Guide Roster

I’m thrilled to have assembled this all-star guide team, and to work beside them. Each one is an expert backpacker and guide — they combine extensive first-hand backcountry experience with a passion for teaching, excellent people skills, relate-able family and work lives, engaging story-telling, and necessary medical certifications.

Our team:

Andrew Skurka

  • Boulder, CO
  • 43 years-old
  • Married to Amanda and adoring parent of Esmerelda and Luxor, our feline fur children
  • Instagram
  • Facebook
  • he/him/his

Since founding this program in 2011, I’ve led 109 trips and have spent 511 days in the field with clients. In the first five years, I guided every single trip (58) and spent up to 76 days in the field. The program has grown considerably since then, but I guide as often as I practically can while remaining married and maintaining the overall quality — it’s the most fun and rewarding aspect of my work.

My goal on each trip is to empower clients with outdoor skills and knowledge so that they can be self-sufficient, lead the group, and confidently undertake future trips of their own. It’s an extra perk if I can learn from my group, have fun, and explore a new setting.

As a twenty-something I was a prolific long-distance thru-hiker. My most notable trips were the:

  • Alaska-Yukon Expedition (6 months, 4,700 miles),
  • Great Western Loop (7 months, 6,875 miles), and the
  • Sea-to-Sea Route (11 months, 7,775 miles).

In my thirties, I focused on high routes and long-distance running. I pioneered and wrote guidebooks for four off-trail backpacking routes in the High Sierra, Wind River Range, and Colorado Rockies. I completed six 100-mile races, and set a fastest known time on the Pfiffner Traverse. In my forties, I’ve not yet slowed down — I ran 2:27:59 (5:38/mile pace) and placed eighty-third at the 2022 Boston Marathon.

My definitive book, The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide: Tools & Tips to Hit the Trail, was published by National Geographic and has sold over 120,000 copies. 

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “Andrew totally surprised me. I expected excellent content and skills. Check. I didn’t expect to see someone who was thoroughly likeable and who had mastered group management and other soft skills. I walked away with a love and admiration not only for Andrew but for his deep dedication to the craft of guiding.”
  • “I loved that Andrew took the time to get to know each person in the group and personally checked in with everyone through the day and in the evening.”
  • “I learned a lot when Andrew would talk through his own thinking as he scouted out potential routes or made decisions in the field. I knew that Andrew has a ton of skills, but was very impressed with him as a teacher, too.”
  • “Andrew is the cream of the crop. I have been a teacher and group leader for 40 years. His skill as a leader is absolutely exceptional!”
In Gates of the Arctic National Park

Audrey Abbott

  • Virgin, Utah
  • Partner to Mike. Godmother to Luna. 
  • Instagram
  • She/her

I grew up in Dallas, Texas but spent most of my childhood summers in Colorado, where I fell in love with the great outdoors. My career as an outdoor educator began in the summers between college when I started to lead canoe expeditions through Quetico Provincial Park, just north of the boundary waters.

After graduating, I traveled and worked internationally, leading weeklong biking and hiking trips. Over the course of those early years I developed a deep regard for adventure travel, as well as the wilderness experience, and I believe strongly in the innate connection between outdoor exploration and self-reflection and growth. By the time I moved to Southwest Utah in 2018, I had lived and worked on several continents, spending the most significant chunks of my time in Catalonia, Spain, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Patagonia, and Southeast Asia. 

The dramatic landscapes of Southern Utah deepened my love for rock climbing, and it was here too that I discovered a new passion: canyoneering. I found the exploration of slot canyons intoxicating, and I have had the privilege of sharing that passion with others for the past six years as a canyon guide and AMGA climbing instructor based out of Zion National Park. This will be my first season working with Andrew Skurka Adventures, and I am beyond thrilled to teach technical rope skills in the multi-day backcountry setting. Time spent outdoors is the best way to spend time, and the connections you make with others along the way are some of the strongest bonds I’ve ever known. 

When I am not working as a guide or instructor, I am planning my own outdoor adventures with friends. In the past two years, those escapades have included climbing big walls in the Spanish Pyrenees, backpacking in the Wind River Range, packrafting the Colorado River through Grand Canyon, and bikepacking the White Rim in Canyonlands National Park. 

Audrey biking the White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Matthew Bright

  • Washington, DC
  • 39 years-old
  • Single
  • Instagram
  • he/him

I started with Andrew as a client in 2018. Less than a year later, I got my first guiding assignment in West Virginia after helping to convince Andrew that understanding and appreciating a landscape go hand in hand and should be a critical component of any backpacking curriculum. This is especially true in the East where there aren’t a lot of views, but there sure is a lot of plant life.

My guiding goals on every trip are to make the landscape come alive to clients; to impart my knowledge of the geology, flora and social history of West Virginia; and above all, to spark wonder and curiosity.

I’m excited to return to WV for my sixth consecutive season which makes me the longest-serving Skurka guide in this part of the world. My personal backpacking resume includes thru hikes of the Long Trail, Sierra High Route, West Highland Way, Cotswold Way, and loops of the Wind River High Route and Pfiffner Traverse as well as numerous other trips on both coasts and all points in between. My most recent personal project is climbing all of Colorado’s 14ers, and I’m almost done having completed 49! In my 9-5 life outside of backpacking, I’m the Director of External Affairs for CarbonCapture Inc. a startup company that is designing, manufacturing, and deploying machines to filter carbon dioxide directly out of the atmosphere.  

My favorite testimonials from 2023

  • “Matt’s understanding of the plant life is truly exceptional. He is like having an app on your phone that identifies trees and plants, but better because he can tell stories about each. I really enjoyed foraging for berries in particular with him.”
  • “I really appreciate the ethics around learning the history of the land and the flora/fauna in the area! I also felt like Matt was pretty regimented in how he taught, so I always felt really confident in my skills afterwards. I also super appreciated that he pointed out all the edible berries, and we were able to take some breaks to forage huckleberry, tea berry, and cranberries!”
  • “First, Matt was incredibly easy to talk to and made a point of connecting with all of us. I felt like I knew him well by the end, even if we’d only shared time for a couple days. Second, he was a great teacher. He did a good job breaking down complex instructions into easy-to-remember steps.”
  • “Matt brought the energy level higher and put a lot of autonomy in the clients to demonstrate their learning.”
Matt demonstrating Skurka full-immersion backpacking techniques in WV 

Brandon Chase

  • Lives in Southwest Harbor, ME with wife Veronica and newborn daughter, Lupine.
  • 36 years-old
  • Instagram, Website
  • he/him/his

I have been involved with Andrew’s program since 2020 in multiple capacities including logistical support, program design, instruction for the Plan Like a Pro course, and guiding. In a previous life, I was a Foreign Service Officer with the Department of State and had the opportunity to explore more than 60 countries while serving at U.S. Embassies in Egypt, Cyprus, and Pakistan. 

