Guiding


Ski, Rock, and Alpine Adventures Around the World
High Sierra "drought" skiing. Ken Etzel Photo
About
With a deep experience climbing and guiding "on-sight" on some of the world's gnarliest objectives, as well as a broad range of first-hand experience, there are very few objectives we can't consider. You think of it, I'll take you there. You're looking to push yourself in a certain way, and I'll cook up your next step and be there for the execution. The sky is the limit.

Booking
Working as a guide within the US requires navigating a labyrinth of permit and insurance requirements. For your safety and enjoyment, I only operate in partnership with established, permitted companies. Wherever possible, I work as a member/partner in the Certified Guides Cooperative. Where the CGC does not serve, I have developed a network of partners that effectively covers over 80% of North America's mountain terrain.  Internationally recognized certification gains us access all around the world as well. I have my specialties and locales with which I am most familiar, but I can take you almost anywhere. The primary reason I might be unable to guide in a given setting is that there exists in a few places a monopolistic "concession"-based commercial use permit system.

Overseas, whether as near as Mexico or as distant as Africa, Peru, or Argentina, I work within local regulations and with local support as much as possible. More complicated trips require more lead time, but nothing is out of the question.

My availability is ever in flux. The best way to track me down is to first check my (usually) up to date calendar here.

Mega Classic Destination Weeks
Ski Mountaineering, Silverton CO. March 2015. 

It is my opinion that the week-long athletic mountain vacation is the perfect vacation. Most people can travel on a Friday or Saturday, burn 5 vacation days, and travel back home the following Sunday. This gives 6-8 days of possible action. In that amount of time, with my excellent first hand knowledge and our shared flexibility and motivation we can fit in a great amount of climbing or skiing. I have cooked up a handful of excellent rough itineraries for you perusal and inspiration. All can be booked as I write them up, or with your own customizations. I have first hand experience and connections to real-time local knowledge in all of these venues. In some cases, they are close to my home. In others, a bit further afield. All are booked on a fully private basis, working directly with me the entire time. For each trip I have detailed an itinerary or options, logistical outline, as well as ideal season. Here they are:

Wyoming's Teton Range
For the summer of 2017 (specifically June 15-September 1) I am taking bookings in the Tetons and Wind River Range through Exum Mountain Guides. Exum is one of the oldest guide services in the country, with a deep institutional knowledge base in the Tetons. I am honored to step into the roster there with some of the best in the business and share an amazing region with my guests and theirs.

California's High Sierra
With over 12 years of frenetic, year-round High Sierra exploration behind me, I have as deep a familiarity with California's "Range of Light" as any working guide. I have climbed, skied, hiked and run all over the range. I have done so alone, with guests, and with a long list of athletic and motivated partners. What this means for you is that I can take you to the classic climbs and ski descents, and point to the far corners from the summit. I can point out a lifetime of pursuits for you and for me. For a full breakdown of my High Sierra accomplishments, see this page.
Sierra ridges are perfect weekend, week-long, or expedition preparation outings. Ken Etzel Photo

Continental United States
Beyond the Sierra and Tetons, I have relevant and valuable experience all over North America. I have spent, and do spend, a great deal of time working and playing in Colorado, Utah, Washington, Oregon and Arizona. In my formative climbing and skiing years, I lived in the Northeastern US. I have there a network of guide colleagues that keep me posted on conditions and local information.

This Continent's Great North
If your desires take you north of the 49th parallel, I am uniquely suited to setting up a trip. I have done seven expeditions to the many remote corners of Alaska. In 2007 I participated in a major exploratory rock climbing trip to Eastern Greenland. Canada is my adopted second home.
Glacier cruising below the steeps. Valdez, AK.

And Beyond...
Internationally, I have a deep pool of resources to help direct our travels to South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia.

Referrals
If I cannot take you somewhere for one reason or another, I am more than happy to find you an excellent, certified guide that can.

Rates
My rates depend on a number of variables, not the least of which is the local company, if any, with whom I am working for a given trip. Rest assured that you will get more than your money's worth. I provide high-end, professional service. You will finish every trip more than satisfied with what we've seen, done, and learned along the way.

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