Project Jukebox

Digital Branch of the University of Alaska Fairbanks Oral History Program

Colby Coombs

Colby Coombs

Originally from Washington, D.C., Colby Coombs is an accomplished mountaineer and gifted teacher who worked his way through the National Outdoor Leadership School (where he also taught for ten years), and mentored under legendary Alaskan guide, Brian Okonek, on trips in the Alaska Range. Colby has climbed some of the most technically challenging routes in Alaska, including sumitting Denali in 1985 at age eighteen, and enduring a devastating epic on Mount Hunter in 1992 when two of his climbing partners were killed. In 1996, Colby and his wife, Caitlin Palmer, founded Alaska Mountaineering School (AMS) in Talkeetna, Alaska where he teaches climbing and leads expeditions. In 2000, the couple had recently also acquired the Alaska Denali Guiding (ADG) business from Brian and Diane Okanek. Through AMS and ADG, Colby and Caitlin share their knowledge and experience with students who learn to put safe travel technique above peak bagging. Colby is also the author of a number of books and articles about climbing in Alaska and on Denali.

Colby Coombs appears in the following new Jukebox projects: