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Guiding – An Adirondack Passion…

The art of guiding has existed in the Adirondacks for over a century and a half. In the late 1800’s guides such as “Old Mountain” Phelps and Bill Nye earned meager wages leading adventurous “summer folk” over the rarely visited summits of the Adirondack range. In the early 1900’s former Keene Valley resident John Case introduced European climbing techniques to the region. His protégés Jimmy Goodwin and Bob Notman along with world-renowned alpinist Fritz Wiessner, scoured the local countryside searching out the largest, most remote cliffs available. Their rock climbing explorations were the forerunner of what today has blossomed into an Adirondack passion.

Today, with the increased popularity of technical climbing, Adirondack guides once again find themselves in high demand. While appearances and methods may have changed, a few key ingredients for successful guiding remain intact, those being a warm personality, a passion for what one teaches and a professional approach that insures a rewarding experience. At Rock and River, all guides are selected based on their expertise, local familiarity, friendliness and ability to teach. They take their profession seriously, are committed to excellence and proud of the line of work they have chosen. Simply put, they are the most important element of our business and we believe they are what truly sets us apart.

Matt Horner

Known at Rock and River as “Mr. Ice,” Matt has few peers once the cold stuff arrives. Talented and experienced, his ability to determine when climbs are safely in and more importantly, when not, is unmatched.
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Mark Scott

Mark was born and raised in the Adirondacks and with his family, grew up hiking and skiing throughout the region.
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Bill Dodd

Bill’s been guiding and climbing locally, well… longer than anyone can recollect! Noted for his purist approach and easy-going manner…
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Jeremy Haas

Co-author of the area’s climbing guide, Adirondack Rock, Jeremy’s best known for his patient, positive personality, a trait that makes him a hit with timid beginners as well as first-time leaders.
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Don Mellor

Don Mellor is a climber, teacher, writer, and guide who has spent most of his forty-plus years of climbing here in the Adirondacks. His resume ranges from multi-day ascents of the biggest rock walls in Yosemite to first ascents of ice routes in Newfoundland.
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Chad Kennedy

Chad is one of Rock and River’s three “native born” guides. Soft spoken, friendly and always professional, his designation as one of the few local AMGA certified guides demonstrates his strong commitment to his chosen profession.
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Jenny Mugrace

Born and raised just a few hours south of here, Jenny’s childhood was spent exploring the Adirondacks. Along the way she discovered her true passion in life – to spend as much time learning about and immersing herself within the natural environment.

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Jan Wellford

Jan’s knowledge of High Peaks trails is extensive, having hiked almost 900 high peaks summits, including seven rounds of the 46.

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