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San Juan Mountain Guides

The Local Experts Since 1986

Our guides are meticulously selected because they are 1) fun to be with in the mountains, 2) incredible teachers and instructors, 3) recognized as the best athletes in their discipline – among the finest climbers and skiers in the industry, and 4) love what they do. Our guides genuinely enjoy working with every ability level from children or rank beginners to high end athletes wanting to learn cutting edge techniques and climb some of the hardest routes in the world.

Guide Certification

All of our guides are AMGA trained and the majority of our guides hold either AMGA or IFMGA Certifications.  These certifications insure that our clients are working with the best mountain practitioners in the industry.

Office & Logistical Support

We prioritize your experience from the moment of your initial inquiry and/or reservation. We feature a full-time office staff throughout the year to help with your reservation and any other logistical help that you may require prior to your trip. No other guide service in the region can match our attention to detail and customer service!

Guide

Aaron Livingston

Aaron Livingston brings with him a wealth of personal and professional experience and is a talented rock climber with many first ascents to his credit. Aaron is an AMGA Assistant Rock Guide and Wilderness First Responder.

Guide

Aaron Ball

Aaron is SJMG’s Avalanche Course Program Director. He is an American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education Level One & Two course leader, and AIARE Instructor Trainer. Aaron is also a Wilderness Medicine Training Center senior instructor, and regularly teaches WFR & WFR Recert Courses in the San Juan area.

With over 15 years of experience in the outdoor industry, Aaron has worked as a whitewater river guide on rivers in California, Oregon, Utah, and Colorado; has served as a rock, river, and mountaineering instructor, course director and staff trainer for Outward Bound; has ski patrolled at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area; has guided rock climbing and backcountry skiing for Southwest Adventure Guides/San Juan Mountain Guides; and has taught as an adjunct faculty member for the adventure education programs at San Juan College and Fort Lewis College. He currently lives in the mountains outside of Durango, Colorado, with his family and is always out exploring the wonders of the area.

Medical Advisor/Guide

Alan Oram

Alan is the SJMG Medical Advisor. His varied background makes him one of the most unique individuals in the guiding industry, as he is both an AMGA/IFMGA Guide and a Doctor. As a board licensed Physician, Alan typically works in Emergency Medicine and has expanded his practice to consult guide services throughout the US in best practices for patient care in a wilderness setting. As a guide, Alan is a talented skier and climber and enjoys working with guests of all backgrounds in the San Juans, Tetons, Norway, and Europe.

 

Senior Guide

Andres Marin

Andrés was born in Colombia where he started climbing at a young age. He moved in 2003 to Colorado. Since then, Andrés has had the opportunity to be involved in all kinds of fun adventures around the globe. Including first ascents in 4 continents & representing the US in 5 ice climbing worlds cups.

  • What is your guiding background? I have the opportunity to guide pretty much in every terrain: rock, ice, alpine, expedition, high altitude and a little bit of easy skiing.
  • What do you love most about your job? Being outside meeting great people and going to incredible places.
  • Where are you from, where do you live? I’m from Colombia (jungle, hot and wild) I live in Ouray (mountains, ice and mellow)
  • Climbing (rock, alpine, ice, expedition), skiing, canyoning experience? Climbing for 18 years first ascents in 4 continents.
  • Favorite place to travel/climb/ski? So many… I have had the opportunity to climb b in places such as: AK, lower 48, Colombia, Peru, Mexico, Greece, France, Italy, Switzerland, Romania, Hungary, Spain, Slovenia, Russia, China and Kyrgyzstan.
  • Idea of a good time? Good times with great friends & family.
  • Best qualities about you? I do my best to keep it real. I value very much being humble and being willing to give back.
  • What is most important to you? What do you value the most in a partner? Being humble and open to learn. Try hard and be kind. Stepping out of the comfort zone is key on becoming a better athlete and person.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 2003
  • Started with SJMG in 2006
  • Education: Sound Engineering Javeriana Unversity, Columbia
  • Certifications: AMGA Certified Rock & Alpine Guide, WFR, CPR, Level 3 Avy
  • Places you have climbed in outside the US: Colombia, Europe, Slovenia, Romania, Hungary, Russia, Spain, Kyrgystan, China, Greece, Mexico, France
  • Favorite climb in Ouray: The Talisman
  • Best thing after climbing: Get up, tune up, pump some iron, watch UFC.

RMAL Manager

Andrea Iuppenlatz

Andrea Iuppenlatz the Executive Manager for the Red Mountain Alpine Lodge (RMAL). RMAL is our lodge on Red Mountain Pass and home to our backcountry ski operations in the winter.  Formerly she worked in Marketing for National Geographic Adventure.

