Karen Bockel

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A longtime endurance athlete turned UIAGM mountain guide, Karen lives in Chamonix, France, the mecca of alpine climbing. She happily shares her passion for the mountains with climbers and skiers of all backgrounds, including instructing guide courses for the American Mountain Guide Association and teaching the recyclage for the French mountain guides.

Karen grew up in Germany and raced in long distance track events and cross country as a junior. She ran in the cross country world championships as a member of the German National team. She competed for the University of Arkansas collegiate team while she studied atomic and Laser Physics.
During Graduate School at Colorado State University, Karen still had her fitness and competitive spirit and fell in love with road biking. Soon after, she started racing on the North American pro circuit for a team based in Montreal as well as for the German National team, participating in the world championships in Hamilton, Canada in 2004.

At the same time, the call of the mountains became stronger and stronger, and Karen left graduate school for a life in the mountains in Telluride, Colorado. She traded her bike for a pair of touring skis and after a few years of racing on the ski mountaineering circuit, she began ski patrolling and started guiding expeditions on Denali in Alaska in 2009. The childhood dream of mountain guiding became reality. From multiple summits on Denali, heli-skiing in Valdez, Haute Route ski touring, rock climbing in desert Southwest, to alpine peaks in the North Cascades and the Mont-Blanc, Karen guides year-round. Since becoming an IFMGA certified mountain guide in 2017, she has been sharing her time between the Alps and the US.

She is excited to combine her endurance training past with her knowledge and wisdom of the big mountains as a coach for Uphill Athlete.

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