IMG Guide Training on Mt. Rainier, May 2013 (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.
Mark is a Washington native who cut his teeth in the North Cascades 1991 and began guiding in the Northwest in 2001. In 2010, he completed his full international mountaineering guide certification with the IFMGA and AMGA. When not personal-climbing across the US, Mark divides his time guiding extensive Alpine, Ice, Rock and Ski trips in the Cascades, Sierras, and Colorado's San Juans. Mark's shoulder seasons are typically spent by annual spring migrations to Alaska to alpine and ski guide in the Alaska and Chugach ranges, rock guide in Red Rock NV and Joshua Tree CA, or high altitude mountaineering in Nepal. Internationally, Mark has led several successful expeditions to Aconcagua, Denail AK, Ruth Gorge AK, St. Elias AK, Patagonia, Nepal, China and Antarctica. Mark's personal interests are alpinism and ski mountaineering in areas that still need exploring. His academic background is in geology with an emphasis on mountain building processes, and he is a Level I&II avalanche instructor. On his days off, he explores the undiscovered corners of his back yard the North Cascades and San Juan Mountains. Mark speaks traveler's German, Spanish, and Chinese.
Mark In The News:
- Mark Allen writes about his summer IFMGA apprenticeship in the Alps »
- Mark Allen and climbing partner Graham Zimmerman establish new route on Mt. Bradley in the Ruth Gorge of the Alaska »
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 and skiing in the Cascades since moving to Washington in 2001. After graduating with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas, Dustin left the Texas heat for the beautiful Cascade mountain range he now calls home. After a summer spent traveling and working in New Zealand followed by a summer spent thru-hiking the entire Appalachian Trail, Dustin is ecstatic to be spending his summers back in the PNW guiding on Mt. Rainier. During the winter, Dustin works as a pro ski patroller at Crystal Mountain hucking cliffs, throwing bombs, and skiing pow. When not guiding or patrolling, Dustin spends his time roaming the Seattle area in search of ethnic eats, bicycling, gardening, playing volleyball, exploring the Cascades with friends, and traveling to remote corners of the world. Dustin is extremely passionate about environmental protection and resource conservation. Dustin has had training in Avalanche Level II, WFR, OEC, and EMT-B.
A professional mountain guide for the past eight years, Chris has had the opportunity to travel and climb all over the world. Major guided expeditions include Mt Everest (North Ridge), Ama Dablam, McKinley, Aconcagua, Mount Blanc and numerous others worldwide. To balance out his high altitude mountaineering, Chris leads technical rock and ice climbing trips to Europe, North and South America, and Nepal. Working on five different continents has given Chris the chance to share his climbing knowledge and love of foreign cultures with his clients and friends. When not working on the great mountains of the world, you can find Chris riding his Harley Davidson, skiing, running, playing soccer, or doing his best to hit a golf ball straight down a fairway.
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.
Jess 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 bachelor's degree in Hospitality Management and graduated in 2008. After four years without enough time to play and enjoy the outdoors, Jess spent a semester with the National Outdoor Leadership School rock climbing, sailing, mountaineering and backpacking. Since then Jess has worked for a YMCA summer camp in Colorado where she led backpacking, rock climbing and white water kayaking trips. In her free time Jess can be found Climbing rock or ice, skiing and running. In the off-season Jess worked as a professional ski patroller at Crystal Mountain, WA for two winters and is now pursuing a nursing career to help afford a guiding lifestyle which involves more days on the mountain then off. Jess is a Wilderness First Responder, OEC certified and has had training in AIARE level II avalanche.
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:
- Yoga helps Jason Edwards stay in shape for climbing »
- 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.
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.
Jenni Fogle 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.
Ty was born and raised in Olympia, WA where he began formal training with the Olympia Mountaineers. He has climbed numerous routes in the Olympics, Cascades and all the major volcanoes, including over 40 summits of Mt. Rainier. Internationally, he has climbed Aconcagua in Argentina, and Orizaba and Ixtaccihuatl in Mexico. He has also traveled to Ecuador to climb Iliniza Norte and Sur, Cotopaxi and Cayambe. When Ty isn't climbing, you might find him in the skies as he works on getting his private pilot's license, skiing the steep and deep pow, or working as a medical scribe in the Emergency Room. He has his bachelor's degree from the Evergreen State College in Geology and enjoys remote alpine routes, hanging ten and ripping the gnar surfing of the NW coast. He has had training in WFR, Avy II, and food handler.
