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 started guiding for IMG in 1999 and has led and directed climbs in Tanzania, Nepal, Tibet, Argentina, Alaska, Mexico, California, Ecuador, Russia, Peru, Mongolia 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 fueling those endeavors with good food. Adam has a perfect safety record in the mountains and a very high success rate. While a lead guide for Mount Rainier Alpine Guides, which is now a wholly owned subsidiary of IMG, he became the only Rainier guide since 1974 to successfully guide a "high level circumnavigation" of Mount Rainier. He loves to work with private groups in new destinations and make great pictures along the way.
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.
Charlotte's Trip Reports:
- Charlotte Austin's trip report for a 2017 IMG Mt. Khuiten, Mongolia expedition »
- Charlotte Austin's 2016 Salkantay Trek trip report: Five Unexpected Highlights
Charlotte In The News:
Dustin has been climbing, hiking, skiing, and exploring the Cascades since moving to the Pacific Northwest in 2001. After graduating with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Texas, he left the Texas heat for the beautiful Cascade mountain range. Dustin now resides in Bend, Oregon after living for over a dozen years in the Seattle region. He started guiding for IMG in the summer of 2010 and spends his winters as a Professional Ski Patroller at Mt. Bachelor in Central Oregon. Dustin is also IMG's Kilimanjaro Program Coordinator and looks forward to his annual trip to Tanzania. An avid long-distance hiker, Dustin has thru-hiked both the entire Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. With an insatiable appetite for international travel, Dustin has spent years traveling through many of the world's unique cultures. When not mountain guiding or ski patrolling, Dustin and his partner, Caroline, spend their time mountain biking, backcountry skiing, 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. He has training in Avalanche Safety I & II and is an EMT.
Nate is a native Ohioan who spent 7 years in the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, accumulating 6 tours of the Hindu Kush mountains along the way. He holds a degree in Arabic and currently resides in the Columbia River Gorge with his wife and their son. During the winter, Nate works as a professional ski patroller in the snow science department at Mount Hood Meadows, while teaching AIARE Rec courses and instructing for the Northwest Avalanche Center on the side. He is a wilderness EMT, certified mountain rescue technician, and an apprentice AMGA alpine and rock guide. He has completed five AMGA courses in all. Recently Nate enjoyed guiding climbers to the summits of Denali in Alaska and Ama Dablam in Nepal.
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 in northwest Montana where he developed a lifelong passion for the mountains. He has spent much of the past fifteen years climbing, skiing, and working in the mountains and has guided trips on Rainier, Denali, and Aconcagua. He still loves exploring the Montana ranges, but has also travelled to Alaska, Peru, Nepal, and New Zealand in search of fine alpine terrain. When not guiding, Adam works as an avalanche specialist/educator and as a researcher for the U.S. Geological Survey's glaciology program. He holds an MS degree in geology, has U.S. Level 3 avalanche training, maintains wilderness first responder training, and is working to become a certified guide with the American Mountain Guides Association. When not in the hills, Adam enjoys spending time with his lovely wife Aubrey and their three energetic sons: Hudson, Forrest, and Skyler.
Jordan was born and raised in Florida but has always been drawn to the mountains. His love of climbing and the outdoors started in his teens in North Carolina. He moved to Colorado where he continued to climb, guide river trips and teach skiing. Jordan first summited Mt. Rainier in 1992 and has climbed in South America and Alaska. After a successful law career, Jordan left the corporate world to guide for IMG in 2017. Jordan has Wilderness First Responder and AIARE Level 1 training. He spends his free time traveling, surfing, teaching and practicing yoga.
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 training, 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.
Ryan grew up in the great state of Alaska, skiing and backpacking in the Talkeetna and Chugach mountains. He received a BS degree in Political Science from the University of Alaska Anchorage. Ryan started guiding in western Alaska as a assistant hunting guide then later as a backcountry guide in the Wrangell St. Elias national park. He has climbed extensively in North America including several forays into the Alaska Range and internationally, with trips ranging from Mexico to India. Ryan has WFR, AIARE Level 2 and Leave No Trace Trainer training.
