Who We Are?

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is a company of professional guides. Since our inception in 1993, we have required formal training and evaluation of all our guides simply because it was the right thing to do. Our guiding standards are among the best in the industry and represent the highest standards in Maine. Our guides are friendly, dedicated professionals whose talents lie in their technical expertise, climbing ability and their skill as educators. The quality of our guides is what makes Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School your best source for climbing instruction.

Our guides are veteran climbers with several years of diverse climbing experience. By requiring in specialized guide education courses we maximize competency and efficiency and greatly reduce risk. Our greater efficiency allows more time to teach you important skills, and to provide you with more climbing opportunities without feeling rushed. All are also certified at or above the Wilderness First Responder level of medical care. Our internal training keeps everyone up on the latest techniques and current on the best local practices.

We are committed to providing you with the best climbing experience possible. It is our goal to provide a supportive climbing environment that maximizes your time and minimizes your risk. Our mission steers us to continually develop cutting edge ideas and techniques that improve the delivery of our instruction. Many of these ideas have become the foundation both the AMGA and PCIA training programs. We believe that the guiding art requires extensive climbing experience and a multi-faceted educational background. We take our philosophy to heart and work to promote responsible climbing and wilderness use as well as responsible guiding on both a local and national level. We are proud to be participating in the development of professional standards that other guide services can only aspire to. Simply put, we are attentive to the details.

We look forward to sharing our love of high places with you and invite you to take a look at our backgrounds.

Meet our Guides...



Jon Tierney
IFMGA/AMGA Fully Certified International Mountain Guide
Registered Maine Guide, Recreation
Owner


"Jon is a very experienced professional guide and one of the best educators in the AMGA. His client care and technical skills are excellent." - Rob Hess (former AMGA Technical Director and Bela Vadasz (IFMGA Guide)

Jon is certified internationally by the UIAGM/IFMGA and examined and certified at the international standard by the AMGA as a Rock Guide, an Alpine Guide, and a Ski Mountaineering Guide. Certification in each discipline requires passing a rigorous multi-day peer assessment exam. Currently there are less than 80 American IFMGA guides. Jon began climbing as a teenager in the mid 70's and came to Maine in 1982 and fell in love with the pink granite of Acadia. In 1984 he co-founded Maine Bound, the University of Maine outdoor program which he directed until 2001. During the summers in the late eighties and early nineties Jon traveled west to work for the National Park Service as a backcountry climbing ranger and paramedic. In 1993 he gave up the annual migration westward to established Acadia Mountain Guides as a summer guide service serving Acadia National Park. In 2001 Acadia Mountain Guides became a year round guide service offering not only rock climbing instruction by also ice climbing and mountaineering. With a passion for rock, snow, and ice, Jon's accomplishments as a climber and guide include over 70 high altitude peaks as well as difficult first ascent rock and ice climbs and hundreds of multi-pitch rock and alpine routes around the world.

Jon has been dedicated to wilderness education for three decades. Seeing a need for improved professional standards in guiding, Jon became actively involved in developing nationally recognized guide education programs. He has served multiple terms on the AMGA board of directors and as was the chair of the AMGA accreditation program for several years. He has strived to synthesize good concepts, challenge usual paradigms, and develop new ideas to raise guiding standards. From 1997 - 2006 Jon led the development of the AMGA Top Rope Site Manager program which was the precursor to the current AMGA Single Pitch Instructor program. He most recent project has been to co-found the Professional Climbing Instructors Association, an organization specifically committed to developing the technical and educational skills of climbing instructors. Jon is the owner of Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School.
Like many full time guides, Jon also maintains a second career. He is a flight paramedic with LifeFlight of Maine. Jon has been a paramedic for 25 years and his emergency work resume includes working for the National Park Service as a backcountry climbing ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park as well as working in numerous urban and rural medical care systems. Guiding Credentials

