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    Our Guides

    We are a group of dedicated, well-trained and qualified, local professionals. Everyone listed here has a passion for the mountains and the deepest commitment to safety and enjoyment on every SMG program. Each is AMGA trained and/or certified to guide within the terrain they work, and each has the technical expertise to deliver you the highest quality experiences we can dream up. We know that you will enjoy your experiences with all of these fine professionals, and we hope to create long-lasting friendships with all of you. Let’s go to the mountains! – The guides of SMG

    Neil Satterfield

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

    “Seriously, my humblest congratulations go out to Neil. I have known Neil for nearly 20 years and, despite that baggage, would trust my life to his backcountry skills anywhere, anytime and in any situation.” – Kreighton B.

    “Neil was VERY safe. Felt very reassured even in the tricky spots.” -Andrew Lewicky

    “Neil was great ! An excellent instructor with vast knowledge” ~D.Hustic

    Neil was an awesome guide and really made our trip spectacular. I will use him as a guide again and would definitely recommend him to a friend! ~S.McGillicuddy


    Howie Schwartz

    SMG Lead Guide & Owner
    UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide
    Howie is an international UIAGM & AMGA ski and mountain guide. He was fortunate to learn to ski as a toddler and discovered alpine climbing in 1988 on a trip to the Tetons. The highlight was climbing the Grand Teton via the upper Exum Route with climber and guide Chuck Pratt. Since then, Howie has climbed and skied worldwide. Howie has been guiding since 1993. One of the co-designers of the AIARE Avalanche Course Curriculum, he teaches Level 1-3 Avalanche Seminars and is involved with the Eastern Sierra Avalanche Center locally as a Board Member. Howie is also an instructor/examiner for the AMGA Training and Certification Program and serves on the Technical Committee as Ski Discipline Coordinator. He is also a Leave No Trace Trainer. Howie enjoys flatpicking guitar and can be seen jamming with string musicians throughout the Eastern Sierra. Howie’s wife, Karen, is owner of a retail store in Bishop, CA called Sage to Summit. They live in a geodesic dome in Big Pine.

    “I felt that Howie’s experience in working with groups and teaching a wide range of ability and experience levels paid off. Great attention to each students needs and learning desires.” ~Aaron J.

    “Howie is awesome! Everything was new to me but I felt comfortable and understood.”

    “Howie was very personable. I enjoyed the conversation as well as the climb. I truly appreciate Howie’s patience working with me. The weather threatened my plans (i.e. Tioga pass closed) but everything worked out. Howie guided me up Emerson despite the ice and snow. I had not anticipated the conditions we encountered nor would feel comfortable climbing in them my friends. Howie’s expertise in ALL types of climbing eased any doubts I had and we did the route

    ~Jed N .


    Trish McGuire

    Office Manager

    Trish was born and raised on the Oregon coast. She grew up as a boater, spending years in rafts and kayaks paddling the western rivers. After graduating from college, a photo of the Tetons captured her eye and she was Jackson-bound. Living in Jackson Hole cultivated Trish’s love of the mountains and inspired her to start rock climbing. After a few years in Wyoming, she packed up her car and set out for Bishop, seeking warm weather and year round rock climbing.

    Trish is psyched on Bishop! She loves sport climbing in Owens River Gorge, adventuring into the Sierras, and most importantly rocking silly lycra climbing pants!


    Jed Porter

    SMG Lead Guide
    UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide
    Jed completed his first solo backpacking trip in the mountains of upstate New York when he was just 13 years old. At the University of Maine he led the school’s outdoor club, learned to telemark ski, and still managed to get a degree in soil sciences. Since then Jed has shaped his life around climbing, skiing, and backpacking. He has taken the AMGA rock, alpine, and ski guide courses, holds a Wilderness First Responder certification and is AIARE L3 certified. In 2013 Jed achieved the highest honor and rating in guiding when he passed his last exam and received his IFMGA rating. He moved to Bishop in 2003 and has been guiding people in the mountains of California for three years. Climbing, canoeing and canoodling have led Jed to Arctic and Sub-Arctic places for four complete summers. Jed makes a mean salsa, he comes equipped with an internal compass, and he is a beautiful backcountry skier.

    “Jed went ‘above and beyond’ to make this trip a great experience.” -Paul C.

    “Jed was sooo nice. Very patient and a lot of fun too! I felt very safe, which is quite a compliment because I am a total beginner and afraid of heights. :)” ~P. Twomey

    I appreciate the follow up and want to let you know that I had a great time. Jed did an excellent job and I would recommend SMG to anyone. He was professional and very knowledgeable. His his enthusiasm and willingness to teach made all the difference.

    ~S. Allen

    Jed is the best, safest, most capable climber/guide I’ve been with. Felt instantly trusting of him and his ability.