Rikki was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. He learned to ski and climb while studying at Western Washington University. After graduating, he spent three years guiding and exploring in the Sierras before finding his way back home to Washington. Rikki is now a veteran guide at IMG with over thirty summits on Rainier and multiple summits of major peaks such as Denali, Aconcagua, Cotopaxi, Cayambe, and Chimborazo. He spends his summers guiding on Rainier and many other peaks in the Cascades, and in the winter he splits time ski patrolling at Crystal Mountain and guiding in South America.
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 a certified IFMGA and AMGA guide, a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, and a Leave No Trace Trainer. She also has training in AIARE Level 3 Avalanche 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 training 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.
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 the mountains for some skiing and climbing. After completing his master's degree in 2006, he began to split his time working in Alaska as a wilderness ecologist and at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe as the avalanche forecaster. In 2012, Dallas and his wife moved to Seattle and now call the Pacific Northwest home. Dallas has guided numerous expeditions in Washington, Alaska, Mexico, Nepal, and China for IMG with successful trips on Everest, Cho Oyu, Denali, and Pico de Orizaba to name a few. During the winter months, he works as an avalanche forecaster, avalanche educator, and ski guide for the Northwest Avalanche Center, the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE), and the American Avalanche Association.
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.
Kim was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest where she learned to ski and play in the outdoors. She took a quick break from the Northwest to study Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, Maine. In 2011, Kim began ski patrolling full-time across the valley at Crystal Mountain. Soon after, she began guiding with IMG in the summer. Personal travels have taken Kim to Ecuador, India, Tibet, Nepal, Japan, and Vietnam. Kim is a Wilderness First Responder, has completed her American Avalanche Association Level 1 and 2, attended the National Avalanche School, and several Avalanche Dog seminars. When she's not climbing or skiing you can find her exploring the Cascades with her Duck Toller/Avalanche Dog extraordinaire, Darwin or fly fishing with her husband and fellow mountain guide, Mike.
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.
Harry spent his formative years of climbing and skiing in Washington State, the place where he calls home. He obtained an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from University of Puget Sound where he also gained a second (unofficial) degree in climbing. After graduating, Harry took a summer to hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada before delving into the outdoor industry. Over the years of working for IMG, he has summited several peaks in Nepal including Everest, Lhotse and Ama Dablam, as well as Kilimanjaro in Africa, Illimani in Bolivia and has alpine climbed in the Alaska Range and rock climbed in Italy. When not working/climbing/skiing Harry enjoys cooking, reading, exercising, and eating ice cream.
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.
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 over sixty high altitude expeditions to all corners of the world that include fourteen Himalayan expeditions, 25 to Kilimanjaro, 10 to Denali, several to Aconcagua, the Mexican volcanoes and other peaks around the world. Craig summited Everest in 1998 via the North Ridge and again in 2018 by the South Col Route. He has two ascents of Cho Oyu. Domestically Craig has climbed ice, rock and alpine routes all over the U.S. He currently he has 217 ascents of Mt. Rainier. Craig is the Program Manager for the IMG White Mountains program. Craig is an AMGA Certified Top Rope Site Manager and Single Pitch Instructor. He has a Master's 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, Antarctica and the Himalayas. Adventure races, whitewater competitions, and personal travels have taken her to the rivers and mountains of every continent. 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, 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:
- Jan 2019 Jackson Hole News and Guide Everest mountaineer kicks off festival »
- Oct 2018 She Explores Life Emily Johnston: IMG Mt. Rainier Climbing Guide, Doctor & Mentor »
- Apr 2017 Point Gym and Kitchen POWerful Outdoor Women Series: Emily Johnston »
- Oct 2015 Lakeside School Alumni Taking Charge: Dr. Emily Johnston '81 »
- 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 »
Kevin grew up in Oregon's Pacific Northwest where he fell in love with ski mountaineering and has continued to explore and ski the Cascades after skiing from the summit of Mt. Hood when he was young. In the winter, he works as a Ski Patroller on Mt. Hood, and during the summer months he lives and breathes climbing and guiding. Kevin usually spends his fall season in search of new climbing areas throughout the world and praying for snow. Kevin has been on successful expeditions to Everest, Ama Dablam and Mera Peak in Nepal and Aconcagua in Argentina. He is a nationally registered Emergency Medical Technician and has American Avalanche Institute Level 1 and Level 2 training.
