Jay Whitacre, Colorado Guide Operations Manager smiling with Irwin Guides equipment behind him.
Colorado Guide Operations Manager

Jay Whitacre

Jay Whitacre grew up exploring the woods and hills of southern Indiana and moved to Crested Butte f...

Jay Whitacre grew up exploring the woods and hills of southern Indiana and moved to Crested Butte for college at Western in the summer of 1998. After graduating with a degree in Outdoor Recreation he continued to foster his love for the outdoors by guiding seasonally in California, Colorado and Utah all while coming back to CB to ski the winters. After doing this rotation for a few years, he was asked to move to Northwest Montana where he created, from scratch, an adventure program for an all-girls therapeutic boarding school. He guided extensively with schools in the Pacific Northwest and British Columbia. After systematically going through every adventure sport and activity, he decided to pursue higher education at Indiana University. After many years of education and teaching, he ended up with his PhD focused in decision-making and risk management in adventure activities. This brought him back to Crested Butte where he taught at Western Colorado University for seven years in both the recreation and outdoor education program, as well as the business school, where he helped to create and taught in the country’s first MBA program focused on the Outdoor Industry. In the spring of 2019, he decided to move away from academia and join Irwin Guides and Eleven. He still gets out on as many adventures as possible, but is now the General Manager of the largest guide service in the Gunnison Valley. Jay and his wife have two boys that keep them busy and continue to call Crested Butte home.
Elliot Manning - IG Guide
Colorado Fishing Manager

Elliot Manning

Elliot first experienced Crested Butte’s glory in 2011 when he realized that not only is this a place he w...

Elliot first experienced Crested Butte’s glory in 2011 when he realized that it is not only a place he wanted to live, but also a great place to start a career. His childhood in Florida is what originally introduced him to fishing, but Colorado is where he first picked up a fly rod…and never looked back. Determined to sink his feet in, Elliot found that fishing was a passion that he strived to focus on in his day to day life, whether it be a profession or a hobby. As one thing leads to the other, fly fishing consumed his time as he soon began guiding clients and managing the fishing operation. It's not always about fishing when there are numerous other activities to engage in, but the peace of mind that fishing brings is how he relaxes both mentally and physically. The pure joy of teaching others how to improve their game on the water is what drives him. Fly fishing is not a simple task and can be unpredictable, but when done properly there is no greater satisfaction for Elliot than releasing a fish back where it came from.
Billy Rankin - IG Guide
Guide

Billy Rankin

Billy has been an outdoor professional since 1992 when he arrived in Crested Butte with his focus o...

Billy has been an outdoor professional since 1992 when he arrived in Crested Butte with his focus on guiding and education. He began with Outward Bound and NOLS in 1994 and has led mountaineering, river, sea kayaking, and canyon courses in Colorado, Utah, Mexico, and Alaska. Billy was an avalanche forecaster for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center for 10 years and was on the board of directors. He worked for 10 years on the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol and previously worked as a snowcat ski guide for the old Irwin Lodge. He is a certified Pro 2 Avalanche Practitioner, a certified AIARE Avalanche Instructor, and also works for AIARE as an instructor trainer and on their pro instructor team. Billy is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and teaches wilderness medicine for Desert Mountain Medicine and is the owner and lead instructor of Intuition Consulting. Billy has a wonderful wife Erin, two lovely children Revi & Vasey, and when he's not guiding you can find him with his kids in the wild having fun and learning about the wonders of nature. Billy has stood on the summit of Denali and has rafted and kayaked down through the Grand Canyon on seven different trips.
Lani Bruntz - IG Guide
Guide

Lani Bruntz

Born and raised in Vail, Colorado, Lani has lived for mountain pursuits for most of her life. After racin...