Guide

Bill Grasse

Bill guides rock, ice, and alpine climbing trips for us in the San Juan Mountains, as well as desert rock climbing trips in Utah. Bill is an accomplished rock climber, with many El Cap walls and hard free ascents to his credit. Bill is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and WFR and Avalanche Level 1 Certified. He enjoys teaching climbing to others and thinks there’s nothing better than a great trip to Indian Creek with his closest pals!

I started guiding unofficially in college as a board member of the college climbing club which was basically a guide service without pay.  Officially in 2007 when I took my first AMGA course.

The thing I love most about my job is being around the excitement one feels when they first get into climbing.  

A Colorado native, I spent 14 years in the San Juans until a recent move to Carbondale in 2015. 

I have climbed rock extensively around the western United States and spent many years climbing ice in the San Juans and around Colorado.  I have climbed many walls in Yosemite and Zion, over 100 desert towers, and many routes around Colorado from Black Canyon to the Front Range.  I have been through canyons around Ouray and slots in Utah. 

My favorite places to climb vary but Yosemite, Zion, the desert southwest, and Red Rocks are some of my most frequented.  

Sore hands holding a beer next to a fire in the desert with great friends.  Hard to beat that… unless you replace the fire with a portaledge. 

I like to kayak, and take pictures, (wpgrassephotography.com) and play outside. 

Climbing goals? Send Proj, FAs in remote places on big a$# walls, to show people the me beyond my really really ridiculously good looks. 

Good looks. Duh! (and the person beyond those looks of course… my eyes are up here!) 

I get stoked on things that I’m stoked on.  I’m excited about things that are exciting. 

The most important thing to me is to look back from my death bed and know I had fun, helped people, and did the best that I could… in other words: that I Dominated! 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 2004
  • Started with SJMG in 2007
  • Education: BA English – Fort Lewis College Durango, CO
  • Certifications: AMGA SPI, WFR, Level 3 Avy
  • Countries you have climbed in outside the US: Canada, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Nepal, Pakistan, Europe, Greenland
  • Favorite Climb in Ouray: Teakettle Mountain
  • Best thing after climbing: Canned fish and a cold coke

Guide

Brooke Warren

Brooke is a Colorado local who grew up skiing, climbing, and galavanting around the mountains of her hometown, Crested Butte. She has climbed extensively in U.S. destinations such as Indian Creek, Yosemite, Vedauwoo, and the North Cascades and internationally in Chile, Mexico, Peru, Canada and Afghanistan. She loves introducing techniques to new skiers and climbers as well as helping people develop their mountain craft with larger goals in mind. 

She guides in Alaska, Washington and Colorado on objectives ranging from Denali expeditions to single-day backcountry touring or rock climbing trips. She has a background in outdoor education working for Outward Bound as well as other experiential learning institutions. 

Brooke has completed her AMGA Rock Guide Course and Alpine Guide Course. She holds an AIARE Pro 1 avalanche certification and is an AIARE Avalanche Instructor. She also has certifications as a Wilderness First Responder, LNT Trainer, and ITRA Rope Rescue Technician. 

Senior Guide

Chad Peele

Chad works the winters in the San Juans and is in high demand all season. He is a year round professional mountain guide, dividing his time on Mt. Rainier, the Himalaya, South America, Colorado, and lots more! He is well suited at teaching first timers the fundamentals of alpine sport as well as guiding seasoned climbers around the best climbs and tours of our range.

Chad is also a member of the Eddie Bauer/First Ascent Pro Team.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 2000
  • Started with SJMG in 2007
  • Certifications: AMGA Certified Rock & Alpine Guide, WFR, CPR, Level 3 Avy

Senior Guide

Clint Cook

Clint has been guiding professionally since 1999, and moved to Ouray in 2001. Clint is one of a few Americans to be internationally licensed as a UIAGM/IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide, and AMGA Certified Rock, Alpine, and Ski Mountaineering Guide. Clint has a B.S. in Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism from Colorado State University. Clint is also a former owner of SJMG.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 1999
  • Started with SJMG in 2002
  • Education: BS in Natural Resources from  from CSU
  • Certifications: IFMGA/AMGA, WFR, CPR, Level 3 Avy

Guide

Colt Fetters

Colt is a career outdoor educator an avid mountain adventurer. He specializes in avalanche education and is an AIARE Course Instructor. Colt is also a certified Single Pitch Instructor and Wilderness First Responder.

Supervising Guide

Dawn Glanc


Dawn Glanc is a Supervising Guide with SJMG and one of the country’s foremost experts on ice climbing. A veteran competitor at the Ouray Ice Fest Elite Mixed Climbing Comp, Dawn’s accomplishments as an ice and mixed climber truly distinguish her in the outdoor and guiding industry. Dawn is also the Head Ranger for the Ouray Via Ferrata and has previously served on the Ouray City Council. She calls Ouray home year-round and is one of our most requested instructors! Dawn is an AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide.

