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    Sierra Mountain Guides

    SMG believes that guiding is a trade that must be learned through training, mentorship, and experience.

    We take the trust you put into our guides very seriously and we consider ourselves amongst the myriad of professionals such as doctors, airline pilots, lawyers, food handlers, and auto mechanics, whose expert skills we all regularly depend on for our survival and well-being.

    That is why we require that all of our guides be professionally trained and/or certified through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) guide training programs specific to the terrain in which they work. This gives our clients the assurance that their SMG guide will meet a minimum standard for excellence and guiding ability for their chosen trip. Although in many other countries it is the norm, SMG is one of only a bare handful of American guide services willing to fully embrace this hiring standard as an important part of risk management in mountain guiding.

    Our Guides

    Our guides are also chosen for their proven dedication to their clients, their passion for the mountains, their specific expertise and experience in their respective guiding disciplines, their overall professionalism, and their obvious other interpersonal skills. We stand by the quality of our guides and offer you a 100% guarantee on their performance. We have never yet had to refund money based on a complaint about an SMG guide and we don’t ever expect to.
    Guides_DannyOzment

    Dany Ozment

    Ski & Rock Guide

    Danny Ozment

    Danny was born and raised in Texas, but that did not keep him from getting on skis at the age of 9 in New Mexico and Colorado, where he would try to spend as much time as possible exploring the mountains until graduating college from Texas A&M University.  After school, he spent 10 years throughout the west ski instructing and developing a passion for ski mountaineering.  This lifestyle was a natural progression into guiding.  Danny first began guiding in 2011 in Washington on mountains such as Rainier, Mt. Baker and many others throughout the North Cascades.  His winters would be spent ski guiding in the Wallowa Mountains of Northeast Oregon, or the San Juan Mountains in Southwest Colorado.  Much of the last 8 years has also been spent guiding expeditions on Denali and Aconcagua.

    When not guiding, Danny has spent his time skiing and climbing throughout the West, Alaska, British Columbia and Europe.  Some of his favorite trips have been ski expeditions into the Wrangell Mountains and Alaska Ranges in AK, multiple trips to Chamonix, and fall climbing trips in Southern Utah.  Now that Danny and his family call California home, he is looking forward to the balance between climbing and skiing that is offered in the Sierra Nevada and throughout California.

    Danny is an AMGA Certified Ski Guide and has completed the AMGA Rock and Alpine Guide Courses.  Additionally, he is a Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Course Leader, Leave No Trace Trainer and a PSIA Level 2 Ski Instructor.  Danny intends to continue to pursue AMGA Certification in the Rock and Alpine disciplines.

    Guides_TimDobbins

    Tim Dobbins

    Alpine, Rock, Ice, & Ski Guide

    Tim Dobbins

    Tim grew up in the suburbs of Portland OR and started skiing at 4 or 5. Both parents were from Colorado so upon moving to Oregon they bought a cabin at Mt. Hood and skied every weekend and holiday. Tim ski raced all over the PNW for nine years in all 4 disciplines.

    After high school Tim’s brother got him a job in Aspen CO turning bindings in a rental shop. The skiing culture was a lot different there so he ended up getting a job as a pro patroller so they would stop taking his ski pass for what they considered reckless skiing. He was just skiing like everyone skied in the PNW, extremely fast.

    After 4 years of patrolling Tim decided to take a sabbatical in order to fulfill a dream of spending a season in Chamonix, thanks Glen Plake.  After only 1 season in Chamonix his eyes were opened and he was done patrolling. During his 7 years in the Alps Tim climbed and skied with guides, soon to be guides, legends, and incredibly enthusiastic people. The Alps are where he learned ski touring, ski mountaineering, ice climbing, alpine climbing, and in general how to truly enjoy the mountains. Chamonix is also where he discovered his new heroes Patrick Vallencent, Jean-Marc Boivin , Sylvan Saudan, Remi Lecluse, Pierre Tardivel and many others who pioneered steep skiing. The latter living legend Tardivel became a mentor and Tim was invited on a few first descents in the Alps, thanx Pierre. Tim also discovered a whole new culture in France and studied French with a tutor and can speak conversational French which is nice since Tim’s wife is a Francophone. He is subsequently a bit of a Francophile, no apologies, France is amazing.

