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...an AMGA accredited school with AMGA certified Top Rope Site Managers, Rock Instructors, Rock Guides, and Alpine Guides, and AMGA trained Ski Mountaineering Guides.

Maine's only AMGA accredited Climbing School!

About our Mountain Guides

Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School is a company of professional guides. Since our inception in 1993, we have encouraged formal training and evaluation of all our guides. 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 school has been consistently accredited by American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) since 1993. We required all of our guides to meet the terrain guidelines of the revised 2006 AMGA accreditation program. The revised accreditation standards differ from the past standards in that they require each individual guide to have experience, guide education and evaluation appropriate to the terrain they work on. In the past accreditation was a brief review of staffing, permits, field performance and insurance. However, of utmost importance to you are the training and experience of your personal guide who is the person tying into the other end of your rope!

Surprisingly, most U.S. guides have little formal guide education and only a handful are currently certified.

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 leads us to continually develop cutting edge ideas and techniques that improve the delivery of our instruction. Many of these ideas have become the foundation guide training. 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 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 Internationally Certified Guide
AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide
AMGA Certified Rock Guide
AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
National Coordinator for Top Rope Site Manager Discipline (1998-2004)
AIARE Avalanche Education Instructor



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. Jon began climbing as a teenager in the mid 70's. With a passion for rock, snow, and ice, Jon's accomplishments as a climber and guide include several high altitude peaks as well as difficult first ascent rock climbs and hundreds of multi-pitch rock and alpine routes around the world.

Some of his favorite areas include the East Face of Long's Peak (the Diamond), Red Rocks, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Tetons, Rocky Mountains, Shawangunks, Lumpy Ridge, Denali (Mount McKinley), New Hampshire, Canadien Rockies, Bugaboos, Quebec, China, North Cascades, Venezuela, Ecuador, Mexico and Argentina as well as his home areas of Acadia, Clifton and Katahdin. He began guiding in 1983 and has been dedicated to wilderness education on a full-time basis since then. Seeing a need for improved professional standards in guiding, Jon became actively involved in developing nationally recognized guide education programs. He has served on the AMGA board of directors and is an accreditation reviewer for the AMGA and CGA climbing programs. For the past decade, he has strived to synthesize good concepts, challenge usual paradigms, and develop new ideas to raise guiding standards. He most recently developed a nationwide curriculum in top rope site management for the AMGA. Jon is the owner of Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School.

  • Professional guide since 1983, climber since 1975
  • American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) certified Rock Guide (1992), Alpine Guide (1997), Ski Mountaineering Guide (2006)
  • 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
  • AMGA Advanced Alpine Guide's Course (1995), Advanced Rock Guide's Course (1990), Ski Guide Course (2001), Ski Mountaineering Guides Course (2002)
  • American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education Instructor
  • Paramedic (since 1988) with additional training and experience in critical care and flight medicine
  • Wilderness First Responder and WEMT Instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates (since 1986)
  • Served two terms on the Board of Directors for the American Mountain Guides Association
  • Currently serves on the AMGA Technical Commitee and Top Rope Site Manager Advisory Commitee.
  • Currently serves on the Board of Directors, Friends of Baxter State Park
  • Accreditation examiner for Climbing Gym Association and American Mountain Guides Association
  • Curriculum author, national program coordinator and instructor trainer for the AMGA Top Rope Site Manager Course and Certification
  • Guided over 60 successful high altitude (over 18,000') mountaineering ascents
  • Conference presentor at national and regional outdoor education and wilderness risk conferences
  • Author of Rock Climber's Guide to Clifton, Maine
  • Author of Winter Mountaineering and Backcountry Travel in Baxter State Park
  • Co-author of Technical Rescue Standards for Maine Search and Rescue
  • Technical editor of Go Climb
  • Formerly a mountain rescue climbing ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park and a rescue team member on Denali.


SILAS ROSSI
AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Registered Maine Guide, Recreation

Silas began guiding in 2000 while a student at the University of Maine.   Since then, he has focused much of his energy on the pursuit of IFMGA Mountain Guide Certification.  While nothing gets him going like a long alpine route, Silas also thrives on the endless steep ice of Lake Willoughby and pointing his boards down a steep chute of fresh.

Silas has guided extensively in many of the rock climbing areas in Maine and New Hampshire, has guided several high-altitude peaks in Ecuador; including Cayambe, Cotopoxi, and Chimborazo, and has logged some 50+ days of guiding on Katahdin; ranging from technical rock routes, to winter ascents and backcountry skiing.  

