Mountain Guides you can trust when it gets serious

Some of the MT 2011 Denali guides

With a collective 73 Denali expeditions under their boots, here is some of our guide family at the 14,200′ camp in mid-May, 2011: (from left to right) Joe Butler, Nick Sheperd, Caitlin Hague, Ann Pearsall, Ben Adkinson, Karen Kingsley, Jacob Schmitz, Kim Grant, Julian Hannah, Zach Johnson, Jack McGee, Pete Gaston

Mountain Trip guides have climbed and guided all over the mountains of the world. Our lead Denali mountain guides have all climbed the mountain at least 5 times, and most of them have 10 or more ascents under their boots. All of our guides hold current medical certifications and are trained in the latest mountain safety protocols. Their goal is to ensure you have an enjoyable experience and a successful climb. Climbing any big mountain is serious and you should have high standards for whomever you choose as your guide.

In an effort to give you additional insight about our mountain guides, we have solicited some additional information from our crew that you might not be accustomed to reading on traditional Mountain Guides Pages…

MOUNTAIN TRIP GUIDES

Gary on the Kahiltna Glacier

Gary Bocarde:
What can we say about the founder and spiritual head of Mountain Trip? His resume of ascents in Alaska is legendary: the first ascent of the SW. Face of Mooses Tooth, the first winter ascent of Mt. Hunter and the second ascent of the NW Buttress of Denali, to merely name a few… He cut his climbing teeth in Yosemite Valley where he and Charlie Porter did the first ascent of The Shield on El Cap. Hidden Peak, the Kangshung Face on Mount Everest, Pik Lenin have all felt the poke of Gary’s ice axe. A certified AMGA Alpine Guide, he spends his time at his family cabin in Yosemite or in the high desert country of SW Utah. Above all for the members of the Mountain Trip family, Gary is our mentor, adviser and favorite uncle rolled into one.

 

Todd on the W Buttress Direct

Todd Rutledge:
I feel like I’ve come a long way from my boyhood home in central New Jersey. I began guiding in Alaska in 1992 and have led 17 Denali expeditions over the years. I’ve also been fortunate enough to guide and climb all over South America, on Mount Vinson in Antarctica, in the Himalayas, Carstensz Pyramid and in Europe. In 2004, Gary Bocarde decided to sell Mountain Trip to me and my fellow Mountain Trip guide Bill Allen, and I am often the voice on the phone when you call the office. In 2006, I built a nice house at just shy of 10,000 feet in Ophir, CO, and am living the dream with my wife Lisa, our boys Logan and Dalton, and our Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Lola.  Life in a small village like Ophir suits me, and in an effort to build community, I’ve been elected mayor of the town for the past three terms.

 

Bill and the Chief

Bill Allen:
I have been lucky enough to create a life out of pursuing the things that I love to do for over 17 years now. I grew up playing in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, and eventually made it up to Alaska where I found my first guiding job and eventually realized that I might be able to make a living out of it. I’ve now been to places that I never dreamed I would ever get a chance to go, and my job is to help share those experiences. I’ve guided over 20 expeditions on Denali, been on expeditions to Mt. Foraker, Mt. Huntington, and many other peaks in Alaska. I’ve also been to Antarctica a couple of times guiding climbers on Vinson, climbed Aconcagua enough times that my knees hurt just thinking about it, have climbed Carstensz Pyramid in West Papua 5 times (a different approach on each expedition), climbed Kilimanjaro, Mt Elbrus, and have climbed in Nepal several times including 2 times to the top of Mt Everest.   Todd also lets me out of the Mountain Trip office just enough that I am able to work as a ski guide in the winter ( www.helitrax.com ). I spend my winters in Ophir, CO with my very understanding wife, Sonja and we still spend most of the summer in Alaska.

 

MT guide Scott Woolums

Scott on the summit of Everest in 2011

Scott Woolums:
A long-time Mountain Trip and AMGA Certified Alpine Guide; Scott is available for private expeditions in Alaska and virtually anywhere in the world. He has been guiding Denali for over 25 years and has been on top 30+ times. Additionally, he has is a 7-time Everest summiter, via two routes and has climbed, guided and put up first ascents around the globe, making him a  3-time Seven Summit climber. Winters find him down in Antarctica and on Aconcagua.  Scott is the Director of Mountain Trip’s Himalayan program and leads our Everest expeditions.

