IMG Guide Training on Mt. Rainier, May 2015 (zoom»)
The Guides of International Mountain GuidesExpeditions not led by IMG Directors Eric Simonson, Phil Ershler, Geo Dunn, or Paul Baugher are led by professional climbers and mountaineering instructors from our world-class guiding team:
Peter found his love for the outdoors in the Golden State of California where he spent his summers rock climbing in the Yosemite Valley and winters backcountry skiing in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He was brought to the northwest for college where he received his B.A. in Business Management and Leadership Theory from Whitworth University in 2009. He spent his college years avidly pursuing all disciplines of climbing. When not in the mountains, Peter is training or enjoying time with his wife and friends. He has had training in Avalanche Level II, Wilderness First Responder and is an LNT Trainer.
Peter has been guiding for International Mountain Guides for over a dozen years. Peter has climbed and guided extensively in Alaska, New Zealand, Central and South America, Africa, and Nepal. Peter resides in Missoula, Montana where he works as an Emergency Nurse. He is also the director of Sentinel Outdoor Institute, an educational company certifying students around the world in wilderness and emergency medicine, advanced life support, risk management and survival courses. Peter is a member of the Black Diamond Equipment Field Test team, is an RN, Wilderness EMT, Avalanche Level II, Leave No Trace trainer, and is a former member of the Denali Rescue Patrol Team.
Adam lives in the foothills of Mount Rainier where he directs the Kalãkora Gallery. He started guiding for IMG in 1999 and has led and directed climbs in Tanzania, Nepal, Tibet, Argentina, Alaska, Mexico, California and on Mt. Rainier. His philosophy: "The grand experiences of climbing and photography are best shared with good friends and are rewarding catalysts for experiencing our planet." He and his family are avid skiers and spend as much time as possible cycling, stand-up-paddle boarding, and traveling the world together.
Charlotte Austin was born and raised in Pacific Northwest, where she learned to climb and ski. She has climbed and guided in North and South America, Europe, Alaska, Patagonia, and Nepal. When she's not in the mountains, Charlotte is working toward her Master's in Creative Writing at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. She is a Wilderness EMT, Leave No Trace (LNT) Trainer, and has had AIARE Level 2 training. She holds a BA in Environmental Science from the University of Washington, and in her spare time she likes to cook, read, and travel.
Dustin has been climbing, hiking and skiing in the Cascades since moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2001. After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas, Dustin left the Texas heat for the beautiful Cascade mountain range. He started guiding for IMG in the summer of 2010 and spends his winters as a Professional Ski Patrolman. Dustin now calls Bend, Oregon home after 13 years in the Seattle region. Dustin is also an avid long-distance hiker having thru-hiked both the entire Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. With an insatiable appetite for international travel, Dustin has spent nearly 3 combined years experiencing many of the world's unique cultures. When not mountain guiding or ski patrolling, Dustin and his partner spend their time backcountry skiing, mountain biking, exploring the Cascades, gardening, sampling IPAs and traveling to remote corners of the world. Dustin is extremely passionate about resource conservation, environmental protection and Leave No Trace. Dustin is certified in Avalanche Safety I & II, Outdoor Emergency Care and is an EMT-B.
Max grew up on Long Island and fell in love with the outdoors while skiing in Europe as a child. At the age of 18, he moved to Colorado to ski, climb and eventually go to the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was awarded a Master's of Science in Physics before deciding to pursue a career as a mountain guide. As a guide for International Mountain Guides, Max has summited Mt. Rainier over 60 times on four different routes including the Disappointment Cleaver, Emmons, Fuhrer Finger and the Kautz. In the North Cascades, he has guided on Baker and Shuksan, enjoying the solitude and complexity of alpine climbing. He has successfully guided Denali via the West Buttress and Kilimangaro via the Machame route. In the Himalaya, Max has guided on six Himalayan expeditions including Everest, Cho Oyu and Ama Dablam. With three summits of Everest and one on Ama Dablam, Max has extensive experience at high altitude climbing. His experience includes fixing ropes (including the world's highest rappel around the Hillary Step), route maintenance and guiding over 70 climbers up Himalayan peaks. Max worked four seasons for Crystal Mountain Pro Ski Patrol performing avalanche mitagation, teaching Avalanche Level I and II courses, and responding to medical emergencies. His first aid training includes certifications in Wilderness First Responder and Outdoor Emergency Care. On his off time, Max is an avid rock climber, alpine climber and backcountry skier.
IMG is fortunate to have The Best partners internationally. Romulo has guided our Ecuador climbs for 20 years. He resides just outside of Quito with his wife, Patricia and son, Camilo. We don't even want to count how many times he's been to the summit of each Ecuadorean summit! He's also climbed with IMG on Cerro Aconcagua, Denali and Vinson Massif. No one knows Ecuador like Romulo. Strong, knowledgeable, friendly and competent are great adjectives to describe our good friend and guide. Romulo gives our Ecuador trips a leg up on the competition.
Adam grew up climbing and skiing in the mountains of northwest Montana. At age 17 he traveled to Mount Rainier and climbed the Liberty Ridge. He then came back to Rainier the following year as a young apprentice guide. Adam has spent much of the past fifteen years climbing, skiing, and guiding in the Rockies, Cascades, and Alaska and has guided Denali, Aconcagua, and climbed in Peru, Nepal, and New Zealand. For a while Adam left the guiding profession and earned a MS degree in glaciology from the University of Montana. During grad school he also studied snow as a forecasting intern at the Chugach Avalanche Center in Alaska. He now works as a guide, a ski patroller and avalanche educator for Whitefish Mountain Resort and as a researcher with the U.S. Geological Survey. Adam has training in U.S. Avalanche Levels I and II, WFR, and OEC. When not in the mountains, Adam enjoys spending time with his lovely wife Aubrey and their energetic young son Hudson.
Sara grew up in Maine where her love of climbing in creative weather conditions was sparked while exploring the White Mountains. After living in Colorado for a few years, Sara made her way to her home in the northwest. Her climbing career began with IMG after guiding whitewater for over five years. During the winter, Sara works at Crystal Mountain as a ski patroller, where she is the coordinator of Crystal 's Avalanche Rescue Dog Program. Sara is an EMT, has had training in Avalanche Level II as well as from the National Avalanche School, and is a Leave No Trace instructor, as well as a licensed Washington State Explosives handler. When not climbing, Sara picks away at a Public Health Degree, spends as much time on her skis as possible, continues to guide whitewater, enjoys trail running and road biking, and lives for spending as much time with her Labrador, Murphy, as possible.
Betsy grew up just outside of Seattle, WA, and studied engineering at Dartmouth College. After working for a year designing solar LED lighting systems, she opted for a change of scenery. Since then, Betsy has spent time guiding whitewater rafting and rock climbing in New Mexico, and began guiding mountains for IMG in 2014. She also works as a ski patroller and athlete trainer. Personal climbing has taken Betsy to the Cordillera Blanca in Peru, granite spires and peaks in Patagonia, and throughout the mountains and rock of the U.S. and Canada. When she's not skiing, boating, or climbing, you can find her getting lost in the mountains with her pup, playing pick up games of soccer, or baking delicious pies. Betsy is a Wilderness EMT, has an Avalanche Level 1 certification, and is beginning the AMGA guide certification process.