Born and raised in Vail, Colorado, Lani has lived for mountain pursuits for most of her life. After racing as a Division I Collegiate nordic ski racer at Middlebury College while she studied Environmental Science and Geography, she swapped her skinny skis and immersed herself in the world of backcountry skiing and mountain biking. Racing as a professional enduro mountain biker and adventure bikepacker allowed Lani to live on the road for four years straight, getting to ride in nearly every state and almost every continent. The freedom of mountain biking, trail running and sleeping out under the stars makes her think summer is her favorite season, until the snow falls and skiing takes the limelight. Lani is entering her fifth season guiding full time for Irwin’s Cat Skiing Operation. She works as an AIARE Avalanche Instructor and nordic ski coach. Most recently, she joined the Denali Patrol as a volunteer ranger. She skis for Salomon and is supported by Patagonia and Revel Bikes, helping to allow her to travel immensely when not guiding. You can find some of her writing and film projects on Salomon TV, in the Patagonia Journals and Backcountry Magazine. She absolutely loves Crested Butte. It’s not often to catch her without an enormous smile and eager to share her favorite trails and powder stashes.
Tim Mahan - IG Guide
Guide

Tim Mahan

Tim was born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He has now been living and...

Tim was born and raised on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. He has now been living and adventuring in the mountains of the Gunnison Valley since 2011, which is where he found his passion for mountain guiding. Tim has had the opportunity to travel and work at some of Eleven's global properties which has enhanced and inspired his guiding further. You can count on him to show you a safe, enjoyable time doing mostly anything except fly fishing! Tim is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Single Pitch Instructor, AMGA Ski Guide, & ACA Swift Water Rescue Certified guide. In his free time you can find Tim in the mountains of Colorado skiing and snowmobiling powder, and exploring the alpine on anything with two wheels!
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Guide

Dylan Rome

Dylan started his fly fish guiding career in the Gunnison valley in 2011, primarily as a float...

Dylan started his fly fish guiding career in the Gunnison valley in 2011, primarily as a float fishing guide mainly on the Gunnison and Taylor rivers. When the conditions are right, he guides on various rivers and creeks in the surrounding area, including private water on Tomichi creek.

Dylan has spent three seasons in southern Patagonia of Chile working for Eleven’s Rio Palena Lodge, exploring rivers and lakes via rafts, jet boats, and helicopters in the Los Lagos region. He was one of the key fishing scouts for the lodge.

He holds a variety of certifications such as; Wilderness First Responder, Swift Water Rescue, LNT Master Educator, AIARE Level 2 Avalanche.

When Dylan is not guiding, he is archery elk hunting in Colorado, chasing redfish on the gulf coast or running whitewater. One thing most people don’t know about him is that he has an extremely green thumb and grows a mean vegetable garden during his guiding season in Gunnison.

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Guide

Sydney Dickinson

Sydney grew up in southwestern Colorado, where she learned to ski at the age of 3. Since then she...

Sydney grew up in southwestern Colorado, where she learned to ski at the age of 3. Since then she has been addicted! After earning her BS in Health and Exercise Science, Sydney moved to Crested Butte with her husband, Rob, in the summer of ’08. You will often find her mountain biking, kayaking, at the local Cross-Fit gym or the Alpineer, where she works part-time. Sydney holds a Wilderness First Responder and AIARE Avalanche 1 and 2 certifications. She is also a formidable athlete – winning the Crested Butte Telemark Extreme Championships in 2010 and 2011, as well as the Subaru Freeride Series event in 2014. Sydney is excited to share her passion for skiing and be part of the Irwin Guides team. Her specialty is cat skiing.
Conor Welsh - IG Guide
Guide

Conor Welsh

Conor was born and raised in Raleigh North Carolina. Growing up Conor frequented the...

Conor was born and raised in Raleigh, North Carolina. Growing up, Conor frequented the mountain and beach scenes before deciding to find a career in the outdoors by moving out west. He pursued two degrees at Western Colorado University; one in outdoor education and another in business administration while working as an outdoor educator on the side. Conor is Colorado raft guide trip lead certified, has his level 4 ACA swift water certification and has several rock climbing education courses under his belt. Conor enjoys rock/ice climbing, white water rafting and picking the ukulele.
Kevin Fox - IG Guide
Guide

Kevin Fox

Kevin has been based in the Gunnison Valley for a little over six years guiding everything from skiing...

