Meet the Guide

Melissa Shea is a western Maine native who began rock climbing and ice climbing in 1998.  She climbed Denali (20, 320 ft., the tallest mountain in North America) in 2000 via the West Buttress with the RCMP Climbing for Community ExpeditionRegistered Maine Guide, Melissa Shea.  The Royal Canadian Mounted Police expedition raised over $20,000 for the Make-a-Wish Foundation of Canada.

In 2002, Melissa joined a group of climbers from western Maine, including Jim Albert,  who reached the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,235 ft.) via the Umbwe Route, an intense ascent through seven climate zones over the course of four days. Melissa’s climbs took her to the Alps in 2005 with technical climbs on the Matterhorn (14,692 ft.) and Mount Blanc (15,782 ft.).

In 2011 Melissa and Jim led an international expedition to Mount Everest Base Camp in Nepal focusing on a cultural exploration of the Himalayas that included special access to the historic Tengboche Monastery and a private meeting with Lama Geshe, a widely respected spiritual figure. Clients from the United States, Canada, and Belgium comprised the group.

Melissa was also the technical representative for the German company Ortovox, and she represented New Mexico, southern Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, and Alaska.  With Ortovox, she taught avalanche awareness and companion rescue techniques with avalanche transceivers.

A certified Wilderness First Responder, Melissa became a registered Maine Guide in 2009. She volunteers with Maine Search and Rescue Dogs (MESARD) and with Franklin Search and Rescue (FSAR) as a board member and Team Leader of the Rope Rescue Team. Melissa also owns and manages a MOFGA organic certified farm with over 150 acres.

Jim Albert  started the Mountain Guide Service in 1990 and is a registered Master Maine Guide. He recently retired from guiding in the western mountains of Maine.  He taught rock and ice-climbing to beginners and guided more experienced climbers in the area.  He used the Appalachian Trail or bushwhacked on trips including all the mountains from Old Speck to Little Bigelow. Jim made trips to Katahdin and Mt. Washington during the summer and winter months. Master Maine Guide, Jim Albert

An avid mountaineer, Jim has climbed the tallest mountains on four of the seven continents.  He has also made expeditions to Tibet, Argentina, Africa, Ecuador, Russia, France, and Switzerland.

Jim’s climbing highlights include Mt. Everest from the Tibet side in 1990 during the International Peace Climb where he reached 23,000 ft., Aconcagua, Argentina; Denali, Alaska; Mt. Elbrus, Russia; Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, Ecuador; Mont Blanc and Aguille du Chardonett, France; Mt. Whitney and Shasta, California; Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania; and Mt. Robson, Canada.

Melissa and Jim proudly support the MPGA.