request reservation
FOR THE ADVENTURER THAT LIKES IT

Our Guides

Whether on one of our Grand Canyon hikes, Yosemite backpacking trips or an Olympic National Park hiking tour there will always be a Just Roughin' It guide with you. Our guides have over 80 hours of Wilderness Medical Training to ensure your safety on your Grand Canyon backpacking trip, Yosemite hiking trip or Olympic hike. "I honestly don't think we're going to find the Grand Canyon on this road." "Jesus, it's only the biggest %^@-*&%@ hole in the world!" - Ellen and Clark Griswald

Just Roughin' It was started in 2006 by Ray and myself (Debbie) Hendricks.  Ray is a corporate refugee with an MBA and 15 years experience in a Fortune 500 company and I have 5 years experience in marketing also in a Fortune 500 company, with 12 years in teaching Exercise Science and personal training and the same number of years in post-graduate education attempting to finish a PhD - yikes!  It is the years of backpacking and the love for the wilderness and getting "lost" in Mother Nature  - and just a touch of insanity - that drove us to start this company.  Getting away from the real world and finding your own mental and physical strength to leave the creature comforts of civilization and learn something big (or small) about yourself when depending on your own motivation and physical ability while in the outdoors is important for anyone's well-being and is what we hope guests come away with from our trips. And if you don't come out with pure inspiration, then at least you will have pure perspiration. 

Our staff will set you up on backpacking and hiking journey you will never forget!   From booking at our corporate office, food and gear set up at our regional locations and the trip lead by our expert, wilderness guides that make the outdoors their second home. On a guided tour with Just Roughin’ It you’ll not only get to experience the best hikes in the Grand Canyon or the best hikes in Yosemite, but you’ll get to experience some of our guides favorite hikes and trails.

Finding the Grand Canyon is not an issue for our guides, they know where it is! In fact, we have extensive knowledge of some of the most beautiful places in the Southwest and West coast. We know of the touristy hotspots as well as secluded backcountry areas you won't find in any guidebook. So expect to have an awesome adventure - and know that we have your safety in mind at all times. Our guides have:

  • At least 80 hours of Wilderness First Responder (this means we are trained to handle all kinds of emergencies in remote settings)
  • CPR
  • Food Handlers

All of our guides are experienced, love the outdoors, had lives before guiding and probably used to live some place else.  Therefore, instead of boring you with the typical sappy story about "falling in love with Grand Canyon when I came out for the first time with my Boy Scout group," we provide just a few tidbits of information that you may never think to ask (except for the owners - we get to talk about oursleves more because we control website content).

Oh, and if you don't see any information listed for a particular guide, that is because they are either in the backcountry so much that they can't get their information to us, or they are in the witness protection program.

 

Adam Arrington (Wilderness Guide) - Phoenix Area 

"The older you get, the more rules they are going to try to get you to follow. You just gotta keep livin' man, L-I-V-I-N." - Wooderson, Dazed and Confused

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 20+

Other relevant experience: Firefighter/US Navy

Licenses/certifications: EMT, CPR, various firefighter/outdoor certs

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Mount Whitney

I became a guide because: I love the trails....

Day job: Scottsdale Fire Department 

While indoors I spend my time: With my family (my wife and 4 children). I am also teaching myself the bass guitar. Im no good, but when nobody is listening, I ROCK! 

Piece of gear I cannot live without: IPOD and shoes. 

If I had a million dollars I would: Disappear for a while. 

College/University: GCU

One wish: Wish I could own a cabin by the sea and a really fas car to get me there...

 


Zach Bailey (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon and Paria Canyon

"Some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious ambiguity..." - Gilda Radner

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 5

Other relevant experience: Military Service

Licenses/certifications: Wilderness First Responder, CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Grand Bara - Djibouti.

I became a guide because... I want to share my love of the outdoors with others - one that's life changing.

Ideal date: Cheap, fun and full of surprises.

The one thing in life I cannot live without: Sugar.

Piece of gear I cannot live without: Shemagh.

If I wasn't a guide, I would be a... A guy that is outdoors a lot.

College/University: Pittsburg State University

Favorite food: Pizza


Danny Bark (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 10+

Other relevant experience: Experienced bicyclist, kayaker, rafter and climber.

