I currently live in Telluride, Colorado though I grew up in Golden, Colorado. I was introduced to skiing and the mountains at 4 years old thanks to my dad and the Coors Ski Club. In the summers our family went camping and hiking a lot and I have plenty of fond memories of family outdoor trips. I started venturing into the backcountry on Loveland and Berthoud passes in high school, and in retrospect made some very poor decisions at that time due to lack of knowledge, lack of training a bit of teenage stupidity.
My early introduction to the mountains and the Colorado ski industry influenced me more that I knew at the time. After high school I moved to Steamboat Springs, CO and attended Colorado Mountain College (CMC = see me ski) where my associates degree had me taking accounting classes alongside ski tuning, boot fitting and rental/retail shop management classes. I also took my first Avalanche and wilderness survival courses in Steamboat at 20 years of age. At CMC I met several students who planned to move to Durango, CO and continue their education at Fort Lewis College after graduation. I followed suit, moved to Durango and studied international business and German language at FLC for 4 years. I worked as a part time ski tech at the local rental shop for access to discounted gear and the ability to repair the gear that I seemed to have a knack for destroying. In addition to school and work I mountain biked, skied the local resorts and backcountry, started to get into rock climbing, and began working as a river guide in the summers. My German language studies lead me to spend six months living as an exchange student in Regensburg, Germany. Regensburg was a great base from which I traveled all over Europe getting a sample of the European skiing and culture.
Skiing Telluride was a great weekend getaway from Durango and after completing studies abroad and in Durango I was able to land a job at the Telluride Ski Resort as an auditor in 2003. I moved to iconic Telluride and worked my way up through the ski area’s org chart over the years to my current position of Software Specialist (a blend of IT and accounting, with a focus on the point of sale systems). I continue to spend free time outdoors and keep dabbling in rock and ice climbing. Although backpacking and hiking, kayaking the rivers, mountain biking and working towards my goal of standing on top of the 100 highest peaks in Colorado are my stronger suites. I began to realize that I had acquired some valuable outdoor skills and a good friend turned me on to a public service use of these skills.
I have been a volunteer with the San Miguel Country Search and Rescue for the last 7 years. I have continued to pursue outdoor knowledge by re-taking Avalanche courses (level 1 and 2), becoming a swift water rescue technician, surface ice rescue technician, wilderness first responder, dive recovery tender, a PADI open water diver and have done lots of rope work in vertical environments with the SAR team. My favorite thing about Telluride is being able to share it with great friends as well as with my wife Stephanie, who I met in Telluride shortly after moving to town. Steph and I were friends for a few years and roommates for a short time before we got more serious (the story of who made the first move is still disputed!)
I got to know Jon and Ben in Telluride and heard about their previous adventures to Nepal while playing in the San Juans with them. I told them I always wanted to go and amazingly it all came together for this spring! My attitude towards adventures is cautious optimism with a dash of superstition. I feel that showing an understanding of the local culture, religion and language is key to experiencing a place and appeasing the gods of the mountains and rivers. I am very lucky to have the opportunity to explore the amazing landscape of the Himalayas with such experienced partners and good friends. I am looking forward to sharing this adventure with you all! Be forewarned, I love bad puns and corny jokes…..