Chris grew up in Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains before finding climbing while studying cinematography at New York University, and has been hooked ever since. After beginning his guiding career in 2006 with a move to the Pacific Northwest, Chris has climbed, guided, and skied across the world from the Western US to Alaska, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Nepal, Africa, Mexico, the Andes, and Canada. His climbing achievements include everything from Yosemite big walls to new routes and virgin summits, and his guiding career has taken him from Ouray to Denali, and up and down Mt. Hood too many times to count.
An avid first ascensionist, Chris has received the prestigious Mugs Stump and American Alpine Club Lyman Spitzer Cutting Edge Awards for his climbs in India and Nepal, where he made the first ascents of multiple routes on unclimbed peaks, including Pangbuk North (6,589m) via Purgation (VI WI6+ M6), which is also the title of a feature article published in the 2014 American Alpine Journal. That same year’s journal also includes a new route Chris and his partner Scott Adamson opened on the famed East Face of the Alaska’s Mooses Tooth, Terror (VI WI6 M7 R/X A2). In addition to climbs in the greater ranges, Chris has also climbed new routes from Oregon to Norway, and has made significant repeats of alpine classics, including a free-solo ascent of the Matterhorn North Face in only four hours and fifteen minutes, and guided ascents of the Matterhorn, the Mont Blanc, Grand Capucin and Aiguille Verte, among others.
He is easily excited by coffee, beer, and wine, and greasy food of any sort, especially Thai fried chicken.
– IFMGA Mountain Guide (93rd American), February 2014
– FA (route and peak) Southeast Face (V AI4 M5 5.8 A0, 3,400’), Shigrila (20,495’), Kulu, India, October 2016
– FA (route and peak) Love and Biscuits (III M3 85°, 2,500’), Lalsura (19,698’), Kulu, India, September 2016
– FA West Face Direct (VI M6 5.10 X A2+ 95°, 6,000’), Celeno Peak (13,395’), Saint Elias, AK May 2016
– FA (solo) Wish You Were Here (IV WI4 M6 A0, 1,400’), Abrahamstind, Lofoten Islands, Norway, February 2016
– FA Night Crosses the Crown (V WI4+ M6 R 2,500’), Vågakallen, Lofoten Islands, Norway, February 2015
– FA Daily Bread (III WI5 M6 1,200’), Falkfjorden, Lofoten Islands, Norway, March 2015
– Schmid Route (TD WI4 M5 4,200’), Onsight solo in 4 hours Hörnli to summit, Matterhorn, Switzerland, October 2014
– FA (route and peak) Purgation (VI WI6+ M6 3,600’), Pangbuk North (6,589m), Khumbu, Nepal, Oct 2013
– FA (route and peak) Open Fire (V WI5 M3 3,300’), Lunag West (6,507m), Khumbu, Nepal, October 2013
– FA Terror (VI WI6 M7 R/X A2 5,000’), Mooses Tooth, Alaska, April 2013
– FA Awesome Show, Great Job (III WI4+ M3 1,200’), Peak 5,777m, Nepal, October 2012
– North Selkirks Ski Traverse (9 days), Selkirk Mountains, Canada, May 2012
– FA (route and wall) Wright-Pond (III 5.11 R 800’), Cutthroat Creek Wall, WA, August 2010
– FA (route and peak) Ladies’ Couloir (III AI3+ 2,800’), Mantok II, Alaska, April 2010
– Ski descent of the North Face (55°, 6,300’), Pioneer Peak, Chugach, Alaska, May 2009
– Guided ascents up to 6,300m and Grade V/ED-, including the Grand Capucin, Trident du Tacul, Arête des Grands Montets, Liberty Crack, Denali, Chimborazo, Orizaba, the Spigolo Giallo on the Cime Piccolo di Lavaredo and more
– Guided ski descents and traverses including the Chamonix-Zermatt Haute Route and the first descent of the Utburdvassdalen in Norway’s Lofoten Islands
– Multiple repeats and first ascents throughout the US and abroad, including the FA’s of Burning Churches (5.12c), Smith Rock, OR and Ha Dov (M8 WI4+) and Ephemeral Cortex (WI5 M7) Ouray, CO, and Waiting (M9), Crag of Doom, OR
– Ascents of 5.12, M9, WI6+ and A3+
About IFMGA and AMGA Certification
Simply put, the IFMGA (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations) credential is the only mountain guiding credential that matters. It is not only the gold standard, it is the only standard.
IFMGA Mountain Guides are the only guides who have been trained and assessed to the international standard, which is administered in the United States by the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association). When you climb with a certified guide, you can be sure you’re going to receive the highest quality instruction on the most up-to-date techniques in the industry, and to climb with a partner whose safety and judgment have been intensely scrutinized. If you’re climbing with an IFMGA Mountain Guide, you’re climbing with a professional. Why trust your time and your life to anyone else?
Chris’s credentials also include a Level III Certification from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (which is the highest level of snow and avalanche safety education one can receive), as well as a Wilderness First Responder certification and a BFA in Film Production and Cinematography from the New York University Tisch School of the Arts. He is also not a bad cook, and can order a pint in a variety of languages.