Licenses and certifications: WFR, CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Havasu Falls

I became a guide because...I love sharing unique experiences with others and making those experiences as rewarding as possible.

Favoite food: Butter.

If I had a million dollars, I would...hire a chef.

Destination I would most like to visit: India.

If my life were a movie, it would be called: The Dude Abides.

College/university: The Evergreen State College.

Most people don't know...I played tennis in high school.


Ryan Bee (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon and Phoenix Area

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 10

Other relevant experience: River guide and ski patrol.

Licenses and certifications: WFR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Havasupai (Havasu Falls)

I became a guide because... I enjoy showing people new places.

1st concert: Beastie Boys

While indoors, I spend my time... Surfing the net and reading.

Destination I'd most like to visit: India/Nepal

Most people don't know that I... Love to play chess.

College/University: Northern Arizona University

Best Memory: Backpacking through Thailand


Lindsay Black (Wilderness Guide) - Yosemite

"Feet, why do I need them if I have wings to fly?" - Frida Kahlo

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 10+

Other relevant experience: Ranger for National park and Forest Services throughout the Sierra Nevada, rock climbing, hiking and canyoneering.

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: North Slope in Alaska

I become a guide because...I want to give people a chance to see the wild outdoors like I do, and learn to respect it.

Favorite sport: Ultimate Frisbee.

Most people do not know that I...am a bird nerd, y que yo soy bilingual.

Destination I would most like to visit: The Black Sea.

Day Job: Nursing School.

Favorite food: Olives, which go nicely with Pinot and cheese.

College/university: University of Kansas, Hartnell College.


Erin Brugler (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon

"I am the best person ever, love me." - Uncredited

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 5

College/University: Hocking College

Other relevant experience: 2 week canoe trip on the Rio Grande

Licenses/certifications: WFR, dive master

Favorite hiking/backpacking adventure: Going to Big Ben and hiking Emory Park

I became a guide because: I love nature, being actie and sharing it with everyone I can.

Pet Peeve: People who are too loud on the trail

While indoors I spend my time: Reading or practicing yoga

Piece of gear I cannot live without: My lucky headback!

If I wasn't a guide I would be a...: Beach Bum

Lifetime goal: To touch the Ecuador

Five years ago I was: Living in Belgium

Most people would say I am: Always happy

Most people don't know that I: Like to wake up really early


David Cassidy (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon

"Leave it as it is.  The ages have been at work upon it, and man can only mar it." - Teddy Roosevelt speaking at Grand Canyon.

Years of hiking experience:  11

Other relevant experience: River guide

Licenses and certifications: WFR, CPR, Swiftwater Rescue

Favorite adventure: My first backpacking trip in Grand Canyon, Hermit to BA.

I became a guide because...it allows me to do what I love most in the place that I love most.

The one thing in life I cannot live without: Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Piece of gear I cannot live without: A spoon...to eat my Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Favorite food: Could you guess? Ben & Jerry's!

Best accomplishment: Eating a gallon at a Ben & Jerry's in about five minutes.

If I wasn't a guide, I would be a: Scooper at a Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop.

College/university: Ben & Jerry's University

 


Lindsay Rea Clements (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon

"It feels good to say 'I know the Sierra' or 'I know Point Reyes.' But you don't. What you know better is yourself, and the Sierra and Point Reyes have helped." - Terry and Renny Russell 

Years of hiking/backpacking experience:  It has been a family affair my whole life! 

Other relevant experience: For 1.5 years I worked as a guide for a wilderness therapy company in Vermont, helping teens and young adults built positive coping skills and self confidence through nature. 

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR, Climbing Wall Instructor 

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Getting lost in the Northern Cascades and ending up finding a bivouac site just outside a burn area and having a meteor show light up the sky as I went to sleep. 

I became a guide because: I love sharing the outdoors with others and helping people to realize how much they are capable of. Every trip I lead I get to see the world through a different lens. 

Pet Peeve: When someone leaves the tab pulled up on the bathtub faucet so you turn on the tub and get sprayed by the shower.  

While indoors I spend my time: Reading everything from comis to psychological journals, writing in my journal and watching movies. 

The one thing in life I cannot live without: Stories and myths. I love hearing or reading other people's stories, real and fictional.  