Ed started his guiding career in 1992 after serving in the US Coast Guard. Over the years he has guided all over the world including over 80 summits of Mt. Rainier, four Denali expeditions, Mt. Elbrus, the Mexican Volcanoes, Ecuador Volcanoes and two expeditions to the Himalayas. The first with Nick Clinch and Peter Schoening, the second to Cho Oyu with a summit in 1996. Ed's been a Physician Assistant since 1999, with over 15 years of ER experience and the last five years spent in Family Medicine. You can find Ed in Helena, MT these days working with the Boy Scouts, trail running, mountain biking, hunting and hanging out with his wife and son enjoying all Montana can offer.
Ava grew up in Seattle, exploring the mountains of the cascades from a young age. She was first introduced to glacier mountaineering at age nine, and climbed Mt. Rainier for the first time a few years later. Ava studied science and played soccer for Carleton College in Northfield Minnesota for two years, before returning home to finish her education at the University of Washington. She graduated from UW with a B.S in Biology, and played for the Division I Women's soccer program there as well. When she is not guiding, Ava works as a professional ski patroller at Stevens Pass, and a mountaineering and rock climbing instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School. Ava enjoys skiing, climbing, and adventuring in her free time, and also looks forward to reading, cooking, and playing soccer with friends. Ava is a Nationally Registered EMT, and is trained in Avalanche Level I, LNT Master Educator, and WFR.
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.
I was born in southern Utah. At a young age I migrated to the northern part of the state, but the desert always felt like home. I am grateful to be a part of a close family of two strong brothers and two beautiful sisters with myself in the middle. I was surrounded by love since day one, as I was raised by my grandparents as well as my mother and father. I was always told I could be whatever I wanted to be, to dream big, or don't dream at all. I found climbing in a natural way in the sense that no one showed me the rock. At age 16 I found a second home and a comfy retreat in the Wasatch Mountains where I learned about myself and fell in love with climbing. After high school I went directly into seasonal work, guiding in the summer, ski instructing in the snowy season, and climbing year round from ice to rock to high altitude mountains (my jam). I am grateful to have traveled and climbed in Africa, Antarctica, and South America a few times. The transitions keep me true to myself. I climb to experience ascending and to enter unique spaces. I guide to share that experience as a whole with other people who are climbing for their own reasons. Dream big, or don't dream at all.
Chris's early forays into the woods were on a borrowed mountain bike. The shoes didn't fit and he didn't have a helmet. Still, he was hooked, an adrenaline junkie was born, and he instantly loved the smell of pine duff and its feel beneath his feet. After completing a bachelor's in English, Chris followed the Great Divide Route south on his mountain bike, pulling a trailer, border to border. Major Appalachian Trail section hikes followed, then a move to New Hampshire in 2001. Chris has continued to travel the United States in search of lesser visited places, scaling rock walls throughout the West and South. He has established many dozens of new rock routes in New England and the South, and has worked professionally as a mountain guide, across disciplines rock, ice, snow since 2008. During this time, he's had the opportunity to share passions, activities and places, with others, over 1,100 to date. He's as comfortable on a desert tower as a glacier or a backwoods, scrappy New England crag, and if you're with him, you'll feel comfortable too. Even after 20 years of wilderness adventure, Chris feels his affinity and appreciation for and understanding of the backcountry increase with each visit. He has learned that some areas are so incredibly unique and fragile that preservation and conservation are an obligation: part of sharing the intrinsic value of these places with others is consideration of future generations. He is a founding member the nonprofit Keep the Whites Wild.
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.
Patrick grew up sailing in the Carolinas but traded the ocean for the mountains when he began ice climbing soon after college. After cutting his teeth climbing ice and rock in New York and New England, Patrick set his sights on alpine objectives on the West Coast. Since then Patrick has climbed in the Cascades, Sierras, Andes, Himalayas, and Alps. Patrick holds current training in W-EMT, CPR/AED, AIARE Level 2, and Leave No Trace (LNT). He is also an AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide. Patrick graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and an S.M. in Electrical Engineering. When not in the mountains, he enjoys photography, aviation, and competing in triathlons.