Notable ascents include 44 hour ascent of the Moonflower Buttress on Mt. Hunter, Mount Rainier's Liberty Ridge, Forbidden Peak and Mt. Stuart in the Cascades; Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome in a single day and the N.E. Buttress of Higher Cathedral Rock in Yosemite; S.W. Face of Conness and Mt. Mendel in the Sierra, and Resolution Arete in Red Rock.

Additional ascents include climbs throughout New England, Quebec, Rockies, High Sierra, Northern Cascades, Red Rocks, Yosemite, and Ecuador, as well as ski descents in the Switzerland and France.  

  • B.S. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism
  • AMGA Individual Member
  • AMGA Rock Instructor Course
  • AMGA Advanced Rock Guides Course
  • AMGA Alpine Guides Course
  • AMGA Advanced Alpine Guides Course
  • AMGA Ski Guide Course
  • AIARE Level I, II, III Avalanc\he Courses
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Former President U. Maine High Angle Rescue Team
  • Leave No Trace Trainer





ELIZABETH WILDER
PC IA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

Registered Maine Guide, Recreation


Libby is a native of central Maine and a third generation Maine Guide. She instructs top rope climbs and group programs. She is also the lead instructor for the Rock Climbing and Adventure Camps. Her first climbing experiences were as a child on the polished rocks of CarderRock, MD. More recently, Libby has travelled and climbed in New England, The Gunks, Quebec, Ecuador, Minnesota, Red Rocks, Rocky Mountain National Park, Yosemite, and in several areas in the southeastern U.S. She is a former high school physics and chemistry teacher and has also run an adventure based alternative education program for at-risk high schoolers. Libby previously instructed rock and ice climbing for the University of Maine. When she is not climbing, Libby enjoys playing the violin and working on her house she built in Northern Maine. And if you are looking for great bouldering, she has it in her backyard. Read more about her in the Boston Globe

  • Wilderness First Responder
  • AIARE Level I Avalanche trained
  • B.S. in Botany
  • AMGA Top Rope Site Manager trained


RYAN CAMPBELL
AMGA Rock Instructor Course
PC IA Single Pitch Instructor
AMGA Top Rope Site Manager

Ryan grew up in Denver, Colorado but did not find his passion for rock climbing until attending Dixie 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.   After completing his masters in December he hopes to work as 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.

  • Associates Degree - Communications
  • BA in Tourism Operations
  • MA - Information and Learning Technology
  • EMT Certified

2007 GUIDES



MARIAN BIDDLE
AMGA Certified Top Rope Site Manager


Marian is an accomplished climber, with a climbing resume that spans the most renown climbing locations the United States has to offer. She received her bachelors degree in Adventure Education and Environmental Studies from
Prescott College . While at school she focused a good portion of her education on becoming a competent climber and became an AMGA certified Tope Rope Site Manager. During her time off from school she travels across the country stopping at good climbing, hiking, and mountain biking destinations. Marian has also worked for several outdoor organizations as a rock specialist, trip leader, raft guide, climbing wall instructor, and route setter in New Hampshire, California, Arizona, and Maine. 

  • Wilderness EMT

 




STEPHEN SMITH
AMGA Certified Top Rope Site Manager
AMGA Rock Instructor Course


Stephen started climbing on a family day trip with AMGCS many years ago and hasn't stopped climbing since.  He has been guiding with AMGCS since 2006.  He has also trained in Seneca Rocks and New River Gorge, WV.  He spends his free time climbing at Red River Gorge, KY, and has also enjoyed climbing in Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, and Colorado.  He is an Eagle Scout and worked as a climbing instructor at Boy Scout camps for three years, including Philmont Scout Ranch in 2005.  He also enjoys camping so much that he slept in a primitive log cabin for three and a half years during high school.  He is pursuing his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at Cedarville University in Ohio.

  • EMT
  • Eagle Scout


PER DIEM GUIDE STAFF

PETER DOUCETTE
AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Peter Doucette has been guiding since 2001 for Acadia Moutain Guides. Peter grew up within a stones throw (okay, a big one) of Cannon Cliff in New Hampshire and began climbing vigorously while a high-school student at the White Mountain School several years ago. Peter then worked as a mountaineering instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for three summers and as a rock and ice climbing instructor at the University of Maine under the mentorship of then program director Jon Tierney, owner of Acadia Mountain Guides.

Peter excels on steep ice but is equally at home on hard rock climbs and steep ski descents. He has climbed extensively in New England and traveled to many of the climbing and mountaineering hotspots in the western U.S and Canada as well as the Dolomites in Italy. Peter has notable ascents of routes ice routes such as Polar Circus and the Weeping Wall in Canada and, along with fellow AMGCS guides Craig Luebben and Jon Tierney, established several first ascent ice climbs in western China in 2001. Peter has also guided several ascents of high altitude peaks in Ecuador including Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Illiniza Sur and Antisana.