    After so many years in Europe, Tim came home to spend time with the family and took his first AMGA ski guide course in Aspen.  Bela Vadasz was the course director and he invited Tim down to Truckee to continue his education, and eventually became a full-time Alpine Skills International guide.

    Tim have lived and guided in the Sierra for the past 9 years and is an AMGA aspirant mountain guide with a Ski Guide certificate. He is currently enrolled in an upcoming Rock Guide Exam and hopes to finish his IFMGA in 2019. Tim is also an AIARE level 1 course leader Level 2 instructor and currently a Wilderness First Responder.

    Guides_BrigitteSteinmetz

    Brigitte Denton

    Backpacking Guide

    Brigitte Steinmetz

    Brigitte moved to the Eastern Sierra in 2007 from Southern California where she grew up with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. She has a Bachelor of Science degree and teaching credential in Biological Sciences. Prior to moving to the Sierra, she spent 18 years as a Los Angeles County Ocean Lifeguard protecting the lives of beachgoers and 7 years teaching middle school integrated science.  In 2006, she decided to pursue her love of outdoor education and took a mountaineering course for outdoor educators with NOLS in the Pacific Northwest where she officially caught the bug ultimately leading her on her current path. Since 2007 she has guided and instructed courses in mountaineering, backpacking, and sea kayaking disciplines exploring areas of Alaska, the continental U.S., and Europe. In addition, she has personally ventured in Africa, China, and Central/South America. When Brigitte is not guiding for SMG, she instructs courses for NOLS Expeditions and NOLS Custom Education, runs her own business, Beyond Limits Education, Inc., and spends time adventuring with her husband.

    Certifications/Qualifications

    • NOLS Field Faculty (Mountaineering, Backpacking, Sea Kayak Programs)
    • Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician
    • AIARE Avalanche Level 2
    • PSIA Alpine Ski Level 2 Instructor
    • American Red Cross Instructor
    • American Health & Safety Institute Instructor
    • California Emergency Medical Services Authority (ICEMA Region) Instructor
    • Wilderness Medical Associates International Instructor
    • Professional Ocean Rescue Swimmer
    Guides_LindsayFixmer

    Lindsay Fixmer

    Alpine, Rock, & Ice Guide

    Lindsay Fixmer

    Since her initiation into climbing in 1999, Lindsay has travelled to world-class climbing destinations and guides clients of all abilities on rock, ice and alpine climbs. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Lindsay knew she wanted to return west where the mountains offered a plethora of climbing opportunities. She began a career coaching youth competitive climbing teams and managing climbing gyms. Through her experience teaching the technical skills of climbing Lindsay naturally transitioned to guiding and works closely with her clients to develop their skills. Various guiding venues include Rockies, Tetons, Sierra, Rainier, North Cascades, Alaska, the north and southeast US, Argentina, Mexico, and Iceland.

    While Lindsay loves rock climbing she excels as a technician on ice. From the ice meccas such as the Northeast, the San Juan’s in CO, Hyalite Canyon in Bozeman, MT; Cody, WY; to the stunning fjords of Iceland she brings her clients to their peak level of performance. When Lindsay isn’t climbing you can catch her playing guitar and singing at local cafes. She has first ascents in India and Iceland. Lindsay lives spring – fall in the Eastern Sierra and Bozeman, MT in the winter.

