I used to lead around the 5.10-5.11 area, but do not have as much time to get out these days. I have also done several multi-day big wall routes. Ice in Southern Ontario is difficult to find, but I do manage a little each year. I have led Grade 5, but 3 or 4 would likely be more comfortable these days. I have done a fair bit of mountaineering over the years including Ixta and Orizaba in Mexico, Illiniza, and Cotopaxi in Ecuador, Mount Rainier, Aconcagua, Mount Logan, Denali, Cho Oyu, Mt. Blanc, The Matterhorn and a few others in the Canadian Rockies. I have only been on one guided trip (Aconcagua) and have preferred to climb independently with friends. I have done some guiding and been a professional rock and ice climbing instructor. I am also an Outward Bound Instructor and have led trips in Canada, the US and Mexico (canoeing, rafting, hiking and mountaineering).
Past Climbing Experience I began climbing when I went to Lakehead University. Lakehead is located in Thunder Bay Ontario on the north Shore of Lake Superior. I was there to study Outdoor Recreation and this was a perfect location for it. A 20 minute drive in any direction pretty much put you in the wilderness. Climbing was still pretty young in Thunder Bay so there were plenty of opportunities to explore, learn and develop new climbing areas. I started leading rock pretty fast and once the winter came I began to climb ice. Ice comes early to Thunder bay and it was not uncommon to climb ice from the end of October until the end of April. There were literally hundreds of ice routes to be found. I then discovered the art of Aid climbing and loved the technical aspect of it. Working with friends we put up many new aid routes in the Thunder Bay area. My biggest aid route is Moonlight Buttress in Zion. I have always wanted to climb El Cap in Yosemite, but have not made it there yet. While in Thunder Bay I started to work in the summers with Outward Bound. I worked with their rock climbing program and became an instructor for their wilderness canoe trips. I continued to work with Outward Bound for the following 10 years and led trips in Canada, the US and into Mexico. While at Outward Bound I began to work with their Professional Development Programs delivering teambuilding programs to corporate groups. This would be the beginning of my career in the team and leadership training field. During my University days I had plenty of time to travel and discover the many climbing areas in Canada and the US. I have climbed all over Ontario as well as Alberta and BC. Joshua Tree California is one of my favourite destinations. The natural progression now seemed to be to travel into the mountains. Mexico presented a relatively close and inexpensive to sample high altitude and I went there several times to climb Ixta and Orizaba. Unfortunately I was not able to climb Popo as it was an active volcano at the time. From here I went on to climb in Ecuador, and then to Mount Logan, Rainier, Aconcagua, Denali, Kilimanjaro, Cho Oyu, Mount Blanc and the Matterhorn. Today I do not have as much time to climb so I have tried to commit to one expedition a year. Ama Dablam is the expedition of this year and will hopefully be the building block for something even bigger next year.