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.
Mike Haft learned to ski at Yawgoo Valley Ski Resort in Rhode Island almost as soon as he learned to walk. He moved to the west coast when he was 18 and has been rock and ice climbing, mountaineering and skiing ever since. Mike's outdoor career began as a W-EMT and Wildland Firefighter, then progressed into backcountry guiding canyoneering in Utah, rock climbing in Wyoming and ski guiding in the Tetons. In 2008, he was hired on as a professional ski patroller at Crystal Mountain, WA. In addition to providing constant medical care on the mountain, Mike is actively involved in the avalanche dog program and all aspects of avalanche safety on the mountain. Crystal Mountain has one of the top 10 avalanche safety programs in the United States. He came to IMG in 2009 and has double-digit summits of various routes on Mt. Rainier. Mike has also climbed and skied to the summit of many peaks in the Pacific Northwest. He has had training in OEC (Outdoor Emergency Care), WFR (Wilderness First Responder) and Avalanche Level II.
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:
- 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.
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, 21 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 197 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.
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
Nick grew up in Iowa, and discovered the magnetic pull of craggy peaks and silent wilderness during family vacations to the Rocky Mountains. After obtaining his BS in Aerospace Engineering in Boston, he moved to Colorado to be closer to the mountains. Nick joined the IMG team in 2011 after a few years in the engineering and construction fields. He is based out of Colorado's Elk Mountain Range. He admits that the most difficult part of his time there has been choosing an adventure from the many possibilities that are only a half day's drive away. A few of his favorites include ice climbing in Ouray, mountain biking in Crested Butte, crack climbing in Indian Creek, backcountry skiing in Marble, resort-skiing in Aspen, multi-pitch climbing in Eldorado Canyon, sport cragging in Rifle... not to mention climbing the 14,000'+ peaks within sight of the living room. Nick spends his winters as a snowboard instructor at Snowmass ski resort in addition to teaching avalanche awareness courses and volunteering with mentally and physically handicapped skiers and boarders.
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.
AMGA Certified Rock & Ski Mountaineering Guide
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 and South America. 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 an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and Ski Mountaineering Guide. He lives in Enumclaw, WA, but does not like horses.
Eric Massawe is a registered guide in Kilimanjaro National Park and has worked with many of IMG's Kilimanjaro teams over the years. We are happy to have Eric as one of our regular Kili guides.
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 History and Education, 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 60 summits of Mt. Rainier, Josh has guided and climbed throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, and Southeast Asia. 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 loves mountain guiding. "Only guiding allows me to meet some of the most motivated, interesting people in the world and to work in some of the most beautiful terrain in the world. Successfully reaching the summit and getting back down safely with a group of people is one of the most enjoyable and satisfying things I can imagine doing." An experienced lead guide, Liam has guided in Alaska, Mexico, and the North Cascades while logging eight seasons and over 100 summits of Mount Rainier. Liam's work as a public school teacher, firefighter/EMT, ski patroller, wilderness medicine instructor, emergency department technician, and nonprofit program director cultivated a passion for medical and humanitarian pursuits. In between climbing trips, Liam attends the University of Washington School of Medicine. Liam's long term goal is to get a combined M.D./M.G. degree Medical Doctor and Mountain Guide and he is definitely looking forward to combining work in these two fields 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.
Fernando has been climbing for over 23 years and has been guiding for over 7 years. He resides in Mexico City, where he works directing the biggest rock climbing gym in the city (www.escalodromo.com). He founded this gym with the Mexican famous climber, Carlos Carsolio. Made his college thesis on "legitimizing photography in mountaineering." He's a complete mountaineer, rock climbing so far to 5.13b, big walls on El Captain like The Nose, Zodiak, in Half Dome, Toulome Meadows, and many routes and volcanos around Mexico and alpine climbs in Peru. Climbs in Peru included the second ascent of the Slovenia Wall, Artesonraju's southwest side, two attemps at Yerupaja, ascents of Huascarán, Alpamayo and Chopicalqui. He has also guided on Aconcagua, done different sport climbs in Canada, Spain, Italy and Germany. However, he made sure he took his wife to honeymoon in Thailand. He's climbed Pico Orizaba (18,600 feet) over a hundred times and also has numerous ascents of Ixtaccihuatl. Fernando is also a member of the Mexican association of mountain guides. All this makes Fernando an excellent addition to our Mexico climbs. When not working on the great mountains, you can find Fernando cycling or doing his best in a triathlon.
