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San Juan Mountain Guides

The Local Experts Since 1986

The Local Experts

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.

 

Guide/Office Staff

Alma Johnson

Alma is a new guide for SJMG but also spent last winter helping in our Ouray office. A native of Ridgway, CO and the San Juans, she has recently been guiding and climbing in Alaska.

 

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.

Office Staff

Annie Quathamer

Annie is a part time Office Staff Member at San Juan Mountain Guides.

Born and raised in Illinois, I gratefully relocated to Southwest Colorado fourteen years ago. The San Juan Mountains captured my heart. These mountains have become home and have been a tremendous learning ground for quality adventure.  I am passionate about skiing, climbing, and kayaking.  Luckily, I have had opportunities to climb many classic ice-routes in the San Juans & enjoy ski touring every chance I get, because I live in Ouray, HOORAY!  I also indulge in kayaking rivers and rock climbing. There is outstanding diversity for exploration in these mountains and in the desert beyond.  My favorite kinds of travel are expedition kayaking in a remote canyon, in an exotic country, with good friends, OR, romantic sport climbing on a remote island with my sweetheart.

What I Love:

  • Paco! Our dog.
  • Where we live & my job.
  • Ski Touring, Climbing, Kayaking, & Running
  • Learning New Things & Going to New Places
  • Throwing Pottery & being creative
  • Friends & Family
  • Rivers & Mountains

Best Part about Working for SJMG:

  • Meeting fun people who enjoy climbing & skiing
  • Organizing adventures for people
  • Being a part of the SJMG team of excellent guides
Guide

Andrew Plagens

Andrew is a passionate Rock, Alpine, Ski and Splitboard Guide. He has been climbing and skiing since he was 13. Andrew’s climbing origins are in competition sport climbing where he competed for the US National Team in 2008. Since competing, he has shifted his focus to guiding, completing AMGA’s Advanced Rock Guide, Alpine Guide, Ski Guide, and Ice instructor course. He has worked full time as a climbing guide since 2015, and for San Juan Mountain Guides since 2017. He is a dedicated student of climbing, having studied, and even written about, rock climbing origins in various regions of Colorado. While he enjoys taking clients out in any terrain, he is especially interested in working on technical systems and climbing technique in small group or one-on-one settings.

  • Years climbing: 12
  • Guiding with San Juan Mountain Guides since: Winter 2017
  • Certification: SPI, WFR, CPR, Advanced Rock Guide Aspirant Exam
  • Favorite Place to Rock Climb: Eldorado Canyon, CO, Red River Gorge, KY, Red Rocks, NV

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

Guide

Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson, founder and managing director to Peaks & Places Travel, www.peaksandplaces.com offering trekking and climbing trips to Peru and Nepal. Brad has been a trip leader and mountain guide for over 35 years. In all, he has over 40 years of experience climbing around the world.

Born and raised in Boulder Colorado he was introduced to climbing by his father Dale Johnson, who had a distinguished climbing career himself. Brad learned to climb on the Flatirons and in Eldorado Canyon outside of Boulder.

At the age of 14, Brad climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and then Mt Kenya at age 16. When he was 17 he shared leads with is father climbing the North Face of the Grand Teton.

Brad began honing his skills on rock and with Gary Neptune made the first “piton less” (using only nuts) ascent of the D-1 route on the Diamond face of Longs Peak in Colorado in 1973. He went on to climb a number of big wall climbs in Yosemite Valley including the Nose on El Capitan.

Ice climbing has always been a big part of Brad’s climbing. In 1974 he made an attempt at the first ascent of the “Fang” near Vail, Colorado, failing just 15 feet short of the top. He made the first ascent of Horsetail Falls near Ouray with Bruce Adams in 1975. He also made an early ascent of Bridal Veil Falls near Telluride in 1976. Brad climbed the first ascent of Hidden Falls, left side in Glenwood Canyon in 1979 with Dick Jackson.

In 1975 Brad was part of a team of 6 who made the 1st ascent of the Arc Angle Ridge on Mt. Foraker, the following year, Brad with 3 partners made the 8th ascent of the Cassin Ridge on Denali at age 21. Brad then went on to the Alps and climbed the North Face of the Matterhorn, North Face of the Grand Charmoz and the North face of the Triolet in 1977.

Along with alpine climbing Brad’s passion for climbing eventually turned into guiding.

Starting with South America Brad has guided many volcanoes in Ecuador but when he discovered Peru’s Cordillera Blanca Mountains in 1982 he spent the next 28 seasons guiding and climbing 23 different peaks by 35 different routes in this amazing range. With his extensive knowledge of the Cordillera Blanca, Brad wrote and self-published the climbing guide: Classic Climbs of the Cordillera Blanca, Peru, which has become the most popular guide book for that mountain range.