 

 

MT Guide Chris Kerrick

Chris Kerrick, MT guide since 1998

Chris Kerrick:
Mountain Trip’s Big Wall ace is equally at home in the Alaska Range, South America or running it out on sketchy gear on El Cap. He has 21 Denali ascents under his belt including three traverses of the mountain and is a strong technical rock and ice climber. Chris has led many Aconcagua climbs as well as technical routes in Alaska. His skill and tenacity on steep rock is mirrored by his willingness and ability to undertake the craziest construction projects in his community of Salmon Beach, WA. He just finished building himself a home that sits over the water on wood piers in that funky community, where he lives with his fiance Jean and their beautiful baby girl, Keeler.

 

 

MT Guide Billmeier

Billmeier on the Bear Tooth

Bill Billmeier:
Bill lives in Anchorage, Alaska but is looking forward to moving to the Bush. He graduated from Alaska Pacific University with an Outdoor Studies degree in 2003 and has worked in the mountains since then. He has been with Mountain Trip since 2001 and has worked on ten Denali expeditions and has guided other ascents in the Alaska Range. Bill is a passionate climber, mountain guide and instructor and enjoys sharing his love for all things mountainous. In 2007, he married his sweetheart Betsy and in 2008 they began to realize their dream of putting a yurt in the Alaskan Bush. They are updating a blog chronicling their efforts of building at the remote Bench Lake when they come back to town to resupply. You can follow their blog here.

 

MT Guide Rob Durnell

Durny, fashinisto of the Kahiltna

Rob Durnell:
“Durny” is another resident Alaskan who Heli-ski guides in the Chugach Mountains during the winter. During the summer he guides wild Alaskan rivers and slays fish on fishing boats when he’s not guiding Denali. This wild man guided Denali three times each season in 2005 and 2007! Off seasons, he can be found surfing down in Baja. Rob, along with mountain guide Heidi Kloos, was the recipient of the Denali National Park’s Denali Pro Award in 2008, for his selfless actions in helping the NPS with a difficult rescue in 2007.

 

 

MT Guide Peter Inglis

Did we mention Pi is a mean cook?

Peter Inglis (aka Pi):
My mountaineering pursuits began at an early age climbing in Vermont where I grew up at the base of the state’s highest mountain, Mt Mansfield. In 1983 I graduated from UVM with a degree in Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management. “Iʼve been working hard managing my recreation ever since!”
I have a particular interest in remote wild places, such as China, Peru, Nepal, and Alaska. (the Alps arenʼt so bad either). Guide-wise lately, Iʼve split my time between Alaska and Colorado. This winter will be my 19th season ski patrolling and avalanche forecasting in Telluride Co.  Guiding expeditions for Mountain Trip is always a joy and I feel a special warmth in my heart every time I fly to Alaska. Iʼve been up Denali 15 times now and every trip has been exciting and fun. I especially enjoy the camaraderie of climbing, skiing and sharing the mountains with my climbers as they work towards reaching their goals. Iʼm in my 50ʼs now so I have lots of stories from around the world to share. If our trails cross, no doubt we will have fun.

 

Karen Bockel

Karen on the Root Canal Glacier in Alaska

Karen Bockel:
My path to guiding has followed a somewhat indirect path.  I earned an M.S. in Atomic and Laser Physics at my university and worked in the aerospace industry, while also pursuing competitive skiing and mountain biking.  I did a trip on Denali with some good friends in 2009 and decided that I’d love to spend more time on the mountain.  Since beginning my guiding career, I have become an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and am close to completing my certifications in both the Alpine and Ski disciplines.  I’ve worked on Denali for Mountain Trip since 2010 and also guide in the Tetons after my Denali season and guide heli skiing in Alaska in the spring.

 

MT guide Constantine Severis

Con on Denali

Constantine Severis:
Con has been guiding on Denali for Mountain Trip since 2004 and has guided seven Denali expeditions and an Aconcagua climb for us. He spends the rest of his summer guiding rock in Yosemite Valley and Toulume Meadows. He is a ski guide for Telluride Helitrax in the winter. Con summitted Everest in 2007 and is eager to guide the remaining four of the seven summits. Con is an AMGA certified Rock and Alpine guide and is close to finishing his Ski Guides Exam to satisfy the US equivalent of IFMGA certification.