Kevin has been based in the Gunnison Valley for a little over six years guiding everything from skiing to fishing. He has a passion for risk management and has helped overhaul the Colorado and Chilean programming while developing the critical incident response plan for the winter operation here in Colorado. Kevin is currently an EMT and is pursuing the AMGA tracks in all disciplines. He enjoys playing outside and bringing these experiences to his guests to help facilitate their best day ever! In his off time, Kevin will be in the mountains exploring the technical peaks Colorado has to offer while relaxing next to an alpine lake with his fly rod at the end of the day.
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Guide

Austin Noel

Austin made his way to the Gunnison valley in 2015 to attend college at Western. After three and a hal...

Austin made his way to the Gunnison valley in 2015 to attend college at Western. After three and a half years he graduated with a degree in Recreation and Outdoor Education, Outdoor Leadership and Risk Management. While attending college he spent his days fly fishing local rivers and streams and skiing the famous Crested Butte Extremes. As a kid he was always a fisherman, but at the age of twelve he found a fly rod in his father’s garage and it was an addiction from then on. Guiding and ski instructing helped introduce him into his career path and love for teaching and sharing his passions. Now, he spends his days guiding and volunteering his time at the biannual fly fishing tournament, Risers4Rett and has moved on from ski instructing to focus on his strongest passion and making fly fishing a year round endeavor. He spends as much time as possible traveling and fishing while gaining knowledge and experience with a fly rod or behind the oars of a boat.
Nate Rigsby - IG Guide
Guide

Nate Rigsby

Nate grew up in the small town of Crocker, Missouri on a farm right on the Gasconade river. He has be...

Nate grew up in the small town of Crocker, Missouri on a farm right on the Gasconade river. He has been fishing for as long as he can remember on the rivers and lakes all around Missouri. Nate went to school at the University of Missouri to study and would spend all school breaks visiting the Gunnison valley skiing and fishing. Once he graduated from Mizzou, Nate quickly moved out to Gunnison, Colorado to pursue his love for the outdoors. Nate picked up fly fishing shortly after moving to CO and hasn't stopped. He has been a fishing guide for the past 7 years and also guided white water rafting for 6 years. Nate loves to explore and fish around Colorado all summer long and travel in the off seasons to explore new waters!
Ryan Gates - IG Guide
Guide

Ryan Gates

Ryan is a Colorado native that grew up in northern Colorado fishing the Big Thompson, Poudre, and...

Ryan is a Colorado native that grew up in northern Colorado fishing the Big Thompson, Poudre, and North Platte rivers, as well as the high alpine lakes and rivers in Rocky Mountain National Park. He believes there is more to fly fishing than catching fish and has a true passion for guiding and teaching people all the sport has to offer. Ryan has spent many years guiding fishing trips and whitewater raft trips between Alaska and northern Colorado. He moved to Gunnison in 2013 and started guiding fly fishing trips full time, where he finished his degree in geology and now lives full-time with his wife Cassie and their dog Orvis. Fly fishing is a lifestyle to Ryan, so much of his free time is spent tying flies or exploring the vast fishing opportunities the Gunnison valley has to offer.
"Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." Henry David Thoreau

"Many go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after." Henry David Thoreau

Madison Hayden - IG Guide
Guide Operations Coordinator

Madison Hayden

Madison grew up in Frederick, Colorado and moved to the Gunnison Valley in 2012 as Western studen...

Madison grew up in Frederick, Colorado and moved to the Gunnison Valley in 2012 as a Western student. Graduating with a Bachelors in Sports Science she began to fall in love with all the outdoor activities Crested Butte has to offer. As an ex cheerleader and dancer she quickly fell in love with climbing, rafting, and skiing and explored all over our valley. She then began raft guiding in Almont, Colorado and enjoyed that before transitioning into her admin position years later. She loves to spend her free time adventuring with her border collie and hubby! You can also catch her hula hooping at the park on a nice summer day or with her alpine hoop on the skin track in the winter time!
Bel Young - IG Guide
Sales & Operations Specialist

Bel Young

Bel is a Crested Butte native with a passion for the outdoors. Bel’s parents put her on skis before she...