Peter was born and raised in Everett, WA and learned to love the outdoors in the surrounding Cascades through skiing, climbing and mountain biking. He has climbed and skied all the volcanoes and many other prominent peaks in the Northwest. After earning a B.S. in Athletic Training at Washington State in Pullman, he returned to the wet side of the state and began guiding during the summers and ski patrolling at Crystal Mountain during the winters. He is a nationally registered EMT and has completed American Avalanche Association Level 1 and 2 training. In his spare time, Peter enjoys climbing and skiing in different places. These adventures have taken him to Europe, South America and Alaska to sample ski lines from all over the world.
Jason Edwards AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
Jason Edwards started his guiding career in the 1970's, and has since guided and led successful ascents of many mountains around the world, including Shishapangma and four successful expeditions to the summit of Mt. Everest. His 2001 Everest expedition became one of the most successful expedition in Everest history, when 14 of 16 climbers reached the 29,035' summit. Jason has guided multiple expeditions in many other countries, including the Mexican Volcanoes, Bolivian peaks, Peru (including Alpamayo, Huascaran, and several others), Ecuadorian peaks, Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, peaks in Nepal, Mt. Elbrus in Russia, Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, and various peaks in North America. In 2002, Jason became the 65th person to climb the famed continental "Seven Summits," after his ascent of Mt. Koscuiszko, located in New South Wales, Australia. From 1981 to 2004, Jason also guided for Rainier Mountaineering, where he led several ascents of Mt. McKinley. As an IMG guide in 2006, he reached Mt. Rainier's summit for the 300th time which placed him in the company of only seven other guides who have also achieved this rare feat, and got him featured in The News Tribune's "Heroes and Legends of 2006" article. Jason is a Certified AMGA Alpine guide and Emergency Medical Technician, and he likes to focus on participant enjoyment and safety, which can be seen throughout the trips he leads and organizes. His degrees in education and business further help International Mountain Guides strive for its goal providing the best quality adventures possible.
Jason In The News:
- Jason Edwards climbs Liberty Ridge in One Day »
- IMG Guide Jason Edwards achieves 300th summit of Mt. Rainier »
- The News Tribune: Heroes and Legends of 2006 »
Erica grew up in the Pacific Northwest, with roots reaching back six generations before Washington's statehood. Raised in an environment where mountaineering and exploration of the natural world were central to family life, she was bound for a career outdoors. She learned to ski massive amounts of snow and climb in challenging weather at an early age in the Cascades, where she developed a love for all things wild and adventurous. Before becoming a mountain guide, Erica studied Environmental Science at Western Washington University and used her degree to go to many rugged places, working in forest and fisheries ecology. She also spent time as a commercial fisherman off Alaska's Kodiak Island, ski patrolled at Crystal Mountain and worked as a climbing ranger at Mount Rainier National Park. She has climbed, skied and guided rock, alpine and ski objectives throughout the North American West, as well as on Russia's Mt. Elbrus, Nepal's Ama Dablam, and Tanzania's Kilimanjaro. Some of her favorite trips have been long, rugged ski traverses in the North Cascades and Alaska's Chugach, alpine rock adventures deep in the Wind Rivers, and sublime endless hand cracks in the red rocks of southern Utah. Erica is an AMGA Aspirant in the ski and alpine disciplines, a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, and a Leave No Trace Trainer. She is also AIARE Level 3 Avalanche certified and instructs Level 1 and 2 courses. She currently splits her time between Puget Sound and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she guides backcountry ski touring and teaches avalanche safety. Erica first climbed Mt. Rainier at the age of 18 with her father, uncle and brother and was so inspired by the feat, she vowed, "to climb it at least 25 times!" Having well-surpassed that number of summits for herself, Erica still loves to see the first-time exhausted joy on clients' faces when they crest IMG's favorite mountain.
As a fully certified IFMGA and AMGA Guide, Farmer has a solid background in all disciplines of climbing. He particularly enjoys long alpine rock and ice climbs as well as ski-mountaineering. This emphasis is reflected in his enthusiasm for sharing with others the challenges and subsequent rewards of moving through technical terrain in the mountains. Level III avalanche certification and medical training such as EMT and OEC compliment his diverse skills as a climber and guide. These qualifications, along with his B.S. in Geology, with which he says he can "B.S. about geology as long as you want," form a core of competence which ensures a fun time in the mountains whatever the itinerary.
Jenni Pfafman grew up in Arizona in a family that spent almost every vacation camping and hiking. She started rock climbing in her early twenties, and eventually progressed to mountaineering, climbing Mt. Rainier for the first time in 1999. A few years later, she started guiding. Jenni started her career guiding on Mt. Whitney in the Eastern Sierra of California and was hired by IMG in 2007. Jenni has numerous summits of Mt. Rainier, two summits of Mt. McKinley, climbed several volcanoes in Ecuador including Cayambe, three ascents of Kilimanjaro and leads treks in Nepal and Myanmar. Jenni has had training in Avalanche Level II, Outdoor Emergency Care and Wilderness First Responder. She lives in Truckee, CA and spends much of her free time mountain biking when there's no snow and backcountry snowboarding when there is. Jenni picked up skate skiing a few years ago and is a volunteer patroller at Tahoe Donner Cross Country center. In addition to her guiding career, Jenni is an officer in the Air Force Reserve, and has logged many hours flying KC-135's for the military as well as civilian 737's and Lear 35's.
Growing up as the son of a summer camp director, early emersion in adventure was inevitable for Cedric. A love of climbing, skiing, sailing, mountain biking, and backpacking quickly grew and was fueled by the mountain playground of The Adirondack Park in New York. As a teenager Cedric began working as a camp counselor where he first learned about the challenges of leadership and the joys of sharing his love of the outdoors with others. Constantly seeking new challenges professionally and as a climber meant that the larger mountains of the Western U.S. were calling. After graduating from Allegheny College with a BS in Environmental Science, Cedric moved to Utah to work as a ski patroller at Park City Mountain Resort. In 2013 he joined the IMG team. Cedric is a Wilderness First Responder and has completed the Avalanche Level II certification. He is currently pursuing guiding certification through the AMGA and spends his free time climbing and skiing.
Dallas began his love for climbing mountains by pulling on steep southern sandstone in the hills surrounding his home in Alabama. After graduating from Clemson University with a B.S. in Forest Resource Management, he moved west to pursue a master's in Hydrology and Soil Physics at the University of Nevada. Conveniently, Lake Tahoe and the snowy Sierra Nevada were only minutes away. Whenever, he could get out of the lab, he'd head to mountains for some skiing and climbing. After completing his master's degree he began to split his time working in Alaska as a wilderness ecologist and at Mt Rose Ski Tahoe as the avalanche forecaster. Recently, Dallas moved to the Seattle area where he works year-round as a mountain guide. In addition to guiding, Dallas is involved in the avalanche/ snow science industry on both regional and national levels. He works regionally for the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) as the field observer for Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Pass, and Mt Rainier areas. On the national level, Dallas serves on the Education Committee for the American Avalanche Association and coordinates AAA's professional level AVPRO course. His love for climbing and skiing has taken him to many remote places in Alaska, The Yukon, and throughout the western US. Dallas holds a Wilderness First Responder, AAA AVPro certification, AIARE Level 3 certification, and is a certified AIARE Level 1 and 2 course leader.