    Lindsay’s certifications:

    • AMGA Certified Rock Guide
    • AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
    • AMGA CWI Provider Trainer
    • AMGA SPI Provider
    • AIARE Pro II Certification
    • Wilderness First Responder
    • Leave No Trace Trainer
    Guides_MichaelOConnor

    Michael O'Connor

    Alpine, Rock, & Ice Guide

    Michael O'Connor

    AMGA Certified Rock Guide

    Michael started climbing in 2006 in Maryland at Towson University but didn’t find a real passion for climbing until he traveled abroad to New Zealand in 2007 for a semester of college. He met so many people from all over the world that had come to New Zealand just for the climbing. The amazing community that he became part of him fueled his fire for climbing. Once back in the states, he finished a degree in Sport Management and embarked on a mission to learn more about climbing. Michael scored a job at an East Coast climbing gym called Earth Treks. Working with great people and making lifelong friends in the indoor gym naturally led him to further expand onto the natural stone. He took that time to embark upon a career working in the climbing industry, learning about every aspect possible. This naturally led him to an interest in guiding. He started guiding for Earth Treks in 2010 teaching rock climbing in summer camps, introductory level outdoor climbing courses, and weekend ice climbing in the Adirondacks. Since then, Michael moved to California and has continued his professional guiding development through the AMGA. He is a certified Rock Guide since 2016. In addition to guiding with SMG in the Eastern/High Sierra, he currently resides in Santa Barbara most of the year where he works as lead route setter, head coach of the youth team, and guide at Santa Barbara Rock Gym. On days off  he has been been climbing all over California, and North America honing skills as a climber, guide, and  lifelong learner. If you can’t find Michael in the climbing gym chances are he is outside getting stuck in Sierra alpine cracks or out amongst the crag dwellers in the  the greater U.S.!

    Guides_AshleyBurton

    Ashley Burton

    Backpacking Guide

    Ashley Burton

    A California native, Ashley has spent over 10 years guiding in the high country of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. She ventures into the Sierra backcountry to gain a deeper appreciation and awareness of life, and sharing this with others is the reason she loves to guide. Ashley graduated from Loyola Marymount University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and environmental science. She has a passion for learning world religions and cultures, and has had the privilege of travelling to the lands of India, Nepal, Peru, and Armenia. Ashley is also a certified Ayurvedic Health Counselor, Wilderness First Responder, and superfood chocolatier.

    Guides_BarbaraWanner

    Barbara Wanner

    Ski & Rock Guide

    Barbara Wanner

    I don’t remember not being a skier. Growing up in Switzerland, I skied with my brother on a hill behind the farmhouse.  I started backcountry skiing in elementary school. Today, as an AMGA certified ski guide and AIARE avalanche course instructor, I am still passionate about skiing deep powder. I have skied extensively in the Alps and in North America.

    According to my husband, my other expensive habit is climbing. My dad used to drag me up 4th class peaks as a kid.  This eventually led to a semester with NOLS and my ongoing fascination with the American West. I have climbed all over the Alps and I am still ticking off routes in  the  Sierra Nevada. I am an AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor and an apprentice Rock Guide.

    Being out in the mountains, especially on stormy days, is how I rejuvenate and gain strength for my other job as a mother of three daughters. My family and I live in Lee Vining, CA.

    Credentials:

    AMGA Certified Ski Guide

    AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor

    AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide

    NOLS Wilderness First Responder

    Elementary Teaching Degree in Switzerland

    Guides_AnoukErni

    Anouk Erni

    Rock Guide

    Anouk Erni

    Anouk Erni has been climbing for 11 years throughout the US, Canada, and Europe.  Her first experience climbing was in Joshua Tree National Park, and she was hooked! Living in Los Angeles at the time and working as a television editor and composer, Anouk started out a weekend warrior, frequenting the local crags such as Stoney Point. But, pretty soon it wasn’t enough, and she started venturing further and further into the mountains and the alpine.  Trad climbing had become her passion, and being so close to the Sierra, Tahquitz, and Yosemite National Park, there was plenty of terrain to explore.  While she really enjoys guiding clients in the alpine environment, her real passion is teaching new skills to her clients, and setting them up for success in their own future endeavors. By helping her clients to be more confident and knowledgeable, Anouk believes that this benefits the outdoor community as a whole.

