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Climbing on rock and ice, teaching this technical craft, guiding full-value adventures, pushing your limits and recording the experience - this is what I LOVE.
High above Lake Megunticook in the Camden Hills State Park
My partner Joe and I have climbed with Ryan for 3 winters and have had an excellent ice climbing experience each time. Climbing with Ryan is like climbing with an old friend. We joke and carry on, all the while learning new techniques and climbing some incredible ice. Besides Ryan’s great personality, the best part is you have the adventure you want and feel totally secure that you are with a professional who will make sure you are as safe as possible. This gives you the confidence to push your limits as far as you can, making your trip even more fun. I have been rock climbing for over 40 years and have climbed with many different people and Ryan is a stand alone professional. We took up ice climbing 5 years ago and Ryan has helped us learn this new sport and exceed our expectations of what we could do. If you want to learn a new sport or get better at one you already enjoy, spend some time with Ryan. You’ll really be glad you did.
Outward Bound Professionals training day in Camden Hills State Park
I’ve worked with Ryan Howes for several years in New Hampshire, Connecticut and Maine climbing trips - he has even guided my kids (9-11yrs) for a “kids camp” which was epic! Ryan is experienced, safety conscious and a lot of fun to spend time with. He can lead you through easy trips (I’ve done with family) as well as some physical trips which were some of the most physically challenging of my career. On that score: if you are interested in an epic trip consider his Winter Katahdin Experience: snowmobiles, cross country skiing, ice climbing to the summit and home. The cabin experience was awesome and Ryan is a great chef as well.
Final day of Kids Climbing Camp
I’m not a technical climber. I had no idea what I was getting into. Just that we would be climbing Mount Katahdin. With the benefit of hindsight, I can say it was one of the best adventures I have ever taken. I’ve climbed Mt Kilimanjaro. Cold water scuba diving in Iceland. Etc. Ryan set the bar high and over-delivered. First and foremost, he understands and respects safety. That is mission number one. Next, he’s adept at discerning the climber’s skill level. Can that person be pushed but not pushed so hard that they don’t enjoy the overall experience. This is an art few master. Ryan makes this a priority. Finally, have a great time. Camping at night included 5 star meals by a fire. I was a bit sore when I came home. But, that was to be expected. We hit the top of Katahdin. A couple of days later jumped into a stream which was probably 40 degrees cold (not for very long I might add). Then, the next day did three technical climbs about 100 ft each, the most challenging being 5.8. Just don’t look down. Ryan is engaging. Great sense of humor. Smart. And focused. Finally, he makes it all look easy. If you want to push yourself, Ryan is your man.
First climb, first rappel
Can we invite him to dinner? One of the many wonderful quotes from one of our five teens who hiked with Ryan! Ryan was an outstanding climbing guide! He was personable, professional and fun. From the very beginning of researching climbing trips for our family vacation, he communicated well and politely, and in a timely manner. When we met to climb, he looked each family member in the eye and took a moment to get to know them. He communicated safety and climbing skills well. He was ALOT of fun! My crew wanted to climb with him again and have him over for dinner! Absolutely wonderful experience, so thankful we did it! Highly recommended!
Alpenglow light on Barrett's Cove Cliff after a day of climbing and caving with the Theodosopoulos Sisters
My friend and I went climbing with Ryan over Labor Day in Acadia. We had different levels of experience but Ryan did an incredible job at tailoring the day and make it both fun, challenging and rewarding for both of us. He also helped us feel that we all had something to contribute to the team as we tried different techniques and climbs throughout the day, and ultimately reached the top. I would recommend Northern Vertical to anyone looking to get their climbing to the next level in a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Ryan is very knowledgeable and enthusiastic at sharing his passion for climbing, and you will learn more than you expect from climbing with him!
Otter Cliffs, Sand Beach, The Beehive and The Atlantic Ocean - this is Acadia National Park!
I have known Ryan for over eight years. He has taught my entire family and their cousins how to rock climb. He is a patient teacher and very reassuring to everyone, regardless of their level of experience. I have traveled on guided trips with instructors in the western US (Rockies and Cascades), Europe, South America and Africa (Kilimanjaro) and without a doubt, Ryan is by far the best guide/teacher I have ever had the pleasure to work with. Yesterday, we combined rock climbing and caving and he taught 7 teenagers how to climb. Every one of them loved the experience. I am planning on a winter mountaineering trip with him with some friends and a mountaineering route up Mt Katahdin. He is a wonderful instructor and you will love the experience. Whether you are an expert climber or a novice or want to try something new like caving, Ryan is the man!