Bel is a Crested Butte native with a passion for the outdoors. Bel’s parents put her on skis before she could walk, fostering an endless love for sliding on snow. She graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO with a degree in Tourism and Hospitality and a certificate in Ski Resort Operations. Bel studied abroad in the French Alps to expand her knowledge of hospitality. She travelled across Europe with her skis, immersing herself in the legendary culture. During college, she was the president of the Keeping Women Wild Club, focused on empowering Women in the outdoors. Bel is a certified raft guide, Wilderness First Responder, and has her AIARE Level 1 & Companion Rescue. Bel loves to ski, ride snowmobiles, mountain bike, raft, climb, and enjoy the wildflowers. She is stoked to be back in the valley helping people get outside with Irwin Guides!
Ian Havlick - IG Guide
Guide

Ian Havlick

Ian Havlick is a Colorado native who cut his teeth in the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado. After ca...

Ian Havlick is a Colorado native who cut his teeth in the mountains west of Boulder, Colorado. After captaining the University of Utah’s Nordic Ski Team from 2007-2011, he returned to Colorado to guide mechanized cat and heli skiing in Crested Butte and Telluride. Ian achieved full UIAGM/IFMGA Mountain guide certification in 2019 and has guided extensively in Alaska, Canada, Norway, Iceland, Mexico, and the Central European Alps. In winter, Ian leads the public outreach efforts for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center. When not working as a guide, Ian tries to keep up with his wife and two young kids biking, fishing, and gardening in the backyard.
Chris Martin - Irwin Guides Colorado Guide
Guide

Chris Martin

Chris Martin has been exploring since the day skis landed on his feet. As an inlet to adventure, skiing...

Chris Martin has been exploring since the day skis landed on his feet. As an inlet to adventure, skiing grew the seed. As soon as he graduated from high school in Wisconsin he headed west to attend school in Colorado and alpine ski race around the nation within the collegiate realm. This was only the beginning of his passion to share and guide the mountains, rivers, and cliffs he had grown to love. Inspired to travel, he has recreationally and professionally skied and climbed from the volcanoes of South America to the mountains of Alaska. Chris has gained experience in rescue, working with the National Park Service Search and Rescue team on Denali. Knowing the reality of life in the mountains has allowed Chris to understand the necessity of humility, driving a lifelong passion to teach risk assessment and calculated mountain travel. Chris is an AMGA Certified Ski & Rock Guide, holds a Pro Level 2 avalanche certification, and is an AIARE Course Leader. Find yourself on a trip with Chris and you’ll be sure to smile.
Ross Matlock - IG Guide
Guide

Ross Matlock

Ross has lived in the Crested Butte Valley since 1993 and is a transplant Aussie. When he moved...

Ross has lived in the Crested Butte Valley since 1993 and is a transplant Aussie. When he moved to the valley he started teaching skiing and working and training under Swiss mountain guide Jean Pavillard, owner of Adventures To The Edge, the local guide company at the time in Crested Butte. Ross specialized in telemark and nordic skiing, becoming an examiner for both through the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) and spent 12 years representing the PSIA on their national team. He was involved with the creation of AIARE and has been an instructor since the inception of AIARE teaching level 1 and 2 courses. When Adventures To The Edge changed to Crested Butte Mountain Guides, Ross continued to teach avalanche courses and lead backcountry ski trips locally until the company changed to Irwin Guides. Ross and his wife created International Mountain Adventures in 2009 to take people on ski trips around the world and have recently been spending January and February guiding and leading trips to Hokkaido, Japan. He still has a passion for skiing and teaching and would love to share that with you!
Doug Krause - IG Guide
Guide

Doug Krause

Doug Krause is a skier from Vermont. He moved to Colorado in 1993 and has called it home ever sinc...