To regroup from hikes: Chow down on chicken fingers and mashed potatoes with garlic and cheese. 

Five years from now, I plan to: Be working as a therapist for a wilderness program or a boarding school. 

Destination I'd most like to visit: Right now I am obsessed with Iceland. 

College/Univeristy: Texas A&M University 


Gregor Cork (Wilderness Guide) - Yosemite

"May you live every day of your life." - Jonathan Swift

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 22

Other relevant experience: Eagle Scout, camping trips near the Sierra Buttes, 7 years of rock climbing experience

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Solor three day hike up Lyell Canyon

I became a guide because: I love being outside and find a particular joy in getting new people out into some beautiful areas.

Day job: REI sales associate

Pet peeve: Cell phones in the wilderness.

Piece of gear I cannot live without: Climbing shoes and a rope

If I wasn't a guide, I would be an: Illustrator or sculptor

If I were a rock start, I'd be: John Williams

Five years ago I was: In Santa Cruz, doing sculpture

Destination I would most like to visit: Spain

College/University: University of California: Santa Cruz

Most people don't know that I: Play Piano


Clay Davenport (Wilderness Guide) - Yosemite

"Who is the happier man; he who has braved the storm of life or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?" - Hunter S. Thompson

Years of hiking/backapcking experience: 10+

Other relevant experience: Whitewater Rafting Guide, Bacpacking Instructor for ROCS.

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR, Swift Water Rescue, Leave No Trace Trainer.

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Torres del Paine in Chile hiking the "W."

I became a guide because...I need to be outside!

Best accomplishment: Spanning the length of Chile.

If I wasn't a guide, I would be a...sailing captain.

Biggest fear: Smart phones.

Five years ago, I was...working for a law firm.

College/University: Vanderbilt.

To recoup from hikes, I...wear flip flips.


Adam Delaney (Wilderness Guide) - Phoenix Area

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 13

Other relevant experience: 6 years Marine Corps Infantry

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR, Instructor of Water Survival

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Salome/The Jug, Grand Canyon.

I became a guide because: I love the outdoors; it brings a sense of oneness and wholeless to the mind and the body.  

1st Concert: Roger Waters...The Wall. 

Day job: Mercedes Mechanic

Pet peeve: People who pick at their nails. Bite, cut or do nothing! 

While indoors I spend my time: with video games or studying for my EMT Cert. 

The one thing in life I cannot live without: My wife and my dog....in the order. 

Favorite food: Peanut butter! Goes great with eggs and bacon. 

Best accomplishment: Scout Sniper Guide with 2nd Recon

Ideal date: Braed, cheese, wine, beach. 'Nough said! 

Biggest fear: Clowns and dolls. 

Destination I'd most like to visit: re-visit the Maldeeves


Debbie Hendricks (Owner/Operator and Wilderness Guide) - Everywhere!

"It is not worthwhile to keep history from repeating itself, for man's character will always make the preventing of the repetitions impossible." - Mark Twain

"I think I'm gonna barf!" - Marge Gunderson

I am a true Arizona native. I was born in Scottsdale and grew up in Tempe, AZ, spending a few of my rebellious years in the Verde Valley. I was only 9 months when I first visited the Grand Canyon. After completing my degree in Marketing at Arizona State University, I worked in the corporate world, making a quick escape after 4 years to return to school full-time; first in pre-med but then decided to commit to Political Science and History. I am now an all but dissertation (ABD) PhD candidate at Arizona State University, studying American Foreign Policy post 1945 with a specialty in the Cold War and Vietnam. I also have 14 years experience in the fitness industry, ACE (American Council on Excercise) certified and currently teaching as an Adjunct Professor in Exercise Science.

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 10+

Day job: Just Roughin' It and Adjunct Professor at Mesa Community College

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Grand Canyon - South Bass

First concert: Cheap Trick - backstage

The one thing in life I cannot live without: Oxygen

Favorite food: Dessert

If I were a rock star, I'd be: I am a rock star!

The soundtrack of my life would be: Twilight Zone

If my life were a movie, it would be called: The Misfits

Favorite sport: Rugby


Ray Hendricks (Owner/Operator and Wilderness Guide) - Everywhere!

