Our Climbing Guides

Chockstone Guides are committed professionals. Each brings a wealth of diverse experience to our team. Our lead Smith Rock guide staff and instructors are American Mountain Guide Association certified or trained. Chockstone Climbing Guides strive for the best formal training available combined with diverse personal rock climbing experience. We are all local to the region and enjoy sharing our knowledge and our appreciation through many years of climbing together and guiding in Central Oregon.


Lead Guides

Jim Ablao

AMGA Certified Rock Guide, Certified Rock Instructor

Jim Ablao has been guiding throughout the western US since 1989 and a climbing guide at Smith Rock State Park since 1999. Over the years he has earned certification as an AMGA Rock Instructor and Rock Guide, he is also our AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Certification Program provider an AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Program Provider. He began climbing twenty-five years ago and still exudes a refreshing enthusiasm and passion for climbing, teaching and adventure. He climbs rock, ice and summits throughout the mountains and deserts of the US. His climbing has also taken him to summits and cliffs of Argentina, Chile, S Korea, Mexico and Canada. He has taught and guided diverse terrain with many schools and programs including twelve years with the Colorado Outward Bound School, six years as a guide manager and many years with various “youth at risk” and therapeutic programs. Jim brings diverse experience, his empowering and personalized teaching style into every guiding. Jim lives in Bend with his wife and two daughters.

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“It’s always a pleasure to spend a day climbing with Jim. His professional style and AMGA Certification make me feel safe, while his patience and enthusiasm encourages me to climb routes that I wouldn’t attempt on my own. Each day with Jim gives me a sense of adventure and accomplishment.”  -Gerd Hoeren, Client, Lake Oswego, Oregon

Gabe Coler

AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Gabe began climbing in the Berkshires of western Massachusetts in his early years, eventually making rock and ice ascents all over New England.

After moving west for college, he cut his teeth in most of the major western climbing areas including: a free ascent of The NorthWest Face of Half Dome, alpine ascents throughout the Cascades, test-piece alpine climbs in the Canadian Rockies, and most recently, alpine ice climbs in the French Alps.

Gabe has been climbing at Smith Rock since 1999, and has been guiding there since 2003. He is currently an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and has completed his Alpine Guides Course, and Aiare Level II Avalanche course.

Gabe inspires those around him through his teaching style, personality and his humble attitude towards climbing.

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“Gabe was friendly, helpful and fun to be with. He paid attention to my strengths and weaknesses and helped me. I would very much enjoy climbing with him again. I learned a lot more in one day with Gabe than I did on two past multi-day courses.”  – R. Goeser

2015 Climbing Instructors  & Assistant Guides


List, bios and photos coming soon