Synnott Mountain Guides has been privileged to climb with and provide climbing instruction to many people over the years. Photo: fresh snow while climbing Mount Washington on the Lion Head trail.
Thank you guys for an awesome experience. Steve was hands down top notch! We lookforward to going out with you guys again in the future.
Anthony V - FDNY Squad Co..1 out of Brooklyn, NY
Wow...our trip to Tuck's was the best skiing experience of our lives! First I want you to know how much Lindsay and I appreciated Joe as our guide, he was absolutely awesome. I believe that he is directly responsible for the amazing quality of our trip, he was friendly and extremely helpful. What I appreciated the most is that right from the start he treated as if we were old friends and not "client's." I honestly can say that Joe is accountable for making our trip a lifetime memory. Also I want you to know how much Lindsay and I appreciate how you went above and beyond to schedule our trip on such short notice. Without you and Synnott Mountain Guides Lindsay and I never would have been able to experience how amazing a place like Tuck's is. The trip was able to instill a passion for the backcountry and mountains in Lindsay and I that I know will lead us back time and again in years to come. I apologize for taking so long to write back to you but I wanted to be sure that I could devote the time to expressing how much we appreciated the trip and the new love for backcountry skiing that it started in us. I attached pictures from our trip and I look forward to setting up another trip with Synnott Mountain Guides in the future.
Max P and Lindsay D
I just wanted to let you know that my trip last Saturday was amazing! Scott was such a great guide. I had a awesome time and feel like a learned a lot. I will be doing more trips with you in the future!
Sara and I wanted to take a moment to thank you for guiding us on the most awesome trip ever. It's been a couple of weeks now and both of us are finding that our minds are still in the mountains. Your style of instruction and enthusiasm for being outdoors is wonderful. Neither of us would have any reservations about recommending you to others. Partnering us with Lou was great. He was a perfect match and it was a pleasure to climb with him. We look forward to continuing our journey and will hopefully see you again next winter for some more instruction We wish you success with your adventures!
Melora and Sara
Mark, I just want to say thank you for your efforts and to compliment your guides, Bob and Scott. They were both great to work with. Besides being knowledgable and technically skilled, they were great teachers and fun to be with. I would highly recommend both of them. Alec and I both had experiences that we will cherish.
If you're thinking about climbing Mt Rainier in 2011, the best place to get started is in the White Mountains of NH with a Rainier Prep course with Synnott Mountain Guides. I did a 3 day course with Synnott Mountain Guides in March 2010 and the training I got there helped me get to the top of Mt Rainier on June 29, 2010. Prime yourself for summit success on Rainier by training with Mark Synnott. You will be very glad you did!!
Lou K | New York, NY
Mark, just wanted to follow up with you regarding the beginners course I took on March 5th with Steve. The course was fantastic! My friend Dan and I loved every second of it, it was everything we expected and more. We felt safe, well instructed, and thanks to your gear list, well prepared. Thanks again, and thanks for getting us addicted to mountaineering! We may schedule something again next season with you to try a bit more of a challenge...maybe Washington?
Just when you think there's nothing new and fresh that you're willing (or able) to do, well, just for fun, try to take your hiking up a notch. After hiking Kilimanjaro, a group of us wanted a new challenge. With some reading, we concluded that we needed more "technical" experience in order to visit new heights. Our research lead us to Synnott Mountain Guides. Our decision was based on Mark's values (safety) and his extensive experience. Our satisfaction was based on his technical skills, his personality, his intelligence and his ability to teach us without us actually realizing that we were taking a course because we were simply just having a good time. Being conservative women ("middle-aged" bankers and accountants for Pete's sake), it was apparent to us that ice-climbing was not a rational activity. Certainly, not one that WE would ever engage in. After all, who in their right mind would climb something that is not there six months later? Well, to use two clichés and "make a long story short", "never say never". We ended up meeting new challenges, testing personal limits (and fears, like, of heights!!) and learning a lot about risk management which just somehow, trickles into our attitudes in everyday life. Our instructor, Mark, expertly managed his diverse group of apprentices, accurately gauging our capabilities (and tolerance for stess!), encouraging progress (without pushing) in a course that was very well paced, totally engaging and very enjoyable ...ok, except maybe for the day with blizzard conditions. We rapidly retained the skills required to go off on our own for a challenging practice (Yeah, he gave us "homework"). Yep, we will be back for more fun and adventure, collecting more stories for our nephews and nieces who actually think their aunts are well, rather "cool".
Anneliese D | Montreal, Quebec
Mark Synnott guided my friend and me for three days of ice climbing in New Hampshire during February 2008. This included one night of scheduled winter camping. Among the half-dozen climbing and mountaineering guides that I have had for durations ranging from one-day instruction to an eight-day mountaineering expedition, I put Mark at the top of the list for the following principal reasons: (1) preparation and attention to the client, (2) safety awareness, (3) clarity of instruction, (4) technical knowledge of climbing and competent application of this knowledge, and (5) an engaging personality. Each of these attributes is discussed below:
- Preparation and Attention to the Client. Mark tailored the course of instruction to our needs and was readily available to answer questions about training and gear prior to arrival in New Hampshire. Phone calls and e-mails were always returned in short order. Upon arrival in New Hampshire, Mark did a thorough gear check including a review of the food supplies that we had assembled. He also gave tips throughout the course about gear selection for ice climbing. Finally, Mark was always prompt and amenable to our schedule.
