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.