In Nepal Brad has been on 8 expeditions to 8,000m peaks, three to Mt. Makalu, once to the North Ridge of K2 from the Chinese side in 1994. He has been on two expeditions to Cho Oyu with one summit, and two expeditions to Mt Everest, successfully reaching the summit May 23, 2013. Brad has also successfully guided Ama Dablam as well as other 6,000m peaks in Nepal.

In addition Brad has been working toward being a certified mountain guide through the AMGA and has taken and passed the Advanced Alpine Guides Course, he has taken level 1 & 2 avalanche courses, and is current with his WFR certification.

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

Dan Huhges

Dan Hughes is a local resident of the Ouray area and has climbed and guided for SJMG for the last 3 years. His local knowledge of the Ouray Ice Park and surrounding backcountry ice really sets him apart and his easy going demeanor makes him a guest favorite!

 

Guide

Dave Ahrens

Dave has worked and climbed in a variety of areas including Argentina, Russia, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Italy and all over the western U.S. I grew up on the south side of Denver and began climbing around Rocky Mountain National Park with my Grandfather at an age when I would sometimes get carried to the top. I began rock climbing in Eldorado Canyon before leaving for college at Western State College of Colorado in Gunnison, CO.

After years of rewarding days in the mountains I am now a full time guide, based in Ridgway, CO with my wife Brittney and our fearsome cat Powder. Although I’ve had the opportunity to explore many ranges around the world, the San Juans of Colorado will always be my home.  Over the years, I have earned my AMGA Certifications in the Rock and Alpine disciplines and hold my Ski Aspirant Guide certification and hope to achieve my full IFMGA certification in the near future. As a guide I revel in a variety of ways to enjoy and be immersed in mountain environments… from skiing steep couloirs, alpine routes, trail running, kayaking, big wall rock climbing, sunny bouldering, mountain biking and almost everything in between.  I think of myself as a lover of many outdoor crafts and I enjoy sharing my passion with others.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 2001
  • Started with SJMG in 2008
  • Education: BA in Outdoor Education and Leadership from Western State College
  • Certifications: AMGA Certified Rock Alpine Guide, OEC, CPR, Level 3 Avy
  • AMGA Ski Aspirant
  • Countries you have climbed in outside the US: Canada, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Italy
  • Favorite climb in Ouray area: Ames Ice Hose
  • Best thing after climbing: Fried pickles at O’Briens with friends and a good soak in the hot springs

Guide

Derek Esposito

Derek Esposito is a new member of the SJMG Guide Team but brings with him a wealth of personal and professional experience. Derek is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor and has also completed his AMGA Ski, Rock, and Alpine Guides Courses.  He is also a Wilderness First Responder and has completed his Pro 1 Avalanche Course.

Derek is also runs daily operations at The Red Mountain Alpine Lodge with his partner Jillian.

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

Fischer Hazen

Fischer Hazen is a long time San Juan local and is equally adept on his skis as he is on the ice. His affable nature and easy going attitude makes him a guest favorite at SJMG. Fischer has received training from the AMGA in Rock, Ski, and Alpine disciplines.

Guide

Jake Beren

Jake Beren guides in Ouray and the San Juan Mountains primarily in the winter months. He is a talented skier and ice climber and also recently become a fully licensed AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide.

Guide

Jason Burleson

Jason Burleson is a new addition to the SJMG team. He excels at the sport of ice climbing and enjoys leading programs in the Ouray Ice Park and surrounding Ouray backcountry.

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

Jeff Dobronyi

An east coast native, Jeff came to the San Juan Mountains after ski patrolling the slopes of Vermont. He now spends the winters and summers in southwest Colorado, guiding climbers on alpine peaks and teaching avalanche safety courses, ice climbing, and rock climbing.

Each spring he heads north to Alaska to guide on Denali. Jeff has climbed and skied all over the country, with highlights including ski descents of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Sneffels, the Spearhead Traverse in Whister, B.C., and rock climbing in the Tetons, Sierra, and North Cascades. 

Jeff is an AMGA Certified Ski Guide and Single Pitch Instructor.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 2011
  • Started with SJMG in 2014
  • Education: BA Philosophy, Middlebury College
  • Certs: Wilderness EMT, Avy 3, AMGA certified single pitch instructor
  • Countries you have climbed in outside the US: Canada
  • Favorite climb in Ouray: Snake Couloir
  • Best thing after climbing: Sharpening the tools for more

Guide

Jim Turner

Jim Turner works as a mountain guide in Ouray, Colorado and Moab, Utah.  He has climbed in the Central Alaska Range, the Canadian Rockies, Peru’s Cordillera Blanca, Argentine and Chilean Patagonia and extensively around the Colorado Plateau, including at least 30 different routes in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and an equal amount of desert towers.  His climbing career highlights include summiting Fitz Roy in Argentina by two different routes and putting up new routes in Patagonia, the Central Alaska Range and in the desert Southwest.