Supervising Guide

Elías de Andrés-Martos

Elias des Andres Martos grew up in Segovia (Spain) at the foothills of the Sierra Guadarrama, where he began going to the mountains at the age of 8. After his college years, he pursued formal mountaineering and climbing instruction with the Spanish Mountaineering Federation, a task that he continues today with the AMGA in the USA. In 2004 he arrived in Colorado, where he matured as a climber, making the Rockies his playground, having ascended over 100 peaks above 4000 meters.

Currently, he lives in Ouray, Colorado, where besides ice climbing, he also volunteers in the Search & Rescue group. Elías has climbed in North and South America as well as in Europe. He enjoys sharing climbing time with people on snow, ice or rock, but prefers them all combined in an attractive alpine route. Elias for sure loves to share his favorite sight ever, that of the Patagonian Ice Shelf, the 3rd largest continental ice cap in the world where he will for sure try to encourage you to go!

Guide

Jason Denley

Jason Denley is new to SJMG but comes from a diverse background in guiding that has taken him from the San Juans to the remote mountains of the St. Elias and Denali National Park in Alaska. Jason is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor.

Guide

Jayson Simons-Jones


Jayson Simons-Jones is an accomplished guide and photographer, having travelled around the globe on a variety of assignments.

Guide

Jeff Mascaro

Jeff has been inspiring growth and exploration in the mountains for over a decade. With experiences pulled from building and leading high-performance teams in industry-leading climbing gyms across the U.S., extensive climbing travels, and rigorous guiding education through the American Mountain Guides Association Jeff is in a unique position to educate, inspire, and motivate you on your next adventure.

He spends most of his time guiding private guests and small groups in Colorado and Utah, helping them to achieve their goals in the mountains by arranging custom, personalized itineraries that build upon previous experience. He is especially adept at organizing unique experiences for novices and introducing basic concepts to first-time climbers.

Jeff also offers mentorship for select individuals interested in pursuing the profession. He encourages anyone who is interested in climbing and guiding to reach out to him for educational considerations, career advice, adventure planning, and other recommendations.

Jeff is a Certified Rock Guide, an Apprentice Alpine Guide, an Ice Instructor Course graduate, and an Assistant SPI Provider through the American Mountain Guides Association. He holds an AIARE Pro 1 Avalanche certification, an AIARE Level II Avalanche certificate, and is a Wilderness First Responder with advanced wilderness rescue and CPR training.

Guide

Jesse Ballew


Jesse Ballew is a guide for SJMG. A former Marine Corps Sergeant, Jesse has also guided on Denali. He is a diverse mountain professional and year-round resident of Ouray. Jesse is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide.

Guide

Jesse Selwyn


Jesse Selwyn moved to Montana in 2007 to learn how to climb ice and backcountry ski. Now based in Grand Junction, Jesse is a strong all-around climber and skier who loves sharing his passion through teaching and guiding. Jesse has completed his AMGA Rock Guide, Alpine Guide, and Ice Instructor Courses.

Guide / Ice Fest Manager

Katie Beringer

Katie is an avid climber, skier, and runner. She is passionate about sharing the outdoors, especially rock climbing, with others. She has been providing opportunities for women to experience outdoor recreation since 2013, leading multiple climbing excursions for women and girls as young as six. She began professionally guiding in 2017 in effort to better facilitate women’s climbing courses. Katie is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide.

  • Years climbing: 10
  • Guiding with San Juan Mountain Guides since: Summer 2017
  • Certification: AMGA Rock Guide, SPI, WFR, CPR
  • Favorite Place to Rock Climb: Eldorado Canyon, CO, Wild Iris, WY, Red Rocks, NV

Office Manager

Keeton Disser

Keeton Disser is the SJMG Office Manager. She is an avid mountain runner and all around outdoor athlete and has lived in the San Juans for over 20 years.

Guide / Avy Director

Kurt Blair

Kurt Blair lives in Durango and serves as our program coordinator in the Durango area and for programs in the Weminuche Wilderness. Kurt is an AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide and Assistant Ski Guide. He has completed the AAA (American Avalanche Association) Pro 2 and is an AIARE Course Leader for Rec 1 and 2 avalanche training.  He also holds Wilderness EMT certification and is a PSIA Level 2 Alpine Ski Instructor. As an avid rock climber and mountaineer, he has climbed in inspiring destinations such as Alaska, Canada, Yosemite, Swiss Alps, Ecuador, and the Himalayas.  As a fun fact, Kurt has climbed 36 of the 50 Classic Climbs in North America.

Guide

Lindsey Hamm

Lindsey Hamm is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor and Certified Rock Guide and has completed her AMGA Ice Instructor Course, Advanced Alpine Guides courses with the AMGA.

