Northwestern Ontario Author, Guide, Guru
Born in 1986, Aric Fishman has been climbing for 15 years. He moved to Thunder Bay in northwestern Ontario in 2007 and has spent the past decade working to improve and advertise his local climbing scene. His first time climbing was on a mobile wall at his high school. He then spent the next while climbing with his older brother at the local gym. “I knew right away that I was an outdoor climber at heart and became absolutely hooked for life,” said Fishman. “Coupled with my desire to really learn, practice, and climb as much as possible, having a super solid crew of climbers also enabled me to advance quickly early on and better understand the technical systems, concepts, techniques and safe practices.”
Fishman spends about 250 days every year climbing and is a certified guide and photographer. He’s the founder and lead guide of Outdoor Skills And Thrills Inc., which offers rock and ice climbing adventures and courses throughout northwest Ontario. He’s the author of
He’s the president of the Nipigon Ice Fest committee, Canada’s longest running premiere ice climbing festival.
“I also love developing the climbing scene in the region by doing things like: helping maintain trails, replacing old anchors, organizing community events, teaching modern climbing standards and environmental stewardship, and developing high quality new routes of all grades and styles for everyone to enjoy,” said Fishman. His first climb was at Rattlesnake Point on the Niagara Escarpment called McMaster Special 5.8.
When asked about one of the scariest experiences of his climbing life. He said, “One of the earliest scary experiences I can remember would be leading up my first traditional climb during my second season climbing. I had done a bunch of training, practice and mock lead climbs leading up to that point, however that still didn’t help the jitters three quarters of the way up a 20- metre wall of slick limestone and wacky cracks. For a little while I was scared good. What if I slip off ?” It was his first gripped moment.
He continued, “I ended up assessing the gear, the rock quality, and the climbing left ahead of me. I knew I could easily do the climb, the rock looked good, and I could also take my time in good stances to place bomber protection along the way. I managed to calm my mind and continued to the top.”
Fishman is a natural climbing guide who started guiding