A podcast that navigates the complex terrain of mountains and life

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Latest Episodes

EP 29
Everything SPI 02
Site Selection & Group Management

01:15:59

Spencer Huffman and Szu-ting Yi both are AMGA certified Rock Guides and SPI Providers. They co-taught an SPI course back in October 2023 and found that their teaching style was quite compatible and complimentary. Therefore, they decided to do this podcast series, Everything SPI, to create supplemental material related to the SPI programs. Hopefully it will help their past and future students and potentially anyone who is thinking to enter the field of climbing instruction.

EP 28
Margaret Wheeler
Do Hard Things

01:48:09

In the guiding world, Margaret needs little introduction. She is the second U.S. woman to earn the IFMGA mountain guide title. She is an instructor of guide training for the AMGA and serves on its board of directors and as president of the organization.

She is involved in avalanche education through her work as an AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) instructor and trainer.

Right now Margaret and her husband Matt Farmer split their time between the Wood River Valley Idaho and Europe.

EP 27
Julie Ann Holder
Grounding Truth

01:18:50

Julie Ann ‘Julz’ is a Backcountry Mentor, Ski Guide, and Avalanche Educator living in Bellingham, Washington.

Two winters ago, she launched Grounding Truth Holistic Guiding: a process-oriented, women-focused, grassroots ski guiding business. As a guide, Julz embodies an attitude of curiosity, wonder, and reverence in wild places.

She is dedicated to creating inclusive spaces within outdoor adventures that evoke feelings of radical acceptance and help cultivate more deeply felt experiences.

EP 26
Irene Yee
All You Need Is To Start

01:07:23

Irene is a professional west coast based rock climbing and adventure photographer. She started rock climbing out of pure joy, picked up a camera soon after, and continues that journey on her instagram @ladylockoff.

Her focus is to uplift women, BIPOC, and the LGBTQIA2S+ communities; choosing to highlight those pushing their own personal limits and finding inspiration in those with passion over muscle.

She is internationally published, a @natgeoadventure contributor, and works with today’s largest outdoor brands and non-profits.

EP 25
Allie Ace
Never Stop Learning

01:13:14

Originally from the east coast, Allie learned to ski in the Poconos at the age of 3. In 2010, she moved to Tahoe to pursue bigger mountains and a full time career in the ski industry. She has traveled all over the country and the world to teach skiing and coach ski racing.

Allie is a USSS Level 400 Alpine Coach, Coach Developer and Alpine Official, has her PSIA Alpine Level 3, Children’s Specialist 2, Freestyle Specialist 1, Resort & Divisional Trainer, and Snowboard Level 1. With her eye on steeper and deeper lines, Allie started backcountry guiding in 2020. She is an AIARE Course Instructor, has her Pro 1, and is an AMGA Apprentice Ski & Alpine Guide.

Allie currently lives in Truckee, CA, works for Alpenglow Expeditions, NASTC and is the lead alpine trainer at Sugar Bowl Resort. She is working towards her avy Pro 2 and the PSIA National Team this season. When not skiing, Allie enjoys whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing and yoga.

EP 24
Managing Guides with Mary Brown

01:19:53

Mary Brown has worked as a guide manager at Alpine Ascents for almost 10 years. A guide manager is often the interface between guide services and their guides, and serves as a bridge between clients and guides. However what exactly does a guide manager do?
In today’s episode we dive deep into Mary’s role in Alpine Ascents to learn about her job description and duties. She pointed to climate change and a more diverse clientele as two areas that have impacted the way guide services operate. She described how guide services, for example, Alpine Ascents, had responded to the changes, including piloting the awesome DEI initiative, BIPOC Guide Development Program.

EP 23 Sarah Janin

01:09:26

Sarah is a Certified Rock Guide, Aspirant Splitboard Guide, Assistant Alpine Guide, Avalanche Instructor, and WFR Instructor who resides in Boulder Colorado. She is on the Weston Backcountry Guide Team and identifies as a type 1 diabetic. 

Sarah has a huge goal to become the first female AMGA certified splitboard guide and the first type 1 diabetic IFMGA mountain guide. 

Sarah has been a guide for a decade, starting at a small company in Vail, Colorado in which she was the only female guide and is now working as the only female full-time guide for Colorado Mountain School. Sarah has been  working hard to organize more women’s programs. One of her goals is to continue to empower and create a more open environment for all who identify as female.

EP 22 Megan Yingling

01:13:00

Meg (she/they) is a pre-licensed psychotherapist, AMGA certified Rock Guide, and SPI Provider based out of Estes Park, Colorado.
 
Throughout her two decades in the sport, Meg has learned that climbing and guiding can provide the highest highs but does not come without its challenges and barriers. Meg has dedicated her career to navigating the intersection between mental health and climbing and has a deep passion in helping others achieve their goals.
 
Meg loves climbing, running, and playful exploring in her home range of Rocky Mountain National Park.

EP 21 Lyra Pierotti
Keep Moving with Momentum

01:40:08

Lyra has been guiding and instructing for over half of her life. She is an AMGA Rock Guide and Alpine Guide, and has just one more exam in May of 2024 to achieve full international certification.
 
Being a woman guide has had its challenges over the years, so Lyra has managed those additional gendered risks with additional work, developing an overlapping and supportive career as a personal trainer. She passed a similarly coveted certification from the NSCA in 2017, to become a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Lyra is a senior guide with Alpine Ascents International, a staff Instructor Trainer with AIARE, and has her own small business coaching mountain athletes, called MOVEmentum.

EP 20 Everything SPI 01
Professionalism & Risk Management

01:10:45

Spencer Huffman and Szu-ting Yi both are AMGA certified Rock Guides and SPI Providers. They co-taught an SPI course back in October 2023 and found that their teaching style was quite compatible and complimentary. Therefore, they decided to do this podcast series, Everything SPI, to create supplemental material related to the SPI programs. Hopefully it will help their past and future students and potentially anyone who is thinking to enter the field of climbing instruction.

EP 19 Elise Clausen
Crafting Desert Accents

01:01:58

Elise loves to share outdoor recreation with others, and has a background in outdoor education. Following her move to Las Vegas, she started a side gig guiding, too. 
 
During the pandemic, Elise lost her job and had a lot of free time on her hands. A crafter at heart, she started making jewelry and handbags, selling them online. Her business took off quickly, and within months replaced her full time income. 
 
These days she still does some guiding, and is continually working to improve both her craft, and her business. 

EP 18
Independent Guiding
with Jed Porter

01:18:28

In today’s episode our guest Jed Porter talks about “independent guiding.” Jed is an IFMGA/AMGA mountain guide. He writes articles and yearly reviews to help demystify guiding as a profession on his blog. He serves as the president of the CGC Board. CGC stands for Certified Guides Co-op. He guides more than 100 days a year and makes most of his income through guiding.
 
We talked about the definition of independent guiding, the mindset of treating guiding as your business, whether guiding can feed a family of 4, the ins and outs of the CGC, its vision and mission, its cease of operation since Feb, its potential future. 

EP 17 Kelly Fields
Invest in Yourself

01:20:54

Kelly was exploring, scaling mountains, and trad climbing with her family all over the country from the tender age of two. She got her first climbing job in a gym when she was 13. When she was 18 she began her apprenticeship with Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides and found her calling as a climbing guide.
 
At one point she proposed a women’s only course to the guide service and soon realized not only was there a need for that, but she also felt empowered by teaching other women and seeing them grow. She then founded Athena Rock Climbing in 2012 with the goal of hosting climbing events designed to help woman advance their skills. Now Kelly lives her dream guiding year round – half year on the east coast and half year in Joshua Tree.