one, in that, it introduces and instills the use of the DMF which will ultimately keep us alive in the backcountry. Dave’steaching methods were, in my eyes, outstanding.His knowledge and experience were quite apparent throughout the course, and because of him I now feel much more confident in my decision making proccess when I venture into the backcountry.Aside from my job with EMS I have also been part of a volunteer fire department for 8 years. During which, I’ve participated in close to 1,000 hours of classroom and field training, as well as having taught classes myself. I tell you this because in that time I have yet to come across an instructor with the amount of enthusiasm and love for his job as I see in Dave. You have an extremely valuable employee on your hands, and I hope you realize this. I don’t have one negative thing to say about the guy…and I’m one critical son of a bitch.A big thanks goes out to Daveand the EMS climbing schools for the opportunity.Garrett

Just wanted to say that on our January Mt. Washington summit, Ethanwas a great leader. He got us up and down safely, it was really tough physically for me, but he paced us and pulled my butt up to reach the top. He also carried a half sheet of plywood down the mountain to keep the summit clean. I’m looking forward to my next ems trip, maybe a winter presidential traverse.Thanks, Dave

New England Outside Blog ArticleBy: Grant RitterI recently took Winter Climbing 101 with EMS Climbing School in North Conway, NH where I learned a lot, expanded my mountaineering comfort zone and had a great time! Winter Climbing 101 is a full day instructor led class that teaches the basics of mountaineering such as ice axe technique, crampon use and ice climbing skills. It is taught by certified outdoor instructors and the “classroom” is at some of the best ice faces in the northeast like Frankenstein Cliffs or Cathedral Ledge.Winter Climbing 101is a great way to expand your winter comfort zone and tobuild the skill base that is needed to safely navigate cold alpine environments. Below I will walk you through my experience with this class.All classes meet at the North Conway EMS to introduce fellow students/ instructors and to get outfitted with gear.The EMS Climbing School section looks like my dream garage with endless cubbies of gear, a small rock wall and plenty of space to put gear on.I checked in and met Charlie, my instructor for the day, along with my 3 classmates. EMS maintains a strict 4 to 1 student to instructor ratio to ensure enough personal attention.Charlie introduced himself and helped our class get to know each other. He then began to outfit students with the plastic mountaineering boots, climbing harnesses and helmets that we would need for a day on the ice. EMS offers use of this gear for no extra charge. This is a tremendous benefit for two reasons. First, the high cost of mountaineering gear is a barrier to entry for this sport. Second, getting outfitted by a professional lets students see how to use and size the gear. Read full blog

Many thanks to Ethan Lemieuxfor his great leadership up MT Washington on 12/29. All in are group made it up, and more importantly, made it safely down. I also liked learning about ice climbing. I have so much more I want to learn in this sport.I would really like some suggestions for next steps on getting ready for Denial. I look forward to hearing from you, and more schools with ems.Dave

Winter Climbing 101By: Amy Parulis“I’m gonna go ahead and summit. Without Sherpas.” If I heard that while on the ice I probably would have fallen off. Luckily, I was not on the ice, nor was I belaying anyone at the time. Instead Steve, Sara, and I were watching Melissa and Kim at the moment, laughing hysterically. If you were in the area of Cathedral Ledge in North Conway, NH and thought you heard a party going on, it was probably just our Winter Climbing 101 class.The weather recently had not been great. In fact it had been rather snow free and warm. I was concerned about class being cancelled but when I called up a week in advance I was reassured that there was in fact enough ice for climbing. Another issue we would have to contend with was getting to the EMS in North Conway, in the freezing rain. Steve and I made it from our respectful starting points with time to spare but our companions for the day, Melissa and Kim, were having some difficulty. While we were waiting for them our fearless leader for the day, Sara, did gear checks with us and had us practice our figure 8 knots. As soon as the girls got there we got them geared up and headed out to Cathedral Ledge.Unfortunately the lack of snow did not allow us to practice self arrest but Sara still went over the key points for us. With our cramponson and mountaineering axes in hand we headed out to some ice to practice walking. We were like little ducklings following Sara and soaking up everything she had to say. We practiced walking up and down the ice and quickly switched over to our climbing axes. I had used crampons before and the other 3 picked up on getting around in them quickly so it was time to learn how to use ice axes for climbing. We each yielded one axe and headed to a spot where we could just hammer away and get use to getting the axe in good, with both hands. Once Sara felt we were ready, the ropes came out and she headed up our ice flow to set fixed lines.Read full blog