Born and raised in Eastern Washington, Porter first started climbing Washington's volcanoes at age 12. He raced cross country and track during high school and backpacked in the cascades in his free time. After moving to Bellingham in 2016, his affinity for the vertical grew. While attending Western Washington University and running cross country and track for the University, Porter began finding his passion for difficult alpine climbs (especially ice climbs), as well as ski mountaineering. He began guiding for IMG in 2018 and enjoys sharing the unique alpine environments with others. Porter is a Wilderness First Responder and trained in Avalanche Level 1 and Leave No Trace.
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 on Mount Rainier in 1999 and now shares his passion for the mountains on climbs all over the world. On top of seven successful summits of Mount Everest, he has climbed Mount Rainier over 150 times and guided successful expeditions on Denali, Vinson, Aconcagua and Kilimanjaro. Since his first trip to the Himalayas in 2003 guiding on Cho Oyu, he's returned to guide 20 more expeditions and racked up six successful guiding summits of the more technical Ama Dablam. Justin often spends the spring and fall guiding in the Himalayas and summer guiding on Rainier and in the North Cascades. He spends all winter in Ouray, Colorado, guiding ice climbing for IMG where he enjoys guiding more technical climbing and not having to spend nights out tent-camping in the snow! He has a B.A. in Geology, has had training in WFR and US Avalanche III, and is an AMGA certified Alpine Guide. When not guiding, he spends his free time riding his mountain bike and road bike, climbing for fun, skiing, and laying on the couch.
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. On a hike to Camp Muir on Mount Rainier as a teenager his passion for the mountains and climbing began. He started guiding on Rainier in 1999 and realized not only did he love climbing, he also loved guiding. He hasn't looked back since. An experienced lead guide, Liam has guided climbs in the Cascades, Sierra Nevadas, Alaska, Mexico, Africa, and the Himalaya while logging over 110 summits of Mount Rainier. Liam has a particular interest in wilderness medicine, and when not in the mountains, works as an emergency physician and enjoys trail running, skiing, and mountain biking.
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 over 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.
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 1000 mile sled-dog race that takes racers from Fairbanks(AK) to Whitehorse(Canada). For over a decade he's been guiding for IMG with trips including: Rainier, the North Cascades, China(Yunnan), Ouray, Kilimanjaro, Ama Dablam and Everest. He 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 is an AMGA/UIAGM Certified Guide and has training in Avalanche Level III, OEC and WFR.
Lara grew up in Pittsburgh, PA and didn't learn to truly love the outdoors until her late teens. She is actively trying to make up for all that lost time. After an extended road trip across the country that landed her in Oregon, she started to explore the rocks and volcanoes of the Northwest. Lara received a Masters of Architecture from the University of Oregon and currently works as a designer at NBBJ Architects, based in their Seattle office. She has been able to strike a balance between her two careers as a guide and an architect by spending most of the year in the city and the summers on Mt. Rainier and in the North Cascades. She is passionate about teaching people how to interact with nature and the built environment in the most sustainable way. Her favorite days outside are long days on high alpine rock. She currently holds Wilderness First Responder, CPR and Leave No Trace training. While she currently never has to travel far for iconic mountains and rocks, she plans to tap into her cultural roots and start exploring the mountains of Montenegro and other areas in Southeastern Europe during the next couple years.
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
Dan hails from the east coast. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he grew up enjoying the outdoors and discovered rock climbing while on a trip to Seneca Rocks, WV. Ice climbing and alpinism followed soon after, and after working in the Outdoor Education field for a few years, he began working for IMG's East Coast division in 2016. He now migrates westward to work and play in the Cascades in the summer months, returning to New Hampshire for the winter Season. Dan cut his teeth trad climbing, and continues to enjoy rock climbing when it's too warm to go ice climbing. He has a BA in Adventure Education, keeps his WFR current, and is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch instructor, as well as an AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide. He is currently pursuing certification in both the Rock and Alpine Disciplines. Time off activities include drinking gratuitous amounts of coffee and enjoying time with his wife.
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.