Roberto Gomez UIAGM Fully Certified Guide
Roberto has been climbing with our IMG Bolivian teams for years. He lives in La Paz and has two wonderful children. Roberto learned his craft from our longtime partner, friend, and famous Bolivia climber Carlos Escobar. Roberto also studied in France and is a UIAGM fully certified guide. He has amazing knowledge of the Cordillera Real mountains in Bolivia and is also a veteran of many ascents in Ecuador, Peru and Argentina.
Mike has been guiding profesionally for IMG since 2008. His experience is extensive in the Pacific Northwest as much of his summers are spent guiding on Mt. Rainier and in the North Cascades. Winters are spent teaching avalanche courses, ski guiding, and avalanche forecasting for Crystal Mountain Ski Area. Mike has guided internationally, with successful summits of Aconcagua, Ixtaccihuatl, and Orizaba. Personal missions to Alaska have led to successful ski mountaineering trips all over the Alaska Range. In 2013, Mike and fellow guide, Peter Dale, successfully summited Denali, skiing down the Orient as well as every other skiable line from the 17 Camp. Mike's love for adventure recently took him to Nepal where he and his wife, Kim, traveled to the Khumbu Region, completing the Three Passes Trek. He has had training in OEC (Outdoor Emergency Care), WFR (Wilderness First Responder) and Avalanche Level II. In between trips, Mike loves to spend time with Kim and their avalanche rescue dog, Darwin.
Mike began guiding in 1997 and is very passionate about his work. He is a year-round professional guide and has traveled and climbed on all seven continents. When not guiding on Mt. Rainier, where he has over 40 summits, his expeditions include 7 to Everest, 9 to Cho Oyu, 10 to Denali, 22 to Aconcagua, 4 to Vinson, 3 to Ecuador, Shishapangma, Kilimanjaro, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Russia, France, and Switzerland among other places. Many clients have remarked that Mike's love for the mountains is contagious. He is a former Division 1 collegiate ski racer and Junior Olympian, has a B.S. from St. Lawrence University, and is a Wilderness First Responder. Mike cut his teeth on the steep Ice and Rock of the Northeast, primarily in the Adirondacks of NY and the White Mountains of NH, where he grew up. When not guiding Mike is usually climbing, ski mountaineering, biking, surfing, and fly fishing his way around the globe. In 2012, he wrote a guide book to climbing the Seven Summits.
Mike In The News:
- The Brotherhood of the Rope
April 2014 Mike Hamill's article for the Wall Street Journal on how Sherpas and Western climbers stand united after a disaster on Mt. Everest
- Mike Hamill writes guide book to climbing the Seven Summits »
- IMG guide Mike Hamill climbs the 7 Summits in 11 months »
Maximo Henostroza IFMGA Fully Certified Guide
Maximo Henostroza directs IMG's climbing and trekking programs in Peru, his native country. A guide for over 25 years, Maximo is a UIAGM/UIAA certified International Mountain Guide and has climbed and guided virtually every significant peak in the Cordillera Blanca above 6000 meters. In addition to climbs in Peru, Maximo has also climbed extensively in Bolivia, Argentina, the Himalayas, and was the second Peruvian climber to reach the summit of Mt. Everest.
Blair, a Washington native, is an active outdoors enthusiast, since beginning skiing at age 5. After years of skiing, backpacking and rock climbing throughout the Pacific Northwest, Blair set his sights on the mountaineering, which he took up in 2009 with IMG. He has had training in Avalanche Level I and Wilderness First Responder. Currently, Blair is attending the University of Vermont in Burlington earning his degree in Environmental Science. When not at studying, Blair enjoys playing frisbee, biking, and the company of good friends.
Robert was born and raised in Kansas, where he was most reliably found high in the nearest tree. Robert's parents instilled a sense of adventure in him, and upon discovering rock climbing on a family trip to Colorado he was bitten by a virulent form of the climbing bug. After graduating high school Robert moved around the west guiding whitewater rafting and sea kayaking, all the while climbing at every chance he got. Robert moved to Washington in 2009 to attend Evergreen State College and explore the wonders of the Washington Cascades. During his time at Evergreen, Robert received a B.S. in Evolutionary Biology, a B.A. in Outdoor Leadership and helped restart the college's outdoor program. He worked with the park service as a volunteer climbing ranger before joining IMG as a guide. Robert has training as an EMT, Avalanche level I, and LNT Master Educator.
Craig has been guiding for IMG since 1987 and has done close to fifty high altitude expeditions to all corners of the world that include twelve Himalayan expeditions, 23 to Kilimanjaro, ten to Denali, several to Aconcagua, the Mexican volcanoes and other peaks around the world. Craig summited Everest in 1998 and has two ascents of Cho You. Currently he has 200 ascents of Rainier. Domestically Craig has climbed ice, rock and alpine routes all over the U.S. During the winter he guides and teaches ice climbing for the International Mountain Climbing School in North Conway, New Hampshire. Craig is an AMGA Certified Top Rope Site Manager and Single Pitch Instructor. He has a Masters Degree in Applied Behavioral Science. Additional training includes WFR, Avalanche II and high angle rock rescue. When not climbing and guiding Craig can be found shoeing horses, fly fishing and hanging out with his adopted daughter from China, Sarah Mei.
Emily started her climbing career by jubilantly summiting Glacier Peak when she was 13. She spent her teen years climbing in the North Cascades of Washington, and in Oregon and British Columbia. After college, she instructed for Outward Bound in Joshua Tree and Central Oregon, then began guiding on Mt. Rainier in 1989. Over the years she's also enjoyed guiding in the North Cascades, Alaska, Mexico, and the Himalayas. Adventure races, whitewater competitions, and personal travels have taken her to the rivers and mountains of every continent except Antarctica (it's on the list, but she'd rather go to the Space Station first!) Beyond her alpine life, she's lived/studied/worked in the Dominican Republic, Taiwan, Thailand, France, New Zealand, Australia, Israel, Indonesia, DR Congo, Nepal, and Bhutan. Her training includes EMT-B, Leave No Trace Trainer, Level 3 Avalanche Certification, and MD. When she's away from IMG, she works as a whitewater guide, ER doc, and professional ski patroller. In all of her spare time, she enjoys backcountry skiing, writing, sculpture, trail running, mountain biking, and the occasional refuge of silent meditation.
Emily in the News:
- Apr 2015 The Wenatchee World: Leavenworth mountaineer-physician was guiding on Everest when the earthquake struck »
- Feb 2015 Women's Adventure Magazine: Dirtbag Doctor: Rainier's Medicine Woman »
Sheldon began her mountain guiding career in Alaska in 2004 and has participated in 20-something expeditions in the Wrangell-St Elias, The Chilcats, The Chugach and The Alaska Range over the past decade. She has also guided rock, alpine and ice climbing in the Rockies, the Alps, the Andes. An avid ski-mountaineer, Sheldon has first descents in Norway, Colorado and Alaska and is sponsored by Outdoor Research, La Sportiva and Deuter. Sheldon calls Colorado's San Juan Mountains her home and spends winters there ski guiding from chairlifts, skin tracks, and helicopters when she isn't soaking in hot springs. Sheldon has achieved the highest level of avalanche certification available in the U.S., AIARE Level 3, and is one of very few women working her way through the American Mountain Guides Association certification process. Most importantly, she is pleasant, fun, and a great cook. Find out more at sheldonkerr.com
International trips succeed, in part, because of the partners and relations you have abroad. Martin is a powerful part of our Aconcagua programs. A native of Mendoza, he's there when we need him. Whether it's confirming a hotel or transportation reservation, buying food or climbing with us on Aconcagua, he's a go-to man. Mountains like Aconcagua, Tupungato and Mercedario are his backyard. Since his first ascent at age 15, mountains are now his life. Whether it's winning ice climbing festival competitions, skiing, snowboarding Martin can do it all. First aid, vertical rescue and high mountain guide courses have only strengthened his resume and value to IMG. You'll likely meet and climb with Martin as part of our guide team on many IMG Aconcagua expeditions. You'll be glad you did.