More MT guides on Denali

More of the family on Denali. From right to left: Peter Inglis, Todd Rutledge, Kim Grant, Drew Ludwig, Heidi Kloos :) , Chris Kerrick, and Dave Ahrens at bottom.

 

Dave Ahrens having a good time

Dave Ahrens:
After several phone calls in the autumn of 2004, Todd at Mountain Trip agreed to meet me for an interview over coffee. The rest, as they say… I joined the Mountain Trip family in 2005 and have guided on Denali each year since them. I’ve climbed on the mountain 15 times, and have been fortunate to summit from both the North and South sides. Bill and Todd have helped me pursue my education through courses taught by the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA). In September of 2009, I passed my exam to become an AMGA Certified Alpine Guide. I work year round as a ski and mountain guide, spending my summers in Alaska and in the Cascades, and my winters working at Silverton Mountain in southwest Colorado. In 2008, I led a small team up the remote and committing Muldrow Glacier route on the north side of Denali and also climbed the West Buttress. Todd is convinced that makes me the first climber to summit from the north and the south in the same season. I’m not certain, but it was sure a great summer!

 

MT Guide Kevin Koprek

Kevin Koprek, en route to Antarctica

Kevin Koprek:
Kevin came to us on loan from San Juan Mountain Guides in 2005 and we don’t want to give him back (Sorry Clint!). A true professional with boundless optimism and a serious work ethic, Kevin climbs hard ice all winter around Ouray, Colorado and has guided six Denali climbs as well as a Mount Foraker expedition for us. He is another Magnet Award recipient, which helped him take his AMGA Alpine Guide course in the summer of 2007. Kevin also works for Rigging for Rescue, training numerous rescue organizations high angle rescue techniques.

 

MT Guide Jacob Schmitz

Jacob Schmitz at Vinson BC

Jacob Schmitz:
I’m originally from Southern California and I spent my childhood climbing in the Southwest. I moved to Yosemite NP where I worked in the backcountry setting up the High Sierra Camps. After spending seven years in the Sierras, climbing alpine routes, over thirty big walls and enjoying Yosemite in general, I realized I wanted to work in the greater mountain ranges of the world. To that end, I started guiding nine years ago and have not looked back. Since 2007, I have guided 16 Denali climbs for Mountain Trip and helped lead a team to the summit of Mount Everest in 2012. In South America I have worked in Ecuador, Bolivia and led over 25 trips up Aconcagua. I have spent a lot of time in East Africa working on Kilimanjaro and Mt Kenya. East Africa is one of my favorite places to visit and I believe everyone should experience it. I have been lucky to have worked in three different mountain ranges in Asia and look forward to returning. since 2011, I’ve led five teams on Mount Vinson in Antarctica and recently climbed Elbrus to complete my first rotation of the Seven Summits.  My favorite thing about mountain expeditions is the team work and logistics it takes to make it to the summit. Having a HAPPY summit team is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Todd asked for a book recommendation, as I read a lot on my trips. I’ll recommend Alaska by James A Michener to Denali climbers and any Tom Robbins book for a quick read as they keep me entertained.
Hope to see you in the mountains, it’s a small world.

 

MT Guide Michael Burmeister

Michael Burmeister

Michael Burmeister:
I have been on Denali a total of 14 times, the first being a snowboard trip and the other 11 working as a guide. I have climbed on the southside of Mount Hunter (Corliss-Taylor to 12,500) and guided a trip on the West Ridge with Zach Schlosar. I’ve climbed in Little Switzerland, on the Broken Tooth in the Ruth Gorge, and way down south in Cochamo, Chile. Splitboarding (snowboard touring) in the Chugach is definitely my passion and where the majority of my winter is spent. This is the last semester of school for me, so in December I should have a literature degree with a minor in philosophy. My recommendation for a good read is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy which I thought was excellent.

