The Northwest Mountain School Guide Staff 


In addition to John & Olivia Race, the Northwest Mountain School utilizes a variety of other guides. These local climbers are selected for their climbing skills, their ability to provide a professionally run program, and personalities that make any day of climbing or skiing enjoyable. The basic requirements for employment include a minimum of a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification and a CPR certification. While American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) training and certification is not required for work with Leavenworth Rock Guides or Northwest Mountain School, it is preferred. As the US is not yet a credential based system (i.e. where guides are required to be certified) it is expected that individuals will do some guiding prior to obtaining their certification and we are happy to provide a venue for these excellent guides to work toward AMGA certification.

Jared Bonea 

Jared’s climbing adventures began at 16 in California with a chalk bag and a pair of converse. A steady diet of climbing mags and Trad classics by Robbins, Chouinard and Long soon took him to the Big walls of Yosemite and later to crags, travels, and employment on each of the seven continents. Jared’s love of adventure and passion for creating a safe, exciting, and engaging experience form the foundation of his guiding resume. Jared holds a B.A. and Graduate Certificate in Linguistics and when not guiding works as a professional Firefighter/Paramedic (IAFF). Jared is also a Wilderness/High Altitude rated paramedic, FEMA rated Disaster Medical Specialist and Emergency Medical and Technical Rescue educator. Jared holds AVI II certification, and is a Leave no Trace Trainer. He lives in Tacoma, WA with his wife and two young daughters.

Tico Gangulee 

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AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine
Tico is a native of upstate New York, and started learning to climb in the Gunks in the early 90’s. Since then, he’s visited all 50 states and climbed rock in 41 of them, and is still learning subtleties and tactics in the art of climbing. Highlights of his career include helping to lead the first disabled Nose-in-a-day, spending way too much time in the desert, and shredding the champagne powder of his current home in Utah. Tico has a BA from the University of Pennsylvania, is a WFR, has completed an AIARE Level 3 course, and is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide.

Kurt Hicks 

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Kurt Hicks
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AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine
Kurt is an AMGA Certified Alpine and Rock Guide. From his Seattle home base, he guides full-time, year-round throughout the United States and Canada. Kurt has a degree in Resource Recreation and Tourism and is also an AIARE avalanche instructor. When he’s not out guiding and instructing, he enjoys climbing new routes in the Cascades and exploring the region's phenomenal ski touring.


Joel Kauffman 

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Joel Kauffman
Joel’s passion for climbing has led him on many exploits to the premier rock and ice venues. Alpine regions especially inspire and influence him. Joel has climbed internationally in Argentine Patagonia, the Italian Dolomites and Canada, as well as traveled to Mexico, Dominican Republic, Switzerland, and Austria. Joel usually spends the winter climbing in Patagonia then two months in the Alaska Range before returning to work each summer for NMS. Joel has lately been working to hone his off-width technique and recently succeeded in climbing Fitzroy in Patagonia. Joel attended the University of Montana, Missoula where he received a B.A. in Biology with an emphasis on Ecology (2004) as well as an education in the climbing to be had in the state that literally means “mountainous.”

Andres Marin 

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AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine
Andres is from Ibague, Colombia and learned to climb in the central mountains of Colombia. Andres came to the United States in pursuit of the AMGA/IFMGA certification, with the goal of becoming the first Colombian IFMGA guide. After his certification process is finished, he plans to take his education back to the guides in Colombia. Andres’ philosophy is to be kind, be happy, and try hard. A recipient of the Mugs Stump Grant, Andres has represented the US in the Ice Climbing World Cup for the past 3 years. He is currently an AMGA certified Rock and Alpine Guide and working towards his ski certification. Andres has a very deep personal climbing resume including difficult mixed lines (up to M12), and challenging big walls in Yosemite, Zion, the Fisher Towers, and Columbia. He has guided on Denali and Mt. Rainier for many years now.

Chris Meder 

Chris Meder | Northwest Mountain School Guide
Chris Meder
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, numerous other peaks in the Washington Cascades, Mexico and Nepal. When not guiding, he spends time exploring the Cascades on backcountry skiing and climbing trips. Climbing and skiing have also taken him to most of the western U.S., Canada, France, New Zealand, and Thailand. He holds an Avalanche Level II certification and is a Wilderness First Responder. Chris also holds an engineering degree that gets used intermittently.