Hi EMS Guide School.This is me and my daughter after a successful 3 pitch climb of “Buster” at Cascade Pass on December 29th. Our guide, Matt Wiechdid a terrific job instructing us, keeping us safe and putting together an enjoyable day. That’s not an easy task when the high temperature was an extremely cold 11 degrees!My family and I look forward to going on more adventures with Mattand the EMS School.Best regards,Phillip

Ethan,I just wanted to thank you for a wonderful climbing experience last week. It was our first time outdoors and we had an amazing time. Thank you for selecting some really challenging climbs, but also for accommodating at the end of the last day when my son was getting a bit achy from the work-out. We will certainly be looking to get some more experience, so look out for us come next summer! Best regards,Mark

I just wanted to say our group had an awesome time during our first ascent class with Dan Pennebackeron Saturday, July 30th at Ralph Stover Park in PA. Dan was very knowledgeable and encouraged all throughout the day. Everyone felt safe the entire time, yet we were constantly challenged to make it to the top.Our group spanned several generations-age 13 up to age 49, and all were tested and supported equally. We stayed at one location on the mountain that offered four different climbs. This provided plenty of opportunity for the entire time we were there with five climbers participating.He not only taught us to climb, but also taught how to tie knots properly and secure the ropes and harnesses, which other tours climbing close by did not seem to focus on.It was a wonderful experience and we’re already discussing when we can have another fantastic mountain adventure with hopefully Dan or another member of EMS climbing school.We can’t wait to share our experience with family and friends.

My 10 year old son and I participated in the Rock Climbing 101 class through the Lake Placid location this past Saturday. We both had an amazing day of climbing. The instructors were knowledgeable and very supportive of our climbing efforts. We learned a variety of climbing techniques and safety practices as we spent the day climbing two different locations. We also learned quite a bit about the Adirondack region both its history and the diverse outdoor activities it has to offer. We are planning on bringing the whole family back to check out kayaking through the school. I am attaching a picture of my son Calvin who just completed one of his many climbs of the day.Thank You,Daryl and Calvin

I wanted to comment on the great job my guide did at North Conway this past January. I had Conrad Yager for a winter 101 course and then by chance he was also my guide the next day for a summit of Mount Washington. He was very patient with those who had more trouble on the 101 and for those who were wanting to learn as much as they could he is a great source of knowledge and experience. My only complaint is that I did not have more time to learn more from him during my time in North Conway.Many thanks, Frank

I recently attended the Telemarking 102 course on February 25th. I’d like to thank Peter Casson for his time and guidance during the session. It was an excellent course and has won me over as a “free heeler”.I also look forward to registering for some of the kayaking courses taught by Peter.Regards,-Bob

I would like to let you know that I recently did the Ice Climbing 101 school with Sara Reederand was so impressed. Her knowledge and ability to calm the nerves of some of the less experienced as well as her personality made the experience what it was. The gear was well maintained. It looked and felt new. I am looking forward to more of the classes you offer. Thank you and Sara for doing such a great job in helping people experience the outdoors and what their limitations are safely and confidently.Sincerely,Jeff