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.
Born in the United States and raised in Tokyo, Eben comes to IMG having spent a good portion of his life abroad. After returning to the US at the age of 19, Eben attended the University of Montana where he received a degree in History. Graduating in 2006, Eben packed his life into two duffel bags and headed to Mount Rainier. Looking towards the world's biggest mountains, he started guiding. Since then, Eben has explored the world through his work with IMG. He has had the opportunity to guide on Aconcagua in Argentina, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Mt. McKinley in Alaska, Ama Dablam and multiple Treks in Nepal, and Cho Oyu in Tibet. Eben achieved a long time goal in May of 2010 when he summited Everest for the first time. He continues to pursue his passion for big-mountain expeditions while traveling the world on his own time.
Eben In The News:
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, Colorado in 2004, where he acquired a BA in Agricultural Business. It was here that Luke teamed up with a climbing mentor who fueled his passion for spending time in the mountains and learning more about them. Since then, Luke has applied this knowledge to a wide range of mountaineering challenges from big wall routes in Zion National Park to ski descents in the Andes. Luke was ecstatic when he was asked to join the IMG team in 2011 where he can now share his love for the mountains with others.
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
Karl Rigrish grew up in Columbus Ohio. Many childhood trips to the west sparked his interest in the mountains and climbing. Karl moved west after high school pursuing his passion for climbing and began working as a guide on Rainier in 2006. He currently resides in Wyoming where he recently finished his Associates Degree in Nursing and can continue his pursuit of climbing.
Kelly works professionally in the mountains year round, rock and ice guiding, back country ski guiding, and alpine guiding from the lower 48 to Alaska, to South America. Kelly has worked on pro ski patrol at Crystal Mountain, WA and Telluride, CO and has had training in Avalanche II, Outdoor Emergency Care, Wilderness First Responder, and is a Leave No Trace Instructor. She has climbed Denali's Cassin Ridge, and completed several first ascents on a three month climbing trip in Greenland supported by kayak. Some of her other favorite adventures include a four month solo horse trip in Argentina, sailing trips from the east coast to Greenland and Puerto Rico, and extended backpacking trips in the Aleutian Islands and Bolivia. She attended Colorado College graduating with a BA in History and Political Science and a Minor in Journalism. Kelly loves adventures of all kind and thinks it is a privilege to share them with others.
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 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. 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.
Eric started guiding in 2004 for IMG, and has had the opportunity to guide on Aconcogua, Denali, Cho Oyu, Machu Picchu and of course, multiple routes on Mt. Rainier. He also enjoys guiding trips in the North Cascades. Eric worked full time as a ski patroller at Crystal Mountain and guide before going back to school to pursue nursing. During his time off he enjoys backcountry skiing, alpine climbing and triathlons. He currently works as an ICU nurse in Seattle but still enjoys guiding because of the wonderful IMG staff, relationships created, experiences made, and the enjoyment of being outdoors. Eric has a B.S. in Economics and Philosophy from St. Olaf college, and a BSN from Linfield College. Eric holds Wilderness First Responder and Avalanche Level II training.
Jason has worked as a professional mountain guide for the last twelve years. Mountain guiding has taken him to many peaks in the western US and around the world, including the top of Mt. Rainier over 110 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 starting dental school at University of Washington, where is training to be a dentist.