"Buy the ticket, take the ride." - Hunter S. Thompson

I am a native New Yorker. Born and raised near the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York, I hiked all over the northeast before moving to Arizona a decade ago. I am a corporate refugee with over 15 years experience in the insurance industry before diving into the ocean of small business ownership in 2006. I hold a BS in finance from the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MBA from Arizona State University.

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 30+

Other relevant experience: Leading friends on bushwacks in the Catskill Mountains of NY. I was also a corporate trainer and have customer service experience.

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Hermit Canyon in Grand Canyon - there are many historic sites and other cool out of the way places to explore.

I became a guide because... I always wanted to make a living doing something I love.

First concert: The Ramones in 1980

The one thing in life I cannot live without: Coffee, I get a headache by noon if I don't get my fix.

Piece of gear I cannot live without: French Press (of course!)

If I were a rock star, I'd be... Jimi Hendrix, although Jimmy Page would be really cool as well.

The soundtrack of my life would be... "Changes" by David Bowie.

Favorite sport: Dressage.


Silus A. Hendricks (The Bunny/Paper Shredder) - Corporate

"I have to think as Bugs Bunny, not of Bugs Bunny." - Chuck Jones

Years of experience: <1 but it's in the genes.

1st concert: Echo and the Bunnymen

Favorite movie: Monty Python and the Holy Grail - the killer bunny part is AWESOME!

While indoors, I spend my time...chewing everything I can find.

If I were a rockstar, I would be...Bun E. Carlos (Cheap Trick).

Destination I would most like to visit: Easter Island.

Most people would say I am...cute and oh so fluffy!

 


Cody Ferguson (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon and Phoenix Area

"The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them; that is the essance of humanity." - George Bernard Shaw

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 20+

Other relevant experience: Rock Climbing, Fly-Fishing, Whitewater Rafting, Mountain Biking and Teaching

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR, PhD in History

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Five day epic adventure across the Northern Rockies in Montana from the Sun River to Holland Lake

I became a guide because...I was young and needed money...AND I love showing people incredible places! 

If I wasn't a guide, I would be a...hedge fund manager.

One wish: No more student loans!

Destination I'd most like to visit: Patagonia.

Most people don't know that I...was 2nd runner up in Eagle Scout of the year in Eastern Washington in 1996.

College/University: Arizona State University, Northern Arizona University, Caroll College


Jayci Ferrimani (Wilderness and Rock Climbing Guide) - Grand Canyon and Paria Canyon; Joshua Tree

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 16

Other relevant experience: Climbing/Canyoneering

Licenses/certifications: WRF, CPR, AMGA Climbing Guide

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Denali National Park, Alaska

Day job: Guide and Guitar Teacher

While indoors, I spend my time...Reading up for my next adventure.

Greatest accomplishment: Climbing the Tooth - the largest sandstone formation in the world.

If I were a rockstar, I'd be...myself with better hair.

The soundtrack of my life would be...Ground Control to Major Tom.

College/University: Berklee College of Music

 


Lucy Green (Wilderness Guide) - Yosemite

"For chrissake folks, what is this life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare? Eh? Take off your shoes for a while, unzip your fly, piss heartily, dig your toes in the hot sand, feel that raw and rugged earth, split a couple of toenails, draw blood! Why not?" - Edward Abbey

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 15

Other relevant experience: Hiking and backpacking numerous National Parks writing newspaper articles about national parks.

Licenses/certifications: Wilderness First Responder, CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: John Muir Trail

I became a guide because... I love wilderness.  I love walking in the weilderness. I love walking in the weilderness with other people and watching the mountains work their magic.  What better way to do this than be with a guide?

Day Job: Writer/College English Instructor

Piece of gear I cannot live without: My Leatherman paocket tool.

To recoup from hikes, I ... take an unscrupulously long shower.

College/University: BA - University North Carolina; MFA - Penn State University

If I were a rock star, I'd be... Eddie Vedder.

If my life were a movie, it would be called... "Her Hippie Phase Lasted Longer Than We Thought It Would". 


JP Jackson (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon and Yosemite

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 3+

Other relevant experience: Whitewater river guide.

Licenses/certifications: WFR, WFA, CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Glacier National Park Chalet trip

I became a guide because...I loved my backpacking trips so much that I want to share the expereince with others.  Also, I started backpacking in summer camp and high school programs and I enjoy teaching and leading youth in the back country.

