Press Kit

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

News from Mt Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce - October 9, 2016

Contact:  Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331,


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

North Conway, NH - 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 has been considered a climbing destination for rock and ice climbers seeking the challenge of the cliffs and ledges found 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.  So much so that for the past 24 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 2017 will be held February 3 – 5, 2017.

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 Flagship store in Settlers Crossing, 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:

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 full-day offerings. Redline guiding can also provide all of the gear with the exception of personal clothing. This includes food and water. Info:

IceFest 2017: The Mount Washington Valley Ice Fest will take place throughout Mt Washington Valley February 3-5, 2017.  Since its inception 24 years ago this event has been considered one of the premier climbing events in the country. As both a celebration of ice climbing and winter mountaineering and the people that make it a part of their lives, it continues to provide a great opportunity for climbers to network, socialize, try new gear and participate in multiple day courses, one-day technical clinics and privately guided climbs. The Mount Washington Valley is one of the finest waterfall ice climbing destinations in North America. Each year Ice Fest offers a variety of skills-based clinics and exciting slide shows with featured climbers and guides from the New England area and around the world.  Evenings are spent with presentation, jaw-dropping videos and plenty of time for networking and socializing among climbers.  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/