As a Registered Maine Guide for Whitewater and Recreation, I lead rafting trips, wildlife canoe tours, and guided hikes in the Pine Tree State. I enjoy sharing my passion for the outdoors and helping others surpass perceived limitations to show that valuable, positive, and memorable backcountry experiences are achievable by anyone, anywhere with the proper skills and mindset.

Along with a 98-day thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, I have summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the West Highland Way, fastpacked in the Himalayas, and trekked around New Zealand, South Africa, and the U.S. While abroad, I picked up an affection for endurance athletics and regularly compete in ultramarathons at 50k, 50-mile, and 100-mile distances around the globe. I write about hiking, trail running, and fastpacking on publications such as Fit For Miles, TheTrek, and

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “Brandon is one of these people who make their job look very easy even when you know it isn’t. He’s a super reliable, fun, humble, and easygoing leader. As an educator, he achieves a great balance of providing info and support while also giving each person space to learn on their own.”
  • “He was exceptionally personable and knowledgeable. He pushed us to think for ourselves but still supported us as we did it.”
  • “Brandon did a great job layering in new skills throughout the trip. Challenged patterns of thought while still meeting us where we are in the journey, never making us feel bad about our gear choices, just helping explain the pros and cons of everything.”
  • “Brandon invited questions, was happy to go over topics until they sunk in, and encouraged curiosity. He also showed that he was constantly learning.”
  • Brandon is a natural teacher. The lessons were always well organized and delivered. I learned a lot from him in informal conversations as well.”
Brandon out for a run on his backyard trails in Acadia National Park.

Scott Christy

This coming season will be my fifth year guiding with Andrew, but for over twenty years I’ve taught backpacking skills for NOLS and helped develop the NOLS lightweight backpacking program. In that capacity, I’ve had the honor of backpacking and training a diverse range of participants including NASA Astronauts, MBA students, US Marines, and Google directors. I’m also a river guide rowing expedition rafting trips in the Grand Canyon. As a guide, I am moved by the fact that our lives are richer for the experiences we share with others, and I believe that expeditions succeed together or largely don’t succeed.

When I’m not guiding I do a fair bit of personal adventuring. In 2021 I completed a continuous almost all off-trail end-to-end hike of the Grand Canyon in 52 days. Additionally I enjoy long packrafting trips in the Arctic and canyoneering explorations of the Colorado Plateau. Also, it turns out that lightweight backpacking systems work exceptionally well for bikepacking and backcountry elk hunting! When possible, in between backcountry trips, I serve on the command team of my local Search and Rescue unit in Wyoming.

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “Exceptional communication skills, sense of humor, leadership, and camaraderie. Scott is the quintessential backpacking guide, just about in every way, and a truly excellent human being.”
  • “He is incredibly humble for all that he’s accomplished, hiking right alongside each of us ready to provide conversation, insight, and even book recommendations.”
  • “Scott is approachable, emotionally present, and has a wonderfully contagious positive energy. An absolutely perfect lead guide.”
  • “Always encouraging and made tasks very attainable. FUN, hilarious, great teacher. Very uplifting of everyone.”
  • “Scott’s broad knowledge and extensive experience of the outdoors is equally matched by his natural ability to put clients at ease. His confident support made me grateful he was there.”
Scott relaxing atop a slickrock slab in the Grand Canyon.

Richard Forbes

  • Missoula, MT
  • 31 years-old
  • Website
  • he/him

I grew up in the lowland forests of PA and fell in love with the alpine when my family first began backpacking across the grassy Appalachian balds. Since then, I’ve spent my life trying to be above treeline.

I moved to Colorado for college, where I studied ecology and journalism and began guiding. Since 2011, I’ve guided more than 220 days across a wide range of mountain sports: rock climbing, mountain biking, mountaineering, whitewater, backpacking, backcountry skiing, map and compass, photography, etc.

In my free time, I’m always planning my own adventure routes – in the summer, remote off-trail routes with glaciers and summits; in the winter and spring, backcountry ski traverses and linkups. Over the last few years, I’ve:

  • skied or mountaineered across the Isolation, Ptarmigan, Bailey, Chiwaukum and Enchantments traverses in WA State
  • climbed and/or skied the five volcanoes of WA (Rainier three times, including skiing the Fuhrer Finger in a day, and Helens twice) + Hood
  • rowed a raft down the Grand Canyon as part of a 27-day winter noncommercial trip
  • packrafted and canyoneered my way down the Escalante River using $20 pool toys
  • visited 20 out of 26 wilderness glaciers of Glacier National Park as part of a multi-year storytelling project, which has required a ton of off-trail travel

When I’m not guiding, I work in natural resource conflict resolution and as a freelance photographer and writer, working on stories about the relationship between people and place, specifically as it relates to identity and mental health. In 2023, I received masters’ degrees in environmental journalism and natural resource conflict resolution.

As a guide and storyteller, I’m empathetic, prioritize clear communication, and love collaborating and empowering people with new information and skills. I love sharing experiences with others in the backcountry and I’m stoked to see you out there!

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “Very in-tune with group pace, could tell how hard to push pace and how to keep pace manageable as a group. Great positive and supportive spirit. Brought much joy, laughter, and fun to our group while still being an encouraging and thoughtful guide who seemed to care genuinely deeply about each of us.”
  • “Richard kept the overall group safety front and center while also giving the clients ample opportunities to learn in the moment. He’s also full of tidbits, fun facts and educational stories that connect you deeper to the landscape you’ll traverse.”
  • “Richard is extremely knowledgeable about glaciers, flora, river crossings, and backcountry travel, generally. His positive demeanor and boundless energy bolstered the group during periods of incessant rain.”
  • “Always good about stating expectations and managing any issues. Excellent teacher and demonstrated servant leadership.”
  • “Cheerfully did all the grunt work.”
Stoked to be out guiding in the Brooks Range even if a storm was blowing in! June 2023.