1st concert: Modest Mouse

Day job: Calculus and stats tutor, GIS techie.

Destination I'd most like to visit: Nepal

Biggest fear: Dinosaurs

College/university: Wittenberg University

To recoup from hikes, I...eat peanut butter, nutella and banana sandwiches.


Joe Jesatko (Wilderness Guide, Rockclimbing Guide) - Phoenix Area

Years of hiking/backpacking/climbing experience: 25

Other relevant experience: NOLS graduate '97, 6 years professional guide experience (hiking, biking, rock climbing, canyoneering, whitewater rafting), 7 years as a FireFighter/NREMT-Paramedic, Technical Rescue Awareness Qualified

Licenses/certifications: NOLS graduate, ASHI CPR/First Aid Instructor, NREMT-Paramedic, International Trauma Life Support

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Anything that takes me out in the wonders of nature and challenges me physically, mentally, and technically. 

I became a guide because: I have a real passion for the outdoors and adventure sports. It has been a driving force giving my life direction and fulfillment for as long as I can remember. Guiding gives me a chance to share my experience and knowledge and turn others on to a world that they have only seen on TV. 

Day job: Firefighter/Paramedic

Pet peeve: The inability of our society to un-plug from the virtual world. 

Piece of gear I cannot live without: My brain. 

If I wasn't a guide, I would be: A much rounder version of myself. 

If I had a million dollars I would: Open a rock gym. 

College/University: BS/BA from Frostburg State University, MPH University of South Florida

If I could meet one person, dead of alive, it would be: Buddha. 


Avi Katz (Rockclimbing Guide) - Joshua Tree, Phoenix Area

Years of climbing and other relevant experience: 2 NOLS courses, experience working in climbing gym, college outdoor programs, and in parks and rec.

Licenses/certifications: AMGA, SPI, PCIA SPI, WMI WFR, AIARE Avalance 1

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Backpacking for 30 days in the Northern Talkeetna Mountains of Alaska

I became a guide because: I love teaching others and seeing clients surprise themselves with their own abilities.

1st Concert: Barenaked Ladies (9th grade) at Madison Square Garden with my father and brother

Pet peeve: When people say "I can't" before they've tried.

Favorite food: Costco family sized box of popsicles.

If I wasn't a guide I would be...A sad person.

Lifetime goal: Become a IFMGA certified guide.

The soundtrack of my life would be:  Elvis Costello and the Attraction

Biggest fear: Giant Octopi

One wish: For more wishes!

 


Kevin Jones (Wilderness Guide) - Olympic, Grand Canyon and Yosemite

"The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders." - Edward Abbey 

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 8

Other relevant experience: Degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR, Leave No Trace trainer, Swiftwater Rescue Technician.

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Eagle Cap Wilderness, Lakes Basin Area, OR.

I became a guide because...John Muir was right - going into the wilderness is going home.  I feel it true for myself, and want to help others realize its truth for themselves.  Nature is good medicine and makes good, good sense!.

Best Accomplishment: A 3-month solo, self-contained bicycle tour of Norway to explore its Nature, culture and my heritage.

If I wasn't a guide, I would be a...full time studio muscician.

Five years from now I plan to...have thru-hiked the PCT and ridden by bicycle from Mexico to Canada.

College/university: Portland State University

If my life were a movie, it would be called..."Danger Jones and the Perpetual Pursuit of Freedom.". 


Matt Kalina (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon, Phoenix Area

"It's more fun to be a pirate than to join the navy." - Steve Jobs 

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 20

Other relevant experience: Enjoy wilderness traverses, trail running, peak bagging, ridge running, water hikers, canyoneering, exploration treks, alpine and everything in between from backpacking to ultra runs. 

Licenses/certifications: AWA, CPR, Basic Sailing Certificate, PADI Open Water Diver

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Fording a glacial river in Denali National Park, Alaska. 

Day job: Account director for a strategic marketing agency in Phoenix 

Favorite food: Sushi and rutabagas. Seriously. 

To regroup from hikes, I: Jump in the pool. 

If I were a rock star, I'd be: Opening for the Stones in Australia. 

