Director Jud's Blog

North Face Athlete, Mark Synnott Visits SMA Rock Climbing Summer Camp.

Posted by Jud Millar on Wed, Oct 16, 2013

Last week there was a buzz at SMA Rock Climbing Summer Camp's Donation Rock ClimbingRock Climbing Teen Summer Camp Area because of North Face athlete Mark Synnott.  Mark is an elite North Face climber based in Jackson, New Hampshire and was in town to give a talk at Appalachian Outdoors.  He and a group of local central PA climbers were at Donation Rocks last Wednesday, 10/9 and were blessed with sunshine and 70+ degree weather.    

Like many rock climbers Mark Synnott is an adventurer at heart.  At age 42, he is renowned in the climbing world for his many big wall and alpine climbing adventures. His travels have taken him on more than 25 expeditions all over the world.  When he's not in the mountains, Mark works with The North Face Research, Design and Development team and lectures frequently on his life of adventure.  This is what initially brought him to central PA, to share his climbing stories and tales in words and photos at Appalachian Outdoors with otheroutdoor enthisuasts.  


According to his bio on The North Face web site in 1993, like many young people before him, Mark found himself graduating Middlebury College unsure of what his future would hold –specifically his career path.

Climbing Teen Summer CampHowever, he was certain of one thing – he wanted to climb. This passion led him to find work as a carpenter, a job conducive to a transient lifestyle.

A few years later, a 39-day stint living on the side of the 4,700-foot north face of Polar Sun Spire, a rock tower rising from a frozen fjord in Canada’s Baffin Island, changed his life forever. Thus in 1996, he began his quest to climb some of the biggest walls on the planet. He bid farewell to his days as a carpenter and never looked back.

Innumerable big wall and alpine climbing adventures have transpired since, taking Mark on adventures to places like Pakistan, Nepal, India, China, Tibet, Oman, Alaska, Newfoundland, Baffin Island, Greenland, Iceland, Guyana, Venezuela, Patagonia, Chad, Cameroon, Borneo and Pitcairn Island.

When he’s not in the mountains, Mark works with The North Face’s research, design and development teams. He’s also a successful freelance photojournalist and the author of Baffin Island: Climbing, Trekking and Skiing. His articles and photos have appeared in numerous publications in the United States and abroad, including National Geographic, Men’s Journal,                                                                                Photo Courtesy Of Ken Hull

Outside, Climbing, Rock & Ice, Skiing and New York magazine. Mark is an AMGA certified guide and the owner of Synnott Mountain Guides (, a climbing school based in his hometown of Jackson, New Hampshire.

Stone Mountain Adventures is a co-ed, teen rock climbing summer camp located in PA whereA Camper rock climbing teens can climb, top rope, rapell & boulder everyday!  Rock climbing is a fun, exciting, challenging way to stay fit and experience the vertical world.  Stone Mountain Adventures is beautifully situated next to several sandstone natural rock formations called Donation Rocks that we climb every day.  Our experienced, knowledgeable and enthusiastic summer camp rock climbing instructors will teach you the skills you need to handle the ropes, how to safely belay and the techniques you will use to scale our rock walls.  When you experience first hand the thrill of rock climbing on these spectacular rock formations you will understand why we at SMA are so passionate about rock climbing.

If rock climbing is something you have interest in or something you are passionate about, Stone Mountain Adventures is the rock climbing summer camp for you!

Highlights of the SMA Rock Climbing S8ummer Camp Program:

  • Top Rope Climbing Area called Donation Rocks located on the premises of camp
  • Bouldering Area with world class bouldering called Hunters Rocks
  • 5 Climbing Areas near camp offers campers a wide variety of climbing styles and rock types
  • Our Climbing Staff are experienced and passionate about rock climbing and sharing that passion with teens.
  • We offer a Rock Climbing Camping Overnight at Bigler Rocks every session
  • Campers can climb on real rocks 6 days a week at SMA!
Appalachian Outdoors
Photo Courtesy of Jen Arndt

Stone Mountain Adventures(SMA) is a co-ed overnight teen summer camp for 60 teenagers ages 12-16 located in the mountains of centralPennsylvania.  We specialize in getting teens excited about life through:

Our teen campers learn new skills, gain self confidence, make strong friendships and become members of our strong, value centered summer community.  Things that our camp unique are we:

  • Young Teen Focused Activities
  • Choose Your Own Activities Everyday
  • Adventures and Camping Overnights Out of Camp
  • Campers increase self confidence and independence
We Offer 2 Week Sessions that can be combined into 4, 6 or 8 Weeks 
A Camper rock climbing.


Topics: Donation Rocks, Rock Climbing Summer Camp, Teen Rock Climbing Camp, Mark Synnott, The North Face, Stone Mountain Adventures

About Director Jud's Blog

This blog will give you the "411" about everything that is Stone Mountain Adventures Teen Summer Camp!  Everything from "Summer Updates" to useful family and camp resources.  Check it out! 

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