This guide roster is world-class, and I firmly believe that our clients go into the field with the absolute most accomplished and credible guides that any outfitter or educational organization can offer. To boot, we have excellent people and group skills, and necessary medical certifications.
- Andrew Skurka
- Buzz Burrell
- Mike Clelland
- Mary Cochenour
- Alan Dixon
- David Eitemiller
- Paul Magnanti
- Brian Robinson
- Jessica Winters
Andrew Skurka is an accomplished athlete, guide, and writer. The 37-year-old author of The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail is most well known for his solo long-distance backpacking trips, including the 4,700-mile 6-month Alaska-Yukon Expedition; 6,875-mile 7-month Great Western Loop; and 7,775-mile 11-month Sea-to-Sea Route. In recognition of these trips, Skurka was named “Adventurer of the Year” by both Outside and National Geographic Adventure, as well as “Person of the Year” by Backpacker.
More recently, Skurka has developed multiple backpacking high routes, including the Kings Canyon High Basin Route, Wind River High Route, and Pfiffner Traverse. And he has been running competitively again. His marathon personal-best is 2:28:24, and he placed 73rd at the 2017 Boston Marathon. He has placed Top 3 at the Leadville 100, Run Rabbit Run 100, Bighorn 100, and Vulcano Ultra Trail 100K.
Buzz is a living legend within the trail and ultra running community. He is the former record holder for the Colorado Trail and John Muir Trail, and thru-hiked the Sierra High Route and Wind River High Route (both with Skurka). He excels at the intersection of technical adventure and endurance. For example, he completed the Flatiron Quinfecta (climbing Boulder’s five fifth-class Flatirons, which entails about 5,000 vertical feet and 5 miles of trails) in just over 2 hours, and climbed three of the four tallest Northwest volcanoes (Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood) in 28 hours. He undertook a number of similar projects in places like Zion, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon, and the Tetons. For five years Buzz has been the Brand Manager of Ultimate Direction, a Colorado-based hydration gear company specializing in ultra running water bottles, belts and pack.
Mike lived in the shadow of the Tetons for a quarter century, giving him access to phenomenal backcountry skiing, climbing and ultralight hiking. He has been a guide for the Alaska Mountaineering School and for NOLS, where he was pivotal in creating a lightweight backpacking program. He is the author of ULTRALIGHT BACKPACKING TIPS, an instructional book (with cartoons). He’s been an illustrator for a long list of educational outdoor books and magazines. He presently lives in the Adirondacks.
Mary is a former wilderness ranger, ski patroller, and Grand Canyon river guide who more recently has been organizing and leading groups of women on backpacking trips in the northern Rockies. She is the founder of Hiker Midnight, a personal coaching service that mentors beginner backpackers.
Mary lives in Montana with her husband, Matt, and their two young kids, Kennedy and Cameron. They are addicted to the mountain lifestyle, spending their free time skiing steeps at Big Sky Resort in the winter and backpacking, mountain biking, and rafting in the summer. While she plays hard, she works hard, too, as lawyer for the Montana Attorney General.
Alan is the co-founder of Backpacking Light Magazine. At age 4 he carried his first backpack, into the Sierra Nevada, and since then he’s backpacked, climbed, packrafted, canyoneered, skied, fly-fished and kayaked in spectacular places on six continents. Alan is also a national level kayaker and triathlete. He resides in Washington DC with his wife Alison, who is his partner in outdoor adventures and triathloning. Alan has written numerous technical articles on backpacking and climbing and is a contributing author to publications including Lightweight Backpacking & Camping: A Field Guide to Wilderness Hiking Equipment, Technique, and Style.
Dave held a long and successful career in Asia as a Senior Executive for major paper, packaging and printing companies. Now semi-retired and living in Colorado Springs with his wife Sue, he has much more time for fun stuff.
Dave has completed the Wind River High Route and Pfiffner Traverse, and portions of the Sierra High Route and Kings Canyon Basin Route. He also competes in several ultra marathons per year, normally finishing on the podium for his age class. Among others, he has completed The Bear 100, Silverheels 100, Run Rabbit Run 100, Never Summer 100K, and San Juan Solstice 50 (four times, because the San Juan’s and Lake City are awesome).
Paul has completed the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail (the “Triple Crown” of long-distance trails), as well as Vermont’s Long Trail, the Benton MacKaye Trail, and the Colorado Trail. His most recent jaunt was a 600-mile+ walk through Utah on an undefined route with no name or snazzy initials, but was a lot of fun.
In addition to his long hikes, Paul is an avid backcountry skier and enjoys alpine climbing. He is a contributing author to The Colorado Trail Guidebook (8th Edition), has written articles for various publications, is a well-known presence in the online backpacking community, and has a well-regarded and read website at PMags.com. When not out in the backcountry, Paul is seeking the perfect the pint, eating the most scrumptious post-trail burger, and discovering where the best chile relleno may be found.
Brian has been backpacking since the 1970s. He helped to popularize many ultralight techniques, including use of the poncho-tarp as shelter and raingear. In 2001 Brian became the first person to complete the Calendar Triple Crown—a 7,400-mile, triple thru-hike of the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails, all in the same year. This feat earned him the trail name “Flyin’ Brian” and induction into the California Outdoors Hall of Fame. It also caught the attention of Andrew Skurka, at the time still a college student, who was fascinated by Brian’s far, fast and light style. Brian is also an accomplished ultra runner, as is his wife, Sophia. He set the course record at the Barkley Marathons, an off-beat and somewhat insane 100-mile race, in 55 hours, 43 minutes. And he completed the 224-mile John Muir Trail in just 4 days 7 hours.
Jessica has thru-hiked the Pacific Crest, Appalachian, and Continental Divide Trails, the so-called Triple Crown of long-distance hiking. She has also completed the Arizona Trail, climbed Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro (the highest peaks in South America and Africa, respectively), traversed Iceland, and logged thousands of miles on foot through the Pacific Northwest, most recently to summit all five of Washington’s volcanoes.
Jessica is a full-time yoga teacher and owns Wilderness Adventure Yoga, which combines yoga with rafting trips on two of the wildest rivers in the US, the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon and the Middle Fork of the Salmon through the Frank Church. She became a certified yoga teacher in 2011 in the system of the Ghosh lineage.