Max was born and raised along the rugged New England coastline of Maine. His love for the outdoors started at an early age and matured quickly. He attended the University of Maine where he received a degree in Earth Sciences with a focus on paleoclimatology. Soon after, he began to pursue a guiding career in the White Mountains of New Hampshire where he still guides and teaches during the winter months. In the summer, Max migrates to the Pacific Northwest for the Mt. Rainier and Northern Cascades season. When Max is not sharing his love for the mountains with others, he is usually out exploring those passions on his own all across North and South America. Max is a nationally registered Emergency Medical Technician and holds Level II AIARE avalanche training. His dedication to his craft is exemplified in his continued pursuit of full certification in both the rock and alpine guiding disciplines through the American Mountain Guide Association.
As a native of Washington State, Aaron was introduced to the outdoors at an early age by his parents, who often took him and his younger sister skiing, backpacking, and boating. He attended the University of Puget Sound, where he graduated with a degree in International Political Economy. Since he started working with IMG in 2006, he has guided well over 100 trips on Mount Rainier and along the way done several trips to Alaska, Antarctica, South America and the Himalaya (to the summit of Everest). His passion is for ski mountaineering and he has numerous first and second descents in Washington and Alaska. One of his favorite things to do is ski on Mount Rainier, where he has skied over a dozen different routes from the summit, including most recently a first descent of Cryogenesis. (Check out the video.) Aaron is a fully certified AMGA and IFMGA mountain guide. He lives in Enumclaw, WA, but does not like horses.
Josh is a Washington native, who at the age of six began climbing in the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges of the Pacific Northwest. His father and grandfather, both avid climbers, made it a point to instill in him a deep appreciation for the mountains. After high school, he attended Whitworth University, where he earned two degrees in Education and History, all while competing on the varsity swim team. Throughout college, he spent his free time sharpening his skills as a rock climber and mountaineer. After climbing Mt. Rainier for the first time in 2005, he realized that guiding would be the perfect way to combine his love of teaching and climbing. In addition to over 65 summits of Mt. Rainier, he has a wide range of expedition experience. Josh has guided expeditions to Cho Oyu, Ama Dablam, Aconcagua (x4), Mt. Bona (x2), and Pico de Orizaba (x2). Most recently, he did a personal ski expedition to Mt. McKinley. When not guiding, Josh can be found teaching, rock climbing and skiing. He has had training in Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace, and Avalanche Level I & II.
Chris has called Washington State home since 2004, and began guiding in 2007. He loves sharing the experience of the mountains with others and feels lucky to be able to do so for a living. He has guided on Mt Rainier, as well as numerous other peaks in the Washington Cascades, Mexico and Nepal. When not guiding, he spends time exploring the Cascades on backcountry skis and climbing trips. Climbing and skiing have also taken him to most of the western U.S., Canada, France, New Zealand, and Thailand. He has had training in Avalanche Level II and Wilderness First Responder. Chris also holds an engineering degree that gets used intermittently.
Justin Merle AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
Justin grew up climbing in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. He began guiding in 1999 and now shares his passion for the mountains on climbs all over the world. He has climbed Mount Rainier over 120 times and guided successful expeditions on Mt. McKinley, Mt. Vinson and Aconcagua. Since his first trip to the Himalayas in 2003 guiding Cho Oyu for IMG, he's returned to guide 16 more expeditions including Everest which he has summited 6 times, and Ama Dablam (also 6 summits). Lately Justin spends the spring and fall guiding in the Himalayas, summer on Rainier and other Cascades peaks, as well as winter guiding ice climbs in Colorado or guiding abroad in South America, Africa or Antarctica. He has a B.A. in Geology, has had training in WFR, and has US Avalanche III certification. When not guiding, he spends his free time climbing rock and ice, running, cycling, skiing, and even resting on occasion.
Justin In The News:
- Merle sets July 2008 Mt. Rainier speed ascent record »
- Climbing Magazine: Seeds make the top of Everest Merle helps school kids achieve a 2008 Guinness World Record »
- Merle part of record breaking 2008 Everest season »
Liam grew up in Seattle, WA, the scene of more than a few misadventures in his early years summiting city structures. Eventually Liam's older, wiser sister took him on a hike to Camp Muir and his passion for the mountains and for climbing was born. He started guiding in 1999, and realized not only did he love climbing, but he loved guiding. He hasn't looked back since. Now an experienced lead-guide, Liam has guided climbs in the Cascades, Sierra Nevadas, Alaska, Mexico, Africa, and the Himalaya while logging nine seasons and over 110 summits of Mount Rainier. Eventually, Liam's work as a public school teacher, firefighter/EMT, ski patroller, and wilderness medicine instructor cultivated a second passion: medicine. Liam now works as an Emergency Medicine physician in between trips in the mountains. He has a particular interest in wilderness medicine, wilderness EMS, and medical advising and direction, and is active in wilderness medicine research and professional organizations. He continues to look forward to combining work and life in medicine and the mountains in new, exciting ways.
Liam In The News:
Andy has been climbing since high school in the early 70's, having taken part in all forms of the sport. He started guiding at Mount Rainier in 1979 and has 150 ascents of the mountain. He has spent a fair time in the big mountains, whether guiding or challenging climbs with a couple of buddies: Denali several times, the southern alps of New Zealand, the Ecuador volcanoes, seven trips to Mount Everest, K2 and the first ascent of one of the largest walls in the world, the South Face of Mount Saint Elias. For over 20 years, Andy has been facilitating outdoor adventures in a local high school: from river trips, to winter trips in NH, to a ski trip across Yellowstone, in January. Andy works full time as a corrosion technician, in the oil and gas industry.
Andy Polloczek AMGA Certified Rock Guide
Andreas grew up near Munich, Germany where he found his passion for climbing and the outdoors early in life. At the age of 19 he moved to Alaska to be a professional river guide in the summer and dog mushing guide in the winter. While in Alaska, he competed in the Yukon Quest, a 1000mile long sled dog race that takes racers from Fairbanks(AK) to Whitehorse(Canada). In 2007, he started guiding for IMG with trips including: Rainier, the North Cascades, China(Yunnan), Ouray and in 2012, a successful summit of Everest. He also has climbed and/or guided Denali three times, Aconcagua, Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Monte Blanc, the Matterhorn and several other peaks in the Alps and the Alaska Range. He currently lives in the mountains near Park City (Utah) with his wife and their two young daughters, where he builds houses and ski guides in the winters for a local guide service in between trips for IMG. In his free time he enjoys rafting and hiking with his family and rock climbing on the sunny rock faces of Zion, Moab, Red Rocks and anywhere one can climb with shorts and a T-shirt. His current qualifications and certifications include AMGA Certified Rock Guide, Avalanche Level III, OEC and WFR. He is currently working toward the AMGA's Ski and Alpine certifications.