Keith was born in Yakima, WA, but spent most of his childhood moving around the country. After serving four years in the Navy, he developed a passion for the outdoors while kayaking on Maryland's Eastern Shore. Keith graduated with a BA in English Writing and Rhetoric and began travelling abroad to teach ESL. After a stint of vagabonding, he returned to the US and moved to Colorado to learn to ski. In the Rockies, he worked seasonally and completed a semester with NOLS, where he studied wilderness medicine, mountain travel, rock climbing, canyoneering, and backcountry skiing. Keith then moved to Bellingham, WA to gain access to the North Cascades and eventually pursue post bacc coursework in Outdoor Recreation. He has since spent time as a ski patroller, mountain guide, and Washingtonian. He began guiding for IMG in 2017. When not working, Keith can be found climbing, skiing, trail running, eating noodles, and searching for new music. He holds training as an LNT Master Educator, Wilderness First Responder, and AIARE Level 2.
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.
Jesus Paco Sanjines
Jesus Paco Sanjines is a major reason our climbers are so successful in Bolivia. He has been guiding since 1987 and has climbed many of the mountains IMG visits over 200 times. Jesus has trained in Germany and France as well as being up to date with all medical training. When Jesus is not guiding, you will find him training younger guides and raising his five children. Jesus is quite possibly the most patient guide we have on staff in Bolivia if not the world!
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 has guided on Aconcagua, Elbrus, Carstensz, and Everest, and his favorite personal 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.
Leanne was raised in central Washington and moved west to study biochemistry at Western Washington University in Bellingham. She earned a master's degree from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a teaching credential from California State University, Long Beach. In California, Leanne taught chemistry for several years and fell in love with the Sierras, spending any free time learning to climb and jumping from hot spring to hot spring. In her free time, Leanne enjoys bicycle touring, rock climbing, skiing, and discovering new recipes. In the winter, Leanne lives in Parkdale, OR working as a professional ski patroller at Mt. Hood Meadows. She is trained in Wilderness Medicine (WFR), CPR, AIARE Level 2, and Leave No Trace.
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, Antarctica, Asia, Alaska, and Mexico. Austin is a fully certified IFMGA/AMGA guide. He has also 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.
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.
Ang Pasang Sherpa (Sirdar)
53 years old, from Pangboche, 4 kids
Experience: Everest X 31 (4), Makalu X 1, Dhaulagiri (1), Cho Oyu X 14 (7), Ama Dablam X 8 (4), Nuptse X 1.
Ang Pasang has been working for IMG as a climbing sirdar since 1997.
Karma Rita Sherpa
44 years old, from Phortse, 2 kids
Experience: Everest X 16 (10), Cho Oyu X 9 (11), Makalu X 1, Manaslu X 1, Island Peak (4), Lobuche Peak (5), Mera (2), Ama Dablam X 1, and Putha Hiunchuli (2). Attended the Khumbu Climbing Center (with first aid training).
39 years old, from Phortse, 2 daughters
Experience: Everest (12 summits), Cho Oyu (19 summits which makes him the current record holder), Lhotse(1), Nirika (1), Lobuche East (7), Island Peak (6), Mera Peak (2) Ama Dablam (13 summits), Pisang Peak (1), Kilimanjaro (14 summits). He has been one of the lead instructor for the Khumbu Climbing Center for the last nine years. Here in the USA, Phunuru is a NOLS graduate and has climbed Denali (4 summits) and Rainier, as well as worked in Yosemite as a volunteer for the US National Park Service. In December 2013, he completed two weeks of helicopter long-line rescue training by the Alpine Rescue Foundation of Zermatt, Switzerland and Simrik Air Helicopter.
Nate joined IMG in 2015 and never looked back. Growing up in the Seattle area, he spent much of his childhood skiing and hiking in the Cascades with his family. He picked up rock climbing at summer camp at age 11, and he's been hooked ever since. Nate's love of outdoor endurance sports propelled him into the cross-country running scene in high school, and later, mountaineering. He recently earned a BA in Environmental Studies from Yale, where he competed in NCAA Division I track and cross-country for 4 years. In the winter you will likely find him on the slopes of Crystal Mountain where he works as a pro ski patroller. Nate is a Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, and has Avalanche I training.