Jim has a degree in Environmental Science from the University of New England and worked in education for many years.  He combines his enthusiasm for climbing and his background as an educator to provide excellent instruction to both novice and experienced climbers of all ages and abilities in every climbing discipline.

 

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 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

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 Single Pitch Instructor and has also completed Rock & Alpine Guide Training with the AMGA. He is an avid rock climber and mountaineer, having climbed in inspiring destinations such as Yosemite and the Himalayas.

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.

Guide

Leon Davis

Leon has guided for SJMG the past 6 years and is easily one of our most requested guides in the winter. His easy going nature and friendly attitude make him a guest favorite at SJMG!

Guide

Micah Lewkowitz

Originally from the New England area, Micah spent most of his time climbing on the multitude of rock and ice littering the East Coast.  In search of the year-round climbing season, he is excited to be a part of the SJMG team, climbing ice during the winter and desert rock in the fall and spring.  Micah has guided multiple mountaineering expeditions throughout Alaska, in addition to several years of guiding in Ecuador, Washington, and Utah.  In his spare time, he enjoys climbing with his wife, Hilary, and playing with their Alaskan Malamute, Izta.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Started guiding in 2006
  • Education: BA in Psychology & BA in Outdoor Education
  • Certifications: AMGA Certified Rock Guide, Avalanche Level II, Wilderness Emergency Technician, Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer
  • Favorite ice climb: Ames Ice Hose

Guide

Michael Ackerman

Professional educator, accomplished adventurer and celebrated storyteller Michael Ackerman hails from Colorado’s Western Slope. Embodying over two decades of professional backcountry experience, expert technical skills and hard-earned wilderness wisdom, Michael has made his mark as one of the preeminent adventure guides and outdoor instructors in the American West.

From high altitude glaciated peaks to remote desert canyons, down wild whitewater rivers and across remote alpine single track, Ackerman leads it all with a warm smile, a healthy dose of humor and an indefatigable devotion to the natural world.

Michael began snowboarding in 1986 and it was his love of sliding on snow that led to a life in the mountains. Since 1999, Ackerman has worked as a rock, mountain and river guide, professional ski patroller, avalanche educator, wilderness medicine trainer, SAR technician, Outward Bound instructor, collegiate faculty member and freelance photojournalist. He maintains an exemplary safety record and a distinguished resume of personal and professional expeditions.

Ackerman pursued his formal education at Prescott College, Fort Lewis College and Harvard University, has completed AIARE’s Level Three and Avalanche Instructor Training and has participated in the AMGA’s TRSM and Ski Guide courses.

When he’s not in the field with SJMG, Ackerman can be found producing digital art; utilizing writing, photography, audio and video pieces to share his story and the stories of others. He also enjoys conducting product research, testing and design for a myriad of outdoor equipment manufacturers and is an independently contracted safety officer and logistician for backcountry media projects and mountain film productions.

What do you love most about your job?

Empowering students so they can achieve their dreams. I feel incredibly blessed to meet, teach and work with so many amazing individuals.

Where do you live?

My wife Rachel and I inhabit a super plush, four season truck camper. In the winter, we live for powder days in the San Juan Mountains. In the warmer months, I guide backcountry mountain bike expeditions in UT and CO while based out of Moab.

Favorite place to travel/climb/ski?

The Great American West

Idea of a good time?

Pursuing human powered, multi-sport adventures with close friends in remote locations.

Hobbies? Passions? Interests?

Radical minimalism, terrestrial and aquatic adventures, playing music, reading non-fiction, fishing and firearms

Climbing/skiing goals?

Lofty summits, deep powder and big smiles.

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 AMGA Certified Rock & 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: AMGA Certified Rock & 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 9 year old Mason and 7 year old Addison.

 

Supervising Guide

Sheldon Kerr

Sheldon began her guiding career in Alaska in 2004. She has climbed, skied and guided throughout the Alaska Range, Chugach, and Wrangell-St. Elias. When a craving for shorter approaches and shiny bolts strikes, Sheldon’s favorite spots on earth are Chamonix, France; Courmayer, Italy; and Smith Rock, Oregon. She has also climbed and guided a number of high-altitude peaks including Denali, Aconcagua, and Kilimanjaro. Winter finds her in Colorado’s San Juans ski guiding from chairlifts, skin tracks, and helicopters during the week. Weekends are reserved for ice climbing and reading the New Yorker. She is a National Avalanche School graduate, AIARE (American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education) Level III certified, and teaches Level I and II avalanche courses. Sheldon is also an EMT. Follow her adventures at www.sheldonkerr.com.


Guide

Slator Aplin

Slator is one of the most recent additions to the SJMG guide team.  A native of Telluride, CO and a talented all-around outdoor athlete, he brings vast knowledge of the climbs and ski tours in the San Juan Mountains.

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.