I felt it prudent to provide some feedback on my experience with the EMS climbing school in North Conway, NH.First, I would like to mention that I initially found out about the EMS climbing school through a website (SectionHiker.com). Know that the exposure that EMS gets from providing the sites author with courses and allowing him to post descriptions in reviews played a pivotal role in my decision to sign up for courses.I participated in a three day accelerated mountaineering course (101, 201, Mt. Washington ascent) that I enjoyed. I was moderately discontent with the experience level of my fellow students who, during 201, created considerable difficulty for our guide, Ethan Lemieux. I understand that screening participants is not a practice in which EMS engages in due to the difficulty that it presents.My experiences with all of the guides at the school that I interacted with were positive. I enjoyed working with Ethan, especially. He had to make a difficult (but, I feel, justified) decision to turn one of the members of our group around on the third day as we were making our way up Mt. Washington. He also was friendly and personable but still acted authoritatively as a guide and a teacher when demonstrating a technique, a knot, or general information.Finally, know that it is likely that I will purchase some gear from EMS as a result of my experiences during the three day course. I know it’s important to EMS that the climbing school leads to increased merchandising.Feel free to pass this note on to any people or departments (administration included) that may be interested in its contents.Thanks again,Jesse

I would like to thank the Lake Placid EMS and most importantly Matt Wiech. I took part in the Winter Climbing 101 in Lake Placid and had the pleasure of having Matt as my instructor. The course was run beautifully and Matt’scombination of personal skills and knowledge made the day.Matt did an excellent job of tailoring the course for the group and making it the most education and enjoyable time. Bottom line: I spend every other weekend in the Dacks; hiking, fishing, or camping, and this is the most fun I’ve ever had in a single day, hands down.Thanks again, Scott

Dear EMS,My wife and I had the great experience of taking one of your Winter Climbing courses at Lake Placid. We had Matt Wiech guiding and teaching us in an expert and professional manner on Feb 11, Friday. We are 54 years old and he matched our abilities to the task and we both came away from the course with a clear understanding of the basic skills needed for Winter Climbing, this having been our first experience. Matt was great, personable and careful. It was a highlight of our trip to the High Peaks. We are planning another trip and will certainly call upon your school and Mattto take us to another level.Sincerely, Bill and Edie

Mt. Washington Ascent review by Philip Werner from SectionHiker.com.

  • Mountaineering 201 course review by Philip Werner from SectionHiker.com.
  • Winter Climbing 101 course review by Philip Werner from SectionHiker.com.I wanted to thank you and EMS for providing me with a first class experience with my climb of Mount Washington last week. Keith was an outstanding guide, and I learned so much from him about cold weather travel. I felt very safe and in good hands with him. Please thank Keith again for me.Have a great holiday season, and again thanks for the experience!
    WaltJust took my first ascent class with Scott at Chickies rock, PA and was the greatest experience! I felt so safe the entire time, yet was constantly challenged to push myself. I am now hooked and signing up for my second ascent class. It was the best experience!-Jackie Miller

    Hi,We had a great time. Our guide Scott was great and really made us feel safe. We can not wait to go back again. I knew it was going to be fun but had no idea that much. I hope you guys in the office know how great Scott is. I think we are interested in going on October 17 for Second Ascent.ThanksCollin Miller

    Last weekend a couple friends and I went with Bruce to Little Falls for our first rock climbing lesson. We had a bunch of fun and he was an awesome teacher. We learned the basics and by the end of the day we were all very comfortable practicing what we had learned. In the future I plan on taking another course! I would definitely recommend this type of lesson for anyone interested in starting rock climbing and Bruce as an instructor.

    Bruce was a great instructor! I was unsure about rock climbing going into the first ascent class, but he was so patient and helpful that it turned into a really great experience! I had a great time with my friends and I discovered a new activity that I would like to pursue in the future. Bruce was so friendly and he explained things so well for us beginners. Overall it was an awesome time and I would recommend Bruce to anyone! Thanks a lot!

    The EMS guides are first rate climbers and teachers. I’ve been climbing with EMS for a number of years, including four winter attempts at Mt. Washington – 2 successful; an extended international climbing trip in Mexico; several ice climbing adventures and rock climbing. My daughter has now been rock climbing with EMS since she was about 7. She’s now 16 and I believe she still has the box of Mike & Ike candies (though now empty) that guide Paul Cail gave her to munch on while she swung in a tree from her harness at the base of Cathedral Ledge. Paul is now a personal friend.All experiences with EMS have been superb. The warm, cheerful and enthusiastic leadership of each of the guides, but especially Paul, Conrad, and Craig, remains consistent year after year. EMS (and we aspiring climbers) are lucky to have them. Keep up the great work. -Chuck

