Nate Emerson

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Nate has made a career of helping others in mountain sports. His approach is informed by an academic background in exercise science, a professional background in health, instruction, and guiding, and a lifelong desire to move skillfully through the wilderness. He is an advocate for proper preparation for mountain challenges, preferring being in a state of playfulness and freedom over flailing and suffering.

In high school and college, Nate raced in alpine skiing, working up to a few seasons in FIS slalom. Next, Nate self-coached through the marathon and ultramarathon progression, where he won the first 100 mile race he entered. He applied this training discipline to climbing and was able to quickly move into 5.13. Adding technical skill sets on top of an endurance base, he’s since climbed big walls in single pushes, and rope-soloed technical alpine traverses and linkups.

He is now based in Colorado where he guides regularly in the areas surrounding Aspen and Boulder and teaching alpine skiing with private clientele at Aspen Snowmass. Nate has successfully guided Denali, Aconcagua, Vinson, and the South Pole Last Degree. Guiding in the Tetons since 2005, he’s guided over 50 ascents of the Grand Teton, over 50 Grade III+ alpine rock routes, and dozens of high peaks. He’s guided over a dozen ascents each of Mt Rainier, Gannett Peak, and Granite Peak.

Always up for a tough-guy challenge, Nate has single-carried Denali while guiding, and walked to Aconcaguas Polish Direct without mules. Nate has also worked with junior athletes, coaches a youth climbing team, junior alpine racers, and Corbet’s Couloir, a youth freeride program.

Nate has a BS in Kinesiology from the University of Wisconsin. He also holds certifications as an AMGA Rock Guide and Level 3 Avalanche. He is a PSIA Level 3 Alpine Ski Certified Instructor. His interest in training led him to the NSCA CSCS certification, along the way gaining experience personal training in New York City and Boulder, CO.

He has also worked in corporate and small shop IT, OSHA compliance, and workplace safety programs. His combined experience in climbing, guiding, and IT has led him to some unique work opportunities: he’s managed guide teams for oil exploration in Oman’s Jebels, ran a SIPRE permafrost auger hanging over the Yukon River in a harness, and proofed Antarctic glacier travel routes using BAS  snowmobile roped glacier travel techniques with ground-penetrating radar.

Nate coaches primarily mountaineering and climbing athletes and was recruited by Uphill Athlete in early 2020.

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