Katie Gerber

Since joining ASA in 2021, I’ve spent 126 days in the field with clients in Utah, Alaska, California, Colorado, and West Virginia. At the beginning of 2023, I took on the role of Co-Director of the company.

As a guide and outdoor educator, my goal is to empower individuals with the knowledge, experience, and confidence to safely pursue trips of their own. I enjoy teaching risk-management, sharing about local flora, and creating a group environment where everyone feels safe to be themselves.

In addition to guiding and co-directing at ASA, I run my own business as a holistic health coach, where it’s my mission to help others feel their best — on trail and off. I’m the creator of the Backpacker Academy online courses and author of the backpacking guidebook Adventure Ready: A Hiker’s Guide to Planning, Training, and Resiliency.

A few of the notable hikes I’ve completed include:

  • a 115-mile off-trail ridgeline traverse of the Sangre de Cristo range, all above 12,000′, starting at Blanca Peak and finishing at my front door;
  • an off-trail, end-to-end hike of the Grand Canyon in 35 days;
  • the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, Oregon Desert, and Colorado Trails;
  • the Pfiffner Traverse;
  • the Wind River High Route;
  • and a 900-mile off-trail route in the Great Basin.

I love alpine travel and have summited all of Colorado’s 14ers. I’m currently working on the Centennials as well as the ranked 13ers in the Sangres. I also enjoy backcountry skiing, lake-bagging, (gf) baking, tending to my houseplants, and volunteering on trail work crews.

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “Katie was encouraging, approachable, and empowering. She took incredible care of us and also gave us space to learn, make mistakes, and grow our skills in a supportive and safe environment.”
  • “Katie did a phenomenal job to work with each individual as well as the group to develop their personal backcountry skills and personal confidence. She was patient, kind and supportive. Her knowledge is vast. She also did a fantastic job of building team cohesion and ensuring everyone was active and engaged.”
  • “Katie is just an absolutely top notch guide. She’s a complete badass, but very understated, allowing others in the group to shine. She is deeply knowledgeable about all aspects of backcountry travel – food, walking, packing, gear and is happy to share when asked. I love hearing her stories and following along on her adventures. She does an excellent job managing group dynamics, never flinching, showing exasperation and keeping everyone on task and in a good mood.”
  • “Katie excels in literally every conceivable category. I could pen 10,000 words and still fall woefully short of Katie’s expert guidesmanship. Her humility, mentorship, patience, expertise, and craftsmanship are virtues that most of us could only dream of touching. She is, without question, a master of her craft and a role model to anyone paying sufficiently close attention.”
  • “Katie was wonderful – supportive, knowledgeable, kind, funny, and confident. Oh, and patient – sincerely, it must be hard to be asked 600 questions a day for a week straight. Even if you love what you do, it must be draining. But I never once sensed a tiredness of sharing her passion and expertise. She’s a gem!”
Katie feeling grateful to be in the Brooks Range of Alaska.

Hunter Hall

I’ve been working as an instructor for Andrew’s guided trips and online class, Plan Like a Pro, since 2019.

I love being an instructor and guiding because it gives me an opportunity to share hard-won knowledge with others and empower people with the skills to do their own exploring. In the field, I’m very level-headed, safety conscious, and believe in fostering a culture of risk awareness, open/transparent decision making, and healthy, fun group dynamics.

In another life, I’m a hospitality industry executive, HR professional, lobbyist, government contractor, and management consultant. I’ve led over 50 seminars and workshops in this capacity and have directed teams of 100+ since 2007.

I spend most of my outdoor time in the mountains of California, from the San Gabriels to The Sierra, most of which is off-trail along high routes like the SHR, KCHBR, SoSHR, YHR, etc. I love winter backpacking, snowboarding/skiing, adventure cycling, and packrafting. Recently, I’ve combined these pursuits with things like Bikerafting, Skirafting, and more traditional Bikepacking. I have a newfound fascination with geology and natural history.

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “Wealth of knowledge. Excelled at understanding and adapting to the group’s emotional and physical state. He was also great at allowing the group to learn by experimenting, only stepping in when necessary to correct or alter a decision if needed.”
  • “Uncanny ability to explain something so you understand quickly and retain it.”
  • “Great at teaching us how to travel in difficult terrain safely. I felt completely safe knowing he was there.”
  • “Amazingly supportive and encouraging. Generous, kind, soft-hearted, and fascinating to talk to.”
  • “Great teacher who made sure each of us intentionally walked the group through how we came to conclusions while we were leading.”
  • …and my favorite (thanks to the beard): “The Most Interesting Guide in The World!
Hunter on the Kings Canyon High Basin Route.

Melodie Kao

  • Santa Cruz, CA and Flagstaff, AZ
  • 35 years-old
  • Lots of plant children and enthusiastic cat auntie
  • Website
  • she/her

I explore the natural world, whether it is the physics occurring in faraway worlds as an astronomer or roaming mountains and canyons. In 2019 I got my start as a guide by teaching a semester-long Wild Astro class with a 7-day backpacking trip at Arizona State University. After going to the Brooks Range in 2021 with Andrew’s program, he recruited me to guide in the Sierras, and I’m delighted to be back!

I believe backpacking skills help us grapple with challenges that we face in the rest of our lives, including at work and at home. On my trips, I show people how to traverse their internal landscapes while they learn how to become skilled route-finders. Wild places and their lessons are a shared human inheritance, so I also work to make access to nature more equitable and co-launched our Scholarship Program in 2022.

My solo repertoire includes the WRHR and half of the KCHBR, sections of the YHR, my own routes in the Wind River Range, and of course the JMT. I also enjoy partner and small-group travel all up and down the Sierras in early and late season as well as the Escalante and Grand Canyon. Last year, I won an American Alpine Club Catalyst Grant for a route in the Brooks Range. I especially like analog navigating. In my spare time, I mentor emerging scientists and backpackers, cross-train, dance, and read.

My favorite testimonials from 2023

  • “Melodie is amazing. I REALLY REALLY liked her and I think she’s probably one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. Melodie stands out in that she is not just a very educated backpacking guide (taught us how to use maps, the compass, route find etc…) but also an advocate for women on the trails and has interests outside of hiking that she loves to share. She is so completely open and gave us 100% of herself every day”
  • “Absolute passion for backpacking and story-telling about the universe”
Melodie on the Sierra High Route.