Co-Owner & Business Development

Mark Iuppenlatz

Mark Iuppenlatz is Co-Owner and Director of Business Development for San Juan Mountain Guides. He is an avid backcountry skier and former ski instructor for Vail Resorts. He is also a certified Wilderness First Responder.

Owner/Director

Nate Disser

Nate is the Owner/Director of San Juan Mountain Guides. Previously, he also owned Southwest Adventure Guides in Durango, CO before taking over SJMG in 2012 and merging the companies under the SJMG brand. He began guiding in the St. Elias Mountains and has also guided on Mt. Rainier and Denali. He has a BA in Psychology and a BA in Organizational Communications, is a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) and is AIARE Level 3 Avalanche Certified.

Nate is an IFMGA Mountain Guide and AMGA Certified Rock, Ski & Alpine Guide, the highest level of certification available for guides working in that terrain. Nate has also served on the AMGA Board of Directors 2011 – 2014. He currently serves on the Ouray School Board, and the Ouray Mountain Rescue Team.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 2002
  • Started with SJMG in 2003
  • Education: BA State University of New York (SUNY) Geneseo
  • Certifications: IFMGA Mountain Guide, AMGA Certified Rock, Ski & Alpine Guide, WFR, CPR, Level 3 Avy
  • Countries you have climbed in outside the US: India, Peru, Ecuador, Canada
  • Favorite ski descent in the San Juans: Champion Bowl
  • Best thing after skiing: Coming home to 11 year old Mason and 9 year old Addison.

 

Head Guide

Patrick Ormond

Pat is one of the most diverse and experienced mountain guides in the US. Climbs throughout North America including: Yosemite, Squamish,Utah, Washington. Big walls in Yosemite and Zion. Ascent of Aggro Monkey 5.13b at Smith Rock, OR. Began climbing in Washington at age three. Expeditions to Alaska and Argentina. Lead guide on Denali and Aconcagua. Ascent of Cassin Ridge on Denali.  Backcountry ski guide and avalanche instructor in Utah. Ski descents throughout the Wasatch range and Tetons. Collegiate rower and 1997 National Champion at the University of Washington. Pat lives with his wife Dawn in Ouray, CO and is a member of the AMGA Instructor Team. Pat is a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide, having completed his AMGA Rock, Alpine Guide, and Ski Guide Certifications.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 2001
  • Started with SJMG in 2009
  • Education: BA Visual Comms – University of WA
  • Certifications: AMGA Certified Rock, Alpine, & Ski Guide, WFR, CPR, Level 3 Avy
  • Countries you have climbed in outside the US: Canada, Argentina, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Sardinia
  • Favorite climb in Ouray: Bird Brain Boulevard
  • Best thing after climbing: Getting my shoes off

Guide

Pat Lehan


Pat Lehan is a Guide for SJMG. An all around mountain enthusiast, Pat has completed his AMGA Ski Guide Course. He is also a Certified Single Pitch Instructor.

Guide

Ryan Dingwall


Ryan Dingwall is a Guide for SJMG. An all around great guy and avid rock/ice climber, Ryan has quickly become one of our most requested guides. Ryan has completed his AMGA Advanced Rock Guide Course, Alpine Guide Course, and Ice Instructor Course. He is a Certified Single Pitch Instructor.

Office Manager

Suzanna Lourie

Suzanna Lourie works for SJMG as part of the Office and Administrative Managerial Team. She is an avid mountain enthusiast, having climbed almost all of the 13’ers and 14’ers in the San Juan Mountain Range! Detail oriented, friendly, and knowledgeable are just a few of Suzanna’s incredible traits!

Guide

Steve Johnson

Whether he’s working or playing, Steve’s fun and energetic ways become immediately apparent. His climbing obsession shows in the amount of time he spends in RMNP and especially on the Diamond. Steve started climbing in 1992 and guiding in 1996, drawn by the allure of sharing his passion with others.

Given his burly frame and even-keeled disposition (not to mention his sense of humor), Steve’s been called a “gentle giant”. It’s not hard to imagine him working through the most knotted muscles in his other job as a Certified Massage Therapist. He graduated with honors from the Boulder College of Massage Therapy, and started an in-patient massage therapy program at Boulder Community Hospital for which he received an award recognizing his outstanding community service.

Steve is AMGA Certified in the Rock and Alpine disciplines and is on route to his goal of gaining IFMGA international certification. In addition to climbing in France, Italy and Switzerland, he’s climbed and guided throughout the U.S., including extensive Front Range experience, San Juans, Alaska, Mexico, and Ecuador.


Senior Guide

Steven Van Sickle


Steven Van Sickle is a Senior Guide with SJMG. A year-round resident of Ouray, Steven possesses vast knowledge of the Ouray area and surrounding San Juan Mountains. Quiet and assuming, yet immensely talented, Steven is one of our most diverse guides. He is an AMGA Certified Rock & Ski Guide and has only one exam left to finish is IFMGA Certification.