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SEPTEMBER 22 - 24, 2023


Join us this fall in Richmond, VT and on the cliffs of Bolton for the fourth annual Vermont Climbing Festival. We’re planning a weekend of camping, climbing, workshops, clinics, competitions, speakers, music & more! All proceeds support the work of CRAG-VT to protect and preserve Vermont Climbing.

If you’re interested in getting involved in this year’s festival, contact Lauren and

Welcome Statement & Festival Values

The goal of the Vermont Climbing Festival is to have fun, share knowledge and build community. Regardless of intention, climbers can perpetuate an exclusive climbing culture that curtails accessibility. Many people feel unsafe or unwelcome in the climbing community due to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and other forms of bigotry. We believe in the Vermont climbing community’s ability to resist these forces and are committed to working to make the climbing community available to everyone. Please help us foster an inclusive experience at the Climbing Festival, we offer some ideas below: 

  • Welcome folks with a smile and openness to making new connections! 
  • Help nurture an inclusive and encouraging atmosphere.
  • Be respectful and supportive of everyone’s level of experience and skill.
  • Ask questions and share what you know — everyone can be a student and a mentor. 
  • Don’t be afraid to seek help. The CRAG-VT area on the deck is a resource for you.
  • Stay on designated roads & trails.
  • Respect wildlife and natural resources.
  • Follow land manager rules and closures, respect our neighbors.
  • Reach out to us if you have questions or ideas to support these efforts.

*Schedule still subject to change! Check back for more details.

Friday, September 22nd

  • 9 AM – 3 PM: Climbing Clinics
  • 3 – 6:30 PM Richmond Farmers’ Market
  • 5 – 8 PM: Festival Registration
  • 7:00 – 8:30 PM: Climber Social with CRAG-VT
  • 8:30 PM: Climber Story Hour & Campfire Hosted by Bill Patt0n

Saturday, September 23rd

  • 7:30 – 9AM: Festival Check-In
  • 7:30 – 9AM: Breakfast with Black Diamond 
  • 7:30 - 10AM: DEMO Gear
  • 8 - 9 AM: Yoga 
  • 8 - 9AM: Send It! Bootcamp
  • 9:30 AM - 3PM: Member Meet-up 
  • 9 AM - 3PM: Climbing Clinics
  • 9 AM - 4 PM: Black Barn Farm Bouldering Competition
  • 4 PM + Base Camp Workshops
    • 4 PM: Tree ID & LNT for climbers
    • 4 PM; Posture and Alignment
    • 4 PM: Introduction to Self-Rescue
    • 5PM – 7PM: Fest Art Screen Printing
    • 5 PM: Trail Design, Construction and Maintenance
    • 5 PM: Peregrine Falcons w/ Audubon Staff
    • 5 PM: Acro Yoga
    • 6 PM: Geology of Vermont Climbing Areas
    • 6 PM: The Practice of Establishing New Routes
    • 6 PM: Yoga for Climbers
  • 4 PM + Vendor Village
  • 7 PM: Keynote Speaker Maureen Beck, Presented by the North Face
  • 8 PM: Dyno Comp & Crack Wrestling Machine with DJ Kang AnAde
  • Raffle, Silent Auction, Games + More!

Sunday, September 24th

  • Coffee & Pastries Courtesy of Hacienda La Minita & Red Hen Bakery
  • 7:30 - 8:30 AM: Yoga 
  • 9 AM - 1 PM: CRAG-VT Stewardship Project
  • 9 AM - 3 PM: Climbing Clinics
  • Pre-Sale Weekend Pass: $50 for Participants, July 1 – August 1st.
  • Weekend Pass: $70 for participants ages 12+; children under 12 are free. This includes access to climbing competitions, workshops, The North Face Athlete Presentation, Music, revelry, story telling, & more! 10% off For CRAG-VT Members. Clinics sold separately.
  • Camping at Cochran’s Basecamp is BY DONATION
  • Clinics are not included in the weekend pass; prices range from $80 – $195; CRAG-VT members Receive a 10% Discount. Clinic participation requires purchase of a Festival Pass.
  • Clinics run Friday,Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 3pm, details are listed on the festival website.
  • Volunteers receive 100% off festival entrance for 4 hours during the fest! If you’re interested in helping out, FILL OUT THIS FORM !
  • COVID-19 Update: We are committed to a safe festival. Please do not attend if you are sick.  we reserve the right to change our COVID policy if the state of the pandemic changes as we approach the event.
Volunteers help bring the festival to life! If you’re interested in helping out during the festival, FILL OUT THIS FORM. Folks who give 4 hours of time during the festival get 100% off their registration, and folks who give 2 hours get 50% off. Registration costs will be reimbursed after volunteer shifts are complete. 
vendors, partners & sponsors
Are you interested in vending, offering a workshop, sponsoring, or being involved in some other way in the festival? if so, we’d love to hear about your idea! We’ve got lots of space for collaboration, just reach out to lauren at to get involved. 