Ian Nicholson 

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Ian Nicholson
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AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine
Ian's intense focus on climbing began in 1998. Ian's drive has taken him into the Kichatna Spires of Alaska and the Waddington Range of British Columbia to help establish first ascents with the help of two Mountain Fellowship Grants from the American Alpine Club. He has also made extensive trips through much of the Western United States and abroad in places like the Alaska Range, French Alps, Yosemite, Patagonia, Zion, the B.C. Coast Range, the Tetons, and the Canadian Rockies just to name a few. In his home state of Washington he has put up over a half dozen first ascent both in the mountains as well as the on the crags. Ian is a certified AMGA Rock and Alpine Guide, an AIARE level 1 avalanche instructor, a Wilderness First Responder, as well as AIARE level 3 certified. Ian continues to pursue full IFMGA professional guide certification. He is also newly associated with the American Safe Climbing Association after replacing nearly 100 bolts in the last 2 1/2 years. Ian's uncontrollable enthusiasm is always showing, no matter the objective, no matter the weather he is always excited to be out in the mountains.

Nick Pope 

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Nick Pope
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IFMGA Licensed Guide
Nick began climbing in 1986 and started guiding in 2003. He completed his full IFMGA certification in the Spring of 2011. Enjoying a wide spectrum of climbing and skiing, his travels have taken him from skiing in the Alps to the big walls of Yosemite, from Canadian Rockies ice to Sierra Nevada alpine rock, as well as many places in between. Nick guides climbing and skiing in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest and Europe. He is an active volunteer with Portland Mountain Rescue and is a Wilderness First Responder. He has completed his AIARE Level III Avalanche Course and is a Course leader for AIARE Level 1 courses.Nick's Photos.

Dale Remsberg 

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Dale Remsberg
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IFMGA Licensed Guide
Dale is an internationally licensed Mountain Guide (IFMGA) and Technical Director of the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). Never one to focus on a single aspect of climbing, Dale is an accomplished all around climber with high-end skills that cover all disciplines of climbing including; sport, trad, mixed, ice and alpine. His passion depends on the season, feeling equally happy on WI6, M8 or 5.12. Whether climbing in Switzerland, climbing his local crags in Eldorado Canyon, seeking perfect untracked powder around the world, or mastering techniques for classic ice routes in the Canadian Rockies, Dale loves helping both new and experienced climbers and skiers achieve their goals. Whatever his endeavor, Dale's quiet determination and love of the mountains will generally ensure success with a smile on his face.

Austin Shannon 

Austin Shannon | Northwest Mountain School Guide
Austin Shannon
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. One of the most influential times in his life was when he spent a semester in Patagonia, Chile with the National Outdoor Leadership School where he learned to be comfortable and survive in any outdoor environment. Austin is a certified Leave No Trace educator and a Wilderness First Responder. He has now returned to the Northwest to further his passion for being in the outdoors.Austin has been working as a professional mountain guide since 2008.  Since his beginning as a guide he has worked all over the Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California--as well as Alaska and Mexico.   Austin continues to further his professional development through the AMGA working to attain his IFMGA certification.    

Einar Steinarsson 

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Einar Steinarsson
Einar began his guiding carrier in 2001 training the U.S Marine corps for winter survival in the unpredictable terrain of Iceland and Greenland. He quickly realized that there was something to this business of guiding. After somewhat exhausting his mountain resources in Iceland he traveled to the French Alps to seek some further experience. After that followed New Zealand, British Columbia, South America and the U.S.. He now resides in beautiful Leavenworth, WA with his wife and son during the fall and winter months. Einar mostly enjoys the vast expanses of glaciated and alpine terrain however he is slowly but surely gaining appreciation for the Cascade trees. He has multiple Ice-climbing first ascents in Iceland along with alpine and skiing first ascents and descents in Greenland. Einar has completed the Canadian Avalanche Associations Level 2, Module 3 training, he is a Wilderness First Responder and is actively pursuing IFMGA certification through the AMGA.

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