toCaptions">"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
Winter touring with Jimmy Carter
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 .
Growing up in an extremely active family, Danielle’s love for the outdoors began at a very early age and blossomed when she graduated from SFSU in 2008. Having first developed a passion for climbing in San Francisco’s rock gyms, she expanded upon that with her first trad climb at Lovers Leap in the Lake Tahoe area and has not looked back since. Migrating to Bishop in 2008 to pursue her love for climbing she met her (now) husband, the very first day she moved here. Since living in Bishop Danielle has dabbled in various outdoor activities like running, hiking and biking. She has competed in numerous cycling races and completed the Everest Challenge Road Race in 2009. Though climbing has taken somewhat of a back seat since the discovery of other passions, it is still her first love and it will always have a special place in her heart. Danielle has many diverse goals she would like to accomplish in the future, which include but are not limited to, climbing El Capitan, running a marathon, hiking the John Muir Trail in full and of course, continuing to explore the Sierra’s vast and tremendously beautiful terrain. Danielle also enjoys gardening, cooking delicious food and drinking wine. Danielle and her husband just bought a home in Bishop and have no plans to leave anytime soon or… perhaps ever.
SMG Lead Guide
Certified Single Pitch
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. 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.
"There's not much I can tell you about his climbing skills that you don't already know - and he certainly didn't come close to pushing the limits of his abilities with a weekend warrior like me. But I do want to pass along what I found to be most impressive about Jed - he is a true alpinist at heart and his love for the Sierra is readily apparent. I've spent time with guides who would rather be rock climbing and for whom a trip in the High Sierra is nothing more than time on the clock to be passed before getting back to their favorite crag. Jed, on the other hand, exudes a love for the range that exceeds my own - which was a truly refreshing change. In addition, Jed, is a great teacher who took a genuine concern for developing my skills as a climber. I learned more from Jed than I took away from any of my other guided trips. I left the mountains a better climber and with a desire to pick up skills that didn't even interest me before (such as ice climbing).Bottom line, I'm very thankful I was able to schedule this trip with Jed on such short notice - I had a great weekend climbing with Jed and look forward to my next trip to the mountains with him." - Chad B.
"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.
Jed is the best, safest, most capable climber/guide I've been with. Felt instantly trusting of him and his ability.
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.
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.
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. Since then she has learned to telemark and snowboard. 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. Barbara has climbed in the Alps, southern France, the Rockies, and California’s Sierra Nevada. She enjoys sport climbs as well as alpine routes. During her semester with the National Outdoor Leadership School, she trained in rock technique, cliff rescue, and rock/ice mountaineering. She has also completed a month long climbing and mountaineering instructor course with NOLS. 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.
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.
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.
Trekking/Rock 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 would lead 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, leading rock climbing, backpacking, and sea kayaking trips, and taught field ecology for several San Diego-based outdoor education programs. Lyra spent a year in the French Alps, studying geology, climbing, and skiing. She has been based out of Bishop since fall 2008, and works as a guide throughout the Sierra Nevada and on Mt. Shasta. Lyra holds a Wilderness First Responder certification, has completed her Level 1 AIARE Avalanche course and the AMGA Rock Instructor Course, and looks forward to pursuing a higher education in the mountains through the AMGA Guide Training Program.
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.
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.
Nina Silich- Alps Running Guide
Nina, a native of New England, now
resides full time in Chamonix,
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.
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!
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.
UIAGM/IFMGA Ski & Mountain Guide