Do I need to register to attend?

Sure do! Registration is required to attend and the number of participants is limited. We expect that the festival will sell out, so be sure to register early!

Are there scholarships or discounts?

Volunteers receive 100% off of their festival pass after completing 4 hours of volunteer (or 50% off for 2 hours) — plus, it’s fun to be a part of the show! If you’re interested in volunteering, fill out this form.

What isn’t included in the cost of registration?

Clinics, transportation, food and climbing equipment rentals are not included in the cost of registration.

Do I need to sign up separately for clinics?

Yes. Clinics are not included in the weekend pass; prices range from $80 – $195 and are discounted for CRAG-VT members. Clinic participation requires purchase of a Festival Pass. Clinics run Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 3pm, more details are listed on the festival website below! 

What is the refund policy?

This is a rain or shine event and festival passes are non-refundable. Clinic tickets are 75% refundable through September 1st. Clinic refunds are not available after September 1st. Should you be unable to attend your clinic and wish to sell your non-refundable clinic ticket, your ticket is transferable (transfer will not be complete until reviewed and approved by CRAG Vermont). If you do not show up for your clinic, you will not be given a refund. No refund once you have attended a clinic. To request a refund or transfer, email and festival organizers will give an initial response within 5 business days. Festival organizers may cancel a clinic for any reason. If the Festival cancels a clinic, your payment will be fully refunded. If clinic does not reach minimum participants required to take place the festival will cancel the clinic and give registrants the option for a full refund or to transfer into another clinic of equal value during the festival weekend (subject to availability). Clinics run rain or shine, unless otherwise decided by the guide.

What if it rains?

We get wet! (Probably). This is a rain or shine event, so dress appropriately and come with a great attitude to party down in the sun or the sprinkles. 

Camping is Free!

Camping is free for attendees at our festival basecamp at Cochran’s Ski Resort in Richmond, Vermont. Donations are very appreciated and support CRAG-VT’s work protecting VT rock climbing.

Kids 12 and Under are Free!

Festival entrance for children 12 and under is free!

Do I have to be an experience climber to attend?

Nope! We welcome to all abilities and skill levels and offer clinics that range from introduction to climbing and gym to crag, to more advanced classes for those with more experience!

Dogs - please leave them at home!

Unfortunately there are no dogs allowed at the festival; please leave the furry friends at home!

Is this a fundraiser?

It sure is! This is CRAG-VT’s largest annual fundraiser, and provides critical financial support for our work throughout the year. Learn more about what we do here.

What are your COVID precautions?

Safety and risk management are our priority, the guidelines below have been developed to help keep our community safe. Please understand that we are doing our best to balance the desire to hold a joyful community gathering with the continuously evolving challenge of COVID-19. Foremost, we ask all attendees to support one another’s decisions pertaining to personal safety. We retain the right to change our COVID policy if we deem it necessary per the state of the Pandemic.

Here are the guidelines that we ask all attendees to follow. Of course, we cannot guarantee anyone’s complete safety, and these are our attempts to reasonably mitigate risk. If the best course of action for you is to stay home, please do so.

  • Please stay home if you’re feeling sick or if you may have been exposed.
  • Mask up outdoors depending on your own comfort levels.
  • Full refunds are available for those who test positive for COVID-19 (this is the only instance where a refund will be issued)
North Face Speaker: Maureen Beck

Maureen (“Mo”) Beck downplays the difficulty of climbing at an elite level with one hand. She likens climbing to solving a puzzle and says every body shape and size solves the puzzle differently. Other climbers’ beta is generally useless to her, since she’s almost always forging her own route. When the puzzle was a 5.12 route in Boulder Canyon, Colorado, she spent more than 6 months—trying up to eight times a day—failing before she solved it. The solution involved jamming what she calls her “stump” into a crack about 2 inches wide and swinging her entire body over the rock to catch the next hold. It’s the perfect ending to the documentary “Stumped”, which chronicles Mo’s rise to five-time national champion and two-time world champion.