Jackie Lambert

  • Spruce Knob, WV
  • 34 years-old
  • Partner Kyle and Girl Kitty
  • Instagram
  • she/her

I’ve worked in outdoor education for the last 12 years in Texas, California, and currently in West Virginia at Experience Learning. As an outdoor educator,  I lead people of all ages on multi-day backpacking adventures.  I love sharing the outdoors with others and inspiring curiosity about the natural world and teaching the skills necessary to thrive in the backcountry.

I began backpacking in 2012 and started thru-hiking in 2013 with The Appalachian Trail.  My excitement about long-distance trips took me to the Te Araroa in 2015-16 and The Colorado Trail in 2018.

Since moving to West Virginia in 2014, I have explored my “backyards” like the Seneca Creek backcountry, Otter Creek Wilderness Area, and many other trails wandering through the Monongahela National Forest. I also multi day camp regularly in Friars Hole Cave System as a member of the team exploring the known limits of the cave. I love talking about astronomy and telling stories in the stars. 

Jackie is new for the 2023 season

Joe McConaughy (“Stringbean”)

  • Seattle, WA
  • 31 years-old
  • Married to Katie and Australian Shepherd, Crash Bandipooch
  • Instagram
  • Website
  • he/him/his

This is my sixth season guiding with Andrew. I’ve guided in West Virginia, California, Washington and Utah. My goals on each trip are to explore interesting places, learn and have fun. I guide because of the wide range of passionate outdoors people I get to meet. I’m particularly grateful to guide for Andrew Skurka Adventures because of the creative routes we draw up in interesting places.

Growing up an Eagle Scout and runner helped cultivate a lifelong interest in the outdoors and my physical limits. I’ve backpacked or ran a handful of long trails in the US, including the PCT, AT, JMT, LT and AZT. I love ultralight backpacking and moving quickly through nature. I’m also a sponsored ultramarathon runner with Brooks and like to combine the disciplines of backpacking and trail running. The mountains and forests are the places I like to visit to be introspective. It’s my place of zen, and I love sharing that with other people.

My favorite testimonials from 2023

  • “Great sensitivity to individual and group needs, unfailingly calm and positive attitude.”
  • “A true master of the outdoors. Possibly part mountain goat.”
  • “What a sweetheart. So experienced and competent and doesn’t wear it on his sleeve. Supportive of everyone on the trip, upbeat, helpful and cued in to the group.”
  • “Joe supported us in learning by doing, not just by listening. He gave us opportunities to navigate, evaluate river crossings, and tackle challenges.”
Selfie on the PCT

Jose Mendez

For the past three years I’ve worked in outdoor education and guiding as a camp instructor, day guide, and multi-day guide teaching backpacking, climbing, canyoneering, and kayaking. I started with Andrew Skurka Adventures in 2022 guiding trips in the Sierra and have now also guided in Utah and Alaska. 

I did not grow up in the outdoors and had to pick it all up as an adult later on in my life. Guiding gives me the opportunity to share my newfound love of the outdoors with those who also haven’t had the ability or resources to discover these amazing places and experiences. On each trip I lead, I try to share all the skills I’ve acquired as an outdoor enthusiast and my passion for preserving these beautiful wild places.

I’ve gone on some long walks on the John Muir Trail, Tahoe Rim Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, Colorado Trail and routes like the Lowest to Highest, Hayduke Trail, Wind River High Route and Yosemite High Route. I’ve also done a lot of technical climbing all over the west including Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Tahoe, and the Grand Tetons among many other places. I love to focus on the geology and indigenous history of the area I’m guiding in in order to expand the client’s perception of these wild and wonderful places. I also love identifying wildflowers especially in the Sierra. 

My favorite testimonials from 2023

  • “His knowledge and ability to teach was exceptional. Those two attributes don’t always go together. He too found the right moments to check in with me and my well being. Jose’s sense of humor and also his calm in all situations really kept me feeling secure.”
  • “Jose is just such a fun guy to hang out with. He’s professional yet has a great sense of humor and makes sure everyone is feeling included and part of the group. Great dude”
  • “Technical expertise, humour, humility, kindness, curiosity. I really like Jose’s energy, honesty, and humble attitude.”
  • “He know good stuff about geology and LNT”
Jose in the Brooks Range in Gates of the National Park, Alaska

Samuel Novey

  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • 35 years-old
  • Lives with: Partner – Ashley; Boston Terriers – Sigmund, Birch, and Margot; Pit Bull – Rosie; and usually one or two foster dogs
  • Instagram

I love empowering people and helping them build the confidence to have their own adventures outdoors but even more important to me is the existential and communal experience of being in the wilderness together. I see our adventures as an opportunity to explore inwards as much as outwards, discovering the variety of aesthetic experiences that nature can evoke. I value creating a sense of intradependence amongst the group and the landscape, getting really far out there and having immersive and sublime journeys. This will be my second season guiding with Skurka Adventures.

I was born and raised in the bay area and grew up hiking and climbing in the Sierra Nevada. I’ve been serious about climbing mountains for over fifteen years. I’ve climbed difficult routes on the high peaks of multiple continents, guided on Denali, and hiked, run, climbed, or skied over one hundred peaks in the Wasatch alone. My experience in alpine climbing distills a lightweight and highly physical approach to backpacking.

I’ve also worked as an Emergency Room/Triage nurse and a Wilderness First Responder instructor in Utah for the past nine years. On the side I work as a coach and personal trainer for mountain athletes. I love training and watching my athletes grow and achieve their goals. I volunteer as the Salt Lake Chapter Chair of the American Alpine Club.

Some of my personal experiences include:

  • Climbing Highlights: Multiple climbs in the Khumbu region of the Himalayas; the Cassin Ridge on Denali; Mt. Rainier’s Liberty Ridge in 24 hours; The North Face of Quitaraju in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru; and the three tallest peaks of the Rwenzori Range, Uganda
  • Off trail scrambles, high routes, rock climbs, ice climbs, and peak bagging adventures in the North Cascades, Cascade Volcanoes, Sierras, Wind River, Teton, San Juans, Front, Lost River, Wasatch, and Uinta mountain ranges
  • Backcountry hiking trips and rock climbs all over the desert southwest, including: Grand Staircase Escalante, Canyonlands, Greater Moab area, Bears’ Ears, Buckskin Gulch/Paria River, and the Grand Canyon

