Scarpa North America Blog

Tag Archives: Angela Hawse

Angela Hawse: Another summer guiding in the Tetons

Sep. 19th 2012

Angela Hawse is a jack of all trades. She has been guiding for over 25 years and is one of the most experienced female guides in the world. The current “AMGA Guide of the Year,” Hawse has been guiding in the Tetons in Wyoming this summer and took a bit of time out of her busy season to reflect on her time spent there.

Dominating the landscape, 7000 feet above the valley floor, the royal Grand Teton claims the attention of everyone passing through. This compact range packs a punch. It’s the youngest range in the Rockies, yet has some of the oldest rocks in North America. Thrust up boldly from the valley floor without foothills, it is one of the most stunning geological landscapes in the U.S. It teems with wildlife, coniferous forests and alpine meadows chocked full of wildflowers. This Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is the one of the healthiest and intact remaining on our planet. Grizzly bears on down the line to pine martens, pikas and peregrines are all present. Well above tree line, small glaciers are shadowed by summits that make up the brunt of the range with some the most unique alpine rock anywhere: The Grand, Middle and South Tetons, Mt. Moran, Mt. Owen and Teewinot.

For 12 seasons I’ve had the privilege of guiding here with Exum Mountain Guides.  I look forward to it every summer and it never gets old or seems routine. The diversity of climbing in the range, good friends in a solid guiding community combined with frequent encounters with creatures large and small make everyday unparalleled. My guests range from experienced folks I’ve climbed with for many seasons to walk-ins that see the Grand for the first time and feel that unexplainable need to climb it.

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SCARPA Sponsors OuterLocal Games in Jackson, Wyoming this weekend

Jul. 3rd 2012

The Outerlocal Summer Games in Jackson are heating up right along with the weather in Wyoming. Taking place this weekend, on Saturday July 7, the first-inaugural OuterLocal games will take place at the newly constructed Teton Boulder Park at the base of Snow King Mountain – the unofficial in-town activity center in Jackson Hole. On any given day in the summer, you’ll see climbers (at the Boulder Park), hikers, runners, mountain bikers and paragliders, and perhaps the occasional unicyclist.

So, in honor of all you can do on Snow King, the OuterLocal games will include competitive events in bouldering, mountain biking, paragliding and trail running (sorry unicyclists), and there will also be some 20 free clinics throughout the day.

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Angela Hawse: 21st Century Renaissance Woman

Feb. 7th 2012

San Juan Mountains. Photo: Jeff Cricco

SCARPA-sponsored athlete Angela Hawse is the complete package. She’s a fully accredited mountain guide who’s at home on skis, rock and ice. In addition to having her advanced mountaineering credentials, she’s also an academic, a rock ’n roll fan, and a fund raiser. The Ridgeway, CO-based Hawse is in her prime, and we were lucky to have an audience with the climbing original.

You’ve been guiding for over two decades, and are the 6th American woman to achieve full AMGA certification. How does it feel to be at the vanguard of female guiding?
It feels great to be doing what I love to do. It made me happy 25 years ago, and I still find incredible satisfaction with my work as a guide. At the vanguard of female climbing… well, that’s quite a statement! I’ve been guiding longer than most women, simply because I’ve stuck with it. There aren’t many women guides out there in the first place, not nearly enough. Often it seems after a decade or so, most women move on to something more sustainable for themselves. I am psyched to have found a career that suits me, makes me happy, that enables me to meet interesting people, and travel to remarkable places.

Achieving full IFMGA/AMGA Mountain Guide certification was a long-standing goal, and one I’m super proud to have accomplished. It was not easy. Being the recipient of this year’s AMGA Guide of the Year award was a huge honor, and I am humbled to be the second woman to receive that award. Kathy Cosley, my long-time mentor and friend was the first. I suppose I should raise my rates, if I am at the vanguard!

Exum Ridge of Grand Teton, Photo: Ace Kvale

You are the first woman instructor and examiner for the AMGA guide-training program, but you’ve also gotten your MA in International Mountain Conservation. Are the two a meeting of experience and academia?
My MA in International Mountain Conservation carries over to all my work in the mountains. I consider myself, and my role as a guide, to be a steward and ambassador of wild lands wherever I go, with humility. I work hard to impart a sense of respect, awe and responsibility to my guests and students through little lessons about the environment and LNT (leave no trace) practice everyday. It’s what every guide should be doing. Our mountains are precious. Teaching someone about geology, weather, snow physics or flora and fauna adds so much to their experience and goes a long way, well beyond their experience of just climbing or skiing.

On international expeditions, integrating cultural understanding and bridging the human experience in the mountains dissolves boundaries. I’m totally stoked to be working with aspiring guides. My outlook as a guide, and the opportunity to bring both a woman’s and a naturalist’s perspective to a predominately male profession, I believe, adds an invaluable perspective. Margaret Wheeler is the only other woman on the Team, and she is awesome. It’s really an honor to be on the AMGA Instructor Team working with the best of the best and training the next generation of guides.

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Two SCARPA team members earn IFMGA climbing and skiing certification

Nov. 22nd 2010

Last week, two of SCARPA’s team members received the highest recognition one can achieve in the world of mountain guides – they were certified in rock, alpine and snow by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations.

Huge congrats to both Caroline George and Angela Hawse, shown in this photo receiving their IFMGA pins last week from Herman Biner, President of the IFMGA.

Achieving certification at this level is daunting and committing, but it speaks to their love of the mountains and of mountain sports. As its says on the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA is the U.S. counterpart) list of folks who have received this certification, these people “can guide on any climbing and skiing terrain without limitation.”

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