- Safety Awareness. Mark was keen about safety. Whether it was pointing out the importance of being aware of objective hazards in the environment (e.g., assessing the terrain for ice falls ) or attending to the details of "buddy checks" to make sure each of us was tied into our harnesses and roped up correctly, safety was first and foremost on Mark's mind. He frequently referred to American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) standards and clearly has mastered these safety protocols.
- Clarity of Instruction. Though this was my first time climbing ice, I felt that by the end of three days I had picked up a good feel for it because of the clarity of Mark's instruction, encouragement, and the intelligent manner by which he went about the progression of challenges over the course of three days of climbing. He gave a clear explanation of the use of the equipment, demonstrated technique while narrating each move as he ascended a few body lengths up the ice discussing placement of feet and ice tools. He then delivered instructive analysis of our attempts to apply the techniques that he had demonstrated. Mark also provided clear and insightful instruction regarding the setting up of ice anchors and the technique for placing ice screws, including how to "read" the ice (e.g., the significance of clear ice versus blue ice). Over the duration of the three days of instruction, Mark was able to increase the level of difficulty in step with the level of progress made by my friend and me. We went from short distances of a few body lengths to multipitch routes led by Mark. This made the course continuously challenging and fun without being completely beyond our grasp given our inexperience climbing ice. Mark was also a wealth of knowledge when it came to preparing winter camp (e.g., how to prepare the tent platform in the snow that is of sufficient depth to serve as a wind break for a night sub-zero temperatures). Because of Mark's knowledge, experience, and preparation, the winter camp was a thoroughly enjoyable experience with great views of Crawford Notch.
- Technical knowledge of climbing and competent application of this knowledge. Mark’s technical facility with all aspects of ice climbing was constantly in evidence throughout the three days of ice climbing. It could be seen on his leads of multipitch climbs that required the execution of multiple ice tool handling techniques and the efficiency with which he moved up the ice, whether he was running a demonstration or leading a climb for my friend and me to follow.
- Engaging Personality. It is a joy to spend time with Mark. He has a fabulous sense of humor and is intelligent. He is without a hint of hubris regarding his considerable climbing achievements across the globe from Yosemite to Pakistan and Baffin to Pitcairn Islands. It was fascinating to learn the background of some of these expeditions. He is curious about many topics beyond climbing, and engaged my friend and in enlightening discussion outside the climbing realm. Without reservation, I would recommend Mark Synnott as a climbing guide.
I wanted to take a moment to thank you for allowing us such an incredible rock climbing experience. I talked with Steve and Fred, and we all agreed that if someone had told us beforehand that we would be climbing to those heights in such a short time, we never would have believed it! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us, for all of the stories (both funny and sad), and most importantly to me, for pushing me when I thought something had gotten the better of me. The most amazing thing was that last top rope climb; I had serious doubts about it, but your encouragement helped me get through it. I did fall during that one, but I still considered it a personal victory when I reached the top! I treasure every bruise, scrape, sore muscle and black fly bite from the last two days; they are reminders of what we achieved, and in time they will fade, but the memories from this experience never will. We felt you gave us 110% of yourself and we look forward to climbing with you again in the near future.Good luck with all of your endeavors, and thanks again!
Tanya H | Rochester, NH
A couple of years ago, after one of Mark’s presentations, my friends were chiding me for playing too much golf instead of climbing. I knew I wanted to climb with Mark after he piped up and said that he played too and that both climbing and golf required rhythm and a good head. Since then Mark has led me on rock, mixed and ice routes. And after taking Mark’s self rescue course, I realized how helpless I was without those skills. Mark is now training me for my first big wall. Mark’s enthusiasm for climbing and sense of adventure is absolutely contagious. And his "get tough" encouragement on the wall is something that will replay in your mind when you most need it.
Shah M | Wallingford, CT
Whether it was the classic grade 5 ice climb on Cannon's Black Dike in full winter conditions, or the equally classic Whitney-Gilman rock climb on a warm summer day with my 10 year old son, Mark made the climb an adventure and a memory not to be forgotten.If you want to bring your climbing to the next level, Mark Synnott is the real deal, and a sterling individual.
Bob S | Portsmouth, NH
Hands frozen, arms pumped and still a third of the pitch to go, but Mark had me convinced more fun could not possibly be had. Later that day he looked like a sad puppy when my partner and I decided to pack it in rather than climb on into the darkness after an eight hour day. Good teachers impart knowledge and skills. Great teachers like Mark instill confidence to make you climb better and exude passion to make you want it more. And fun? You don't know fun until you've climbed with Mark.
Daoman C | Wyckoff, New Jersey
Mark’s level of professionalism, expertise, and motivation was truly an inspiration to climb to the best of my ability. Having never been on vertical ice before he was able to instruct and lead me up climbs I wouldn’t have thought I was capable of otherwise. His devotion to climbing and to his family provided me with not just a guide on the rocks and ice but also a guide to pursuing your passions in life. Mark is an inspirational person and a world class climber and guide, I will recommend him to everyone I know.
Sgt. Andrew K | 4th Force Recon Co., USMC
Thanks to Mark Synnott of Synnott Mountain Guides for leading Dan and me on an outrageous adventure. Mark helped with all aspects of planning our trip from travel advice to loaner equipment to activity selection. Using his wealth of climbing and mountaineering experience, Mark quickly and accurately assessed our skill levels so that our agenda challenged us and expanded our capabilities without exposing either of us to risks beyond our abilities. Within three days, I went from never having held an ice tool to climbing vertical ice. Mark is world class both as an alpinist and a guide. I highly recommend Mark and plan tap into his expertise again on a future trip.