    Hello!On Saturday, 6/26, one of your guides, Ethan Lemieux, led me and two friends through six pitches on Cathedral Ledge. This was my first trad climbing experience. Thanks in no small part to Ethan, I am hoping for many more.Ethan encouraged us to ask and answered all of our questions. The members of our group have varying levels of experience, so Ethan let each one of us work through new skills throughout the day. I especially appreciated Ethan’s explanation of various techniques he was employing for our safety. He reviewed our equipment, and at each anchor made sure that we were secure. He chose routes that were within our ability range, but still offered a challenge (at least to the two of us on our first trad routes).Ethan’ssense of humor and easy manner, coupled with evident climbing and guiding skill, made this a great experience for me. Please pass along my thanks.I am sure we will be using the EMS climbing school guides again!Regards,-Joel Lemieux (Funny coincidence, but really I am not related to Ethan, and he did not pay me to send this note!)

    The First Ascent class at Great Falls was a perfect way to spend a day, the setting is beautiful and there are tons of interesting routes for all beginner levels. Our instructor made everything fun and gave a great balance between challenging us and allowing us to move at our own pace. I definitely recommend the course to anyone who wants a first experience or review of outdoor climbing. We look forward to checking out the next course!-Amber

    Hi EMS Schools,Scott led our group of 4 through the Second Ascent class at Chickie’s today. Our group was mixed, with a couple that struggled to complete a single climb and a couple that could make moderate routes. They did an OUTSTANDING job, with a great deal of patience. They adapted the instruction to our individual needs, and with a lot of encouragement helped us each get to the next skill level in climbing, but without pushing too hard. And we had a great, safe time. The instruction and class vastly exceeded our expectations.Can’t wait to do it again.Jim

    I went climbing for the first time last week with Jason Hurwitz as the guide. I have to tell you how enjoyable he made the experience. He was so knowledgeable I was completely confident in his ability to keep me safe. He was also encouraging and very funny during the moments between him saving my life. I highly recommend him to anyone looking to climb! It was a day I won’t soon forget. Thanks

    I am not sure this is the proper place to provide feedback, but I wanted to let you know how pleased I was with top roping lesson I had this past Tuesday (5/25) at Little Falls, with guide Bruce Monroe. As I scheduled the lesson, I was still wondering if it was going to provide me with the foundation I needed in the anchor building (for top roping) that I was looking for. Bruce not only covered the topicsI was looking for, but we were able to use the type of gear I own currently, to build the anchors. In addition, Little Falls is a great place to do a class like this as it offers a good variety of anchor options in a confined environment.In short, I got everything I expected and more from the class and would not hesitate to schedule another session once I have gotten out on my own for awhile, as I know I will have further questions and will like to get some professional feedback on what I am doing.I would highly recommend this method of instruction for anyone who has some degree of climbing experience and is looking for some focus on a specific topic. If I can ever act as a reference for the private lesson option or the Little Falls area for climbing, please let me know as I would be happy to do it.Thanks again for having this available.-Tom Bebee, Syracuse, NY

    I recently completed the 3 Day Accelerated Mountaineering course at the North Conway location. I just wanted to express my satisfaction with the course and with my guide Sebastian. The other members of the group and I had a great time and thought he did an incredible job. I’m definitely going to pursue more EMS climbing school programs. Please pass along my thanks to Sebastian. Thanks.-John

    Please forward this to Keith and Sara….thanks for all your help in getting us geared up and then up/down the mountain… it was great fun and couldn’t have had better weather…Best regards,-Joe

    I took a Winter Climbing 101 class in New Paltz on Tuesday March 2, 2010 in New Paltz. My instructor was Bill. I was always leary about ice climbing. To someone ignorant about the sport, it does look crazy. I had a great time. Bill was friendly, knowledgeable, and confident which in turn instilled self confidence. Although I started out nervous, I never felt in fear of getting hurt. As I said, I had a great time and learned a lot. The only negative thing about the day was my own personal physical fitness. I need to workout some and then sign up for another course. I know most places only get feedback when it is negative. I just wanted to let you know how great a course and instructor you had in New Paltz.-Sands FrostConrad guided my group for a day of ice-climbing and then an ascent of mount washington. I highly recommend him as an experienced, skilled, and personable mountain guide. He has had many years of experience in the mountains and is eager to share what he knows with you. In difficult weather conditions, I had confidence that Conrad would seek to maximize our experience while at the same time ensuring that we were safe. I look forward to climbing with him again next time I head out to the White Mountains. -Michael