Growing up on the Maine coast, Mo—whose parents never used the word “disabled”—spent her childhood outside, but didn’t climb until the age of 12, when she was introduced to the sport through Girl Scouts. Immediately, she was buying books and magazines about climbing and saving her babysitting money to hire a guide in Acadia National Park to teach her basic skills. She invented techniques using a trial and error process, slowly (and sometimes painfully) learning out how to climb one-handed. She climbed the crags of New England before moving to Colorado in 2012. Despite a lack of adaptive categories at the time, Mo entered local climbing competitions to meet fellow climbers. When the first-ever national paraclimbing competition took place in Atlanta in 2014, she earned a spot on Team USA and traveled to Spain to earn a Paraclimbing World Championship title in 2014.

The 32-year-old chairs the USAC Paraclimbing Committee and through the nonprofit Paradox Sports, she spreads awareness of adaptive climbing and introduces differently abled people to climbing by providing adaptive climbing training at facilities across the country.


2018 Expedition and Summit of Lotus Flower Tower, Cirque of the Unclimbables, NWT CA
2018 IFSC Paraclimbing World Championship, Innsbruck, Austria – 3rd Place Female Upper Limb
2018 USA Paraclimbing National Championships Columbus, OH – 1st Place Female Upper Limb
2017 USA Paraclimbing National Championships Boston, MA – 1st Place Female Upper Limb
2017 IFSC Paraclimbing World Cup Edinburgh, Scotland – 1st Place in combined RP1, RP2
2016 IFSC World Championships, Paris France – World Champion, Women’s Upper Limb
2016 USA Paraclimbing National Championships Atlanta, GA – 1st Place Female Upper Limb, First Female Overall (tied)
2016 USA Climbing Adaptive Bouldering Championships Madison, WI – 1st Place Female Upper Limb, 1st Place Female Overall
2015 IFSC World Cup Sheffield, England – 3rd Place Female Upper Limb
2015 USA Paraclimbing Championsips Atlanta, GA – 1st Place Female Upper Limb, 3rd Female

in , on Saturday, September 21, 2019. (Michael Pronzato)


We will be hosting three competitions during the festival – the Black Barn Bouldering Comp will take place Saturday, September 24th from 9 AM – 5PM and is free for all attendees.
The Donny Wall Dyno Comp, presented by MetroRock Vermont and the Crack Wrestling Machine, will be rockin during the evening festivities on Saturday night. Prizes for winners and fun for all, more detailed info coming soon!
metrorock logo

Climbers’ Story Campfire

Join us at 8:30 on Friday evening of the festival for a moth-inspired story hour, hosted by local climbing legend and story teller, Bill Patton. E-mail Bill at to pre-register or for help in putting your story together!


Separate Clinic registration is required and spaces fill up quickly! Clinics will be offered Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the festival, and run from 9am – 3pm. Participants must have a weekend pass to register for a clinic and clinics cost between $80-$195 each (discounts for CRAG-VT Members!). Participants will meet at basecamp in the morning and head to their crags together (please carpool!). Bring your personal climbing gear, lunch, water, snacks, sunscreen, approach shoes, rain layer, and any additional equipment listed for your clinic with you! See below for specific clinic offerings!

Gym to Crag: Top Roping

So, you’ve been climbing for a bit and you’re ready to taking your gym skills outside? This clinic will teach you to set up a top-rope anchor and review key communication steps to ensure you and your belayers can feel just as comfortable as you do at the gym. This will include hiking around a cliff, safely building top rope anchors, and descending to get you and your partner on real rock. This clinic will also go over different types of belaying and equipment, outdoor etiquette, breaking down climbs, and moving around the crag safely.

Prerequisites: We recommend this class for experienced indoor climbers.

Sunday 9-3PM with Paul Brown

Size: 1:6 (guide : client) Price: $80 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Intro to Trad Climbing

Experience the purity of rock climbing and open up the rock world through learning to use traditional gear. You will learn how to climb cracks, lead belay, identify and place gear, build traditional anchors, and plan and execute a trad route. You’ll take steps into this new realm with a mock lead that will allow you to practice these skills while minimizing risk. This class is designed for climbers wanting to gain the skills necessary to lead trad climbs.

