Ashley Klassen

I spent my formative years riding horses around my parent’s “hobby farm” on the plains of Kansas. A backpacking trip with my 4H group at age 16 was perhaps one of the more eye-opening experiences of my youth, revealing to me for the first time that I could actually venture into the wilderness under my own power. A couple of years later I moved to Colorado and started to explore the high peaks of the state and backpack throughout. 

As my skills and interests progressed, spending a few years as a hut keeper at the OPUS Hut was a catalyst to my passion for splitboarding and navigating the San Juan alpine snowpack. During my time there I obsessed over the stories of mountaineers and was especially influenced by Arlene Blum’s book “Annapurna: A Women’s Place.” Through a series of fortunate connections, I joined an all-female team on two ski mountaineering trips: the Wrangell-St. Elias range in 2019 and Denali in 2021. With those combined experiences and job, I began working as a basecamp manager and cook for the Silverton Avalanche School Tactical program on a basecamp trip to the Talkeetna Range as well as a trip to Barrow, Alaska. I have been fortunate enough to also take my passion for backcountry skiing to places like the Selkirk range of Canada and Chamonix, France.

Now as an EMT-B I love teaching medical courses, from CPR/First Aid to WFRs. I have been volunteering with my local Search and Rescue team for six years. I am also an AMGA Apprentice Ski Guide. I teach avalanche education for the Silverton Avalanche School in the winter and work as a bike patroller for the ski resort in the summer. I love guiding because I get to meet people from all over the world with all kinds of different backgrounds and interesting stories, and we get to create memories together having awesome experiences in the mountains. When I am not guiding I love spending all day riding my mountain bike or romping around the chossy high peaks of San Juan.

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