    Guides_MikeStowers

    Mike Stowers

    Backpacking Guide

    Mike Stowers

    Mike grew up in Arizona where he was introduced to the outdoors by his father, spending time hiking, camping, and fishing in the Mogollon Rim area of Arizona. He works as a RN in the Eastern Sierras region and currently resides in Bishop, CA. Over the past decade, Mike has spent much of his time exploring the Western United States, climbing mountains, backcountry skiing, and backpacking. He has enjoyed every challenge along the way and is always looking forward to new and exciting adventures. In his off time away from the mountains, he enjoys running, cooking, yoga, scuba diving and spending time with his family.

    Guides_RyanHuetter

    Ryan Huetter

    IFMGA Guide (Alpine. Rock, Ice & Ski)

    Ryan Huetter

    Ryan grew up near the coastal tidewaters of the Puget Sound in Washington State, but has since traded moss and rain for the sunshine and splitter cracks of the Sierra Nevada.  Since graduating from Western Washington University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Adventure Management, Ryan has called the Sierra home. Beginning with leading extended backcountry mountaineering and backpacking trips for the Outward Bound School all over the range, he finally settled down in Mammoth Lakes to enjoy the unbelievable skiing and climbing the Eastside is famous for.

    Ryan’s passion for climbing has taken him around the world, from Yosemite Valley where he has climbed more than 25 big walls including a 9 day ascent of Tribal Rite (5.10 A4), to Patagonia where he has made many major ascents including Fitz Roy and first ascents of remote alpine walls.

    He is a certified AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide, an AIARE Course Leader, and is a Wilderness First Responder. 

    Guides_StevenMace

    Steven Mace

    Ski Guide

    Steven Mace

    Steven grew up in Golden Colorado where he learned to ski at quite a young age.  He began to venture outside the gates in his mid teens and never looked back.  While attending college in Durango CO, he continued to push his skills and knowledge earning his turns in the San Juan Mountains.  He has skied across the globe from Canada to Japan to the Himalaya where he helped start a ski school for local kids in Gulmarg, Kashmir. 

    Steve has worked as an avalanche professional for over a decade, as a Ski guide, a professional ski patroller and an avalanche educator.  Steve moved to the Eastern Sierra in 2018 and works as an Avalanche Forecaster with the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center. When Steve isn’t skiing, he spends his time rock climbing, mountain biking, and leading river trips on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

    Guides_HowieSchwartz

    Howie Schwartz

    SMG Lead Guide & Owner, Ski & Mountain Guide

    Howie Schwartz

    SMG Lead Guide & Owner
    UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide

    IFMGA logo UIAGM

    Howie is an international UIAGM & AMGA ski and mountain guide. He was fortunate to learn to ski as a toddler and he owned the first p-tex snowboard by Burton in 1987, which he hiked up the groomed runs of East Coast ski resorts. He discovered rock and alpine climbing in 1988 on a trip to the Tetons. The highlight was climbing the Grand Teton via the upper Exum Route with legendary climber and guide Chuck Pratt. Since then, climbing, skiing, and mountain guiding has taken him to many spectacular places, primarily to the Sierra Nevada, Alaska, and throughout the Alps – but also to places like Canada, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Antarctica, and Thailand. He has logged numerous first ascents and ski descents in his personal and professional tenure. Howie has been guiding since 1993, and became one of the first 20 American guides to achieve the IFMGA professional credential in 2001. He was also the first and only American IFMGA guide to pass ski guiding exams on telemark equipment (though he shortly afterward went back to his fixed heel roots). With an outdoor education background, Howie got involved with teaching Avalanche Awareness Courses for a small Swiss-owned guide service in Crested Butte, Colorado in 1997. There he became one of the several collaborators to design the now ubiquitous AIARE avalanche course curriculum, and was the creator of the ” AIARE Decision Making Framework,” which the Level 1 & 2 courses are still based upon. Howie teaches Level 1-3 Avalanche Seminars and is involved with the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center locally as a Board Member. Howie has also been an instructor/examiner for the AMGA Training and Certification Programs since 2000, working in all 3 disciplines and serving on the AMGA Technical Committee. He spent 6 years overseeing and developing AMGA ski mountaineering guide training and certification programs as Ski Discipline Coordinator. Lately, when not overseeing SMG’s operations, Howie has been getting back to what he loves most – climbing, skiing, guiding, & family. Howie also enjoys flatpicking guitar and can be seen jamming with string musicians throughout the Eastern Sierra. Howie’s wife, Karen, manages their unique mountain shop on Main Street in Bishop, California called Sage to Summit. They own a geodesic dome in Big Pine, but recently moved back to Bishop where they currently live with their amazing son Cosmo and dog Wheeler.