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 loves climbing so much she's summited Mt. Rainier (14,410 ft.) over a hundred times. For over ten years, this passion for climbing has taken her to mountains in Europe, South America, and Asia. In May of 2006, she achieved one of her long-time goals of reaching the summit of Mt. Everest. When not guiding, Brenda has focused her work towards creating opportunities for others to get outside. For over five years, she was the event manager for the Chris Hooyman Outdoor Education Fund, which is a memorial fund for a fallen climbing guide and friend that provides financial assistance to disadvantaged youth to partake in outdoor experiential programs. There, she helped raise nearly $100,000 for CHOEF by organizing and guiding fundraising climbs of Mt. Rainier. Also, for three years, she managed fitness programs for women cancer survivors for the small non-profit Team Survivor Northwest. Brenda devotes her free-time to her partner Greg and their two young daughters, Sadie and Halle. She enjoys non-climbing activities like telemark skiing, running, and playing soccer. She's a member of the American Mountain Guides Association, a Leave No Trace trainer, has had training in Avalanche Level II and Wilderness First Responder. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography from the University of Washington in Seattle. Currently, Brenda is earning her MBA in sustainable business at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Seattle. She plans to use her degree to complement her work at IMG by helping others find value in exercise, wellness, and getting outdoors.
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.
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.
Mingma Ongel Sherpa
29 years old, from Phortse, 2 kids; Mingma completed his high school in Kathmandu
Experience: Everest X 7 (3), Cho Oyu X 4 (2), Attended the Khumbu Climbing Center three times (including first aid training)
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.
Pasang Rinji Sherpa
34 years old, from Phortse, 3 kids
Experience: Everest X 6 (5), Makalu 1, Island Peak (12), Mera (3), Pharchamo (1), Pokalde (2), Namche Barwa 1. He has attended the Khumbu Climbing Center (with first aid training).
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).
Sanduk Dorje Sherpa
26 years old, from Pangboche
Experience: Everest X 9 (6), Manaslu X 1, Cho Oyu X1, trek (to Kalapathar). He owns two yaks, and grows potatoes and buckwheat.
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).
45 years old, from Pangboche, 4 kids
Experience: Everest X 15 (10), Cho Oyu (2), Manaslu X 2, Shishapangma (1) Ama Dablam X 2 (1), Island Peak (12), Mera (2), Lobuche Peak (4)
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).
38 year old, grew up in Thame and now lives in Pangboche. Married to Mingma Yangjin.
Experience: 9 Everest expeditions with 2 summits, 3 Lhotse expeditions with 1 summit, Lobuche East (5), Island Peak (4), Ama Dablam X 2. Mera x 3 (3), Attended the Khumbu Climbing Center (including first aid training).
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.
Danuru Sherpa (BC Assistant Sherpa Cook)
59 years old, from Khunde, 3 kids
Experience: Many treks and expeditions dating back to 1980 Dhaulagiri and 1984 Annapurna.
IMG Office Staff
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 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 story, photos and video from the 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 Clerk, 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.
With IMG partners Eric Simonson and Phil Ershler, Clarissa manages our Kilimanjaro division from start to finish. In addition to Kilimanjaro, she has her hands full keeping the rest of our customers organized as she wrangles customer paperwork and payments and helps coordinate customer logistics for the rest of our international programs (and most domestic), as well. In her spare time Clarissa sees to the accounting of our Rental/Retail operations and is a great resource for Trip Cancellation/Travel Insurance questions. A Washington State University Cougar at heart, Clarissa's education in Hospitality Business Management, and her extensive travels to Tanzania, Chile, Europe, Thailand, Philippines and Guatemala help her to fit right in at IMG. She lives in Ashford with her amazing husband and family. Together they enjoy serving faithfully in their local church while enjoying the glory of God's creation in the Nisqually Valley.
- See Clarissa's story and photos of her 2011 climb of Mt. Rainier with IMG: From Desktop to Mountain Top »
- See Clarissa's story and photos of her 2012 climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro with IMG: Kilimanjaro Trip Report »
No climb can happen without getting to the mountain. As IMG's driver, Larry has safely delivered hundreds of climbers and guides, and their gear, to and from the mountain since 2002. He is also the most entertaining driver on the mountain! His music collection covers anything anyone ever asks for, and he is always ready with the right joke for the occasion. Larry studied geology in California. When not driving and doing the odd chore for IMG, he spends his time on his five acres in the woods, which he calls his personal base camp. He enjoys the deep forests and gathers wild mushrooms and the occasional trout for his kitchen and has no trouble having dinner guests that relish his cooking. Just bring the vino! Like most of us, Larry does this for the love of it far more than the money. He has lived and worked at the foot of Mt. Rainier, by choice, for over a quarter century. He is well known, respected, and liked by most everyone on the mountain. The rest of us put up with him because he pays us to like him.
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.