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 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 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 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 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 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 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.
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 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.
“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.
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!
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.