Doug Krause is a skier from Vermont. He moved to Colorado in 1993 and has called it home ever since - though work and life pull him to and fro around the globe. Since first falling into the ski industry in 1999, Doug worked as a ski patroller, guide, educator, forecaster, blaster, consultant, and asador in Colorado, Alaska, Chile, Japan, Argentina, and New Zealand. Doug has been on every rung of the ladder multiple times from toiling in the trenches to developing and managing new avalanche, ski area, and educational programs. Summers require chasing down his wife Virginia, who works overseas for the U.S. State Department. Recent postings include Zimbabwe, Peru, Thailand, and Venezuela. Doug is the Mountain Operations Manager and Snow Safety Director at Irwin Guides Cat Ski. When he gets a break he goes home to Silverton, Colorado.
Ben Ammon - IG Guide
Guide

Ben Ammon

Ben grew up in Colorado and has been playing in the mountains since his parents stuck him on ski...

Ben grew up in Colorado and has been playing in the mountains since his parents stuck him on skis at age 2. He studied Biology and Chemistry while at college in Gunnison, served as both the Training Coordinator and a Mission Coordinator for Western Mountain Rescue Team, and guided college students on climbing, skiing, and mountain biking trips for Wilderness Pursuits, where eventually he became the Assistant Manager. For several years, Ben was a full-time Ski Patroller in the winters, and in the summers guided climbing in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, including multiple ascents of Denali and Mt. Rainier, as well as many peaks in the North Cascades. Ben now lives in Crested Butte year-round, and guides full-time for Irwin Guides, creating personalized experiences for people interested in climbing, biking, rafting, or skiing in his backyard mountains. Occasionally he still guides a large expedition, a technical route on a Colorado 14er, or one of his many favorite routes in the Northwest. When he isn't guiding, you'll likely find Ben rock climbing in the sun, skiing his favorite powder stash, or on a remote rafting trip with his wife and their dog.
Benjamin Thorneycroft - IG Guide
Guide

Benjamin Thorneycroft

The name’s Ben Thorneycroft but people just call him Thorney. Originally from New Zealand, Thor...

The name’s Ben Thorneycroft but people just call him Thorney. Originally from New Zealand, Thorney grew up along the San Miguel river outside of Telluride, CO with an obsession for the outdoors. He came to get a Recreation degree in Gunnison and ended up staying for the fantastic climbing, rafting, skiing, biking, and backpacking that the valley has to offer.
Jayden Hakala, Irwin Guide smiling with Irwin Guides helmet on
Guide

Jayden Hakala

Jayden lives in Gunnison, Colorado and attends Western Colorado University. He is on track to...

Jayden lives in Gunnison, Colorado and attends Western Colorado University. He is on track to graduate from the Recreation Outdoor Education program in 2023. Jayden’s primary outdoor passions are rock climbing and mountain biking. He has been mountain biking most of his life and has been climbing for the last few years. He is focused on learning as much as possible on his path through the American Mountain Guides Association certification process. His current plan is to graduate from Western and get rock guide certified by 2024. Jayden is a current Wilderness First Responder, Single Pitch Instructor, & AIARE Avalanche Level 1 certified.
Aaron Peterson - IG Guide
Guide

Aaron Peterson

“Minnesota is a great place to be from but you don’t need to stay there.” Aaron took this motto of the ir...

“Minnesota is a great place to be from but you don’t need to stay there.” Aaron took this motto of the ironic Minnesota Alpine Club to heart. Growing up in a steady diet of lake fishing, canoeing, and nordic skiing Aaron then left the Northstar State and spent nearly 10 years working as a guide and ski patroller throughout the Western US and Alaska. After a hiatus to earn his doctorate in chiropractic, Aaron is glad to be guiding again. He is a Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Course Instructor, BICP Mountain Bike Instructor, AMGA Single Pitch Rock Instructor, and is consistently progressing toward further AMGA certification in the Rock and Ski disciplines. Based in Crested Butte with his wife and son, Aaron also works as a chiropractor and serves on the Board of Directors for the non-profit High Country Conservation Advocates. He loves to share the Gunnison Valley and is particularly drawn to teaching new skills in this beautiful outdoor setting. Aaron teaches rock climbing, mountain biking, backcountry and nordic skiing, splitboarding, avalanche education, and is always happy to take a long walk in the woods.
Dylan Taylor - IG Guide
Guide

Dylan Taylor

I grew up in Georgia and Florida, mostly fishing the flats of the gulf and east coast. When I was about...

