Acadia Mountain Guide’s roots started in 1986 with the establishment of Alpenglow Adventure Sports. For the first couple of years, Alpenglow was a closet shop– not unlike the shoe and rope vendors of the early eighties that would show up at busy crags selling their wares. As the inventory and climbing community grew, space was rented from the Memorial Union at the University of Maine adjacent to the climbing gym and the “shop” began regular evening hours in conjunction with the climbing wall. The name Alpenglow represents diffuse light over mountains and was chosen because it represented a spiritual connection to high mountains.
In 1993, while on a trip to Ecuador, plans were laid to open a climbing school and to expand the retail-climbing store with locations in Bar Harbor and Orono. Acadia Mountain Guides, Inc. was formally incorporated in March of 1994 naming Jon Tierney, Liz Dunn, and Chris Damboise as the principals. All three owners were long-time climbers, friends and outdoor educators who worked feverishly over the spring to fully launch both companies.
From the very beginning, Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School sought to hire guides who appreciated and understood the importance of personal investment of time and money into formalized guide training and who wanted to continually improve professionally. Consider that as of 2018, over twenty-five guides who have been affiliated with Maine Bound or AMGCS have achieved Rock Instructor or higher level American Mountain Guide Association certifications. Standouts among these were Arthur Haines who, at the time of certification was the youngest certified rock guide in the United States. Other guides on this list include Chris Marks, Steve Nichipor, Mark Vermeal, Ryan Tetz, Kurt Hicks, Paul Haraf, Alexis Finley, Matt Wade, Eitan Green, Bart Paull, Danny Uhlmann, Uwe Schneider, Geoff Schellens, Marty Molitoris, Tom Kontos, Ryan Howes, Jeb Porter, Jon Tierney, Silas Rossi, Peter Doucette, Adam Butterfield, and Christian Helger (current AMGCS guide).
Over the years, Jon has taken full ownership of the company as Liz and Chris stepped down to pursue other interests. The shops in Bar Harbor and Orono are still providing quality outdoor equipment for the down-east area of Maine and we are guiding out thousands of enthusiastic climbers every year in all seasons. Come climb with us and see what it’s all about!