Audrey was born and raised in Tacoma, WA. Growing up in the Cascades, she spent her childhood hiking, climbing, and skiing where she ultimately found her passion for being outside. At the age of 14, Audrey made her first ascent of Mount Rainier via the DC and continued to climb it every summer via different routes until becoming old enough to guide. In 2019, Audrey reached the summit of Denali with six other IMG guides on a personal trip. When not guiding, she can be found in sunny San Luis Obispo, CA where she currently attends Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She is working towards a BS in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Molecular Biology and Cellular Function as well as pursuing a statistics minor. In California, Audrey enjoys trail running, rock climbing, and reading on the beach. She has training in AIARE Level 1 and WFR.
Nicole grew up in Georgia and first discovered her passion for the mountains through rock climbing, competing in the JCCA Junior Nationals two years in a row. She continued to climb and hike before taking a break from mountain pursuits to earn her MS in Mathematics and become a credentialed actuary. Throughout the next 10 years, her actuarial career and the mountains competed fiercely for her attention. Over time, she honed her skills in ski touring, mountaineering, and ski mountaineering, seeking higher peaks and gnarlier lines until the mountains won, and she knew what she had to do: make the leap and begin her second career in professional risk management, this time as a guide. Among Nicole's ascents are Denali, Rainier, Shasta, Adams, Baker, Hood, Lassen, Shuksan, St. Helens, and Mt. Whitney. She has completed the Eklutna Traverse and Haute Route ski tours. She is trained in AIARE 1 & 2, WFR, CPR, LNT, and the AMGA Alpine Skills Course. When away from IMG, Nicole lives in Brighton Utah, spending winters skiing the "Greatest Snow on Earth" from her doorstep.
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.
Rowan is a lifelong native of the Pacific Northwest, born on Vashon Island, and has been guiding with IMG since 2018. He was fortunate to grow up backpacking, skiing, and sailing with his family. After graduating high school, Rowan spent 28 days traversing the Waddington Range in British Columbia with the National Outdoor Leadership School a trip which cemented his passion for remote places. Before joining IMG he spent summers working as a sailboat captain in Seattle, and winters dedicated to chasing snow in the Washington backcountry. When not in the mountains, he can be found on a mountain bike, sailboat, or surfboard. Rowan has training in WFR, AIARE level 2 and is an LNT trainer.
Peter Stone was raised across the Intermountain West in Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho. Peter has worked as a professional outdoor instructor and guide since 2013. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies from Fort Lewis college in Durango, CO. Peter has traveled across the continental US, Canada, and Alaska with an emphasis on Ski Mountaineering, Ice climbing, and Rock climbing. He has also made trips to Latin America, including multiple mountaineering expeditions to Patagonia and Mexico. Peter has trainings and certifications including: AMGA Ski Guide Course, AMGA Alpine Skills Course, AIARE Avalanche Level II, Wilderness First Responder, WMI and is a Leave No Trace Master Educator. Peter Lives in Jackson Hole, Wyoming where he works as a ski guide through the winter season.
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.
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 »
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.
Born and raised in the Seattle area, Willie grew up ski racing, mountain biking, and generally loving the outdoors found in the Evergreen State. Skiing continued at University of Colorado, where he also studied some evolutionary biology. Post college found Willie working as a Dive Master in the Red Sea of Egypt. A love for the Pacific Northwest brought Willie back to WA. In the winters Willie ski patrols at Stevens Pass where he also builds trams for avalanche control. Willie started guiding with IMG in 2017 on Mount Rainier. He has training in Wilderness First Responder as well as Avalanche Level I and Leave No Trace. His free time is filled with back-country skiing, bike touring, and river snorkeling.
Conrad moved to Washington in 2008, after growing up in Girdwood, Alaska. He is now a skier who climbs. After graduating from the University of Puget Sound in 2012 with a major in Communications and minor in Environmental Policy, he settled in Seattle. He currently guides for International Mountain Guides and fills in the rest of the year as a charter sailboat captain, commercial fisherman, and working on winter access issues with the nonprofit Cascade Backcountry Alliance. When not working, he is likely skiing or climbing somewhere between California and Alaska, or eating ice cream and sleeping in a comfortable bed. He is an AMGA Apprentice Ski and Rock guide, AIARE instructor, and has WFR and Avalanche 2 training.
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, 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.
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 parentheses, ie. "(4)"
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.
65 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.