 

 

MT Guide Jared Vilhauer

Jared after some CO ice

Jared Vilhauer
I’m a Colorado boy who first found his way up to guide in the Alaska Range in 1999. I’ve been guiding for Mountain Trip since 2006 and lead some of their Alaska trips and Colorado ice climbs. I’ve been on Denali 16 times and really enjoy looking for and climbing new routes in the Alaska Range and elsewhere. Seeking out new, interesting lines has also taken me to climb in China, Pakistan and Peru. When I’m back in my home area of Telluride, CO, I enjoy backcountry snowboarding, trail running and work as a licensed electrician, so if you need a new fixture installed, give me a ring! Todd wanted me to pass out a book suggestion, so if you have never read the irreverent Monkey Wrench Gang by Edward Abbey, I think you’ll enjoy it.

 

MT Guide Joe Butler

Joe on an AMGA course in CO

Joe Butler:
I have been working for Mountain Trip since 2005 and guiding professionally since 2002. I have guided 12 successful trips up Denali, as well as Kahiltna Dome, Middle Troll, and I completed two overland exits from the Alaska Range. Climbing has taken me to Nepal, Thailand, and Argentina. I spent the winter of ’07-’08 working in Chilean Patagonia guiding glacier traverses and teaching mountaineering skills around the Northern Patagonian Ice Cap. I also work as a rigger and safety for film productions in Alaska. I am a year-round Alaskan who spends his time climbing exciting alpine lines in the Chugach Mountains and fighting cold temps on ice routes. For a vicarious adventure, I recommend reading The Worst Journey in the World. I live in downtown Anchorage with my wife Amara and our soon to be veggie oil car, the 1981 VW Rabbit diesel.

 

MT Guide Caitlin Hague

Caitlin, at 20,322 feet!

Caitlin Hague:
Caitlin moved from Colorado to Alaska in 2004 to attend college at Alaska Pacific University mainly to Nordic ski race. She quickly traded in her skinny skis and spandex for a backcountry ski set up and has been insatiably wandering around the mountains ever since.  She resides in Girdwood, AK and tries to spend as much of her time romping around in the snow.  Caitlin started guiding for Mountain Trip in 2006, having led about 15 teams up Denali since then. She also instructs glacier travel, mountaineering, ski mountaineering, and avalanche education courses for various companies and universities around Alaska.

 

MT Guide Nick Shepherd

Alaska native Nick S on Denali

Nick Shepherd:
Being born and raised in the state of Alaska, I have no intention to live anywhere else. Anyone who spends time outside here quickly understands why. The Alaska Range is an unbelievable array of mountains to climb in and two seasons of guiding on Denali has only left me hungry for more. I’m finished up a double major in Philosophy and Anthropology last year, and now I’m back in the mountains for good. I’ve worked for Mountain Trip for the past eight years and have had the pleasure of working with most of the other crew here. Todd asked for a book, so, consider reading Arnold’s Bodybuilding for Men and watch Pumping Iron. Mark Twight understates it best, “Power is not a bad thing to have in excess.” (Twight, Extreme Alpinism, pg 46)

 

MT Guide Sean McManamy

Sean on Denali’s NW Buttress

Sean McManamy:
I live in south central Alaska on the Turnagain Arm, and skiing in takes up a lot of my time. I came up to Alaska for the deep snowpack, and to finish college at Alaska Pacific University. Nowadays, I’m an Adjunct Faculty member and a year round mountain guide. I’ve been working for Mountain Trip since 2007 and have guided several routes on Denali and been to both the north and south summits. To me there is nothing better than hot drinks on a cold morning on Denali. Outside of the Alaska Range I work for Chugach Powder Guides and Instruct at the Alaska Avalanche School. My favorite book is Bound for Glory by Woody Guthrie and my favorite album is Exile on Main Street by The Rolling Stones.

 

MT Guide Adam Smith

Adam, wearing a different “hat”

Adam Smith:
I grew up in New Hampshire where I gained a great respect for adventure, reggae music and the Boston Red Sox.  At first chance I left in search of deeper snow.  My search swept through the lower 48 and pushed on to Alaska where I now live.  Here the snow is deep and creamy.  Good for skiing. Good for me.  I have been working for Mountain Trip since 2008.  In the winters I work at Alyeska Resort as a ski patroller.  My free time is spent exploring the hidden corners of Alaska with my dog Rusty and listening in on streamside volcano lessons from Janelle.

