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Guide Profile: Miles Smart

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A glimpse of a life lived in fast-forward: Skiing at three years old. Lead climbing at 13. Breaking multiple speed records up El Capitan at 18. Ski guiding in Valdez at 21. Fully accredited by the prestigious International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations at 24. Miles Smart is by far the youngest American guide ever to be certified by the IFMGA-and now one of only 21 such guides in the U.S. A head guide for Pelle Lång’s Skier’s Lodge, Miles spends part of his winters living in an old farmhouse above La Grave, entertaining clients six days a week. Given his mellow demeanor, they’d never guess his life’s frenetic pace. Could be that he’s conserving energy: On his only day off, he always feels compelled to drive an hour east to rock climb.