If you are interested in guiding for AAG, check out our guide training schedule.
AAG guides retain several of the following certifications, are active members in professional organizations, and maintain active training schedules.
- Wilderness First Responder: WFR
- Emergency Medical Tech: EMT
- Wilderness Emergency Medical Tech: WEMT
- Outdoor Emergency Care: OEC
- Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: CPR
Certifications and Memberships
- American Avalanche Association: AAA
- American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education: AIARE
- American Mountain Guide Association: AMGA
- International Federation of Mountain Guides Association: IFMGA
- Mountain Rescue Aspen: MRA
- National Outdoor Leadership School: NOLS
- Professional Ski Instructors of America: PSIA
Meet the Guides
Stephen began guiding with Aspen Alpine Guides in 2008 after moving from Switzerland where he spent the previous seven years training and working. He began training under an International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) guide in the Chamonix area with a concentration on glacier travel and crevasse rescue. Stephen continued with that process for the next few years while also concentrating on the skills necessary for hiking on high alpine routes. He now has a fairly comprehensive understanding of many great hut-to-hut tours within Switzerland and the neighboring alp regions, including Austria and Lichtenstein.
Stephen has been a dedicated runner since 2001 after being overwhelmingly inspired by his mothers' performance in the Marine Corps Marathon. He typically runs several marathons annually, but has been concentrating on trail running as well as long distance ultra mountain marathons, and more recently the Triathlon. He has developed a running program with elevations in excess of 12,000 ft, and has also developed a high altitude endurance training program for AAG which includes the group training runs for the Aspen Backcountry Marathon.
In the Summer Stephen guides the regional 14,000 ft peaks, day hikes, rock climbs, as well as altitude training in many disciplines. In the Winter he is a backcountry ski guide with an emphasis on basic travel skills. He also guides snowshoe tours and is a ski instructor for Aspen Ski Company on and off piste.
Stephen is a Member with Mountain Rescue Aspen (MRA) and an Individual Member with the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA) and an Alpine Level I Instructor with the Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA). He holds certifications as an Emergency Med Tech (EMT), a Wilderness Emergency Med Tech (WEMT) and a Wilderness First Responder (WFR). He is a Course Instructor at CMC in Wilderness Medicine and has completed the AIARE Level II course and is a Level I Instructor with the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).
Tim has been wandering and guiding in the mountains of Aspen for almost 25 years. Originally from New England, he made his way west in search of a little more "elbow room" and never left. Preferring to stay in the backcountry Tim guides many of Aspen Alpine Guides' wilderness hiking, backpacking, and hut to hut trips. He also is a ski instructor at Aspen Highlands, a senior field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School, and the outdoor program coordinator for Aspen Youth Experience, a non-profit organization working with at-risk youth from around the country. When not guiding or teaching Tim can usually be found fishing the streams near his cabin in the West Elk Mountains.
Adam has been guiding over ten years everything from rock climbing, multi day mountaineering trips, to white water canoe trips. His personal climbing resume is most impressive with ice climbs of Bridal Veil Falls W16, Glenwood Falls W15, Hidden Falls W14, and numerous winter ascents of Mount Washington and Mount Rainer. He has a vast array of rock climbing experience with climbs of big walls on Native Son A4 5.10 V1, the Shield A3+ 5.10 VI, the Salathe Wall C2 5.9 VI, the Nose C2 5.9 VI, the Diamond on Longs Peak, numerous routes in the Black Canyon, and many desert towers in Utah. Adam has climbed in a day the Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak, the northwest buttress of Capitol Peak, and Snowmass Peak. He also has many ski descents in the Elk range around Aspen. Adam truly is an all around alpinist that loves introducing visitors to the high peaks surrounding Aspen, Colorado.
Mark began climbing and skiing in Aspen's Elk Mountains as a teenager. Quickly addicted and always eager, he perfected the theory that “school should never get in the way of your education”—expeditions to South America, Europe, and Southeast Asia became part of his high school curriculum. Now, the days without either climbing shoes or ski boots on are few and far between—Mark works as a ski patroller and avalanche educator in the winter and a full-time mountain guide in the summer. In addition to Aspen Alpine Guides, Mark also guides for Exum Mountain Guides in Grand Teton National Park, Rainier Mountaineering, Inc. in Washington, and runs climbing and outdoor education programs for Aspen Youth Experience and the Aspen School District. Mark's mountaineering resume includes Mount McKinley, Mount Kilimanjaro, expeditions in Nepal and Bolivia, in addition to numerous ascents and ski descents throughout the western N.S., Canada, Alaska and Europe.
