25 Years, 25 Partners. Profile #2: Jim Shimberg
In honor of Sterling’s 25 years of making the world’s finest rope and cord, we are celebrating our partners who have helped us get to where we are today. We will be profiling 25 dealers and partners across the industries we serve, highlighting our relationship with each.
Shim snacking on some Duettos.
How long have you been working with Sterling? What was the relationship like in the beginning?
I started with Sterling Rope back in the early days - in Beverly, Massachusetts (1995?), before the move to Scarborough and then Biddeford, Maine. Back then my goal was to establish myself as a guide and helped out mostly setting up the booth at the Outdoor Retailer shows…quite an adventure for sure. Sterling Rope was always good to me, there was no formal ambassador program, we just had mutual trust and so on. I felt lucky indeed, as Carolyn had faith in me as a person and as a mountain guide. So in a nutshell we had a relationship based on trust, and helping whenever I could do so.
What do you like about working with Sterling? Do you have any specific memories to share?
I like the fact that Sterling has been an innovator for American rope manufacturers, willing to take risks. I put my faith in an American rope company, trying to convince the climbers here that Sterling was on the same level as the rope makers in Europe who were, at the time, leading the way.
Some of my favorite memories include taking Carolyn and her daughter, Kirsten, climbing in the Gunks in NY and also in N Conway during a women’s climbing event. I also enjoyed working at the various ice festivals for over 15 years, as well as the many trade shows I participated in over the years. Touring the plant with Sam, Paul and Jim has always been a highlight for me as well- super fun times. Visiting the factory helps me realize the entire process of rope manufacturing, warehousing, sales and service. I am lucky enough to be out using these great ropes in all seasons, to me that is amazing, too.
Tell us a little about yourself and your guiding business.
Rhino Guides was started in 1985, by taking a few people on Cannon Cliff. I was working at a climbing shop called All Outdoors at the time, and after 2 years of law school I realized I needed to be outside. So, here I am all these years later still teaching rock and ice climbing. I took the first ever AMGA rock course and exam that was offered in the United States, back in the early 90s. Right now I spend my time substitute teaching at the local high school, and guiding locally and throughout the USA and the world whenever I can. With my daughter Rose in college at UVM (and enjoying rock climbing and hiking!), I better keep working for a few more years to pay the bills.
Photo credit for top image to Jared Alden, 2010.