John started guiding on Mt. Rainier and has been a full-time guide ever since. John gained full IFMGA certification in 2006. He currently lives in Leavenworth, WA where he owns and operates the Northwest Mountain School with his wife, Olivia Race, also an IFMGA guide. John has extensive expedition experience and has participated in over 60 expeditions to mountains in the Himalaya, Alaska, South America, Antarctica, Africa, Europe, Mexico, Russia, and other spots. Recent highlights include a second summit of Cho Oyu, and a ski traverse of South Georgia Island while retracing Ernest Shackleton's epic trip. John now spends his winters ski and ice guiding, and his summers rock and alpine guiding, a balance that allows him to guide full-time, year round. John is currently on the AMGA Board of Directors where he serves as the Vice President and and works to improve the level of guiding in the US and to open new opportunities for guides going through the certification process.
Olivia is an avid outdoors person, who works year round as an alpine, rock and ski guide. Olivia started guiding professionally in 2000 and is the third American woman to complete her full AMGA and IFMGA certification. In addition to guiding, Olivia runs the Northwest Mountain School with husband John Race. Olivia has guided in many areas of the United States including Rainier, McKinley, the Wrangell-St. Elias Range and the North Cascades. She's climbed in France, guided in Mexico and on Aconcagua and reached the summit of Cho Oyu, the world's sixth highest peak. Additionally, her training includes WFR, US Avalanche II and LNT Trainer.
Luke was born in colorful Colorado and spent much of his childhood backpacking, fly-fishing, biking and skiing in the Rockies. He moved to Durango, CO in 2004, where he graduated with a BA in Agricultural Business at Fort Lewis College. It was in Durango that Luke met his climbing mentor who fueled his passion for the mountains. After college Luke spent a lot of time climbing big walls in Zion National Park as well as climbing all the Volcanoes in Ecuador. Since joining the IMG team in 2011 Luke has led climbs on Rainier, Aconcagua, as well as in Ecuador (Cotopaxi, Cayambe, Chimborazo) and in Bolivia (Pequeno Alpamayo, Huayna Potosi, Illimani). Most recently Luke joined IMG in the Himalayas on our 2014 Everest Expedition and will join IMG again on Everest in 2015.
Eric has guided and climbed extensively throughout the great mountain ranges of the world for the past eleven years. A passion for the environment and world cultures remain the underlying drivers in Eric's path forward as a mountain guide. Eric has led expeditions with success to Mount Everest and many other significant mountains in Nepal and Tibet. Along with 12 ascents of Aconcagua and 8 ascents of Mount McKinley, Eric has established himself as a safe and successful high altitude mountaineering guide. A graduate of Prescott College, Eric holds two B.A. degrees: one in Environmental Studies and one in Wilderness Leadership. Eric is an avid backcountry skier, rock and ice climber, and surfer.
Eric In The News:
- Eric Remza profiled in his hometown newspaper in upstate NY:
Available in PDF form: Part 1 and Part 2
Liz Riggs Meder
A Midwest transplant, Liz was originally lured to the Northwest by the prospect of designing airplanes. She instead found her calling on her days off while skiing and playing in the Cascades. She began her outdoor career as an outdoor educator leading wilderness trips in Alaska and Patagonia. She is passionate about facilitating great experiences in the outdoors, whether that is helping a client reach a summit or facilitating reflective wilderness experiences on long expeditions. Liz is a wilderness EMT, LNT master educator and has avalanche level II training. When not playing in the mountains, Liz works variously as a curriculum designer and educator on topics ranging from engineering to avalanche safety. A new mother she is now tackling the sport of adventure parenting, high angle diaper changes and the art of carrying tiny humans while moving through the mountains.
Sasha was born in 1985 in St. Petersburg but spent all her childhood in the Polar Urals. Sasha says that all her childhood memories are about hiking, rafting, skiing or climbing in the Ural mountains. She attended St. Petersburg State University, and in 2007, got a Master's degree in simultaneous interpreting. Obviously, Sasha speaks excellent English. After becoming a member of one of St. Petersburg's numerous mountaineering clubs, she started guiding on Elbrus at the age of 19 and now has close to 50 ascents of the peak. After several years of being torn between an office job as an interpreter and guiding, she finally made a choice and now guides almost full time on Elbrus and Kilimanjaro. She enjoys technical climbing, including rock, ice and dry-tooling. That's in addition to skate skiing, skating surfing and running. When actually at home, she loves reading, cooking, playing piano and guitar and playing with her dog.
Jonathan is a native Northwesterner who grew up on the central Oregon coast. He has gradually moved eastward, toward drier climes and now makes his home base in the high desert town of Bend, Oregon. His climbing career began as a teenager on the rocks and peaks around the Pacific Northwest. He graduated in 2002 from Linfield College with a business degree and, after a short side trip through a career in corporate finance, found his way back to the mountains as a rock climbing guide and finally as a mountaineering guide for IMG. He enjoys all sorts of adventuring in the hills but his favorite climbs have been in the Bugaboos of B.C. Canada and Argentine Patagonia. Jonathan maintains WFR and Avalanche Level II training. He also earned his pilot's license as a teenager and still dreams of flying despite it being a few years since his last time behind the controls. His spare time is usually split between reading, road-riding, and trail-running around the northwest back-country.
Austin Shannon AMGA Rock & Alpine Certified Guide
Austin Shannon grew up in Bend Oregon where his love for the mountains began. He followed that passion to Colorado for college at Colorado Christian University. During his time in Colorado he enjoyed all that it had to offer, from rock climbing and ice climbing, to snowboarding and mountaineering. Austin had been professionally guiding since 2008. During that time he has climbed all over the world in places such as South America, Alaska, and Mexico. Austin has had training in Wilderness First Responder, Avy II, and Leave No Trace and is an AMGA certified rock and alpine guide. When he's not guiding you're likely to find Austin attached to a rock face somewhere or on his skis pointing downhill.
Miles Smart is an IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guide. He is the 2004 recipient of the AMGA Guide of the Year award. Miles is an AMGA Certified Rock, Alpine and Ski Guide and works as an instructor for the AMGA guide training and certification program. Over the past ten years Miles has guided full time around the globe working equally with climbing, mountaineering and skiing. Miles has brought many clients from beginner to expert and has guided objectives such as a 12 hour climb of the Cathedral Traverse and a ski descent of the Grand Teton in Wyoming. Miles returns to Alaska every spring to heli ski guide the steeps of Alaska. Outside of Miles' professional guiding career his accomplishments include numerous speed climbing ascents and ski mountaineering descents. His climbing exploits include climbing on the Trango Towers in Pakistan, winter ascents in Chamonix and speed records on El Capitan and Half Dome. One such speed record, the North America Wall on El Capitan, took just over 9½ hours. He has climbed El Capitan in Yosemite 22 times via 16 different routes. He established one of the most difficult routes on El Capitan, Disorderly Conduct. His skiing exploits include lines such as the Gervasutti Couloir and the North Face of the Aiguille du Midi in Chamonix, and 2 different lines on the Grand Teton in Wyoming.