Mark is an AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide as well as an AMGA Certified Advanced Rock Guide. He is an American Avalanche Association Certified Instructor and holds an AIARE Level III certification, is an AIARE Level I and II Avalanche Course Leader. Medical Certification: Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) Technician and Leave No Trace trainer.
Josh is an east coast transplant coming from the Gunks of New York. He has been guiding and teaching outdoor education since 1996, and has sucessfully completed the AMGA advanced rock guides course. He also holds a BA in Outdoor Leadership from Prescott College. Josh has several successful expeditions climbing to areas such as Cirque of Unclimbables, Yukon, First Free Ascents in Patagonia, Argentina, and Mexico, Alaska. He has established over 150 first ascents of rock climbs to his credit in the desert southwest. Find out more about Josh at FiveTen.com
Avalanche instructor, AIARE trained Level I & II
Grisha's passion for the mountains started when he was a child in the Swiss Alps where he was often off exploring the alpine summits on his own. He, then, discovered the Vanoise Mountains in the French Alps where his mountaineering skills began to evolve and he discovered that he had a real talent in this field. This is when he decided to make his professional life revolve around these great outdoors. His addiction to snow, ice and rocks grew in intensity. He was lured to Chamonix, France where he settled in, back in 1980. In 1994, it was Aspen, Colorado that beckoned he and his wife. Grisha is a fervent lover of powder skiing in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and on the other beautiful mountain ranges of the world. As a professional Ski and Snowboard Instructor (ISIA), a tandem Paragliding Flight Pilot and a certified Mountain Guide (UIAGM-IFMGA-AMGA member) he has led numerous clients on many worldwide mountains and summits guiding the Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, the Drus, the Eiger, the Grand Paradis, the Dolomites, the 4000 meter summits of the Valais, Monte Rosa, the Aiguilles of Chamonix. Grisha also specializes in guiding around Aspen, Colorado and its amazing Fourteeners, as well as in far away places such as the summits of Alpamayo, Chopicalqui and Huascaran in Peru, Cotopaxi, Chimborazo in Ecuador, Lenine Peak in Kirghistan, Island Peak in Nepal and many others. It would be a pleasure for him to guide you, to help you in achieving your rock and ice climbing and skiing goals and to share the enjoyment of mountaineering in the majestic mountains of Aspen, Colorado and throughout the world.
Brian currently works full time for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center as a forecaster in the Aspen office. During the winter months he also teaches avalanche education classes and guides backcountry ski tours. His background includes more than 15 years of experience as a ski guide, rock climbing and mountaineering guide, avalanche educator, and most recently, work as an avalanche forecaster. Brian holds American Mountain Guides Association certification as a ski guide and rock instructor. Brian was also a founding member and director of the Roaring Fork Avalanche Center, a small non-profit formed to promote avalanche safety and education. He volunteers some time with Mountain Rescue Aspen as a special technical recourse during avalanche rescues in the winter. In his free time, Brian enjoys all forms of climbing, ski touring, mountain bike racing and just goofing off in his back yard of the Elk Mountains and well beyond.
Scott has been teaching avalanche education since 1984. He is and has been a professional member of the American Avalanche Association (formerly the AAAP), since 1988, a Level 2 instructor for AIARE, training officer for Mountain Rescue Aspen, Field operations for 10th Mountain huts and a backcountry ski guide for Aspen Alpine Guides.
Originally from Milwaukee, WI, Chad moved to Colorado after graduating from Lake Forest College in Chicago to pursue his dream of living in the mountains. Chad works as a year round mountain guide with Aspen Alpine Guides specializing in avalanche education and backcountry skiing. In the winter Chad can be found guiding backountry skiing, heli skiing, cat skiing and teaching avalanche safety courses throughout Colorado or Alaska. He also works as a Forecaster and Snow Safety Tech for Chicago Ridge Ski Tours and is an Avalanche Rescue Tech with Flight for Life. Outside of Colorado Chad has worked as a heli ski guide in the Chugach Range and the Kenai Mountains where he currently works for Kenai Heli Ski.Having completed the Aspirant Exam, Chad is pursing AMGA Ski Mountaineering Certification while also having completed trainings with the Canadian Ski Guide Association. He is an AIARE level 1 and 2 avalanche safety instructor and has completed the AIARE level 3 certification. Chad is also an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor.
Chad loves to share his experiences with others in the mountains. He is fascinated with snow science and is always willing share this fascination with others.