  • IFMGA Licensed International Mountain Guide (2006)
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide (1992)
  • AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide (2006)
  • AMGA Certified Alpine Guide (1997)
  • Education Director for Professional Climbing Instructors Association
    National Coordinator for Top Rope Site Manager Discipline (1998-2004)
  • Professional guide since 1983, climber since 1975
  • AMGA member since 1988
  • Registered Maine Guide
  • B.S. Parks and Forest Recreation with additional studies in education and emergency medicine
  • Founding Director Emeritus of Maine Bound, the University of Maine outdoor education program
  • Founding Director of the Professional Climbing Instructors Association and current PCIA Educational Director
  • American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education Level 2 Instructor
  • Served two terms on the Board of Directors for the American Mountain Guides Association
  • AMGA Instructor / Examiner 1997 - 2007
  • Served on the Board of Directors, Friends of Baxter State Park
  • Curriculum author, national program coordinator and instructor trainer for the former AMGA Top Rope Site Manager Course and Certification
  • Guided over 70 successful high altitude (over 18,000') mountaineering ascents
Medical / Rescue Credentials
  • National and State Licensed Paramedic 1988 - present.
  • Certified Flight Paramedic - LifeFlight of Maine
  • Critical Care Paramedic Certification, University of Maryland (1998 and 2010)
  • Lead Instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates 1986 - present
  • Formerly a mountain rescue climbing ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park and a rescue team member on Denali.
Presentations and Writing
  • Technical editor of Go Climb, published by Rock and Ice Magazine
  • Author of Climber's Guide to Clifton Crags
  • Wrote Winter Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel in Baxter State Park for the park authority.
  • Technical Rescue Standards for Maine Search and Rescue
  • Annual presentor at national and regional outdoor education and wilderness risk conferences
Education - B. S. in Forest Recreation with additional studies in Education and Natural Sciences



Silas Rossi
IFMGA/AMGA Fully Certified International Mountain Guide
Register Maine Guide, Recreation

11 years with AMGCS

Silas was first introduced to climbing by IFMGA guide Jon Tierney while a student at the University of Maine studying Parks, Recreation and Tourism in the late 90's. After getting a start leading student trips, Silas joined the Acadia Mountain Guides team in 2001. In those early days of climbing on the dramatic seaside cliffs of Acadia National Park, Silas realized his passion for outdoor adventure and has been making a living as a mountain guide ever since. Silas splits his guiding year between summer alpine rock in the Tetons and winters full of ice climbing and teaching avalanche courses in New Hampshire. Fall and spring are a mix of international destination trips (guiding and personal), teaching credit rock courses at Plymouth State University, and guiding in Acadia National Park and the Gunk’s.

“My goal is to provide adventurous people with new life experiences,” he says, “helping them push their limits both mentally and physically while effectively managing potential hazards. While there is inherent risk involved in climbing, a professional guide can minimize that risk while providing an environment that is conducive to learning.” In addition to extensive guiding throughout New England, Silas has also guided in many of the rock and ice climbing areas throughout the US, and several high altitude peaks in Ecuador. He has led mountaineering trips in the Northern Cascades, guided alpine rock in the High Sierra and Teton’s, as well as numerous trips to Red Rocks, NV. In 2009, he guided a successful summit of Carstenz Pyramid in New Guinea (one of the “7 summits”), and many successful trips on The Grand Teton. In addition to these venues, Silas has explored the Canadian Rockies and the Central Alaska Range in search of some of the world’s best ice climbing, as well as scoured Alaska’s Chugach and Roger’s Pass, British Columbia for trackless powder. Guiding Credentials
  • Recently elected AMGA Board of Director's member
  • IFMGA Licensed International Mountain Guide
  • AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
  • AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
  • PCIA Instructor Course Provider
  • AMGA Rock Discipline Instructor
  • AIARE Level 1 Course Leader
  • Registered Maine Guide, Recreation
Medical and Rescue Credentials
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Former President U. Maine High Angle Rescue Team

 



Peter Doucette
IFMGA/AMGA Fully Certified International Mountain Guide
11 years with AMGCS

Climbing is a thread that runs through many aspects of Peter's life, personal and professional. For Peter, good days out in the mountains, working or playing, are difficult to beat. Peter is passionate about moving well in the mountains, long alpine routes, elegant ski lines and being out in the weather. The cumulative effects of shorter climbs and single pitch discoveries have sharpened his abilities and made the big days more enjoyable. Recent ascents in Alaska, like Mount Foraker’s Fin Wall and the Moonflower Buttress on Mount Hunter opened his eyes to movement strategies in big terrain.

Professionalism as a guide has been important to Peter since he began his career working as a mountaineering instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School in 1998. Peter attended the University of Maine where he met and worked with IFMGA guide Jon Tierney. Beginning in 2001, Peter spent several seasons working in Acadia for Acadia Mountain Guides and now works occasionally doing specialty guiding for AMG.

