Category Archives: Rocky Mountain National Park

Harry Kent, Longs Peak’s Senior Outdoor Guide

Ever thought about leaving your problems behind and heading to Colorado to climb the Rockies? That is exactly what Harry Kent, outdoor adventure guide and cliff climber, did 43 years ago. He went on to establish Kent Mountain Adventure Center in 1987, and he has been sharing his passion with generations of climbers ever since. At 60 years old, Kent continues to climb the peaks of the Rocky Mountain National Park as well as mountains all over the world.
According to the BBC.com article, ”A Man Who Lives at the Top of the World”, Harry Kent found his inspiration in the novel, “Book of the High Mountains” by Lowell Thomas. This inspired him to hitchhike from his home in Cape Cod, Massachusetts and head to Estes Park in Colorado.
The same afternoon he arrived, Harry Kent hooked up with Keith Lober, a clerk at an Estes Park Outfitters store. They attempted to climb Long’s Peak, 14,259 feet, but did not make it to the top. Lober and Kent went on to become best friends and lifelong climbing partners. Kent highlights this debut where he failed to reach the top of the mountain but made a good friend. To him, reaching the summit is not always the best part of climbing.
So what does it take to devote your life to cliff climbing? Harry Kent might say, “loving the whole climb.” He appreciates the “alpine start,” which involves getting up before sunrise. He loves Longs Peak, that you have to scale vertical rock wall faces and cross craggy shelves to reach. He regularly shares his passion with adventurers, who dream of cliff camping on small canvas canopies 200ft off the ground.
At 60 years old Harry Kent also loves the descent down the mountain, explaining that it can be the hardest part. He tells of a student that froze when confronted with a short rappel of 200 ft off of a rocky cliff. It took the boy 90 minutes to muster the courage to descend. But Harry Kent was by his side encouraging him, marveling at “the beauty of the climbing experience.”