Liz Oakes Smart is an IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guide, ski mountaineer and climber. She grew up in Aspen, Colorado and has since traveled the world for climbing and skiing, spending time in places such as the European Alps, the Tetons, the Himalaya and Alaska. She has made many ski mountaineering descents including the Glacier Rond and the Couloir du Cosmiques in Chamonix; the Pan de Rideau and the Polichinele in La Grave, France; the Fuhrer Finger on Mt. Rainier; and various descents in Alaska's Chugach range. Liz has also skied from 7,200 meters on Shishapangma in Tibet. She has been featured in various Skiing Magazine articles. Along with her skiing accomplishments, Liz has done long free climbs in Yosemite and Squamish, British Columbia and has completed a one-day ascent of the Cathedral Traverse in the Tetons. She has also taken expeditions to the Himalaya including an ascent of Ama Dablam in Nepal and an attempt of Jupono in Sikkim, India.
Josh's guiding career began at an early age. At 16, he was leading mountain bike tours down 14,000 ft. peaks in Colorado . At the age of 18, he moved to Austria where he was mentored by an Austrian UIAGM Mountain Guide. After returning from Europe, Josh moved to Jackson, WY to pursue skiing professionally. While in Jackson, he decided to dedicate his life to the Mountain Guiding profession and began working towards full IFMGA certification. Josh lives in Revelstoke, BC where he works as a Heli-Ski Guide. He is a Lead Guide at IMG and has been working in the Cascades since 2008. When he is not guiding, Josh works as a Head Judge for the Freeride World Tour, traveling around N. America and Europe judging Big Mountain Skiing Competitions. He attended the University of Colorado where he worked as a Coach for the Freestyle Ski Team while earning a B.A. in Communication. Josh is a Professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association (CAA) and the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG). He is a ACMG Asst. Rock and Ski Guide, Wilderness First Responder, Outdoor Emergency Care Technician, and holds the Canadian Avalanche Association Level 2 Certification which is recognized world-wide as one of the highest levels of training attainable by Avalanche Professionals. Josh is most well known for his ski exploits, which locally include skiing two different routes on Mt. Rainier in the same day as well as a solo ski descent of Liberty Ridge. Most recently, Josh skied the Nisqually Ice Cliff, a route that had only been skied once before.
Jason has worked as a professional mountain guide since 1996. Mountain guiding has taken him to many peaks in the western US and around the world, including the top of Mt. Rainier over 130 times, Mt. Vinson in Antarctica, Kilimanjaro, and six Alaskan expeditions. Jason is a veteran of expeditions to Cho Oyu and Everest (to the summit in 2004). He was one of the recipients of the American Alpine Club's prestigious Sowles Award in 2001 for his role in what became the world's highest mountaineering rescue at 28,750 ft. on Everest's North Ridge in 2001. Jason holds a masters degree in teaching and worked as a high school biology teacher before returning to school at University of Washington where he earned his dental degree in 2010. When he is not guiding you will find him working as a dentist at Mint Dental Studio in Bozeman, MT or spending time with his wife and two daughters enjoying the mountains of Montana.
A long time veteran of Mt Rainier and The Cascades, lead guide Jess Tapp is originally from the western hills of Massachusetts. She grew up skiing, hiking and camping with her family all over the country and developed a love the mountains and outdoors which inspired her to pursue a life in the mountains. Jess successfully completed her 1st bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management, and is now graduating from Montana State University with a 2nd Bachelors degree in Nursing. She is hoping to live the exciting life of a Flight / ER nurse. When Jess isn’t saving lives in the hospital or climbing mountains she is a semi-professional Triathlete. She travels for all different distances and races swimming, biking and running trying to keep her stress levels down, and any excuse to have a beer with dinner. Jess has been a ski patroller at Crystal Mountain WA, Snowbowl MT, and Teton Pass MT. She has a Wilderness First Responder certification, AERIE level II avalanche certification, and soon an RN license (coming fall 2015). She is married to Fellow IMG Guide Josh Tapp, and they live with their hunting dog Trapper in Missoula, Montana.
Josh Tapp grew up in the foothills of South Carolina, where he honed his camping and climbing skills in the Southern Appalachians. After graduating with a degree in Political Science from University of South Carolina in 2005 he packed his bags and hiked the entire Appalachian trail. Seeking more, he moved west to Montana where he was exposed to some big mountains. After a few years of guiding in the Wind Rivers of Wyoming and the Southern Rockies of Colorado, he found his home in the Cascades of Washington. Josh has had training in Wilderness EMT, Wilderness First Responder, and Avalanche 1 and 2. Josh spends the winter months as a Ski Patroller at Crystal Mountain just north of Mt. Rainier. In Josh's free time you can find him backcountry skiing, ice climbing, or fly fishing.
Igor TsarukSince 1991, IMG has been privileged to work with St. Petersburg native, Igor Tsaruk. Between businesses he runs in Russia, his new wife and son, and his love of travel, Igor is a busy man. We're fortunate that he also thoroughly enjoys climbing with IMG teams heading for Elbrus. Igor was born in Leningrad, back when it WAS Leningrad, and has lived in Russia since. Climbing became a passion at the early age of 18. First, it was climbing in the Caucasus. Then, he's interest in climbing took him to higher mountains of Central Asia. Igor excelled at both rock climbing (three-time champion of Leningrad championships) and mountaineering. As a member of Leningrad sports teams, he took 1st, 3rd and 4th places in national championships. He particularly liked to specialize in big wall climbing up to 7500m and making first ascents. In 2002, he went to Nepal and climbed Lhotse, the world's 4th highest peak, at 8516m. Currently, Igor is a the member of the project, "The Big Wall-Russian Way" led by Alexander Odintsov, an our "main man" in Russia.
Greg travels the world as a Senior Lead Guide for IMG. He enjoys leading programs on Mt. Rainier, including the Winter and Denali Expedition programs in early season. When not guiding on Rainier, Greg has been active in the Himalayas (with successful ascents of Cho Oyu, Lhotse, Everest, and a first ascent in Tibet) and has led many expeditions to Denali, Vinson, Aconcagua, Ecuador, Bolivia, Mexico, and other climbs in the United States. Greg takes enormous pride in his role as the Expedition Leader on Mount Everest and enjoys working with IMG guides and climbers throughout the world. He often gets asked which is his favorite climb. The answer: "All of them, it just depends on what you are looking for!" Before embarking on his current career, Vernovage played and coached collegiate volleyball and has had the opportunity to be involved in two Olympic Games, winning a Gold Medal in the 2000 Sydney Games. Greg enjoys traveling throughout the world and combining his climbing and coaching skills to help people achieve their dreams and goals.
Greg In The News:
- Jan 2012 Greg featured in Truck Camper Magazine »
- Feb 2011 Greg's video of a little volleyball... Antarctic style »
- Aug 2009 Volleyball Magazine: Olympic coach trades volleyball for... mountain guiding »
Leandro was born in 1985 and he was 14 when he climbed his first mountain. A few years later, he began to study in the Mountain Guides School of Mendoza. Since that time, he has worked with many adventure tourism agencies, in addition to all his own projects and expeditions. He began working in Aconcagua Provincial Park in 2007, first as a 'carrier' and currently now as a certified guide. He climbs in the Northern and Southern Andes near Mendoza, in Bariloche and also in Bolivia. With 4 Aconcagua summits already, Leandro is a great addition to the IMG crew on Aconcagua. Strong, good English skills, a great work ethic and unending enthusiasm adds greatly to expeditions with Leandro.