    Dear People,Yesterday, I was introduced to ice climbing by a superb teacher- Eric, at the EMS Climbing School, New Paltz. His explanations were toned to allow us to self learn in safety. I was continually impressed with his ability to match his teaching support to our needs. I appreciated his instruction in “self arresting” including my “head first” practice. My classmates( the three public servants from Wyckoff, NJ: Dan, Jack and Ryan) could not have been more accommodating to their fellow student. I hope the following photos will find their way to them. I have a new appreciation for climbing gloves. I found a dialog that helped me remember Eric’s belaying ritual instructions. I was slow to progress on the ice because I did not trust my placement of the ice tools. I had a hard time being accurate/secure with the ice tools. Finally, I managed to use as many previous placements as I could find. That helped me pay attention to my feet, which made my second climb much more successful. Unfortunately, even belaying was hard on my hands. I have some ongoing RSI’s that did not respond well to the day. But, I found another site- www.climbinginjuries.com that made me feel like there is some hope I can improve. Thank you for the experience,-Lorette Cheswick

    Hello,I would just like to express my satisfaction with my trip this weekend. Saturday on Mt Washington was exactly the experiemce I was hoping for. Conrad was a great guide, imparting trail knowledge on the way up & challenging me with our decent. On Sunday, even though I was exhausted, Ethan coached me up the ice & made the day enjoyable.Thanks,-Len Huffman

    Charlie,Just wanted to give some feedback: I’ve participated in many ‘adventures’ in my life and this by far was one of my most enjoyable experiences! Right from the get-go with my phone conversations with the school and their willingness to help and advise, through my phenomenal climb with Paul! Don’t want to give him a big head but- Paul was awesome! I felt he read me perfect from our first meeting and knew what he needed to say/teach and what he didn’t need to say/teach. I will recommend the school and Paul to anyone who inquires!-Thanks, Jeff

    Just wanted to say a big thanks to Bill my guide.Saturday was one of the most incredible days I have had climbing. Bill is an exceptional guide who has the rare ability to observe someones ability/mindset and inform/encourage appropriately. I think it’s easy to provide information but difficult get quantity and timing right. Bill is exceptional in this regard. The location was stunning and can not stop smiling when I think of what Bill made possible. Can’t wait to climb with him again.Sincerely,-Marc

    Dames in the Dacks 2010I climbed a mountain last weekend. No really, I did. Without the aid of motorized vehicles or Sherpa. AND it was in the dead of winter. This isn’t something I typically do. I’m a self proclaimed reptile when it comes to temperatures. I just don’t do well in extreme conditions, so I was even more astounded to find that I could hike with only two layers – a fleece and a softshell jacket. Amazing. This whole thing started when Sara Lingafelter was chosen to go to Nepal with the Hanes Brands Everest team. She took a mountaineering course to prepare and reported about it on her blog. Katie Levey announced her intention to take a similar class shortly thereafter. While the idea had been planted in the back of my mind by Sara, I hadn’t seriously considered taking a class myself. My man mountaineers and ice climbs. Last year I tried ice climbing to see why he likes it so much, so I figured this year I should try mountaineering, or “walking slowly uphill while not feeling well.” Having another lady to take the class with put me over the edge. I signed up for the Three Day Accelerated Mountaineering Course with Eastern Mountain Sports Climbing School. And so began (October…. November… December….) nearly four months of doubt and preparation. “Musings of a Migrant Science Teacher”-Aleya

