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The majestic San Juan Mountains

I wanted to let you know JB and I had a totally AMAZING and AWESOME ski weekend with Tyler! We learned so much more than we ever expected and had a ton of fun too! Tyler is a really awesome guide/marriage counselor…I think we can now go into the backcountry without heated discussions ;). He is so very knowledgeable but more importantly he is really great at imparting that knowledge. He was also really great at gearing the weekend towards what we were needing. JB and I now feel like we can go into the backcountry and safely plan our trip, pick our travel routes and travel techniques and most importantly work together to have a great time out their while being safe.

I want to thank you also for providing dinner and breakfast in the hut…that was a really nice touch. And the hut…is totally awesome too! We will be highly recommending our friends take this course too!
Erin B.

Nate – I want to let you know that Jason and I had a tremendous experience with Gary Ice Climbing over the past few days. It was incredible.
Gary is not only a very professional guide, focused on safety and skill building – he is also passionate about the sport and about the outdoors. It was really a pleasure to spend the 3 days with him and learn new skills. I look forward to doing this or another course again.

A couple of things that I mentioned to Gary concerning SJMG. I found you on the web and it was the fact that your website was very well presented that I initially contacted you. You probably don’t remember but I initially contacting you last summer for a summer rock climbing and backpacking trip. It was your follow-up and continued communication that ensured I would book a trip with your group. Thank you for that!
Glenn T.

If and when I decide to tackle the big mountains I will call you guys for sure. I was very impressed with the guides and the service on my last class. Thanks again!
Chris N.

Very professional. Nate’s guidance/knowledge was exceptional and contributed to making this trip the experience of a lifetime. Loved having the food taken care of after those long and tiring days! The pre-trip equipment checklist and phone conversations helped lots with ensuring having proper equipment.
Andrew G.

I would like to let you know what a great time we had in our ice climbing experience recently. Matt was an excellent guide. He was patient, thoughtful, and improved our skills tremendously. He was very thorough and safety conscious. I would highly recommend Nate to anyone and would love to travel again with him on another trip. Happy adventuring!
Tanya H.

This message is long over-due! This is Jim Carey, golf pro from Michigan. You showed me the time of my life in the winter of 1999. I did the ice climbing program & summited Mt. Engineer. We also enjoyed a night of stout at Carver’s! Mike, my mind has been consumed with climbing since my experience. I read everything I can about mountaineering! Your guiding & instructional style was, for a lack of a more perfect word, AWESOME!

I wanted to thank you for a great weekend and a fantastic course, I will most certainly recommend San Juan Mountain Guides to anyone who is interested in Ice/Rock climbing courses and such.
J. Kistler

I thought that you would be interested in seeing the responses I received from the inquiry I sent out this morning. You should be very proud. I’m going to check into some things at my gym here in Chicago, but I’d say I’m pretty much sold. I’ll keep you posted as I look at dates on my calendar. Talk to you soon.Chrissy

I took the five day winter mountaineering course with San Juan Mountain Guides in November 1999. The course is a good place to start if you haven’t done any mountaineering. I have also gone on a guided climb with SJMG to Orizaba in Mexico, I am going on a climb with them to Aconcagua in about 2 weeks and am planning on climbing Denali in May with the guide I met in my initial mountaineering course. I have been extremely pleased with the servives they have provided. Their guides are very professional and flexible to individual needs and abilities. I have used 2 other guide services. One was on Mt Shasta in the winter and I would never climb with them again. You are smart to check out the guide service you’re considering. You don’t want to be high on a mountain and find out your guide doesn’t know what he’s doing. If you want, you can call me and I’ll talk your ear off about guides, climbing etc.
Paul Burger

First off, they were very professional as an organization. The guides (we had two as we had seven climbers) were experienced, careful and fairly good instructors. I had taken one other Intro to Mountaineering course from a different organization near Seattle – I was impressed with both, but the biggest difference is that SJMG provides food and tents, whereas everyone had to provide their own food and tents on the other. Additionally, Nate even picked me up and dropped me back to the airport, which I thought was a great service.

I don’t think you need any experience with the Engineer Mountain climb. It is a tough climb physically, particularly due to the altitude (Durango to camp is a 5,000 foot elevation gain – the camp is at 11,500 and Engineer tops out at 13,000). The other climbing I had done was in the Cascades, which are predominantly long slog’s up hill; Engineer is quite different in that there were some mixed rock & snow portions. From an outdoor’s experience perspective, it was a great experience.

The snowshoeing was enjoyable (a 2 mile snow shoe out and back and about a half mile snow shoe from camp to the base of the mountain). Everything was frozen when I went a few weeks ago, but the weather was phenomenal (sunny, light winds) and the snow covered landscape was beautiful. I enjoy expedition-like experiences, and sharing a cramped tent with two other people (because of the odd number, one tent had to support three people) and forcing on frozen boots in the morning was right up there. Temperatures were cold (highly in mid twenties and low’s in low teens), but I was never too uncomfortable.
Steven R. Hirshorn

I have not taken his Mountaineering Courses, I went to Mexico with his group to climb La Malinche and Orizaba, though. He runs a good organization. Our guide was awesome and very safe. I would definitely sugggest using them. Don’t worry about not have climbing experience, being in shape and having a good attitude are more important. Go for it!

Thanks so much for making my first Winter mountaineering trip such a memorable one. I’m telling all my friends about your professionalism, positive attitude and excellent teaching aptitude. Well done guys! No plans to climb Aconcagua yet, but when we do, your first on our list.
A. Gerber
Stroh. VA

Allison had a great time, and is looking forward to more climbing. Thanks.
Jeff Mandel
Boston MA

Thank you for a great day of climbing. The professionalism, conscientiousness and friendliness Brett brought to the day were an important part of the whole experience. We’ll certainly keep you in mind for another adventure.
S. & K. Mauldin

Just a quick word to say thanks for all you did to make my past several days truly rewarding. I’ll write soon by regular mail and say more about what I liked and how I gained from the experience, but I didn’t want to delay in thanking you for the great logistical support.
D. Mrozek,
Manhatten KS