Brenda Walsh Hollon
Brenda has an uncanny ability to walk up and down stairs endlessly. That, combined with a passion for helping others and a love of the outdoors, led to a career in mountain guiding. Her trudging abilities have led her to over one hundred summits of Mt. Rainier and to the top of, among others, Mt. Blanc, Cotopaxi, McKinley, and Mt. Everest. She's also skilled at sitting behind a desk for long periods of time, especially when it helps to get others out from behind theirs. She's organized fundraising climbs for the Chris Hooyman Outdoor Education Fund a memorial fund for a fallen climbing guide that provides financial assistance to disadvantaged youth to partake in outdoor experiential programs. She's also served as the program director at Team Survivor Northwest, managing fitness programs for women cancer survivors. Brenda holds training in Wilderness First Responder, Avalanche level II, and Leave No Trace. She has a B.A. in Geography from the University of Washington and an MBA in Sustainable Business from Pinchot University. Brenda is married to a wonderful nine-to-fiver and is a mom to two delightful girls. She splits her time working and playing in the city and the mountains. Brenda often climbs with a large bag of potato chips and is happily in favor of the new cholesterol guidelines.
Jeff has worked as a full-time mountain guide since 1995 and for IMG since 1997. As a certified IFMGA and AMGA rock, alpine and ski mountaineering guide he has traveled around the world guiding trips to Alaska, France, Switzerland, Italy, Peru, Argentina, Ecuador, Tanzania, Canada, Nepal and across the Western US. These days much of Jeff's time is spent working in the European Alps, guiding rock and ice climbs in the summer and steep skiing and hut-to-hut tours in the spring. During the winters Jeff guides helicopter and backcountry skiing in Washington and Canada and ice climbing in Ouray Colorado. Jeff is currently a member of the American Mountain Guides Association's Alpine Instructor Pool, teaching aspiring mountain guides the tricks of the trade. Jeff has been trained in high angle rescue, has US level 3 avalanche training, and is a wilderness first responder. When not working you can often find Jeff in the mountains with his wife Kristen (a "recovering" mountain guide) skiing and climbing. They live in Leavenworth, WA with their daughter Allison and dog Murphy.
I've been involved with some type of guiding for the most part since 2007 when I first matriculated to Alaska to learn the ways of climbing. Much has happened since that first visit to the Great North country. I've been blessed to see the world from the tops of Africa, North America, and South America... they all look good and are well worth the journey. I try to always be in pursuit of something and with guiding that is twofold: the facilitation of amazing experience and further certification and training. In addition to guiding I'm due to finish Yoga Teacher Training school in October of 2015 and when I graduate from the Lexington Healing Arts Academy in Lexington, Kentucky I'll be a Registered Yoga Teacher through the Yoga Alliance. Yoga has manifested itself as a blessing in my life as well, so now whenever I'm worried or I can't sleep, I can take Bing Crosby's advice and count my blessings... they're numerous. My favorite thing is being alive in the world today... and most things Kentucky including and especially the Kentucky Wildcats. I'd like to thank any and all who have had a hand in getting me to where I am today... you know who you are! I'd also like to give special thanks to my family at International Mountain Guides. You burst into my awareness like a boon of spring, and for that I am very grateful. Aho mitakuye oyasin.
Daniel Zokaites AMGA Certified Rock Guide
Living in southwest Colorado, Dan guides rock, ice, and skiing year round. Dan earned a BA in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech and enjoys the real world application of mechanical principles he finds in the mountains. His love of ropes, technical systems, and nature's complexities originate from his extensive climbing and caving background. Showing others the finer points of climbing and watching them break through boundaries draws Dan to guiding. Dan has also spent past winters ski patrolling at Telluride Ski Resort. Dan is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and has had training in Outdoor Emergency Care, Wilderness First Responder, and Avalanche Level II.
IMG Himalayan Sherpa Team
IMG Climbing Sherpas going above basecamp have more than:
350 Everest Expeditions
125 Everest Summits
200 8000m Summits
450 8000m Expeditions
Experience is listed by number of expeditions, so "Everest X 17" is 17 Everest expeditions, and by number of summits in parenthesis, ie. "(4)"
Ang Jangbu Sherpa
Jangbu is a partner and director of the premier trekking and climbing agency we use in Nepal. Jangbu grew up in the village of Phortse where he attended the Hillary school until the age of 18. In 1981 he moved to Pokhara and lived there for seven years and trained under the legendary Colonel Jimmy Roberts, the founder of Nepal's first trekking company and the trekking industry in the Nepal Himalaya. He then moved to Kathmandu and started a trekking and climbing agency with two other partners in the spring of 1993. Jangbu is married and has two children. He has been on dozens of expeditions, including summiting Everest on the 1990 American Everest Expedition. Ang Jangbu has worked with Eric Simonson on every IMG Himalayan program since 1991 and is a very popular leader. He and his staff put together one of the very best Sherpa teams for IMG. Additionally, Jangbu has climbed Europe's Mt. Blanc and most of the 14,000-foot peaks in Colorado, and has served as assistant instructor for Colorado Outward Bound. Jangbu has also been a leader for the IMG Kilimanjaro program.
Pasang Tshering Sherpa
Pasang Tshering Sherpa is from Khunde, and is Ang Jangbu's business partner, keeping things running smoothly in Kathmandu while our groups are in the field. Pasang has worked for many years in the trekking business in Nepal. He lives in Kathmandu with his wife Dayanji Sherpa and their three kids.
Ang Passang Sherpa (Sirdar)
45 years old, from Pangboche, 4 kids
Experience: Everest X 25 (4), Makalu X 1, Daulagiri (1), Cho Oyu X 14 (7), Ama Dablam X 8 (4), Nuptse X 1
Ang Passang has been working for IMG as a climbing sirdar since 1997.
41 years old, from Phortse, 3 kids
Experience: Everest X 15 (7), Cho Oyu X 1 via Nepal Side, Manaslu X 4 (2), Annapurna IV x 1, Island Peak many times, Mera (5), Pharchamo (3), Lobuche East (5), Lobuche Middle (1), Nirekha (2). Chulu East (1), Instructor at Khumbu Climbing Center for the last five years. Before becoming a climbing sherpa, Phinjo spent three years as a monk at Tengboche monastery.
54 years old, from Rangadip, Okhaldunga and now lives in Kathmandu, 2 kids.
Experience: Everest X 5 including as leader of 1991 first Sherpa-only expedition, Annapurna IV, Annapurna South, Kanchenjunga, Lhotse, Cho Oyu, Pumori and many trekking peaks including Island Peak, Mera, Tent Peak, Chulu East, and Lobuche. He has led many treks in western Nepal (he was the sirdar for Dr. Rodney Jackson's Snow Leopard collaring project) as well as India and Tibet. Lobsang has done the HMTTC trekking guide training and the Manang mountaineering course, and has also worked as an assistant instructor for Outward Bound in Colorado on 6 courses.
34 years old, from Phortse, 2 daughters
Experience: Everest X 12 (7 summits), Cho Oyu X 14 (12 summits), Nirika (1), Lobuche East (7), Island Peak (6), Mera Peak (2) Ama Dablam X 2 (1), Pisang Peak (1). He has been one of the lead instructor for Khumbu Climbing Center for the last 9 years. Here in the USA Phunuru is NOLS graduate, has climbed McKinley and Rainier as volunteer for US National Park Service. In December 2013 he completed 2 week long helicopter long line rescue training by Alpine Rescue Foundation of Zermatt, Switzerland and Simrik Air Helicopter
Karma Rita Sherpa
37 years old, from Phortse, 2 kids
Experience: Everest X 12 (6), Cho Oyu X8 (7), Makalu X 1, Manaslu x 1, Island Peak (4), Lobuche Peak (5), Mera (2), Ama Dablam X 1. Attended the Khumbu Climbing Center (with first aid training).