 

MT guide Eric Larson

Eric, right at home…

Eric Larson:
I’ve been guiding in the mountains since 1993, and have had the opportunity to lead trips in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, as well as in South America, the Himalayas, Antarctica, and in Europe.  I’m a fully Certified AMGA/IFMGA Guide who is fortunate to work year-round in the mountains.  Winters find me living in Telluride, CO and working Snow Safety for the Telluride Ski Resort’s ski patrol.  Spring takes me to the Alps, where I ski guide between Chamonix, La Grave and Zermatt.  As the days lengthen and summer begins, I head up to Alaska and then to Wyoming’s Teton Range, where I also guide for Exum Mountain Guides.  In the autumn, I head over to Nepal or guide rock in the amazing Utah desert.  I have to say that, with over 40 Alaska Range trips and 20-plus up Denali, I have a very special place in my heart for Alaska.

 

MT Guide Sebastian Grau

Sebastian above the Yosemite backcountry

Sebastian Grau:
I grew up in Chile, and started mountain climbing in the Andes.  Though I graduated university as a professional Geographer in 2005, I decided to work as a mountain guide full time.  I have guided Aconcagua expeditions since 2001, as well as trips in Patagonia, Argentina and Chile. I started guiding Denali trips with Mountain Trip in 2009, and began the AMGA guide certification process in 2010.  Nowadays, I live out of my truck all around the US from California´s big walls to New Hampshire´s first-class ice climbs looking for the best spots to climb and guide.

 

 

MT Guide Kim Grant

Kim “K2″ Grant below Windy Corner

Kim Grant:
Kim has guided seven Denali expeditions for Mountain Trip and has climbed and skied the mountain on her own. When not guiding in the Alaska Range, Kim ski guides at Silverton Mountain in Colorado and in the Chugach Mountains out of Valdez, AK. Kim is a boundless supplier of smiles and good energy. She’s tough, skilled and super fun!

 

MT Guide Ben Adkinson

Ben hanging out in Patagonia

Ben Adkinson:
Remember when you were a kid and always wanted to climb to the top of things?  Climbing mountains makes me feel like a kid again, albeit on a larger scale and with a bit more responsibility, but the feeling is still the same.  I grew up on a solar-powered ranch in the Highland Mountains of southwestern Montana. I went to college in Missoula, Montana (a place I may always call home?) at the University of Montana and got a degree in Recreation Management–Nature-based Tourism.  I have been a mountain guide since the middle of college on Mt. Shasta, in the Sierra Nevada, western Montana, southern Utah, Mexico, Ecuador and Alaska.  I have taught classes for the University of Montana’s Outdoor Program in almost every genre of outdoor skills. I like to have my feet planted firmly on the ground, although sometimes that ground is severely tilted- even vertical.  I enjoy ice climbing, skiing, mountaineering, backpacking, living in my van and almost any other outdoor activity.  I can’t wait so share this adventure we call life with you.

 

MT Guide Eric Gullickson

International man of mystery? Perhaps…

Eric Gullickson:
I was born Kansas, where I like to say I was able to hone my skills in the flats before taking them to the mountains.  And yes, I know what you are thinking, I am not in Kansas anymore, and that’s okay with me.  I graduated with a degree in Business Management from Colorado Christian University in Denver, Colorado, where I probably spent more time climbing and skiing than in class.  After college, I moved to Washington where I have spent the last 5 years climbing and guiding all over the Cascades.  Guiding has also allowed me to lead expeditions in South America and Alaska.  My winters are spent working as a professional Ski Patroller at Crystal Mountain where I love ski touring and working with my avalanche rescue dog Luna.  I am Level II Avalanche Certified, a Wilderness First Responder, OEC certified, a Leave No Trace Trainer, and am on my way to earning my AMGA certification.

 

MT Guide Kelly Ryan

A frosty Kelly on Denali

Kelly Ryan:
Kelly works professionally in the mountains year round, rock and ice guiding, back country ski guiding, and alpine guiding from the lower 48 to Alaska, to South America. Kelly has worked on pro ski patrol at Crystal Mountain, Wa and Telluride, Co and holds Avalanche II, Outdoor Emergency Care, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Instructor certifications.  She has climbed Denali four times, via the Cassin Ridge, Upper Rib and the West Buttress, and has also completed several first ascents on a three month climbing trip in Greenland supported by kayak. Some of her other favorite adventures include a four month solo horse trip in Argentina, sailing trips from the east coast to Greenland and Puerto Rico, and extended backpacking trips in the Aleutian Islands and Bolivia. Kelly is pursuing AMGA certification. She attended Colorado College graduating with a BA in History and Political Science and a Minor in Journalism. Kelly loves adventures of all kind and thinks it is a privilege to share them with others.