Lifetime goal: Sail to all major islands in the Carribean, including Cuba. 

Favorite holiday: Carnival, Mardi Gras and Cinde de Mayo.  

Biggest Fear: An empty bottle of Tabasco while in the backcountry. 


Joe Keyser (Wilderness Guide) - Yosemite

"The mountains are calling and I must go." - John Muir

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 30

Other relevant experience: Contra Costa County Search and Rescue Mountain Rescue Group

Licenses/certifications: Federal and CA certified EMT, Wilderness EMT

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Nelson to Emeric Lake in Yosemite.

I became a guide because...I love the weilderness and enjoy helpinh others experience it.

While indoors, I spend my time...playing with my dog and reading adventure literature.

Favorite food: Cheese, pretty much all kinds.

Best accomplishment: Finding a lost hunter on a search and rescue mission who was within hours of freezing to death and assisting his evacuation.

Destination I'd most like to visit: the Himalayas.

College/University: Washington State and Cal State East Bay

Most people don't know that I...went to college on a tuba scholarship.


Steve Klefstad (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon and Paria Canyon

"The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 7+

Other relevant experience: Grand Canyon River Guide, completed nine marathons, completed TransAmerica Trail Cross Country bike trip

Licenses/certifications: Wilderness First Responder, CPR, First Aid, Food Handler's

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Any night spent below the rim is a good night.

I became a guide because... I enjoy sharing with others the Canyon I know and love.

Day job: I've heard about those...

Piece of gear I cannot live without: My Chaco Flips. Taking off my hiking boots at the end of the day and slipping into my flip flops feels so good it should be illegal.

While indoors, I spend my time... Watching sports.

Favorite food: Lasagna

College/University: Purdue University

Best accomplishment... Is yet to come.

 


Canon Luerkens (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon and Phoenix Area

"Be the change you want to see in the world." - Not Ghandi

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 17

Other relevant experience: Cyclist, Fisherman, Cross-Country Skier, Mountaineer, and Rock Climber.

Licenses and Certifications: WFR, CPR.

Favorite hike/backpackpacking adventure: East to West traverse of Bob Marshall Wilderness, Montana.

I became a guide because: I love the outdoors and love to help people experience the backcountry.

1st concert: New Kids on the Block - they were cool in 1999!

Favorite Food: Calamari. olives, all things Mediterranean.

Best Accomplishment: Tri-lingual: Spanish, Danish and English.

If I were a rock star, I'd be: David Byrne.

Five years from now... I plan to be a nurse and a father.

Biggest Fear:  Faulty climbing equipment.

College/university: Carroll College

Most people don't know that I...am a great yo-yoer.


Ryan Materi (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon

One final paragraph of advice, don't wear yourselves out... - Edward Abbey

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 7+

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR, Leave No Trace Master Educator

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: An evening hike to a cliff top on Sucia Island and watching a pod of Orcas below us as the sun set.

I became a guide because...I want to be outdoors constantly and share it with others.

To recoup from hikes, I...go on more hikes.

The soundtrack of my life would be: The Beatles catalog

Favorite holiday: Winter Solstice

College/university: University of Montana

Favorite sport: Hockey

 


Sam Messe (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon, Olympic and Yosemite

"To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 15

Other relevant experience: Worked as a National Park Ranger in Olympic and Yosemite, Wildland Fire and SAR operations.

Licenses/certifications: EMT, Wilderness EMT, CPR, Lifeguard

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Solo 50 mile loop over 4 mounatin passes in Olympic National Park.

I became a guide because...I enjoy introducing people with varied backgrounds to the wild lands that I love and respect.  The adventure and perspective that is gained from venturing into the wilderness and stepping back from the 'normal' day to day is an experience everyone needs.  Instilling the love of nature and Leave No Trace while completing a sweet adventure with our life on our back is an empowering physical and mental accomplishment! I look forward to sharing that with you!

The one thing in life I cannot live without: Rainy day hikes.

Best accomplishment: Traveling to China to run cross country with USA Track and Field.

Piece of gear I cannot live without: a bandana!

Favorite sport: Ultimate Frisbee.

College/university: San Francisco University

If I were a superhero, I would...: be able to swim underwater unassisted to any depth for as long as I want. (Aquaman?)