Prerequisites: We recommend this class for experienced sport lead climbers who have earned their Lead Belay status at an indoor climbing gym and a significant amount of climbing experience. Climbers who are very experienced in top-rope (5.9 or higher) may also enroll even if they have not done a sport-lead. Additional pre-req classes in building anchors or other technique classes serve as an excellent primer for this trad leading clinic.

Friday 9-3PM with Jack Templeton
Saturday 9-3PM with David Orbison

Size: 1:4 (guide : client) Price: $100 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Intro to Sport

Take your climbing to the next level as you gain the skills necessary to lead sport climbs outside! You will learn best practices for managing sport climbing gear, reading the rock to plan your ascent, setting up a sport climb, cleaning and lowering through a sport anchor, and rappelling. You will also be exposed to climbing etiquette and ethics so you can be a part of preserving the climbs you enjoy for generations to come. This will include cleaning and rappelling. 

Prerequisites: We recommend this class for experienced gym climbers or anyone interested in taking their climbing outside to the next level.

Saturday 9-3PM with Jack Templeton

Size: 1:6 (guide : client) Price: $80 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Rock Rescue

What if you need to rappel on a damaged rope? Or your rappel line gets stuck? Or you need to safely bail off a climb and don’t want to lose your whole rack? Worse yet, what if you need to descend with an incapacitated partner? Many climbers advance their climbing skills without considering the need to complement those skills with necessary problem-solving and rescue skills. Make sure you’re taking active steps to advance those skills together through participation in this clinic. Led by an IFMGA-certified guide with experience in rock, ice, and alpine environments, you’ll learn a variety of techniques for handling both common climbing problems and approaches for dealing with more advanced scenarios. The focus will be on building a solid set of rescue skills that you can then transfer across contexts. Climbing involves freedom—but with freedom comes responsibility —make sure you are taking active steps to become educated in self-rescue by participating in this clinic! 

Prerequisites: We recommend this class for climbers with a solid base of climbing experience. Must be able to cleanly follow or top-rope a 5.8 outside and a 5.9 at the gym. Experience with belaying is required, as is comfort with rappelling. Basic knowledge of the clove hitch, munter mule overhand, and friction hitches will be useful in maximizing your learning.

Saturday 9-3PM with Steve Charest
Sunday 9-3PM with David Orbson

Size: 1:4 (guide : client) Price: $100 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Women’s Intro to Outdoor Rock

If you’ve only climbed inside or you’re looking to explore rock climbing for the first time, and you identify as a woman, this is your opportunity to practice with a professional female identifying rock climbing instructor. Open to all women of all abilities! Learn tips and techniques that will work for a female body, introduce basic safety concepts and the role of the individual climber within the climbing system, how to climb for personal enjoyment and as a potential lifelong pursuit. This clinic will provide participants with an awareness of how to become a safe and responsible climber.

Saturday 9-3PM with Andrea Charest

Size: 1:6 (guide : client) Price: $80 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

LGBTQ+ Intro to Outdoor Rock

Learn the essential skills to climb outside, focusing on enjoying the sport of climbing in a safe and welcoming atmosphere for queer and trans climbers. In this clinic, participants will cover top rope setups, top rope belaying, building/cleaning anchors, tips for new leaders, and lead belay technique.

Friday 9-3PM with Kristen Fiore

Size: 1:4 (guide : client) Price: $80 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Financial Aid: Please fill out this form to apply for financial aid for this clinic

Multipitch Transitions

Already a rock climber, and maybe already climbing multi-pitch, but looking to hone in on those technical skills some more? Come learn ways to improve your efficiency in the multi-pitch setting both at the belay transitions and managing between a single and multi-rope system. From parallel to caterpillar and back to parallel, outside-inside-under at the belays, and stacking and flipping the pancake, or belaying two followers with two different devices are all ways to increase your efficiency while maintaining safety in multi-pitch terrain. Learn what these all mean during our day out on the rock!

Prerequisites: We recommend this course for climbers with a solid base of climbing experience. Must be able to cleanly follow or top-rope a 5.8 outside and a 5.9 at the gym. Experience with belaying is required, as is comfort with rappelling.

