EP 14 Andrea Charest
Finding Harmony


Andrea Charest (she/her) has co-owned Petra Cliffs Climbing Center & Mountaineering School since 2012.

While attending the University of Vermont, she began working at Petra Cliffs in 2001, where she met her husband, started her guide career, and solidified her desire to build a life around her passion.

Andrea is now an AMGA Certified Ice Instructor, Assistant Rock Guide, and Apprentice Alpine Guide. Andrea navigates work and life as a mother, partner, guide, ally, and Mammut Ambassador. 

Show Notes:

Andrea’s links:

Episode Intro:

Dear listeners, happy Wednesday and welcome to another episode of the Female Guides Requested Podcast. I’m your host Ting Ting from Las Vegas.

Today’s guest is Andrea Charest and she is very special. I met Andrea in 2007 at my very first WFR course on the east coast. I after all moved to the west coast wanting to climb longer objectives but thanks to the rise of social media, Andrea and I stayed connected.

Right now Andrea co-owns Petra Cliffs Climbing Center & Mountaineering School. She is an AMGA Certified Ice Instructor, Assistant Rock Guide, and Apprentice Alpine Guide. She navigates work and life as a mother, partner, guide, ally, and Mammut Ambassador.

In this episode Andrea talked about how she started her guiding career in Vermont, how she found harmony between motherhood and work, and how she regained her footing after a devastating accident almost claimed her husband, Steve’s life.

During her interview, Andrea expressed gratitude to the climbing community, emphasizing the immense support she’s received. Andrea is humble, and resilient, competent and professional, she loves what she is doing and she is damn good at what she is doing.

Now please enjoy this episode. 

Things We Talked about:

  • Motherhood – planned or unplanned? Somewhere in between
  • Career? Kid? Biological clock?
  • It’s all part of the decision making
  • Pregnancy versus climbing; impact on guiding
  • Experience sharing how she managed to raise a kid and continue working
  • The role of a nanny, family and friends
  • Steve’s accident
  • The support from the climbing community
  • What Andrea and Steve learned from Steve’s accident from the perspective of a business owner
  • Injuries can happen
  • How did Andrea start her guiding career
  • Ice versus rock
  • The magic of guiding
  • The love of the outdoors
  • How’s climbing in Adirondacks
  • Andrea’s experience sharing on her AMGA rock guide exam
  • How Andrea learned from the “failed” attempt and moved on
  • What’s the role of ego play in climbing and in an exam?
  • Why did Andrea pursue Ice Instructor
  • East coast guiding, particularly the tri-state: NY, NH, VT
  • Work life harmony
  • Proudest moments
  • What Andrea wants listeners to take away?
  • Climbing in New England