Dillon Metcalf (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon

"Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness. genius, power, and magic in it." - Unknown (not Goethe)

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 15

Other relevant experience: National Park Ranger at Grand Canyon, local ecology studies, canyoneering, rock climbing and trail construction.

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: The Dusky Track - Fjordlands National Park, New Zealand

1st concert:  Metallica

Pet peeve: Pre-recorded music blaring from tiny little iPhone speakers on the trail.

Lifetime goal: Constant improvement.

The soundtrack of my life would be: Back in the Saddle Again - Aerosmith.

To recoup from hikes, I...watch movies, eat pizza and drink beer.

College/University: Prescott College

 

 


Steve O'Driscoll (Trip Coordinator) - Yosemite

"Looking is a gift, but seeing is a power." - Jeff Berner

1st Concert: Stinkaholic

If I were a rock star, I would be...famous.

Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving.

Most people would say I'm...tall.

One wish: Unlimted plane tickets.

Favorite sport: Football.

College/university: Palomar in San Diego.


Ken Parker (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon and Phoenix Area

A witty saying proves nothing. - Oscar Wilde

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 15

Other relevant experience: BA Psychology

Licenses/certifications: WFR, SCUBA

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Kelly Canyon/Salome Jug/Grand Canyon

I became a guide because...Nature is therapy for the soul. Helping people find themselves in the wilderness is a dream opportunity for me.

Day job: Behavorial Health Provider

Favorite Food: Leftovers

Five years ago, I was...2.5 million minutes younger.

The soundtrack of my life would be: John Philip Sousa marching music.

College/university: Arizona State University

Favorite sport: Rugby and Paintball


Jonathan Reckling (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 14

Other relevant experience: 12 years experience rock climbing and guiding

Licenses/certifications: Wilderness First Responder, CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: I like it all!

I became a guide because... my love for the wilderness, and the more time outside the better.

First Concert: Tom Petty

Pet Peeve:  Other people's pet peeves, get over it!

The one thing I cann ot live without: Sunshine.

Five years ago, I was...a dirtbag climbing bum.

Favorite Holiday: Thanksgiving.

If I could meet one person dead or alive its would be: Thomas Jefferson


Patrick "Rico" Riley (Wilderness Guide) - Phoenix Area

"You drive halfway across the country in the wrong direction and go and pull a stunt like this....and totally redeem yourself."  - Dumb and Dumber

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 20

Other relevant experience: 4 Time Hawaii Ironman finisher

Licenses/certifications: EMT, Series 7, 65, 63

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Wolf Cave Bloomington, IN

I became a guide because: I love being outdoors

1st concert: INXS

Pet Peeve: People with closed minds

While indoors, I spend my time: Catching up on Netflix shows

Favorite food: Grilled Cheese!

Best accomplishment: Top 100 finisher in Inronman World Championship

If I wasn't a guide I would be: Fishing on the Bering Sea

If I had a million dollars: I would buy a monkey.

Most people would say I am: Obsessed with bicycles.

One wish: That the new Star Wars movies won't suck

If I could meet one person, dead or alive, it would be: John F. Kennedy

 


Stephanie Schmitt (Wilderness Guide) - Olympic

"You can't really be strong until you see the funny side to things." - Ken Kesey

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 7

Other relevant experience: Ski Instructor, Rock Climber

Licenses/certifications: WFR, CPR, Level II Ski Instructor

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Tantalus Mountains, British Columbia

I became a guide because...my love for the outdoors is at its strongest when it cam be shared with others.

While indoors I spend my time...knitting and playing board games.

Best accomplishment: In middle school I could name all the major bones in the human body in eight seconds.

If I were a rock star, I would be...lip-syncing.

Favorite holiday: Talk Like a Pirate Day.

College/University: University of British Columbia.

If I could meet one person, dead or alive, it would be...Alex Trebek. Mustache optional.

 

 


Peter Tagala (Wilderness Guide, Rockclimbing Guide) - Phoenix Area

"Punctuality is the thief of time"

Years of hiking/backpacking/climbing experience: 15+ years

Other relevant experience: Mtn biker, rock climber

Licenses/certification: CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Havasu Falls, Grand Canyon

I became a guide becuase: A desk job was not for me

1st concert: Diesel Boy and NOFX

Favorite food: I am fat kid deep down, all food is good food. 