Peter understood early on that there were many ways to approach the challenges inherent in mountainous terrain. Solid risk management means continually pursuing the best information and broadest skill set. These are the tools that allow him to climb and work in wild environments and terrain all over the world with confidence and efficiency. Informed climbing and guiding with the comfort, education, and objectives of his clients in mind give shape to the many forms that a guided day can take.

With the highest level of training and certification available, Peter is better able to set clients up for success while maximizing the margin of safety. Many clients have said he has made challenging climbs far more accessible than they ever imagined. There are a variety of techniques that can make your climbing objectives more enjoyable and attainable.

Guiding Credentials

  • AIARE Level I, II, III
  • AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide
  • AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Medical and Rescue Credentials - WMA Wilderness First Responder

Education - B.S. Secondary Education

 



Dick Chasse
AMGA Rock Guide Aspirant
PCIA Certified Lead Climbing Instructor

Registered Maine Guide, Recreation
5 years with AMGCS


Dick wanted to be a mountain guide since he was a teenager, after taking a leadership role in his high school outing club and job shadowing at a university outdoor program. A seminal ice climbing experience in Maine’s Grafton Notch sealed the deal, Dick became a man of the mountains. After developing as a climbing instructor for the University of Maine Outdoor Program, Dick began guiding for Acadia Mountain Guides in 1998.

Dick is a lifelong Mainer, hailing from the Waterville area. He now calls the coast and the Blue Hill peninsula home. He is not just a great guide, but also a well rounded human being. Dick grew up sailing and worked for many years on boats (not only can he climb any mast and tie any knot, he can also run a crane). Music has always been a large part of his life. He played violin for eleven years, and now studies classical and flamenco guitar. He and his wife built their own home, and have worked for many years to develop their gardens and grounds to the point where they are raising much of their own food. If you are lucky enough to be on one of his multi day back country trips, you will be eating very well.

Dick has guided and climbed throughout the US and in South America. Favorite routes include Wafer Step in Acadia National Park and Barren’s Direct on Katahdin in Maine, North Ridge Mt. Baker in Washington, Vulcan Cayambe in Ecuador, Damnation Gulley on Mt Washington in New Hampshire, and Dark Shadows in Red Rocks Nevada.  Embracing his Franco-American roots, Dick’s goals for the coming year include expanding Acadia Mountain Guide’s offerings in Quebec, especially in the Parc de la Gaspesie and surrounding area.

Dick’s specialty is the attention he devotes to his clients; he truly loves guiding. “I constantly find myself thinking about how to make the next experience better for my clients. I consider it an honor to take people out to the cliffs and mountains,” he says. “The wonderful secret of guiding is that I learn as much from my clients as they learn from me.”

Guiding Credentials
  • AMGA Rock Guide Aspirant
  • PCIA Lead Climbing Instructor
  • former AMGA Top Rope Site Manager
  • AMGA Rock Guides Course
  • AMGA Rock Instructor Course graduate
  • AMGA Alpine Guides Course graduate
  • AIARE Level 1, II, III Avalanche Certifications
  • Registered Maine Guide - Recreation

Medical Credentials

  • Wilderness First Responder






Ryan Howes
AMGA Certified Rock Instructor

Ryan Howes is a year-round professional guide working in Maine and New Hampshire. He strives to provide his guests with high quality and rewarding experiences and is known for his abundant energy, good cooking, tasty beverages, love for American poetry and all around healthy living. Ryan is an AMGA Certified Rock Instructor. He is a Certified Wilderness First Responder and has completed the Emergency Medical Technician-Basic course. Ryan is an active route developer, and crag steward for many local climbing areas. He has spent the past thirteen years becoming a human guidebook of Maine and New Hampshire's rock and ice climbing, and has been a member of the Lincoln High-Angle Search and Rescue Team since 2006. He has taught in college and university settings and for a variety of outdoor programs. He holds a Masters Degree in Education from Minnesota State University and Bachelor Degree in Adventure Education Leadership and Adventure Therapy from Unity College. Ryan is dedicated to your climbing education as well as his own. In the coming years he plans to continue training with the AMGA with the goal to obtain the coveted pin from the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association - the highest level of mountain guide certification in the world. No matter what objectives are on your mind Ryan looks forward to helping you reach for success. 

