The Climbers

Ben Clark

Ben Clark after descending from Thorung La Pass, Annapurna Himal, Nepal 2007

At 21, I abandoned a career in architecture for an unknown path that I hoped would lead me to the top of Everest. Curiously enough, it did in 2003 at 23 years old. That path also led me everywhere in between and into some places I could’ve gone and some places I can’t believe I’ve gone…ever been to “The Pavement” in Nairobi, Kenya? Shhhhhh!!!!!

My twenties have been packed full of mileage, it’s cool to be in my last year of them and seeing more mountain ranges on the horizon instead of less. Clinging to the mountain lifestyle as much as the mountainside, I’ve woken up in as many places as possible and now call Telluride, Co. home. It feels good to know these mountains.

These days my resume is a collection of the experiences I always dreamed of living; backcountry turns in the morning, ice climbing in the afternoon, winter days bouldering and hopping on a rope in the desert, long runs in the dry summer mountains and enchaining peaks that once took entire days to climb. The alpine climbing is still sketchy and the mountains sometimes turn me away. I respect my partners and wouldn’t have these experiences without them or the support of sponsors.

Josh Butson

I grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire were I was introduced to climbing, paddling, mountaineering, and skiing. I was fortunate enough to start skiing soon after I learned to walk and my passion for climbing started soon thereafter. From an early age I was trying to find new places to explore. Some of my favorite destinations are Joshua Tree, Zion, the Adirondacks, Acadia, Cascades, Nepal, China, Ecuador, Chile, Argentina and Bolivia.

I have always had a love and appreciation for the natural world, but my true passion lies in sharing this love with others. This passion and drive brought me to becoming a mountain guide. I have proudly been making a living as a mountain guide for just over eleven years now. I have been living my dream as the owner of the San Juan Outdoor School and Telluride Alpinism, two guide services. We take out many of the Telluride, CO visitors as well as its locals.

I hold a B.S. in Adventure Based Recreation Program Management and an Associate in Outdoor Recreation. I have also taken part in some trainings courses and certification through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) American Avalanche Association (AAA), Wilderness First Responder (WFR), and CPR for the Health Care Provider. When I am not on expeditions in faraway places I live in Telluride, Colorado with my loving wife Tara, our dog Jasmine and our three cats Grizz, Bergy, and Sadie.

Jonathan Miller

Jonathan Miller

I started climbing 15 years ago having learned (where else?) from Boy Scouts. Having graduated from backpacking, peaks quickly became my passion. Lots of rock and ice climbing later I love nothing more than finding challenging lines on peaks less traveled by the masses. Most of my efforts have been in the Colorado Rockies, with a sojourn to the temple of Chamonix to open my eyes to the possibilities.

Skiing is another passion, how can it not be living in Telluride? Normally I free the heel with Telemark gear, but got Baruntse locking it down with Dynafit just made sense to me.

I’ve matured and matriculated through the mountains, spending thousands of hours in the field with the Western State College Mountain Rescue Team in Gunnison. I learned so much about the risks and rewards of the mountains there. I spent 400 plus days in two years working with ajudicated youth in the desert and platueas of Western Colorado. I’ve been working for Josh and the San Juan Outdoor School/Telluride Alpinism for two years, doing everything from leading trips up Telluride’s iconic Wilson group, to teaching the local 8th Grade science class avalanche education.

Over the years I’ve done what I can to learn, and in turn pass on that knowledge. I’ve taken Avalanche Level 1 & 2, instructed the same, become a Wilderness First Responder, been the Training Coordinator of the Western State College Mountain Rescue Team, joined the American Alpine Club, and trained and guided in some of the most extreme terrain in Colorado.

This will be my first trip to the Greater Ranges, and I can’t think of a better pair of partners than Ben & Josh. I’m excited to share the experience with M’Lin as well.

Baruntse is going to be a synthisis of all that I’ve learned and all that I am. See you on the mountain!