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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 is a new member of the SJMG Guide Team but brings with him a wealth of personal and professional experience and is a talented rock climbing with many first ascents to his credit. Aaron is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor and has also completed his AMGA Rock Guides Courses.  He is also a Wilderness First Responder.

Guide/AVY Director

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.

 

Supervising 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.

Social Media

Andrea Iuppenlatz

Andrea Iuppenlatz manages SJMG’s Social Media Marketing platforms. She is also the Business Manager for the Red Mountain Alpine Lodge. 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

Supervising 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

Dale Remsberg

Dale is an Internationally Licensed Mountain Guide (IFMGA) and Technical Director of the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). Never one to focus on a single aspect of climbing, he is an accomplished all around climber with high-end skills that cover all disciplines of climbing including; sport, trad, mixed, ice and alpine. His passion depends on the season, feeling equally happy on WI6, M8 or 5.12.

Whether climbing in Switzerland, his local crags in Eldorado Canyon, seeking perfect untracked powder around the world, or mastering techniques for classic ice routes in the Canadian Rockies, Dale loves helping both new and experienced climbers and skiers achieve their goals. Dale’s quiet determination and love of the mountains will generally ensure success with a smile on his face.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in: 1993
  • Started with SJMG in: 2011
  • Education: AMGA Mountain Guide Program, Class of 2006
  • Certifications: AMGA Certified Rock, Ski, & Alpine Guide, WFR, CPR, Level 3 Avy
  • Countries you have climbed in outside the US: Canada, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland
  • Favorite climb in Ouray: The one I’m currently on. If I had to choose one it would be Ames Ice Hose
  • Best thing after climbing: Seeing my dog light up!

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

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. While she enjoys guiding clients from all backgrounds, she has a special place in her heart for guiding adolescent girls, adaptive athletes, and the special needs community.  She aspires to complete AMGA’s Rock Guide Program, guide for many years, and retire with her hopefully immortal dog, Kit.

  • Years climbing: 6
  • Guiding with San Juan Mountain Guides since: Summer 2017
  • Certification: AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide, SPI, WFR, CPR, EMT
  • 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 almost 20 years.

Guide

Kristin Arnold

Kristin has guided for SJMG for the last 3 years. She has completed his AMGA SPI Certification, and has also taken her AMGA Rock Guide and Ski Guide Courses. He is also a Wilderness First Responder.

Guide

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 Guide and Aspirant (Ski & Alpine) Guide with the AMGA. 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.

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.

Guide

Mason Stansfield

Mason Stansfield has guided for SJMG for the last 2 years. He has completed his AMGA SPI Certification, and has also taken his AMGA Rock Guide and Ski Guide Courses. He is also a 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. Pay lives with his wife Dawn in Ouray, CO and guides for Exum Mountain Guides in the summer. Pat is a fully certified IFMGA Mountain Guide, having completed his AMGA Rock, Alpine Guide, and Ski Mountaineering Certifications.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 2001
  • Started with SJMG in 2009
  • Education: BA Visual Comms – University of WA
  • Certifications: AMGA Certified Rock, Alpine, & Ski Mountaineering 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

Office Staff

Suzanna Lourie

Suzanna Lourie works in the SJMG Office