I grew up in Georgia and Florida, mostly fishing the flats of the gulf and east coast. When I was about 12 years old I started fly fishing in the Appalachian Mountains. Fly fishing quickly became my passion and my top priority. Later, I went to high school at a boarding school in the panhandle of Idaho, and also went on my first float trip through Glacier National Park. It was love at first sight. Once I moved back to Georgia after boarding school, I knew I had to get back out west and get back on the river. In 2013 I moved to Gunnison, Colorado to finish up college at WSU, and pursued guiding as a career. I started guiding in Gunnison Colorado in 2015 and in 2017 I started working as a guide for Eleven Experience. Over the last 10 years I have traveled all over the world chasing different fish on the fly, salt and freshwater. This winter (21-22) I’m headed to Patagonia to guide Eleven guests!
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Guide

Avery Bernholtz

Growing up in Crested Butte and its surrounding backcountry Avery Bernholtz has been spending...

Growing up in Crested Butte and its surrounding backcountry Avery Bernholtz has been spending time in the mountains since day one. Learning to ski, bike, climb and participate in the outdoors at an early age she joined the Freeride ski team and competed all through high school. Choosing to follow the snow, Avery moved to Bozeman, MT and continued to compete in the adult circuit, traveling around the nation. She is attending Montana State University where she is currently an Architecture Major and Sustainability Minor. The love and passion Avery has for spending time outside and in the mountains is something she hopes to share with others and the reason behind her interest in guiding adventures. Taking her AIARE 1 as a junior and her WFR as a senior in high school she has started growing her professional experience and education as a mountain adventurer.
Jeff Hurley - Retail & Equipment Manager
Retail & Equipment Manager

Jeff Hurley

Jeff is a Colorado native whose passion for the outdoors has been evident since birth. He has...

Jeff is a Colorado native whose passion for the outdoors has been evident since birth. He has been a winter sports enthusiast since a young age; active in snowboarding, splitboarding, backcountry touring and XC skiing. Jeff migrated to Crested Butte in 2018 from Breckenridge where he spent 15 years working in the outdoor action sports industry in various retail and rental management roles. Jeff’s love for outdoor adventure is what prompted him to join the Irwin Guides team. The appeal of the serene mountain landscapes and exploring the vast trail networks on his bike was an integral part of his decision to relocate to Crested Butte. When he is not managing equipment and retail needs for Irwin Guides you will find him mountain biking, exploring the surrounding mountains, SUPing the local rivers or doing just about anything outside with Luna Bean, his Alaskan Husky.
Robert Brooks - IG Guide
Sales & Operations Specialist

Robert Brooks

Robert Brooks is a native of Northeast Texas and has spent the better part of his life in pursuit of a...

Robert Brooks is a native of Northeast Texas and has spent the better part of his life in pursuit of a life well spent outside. Brooks was first introduced to the valley in 2016, where he cut his teeth as a fly fishing guide in the summer months while attending the University of Texas at Austin. After receiving a degree in Corporate Communications and Business, he spent the next two years working in Sales and Consulting at a Fortune 100 Tech company. Two years was more than enough to convince him to pack his bags and head out West to pursue a career as a fly fishing guide and ski instructor. Irwin Guides and Eleven has allowed him the opportunity of merging his background and experiences in both guiding and business. He currently splits his time between days on the water with clients and helping the Irwin Guides team on the operational side of the business. In his free time, you can find him behind the oars of a drift boat, tying flies or in pursuit of wild game in the mountains.
Dave Bumgarner, Irwin Guide smiling with Irwin Guides hat on.
Guide

Dave Bumgarner

Dave has been guiding all over the American West and throughout Europe since 1999. He has direct...