    Peter and George,Thanks for having us up in North Conway. George, Jen, Ali and myself talked a lot about EMS as a company over the weekend. We discussed how taking advantage of our employee benefits that come with the job are truly wonderful perks. Participating in the schools is not only fun, but teaches about what EMS promotes. I think that all employees should take part in the schools simply because it adds so much to the experience. Customers can benefit from the employees experience by further promoting the schools. As far as the course itself, I loved it. Going into the class I felt confident with many of the skills we were about to learn but was excited to learn from other guides different teaching styles. Day 1- The first day was a lot of ice climbing which I was not expecting. I definitely am hooked on climbing ice now and am looking forward to climbing ice by myself. Conrad was an awesome instructor. His style was different but his character progressed as the days passed. As a guide, I knew most of what Conrad was teaching but listening to someone else teach was awesome. It was truly nice to sit back and enjoy a day of climbing and not be the instructor! Day 2- Cold, very very cold. I was impressed that even beginners are taken to this day. I climbed with Jen and Conrad on a multipitch ice route. Conrad again explained many new topics. I think that someone who never climbed multi pitch routes would have loved this too. The whole concept is difficult to understand for beginners. Climbing with Conrad was again fun and learning from him and his teaching style was a lot of fun as well. Day 3- Mt. Washington. I have always wanted to do this climb and was planning on doing it by myself. I am so glad I went with Ethan, Paul and Sara. Ethan’s style was a lot different then Conrads but a nice change. The little tips I picked up from Ethan are worth more than reading them in any textbooks. The climb was a success and I came away with a new respect and understanding for mountaineering. All in all we loved coming up. I wish we could make it mandatory for EMS employees to take classes. Guiding for EMS, I took away a different perspective as compared to other clients. I enjoyed learning how others teach. I enjoyed their different styles as well. Another thing that I wanted to point out was what George and I talked about. EMS and their brand. Thinking about the trip, I used SOOO much EMS gear and it performed better than I expected. Being an outdoor educator and retailer, I realized the importance of selling the brand of EMS. EMS has a solid brand and I can now take that back to my store and talk withi customers about why EMS products rock. We are so excited to promote the schools and further my idea towards establishing Warrington as an School Location. I breifly talked with Chris about Kayak School, overnights, and Climbing and he said “Whatever you need, do it.” I want to do some work on my own and then meet with Chris (Store Manager), Dave Noonan, and you both to come up with what we can really do in the store visually to get this thing off the ground and successful. I will be working on that in the near future so I hope to talk with you both soon. Again, thanks to George for letting us stay up there. North Conway is always a good time and I can’t wait till my next trip up there!-Dan Pennebacker

    Dames in the Dacks: A Mountaineering AdventureInspired by Sara Lingafelter and her trip to Nepal with the Expedition Hanesbrand team, I started looking at mountaineering courses this past fall. I’ve spent so much time reading about other peoples’ adventures in faraway places and I’ve always wanted to try mountaineering, to be like one of those people I read about. And I never really thought it was possible. But after reading about Sara’s experience and trying to understand what it was that kept me from pursuing a whole new realm of outdoor adventure, I finally decided it was time. One of the most prohibitive factors was, and still is, cost. But where there’s a will…you know… and I found out through the Eastern Mountain Sports website that they offer classes of all sorts very close to home. Their 3 Day Accelerated Mountaineering course sounded like the perfect way to introduce myself to ice climbing and mountaineering, and by taking it in the Adirondacks, I’d be doing it in a relatively familiar environment. “Tales of an Adventuregrrl”-Katie

    My teenage son began the 3 day accelerrated Mountaineering course yesterday. I am so amazed by the North Conway Climbing School staff that I had to write and tell you! It’s awesome-the whole program-but more importantly-the staff-each and every person I have been in contact with has been extremely helpful, knowledeable,professional, friendly–I’m so happy that I chose EMS to schedule classes and overnights for my son! My son is high functioning autistic-I was a bit worried at the onset-but the staff is truly outstanding and I feel he couldn’t be in better hands. He’s out again today-and I am smiling from ear to ear knowing he is doing something he wants to do with such a great group of people. I can actually sit and relax, read a book….I can’t wait until he gets back to tell me all about it! Really, amazing, exceptional people! Thank you!-Jannette