If I wasn't a guide, I would (still) be: A desk jockey staring at three cubicle walls as they drain my life away. 

Ideal date: Hiking directly followed by burittos. 

Biggest fear: Drowning. 

Best memory: Fishing with my dad. 

If I were a superhero, I would: Be telekinetic. 

 

 


Megan Taylor (Wilderness Guide, Rockclimbing Guide) - Grand Canyon, Phoenix Area

"Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vison is simply passing time." - Joel Barker

Years of hiking/backpacking experience: 7

Other relevant experience: 2,185 mile Appalachian Trail thru-hike, 6 years guiding or facilitating a variety of outdoor adventures for people of all abilities and ages, 6 years teaching weaponry and survival skills to military personnel.

Licenses/certifications: WFR, Leave No Trace, AIARE (Avalanche) Level I, I.W.L.S. Mountaineering.

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: The entire states of Maine and New Hampshire on the Appalachian Trail.

I became a guide because...I'm a Natural World lover and outdoor recreation enthusiast.  I want to provide outdoor opportunities to individuals that foster a greater appreciation for outdoor recreation and the natural world utilizing the individual's interest and my knowledge.

Five years ago, I was...stationed at McConnell AFB in Wichita, KS., teaching active duty personnel how to shoot, clean, disassemble, and assemble their weapons as well as gearing up for deployment to Saudi Arabia.

Biggest fear:  Cockroaches.

Piece of gear I cannot live without:  My Jet Boil.  A cup of jo in the morning is a must have and it's ready in less than one minute!

To recoup from hikes, I...chug some water, sip some coffee, eat tons of fruits & vegetables, shower and sleep.

College/University: M.S. in Experiential Education - Minnesota State University; B.S in Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism - Southern Utah University.

Most people don't know that I...wanted to own my own Cadillac restoration shop in high school.  I made C's and D's in all my classes with the exception of auto-mechanics; always A's in auto-mechanics. "Where there's interest, there's education." - Dr. Sugata Mitra.


Keri Van Dyke (Office Manager) - Corporate

"'How far to the mountain, friend?' I asked him face to face. 'You're standing on it now' he said, 'you just don't know the place.'" -Down the Road, Robert Hunter

Growing up in western MI, I was never more than a half hours drive to a lake, a valley, a woods, an old growth forest- an adventure. My summers were spent on the shores and island and in the dunes of Lakes Michigan and Superior, and my evenings and weekends were spent exploring the woods and valleys around my home. Spending that much time outdoors does something to a person - for normal people that would be called a healthy tan, for a ginger like me - it pushed me to never settle and to continue to explore. After college I spent three years bouncing all around this country, looking for that place that would never fulfill my love for the sunshine and my wonder for nature. Texas was too big, Utah felt too empty, but Arizona was just right.

The one thing in life I cannot live without: A canine companion or two.

If I were a super hero I would be: Short for a super hero.

Pet Peeve: Plastic bags of dog poo on the sidewalks/trails. 

Destination I would most like to visit: The Burmuda Triangle.

Biggest Fear: To live a life with regrets.

Ideal date: A game of cards and a homemade meal- I'll cook, but you better do the dishes! 

While indoors I spend my time: Playing Settlers of Catan and reading the Hollows series.

Five years ago I...Thought myspace was dead. Apparently not.

Most people don't know that I: Have a crippling fear of crickets and the Christmas Grinch.

One wish: Two words: flying motorcycle.


Ben ZeigerHaag (Wilderness Guide) - Grand Canyon

Years of backpacking/hiking experience: 7

Other relevant experience: Rock Climbing, NOLS

Licenses/certifications: WFR/CPR

Favorite hike/backpacking adventure: Hiking and canyoneering in Canyonlands UT for 3 weeks.

I became a guide becuase: I learn a lot and I get to be outside in some of the most beautiful places on earth.

1st concert: The Wailers

The one thing in life I cannot live without: Humor

Piece of gear I cannot live without: Headlamp

Favorite food: Thai

If I wasn't a guide I would be: A drummer in a band.

Ideal date: Bread, cheese, wine and a beach....'nough said!

Favorite sport: Basketball