Dave has been guiding all over the American West and throughout Europe since 1999. He has directed well-established outdoor programs in Colorado and Germany. He is a certified AMGA guide, AIARE Course Leader and an ACA instructor in multiple disciplines. He has a masters degree in Education and loves to use it while educating his students. Dave loves sharing the outdoors with his clients.
Drew Laymen, Irwin Guide smiling in snow gear.
Guide

Drew Layman

Drew began climbing and skiing as soon as his Dad could fit him in a harness and ski boots in Central...

Drew began climbing and skiing as soon as his Dad could fit him in a harness and ski boots in Central Oregon. He now calls Crested Butte home. In the winter he has patrolled, instructed avalanche courses, and guided ski-touring, heli, and snowcat skiing in places from Alaska to New Zealand.

He has completed ski descents of classic ski-mountaineering lines such as the Ford-Stettner on the Grand Teton in Wyoming, the Landry Line on Pyramid Peak in Colorado, and the Gibraltar Chute on Mt. Rainer. Drew loves to travel with his skis. He has led successful expeditions to the Icefield Range in the Yukon, the Kluchevskoy Group in Northeastern Kamchatka, Dhaulagiri I in Western Nepal, and several peaks in the Manang Himal.

In the summer he guides rock climbing, mountaineering, and mountain biking across the mountain west. Learning to climb with his father at a young age, he’s grown to completeseveral big wall ascents of El Capitan and other walls in Yosemite along with doing crag development up and down Arkansas River Valley. He developed a love for whitewater as a child, raft guiding up to class V whitewater in the Royal Gorge where he eventually became a certified raft guide trainer.

To round out his experience as an outdoorsman. Drew was a competitive mountain biker as a child, competing in 24-hour mountain bike races. Now instead of racing in circles, he can be found riding long distances searching for the next flowy descent. He also spent a season wildland firefighting in Southern Oregon.

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Guide

Alex Banas

Alex grew up all over the west and fell in love with skiing and the outdoors as soon as he could walk...

Alex grew up all over the west and fell in love with skiing and the outdoors as soon as he could walk. That translated to many adventures in the Tetons, Alaska, and Elk Mountains. After spending three years with Breckenridge Ski Patrol, Alex relocated to Crested Butte. Today you’ll find him guiding backcountry skiing and cat skiing trips. He’s an AMGA certified ski guide and is Colorado Wilderness EMT-B certified as well as American Avalanche Institute Level III certified. When he’s not skiing, Alex enjoys running, rock climbing, mountain biking, and drinking excessive amounts of coffee.
Irwin Guide Staff Member or Guide
Guide

Megan Paden

Megan is a veteran Lead Guide and Operational Manager at Eleven Experience. She has worked...

Megan is a veteran Lead Guide and Operational Manager at Eleven Experience. She has worked 20+ years guiding, patrolling and adventuring in the highest reaches of the mountains she calls home. She holds her EMT, AIARE L3, Colorado Blaster License and clocks in annually as Lead Forecaster for the Elk Mt. Grand Traverse Snow Safety Team. Megan believes in making genuine connections and taking time to unravel from the daily stressors of life with the simple pleasure of skiing. She is passionate about life and sharing beautiful experiences together in beautiful places. Megan stays busy raising her two spirited young boys, who are always up for an adventure. When the snow melts, her inspirations from nature help fuel creativity for her landscape design business. She looks forward to the next adventure with old and new friends at her side, Pura Vida!
Reed Betz, Irwin Guide smiling in costume.
Guide

Reed Betz

Reed graduated from Central Michigan University and moved immediately west in 2002. While in co...