    ~Bob B.

    Fantastic! Jed was extremely knowledgeable, patient, and happy to answer all my questions (and I had a lot of them). In addition to the material covered in the class, he offered a lot of useful advice for other trips I have planned later in the year. Jed was great to hang out with, personable, and clearly passionate about the outdoors, everything one would look for in an experienced guide.

    ~Aaron P.


    Viren Perumal

    AMGA Certified Rock Guide
    Viren was born in Thailand, but grew up climbing and kayaking in the Southeastern U.S. He started guiding climbing 10 years ago and has worked in almost every aspect of the outdoor industry over the past decade. Viren moved to the sierra in 2004 and lived in Yosemite teaching field science to school groups. Viren has guided rock, ice, and alpine ascents in the North Cascades, Canada, Alaska, Red Rocks, and in the Sierra. His favorite place to climb is in the Eastern Sierra where he now spends his summers with his wife Julie hunting splitter granite cracks. Viren is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, has completed the Alpine Guide Course (6/10) and is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor – Course Director. He also teaches Wilderness Medicine courses and is a WEMT/ NR-EMT-B. Viren is a LNT Master Educator, and has completed an AIRIE Level II Avalanche Course. During the school year Viren teaches a variety of technical skills for the Adventure Education Program at Prescott College in AZ.


    Dave Miller

    UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide
    A native of California, Dave has been climbing and exploring the
    mountains of California for over thirty years. He has worked as a
    mountain guide in rock, ice and alpine climbing as well as ski mountaineering throughout California, Mexico, South America and Europe for the past nine years. He is an international UIAGM/IFMGA and AMGA certified ski & mountain guide. Dave’s climbing adventures began back in 1980 while growing up in the North Lake Tahoe area. Twenty-eight years later Dave considers his proudest climbing achievements to be his one-day ascents of Yosemite’s El Capitan and his ascents of remote alpine rock routes in the High Sierra. His ski mountaineering and alpine climbing adventures have taken him throughout North and South America as well as Europe. He calls the Eastern Sierra Nevada home and even after all his travels, he considers it one of the best places in the world.


    Lyra Pierotti

    Trekking/Rock Climbing/Avy/Ice Climbing Guide
    Lyra had her first view of the mountains atop the shoulders of the Tahoe Summer Music Festival’s tuba player, back when she weighed less than a tuba. This exposure led her to study ecology and pursue rock climbing. While studying at UC San Diego, she worked as a guide for her university’s outdoor program. She led rock climbing, backpacking, and sea kayaking trips, and also taught field ecology for several San Diego-based outdoor education programs. Lyra spent a year living in the French Alps, studying geology, climbing, and skiing. Shortly after her return, pining for more mountain adventures, she relocated to the Eastern Sierra. Dropping plans of going back for a masters degree in ecology, she started guiding on Mount Shasta in the summers – and was thus hopelessly hooked. She now calls Yosemite’s cliffs her cubicle walls for the summer, and spends winters guiding mountaineering, rock/alpine and ice climbing in the Sierra Nevada, and occasionally on the high altitude volcanoes of Mexico. Lyra is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, an AIARE Level 1 avalanche instructor, and holds a Wilderness First Responder certification.


    Bernd Zeugswetter

    UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide
    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, to Pakistan, Nepal, Russia, Argentina, Peru, Mexico and all through the Alps. Places he’s drawn back to again and again are the limestone faces and larches of the Gesäuse and the Dolomites; the bright High Sierra wilderness; Yosemite’s boulders and endless walls. He is also professional photographer and graduate of culinary school and he is father to an enthusiastic three year old rock scrambler.


    Thomas Greene

    Rock Guide
    Thomas has had the good fortune to live and climb in some pretty beautiful places. His love of climbing began on Mt. Champlain in Acadia National Park, close to where he grew up. He began his guiding career on the southwest coast of New Zealand’s South Island where he lived for three years. Since coming home, he’s spent the past two summers guiding and climbing on Mt. Rainier and in Washington’s North Cascades. When not at work or on a personal climb, he reads, runs and dreams about traveling. Last winter was his first in the Eastern Sierra, and he spent the summer looking forward to another.