 

Nate Disser

SWA Guide owner and friend of MT, Nate Disser

Nathan Disser:
Nate joined the Mountain Trip family in 2005 for a trip up the West Rib and guided for us in the Ruth Gorge in 2007. He is a super competent rock and ice climber who has organized and led expeditions around the world. Nate, an AMGA certified Rock Guide, owns and runs San Juan Mountain, with offices in Ouray and Durango, CO. We think they run great trips in the Southwest as well as in South America, so check out their website at:
www.ourayclimbing.com

 

 

MT Guide Ian Nicholson

Ian in the Alaska Range

Ian Nicholson:
My experience ranges from having established over a half dozen first ascents in my local Cascades Mountains as well as opening new routes in farther off regions such as the Waddington Range, Patagonia and the Alaska Range.  My other experience comes from having climbed extensively in Yosemite as well as Zion, the Tetons, the Alps, Canadian Rockies, New England, the Sierras and Colorado. I have twice been the recipient of the ACC Fellowship Grant to help me with those adventures. I am also a Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Level III certified, AIARE Level I Course leader and an AIARE level 2 Instructor as well as a Leave no Trace Trainer. I am an AMGA Certified Alpine and Rock Guide and work through the ski discipline while actively pursuing IFMGA certification. His passion to be out in the mountains has been known to spur people to greater heights.  After replacing over 100 bolts in the last 4 years, I have begun working with the American Safe Climbing Association.  I like to think that my passion for being in the mountains helps spur people to new heights!

 

MT Guide Jack McGee

Jack adding cherry topping to a Denali dessert

Jack McGee:
Born and raised in the big town of San Francisco, I try and consider myself a bohemian outdoorsman now living in Alaska. I have guided four expeditions on Denali with Mountain Trip. I work as a professional ski-patrol in the winter and commercial fishermen in the summer. At the time of writing this, I had just traversed the Mongolian Gobi via bicycle, fueling myself with fermented horse milk and sweet cheese curds along the way. I love the Alaska Range and look forward to sharing these beautiful mountains with you.

 

 

MT guide Yoshiko Miyazaki-Back

Yoshiko, in her element!

Yoshiko Miyazaki-Back:
I grew up in Japan and discovered climbing during my studies in the UK.  After becoming a British Horse Society Preliminary Instructor my passion for climbing took over and I began spending much time in the Peak District and all over the UK in the summer and Scotland in the winters.  My pursuit of rock, ice, mixed, alpine and ski mountaineering brought my feet to places around the world.  Since I’ve obtained a BSc (Hons) in Conservation and Environment, it encouraged me to build various minimalist skis using unwanted wood palates to enjoy in the mountains. In conjunction with the company Patagonia, I also volunteer manpower to help local conservation groups on tree planting, river clean ups, trail maintenance and building.  As part of trying to help our planet, I stubbornly bike to work year round.  I’ve spent recent years based between Chamonix, France, the US, Japan and a bit of Canada to help broaden my mind and experience, not only in the outdoors but also to meet interesting people and participate in their communities.

 

Eli high in the mountains of Argentina

Eliana Sabrina Caamaño:
I live in Argentina, in a small town in Patagonia surrounded by small but beautiful mountains.  When I was 17 I discovered the rock climbing, an activity that I love and enjoy. I started in bouldering competitions. Two years later the mountain called me from a distance, and started working as a cook in camp on Aconcagua, after that my life changed forever.  I have worked on Aconcagua since 2003 with over 15 summits as a Certified Argentine Mountain Guide, and many other Mountains of over 6000 meters.   When I’m not in the mountains, I work with Sound Therapy, massage and Gong Bath in a Holistic Therapy Center.  I am a founder of a nonprofit Organization in favor of the New Paradigms of Education and Natural  Childbirth Humanized  Respected.  I have a beautiful Man with me, Fermin, we share the same passion for the mountains and now we are working together in our house.