    Guides_NeilSatterfield

    Neil Satterfield

    SMG Lead Guide & Owner, Ski & Mountain Guide

    Neil Satterfield

    SMG Lead Guide & Owner
    UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide

    IFMGA logo UIAGM

    Neil is a second generation mountain guide. Born in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Neil began climbing when he was six years old. A 20 year+ resident of the Eastern Sierra, Neil enjoys the close proximity to backcountry skiing, rock climbing and alpine peaks. “After guiding and climbing in many different countries I am still in awe of how cool the East Side is. I still have more than a lifetime worth of climbing to do in my backyard.”

    Neil is an international UIAGM & AMGA ski and mountain guide. In addition, he is an avalanche and snowboard instructor, as well as a local ski patroller. Neil has climbed extensively in the United States as well as in South America, Mexico, Europe and Africa.

    Guides_BerndZeugswetter

    Bernd Zeugswetter

    IFMGA Guide (Alpine. Rock, Ice & Ski)

    Bernd Zeugswetter

    austrialogo

    Born and raised in Austria, Bernd is a third generation climber and skier. He’s been teaching climbing and skiing since 1997 and in 2001 completed his IFMGA certification. Guiding and climbing have taken him to many beautiful places around the world including Pakistan, Nepal, Russia, Argentina, Peru, Mexico and all through the Alps. His recent focus has been on free-climbing long routes like Moonlight Buttress, Sheer Lunacy, and the Touchstone Wall in Zion, and many classics in Yosemite and the Sierra. He is also a professional photographer and graduate of culinary school.

    Guides_GeoffUnger

    Geoff Unger

    IFMGA Guide (Alpine. Rock, Ice & Ski)

    Geoff Unger

    Guides_JenReynolds

    Jen Reynolds

    Backpacking Guide

    Jen Reynolds

    Jen has lived in the Eastern Sierra for almost 20 years.  Born in Mammoth Lakes, she was taught to love the mountain life from a young age.  Jen’s passion for the mountains runs deep; from the highest peaks to the most remote lakes, it is the places least travelled which she enjoys experiencing most.  After taking a NOLS Alaskan Mountaineering Course, carrying 70 lb. packs, Jen vowed that fast and light was the only way to go.  Ever since completing her first thru hike of the John Muir Trail in 2002, Jen has realized the possibilities of lightweight backpacking, hiking the JMT several more times since and making countless forays into the lesser known corners of the range, usually with a fishing rod in hand.  She also has made many trips throughout the Sierra Nevada for ski tours, rock climbing adventures and peak bagging missions.  It is this intimate knowledge of her home mountains which she enjoys sharing most with people, and it is easy to feel her infectious energy when talking to her about wild and seldom done backcountry routes. When Jen isn’t in the mountains or adventuring somewhere new and exciting, she works as an EMT at the Mammoth Hospital.

    Guides_PeterCroft

    Peter Croft

    Rock Climbing

    Peter Croft