Friday 9-3PM with David Orbson
Sunday 9-3PM with Steve Charest

Size: 1:2 (guide : client) Price: $195 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Multi-Pitch Progression

A 2-day journey starting with climbers practicing the fundamentals of multi-pitch climbing on easier terrain, then taking it up a Notch and putting those skills to use on a harder and more committing climbs. This clinic will prepare you to climb in more complex areas, and push participants to expand your boundaries, while getting to climb on some of Vermont’s best classic routes.

This is a 2-day clinic*

Day 1: Saturday 9-3PM with Mischa Tourin
Day 2: Sunday 9-3PM with Mischa Tourin

Size: 1:2 (guide : client) Price: $375 

Adaptive Climbing Techniques and Paraclimbing

Guide: Andrea Charest

Description: Climbing is for everyone, including people with disabilities. This clinic will provide space for disabled people to learn about the systems and techniques available to experience the joys of climbing, including mental and physical strategies for planning and executing a climb and the use of adaptive climbing equipment. The clinic will be tailored to the participants’ access requirements with the goal of employing these techniques in a real outdoor setting. Friends, family, and aids are welcome to join this session to support or accompany adaptive climbers.

Prerequisites: We recommend this clinic for anyone with a disability who is interested in climbing. Equipment will be provided.

Minimum age for participants: 14

Sunday 9-3PM with Andrea Charest

Size: 1:4 (guide:clients) Price: $100 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Women’s Multipitch

In this clinic, professional female rock climbing instructor Andrea Charest will teach women how to safely climb multi-pitch routes. Participants will learn how to set up and break down anchors, belay leaders and followers, and efficiently manage ropes, gear, and people as you climb to the tops of some of Vermont’s best cliffs.

Prerequisites: We recommend this course for climbers with a solid base of climbing experience. Must be able to cleanly follow or top-rope a 5.8 outside and a 5.9 at the gym. Experience with belaying is required, as is comfort with rappelling.

Friday 9-3PM with Andrea Charest

Size: 1:2 (guide : client) Price: $195 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Climb a Classic

Follow on a classic route with one of our experienced guides. This will be a personalized adventure based on your own skill set and your hopes for climbing a Vermont gem, whether it’s a multi-pitch route or classic single pitches.

Prerequisites: We recommend this class for experienced climbers, top-rope or lead, who would like to experience climbing a long route with a guide. Must be able to follow or top-rope a 5.9 outside or cleanly top-rope a 5.10 at the gym. Must be able to tie a figure-eight knot and must be comfortable rappelling.

Friday 9-3PM with Steve Charest

Size: 1:2 (guide : client) Price: $195 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Trad is Fab: Queer+ Space for Intermediate Climbers

Let’s be honest, most affinity space clinics tend to focus on 101 skills and introductions to a sport. It makes sense, but this clinic is for climbers who are established in their knowledge as outdoor climbers and are looking to learn more about traditional climbing. We will cover traditional anchor building, how to use the many different kinds of traditional climbing gear, as well as the foundations of leading on traditional gear – both in the movement, belay techniques, and mental considerations.

This clinic is open to all people who identity as lgbtq+.

Prerequisites: Participants should come with an ability to lead moderate sport climbing terrain as well as lead belay competency. For questions about pre-requisite knowledge or curriculum, please feel free to email!

Saturday 9-3PM with Kristen Fiore

Size: 1:6 (guide : client) Price: $80 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Financial Aid: Please fill out this form to apply for financial aid for this clinic

Intro To Rock

The perfect course for beginner climbers with little or no outdoor experience that are looking to lay down the foundation needed for a lifetime of safe climbing adventures. You will learn the use of modern climbing equipment, how to belay, the ethics of climbing outdoors, as
well as climbing techniques to put into practice on real rock!

Prerequisites: Folks new to rock climbing

Saturday 9-3PM with Paul Brown

Size: 1:6 (guide : client) Price: $80 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

BIPOC Intro to Rock (Day 1)

Begin this 2-day clinic with a day of instruction, focusing on the skills needed to climb outside. Janel will adapt to the needs of the participants, including the basics of outdoor climbing, trad placement, ethics, and safety. This is an affinity space for BIPOC identifying climbers. This clinic is specific to BIPOC climbers to have space and meet other BIPOC climbers.

Participants can also choose to join for only one day of this 2-day clinic.

