Press Kit

Climbers love to "rock on" in Mt Washington Valley, NH

News from Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce - updated Feb 18, 2020

Contact:  Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331,


Mt Washington Valley is one of New England’s premier ice and rock climbing destinations

North Conway, NH - Chances are you’ll hear from a number of climbers that North Conway, NH is one of the rock climbing meccas of the East…perhaps of the country.  It could be said that mountain exploration in the United States got its earliest start when Mt. Washington was climbed by Darby Field as early as 1642, and the Appalachian Mountain Club was formed in 1878, the first of its kind outdoor club in the country. Since that time, Mt Washington Valley, NH – located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with North Conway in its center,  has been considered a climbing destination for rock and ice climbers seeking the challenge of the cliffs and ledges found here.  It’s the incredible amount of great climbs and terrain, along with a wide range of outfitters that draw climbers here.

 With the opening of Eastern Mountain Sports Store and Climbing School, staffed mostly by climbers, North Conway shot to on to the radar of serious climbers.   Later, with the addition of International Mountain Equipment and Climbing School plus gear manufacturers, Ragged Mountain Equipment, added with the popular terrain for climbers, Mt Washington Valley quickly rose to the top of easily accessible New England destinations with an infrastructure to support the climbing community. Just last  year, REI Co-op opened its first-of-a-kind experiential retail shop in North Conway, mostly because of its reputation for outdoor adventure lovers.  For three years in a row USA Today’s 10Best has named North Conway among the top small towns for adventure in the US.   So much so that for the past 27 years, avid ice and rock climbers have gathered each year in Mt Washington Valley for the annual “Ice Fest” considered by many to be the premier ice climbing event in the country.  Ice Fest 2020 was held in early February attracting avid climbers and “chicks with picks” from throughout the country.

Beyond the exceptional and accessible terrain offered to rock and ice climbers, Mt Washington Valley’s outfitters, guides, climbing schools and events offer up the ideal infrastructure for everything climbers need.  From advice and workshops to technical clothing and gear, the Valley is Mecca for everyone from beginner to serious climbers.  If it has to do with climbing, you’ll find it in Mt Washington Valley, unlike just about any other destination in the country.  Climbers will even find among the largest consignment retailers and new this year, climbing rental options, in the country.

What will climbers seeking the challenge of the belay find in Mt Washington Valley? Read about the outfitters, climbing schools, guiding services and retailers all located in Mt Washington Valley.

Eastern Mountain Sports & Climbing School, North Conway, NH: Offering up everything one needs for outdoor adventure since 1968, EMS in unique in that everything one needs is under one roof from gear to instruction to plenty of friendly advice.  Group and private lessons, guided adventures and all the gear to either buy or rent are all found here.  Need a pair of shoes? You’ll find them at the EMS store in North Conway, then try them out on the climbing wall found within the store.  EMS offers everything from climbing to kayaking, paddleboarding, hiking and skiing programs all managed from their North Conway store.  And when it comes to gear, it’s here from prepared meals to glasses, apparel, and footwear to highly technical equipment.  Info:

International Mountain Climbing School, North Conway, NH: For over 30 years International Mountain Equipment (IME) and its instructors have offered comprehensive climbing programs in Mt Washington Valley. The certified guides are also world renowned climbers and mountaineers, and among the most well respected climbers in the country. From technical climbing to beginner, the International Mountain Climbing School is focused on the hard core climber.  Their retail store includes a large consignment store where climbers can buy and sell gear too. Their motto, “We climb with All Ages, All Abilities, All the time”. The International Mountain Climbing School hosts and coordinates the annual Ice Fest for climbers. Info:

REI Co-op, North Conway, NH: REI Co-op opened its first store in New Hampshire in September, 2019, bringing quality outdoor gear, expertise and experiences for the region’s most popular activities in North Conway and the surrounding region. In addition to being the first store in-state, the nearly 25,000 square-foot space at Settlers Crossing is also be the co-op’s first-ever outdoor experience center, offering expansive gear rentals, high-end equipment demos and guided outdoor experiences for the millions of visitors that adventure in the region every year.  Sign up for anything from ice and rock climbing workshops to moonlight hikes and you’ll find not only experienced guides and teachers but also all the equipment you need in one great store.  

Ragged Mountain Equipment, Intervale, NH: Here’s where you’ll find plenty of outdoor equipment and clothing for active adventures specializing in everything from climbing to back country apparel. You’ll find their own "Ragged Mountain Brand" clothing made on site and available through the retail store here.  Home to the headquarters of the Mt Washington Valley Ski Touring and Snowshoe Center, you get everything from trail passes to snowshoes here. 

Northeast Mountaineering &, Glen, NH: Northeast Mountaineering, is a full-service mountain guiding outfitter leading both group and private trips in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and beyond. Northeast Mountaineering got its start in 2011 guiding local mountain adventures in the White Mountains. Since then, the business has expanded their guiding services to the North Cascades and Mount Rainer, Ecuador, Nepal and other locations around the world. Northeast Mountaineering is founded on the ethics of responsible travel in the backcountry and our guides are dedicated to safe practices. This was the inspiration for their establishment of, a new website bringing online hiking and climbing rentals to the Mt Washington Valley and White Mountains of New Hampshire. The website’s goal is to provide the mandatory gear and resources to help educate and outfit those wishing to safely recreate in the White Mountains during winter. offers high-quality, brand name items for rent at a reasonable price from its location in Glen, NH. Info: and

Redline Guiding, Intervale, NH:  New on the Mt Washington Valley scene, and founded in 2016, Redline Guiding LLC is the brainchild of husband and wife team: Mike and Barb Cherim. This company differentiates itself from other guide services by offering low-key outdoor adventures and educational experiences  geared toward those newer to these outdoor activities — those who may be less sure and less confident. Hiking, snowshoeing, backpacking and mountaineering The aim is to increase confidence, while at the same time offering adventures to those more in-the-know who really want to up their game or learn new skills. A number of half day/shorter 3-4 hour sessions(which may be mixed and matched) can be chosen, in addition to the more standard 6-8 hour to full-day offerings. Redline guiding can also provide all of the gear with the exception of personal clothing. This includes food and water. Info:


AMC Highland Lodge & Joe Dodge Lodge, Crawford Notch & Pinkham Notch:  Both operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) both of these lodging facilities are popular with climbers and hikers.  You’ll often find guided hikes or climbs and other workshops taking place here.  In addition, those stay at the AMC’s Highland Lodge can visit the Gear Room and borrow everything from apparel to technical gear, free of charge for guests.  Info:


For more information on adventure and vacation planning in Mt Washington Valley, go to or call 800-DO-SEE-NH (800-367-3364).  To learn more about rock climbing and other adventures in New Hampshire, go to


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Photos available.  Contact:  Marti Mayne at


Photo shown here credited to Dan Houde/

Specializing in Rock Climbing, Waterfall Rappelling, Ice Climbing and Mountaineering Adventures, professional mountain guides are here to guide you safely up and more importantly, back down. The company is founded on the ethics of safe and responsible travel in the untry.