Reed graduated from Central Michigan University and moved immediately west in 2002. While in college, Reed fell in love with traveling to new mountain ranges like the LaSals, the Appalachians, and the Porcupines. Reed loves sharing his passion and experience with others through backpacking, rock climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, running rivers, and backcountry skiing. He has worked in various elements of the outdoor industry, such as admin and guide staff, since 2000 including Central Michigan University’s Outdoor Program, Outward Bound, Trailhead Wilderness School, Adaptive Sports Center, and Rim Tours. Reed Joined Irwin Guides in 2009. He is a certified Level 1 Mountain Bike Instructor and guide through the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and is working toward furthering his certifications in the guiding world. Specialties: Mountain biking, hiking, backpacking, rafting and stand up paddle boarding.
Zach Husted - IG Guide
Guide

Zach Husted

Born and raised in Colorado, Zach Husted graduated from the University of Colorado at...

Born and raised in Colorado, Zach Husted graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a double bachelors in Cartography and Economics. After working for Microsoft as a cartographer, and as a sponsored freeride athlete, he transitioned to a career in guiding and hasn't looked back since. After working as a lead guide, medic, and avalanche forecaster in New Zealand and Japan for many years he has been pursuing his AMGA ski guide certification and works at facilitating safe and awesome experiences for people in the outdoors. He loves nothing more than sharing his passion, connecting people to the natural world, and inspiring others to share in the care for public lands and the planet.
Ryan Martin - IG Guide
Guide

Ryan Martin

Martin was raised as a small child somewhere in the midwest amongst the fields of corn, cows a...

Martin was raised as a small child somewhere in the midwest amongst the fields of corn, cows and pigs. After all that excitement he moved out west to the high rockies and started his journey into the wilderness.

After a semester at Nols, he took up jobs in the boundary waters canoeing and backpacking. In his twenties he moved on to Hawaii and started sailing and spent the rest of that decade mucking around on boats all over the world. He sailed back to Seattle and attended Culinary school at Le Cordon Bleu.

His 30s brought him back to Colorado and back into the Rockies where he returned to his roots of climbing, now mixed with a passion for water and good food. Most days you can find him in a boat, on a rock or over a fire cooking at one of Eleven's properties.
- ACA swift water Instructor 1
- 100 ton USCG Open water
- Merchant Mariner Credentials
- WFR
- Beer supertaster

Dom DiGregorio - IG Guide
Guide

Dom DiGregorio

Growing up in Northern Colorado, Domenic was often found outside exploring, catching, and cli...

Growing up in Northern Colorado, Domenic was often found outside exploring, catching, and climbing. Not much has changed, as he began a lifelong relationship with nature, ecosystems, and how we interact with it. With a passion for the outdoors and sports, Dom started to recreate in many different mediums outside. These included fly fishing, skiing, rock climbing, mountain biking, hunting, and white-water sports. With too much energy to contain, and seasonal guiding jobs, Dom began traveling. Exploring nature, food, spirituality, and outdoor recreation, Dom has visited over 20 countries and gathered many professional certifications. These include certs from the American Avalanche Association, AIARE Avalanche Education, Professional Ski Instructors of America, National Ski Patrol, American Mountain Guide Association, American Canoeing Association, British Canoeing Union, NOLS, Colorado Mountain College, and Wilderness Medical Associates. From Sea Kayaking with Orcas, eating the best curries in the Himalayan Stepp, and sleeping in Patagonian ice fields, to surfing in the Arctic Ocean, highlining across Utah canyons, and foraging in the Colorado mountains, Dom is a lifelong learner and is always moving towards his next idea of a "Best Day Ever."
Jeff Hoff - IG Guide
Guide

Jeff Hoff

Jeff started fishing in the Midwest taking trips in his grandfather’s float plane and has had a passio...

Jeff started fishing in the Midwest taking trips in his grandfather’s float plane and has had a passion for the outdoors ever since. He grew up in Arizona doing wet hikes in slot canyons, fishing in small remote streams and climbing in the mountains. After school he moved to Seattle, WA, where he lived next to the Skykomish river chasing salmon and trout.

Jeff has fished in Italy, Germany, England, Canada, Mexico and most of the west coast of America. When he is not on the water he is tying flies, bombing downhill mountain bike runs, climbing rock and ice and wing shooting with his pointer lab Breck.

Irwin Guide Staff Member or Guide
Guide

Josh Stupka