My favorite testimonials from 2022

  • “Sam was committed to creating exceptional group cohesion, came prepared with knowledge about the flora and fauna, and approached the environment with a sense of joy.”
  • “Sam was very fun and friendly and also inspired lots of confidence. He demonstrated significant expertise, particularly with navigation, and had lots of interesting knowledge that he shared with the group. I appreciated his willingness to push the group beyond our comfort zones in order to really attain the “adventure” part of the trip.”
  • “Sam is a bonafide legend. I’d do another trip just to hang and learn more from Sam”
  • “Sam was super knowledgeable and complemented Scott well in terms of areas of expertise. Both Scott & Sam were among the best guides I’ve ever had on trips.”
Sam in in Little Box Death Hollow, Escalante, UT

Ella Nuttelman

  • Boulder, CO
  • 36 years old
  • Married to Charlie and mother to Logan (1-year-old)
  • Instagram
  • she/her

I began working with Andrew in the summer of 2022 as the Operations Assistant.  My guiding history began in my early 20’s at a YMCA camp, where I took youth into the Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington.  From 2012-2021 I led backpacking, canoeing, and rock climbing trips for Breckenridge Outdoor Education Center throughout western Colorado and southern Utah.  

I believe outdoor recreation is an essential human need and is intrinsically therapeutic.  Being active in the outdoors through human-powered travel is something that makes me tick, and I want to share that with others.  I strive to teach outdoor skills and instill confidence in backcountry travel and hope that the lessons and experiences gained through backpacking can be taken back to benefit one’s everyday life.

I grew up backpacking with my family in the Wind Rivers. With family as my #1 priority, you’ll often find me with Logan on my back exploring the trails these days. Finding time to escape to the trails has always been a priority, with adventure and fitness motivating my actions.  Recent highlights include:

  • Trail ran the Rockwall Traverse and the Lake O’Hara Circuit in the Canadian Rockies
  • Climbed the East Ridge of Edith Cavell
  • Traversed from Glacier Bay to Yakutat, AK
  • Section hiked the Grand Canyon, AZ
  • Cathedral Traverse, WY
  • Trail ran the Gore Range Trail and climbed Mount Whitney, training for the Squamish 50
  • Fastpacked the Wonderland Trail, WA
  • Gannett Peak Project, WY
  • Climbed the Kautz Route (2x) on Mount Rainier

New for the 2023 season

Ella hiking in the Grand Canyon.

Mikaela Osler

  • Albuquerque, NM
  • 29 years-old
  • Instagram
  • she/her or they/them

This is my third season guiding with ASA; I also work as an outdoor educator throughout the Southwest with young people from middle school to college age. I love being outside, and my favorite thing about guiding is helping others gain the skills and comfort they need so they can challenge themselves, grow, and have a blast outdoors. 

I hiked the PCT in 2016. Since then, I’ve completed the triple crown and have set FKTs on the Colorado Trail and Long Trail. When I’m not on trail, I dabble in ultrarunning and backcountry skiing. I’m also a writer; I completed a Masters degree in creative writing in 2022 and I’m hard at work on a memoir about thru-hiking. My words about backpacking and multi-day endurance athletics can be found in places like Trail Runner and Long Trail News.

These days I’m guiding and writing full time, but I previously spent several years instructing college English. Whether I’m teaching how to structure a paragraph or how to read a map, I love finding creative ways to help people connect with new skills and ideas. 

My favorite client testimonials from 2023

  • “Mikaela’s positive attitude was infectious. At the outset of our trip I was feeling nervous (about my skills, equipment, and fitness). Ten minutes of hiking with her and all that melted away and I was in the moment again enjoying the rainforest.”
  • “Mikaela radiates light and warmth in the coldest and darkest of days.”
  • “Mikaela was also phenomenal at reading the dynamics of our group. At various points I saw her quietly go check in on people who seemed like they were struggling without making it a big deal.”
  • “Mikaela is one of the kindest human beings I have ever met.”
  • “Her caring nature, teaching prowess, and ability to cultivate a cohesive group dynamic truly made her a standout guide.”
Mikaela on the Wind River High Route.

Hazel Platt

  • Sacramento, CA
  • 30 years-old
  • Instagram
  • he/they

I started guiding with ASA in 2021, but my love for helping people of all ages connect with nature began in college with Penn State University’s Outing Club, Adventure Literature and Outdoor School programs. When I guide, my goal is to evoke a sense of deep curiosity in each client, to help them look closer at flora and cure their “tree blindness,” an insidious condition that prevents full appreciation of nature’s most majestic beings. I like to say that my gear is ultralight to support my field guide habit – I’m probably carrying at least two anytime I’m on the trail.

I have nearly 5,000 miles under my feet on various long trails including the AT, PNT and PCT. I have taught skiing, climbing, swimming, and sharpshooting in addition to backpacking and natural history, and have a bachelor’s degree in Recreation, Park and Tourism Management. I love to investigate the bigger picture of the places I explore – the interconnected ecology of the human and more-than-human worlds, and the ways that queerness is present all around us in nature.

My favorite testimonials

  • “Hazel’s detailed local knowledge brought the landscape of Dolly Sods to life. I did not think I was interested in trees. I was wrong. Talking to him helped me understand human impact and why it’s so important to follow Leave No Trace principles. I’m very thankful to have had Hazel on this trip.”
  • “Hazel was very knowledgeable about the area, especially the local plants and trees. Learning more about the plant life in Dolly Sods was a fun aspect of our trip which I wasn’t expecting! He was also committed to getting to know everyone on the trip and really helpful if we had questions.”
Hazel at a local favorite: the PCT’s high point in Desolation Wilderness.

Dahn Pratt

  • Ojai, CA
  • Unfortunately by the time you read this I’ll be 33 years-old
  • Two dogs (one tripod courtesy of Jeff Wohl!)
  • Instagram

The outdoors have always been my refuge. In-between semesters at college I worked on a helicopter-assisted sled dog camp in the Panhandle of Alaska on the Denver Icefield. Post-grad I have worked with various non-profits focused on interpersonal and leadership skills in an outdoor setting logging over 400 nights in outdoor classrooms. I have also guided with Andrew since 2020 and plan on guiding for many more years to come! 

I’ve hiked and guided extensively on six continents and each time I meet new people or witness new places I look forward to learning more and sharing the knowledge I’ve gained from a life lived exploring. There hasn’t been a day spent outdoors where I haven’t learned something new and I intend to keep that streak going in 2024 🙂

A lifetime ago I was a Bronze Medalist at the Canadian Track & Field National Championships in Triple Jump. After graduating I decided to hike the Appalachian Trail and have been longing for outdoor exploration ever since. Between late 2017 and early 2020 I hiked over 10,000 miles in perpetual summer along national scenic trails in various countries, even pioneering a 1,250 mile loop in the Middle East called the Peace Trail, a combination of the Israel National Trail and the Jordan Trail.