Saturday 9-3PM with Janel Rieger-Chavez

BIPOC Open Climb (Day 2) 
Solidify the skills learned on day 1 and get lots of climbing in! Janel will guide participants in their movement and technique, while hanging with and getting to know other BIPOC climbers. 

Participants can also choose to join for only one day of this 2-day clinic.

Sunday 9-3PM with Janel Rieger-Chavez
Size: 1:6 (guide : client) Price: $80/day (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Financial Aid: Please fill out this form to apply for financial aid for this clinic

Top Rope Soloing

The purpose of this clinic is to teach participants about top-rope solo systems, top-rope solo anchors, and self-rescue within the top-rope solo context. The goal of the clinic is for each person to leave with the requisite knowledge to top-rope solo independently of a guide or mentor. Students will receive professional instruction, have the opportunity to practice on their own, and gather guided and peer feedback on the top-rope solo skillset.
Skills that will be covered include, but are not limited to:
-Fundamentals of TRS Setups
-Requisite Knots and Hitches for TRS
-Recommended Equipment for TRS
-TRS Anchor Anchor Building
-TRS-Specific Hazard and Risk Management
-Self-Rescue in the TRS environment
-Example TRS Rigs, Independent Practice, Peer/Professional Feedback

Prerequisites: This clinic is best suited for climbers with a prior understanding of the basics of outdoor climbing, top-rope anchor building, and perhaps a multipitch route or two under their belt.

Saturday 9-3PM with Dylan Thomas

Size: 1:6 (guide : client) Price: $80 (CRAG members get a 10% discount)

Clinic Guides

Andrea Charest Guide
Andrea Charest

Andrea is the Co-Owner of Petra Cliffs Climbing Center & Mountaineering School in Burlington, and has been guiding rock climbing since the early 2000’s. Andrea enjoys every season as a rock and ice climbing and backcountry ski guide, and especially enjoys leading women’s programs that aim to empower women through climbing or skiing. When she’s not guiding or working in the gym… she is chasing after her pre-schooler, tending a small but wily garden, working with CRAG-VT as a Board Member and Mammut as an Athlete Ambassador, or climbing or skiing!

Guide courses/exams: AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Advanced Rock Guide Course & Aspirant Exam, Ice Instructor Course, Alpine Guide Course

David Orbson
David Osborn

AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor, Apprentice Rock Guide

Whether it’s rock, ice, glacier, or a big burly boulder, David absolutely loves to climb. The only thing David enjoys more than climbing himself is teaching others how to climb. Whether it’s helping others climb confidently and efficiently or teaching the principles of anchor building, David finds special joy in helping his clients experience those “a-ha” moments when everything suddenly clicks.

David’s passion for climbing and education has its roots in the Great Smokey Mountains of his home state, North Carolina, where his family nurtured a lifelong passion for education and exploring the beauty of nature, and he first cut his climbing teeth in the late 90s. Since then, David has worked as a professional sports photographer, a research analyst for the North Carolina State Senate, and earned advanced degrees and years of teaching experience from The University of Chicago.

David has climbed extensively throughout New England. He is especially familiar with the crags of Vermont and New Hampshire, where he spends every moment he can find pulling hard on crimps and honing his professional and technical skills to better serve his clients. In addition to New England and North Carolina, David has climbed across the country: in Nevada, California, Washington, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Pennsylvania, New York, and Virginia. He especially loves the golden sandstone of Eldorado Canyon, the glaciated peaks of the North Cascades, and the morning mists that rise from the valleys around Linville Gorge.

Dylan Thomas 1
Dylan Thomas

Dylan lives in Burlington and works as a guide for Petra Cliffs Mountaineering School. He has been an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor for 3 years and is currently taking the AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide Course, which will open up his scope of practice to multipitch terrain. Hard friction slab, thin face, and crack are Dylan’s favorite climbing styles, and he also loves to climb long moderate multipitch/alpine routes in venues like Cannon Cliff, Red Rocks, and the Adirondacks.

Dylan is openly gay and has a strong awareness of societal dynamics that impact people of marginalized identities, and makes an active effort to foster a caring, mutual, and welcoming learning environment when he guides and teaches. He is often described as “very chill.” Ultimately Dylan thinks of himself as a teacher more than a guide, and he wants his guests develop the skills they need to move freely through the mountains on their own.

Outside of climbing Dylan likes cats, trailrunning, music composition, reading, and scrolling on his phone on the couch for hours on end. His climbing goals are to send harder friction slabs, climb El Cap, and not break his foot in a slab fall again.

