Apply now: Our 2021 guiding season has started

By Andrew Skurka / December 14, 2020 /

Yesterday I switched on the Application Form for our 2021 guiding season. Each year I do this, part of me still wonders, “Will anyone even sign up?” Thankfully, there’s been no basis for this concern — some new applicants always find us, and some alumni always return. The more significant challenge usually is finding everyone…

Guide profile: Jessica Winters

By Andrew Skurka / December 11, 2020 /

This will be Jessica’s fourth season with us. She’s a full-time yoga teacher, and also organizes whitewater-and-yoga expeditions on the Colorado, Salmon, and Tatshenshini Rivers. After completing the Triple Crown of thru-hiking in the early-2000’s, she’s gone on to traverse Iceland, complete the Arizona Trail, and climb dozens of peaks in the Cascades and Olympics,…

Guide profile: Scott Christy

By Andrew Skurka / December 10, 2020 /

Scott has taught backpacking skills for over 20 years with NOLS, where he helped develop the NOLS lightweight backpacking program. In that capacity, he’s backpacked and trained a diverse range of participants including NASA Astronauts, MBA students, US Marines, and Google directors.

Our Covid-19 protocols for 2021 trips

By Andrew Skurka / December 9, 2020 /

This pandemic has been dynamic since spring 2020, and I expect it to remain so in 2021. As the circumstances change throughout the season, our protocols will also change. I’m optimistic that mass vaccinations, widespread rapid testing, and effective therapeutics will destroy this virus in 2021, but until real progress is made I’m looking at…

Guide profile: Christy Rosander

By Andrew Skurka / December 9, 2020 /

Christy was new to our program in 2020, and an instant hit. She lives in Tehachapi, California, the gateway to the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with her husband of 32 years, Dan, and has three children and two grandchildren. In 2021 she will be guiding trips in Colorado and Yosemite.

Apply for 2021 trips starting December 14

By Andrew Skurka / December 7, 2020 /

Next Monday, December 14, 2020, I will start accepting applications for our 2021 trips. Initially, it’s an open process, and all applications received will be considered mostly equally. The open application period closes on Monday, December 28 for Utah and Alaska trips; and on the following Monday, January 4, for our trips in Colorado, California,…

It’s live: Our 2021 guided trip schedule

By Andrew Skurka / December 3, 2020 /

Last year was disrupted first by Covid and then by wildfires, so my primary goal in 2021 is simply to get through our original 2020 schedule (plus a little bit). We start the season in April, when spring arrives in southern Utah; and we finish in early-October, during West Virginia’s peak foliage.

76 testimonials about our 2020 guided trips

By Andrew Skurka / December 2, 2020 /

Since 2014 I’ve asked our clients to complete a post-trip survey to gather feedback about our guides, locations, meals, and curriculum, plus their overall satisfaction. Reviewing the results is a multi-day project but entirely worthwhile: they confirm what we’re doing right, and they give me a checklist of improvements for the following year. Among our…

Major redesign: Salomon X Ultra 4 preview

By Andrew Skurka / December 1, 2020 /

The Salomon X Ultra is the favorite hiking shoe of fellow guide Dave Eitemiller, and it’s one of my recommendations for high routes, early-season conditions, and Alaska. It stands out for its durability, traction, support, and protection, all in a reasonably lightweight package. The X Ultra 4 will be released in spring 2021, and it…

I’m hiring: Backpacking guide position(s)

By Andrew Skurka / November 30, 2020 /

For the 2021 season I plan to hire up to three additional backpacking guides. If you would like to join our team, read on. Position description The work will be short-term and seasonal, and should be considered a supplement to steadier full-time work, an additional contract in a larger freelance portfolio, or a fun and…