After University I was a teaching assistant for a travel abroad program and also taught Human Kinetics, Geography, and Orienteering at an International School in Tokyo.

Special areas of interest for me in the backcountry are wild edibles, hydrology, and geology.

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “Dahn had an ever positive attitude, fun loving personality that was great to be around when things were good. He had quite an accomplished backpacking career as well, which he lent a lot of during conversations. It was awesome to hear about different birds, trees, plants, mushrooms, wildfire, geology, etc. Such a nice bonus to get all these tidbits of knowledge and learn about the world around us, rather than just how to navigate through it. Makes it more about living with it and less about getting past it.”
  • “Dahn’s enthusiasm and energy was infectious. He always had a cool or funny story to share; talking with and getting to know him was great. He approached leading the team more in the role of a coach, never really giving instructions but instead pointing out information, giving feedback, and talking through options.”
  • “Early in the trip Dahn shared that he feels like he is his best self when on the trail, and I think his example helped set the extremely positive, constructive, and helpful tone for the expedition. Dahn has an impressive amount of hiking and general life experience that he was able to draw on to illustrate the teaching he did during the trip, in a characteristically humble and understated way. I learned a lot about navigating (including specific skills like triangulating my location, and being systematic about trying to disprove my navigator story), and about picking good lines, and about safe backcountry travel. Dahn can also do a pretty good Australian accent.”
Dahn on Forester Pass, the highest point along the Pacific Crest Trail.

Brian Robinson (“Flyin’ Brian“)

Since 2011 I’ve guided 49 trips over 272 days with Andrew, starting with his very first High Sierra trip. I love to teach all the skills necessary to travel off-trail.

I’ve been backpacking since the 1970’s and helped to popularize ultralight gear and techniques. In 2001 I became the first person to complete the Calendar Triple Crown, which entails thru-hiking the Appalachian, Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails (7,400 miles total), all in the same year. This feat earned me the trail name “Flyin’ Brian” and induction into the California Outdoors Hall of Fame. It also caught the attention of Andrew, at the time still a college student, who would take my far, fast, and light style to the next level.

I’m also an accomplished ultra runner. I was the seventh finisher (out of 17 total now) and former course record-holder of the infamous Barkley Marathons, and I completed the 224-mile John Muir Trail in 4 days 7 hours. Before they were really a thing, I established FKT’s on the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, and High Sierra Trails.

I prepare tax returns seasonally, and volunteer as a trail maintenance crew leader in the Ventana Wilderness of Big Sur.

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “Brian is just a bottomless well of knowledge about backpacking. Could never get tired of talking to him.”
  • “One striking quality I observed was Brian’s unwavering commitment to the safety and well-being of everyone in the group. Throughout our journey, he seemed to have an innate ability to anticipate potential risks and was always two steps ahead, ensuring that everyone had what they needed and stayed out of harm’s way.”
  • “Brian Robinson is truly an exceptional backpacker, mentor, and human being. His passion for the outdoors, combined with his depth of knowledge and caring nature, made our expedition not only educational but also an unforgettable experience. I feel fortunate to have crossed paths with someone of his caliber and look forward to learning from him again in the future.”
  • “He was very approachable. He is truly an expert in the area and can communicate his knowledge very well.”
  • “Brian was so generous with sharing his personal background and life experiences, which were all super inspirational.”
  • “I knew he understood. Never before as an adult have I felt that whole, nor that alive.”
Brian above Roosevelt Lake in Yosemite

Christy Rosander

  • Tehachapi, CA
  • Married to husband Dan with three adult children and 3 grandchildren
  • Instagram
  • Website

This coming season will be my 5th year as a Skurka guide with over 120 days in the field throughout Alaska, California, Utah, Colorado, and Washington. Guiding gives me the opportunity to share the outdoors and empower others with the skills and confidence to plan and execute future personal trips. In addition, I love to encourage, support, and have fun with new friends.

As an elementary school teacher for 20 years, I took advantage of my breaks to hike solo or with family and friends. I love hiking in remote and wild places and documenting trips through photos and video. 

My most notable trips include:

  • Long-distance trails like the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, Great Divide, John Muir (6x), Theodore Solomons, Arizona, Wonderland and Tahoe Rim Trails;
  • Off-trail adventures like the Kings Canyon High Basin Route, Yosemite High Route (4x), Sierra High Route (4x), Lowest to Highest, Scotland’s Great Outdoor Challenge, Wind River High Route, Sky Island Traverse, Northern New Mexico Loop, and Southern Sierra High Route, plus many DIY itineraries in the Grand Canyon, Joshua Tree, Sierras, southern Utah and Death Valley;
  • Big peaks like Rainier, Shasta, Whitney (via the Mountaineers Route, 6x), Russell, Williamson, Tyndall, Sahale, Banner and Ritter.

In addition to backpacking for over 30 years, I backcountry and alpine ski, road and mountain bike, paddleboard, and rock climb. I’m committed to staying healthy, fit, and having fun. A positive attitude, good planning, a bit of spunk, and lightweight gear are a few of the keys to longevity in this sport.

Read my full bio.

My favorite testimonials from 2023:

  • “A legend in my book. She kicks ass and her positivity, warm, caring, and upbeat attitude really helped the group connect and come together like family.”
  • “Christy’s supportive approach during this trip was as inspiring as her outdoor resume. She was as tireless in her effort as she was in her spirited attitude making it easy for the group to approach her all while having a good laugh!”
  • “What a joy! What a gift! She has a very authentic way about her, and she sought to get to know each of us. Her effervescent personality was infectious and made the journey very fun. We laughed, we shared, and she genuinely listened to people. She encouraged us in tough spots and made us feel comfortable and safe. Her boundless energy and navigational skills are beyond! What a force of nature, yet humble every step.”
  • “Christy was attentive to group and individual needs – always with a super positive energy! She had a wealth of knowledge on gear, clothing, different routes, etc.”
  • “She explained the situations we were in and what we could do to overcome them. She was very upbeat and fun.”
Christy climbing a peak in Gates of the Arctic National Park, Alaska

Sarah Stratton

  • Virgin, UT
  • 40 years-old
  • she/her

I spent college summers and three years afterwards in Estes Park, Colorado, leading and teaching hiking and backpacking to teenage girls in the high peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park. I got swept into the climbing scene there in the mid-2000s and gained a ton of rope and technical knowledge, working for a climbing guide service in Estes Park. After my first trip to Red Rock Canyon, outside of Las Vegas, I knew the desert was home. I started working in the Zion area as one of the first lead female canyoneering guides. Since 2008, I have called Zion Canyon and the Arizona Strip home and have led and taught hundreds of hikers, bikers and canyoneers across the Colorado Plateau. I joined Andrew Skurka Adventures in 2023 and have loved the chance to share the Escalante area with clients and spend more time in the magnificent and beloved Sierra Nevada of California.