    Barbara Wanner

    Kids Climbing Director
    Barbara was born and raised in Switzerland. She learned to ski as a child and spent the winters roaming the local ski area. In fourth grade she took her first back-county ski tour to the top of a peak in the Alps. While still a child she learned to love scrambling up mountain peaks and hiking from hut to hut with her father. This love for the mountains grew into rock climbing and mountaineering. During her semester with the National Outdoor Leadership School, she trained in rock technique, cliff rescue, and rock/ice mountaineering. In addition, Barbara took Mountaineering and Rock climbing Leadership courses with the Swiss Alpine Club. Barbara is also a Wilderness First Responder and a NOLS Leave no Trace Master. To develop her winter back-country skills, Barbara has taken avalanche and back-country ski tour guide courses with the Swiss Alpine Club, the National Outdoor Leadership School, and has completed the Level II AIREE avalanche course. Currently Barbara is a ski patrol at June Mountain. As an elementary school teacher in Switzerland , she led several week long ski and summer camps with her students. Leading kids in the outdoors has been one of her strengths since she lead her first girl scout camp as a teenager. Since then Barbara has taken groups of kids hiking, camping, and rock climbing in Switzerland and in the US. Barbara has lived in the U.S. since 1995. She is married and has three daughters who she is raising speak Swiss German. Barbara enjoys exploring, hiking and skiing with her kids.

    Fun fact: Barbara can ride the unicycle.
    Barbara did an outstanding job leading it and keeping to fun for the kids-very educational. She is very encouraging! -Leah R.


    Ryan Tetz

    AMGA Certified Rock Guide
    Ryan’s parent’s met and dated while working in Yosemite National Park. Ryan was assured to grow up close to the mountains! Always an endurance fanatic, starting young, Ryan rode a century bike ride at 10 years old. He started climbing in Yosemite at age 16, and 3 years later started guiding climbing for a youth program in the park & worked on Yosemite Search and Rescue Team. After 13 years he still loves climbing, enjoying long days in the mountains and anything with that elusive big adventure factor! Ryan is most proud of his ascents in big wall climbing- including a one day climb of the Nose of El Capitan and El Capitan twice in a week. Ryan is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Master Educator. Ryan is also a part time Intensive Care Registered Nurse in Bishop and likes skiing, road biking, and kite boarding when he isn’t in the mountains!


    Justin Lichter

    Trekking Guide
    Justin grew up about an hour north of New York City and have since lived in Santa Barbara, CA, southern VT, Dillon, CO, and I am currently living in Truckee, CA. When not hiking, I am a ski patroller. I enjoy backcountry skiing, nordic skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, surfing and anything else active. Since 2002, I have hiked over 30,000 miles. In 2002 doing a cross-country map and compass trip through the canyon country of southern utah, in 2003 hiking from Georgia to Cap Gaspe, Quebec following the Appalachian Trail and International AT, 2004 hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada and then the Pacific Northwest Trail to the Washington coast, 2005 the Continental Divide Trail from Mexico to Canada then continuing on the Great Divide Trail from the Canadian border up into northern Alberta, 11/1/05 to 10/23/06 completing the Eastern Continental Trail (Cap Gaspe, QC to Key West, Florida, incorporating the AT), Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail in under a year, a total of over 10,000 miles, and in 2007 a traverse of the Southern Alps and the South Island of New Zealand. The list keeps going including in 2009 hiking 1800 miles unsupported through Africa and in 2011 hiking about 2,000 miles across the Himalaya Range.


    Terri Fisher

    Trekking & Rock Guide
    Terri has thrived in the Eastern Sierra for 17 years, all of which working full time as a Mammoth Mountain Ski Patroller. She is a certified ATF Avalanche Blaster, an Emergency Medical Technician, and holds Level 1 and 2 certificates from the National Avalanche School. She has extensive backcountry experience: Skiing and backpacking in the Eastern Sierra, and climbing in the United States and Mexico. In the summer, Terri has worked for Sierra Mountaineering International, Yosemite Search and Rescue, and the United States Forest Service. She has been a backcountry ranger and wild land firefighter, and currently leads a trail maintenance and construction crew. At home, she is a budding high altitude organic gardener with a certificate in Permaculture Design Consultation.


    Karen Schwartz

    Sage to Summit- Owner
    Mountain Running Guide

    Karen is Howie’s wife extraordinaire, and manager of their retail specialty mountain shop in Bishop, CA – Sage to Summit. We work with ‘S2S’ to outfit our clients with gear accessibly and at special prices. Karen is an avid ski mountaineer, trail runner, and alpine rock climber. She helps develop and guide our local and international mountain running and fastpacking programs. She also gives us all bookkeeping and morale support.


    Annie Trujillo

    Trekking/Rock Climbing Guide
    Annie is a native Californian and a lifelong High Sierra devotee. She has had guide training with the National Outdoor Leadership School and has taken the AMGA Rock Instructor Course, she is a certified Wilderness First Responder and has taken an AIARE Level II avalanche course. She has guided backpacking and rock climbing since 2002, and taken personal trips all through the Sierra since she was a teenager. Guiding, backpacking and climbing have taken her to Alaska, Argentina, Chile, Greenland and around the Western US. Her forte is preparing incredible backcountry food and polishing climbers’ movement on the rock. If all that wasn’t enough, she has made herself a competent backcountry skier almost exclusively without chairlifts.