Danuru (Dawa) Sherpa
60 years old, from Phortse, 3 kids
Experience: Everest X 23 (11), Cho Oyu X 6 (6), Makalu X 2 (1), Kangchenjunga X 1, Manaslu X 2, Kusum Khankaru (1), Omi Kangre (2), Island Peak (9), Mera (7), Lobuche (10) Chulu West X 1, Chulu Far East (2). 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 instructors for the last two year. His first expedition was to Everest in 1979.
Mingma Tenzing Sherpa
33 years old, from Phortse, 2 kids
Experience: Everest X 10 (9), Cho Oyu X 7 (7), Lobuche Peak (6). Island Peak (5). Mingma found his love for the mountains in Nepal, where he grew up in Phortse. He started climbing in 2004 at the age of 18 and has guided for IMG since. He has an impressive 9 summits of Mount Everest. While he has an extensive climbing resume in Nepal, he also guides and instructs in North America. He has served as a rescue climbing ranger on Denali and in the Grand Tetons and guided summit climbs for IMG on Mount Rainier. Notably he has performed many rescues at high altitude around the world. When not doing lead route fixing and guiding to great summits, Mingma enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. He is also a highly skilled cook and stone mason.
Ang Karma Sherpa
45 years old, from Phortse, 1 daughter
Experience: Everest X 9 (5), Cho Oyu (2), Ama Dablam (1), Pokalde (1), Ramdung (1), Island Peak (23), Baruntse (1), Mera (2), Pharchamo (2).
54 years old. Born and grew up in Phortse. 3 kids.
Experience: Everest X 20 (10) Cho Oyu X 9 (6) Manaslu X 3 (1 north summit) Makalu expeditions (1 from Nepal, 1 from China-Tibet) no summit. 1 Pumori (1), Putha Hiunchuli (1). Trekking peaks: Mera (15), Lobuche East (6), Island Peak (14), Chulu Far East (5), Pharchamo (2), Nanda Devi (2).
45 years old. Born and grew up in Phorste. 2 kids.
Experience: Everest X 13 (6) Manaslu (2) Cho Oyu (1), Ama Dablam (1), Lobuche East (6) Island Peak (10).
30 years old. Born and grew up in Phortse.
Experience: Everest (3), Cho Oyu (2), Ama Dablam (1), Putha Hiunchuli (1), Lobuche East (6) Island Peak (4).
39 years old. Born and grew up in Phortse.
Experience: Everest (8). Lhotse (8). Cho Oyu X 3 (2). Manaslu 2 (1). Ama Dablam (2) Trekking peaks: Mera (2), Island Peak (13), Lobuche (6), Pokalde (4), Pharchamo (1).
25 years old, from Phortse
Experience: Everest X 3 (2), Cho Oyu (2), Putha Hiunchuli (1), Lobuche Peak (4), Island Peak (2), Many treks in Everest, Annapurna, Langtang, Mustang, etc. Basic and Advanced Climbing Course (Khumbu Climbing Center), First Aid training, NMA mountaineering training in Manang.
Fura Gyalzen Sherpa
22 years old, from Phortse
Experience: Everest X 4 (2), Cho Oyu (1), Ama Dablam (1), Lobuche Peak (7), Island Peak (4), Mera Peak (3), Nirekha Peak (2), Basic and Advanced Climbing Course (Khumbu Climbing Center), First Aid training, Long-line rescue training.
Kaji Sherpa (Head Cook)
53 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.
Jor Bahadur Rai (Expedition and Trekking Cook)
52 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
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 is IMG's Program Coordinator for all International and Domestic (non-Rainier) programs. She works closely with our Program Directors and clients to ensure a smooth registration process from start to finish for IMG climbs and treks around the globe. Being all about the numbers and the details has earned her the title of The Spreadsheet Queen in other words, Excel makes her happy. She lives here in Ashford with her family and assorted critters.
Anya designs, builds, and maintains the occasional website, such as IMG's mountainguides.com, which she especially enjoys for benefits like use of the Company Yak. She is proud to have worked with IMG since 1997. 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 is rarely seen without her German Shepherd, hikes throughout the Pacific Northwest every chance she gets, has climbed Rainier, Elbrus, and Denali, and has trekked Nepal several times.