I love time spent outdoors: it’s present, beautiful and contemplative; both alone and with others. Spending time outside with others and teaching ourselves to feel self-sufficient and confident while enjoying the outdoors is what keeps me guiding after nearly 20 years of leading trips. My experience includes long stretches on the AZT, extensive hiking/canyoneering/packrafting in the Grand Canyon and Glen Canyon/Escalante region, high routes in the Wind River range, and 10-day trips in the Death Valley wilderness.

A huge supporter of our National Parks and public lands, I am a member of the Zion National Park Search and Rescue Team and a backcountry volunteer in remote sections of the Grand Canyon. A dedicated yogi, I received my teaching certificate in 2013. I teach yoga classes locally for studios, glamping locations and first responders.

My favorite testimonials from 2023:

  • “Sarah was extremely approachable, which is an awesome quality in a teacher. Though she had deep experience and was very generous in sharing it, it never felt overbearing or shaming of others. Her tactful way of sharing her knowledge helped everyone in the group level up.”
  • “Sarah is the type of person I would trust with my life. She also has the people skills to ensure a hugely diverse client base always receives the value they expect.”
  • “Sarah excelled at genuinely listening to clients before sharing her thoughts and experiential wisdom. She was very personable and used her interpersonal skills to build a positive environment for the group to interact within. She also knew the cultural history of the area in detail and had a technical skillset tailor-made for this trip.”
  • “Knowledgeable. Supportive. Great energy. I had total confidence in her ability. The two of them got our group to accomplish things that I wouldn’t have believed possible.”
Sarah at the edge of the Western Grand Canyon.

Nicco Tyson

  • Oakland, CA
  • 37 years-old
  • Partner: Shelli, Daughter: Ayelet
  • Facebook
  • he/him

I’m very excited to be working for a third year with the amazing team at Andrew Skurka Adventures. Over the past 17 years, I have guided over 150 trips with the Pacific Outdoor Connection, Unalayee Backpacking Camp, ASA, and on my own. A major professional accomplishment of mine was leading a group of 13 -16 year-olds on a 30-day backpacking trip that included a circumnavigation of the Trinity Alps High Route on a record snow year.

On an expedition, I aim for everyone to be challenged by the adventure and also be able to enjoy the wonder and beauty of the wilderness.  An important part of the process is connecting and supporting each other as a group of people choosing to step out of the comforts of our day-to-day lives.  I seek to empower participants to make sound decisions in the backcountry, navigate without trails, and have so much fun on their adventures.

When I’m not wandering in the mountains, I’m a performing musician, and harmonica, guitar and ukulele teacher in the Bay Area. I love teaching as it gives me a wonderful opportunity to share my experience and help others develop even more joy in playing music.  For performing, I have crafted my own unique sound after spending decades studying West African, Brazilian, and Cuban music as well as blues and American folk.  

My other big passions are contact dance and storytelling. On many trips, I have performed entire movies and novels under the starry night sky or while cruising through long dusty trail miles.  As a dancer, I have extensively studied Axis Syllabus Movement and Fighting Monkey Training.  I enjoy helping others move their bodies with more playfulness, power and long term sustainability.

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “Nicco is magic. He captured the attention of the group to express the wonder of the natural world. Nicco was kind and compassionate about the group’s limits, fears and anxiety.”
  • “Positive attitude, laughed and smiled all the time, great conversation, knew the groups ability and kept us out of danger.”
  • “Nicco is such a joy to be around. His energy is infectious. It’s hard to be in a bad mood even on a hard day when he is leading us.”
  • “He knows the terrain and plants so well and was constantly teaching us along the way. Also, something magical happens when he plays his guitar.”
  • “Nicco’s extensive knowledge of the Sierra’s and playful approach to backpacking and the outdoors was such a breath of fresh air!”
  • “Nicco is such a kind and generous soul. He was a pleasure to hike and explore with. I appreciated his adventurous spirit and his kindness and care for the group.”
Nicco and his ukelele in the Olympics.

Kat Weyland

  • Circleville, WV
  • 40 years-old
  • Live with my partner David and my Beagle mix, Murphy
  • Instagram
  • she/her

I started my outdoor journey in 2004 at Experience Learning, an outdoor education center in wild and wonderful West Virginia, and I have spent the better part of my adult life working there as an instructor/guide/manager. Through Experience Learning I have learned how to build a community within each group I take out in the woods, helping them excel in the outdoors often with only the resources on their backs. One of my main goals is that the learning does not stop when a participant leaves a trip. By blending the outdoor experience with educational lessons such as geology, forest ecology, forest history, and many others, participants can take home the skills and knowledge that will continue to positively influence their lives. These are the skills and goals that I take on each and every trip as I guide both adults and students in the outdoors.

Working as an outdoor educator has allowed me to hone both my teaching and guiding skills, leading 15 trips a year for over 17 years in both the US and Europe. Whether I am taking people on hut-to-hut hikes in the Alps or canoeing down the Delaware river in New Jersey, connecting people to the outdoors and giving them an opportunity to push past their comfort zones to find out what they’re capable of is a lifelong pursuit of mine.  

In addition to 17 years of outdoor education experience, I’ve thru-hiked the Appalachian and the Continental Divide Trails. I have also backpacked through the Swiss Alps, the West Highland Way in Scotland, and the Routeburn Track in New Zealand. For now, Seneca Creek Backcountry in West Virginia is my home, where I like to roam through the forests on a daily basis. 

