We all have a different connection to nature. For those who have a love of outdoor adventure and spend much of their time in nature, that connection is imperative to who they are. This is the case for Kent McBride. McBride is fully certified rock, alpine and ski guide, who can guide in any mountainous country in the world. He is based in the Tetons — where he has more than 150 summits of the Grand Teton — but has climbed or skied in France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Canada, Mexico, China, Nepal, Tibet, Norway, Sweden, Morocco, New Zealand and has even made his way to Antarctica! In the following interview, learn more about McBride’s connection to nature and the environment in which he thrives.
Q: Do you think it was nature or nurture that set the seeds of the passion you have for outdoor adventure?
A: Nurture planted the seeds and nature helped them grow. Both of my parents grew up in the flat lands of Iowa, and after college they moved to Colorado to find mountainous adventures. I was extremely fortunate to have grown up west of Denver in the mountains at 8,000 feet, where we had many great family ski vacations and camping trips. I’m still amazed that my parents had the energy and patience to hike with three boys into the wilderness. We carried backpacks full of the essentials and even brought our two dogs with their own silly dog packs. I’m surprised we continued year after year because I remember more of the mosquitoes than the glory moments.
Q: What do you think is the most effective way to get people to care about preserving our natural world?
A: I think the most important and most effective way to get people to care about preserving our natural world is through education from observation. To start, I try to point out different items or occurrences within an ecosystem to find the things that resonate the most with each person. Then, it is easier to teach in more detail about the connections and dependency that we all have with the environment. Hopefully at that point, things become tangible and people understand the necessity of working to preserve and support our natural world.
Q: As a skiing and climbing guide, what impact do you hope your work will have on others?
A: The impact I hope my work will have on others consists of many positive things. Most importantly, I’d like them to feel safe. I give instructions, model movements or use a rope to help show that we can do a certain activity with a reasonable amount of risk. Then, I try to lead and coach them into new levels (places) that they haven’t been to before. With some success, clients become very focused in their movements in areas that they wouldn’t imagine themselves as climbers or skiers.