During the past year, Peter spent much of his time between guiding climbing and skiing in the western U.S. completing several noteworthy ascents including: Mount Rainier's challenging Liberty Ridge, Liberty Bell Crack, Mt. Shuksan, Forbidden Peak and Mt. Stuart in the Cascades; South Face Washington Column, Regular Northwest Face of Half Dome in a single day, and the East Buttress of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park; and Journey Home IV in Colorado's Black Canyon.

  • Wilderness First Responder                 
  • AIARE Level II and   III Avalanche trained
  • AMGA Rock Instructor Course
  • AMGA Rock Guide Course
  • NOLS Mountaineering Instructor
  • AMGA Advanced Alpine Guide Course
  • AMGA Ski Guide Course            



ALDEN STRONG


Alden has been with Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School since 1994. He began climbing in the late eighties while attending classes at the University of Maine and it rapidly became a passion he could not let go of! A resident of Mount Desert Island, Alden subsequently returned home to guide for us on his favorite crags during the summer months. Alden finally came to his senses and started ice climbing as well – a sport he had passed up for too long. After guiding full time for twelve seasons, Alden now spends much of the year in Antartica and guides periodically when he returns home.

  • Professional guide since 1993
  • B.A. in Political Science
  • B.S. in Natural Resources
  • SOLO Advanced Leadership Class
  • AMGA Rock Instructor Course
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • Personal rock climbs throughout the U.S. at too many locations to list.





ARTHUR HAINES
AMGA Certified Rock Guide


An exceptional botanist as well as guide, Arthur is the author of The Flora of Maine. Arthur began climbing in 1989 and guiding in 1993. He particularly enjoys climbing winter mixed routes and has established notable first ascents in NH and Newfoundland.

  • Professional guide since 1993
  • Wilderness First Responder
  • AIARE Level II Avalanche trained
  • USMGA Endorsed Rock Guide
  • formerly a rock and ice guide for International Mountain Climbing School
  • AMGA Rock Instructor Course and Advanced Rock Guide's Course
  • formerly served on AMGA Top Rope Advisory Committee and instructed Top Rope Site Manager Course
  • B.S. in Wildlife Biology, M.S. in Botany
  • Extensive climbing and guiding in New England, Newfoundland, Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, Ecuador and Peru.





TOM KONTOS
AMGA Certified Rock Instructor


Tom has guided for us for about a decade, but is currently serving our country in Iraq. Tom, a native of the green mountain state, began climbing in the mid-eighties and guiding in 1991. He has guided for the University of Maine outdoor program, Green Mountain Guides Climbing School, Earth Treks Climbing Center, and the U.S. Army Mountaineering center. He has guided several high altitude mountaineering trips to Ecuador and Peru. Tom’s personal climbing spans the U.S. and includes several ascents in Scotland.

  • AIARE Level 1 and 2 Avalanche training
  • AMGA Advanced Guides Course
  • Wilderness First Responder





CRAIG LUEBBEN
AMGA Certified Rock Guide
AMGA Certified Alpine Guide


Craig is one of America’s most known climbers and a guest guide for AMGCS. Craig is from the Front Range of Colorado and guides on a per diem basis. Craig has climbed rock and ice extensively throughout the western U.S., Europe and the Caribbean for the past twenty years; he has put up well over 100 first ascents in that time. Craig began instructing and guiding in 1981. He earned a degree in Mechanical Engineering and invented Big Bros to protect off-widths cracks (he has climbed 5.12 off-widths with them). He also conducted research that revolutionized the placement of protection while ice climbing. He has also been an editor and a prolific contributor of stories, photographs and technical tips to Climbing and Rock and Ice magazines. Craig recently returned from his third trip to China where he, Jon, and Pete established several first ascent ice climbs.

  • Wilderness First Responder
  • 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


 

WALLY ARCHER
AMGA Certified Top Rope Site Manager
Registered Maine Guide

With a love for the outdoors and a passion for teaching, Wally is returning for his fourth season with AMGCS.   Wally has led the Rock Climbing and Adventure camps, guides top rope programs and has led many winter Katahdin ascents.   He is a former climbing and kayaking instructor for the University of Maine outdoor program.   Wally's personal climbing endeavors have brought him to Alaska, Equador, Yosemite, Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, Moab, the Gunks, Lake Willoughby and throughout Maine and New Hampshire.  

  • Wilderness First Responder
  • AIARE Level I Avalanche trained
  • AMGA Associate Member



 









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