My favorite testimonials from 2023 clients

  • “It is so obvious that Kat is a teacher. She knew the entire curriculum and had a sensible answer to every question. She brimmed over with experience in a palpable way whenever she explained something. She was also very friendly and easy to talk to.”
  • “Kat’s knowledge of the local area served our group exceptionally well. I learned a lot from her about the history of the area and the native plants. She also did a phenomenal job showing us how to build a fire with one match!! WOW! Very impressive. She is also so passionate about what she does – it is inspiring.”
  • “Her calm, reassuring presence was awesome, very experienced.”
  • “Kat was very encouraging and had great local knowledge to share.”
Kat on Grays Peak in Colorado

Jessica Winters

  • Seattle, WA
  • 45 years-old
  • Live with my significant other and our 3 dogs, Noodle the Berner, Crash the Great Pyrenees and Holden, my senior citizen, black lab. 
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Website
  • she/her

This is my 6th season guiding for Andrew and I truly enjoy spending time with our amazing clients! I love making connections and learning about each individual I get to work with in my groups. My goals are to support clients, share my expertise, and just have a really good time in the backcountry. 

I’m a full-time yoga teacher and lead outdoor yoga and rafting expeditions in places like the Grand Canyon, Alaska, and Idaho. I’m an educator at heart and I love planting seeds of empowerment and knowledge for whatever goals you have next. 

I completed the Triple Crown in 2007 by thru-hiking the Pacific Crest, Appalachian, and Continental Divide Trails. I thru-hiked across Iceland, the Arizona Trail, and have logged thousands of miles in the Cascades and Olympics. I’ve climbed two of the seven summits; Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro, and love peak bagging and climbing in the Cascade mountains.

My favorite testimonials from 2022 clients

  • “Jessica shared with us that this was a brand new route and that she’d only received the beta the night before. She allowed us to be a part of the navigation and decision making process to start letting us all lead. Jessica was super chill and easy to chat with.  Of course she has soooo much experience and we could all sense that.”
  • ” Pushed me to do things I’ve never done with SUCH grace, humor, kindness that I did not even know she was “pushing.””
  • “Jessica excelled in sharing her experiences with an incredibly light touch and in a cheerful way. Jessica was completely respectful and supportive of me as well as the whole group. Her attention to detail, especially teaching self care kept everyone healthy, happy, and moving.”
  • “Set a steady pace, lead the group, checked in on people individually, shared food, shared knowledge, and was a great overall guide. We had a challenging river crossing experience but Jessica navigated that like a true professional which was really impressive to see. I totally trust her navigation and outdoor skills 100% and aspire to be like her!”
Jessica on the top of Mount Olympus!

Witt Wisebram

  • Atlanta, GA
  • 38 years-old
  • Cat Dad to Rutherford (Trail Name: Catmandu)
  • Instagram
  • he/him/his

This is my second season guiding with Andrew. I am excited to continue learning from such an experienced team, and I am also looking forward to bringing my skill-set, experience, and perspective to our clients this season. I grew up backpacking in the Southeast, and I spend most of my time in the woods along the Appalachian Trail in Northern Virginia. I have worked as an Appalachian Trail Ridgerunner, patrolling 55 miles of trail between Harpers Ferry, WV, and Shenandoah National Park over the last four years. In the past I have guided for REI and privately guided in Chilean Patagonia.

Some of the most profound and enriching outdoor experiences I have had in recent years have been helping others to achieve their goals. It feels like a natural extension, after achieving many of my own goals and dreams, to help others find their way to their own goals in the outdoors. From helping Stringbean achieve his amazing Arizona Trail FKT to helping friends finish their first 100 mile races to encouraging hikers as they begin the 2nd half of the Appalachian Trail, these experiences have helped broaden and expand my own relationship to the outdoors. I hope to help clients not only learn and grow, but to do so in a way that fosters respect, connection, and a deeper relationship with the natural world.

I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2003, at the age of 19. Since then I have completed the Triple Crown of long distance hiking, and I have been able to find strength and push my limits in the outdoors in ways that I never thought possible. I have held FKT’s for the 100-mile-wilderness section of the Appalachian Trail, the Arizona Trail self-supported, the four-state-challenge of the Appalachian Trail, and the Appalachian Trail through all of Shenandoah National Park unsupported. I have been competitive in a broad range of ultra marathons, including top 5 performances at the Moab 240 and the Cocodona 250. Most recently I took 2nd place at the Across the Years 10-day-race by running 630 miles in the 10 days. I am a Wilderness EMT as well as a Leave No Trace educator.

My favorite testimonials from 2022 clients

  • “Witt was awesome. He was very knowledgeable and fun to hike with. He’s just a chill dude who knows his shit. He’s got a friend in me.”
  • “Witt was very kind, patient and so damn funny.”
  • “He is an excellent listener, always checking on my drinking water status, showtime singing voice.”
  • “Excellent wilderness first aid presentation; great stories; good advice on backpacking-related issues.”
  • “Super mellow, kind, and knowledgeable.”
Cold, hungry, and wet in the Wind River Range. One of the best days I’ve ever had.

Jeff Wohl

  • Lander, WY
  • Born in 1978 
  • Live with partner, Nikki Mann (fellow Skurka Guide), 2 dogs, sometimes ravens, magpies, or other rescue creatures
  • Social Media is no fun in rural Wyoming! You should see how long a text takes. 
  • he/him

In the past, I have worked four of the Skurka locations, and really enjoyed connecting people to nature, as well as teaching skills and decision making that empowered people to embark on their own adventures.

I grew up in Wyoming and climbed my first 13’er when I was six, yet I still get excited about outdoor adventures! I’ve been an outdoor educator for over twenty years and spent 200 weeks in the field instructing: backpacking, climbing, horse-packing, caving and winter programs for NOLS. I also took time off from teaching to thru-hike the Continental Divide Trail. I love technical mountaineering and canyoneering.

I have worked for the Nature Conservancy as a guide/naturalist alongside experts such as ornithologists David Allen Sibley, bear biologist Chuck Jonkel, and Smithsonian paleo-botanists Scott Wing. My book, Alaska: Illustrated Guide for the Curious, is a guide to common land and marine creatures and their habitat.

I am a Wilderness First Aid instructor.

My favorite testimonials from 2023

  • “Jeff is a walking encyclopedia of the outdoors- backpacking, biology, animal identification, history and geology.”
  • “Jeff is truly brilliant about finding routes and navigating terrain.”
  • “I learned more from Jeff in five days than other person or content channel in all of my backpacking experience.”
  • “The way in which Jeff excelled for me personally was being a safe place I could depend on.”
  • “His experience is off the charts.”