Guiding Credentials

  • AMGA Certified Rock Instructor
  • AMGA Alpine Guides Course
  • AMGA Ice Instructor Course
  • AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Course
  • Registered Maine Guide - Recreation
Medical and Rescue Credentials
  • Wilderness First Responder

Leave No Trace Trainer





Diana Grijalvi
PCIA Certified Lead Climbing Instructor
4 years with AMGCS


Diana fell in love with rock climbing ten years ago in New Mexico when she took a climbing class in college. She enjoys the wild places it brings her to and the associated community, sense of freedom and lifestyle that can go along with it.  Following college, Diana worked in an electronics lab and soon realized her calling to work outside and found a job in experiential education that allowed allowed her to work outdoors and still have plenty of time to travel and climb. For the past three years she has spent her winters climbing in beautiful places, spring and falls leading school trips in various national and state parks in California, and summers guiding in gorgeous Acadia National Park.

Guiding Credentials
  • PCIA Lead Climbing Instructor Certification
Medical and Rescue Credentials
  • WMA Wilderness First Responder
Education - B.S. in Astrophysics and Mathematics

 



Alex Scuterud
PCIA Certified Lead Climbing Instructor
3 years with AMGCS

Alex's first experience climbing was short and pointy. As a young boy he climbed about three feet and fell, landing on a pointy rock and, in a fit of tears, promising he would never climb again. Years later, after much convincing he tried climbing again at a gym in Stamford CT and discovered his love of climbing. Since then Alex has pursued the outdoors with a passion beginning with attending Outward Bound's Rocks XT course in North Carolina. Alex graduated from SUNY Adirondack where he served as a trip leader and president of the SUNY Adirondack ROCX club. Following university life, he moved to Maine to pursue an internship with Acadia Mountain Guides. Throughout his seven year climbing career he has climbed in many places including: New River Gorge, The Grand Canyon, Red Rocks, Adirondack mountains, Acadia National Park, Rumney New Hampshire and North Carolina. Alex is one who takes his work very seriously but you would never know it because he believes life should be fun and is often laughing around every corner.

Guiding Credentials

  • PCIA Single Pitch Climbing Instructor Certification
  • Project Adventure Level 2 Challenge Course Facilitator
  • PCIA Climbing Wall Instructor
Medical and Rescue Credentials - WMA Wilderness First Responder

Education - A..S. in Adventure Sports Leadership and Management

 





Eve Scofield
PCIA Certified Single Pitch Climbing Instructor
2 years with AMGCS

Eve Scofield hails from the midcoast area of Maine and loves to showcase the beauty of her homestate to visitors through climbing. She is a graduate of the Adventure Education program at Plymouth State College in New Hampshire. Besides rock climbing she is an avid whitewater paddler, ice climber and skier. She spent her winter skiing in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. She particularly enjoys working with families out on the rock and views this as a great way for families to grow together. Her climbing experience includes Rumney and the Cottonwood Canyons as well as throughout Maine. She is a PCIA certified Single Pitch Climbing Instructor.

Guiding Credentials

  • PCIA Single Pitch Climbing Instructor Certification
Medical and Rescue Credentials
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • National Ski Patrol Outdoor Emergency Care
  • AIARE Level 1 Avalanche Certification
Education - B.A. in Adventure Education






Ryan Campbell
AMGA Rock Instructor Course
PCIA Single Pitch Instructor
5 years with AMGCS

Ryan grew up in Denver, Colorado but did not find his passion for rock climbing until attendingDixie State College in southern Utah.   He began guiding in 2004 for the Auraria Campus Outdoor Adventure program in Denver, CO that serves the three institutions on that campus (Metropolitan State College of Denver, University of Colorado Denver, and the Community College of Denver).   After completing his BA at Metro in Tourism Operations he continued on to pursue his Masters degree from UCD in their Information and Learning Technology program and continued working with the Adventure program as a graduate assistant to the director.   Ryan is now an instructor for the Recreation Professions department at Metro State.

Ryan's first love is rock climbing, but has also guided ice climbing and canyoneering multi-day trips.   From learning to climb in local indoor gyms, Ryan now sets his sights on longer and longer trad routes. With Colorado's front range in his back yard, he has honed his rock skills on some of the most classic lines in the western US; from Eldorado Canyon, to the South Platte, Flatirons,   Boulder Canyon, and frequent trips to the Utah desert.

