Who are Wyoming Mountain Guides?
We are a boutique climbing guide service operating across the state of Wyoming, USA. We guide rock, ice, and alpine climbing programs in some of the best climbing venues in the western US including Ten Sleep Canyon, the South Fork of the Shoshone River, the Wind River Mountains and many others. Our guides are professional instructors as well as talented climbing athletes who are at the forefront of local climbing development in many of these areas.
Our mission is to make climbing in Wyoming more sustainable. Our aim is not simply to capitalize on the growing popularity of climbing in Wyoming, but to provide much needed instruction for a growing number of new climbers visiting these areas. Our guides keep people safe, set an example of stewardship, and help preserve these invaluable resources through direct cooperation with land managers.
We also mean sustainability in the sense of making climbing more beneficial to the local community. We work to improve relations between traveling climbers and the local community by increasing the economic payout of destination tourism (for every dollar spent on a guiding service, four dollars are spent other services), making climbing in Wyoming more family friendly, and helping more locals get exposed to climbing.
What sets us apart?
1) Our location
Our biggest selling point is the place itself. There aren’t many other areas in the world that have desert voodoos, dozens of limestone canyons, and pristine alpine wilderness all within a few miles of each other. Our aim is to promote these wildlands of Wyoming by helping people explore our state’s world class rock, ice, and alpine climbing.
2) Our service
We guide a wide variety of custom climbing trips on rock, ice, and alpine objectives, in addition to our youth and community programs. We teach lessons on safety systems, specialized climbing techniques, and climbing movement. We also offer hands-on, place-based lessons on each of these climbing areas’ unique geology, ecology, archaeology, and history.
3) Our stewardship
What sets us apart from other guide services is our emphasis on stewardship. We think of stewardship as having two major components: education and engagement:
- Education – For us, climbing is not just an adventure; it’s a great way to explore the natural environment and history of the places we climb. We place a lot of emphasis on place-based education in our guiding curriculum and we also believe climbers have a responsibility to help preserve and protect these wildlands of Wyoming. We teach our clients the principles and practices of “Beyond Leave No Trace” and “Beyond Clean Climbing.”
- Engagement – In order to be good stewards of the land, we have to develop good relationships with land managers. We think of the permitting process as less of a regulatory burden and more of a working partnership, where businesses like ours work directly with regulators to help achieve a productive balance between keeping public lands in public hands while also opening up new opportunities for small businesses to help bolster the local economy.
Our guides are professional climbing instructors, wilderness first responders, and experienced all-mountain climbers that teach people of all ability levels to climb smoothly, safely, and sustainably. When it comes to hiring, our aim is not just to seek out top climbing and guiding talent. Just as important is building our team of Wyoming-based guides who care deeply about the place, the people that live here, and are invested socially in the communities where they work. Our guides are the most valuable part of this organization and we are very lucky to have these great humans working for us.
Certifications: AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide, Wilderness EMT
Guiding philosophy: “I love being able to safely (physically and emotionally) challenge participants both physically and mentally, and then see them succeed! To see someone climb a route they thought was too difficult for them or to see the metaphorical light bulb go off are both equally rewarding for me. When people receive exceptional instruction in outdoor activities we are giving them the tools and knowledge to safely go outside on their own and responsibly experience their public lands, ideally making them advocates for the rest of their lives, and if they were already advocates then they will be stronger advocates. So not only are we creating safe recreationists, we are creating proponents of all things that allow us to keep recreating in these amazing places.”
Favorite route in Wyoming: Old Easy Arete to MRC and Straight Edge, Vedauwoo – “I really enjoy multipitch climbs and this gem spans the different styles of climbing you’ll find at Vedauwoo. It starts with balance-y face climbing and finishes with some stout fist jams. I’ve also had the pleasure of taking my dad up it and that has made it a special route that I can always return to.”
Certifications: PCGI Lead Guide, Wilderness First Responder, AIARE I & II
Guiding philosophy: “Unlike some aspects of the world, rocks do not see race, gender, ethnicity, religion etc. I enjoy how rock climbing can be a place and home to any and all people if we support a comforting and inclusive environment. Additionally, rock climbing is just fun. The unique position and movement of the sport can spark the joy of a child into anyone… I have a deep sense of gratitude for the people who took me under their wing and feel a duty to share these experiences to others. Bringing people into the outdoors gives me an opportunity to share some of my favorite places and watch as new eyes come to see the beauty in what makes that environment so special. Landscapes like this today are in dire need of activists and supporters, and I see no better way to cultivate these people than through outdoor recreation.”
Favorite route in Wyoming: Black Elk, Warbonnet Peak – “My favorite climb in Wyoming has to be Black Elk – a mostly uninterrupted crack system up the east face of Warbonnet Peak in the Wind River Range. The unique position, aesthetic, and imposing feeling of climbing in the Cirque of the Towers make this a truly memorable outing.”
Lead Guide & Program Coordinator
Certifications: PCGI Lead Guide, Wilderness First Responder
Guiding philosophy: “I learned to climb in Wyoming so I can’t think of any better place to help others learn. Guiding for me is all about getting to relive those first feelings of wonder through other people’s experiences, whether it’s their first knot or first free ascent. My hope is to make climbing more accessible for folks from all walks of life and inspire the next generation of skilled and conscientious climbers.”
Assistant Ice Climbing Guide
Certifications: AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide, AMGA SPI, Wilderness First Responder, AIARE I
Guiding philosophy: “Years ago, before I found climbing, I lacked confidence and purpose, but climbing gave me those, and so much more. Climbing opened up a whole new world of beautiful mountain terrain, and helped me begin to feel and understand the power of mountains and wild spaces. Climbing, and the places in which I climb, have given me so much, and I want to share climbing with many other people in my lifetime in the hope that they, too, will experience at least some of the benefits and joy that it has brought me. Also, I hope that by exposing more people to climbing and mountains, that will instill in them more of an appreciation and respect for wilderness, and in turn lead them to value it, respect it, and stand up for it in their own lives.”
Favorite route in Wyoming: Teachers Pet, South Fork Valley – “3,000 feet and nine pitches of ice above the parking lot, this spectacular, delicate, three-tiered pillar hangs from the highest cliff band on Ishawooa Mesa. On the first ascent, my partner and mentor Aaron led the pitch, and following I found it to be the hardest ice pitch I’d ever climbed, and didn’t think I could possibly lead it. One year later, I came back with another friend for the second ascent, and this time I took the sharp end on the pillar. Despite the pillar being much thinner than the year before, I stayed calm, tapped my way up it, and realized how far I had come in my climbing.”