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Eddie grew up amongst the vast flatlands and sprawling metropolises of the Midwest, far from the mountains he now considers home. Snowboarding the 300-foot vertical reliefs around Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan provided him with the first taste of the alpine life. After graduating from Loyola University Chicago with a degree in Finance and Accounting, Eddie had set his sights on developing a career as a snowboard and outdoor adventure photographer. Before getting too far along that path, he joined some friends on a climbing trip to Kentucky’s Red River Gorge with the intent of spending the week shooting photos. Reluctantly, he tied in and was sent up on the sharp end. The obsession was born.

Colorado Mountain School guide Eddie Schoen leading a sport climb.It wasn’t long before he sold his camera and focused all of his free time on climbing. Soon after, life took Eddie out to New England where he fell into working at a public accounting firm. Over the eight or so years that followed, Eddie expanded his skills into all areas of climbing. What New England’s mountains lack in elevation, they make up for in difficult conditions, quality routes, and a diversity of styles. The passion for travelling through the mountains, in all seasons, on rock, ice, and snow became an ever-evolving pursuit. Eventually having landed at what once seemed like his dream job working for a major snowboard company, he seemed to have it all. Deep down though, he could sense that there was something more to life than a paycheck, a mortgage, and the two-day escape from the weekly grind.

A few more years passed as Eddie began to explore guiding as a weekend gig. Working in the mountains, sharing meaningful experiences with other people, managing the complexities of risk and logistics and physical demands of the job, Eddie felt entirely at ease and fully engaged with his job. Nothing else had provided this sense of fulfillment, not even his personal pursuits climbing and skiing in the mountains. Guiding, for Eddie, is a way to give back and follow a passion at the same time.

Eddie is an experienced climbing guide in both alpine and sub-alpine environments.If asked, he is hard-pressed to tell you his favorite type of climbing.  Struggling up hard routes, clipping bolts, and soaking up the sunshine is equally enjoyable as a full-value day seeking out adventurous ski descents while carrying a pack filled with climbing gear to get there. When he’s not out frolicking through the mountains you might find Eddie doing his best to be a coffee and beer snob, practicing yoga, or working on his next career as a country music rock star.

Now maintaining a full-time(ish) career as a professional mountain guide, Eddie splits his time between Colorado’s Front Range, Washington’s Cascades, and Wyoming’s Tetons. He is in pursuit of a full IFMGA Mountain Guide certification and is currently an Assistant Rock, Alpine, and Ski Guide through the American Mountain Guide’s Association.

Additionally, Eddie is a licensed EMT, AIARE avalanche course instructor, and has a Professional Level II avalanche certification.  He is the host of Mountain Sense, a monthly podcast focused on the lives and stories of mountain guides.  You can find out more about Eddie on his website and online journal.

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