Ryan spent 3 years working the sea cliffs in Acadia and now works per diem for Acadia Mountain Guides in the Colorado Front Range and other western areas.

Guiding Credentials

  • AMGA Rock Instructor Course
  • PCIA Single Pitch Instructor

Medical Credentials - EMT Certified

Education

  • B. A. in Tourism Operations
  • M. A. in Information and Learning Technology

ELIZABETH WILDER
PCIA Certified Single Pitch Instructor
10 years with AMGCS

Libby is a native of central Maine and a third generation Maine Guide. She instructs top rope climbs and group programs. From 2001 through 2009 she was the operations director for the climbing school and outdoor retail store where she developed and managed websites along with managing and developing new programs and services for the guiding and retail operations. Libby Her first climbing experiences were as a child on the polished rocks of CarderRock, MD. More recently, Libby has traveled and climbed in New England, The Gunks, Quebec, Ecuador, Minnesota, Red Rocks, Rocky Mountain National Park, Thailand, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, and in several areas in the southeastern U.S.

Elizabeth has a B.S. in Botany. She is a former high school physics and chemistry teacher who has also run an adventure based alternative education program for at-risk high schoolers. Libby also instructed rock and ice climbing for the University of Maine. She is an ICU nurse and has been accepted into a CRNA Master's program in fall 2012. When she is not climbing, Libby enjoys playing the violin and working on her house she built in central Maine.

And if you are looking for great bouldering, she has it in her backyard. Read more about her in the Boston Globe.

Guiding Credentials

  • PCIA Lead Climbing Instructor Certification
  • B.S. in Botany
  • AMGA Rock Instructor Course
  • Registered Maine Guide, Recreation

Medical Credentials

  • RN, Intensive Care Unit
  • National and State Licensed Paramedic

Education

  • AS Nursing
  • B.S. Botany

 


In Memorium




Craig Luebben
1978 - 2009
Beloved father, husband, and friend.
AMGA Certified Rock Guide


Craig was one of America’s most known climbers and a guide for AMGCS in 2000 and 2001. Originally from the Front Range of Colorado, Craig climbed rock and ice extensively throughout the western U.S., Europe, China, and the Caribbean for over twenty years; he put up well over 100 first ascents in that time. Craig and school owner Jon Tierney attended college together and remained friends in subsequent years. In 2001 Craig invited Jon and Peter Doucette to accompany him to western China where they established several first ascent ice climbs.

Craig began instructing and guiding in 1981. Earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering, he was responsible for inventing Big Bros to protect off-widths cracks, and conducting research that revolutionized the placement of ice screws and greatly improved their safety.

An editor and prolific contributor of stories, photographs, and technical tips to Climbing and Rock and Ice magazines, the climbing world owes Craig a debt of thanks for his contributions.

Tragically, Craig passed from this life August 9, 2009 while climbing in the North Cascades when he was struck by ice and debris. He is greatly missed.

  • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
  • AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
  • Served two terms on the Board of Directors, American Mountain Guides Association
  • Technical rescue team volunteer on Denali
  • Author of several instructional climbing books including Advanced Rock Climbing, Knots For Climbers, How to Ice Climb, and Go Climb


A History of
Leading the way...

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is the preeminent leader in climbing instruction and guiding in Acadia and across Maine. We specialize in designing customized experiences or training for you, your family or your group.

Directed by internationally recognized IFMGA guide Jon Tierney who has been climbing in Acadia since 1982. Jon has over 30 years of local and worldwide experience. The IFMGA requires full AMGA certification as a rock, alpine and ski mountaineering guide.

All AMGCS instructors are certified by either the AMGA or the PCIA and all guides have been trained or certified by the AMGA.

• Since 1994 •
AMGCS is one of 30 AMGA accredited programs in the US and was one of the earliest to achieve accreditation.

AMGCS is the only climbing school in Maine to remain continuously accredited by the AMGA for eighteen years - several years longer than any other local service. We have had one or more full time AMGA certified rock instructors or rock guides on staff each year since 1994 - sixteen years more than any other local school.

• Since 2007 •
AMGCS has the distinction of also being accredited to the highest standards of the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. The PCIA requires all staff to be individually trained and certified.

Experience the difference.
Reach your peak with Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School.

 

 

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