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OUTSIDE EDGE | Guided rock climbing in the White Mountains

Meteorologist Mallory Brooke went along for the climb where guides gave careful instruction, championed her to the top, and of course, kept safety first

NEW HAMPSHIRE, USA — On this week's Outside Edge, we're on the edge of a ledge in the White Mountains. Meteorologist Mallory Brooke teamed up with Northeast Mountaineering to guide her on this adventure

“This is what we do, all of us, this our passion, mountaineering, climbing, skiing, this is what we like to do, and all of us have tons of years doing it on our own, and many of us have many many years doing it professionally as guides," Sam Dyer, Lead Guide at Northeast Mountaineering, said.

Guides help you along the way with careful instruction, champion you all the way to the top, and of course keep safety first. There’s a rigorous certification and practice curriculum to become a guide, 

Dyer explained, “All the certifications teach us all the safety skills and rescue skills that we need to know, we all have wilderness medicine certifications, we’re all CPR certified."

Guides are also constantly recertifying to keep up with the latest information.

Sam Dyer and Doug Rosenberg led Brooke on three climbs on Square Ledge, an area of exposed rock located next to Wildcat Mountain off Route 16 in the White Mountains. They climbed The Standard Route, The Chimney, and Joe’s Place. Though Mallory had some climbing experience, you don’t necessarily need any to take part in guided climbing.

“A lot of the hikes around here are pretty short to get to the climbs, and we have a lot of options as far as abilities, and confidence levels, and that sort of stuff, we can really cater each trip to each individual's need and desires," Dyer said. You don't need to have any particular level of regular activity, and hikes into the climbing sites are about 20-30 minutes with some elevation gains.

Some that began with an introductory rock-climbing day, now go on destination trips with Northeast Mountaineering to places like the Cascades or even abroad to South America. 

"We’ll work you through all the way from total beginner, all the way up to you being component on your own so you can do this by yourself, we’ll take you the whole way," Dyer said. 

If you love the outdoors, a little bit of hard work, and being on the edge, a day of rock climbing is a must this summer. 

In addition, children 16 and under climb free with a paying parent for any rock climbing program throughout the entire summer.