Ang Chhiring (Kami) Sherpa
47 years old, from Pangboche, 5 kids
Experience: 37 expeditions, including Everest X 26 (12), Makalu X 1, Daulagiri (1), Xixipangma X 5 (4), Manaslu X 1, Annapurna I X 1, Cho Oyu 10 (9), Ama Dablam X 8 (8), Pumori (2), Kusum Khankaru (1), Nuptse X 1. He has attended the Khumbu Climbing Center (including first aid training) as well as the Khunde week-long medical course.
Dawa Nuru Sherpa
54 years old, from Phortse, 3 kids
Experience: Everest X 23 (10), Cho Oyu X 5 (4), Makalu X 2 (1), Kangchenjunga X 1, Manaslu X 2, Kusum Khankaru (1), Omi Kangre (2), Island Peak (9), Mera (7), Lobuche (6) Chulu West x 1, Chulu Far East (1). He has many ascents in the Canadian Rockies including Mt. Robson. Dawa attended the Khumbu Climbing Center multiple times (including first aid training) before he became one of the assistant instructor for the last two year. His first expedition was to Everest in 1979.
Tashi Tseri Sherpa
39 years old, from Pangboche, 2 kids
Experience: Everest X 12 (11), Cho Oyu X 7 (6), Dhaulagiri X 1, Manaslu X 1, Annapurna X 1, Ama Dablam (1). Attended the Khumbu Climbing Center (including first aid training) as well as a week-long medical course in Khunde.
Mingma Tenzing Sherpa
26 years old, from Phortse
Experience: Everest X 9 (8), Cho Oyu X 7 (6), Lobuche Peak (3). Island Peak (2). Attended the Khumbu Climbing Center twice (with first aid training). He has completed a one week course of medical training at Khunde.
Mingma Chhiring Sherpa
31 years old, from Phortse, 2 sons
Experience: Everest X 8 (6), Cho Oyu X 1 (2), Chulu East 6200m (1), Island Peak (3), Mera (3). Attended the Khumbu Climbing Center three times (with first aid training). He is a qualified electrician, and spent 8 years as a monk at Tengboche.
Ang Karma Sherpa
31 years old, from Phortse, 1 daughter
Experience: Everest X 8 (2), Cho Oyu (1), Pokalde (1), Ramdung (1), Island Peak (23), Baruntse (1), Mera (2), Pharchamo (2).
Nima Karma Sherpa
29 years old, from Phortse, 2 kids.
Experience: Everest X 9 (6). Cho Oyu x 3 (1). Manaslu X2 (1) Ama Dablam X 2 (2). Lobuje East (4), Island Peak (6). He has attended the Khumbu Climbing Center (with first aid training).
33 years old. Born and grew up in Phortse.
Experience: Everest (4). Lhotse (7). Cho Oyu x 2 (1). Manaslu 2 (1). Ama Dablam (1) Trekking peaks: Mera (2), Island Peak (13), Lobuje (4), Pokalde (4), Pharchamo (1).
46 years old. Born and grew up in Phortse. 3 kids.
Experience: Everest X 17 (9) Cho Oyu X 6 (3) Manaslu X 3 (1 north summit) Makalu expeditions (1 from Nepal, 1 from China-Tibet) no summit. 1 Pumori (1). Trekking peaks: Mera (15), Lobuje East (3), Island Peak (14), Chulu Far East (5), Pharchamo (2), Nanda Devi (2).
Kaji Sherpa (Head Cook)
45 years old, from Kirung Solu, 2 kids
Experience: Trekking and expedition head cook for IMG since spring of 2002. Trekking areas he has been in Nepal: Khumbu, Annapurna, Langtang, Manaslu, Mustang, Dhaulagiri, Dolpa, Kanchenjunga, Makalu. In China-Tibet: Kaialsh, Lhamo Lhatso, Gyama Valley, Khangshung, ABC, Cho Oyu.
Ang Chhiring Sherpa (BC Sherpa Cook)
50 years old, from Kumjung, 5 daughters
Experience: Many expeditions, beginning in 1979 (Yugoslav Ev. Exp.), including 10 Everest Expeditions (59 days continuously at North Side ABC) Mustang 1983, Omi Kangre 1985, Kang Tare 1986, Cho Oyu 1991 and 1992. He has also spent seven summers at Furka Pass in Switzerland (where there is lots of rock climbing).
Jor Bahadur Rai (Expedition and Trekking Cook)
47 years old, from Deusa 3 Solu, 2 children
Experience: Expedition and Trekking cook for 18 years. Treks he has worked in Nepal include Dolpo, Daulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu, Langtang, Khumbu, Makalu and Kanchenjunga area. In India: Arunachal, Himanchal, Spiti. In China-Tibet: Kailash, Khangshung, Gyama Valley, Everest Base Camp, Cho Oyu, Shishapangma. He has also worked in Afghanistan for 27 months cooking for the Canadian forces.
IMG Office Staff
Heather grew up in the Pacific Northwest and joined the IMG Team in 2015 as Administrative Assistant, processing applications and helping make sure all your paperwork is in order for your Rainier programs. She enjoys spending her free time with her family and recently started painting the scenic Mount Rainier and surrounding areas with watercolors.
As IMG's Operations Manager, Tye has a variety of responsibilities. Some of these include managing: IMG's marketing efforts, sponsor relations, Rainier climbs, along with overseeing IMG's rental and retail shop at HQ in Ashford. He is a NOLS Alaska Mountaineering graduate, has had training as a Wilderness First Responder, and has several summits of Mt. Rainier. Tye leads the Patagonia Trek, recently led the Everest Base Camp via the 3 Peaks and 3 Passes Nepal Trek, and has also traveled with IMG on an Ecuador Volcanoes climb, an Aconcagua expedition as well as an Everest Base Camp Trek. When he's not at work, Tye does his best to travel to the corners of the world he's never seen.
See Tye's trip reports:
- 2014 Everest BC via the 3 Peaks and 3 Passes Nepal Trek »
- 2015 IMG Patagonia Trek »
- 2014 IMG Patagonia Trek »
- 2013 IMG Patagonia Trek »
- 2012 IMG Patagonia Trek »
As IMG's General Manager, Tammy is responsible for overseeing the numerous organizational details of our staff and office including, but by no means limited to; accounting, reporting, staffing and customer service. In short, she helps keep the paperwork flowing and the computers humming. She lives in Ashford with her two kids and enjoys hiking and exploring the Mt. Rainier area.
Becky joined the IMG administrative team in 2009. As the Administrative Assistant, Becky assists in customer service, processing the mountains of paperwork submitted by our climbers and other general office tasks. Outside the office, her amazing daughters keep her quite busy, but she squeezes in time to take on a little hiking and kayaking when she can.
Anya designs, builds, and maintains the occasional website, such as IMG's mountainguides.com which she especially enjoys because of perks such as use of the Company Yak. Aside from her duties as a Web Ranger, she enjoys raising chickens, goats, and beef cattle, as well as traveling to Nepal with a NASA-like assortment of satellite gear to help sponsored climbers stay in touch with their good friends at CNN. She has climbed Rainier, Elbrus, and McKinley, and has trekked Nepal three times.