    “I called a number of companies in the process of planning for this trip and Annie really stood out as helpful, cheerful and willing to work with us. My interactions with her was significant in our choosing to go with Sierra Mountain Guides” -Dan J.

    We had a great day climbing and the locations were exactly what we were looking forward to. In previous years we have also done guided climbing in Yosemite and Zion. This was one of the best days we had on the rock and Annie is an outstanding guide. She offered us a challenging outdoor experience and showed expertise in every situation. Thanks again for a great day and we will recommend SMG to our friends. – Tom M.


    Nina Silich- Alps Running Guide

    Nina, a native of New England, now
    resides full time in Chamonix, France with her family. She is passionate about mountain sports and hopes to inspire others to discover the passion of the mountains. She
    worked for a number of years as a full time mountain instructor for National Outdoor Leaderships School in areas such as Wyoming, Arizona, Cascades and Kenya. Her husband, an IFMGA mountain guide brought them to the Alps where she furthered her skills in outdoor education heading the girls outdoor program at a Swiss international school. There she fell in love with the sport of ski mountaineering and now competes at the World Cup level on the European circuit. In the off season, she stays busy running the trails and running after her two boys.


    Richard Bothwell

    Certified Single Pitch Instructor
    Richard, one of our top backcountry splitboarding guides banishes the idea that snowboarding is just for the 30 and under. In his 12 plus years of guiding he has climbed and guided 4 of the 7 summits; Kilimanjaro, Aconcagua, Denali, and Elbrus, and surfed off of four different continents. Richard is a certified AMGA Top Rope Site Manager and has completed the AMGA Backcountry Ski Guide course. He is also a certified Wilderness First Responder and has completed an AIARE Level 2 avalanche course. Having lived in San Francisco for the past 12 years, Richard also has deep understanding for the “finer” things in life. Feel free to quiz him on which wines go with which cheeses or the art of cooking and eating oysters, and make sure you do an overnight trip with him so you can taste his incredible gourmet backcountry cooking. With Richard, you will always feel like you’ve gotten your money’s worth.


    Tim Farrar

    AIARE L1 & L2 Avy Instructor
    We are proud to have Tim Farrar as one of our avalanche instructors. He is the embodiment of snow study science in The Lake Tahoe area. Having grown up in Truckee, Ca and been skiing there since the early 80’s and studying snow science since the late 80’s, he is a wealth of information regarding anything crystalline, cold, and white! Tim has been teaching

    avalanche courses for 15 years. He is a AAA Certified Avalanche Instructor, a certified AIARE Level 2 avalanche instructor, and a professional ski patroller at Mt. Rose. Not only do his “avalanche eyeballs” remain open all winter long, he is a really fun “Doooood” to spend a couple of days with!


    Joe Stock

    UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide
    Joe is an internationally certified IFMGA mountain guide with a passion for mountain adventure in Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 24 years with highlights on long alpine climbs in the Southern Alps of New Zealand, limestone rock climbing in Thailand, mixed climbs in Colorado and spring ski mountaineering in Alaska. He made the first ski traverse of the Chugach Mountains from Anchorage to Valdez, and the first full-length ski traverses of the Tordrillo and Neacola Mountains. Joe received an undergraduate degree in geology and geography from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a graduate degree in watershed science (snow science focus) from CSU in Fort Collins, Colorado. In addition to guiding, Joe works as a writer, photographer and hydrologist. He lives in Anchorage with his wife Cathy.


    John Kear

    UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide
    John is a professional mountain guide and zealous all-around climber. He is one of only a small group of American guides to become a fully certified UIAGM mountain guide. Nineteen years of mountain experience has taken him all over the world for work and play. From the high Alpine peaks of Alaska, the Alps, the Andes and the Himalayas to the desert crags and towers of the American Southwest, John is equally at home seeking out beautiful and challenging ascents. Specializing in demanding and technical routes he guides as Co-owner of Suntoucher Mountain Guides, instructor and examiner for the AMGA, and occasional work for other top notch guide services. His passion for first ascents and adventure climbing was born in the Sandia Mountains of New Mexico, an enchanting little range of granite fins, towers and walls just outside of his home in Albuquerque. When not away climbing and guiding in the world’s greater mountain ranges, John is home in New Mexico continuing to seek out challenging new routes and sharing the classic climbs with friends and guided clients.


    Larry Goldie

    UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide
    Larry has been climbing for 20 years and guiding professionally for 16. He guides and instructs rock climbing, mountaineering and backcountry skiing. He has climbed and guided extensively in the Cascades, with additional experience in the Alps, Sierras, Rockies, Alaska and Canada. With a passion for skiing, Larry holds PSIA certification in the Nordic, Alpine, Telemark and Backcountry disciplines, and is an AIARE trained instructor. Larry is an internationally Certified UIAGM Mountain guide.