 

Fermin Avila, in his element- the Andes

Fermin Avila:
I was born in Patagonia, surrounded by mountains and valleys, and grew up enjoying these mountains.  I connected with the mountain at the early age of 12 years old (fishing, walking, skiing, cycling).  I studied in the School of Mountain Guides in Mendoza, Argentina, where I have  worked since 2005, guiding on Aconcagua and other great mountains of South America.  In that time, I have guided and helped with 25 expeditions on Aconcagua.  At this time, my wife Eliana and I are working on the construction of what will become our home.  When I’m not in the mountains, I work as a carpenter and really enjoy woodworking.

 

Nick on Mt Washington

Nick in his backyard- Mt Washington, NH

Nick Aiello: 
Growing up just North of Boston, the hamlets and crags of New Hampshire have long been my “Mecca.” What we New Englanders lack in vertical mountain height, we overcompensate for with our insecurity, and waxing poetic about “classical climbing.” Climbing and guiding ice and rock in New Hampshire has been a great training ground for me, leading to ascents out West, plus four expeditions to the Central Alaska Range. Our short ice climbing season has taught me to get out there and swing my tools despite blizzards, arctic temps, or – you guessed it – pouring rain.  Since my first 5,000-mile (each way!) road trip to Denali, I’ve been itching to get back. I can’t think of a better opportunity than guiding in Alaska with Mountain Trip, for whom I’ve led four trips up the mountain. Outside of Alaska, I guide year-round for a small company in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, and I volunteer for the technical Mountain Rescue Service here.

 

Mike Thurk at the 14,200' camp on Denali

Mike Thurk at the 14,200′ camp on Denali

Mike Thurk:
In 2004, I left Massachusetts (but of course went back to see the Red Sox win the World Series) in order to pursue climbing and the road led me to Telluride, CO. With the ease of access to backcountry skiing, rock and ice climbing, I fell in love with the place instantly. In the years following I’ve received my Level II Avy Cert, WFR, become a member of Telluride Search and Rescue, and am currently pursuing my EMT certification. Living here has allowed me to continue to follow my passion for the alpine, lead trips in the Alps, guide rock and ice year round in Telluride, and become a part of the Mountain Trip family. My love of the outdoors is only rivaled by my pursuit of the perfect cup of coffee.

 

Kevin Forster

Kevin high above Haines, AK in the early spring.

Kevin Forster:
Kevin grew up on site at a Y-Camp in the Berkshires.  His first ascent was that of the epic, 35′ “Mt Wood,” at the age of 3.  Climbing brought Kevin to Alaska in 2006; he has been guiding mountaineering and ice climbing trips ever since- and now calls it home.  In the off-season, he works for an environmental consulting agency, designs custom graphics and websites, and explores the mountains with ethereal zest.  His favorite pastimes are exploring the Pandora’s Box that is ice climbing and adventuring in Southeast Alaska, and tromping up long routes in the desert sun.  Kevin lives with is fiance Jess in Haines. AK, and is stoked to be part of the Mountain Trip Family!

 

Ian Havlik photoIan Havlik:
I am a Colorado native who has had a backpack on my back since I was 3 years old.  Originally a hockey and soccer player, I picked up Nordic ski racing and pursued ski racing nationally and internationally for over a decade.  After captaining the ski team for the University of Utah and graduating with a degree in Geography, I moved to Telluride, CO where I spend the winters working for Telluride Helitrax and keeping my head buried in the snow teaching Level I and II avalanche courses.  Summers find me guiding fishing in the great trout streams of central Idaho including the legendary Salmon River and getting out on the rock in the Sawtooths as much as possible.  I joined the Mountain Trip family in 2012 and enjoy having the Alaska experience as part of my seasonal work schedule.

 

Travis Williams

Travis loving life at 14,200′ on Denali

Travis Williams:
Growing up in New Hampshire, I was shown the best skiing and hiking the White Mountains have to offer.   After high school I moved to Colorado in search of bigger mountains, deeper snow, and a college degree.  Fortunately, I found all of those.  After graduating in 2010, I stayed in Colorado and worked as a professional ski patroller at Vail.  In 2011, I was offered a job as an assistant guide on Aconcagua in Argentina.  Since then I have been able to guide in both Alaska and Washington.  When I’m not working, I enjoy skiing the backcountry in search of fresh turns and exciting descents, and exploring the incredible amount of climbing in both Colorado and Utah.  I am Avalanche II certified, a Wilderness First Responder and I am working toward my first AMGA certification.  I’m very excited about being a part of Mountain Trip and I can’t wait see you in the mountains!