- The 7 summits: Lead, organized for a private client over 12 years the ascent of the highest peak of each continent. Everest – Asia. Aconcagua – South America. Denali – North America. Mt Vinson – Antarctica. Elbruz – Eurasia. Kosciusko – Oceania. Kilimanjaro – Africa
- Adventures to the Edge: created and directing this International mountain guide service, organizing tours worldwide. Expedition, ski touring, trekking, mountaineering, rock and ice climbing. and a guide training center for young aspiring mountain guides.
- American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education :Created, implemented. An organization dedicated to provide professional educators the latest educational materials, training courses, certification program.
- American Mountain Guide Association: Co-design the ski program curriculum, implemented course and certification program. Work as technical director for all discipline and as discipline coordinator for ski mountaineering.
- Crested Butte ski school: Director. Ran the operation and supervise 250 ski instructors of the adult ski school, children center, Nordic ski school. Organize, implement hiring training. Supervise sales office, customer relation, financial and marketing.
- Western State College extended Studies and Todd Crane center for outdoor leadership: Design and implemented mountain guide/leadership courses in the Alps design avalanche safety courses. Taught ski instructor courses. All part of the outdoor program.
- Crested Academy: work and taught for the wilderness education program, designing courses for orienteering, rescue, ice climbing, avalanche safety courses.
- Ecuadorian mountain guide association: design and taught entry level mountaineering course for mountain guides.
- Chilean mountain guide association: Design, implemented and taught entry level mountain guide course, alpine, rock and skiing discipline. Mediate the creation of the association, executive branch, technical committee and membership. On behalf of the Canadian mountain guide association.
Growing up in the Mid-West before moving to Colorado with his family in 1987, Aron had little exposure to the wild outdoors. But by the time he set out for a hike in a remote area of Utah’s canyon country in April of 2003, he was already an experienced outdoorsman, mountaineer, and skier. Seven miles into the canyon that day, Aron accidentally dislodged a boulder that crushed and pinned his right hand. After six days of entrapment alone, he freed himself with a cheap multi-tool knife and hiked to a miraculous rescue. Since his accident, Aron has written a bestselling book, spoken to audiences in 200 cities around the world, and helped develop new prosthetic devices. With his adaptive creations, Aron has returned to his outdoor passions, including his landmark mountaineering project of climbing all 59 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot-high mountains, solo, in winter. In 2008, he made the first disabled ski descent of Denali, North America’s highest mountain, and a year ago, he became the first amputee to row a raft through the Grand Canyon. Today, Aron and his wife Jessica live in Boulder, Colorado, where they are raising their newborn son, Leo. Besides consulting on the major motion picture adaptation of his book, Aron advocates for Utah and Colorado wilderness.
Ron moved to Aspen from Steamboat in 1985. He started teaching telemark and downhill skiing at Aspen Highlands in 1986 and guiding in the backcountry. Ron has now been guiding in the Aspen area for over 20 years with over 150 ascents of the Bells and Pyramid Peaks. Ron is a current full member of Mountain Rescue Association, an Individual member of the American Mountain Guides Association, a professional member of the American Avalanche Association and a Level I Instructor with the American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education. He has also been teaching avalanche courses for 20 years. When not guiding for Aspen Alpine Guides, Ron is a senior instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School where he teaches new instructor educator courses, winter backcountry courses and rock climbing. Ron loves to introduce people to the wilderness and when not doing that as a profession he can still be found in the mountains showing his daughter, Megan, this incredible environment.
Anton Sponar grew up right here in the mountains outside of Aspen. Right after he learned to walk he was put on skis and hasn’t stopped since. After a distinguished alpine ski racing career in both the United States and Europe he moved back to Aspen. He now spends his winters ski instructing, guiding and playing in the mountains surrounding Aspen. His summers are spent in Chile as the owner and lead guide of Ski Arpa Cat Skiing, www.skiarpa.com. He has his level II AAIRE and PSIA as well as WFR. He is also a member of Mountain Rescue Aspen.
Jordan grew up right here in Colorado, playing in the mountains. He got his first start climbing mountains at age 5 when he summited his first 14er. Since then he has put his time in learning the tricks and trades of the outdoor world while completing some of his own projects. Jordan spends his summers with either his rock shoes or hiking boots on, spending as much time as possible in the high alpine right here in Colorado. Winters, it is hard to find a day when his feet aren't crammed into ski boots for some adventure or another. In 2009 Jordan became the youngest and the 5th person to ski from the summit of all 54 of Colorado's 14,000 foot peaks. Jordan also guides for Ski Arpa, catskiing down in Chile. Jordan is also a member of Mountain Rescue Aspen.