Growing up in the shadow of Mt. Rainier in Seattle, Washington it was hard for Nate McKenzie to not get out and adventure. The majestic Cascade Mountains were like a playground for young Nate who credits his father for bringing him out hiking, climbing, and mountaineering. A corporate job moved Nate from Seattle to Connecticut in 2005, but his desire to spend more time in the outdoors was not being met. Finally, he decided to quit his job and spend six weeks traveling around Europe. By 2007 Nate was fully engulfed in the outdoor industry working as a climbing guide including owning and running his own rock and ice climbing guiding company Ascent Climbing.
This winter Nate has been one of maybe only a handful of people super psyched about the cold weather bearing down on Connecticut. All of these below normal temperatures means he can get out and do ice climbing in Connecticut. He’s accustomed to taking climbers to New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire to hit the ice but is thankful to get some ice time closer to home. Recently Nate was the program manager on a 20 athlete ice climbing trip with Paradox Sports in North Conway, NH. During the event Nate and others helped athletes with disabilities enjoy the sport of ice climbing. He says it is best to think of these athletes as diffabled (differently-abled) instead.
Spending time assisting Paradox Sports has led Nate on a journey to create a new chapter of Paradox Sports in Connecticut this spring. In April Nate will be putting on the first official Paradox Sports Connecticut adaptive climbing clinic at Prime Climb in Wallingford. The idea behind Paradox Sports Connecticut is to create local, regular adaptive meetups here in Connecticut. Paradox Sports Connecticut will work toward purchasing and supplying adaptive climbing gear that is accessible in Connecticut. They also will raise scholarship money for athletes to attend Paradox excursions and purchase their own adaptive equipment. Nate envisions inclusive climbing for abled body and diffabled athletes in our local gyms and out at the crags in the near future.
Along with taking on Paradox Sports Connecticut, Nate is also coming on board with us and Patagonia this spring for our Denali Outdoors programs. Look for Nate to be out on the trails with us, blogging, and even doing a special introduction to rock climbing for kids. We are excited to have Nate assisting us with Denali Outdoors and even more excited to be helping him with Paradox Sports Connecticut.
Quick Facts about Nate
– American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Certified Climbing Wall & Single Pitch Instructor
– USA Climbing Certified Coach & Route Setter
– Technical Adviser for Paradox Sports
– Board Member of the Ragged Mountain Foundation