Link Neimark is the lead guide and owner of Rock Climb Montana. With over 30 years of experience he has climbed all over the United States, plus Thailand, New Zealand, and Spain. As a professional climbing instructor for the past fifteen years, Link teaches both top rope and lead climbing (sport and trad). Link has successfully completed climbing certification exams by AMGA, PCGI, and Boy Scouts of America. His safety record is perfect.
In the winter months, Link teaches skiing and snowboarding. He is certified by PSIA to teach alpine, telemark, cross country, and adaptive skiing as well as snowboarding. He has even been known to teach snow bike lessons. In years past, he was a ski school director at an area in the Midwest. Now he is the most requested instructor at Whitefish Mountain Resort. He was rated by Ski Magazine as one of the “Top 100 Ski Instructors in America”.
Link Neimark was educated at the University of Wisconsin where he received bachelor degrees in both psychology and zoology. He then completed a master’s degree in Oceanography at the University of Alaska. Link worked as a biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game until he decided to pursue a career in outdoor education. He has since worked as a soccer coach, wilderness guide, personal trainer, swim instructor, water sports instructor, ski coach, snow sports instructor and climbing guide. Link has the knowledge, experience, and certifications to provide a safe, enjoyable, and memorable climbing adventure.
How do the experiences you offer give guests a unique perspective on the history, geography or culture of northwest Montana?
One of the nice things about a trip to the Rockies, is actually touching and climbing the rocks.
How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?
While we have always catered to families visiting Glacier National Park, lately we have begun to guide trips for the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. To that end, a couple of our experienced guides have completed the Boy Scout climbing instructor certification course. We are now able to provide merit badge training and confirmation.
What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?
The most important detail is safety. Guests will definitely appreciate our emphasis on safety procedures and protocols. What may go unnoticed are the years of certified professional training and experience that enable us to maintain our perfect safety record.
What do you wish every guest knew as they consider the rock climbing or ski experiences you offer?
It is all about them. We take a student centered approach to teaching. We modify our climbing outings and ski lessons to provide a personalized approach to fulfilling the student’s needs and desires. This is easy to do since we specialize in private lessons. We can make it as technical or casual as the client prefers. We can focus on learning or focus on fun. Usually the two go hand-in-hand. We always focus on safety and try to make the guest as relaxed and comfortable as possible. The student selects his or her level of challenge and we help them (through professional coaching and encouragement) reach their personal goals. People of all ages, sizes and fitness levels can enjoy rock climbing.
What is one travel trend that really excites you?
It is exciting to see that more and more travelers are specifically searching for “rock climbing” when they plan their vacations. Vacationers have learned that rock climbing is a great way to experience some of the most beautiful places in the world. Plus, rock climbing puts real adventure into their journey.
What sets you apart from other guides?
Other guides may offer rock climbing as a sideline or as part of a broader smorgasbord of outdoor activities. This is my full-time (albeit seasonal) occupation. I have received certifications from the American Mountain Guide Association, the Professional Climbing Guide Institute, and the Boy Scouts of America. I have over 30 years of climbing experience and 15 years of guiding experience. In the winter months I am a full-time ski instructor. Ski Magazine ranked me in the “Top 100 Ski Instructors in America”.
What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?
Go with a local. Local guides not only know the best fishing holes or the perfect climbing route to match your ability, they also know the best place in town to get a juicy burger or local microbrew.
What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?
Service. This should come as no surprise. In any business exceptional service is the key to success. Where many businesses fail is they tell the customer what they are going to get, or they guess at what the customer may need. Here is where we may differ (and though it may seem deceptively simple it has become the cornerstone to our success): we ask the customer what they want. Then (within the constraints of safety, time, and student ability) we deliver just what the client has asked for. Our strategy seems to work as evidenced by our continual growth and perfect 5-star satisfaction ratings on both Trip Advisor and Yelp.
What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?
I am a hard worker and will go the extra mile. A successful businessman is often less like a sprinter and more like a marathon runner. Success requires being able to deliver consistently superior service over the long haul. Much like the marathon runner who “hits the wall”, the successful entrepreneur must be able to break through barriers, keep slogging forward, and focus on the goal in the distance. And, much like the marathon runner who keeps on keepin’ on and experiences the runner’s high and the elation of crossing the finish line, the hard working outfitter/guide will eventually experience the joy of becoming profitable and being able to share his life-long passion with area residents and visitors.
Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.
One lovely guest wrote to tell me how her rock climbing outing had improved her marriage. She related that her relationship with her husband had been suffering after some “infidelity issues”. Having to trust her husband to belay her (hold the safety line while she climbed) began a process of rebuilding trust and rebuilding their relationship. A private rock climbing outing is a great way to bring family members closer together. It can also be an outstanding team building exercise for corporate outings.
Link’s email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Link’s phone: 608.334.1270