Jack Templeton

Jack is a 2020 graduate from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. He is pursuing the AMGA rock guide track and enjoys nothing more than getting outside to go climbing with people. Whether that be introducing someone to a new aspect of the sport or romping up a multi-pitch with a friend. The love he has for introducing someone to climbing comes from his love of outdoor education. His favorite part of outdoor education through climbing is how much it empowers people and puts them more in tune with their natural surroundings. 

He has experience climbing in places like the canyons of Colorado, Vedauwoo, Joshua Tree National Park, a little bit of bouldering in Yosemite (he’ll be back), New Hampshire, and of course Vermont. When Jack isn’t rock climbing he enjoys mountaineering, snowboarding, ice climbing, mountain biking, backpacking, and finding summer swimming holes. If you are ever looking for someone to climb with outdoors, don’t hesitate to ask him because he will most likely say yes. 

Janel Rieger-Chavez 1
Janel Rieger-Chavez

Janel Rieger-Chavez is a rock, ice, and alpine climber and has been guiding for 4 years. She is from the Otimi tribe of the Nahua nation and has ancestral line of women guiding and navigating the mountains in Mexico. She has been climbing for 8 years and her favorite style is ice climbing and crack climbing. She runs BIPOC clinics in locally and mentors aspiring alpinists to take their goals to big mountains. Her favorite area to climb is in the Cascades and Nevada. When she isn’t climbing or guiding, she teaches Engineering and Programming and enjoys hanging out with her 2 cats, Loki and Rocket.

Kristen Fiore

Kristen is a trans nonbinary climber and guide, Wilderness EMT, president of CRAG-VT, and has been an activist and educator LGBTQ+ circles for nearly 20 years. They believe that cliffs, boulders, and the outdoors are incredible spaces for belonging. Simultaneously, it’s the work of all in a community to proactively challenge the barriers that stand in the way of people feeling included and celebrated in outdoor spaces. She is a climbing coach at Petra Cliffs Mountaineering Center, and a full-time summer camp operator who is based in Burlington, VT.

Mischa Tourin 1
Mischa Tourin

Mischa (he/him) found his love for climbing 20 years ago when the Burlington Rock Gym opened in Essex and his father took him to climb Thin Air on Cathedral Ledge. Since then, Mischa has pursued a career in outdoor education and continued to climb in Vermont, out West and around the world. Mischa is certified as a AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and the founder of Sterling Mountain Guides. He is a Wilderness First Responder and a NOLS Outdoor Educator. When he’s not climbing, Mischa is a teacher. Mischa’s favorite climbing memories include learning trad in Red Rock Canyon, traversing granite alpine ridges in the Wind River Range, hand jamming in Indian Creek, projecting routes in Catalunya, Spain, and exploring alongside the wonderful community of climbers in Vermont.

Paul Brown 1
Paul Brown

Paul has been climbing for 40 years, and guiding / instructing for the past 30 years in New England and the Adirondacks. During his extended time in negotiating the vertical environment, Paul has had the good fortune to climb rock and ice in many corners of the U.S. including such places as the Tetons, Yosemite, and the granite cracks and sandstone spires of Utah, Arizona, and Colorado, amongst many others. Most of his climbing time has been spent thoroughly exploring the endless number of cliffs and mountains found all over New England and the Northeast. 

He is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor, and Wilderness First Responder.  

Paul spends much of his time when he is not climbing and guiding as a high school science teacher and outdoor educator. Some of his other interests include hiking, biking, skiing, paddling, gardening, fishing, and the endless tasks of working on a century-old farmhouse in northern Vermont.

Steve Charest 1
Steve Charest

Steve is Petra Cliffs’ co-owner, and Head Guide. He has been professionally guiding rock, ice, mountaineering, and ski mountaineering programs since 2001. Steve has a degree in Outdoor Education from Northern Vermont University and completed a NOLS Outdoor Educators Course for Mountaineering & Rock Climbing to kickstart his career as a mountain guide and educator.  

