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Posted on: March 1, 2008
[Photo] Jed Workman collection
Jed Workman is a professional mountain guide operating in Alaska and Wyoming. Introduced to rock climbing in 1988 on the traprock of Ragged Mountain in Connecticut, Jed realized a natural connection. Skiing since age five, the University of Utah was a perfect fit, and Jed moved to Salt Lake City in 1990. Utah offered the "world's greatest snow" and more rock than you could shake a stick at.
Salt Lake was a well suited training ground, and soon Jed progressed to Indian Creek and Zion and Yosemite National Parks. With a job in the Black Diamond warehouse that was flexible, Jed had enough free time to travel and climb often. Jed found work at SAR in Yosemite for a couple of years, allowing him to extend his time climbing there. In 1998 he traveled to Alaska for his first visit and established a big wall first ascent on Mt. Nevermore in the Kichatna Mountains with his brother Doug. Then in 1999 Jed traveled to Pakistan where he established another big wall first ascent on Parhatt Brakk in the Charakusa Valley. In 2000 Jed traveled to China where he attempted a technical ascent on an unknown peak in the Kohk-Shal Mountains of the Tien Shan.
Jed's introduction to climbing and skiing had always involved a limited amount of instruction. Looking back Jed is amazed that he actually survived many of his outdoor experiences. Recognizing this, he saw a need for people to learn from experienced climbers and skiers and that education could make an enormous difference in the success of aspirant outdoor enthusiasts. This led Jed to instruct for the National Outdoor Leadership School and then later for Alaska Mountaineering School, Jackson Hole Mountain Guides and Valdez Heli-Ski Guides.
Jed met his partner, Allie Barker, working for NOLS. Allie's passion for a simple lifestyle was well suited to Jed's climbing-bum lifestyle and they purchased a small piece of land in Alaska. Currently Jed lives in the Matanuska Valley in a cabin he and his partner Allie have built with their chainsaw from their forested land. They survive on the sun's energy, a huge root cellared garden, caribou and moose. Their backyard is their playground and source of sustenance. When not at work, you can find Jed in Alaska bolting new sport routes, climbing ice and building enormous bonfires to pass the time with his backwoods neighbors. You may find him building a log scribe sauna, milling dimensional lumber with his chainsaw mill, or dragging logs from the woods on snow machine trails. You could also find him snow machine accessing ice or ski touring in Valdez. Other places you may find Jed and Allie are Ridgway, Colorado and Salt Lake City climbing ice and ski touring.
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