Since 2008, Doug Ferguson has been the owner and one of the head guides for Mountain Skills Climbing Guides. His company leads guided rock and ice climbing trips primarily to the Shawangunk (“Gunks”) and Catskill Mountains of New York.
Doug has climbed extensively throughout the United States, largely in the southeast (North Carolina, West Virginia and Tennessee) and since moving to New England, in the Adirondacks, the Gunks and the White and Green Mountains. He also volunteers weekly with the NYC Adaptive Climbing Clinic, teaching rock climbing to people with physical disabilities.
Growing up in Michigan, Doug skied competitively in high school and attended Kendall College of Art and Design. When he’s not climbing, Doug creates large canvas oil paintings and rustic furniture.
We scampered up to Doug to learn more about his climbing activities and find out what scares him.
I started rock climbing in the spring of 1997, through a friend I had met while I lived in Golden, CO. It made me realized I didn’t want to live my life working inside any longer. Which was the unrecognized thought at the time to start guiding professionally.
The scariest part about being a climbing guide is watching daily news about what is happening in the world.
I balance guiding and painting pretty easily. I climb or guide during the daytime and capture images of places I love or landscapes that inspire me. I put those images on canvas during the very early morning hours while the rest of the world sleeps.
I actually prefer ice climbing and Alpine climbing over rock climbing. I sweat more noticeably in the winter with all of the layers I wear. The water doesn’t have as easy of a way to escape clothing during the colder months.
The AMGA, Advanced Rock Guide Course I’m currently participating in Red Rocks, Nevada is an extremely technical and physical 10 day course in advanced techniques and applications of complicated accents and descents of 5th class terrain. I personally prepped for this course by guiding a ton, climbing a ton, practicing rescue scenarios and riding my road bike as much as possible.
Unleashed small dogs scare me.
Mt. Katahdin in the winter, Rock Guide Exam, Advanced Alpine Guides Course.