 

Viviane deBros

Viviane finding direction on the Devil’s Kitchen Headwall of Mt Hood.

Viviane deBros:
Born to Swiss parents, I grew up in New England and spent my summers running amok in the Alps.  A love of physical activity and the outdoors led me to pursue a BS in Equine Sciences.  But the mountains are in my blood and after finishing my degree I left the horse world to move out west. For the past 5 years I’ve guided my way around the Washington Cascades and climbed all over the US, Patagonia and the Alps.  During this time I somehow managed to get an MBA and escape a corporate job to live the life I’ve always wanted. I love that I get to share this life with so many inspiring people!  I spend the off season working at a rock gym in Seattle. I’m a native French speaker with a (somewhat) working knowledge of German and Spanish.

 

Zach Keskinen

“Totally Tubular” takes on a new meaning, as Zach delves under an Alaskan Glacier

Zach Keskinen: 
I was born and raised in Alaska, but currently spends my winters attending Colorado College where I am double majoring in Chemistry and Geology. During the summer I try to spend as much time out in Alaska as possible, guiding in the Wrangell Mountains and exploring the glaciers and mountains of that area. 2013 will be my first year on Denali, but I am very excited to learn and explore this beautiful mountain.

 

Beau Carrillo

Enthusiastic and a passionate climber, Beau is at home on the rock or glacier.

Beau Carrillo:
Beau is from Washington State. His passion for climbing long alpine routes began at a young age in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest. He has made ascents in the Alaska Range, Patagonia, the Canadian Rockies, and the many splitters of the western United States. 2013 saw Beau guiding two Denali climbs with Mountain Trip.  A passionate traveler, Beau has worked internationally in sustainable agriculture, as well as teaching ESL in Japan and Chile. When not on the road climbing, Beau is most likely enjoying the mountains around his residence in Leavenworth, WA.

 

 

MT staffer Lisa Rutledge

Lisa on the Kahiltna Glacier

Lisa Rutledge:
Currently our Climber Support Coordinator at Mountain Trip, Lisa began guiding in Alaska in 1994, following a couple of seasons working in Antarctica. She is another school teacher by trade and has taught Alaskan youths out on the Aleutian islands in the town of Dutch Harbor. She grew homesick, however, and now teaches in Telluride, Colorado where she skis the backcountry with Todd and their Chessy, Lola. If she answers your phone call, listen for the voice of their cute little boys Logan and Dalton in the background.

 

MT Staffer Laura Duncan

Laura and one of her two cuties

Laura Duncan:
Laura is the glue that holds our office together.  Todd likes to think she is the grey matter that helps his altitude-addled synapses fire with some degree of regularity.  She has spent a lot of time working in the guiding industry and is an avid backpacker and adventurer.  She will probably be the one who helps guide you through all the pre and post-trip steps of working with Mountain Trip.  When she’s not in our office, she spends her time working with Telluride Helitrax and with her family, including her two beautiful daughters and husband John, who owns Telluride Outside, the area’s premier fly fishing and outdoor recreation outfitter.  Laura climbed Aconcagua in December, 2012 and reached the top, despite very challenging conditions and an epic windstorm.  In June of 2013, she reached the summit of Denali with one of our teams, so she can do an even better job of helping our climbers.

 

Sonja Nelson:
Sonja began guiding in Alaska in the summer of 2000 to find some balance with her wintertime profession of ski patrolling at Telluride. She has guided in Nepal as well as on Denali. In 2009, Sonja, with three friends climbed and skied from the summit of Denali. When not guiding for Mountain Trip or helping run our Alaska office during the summer, Sonja works as a ski guide at Telluride HeliTrax, and as a patroller at Telluride Mountain while she and her husband Bill Allen live in the old Scrapple Cabin in Ophir, CO.

Contact Mountain Trip: PHONE: 866-886-TRIP (8747) inside the US or +1-970-369-1153 | EMAIL: info@mountaintrip.com

FAX: +1-303-496-0998 | P.O. Box 658 | Ophir, CO 81426 | © 2014 Mountain Trip | Site by Dayzign Graphics