Steve is involved with the following organizations:

IFMGA Aspirant (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations)

AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association)

  • Certified Rock Guide
  • Certified Ski Guide
  • Certified Guides Co-Op Member
  • Climbing Wall Instructor Provider
  • Certified Single Pitch Instructor
  • Rock Guide Course
  • Advanced Rock Guide Course & Aspirant Exam
  • Alpine Guide Course
  • Ice Instructor Course
  • Advance Alpine Guide Course & Aspirant Exam
  • Ski Guide Course
  • Ski Mountaineering Guide Course & Aspirant Exam

AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education)

  • Level II Pro Avalanche Practitioner
  • Level I & II Lead Course Instructor

American Avalanche Association Pro Member

Steve has climbed extensively throughout the US & Canada, including Red Rocks, Yosemite, Mt Baker, Mt Shuksan, Grand Teton, Devil’s Tower, Indian Creek, Rocky Mountain National Park, Joshua Tree, Squamish B.C., Acadia Nat’l Park, Pemberton and locally in the Green Mts., White Mts., and Adirondacks. His favorite backcountry ski descents include the Super C Couloir (Portillo, Chile), Girls Mountain & the Worthington Glacier, (Valdez AK), Shoot the Moon Couloir (Teton Nat’l Park, WY), The Duchess (Tuckerman Ravine, NH), Katahdin, ME, Big Jay (Jay, VT), and a first descent of The Honeymoon Suite (Portillo, Chile).



After your day out climbing, come back to our basecamp to enjoy some Saturday afternoon workshops before the evening party. Schedule subject to change.


Wake Up & Slow Flow Yoga with Jenny Lowell | 8:00 AM
BYO Yoga Mat! 

Full Send Boot Camp with Tracy Lariviere of Mountain Girl Fitness| 8:00 AM
Full Send!! Bootcamp for people who climb. Are you ready to start cruising more crimps, sending heinous slopers, soaring through cracks, smashing the crux and flashing more routes? Come get a taste of how a proper fitness regime can elevate your probability of sending more and struggling less.

Tree ID & Leave No Trace for Climbers with Gene O. Desideraggio | 4:00 PM

 Posture & Alignment – How strength, mobility & positioning can improve your climbing with Julia Fuller | 4:00 PM

Introduction to Self-Rescue Ground School with Matt Bressler | 4:00 PM
Learn key techniques for partner rescue at the single pitch crag. Build self-reliance and practice skills to use when things don’t go as planned. Bring your personal equipment for practice. Pre-requisite: top rope and belay experience.

Trail Design, Construction & Maintenance with Lorne Currier & Demery Coppola of the Green Mountain Club | 5:00 PM
Appropriate hiking trails are essential for responsible access to Vermont’s numerous climbing areas. Attend this workshop with representatives of the Green Mountain Club to learn basic principles of trail design, construction and maintenance, gaining valuable knowledge and skills to improve access trails and routes.

Festival Artwork Screen Printing with Dylan Fant | 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Join Vermont Climbing Festival illustration artist Dylan Fant and screen-print your own copy of the festival poster this year. Dylan Fant is a freelance illustrator, screen printer, and graphic designer based in Richmond, Vermont. Inspired by the natural beauty of his surroundings and his passion for climbing, his artwork showcases intricate line-work, vibrant colors, and often evokes a sense of wonder for the natural world. With a diverse portfolio that includes gigposters, album covers, book illustrations, shirt graphics and logos – Dylan’s versatile style is greatly influenced by his experience in screen printing, utilizing texture, bold lines and a limited color palette.⁠

Peregrine Falcons and Climbers in Vermont with the Audubon Society | 5:00 PM
Learn about and discuss the history, behavior, and recovery of peregrines in Vermont, and how the climbing community can continue to support these amazing birds.

Acro Yoga with Becky Miller & Jeff Mandell | 6:00 PM
Come learn the fundamentals of AcroYoga, a dynamic way to build strength, flexibility, and coordination! If you enjoy being challenged in a social environment, give this class a go and you’ll be doing things you never thought you could!
Beginners welcome & no partner is needed!

Geology of Vermont Climbing Areas with Gene O. Desideraggio | 6:00 PM
Learn about the geology of Vermont climbing areas, play with hand-samples and learn about how your favorite climbing area were formed!

The Practice of Establishing New Routes with Travis Peckham | 6:00 PM

Yoga for Climbers with Heather Brown | 6:00 PM
BYO Yoga Mat! 


Wake Up & Slow Flow Yoga with Jenny Lowell | 8:00 AM
BYO Yoga Mat!


A huge thank you to our incredible sponsors. If you’re interested in learning about sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to us at
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