Our guides are the core of Pikes Peak Alpine School.  We guide mountains: rock, snow, and ice.

  • This is what we do,
  • This is what we love,
  • We love to share this passion with you.

Our guides are patient, knowledgeable, and most importantly, qualified to share their experience and love of the mountains. Our guides customize each trip or course to the needs, wants, and objectives of the individual or group. Our guides maintain current Wilderness First Responder certifications and are very active in the disciplines they are instructing, with a minimum of 5 years experience in each discipline (alpine, rock, and/or ski). ALL of our climbing and ski guides have training or full certification from the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). We believe in training and certification though the AMGA to raise the standards of working professional mountain guides and to provide a more productive and safer experience for our guests.

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Pete Lardy 

Pete climbs and guides worldwide and currently resides Colorado Springs with his lovely wife, Crystal. For Pete climbing is many things. He strives for the technical, physical, and mental challenge that comes with mountain climbing but also sees the mountains as his escape from the hustle and bustle of life below. For Pete, the mountains give him that one “something” we all have but cannot quite explain. Alpine rock and ice routes are where he loves to be, teach, and learn. Pete has become one of the top resources for conditions and happenings on Pikes Peak year round. But Pikes Peak isn’t all that Pete is familiar with. Over 20 years of climbing and split boarding have taken him to the Himalayas, Andes, Alaska Range, Cascades and the Rockies. From fast and light one-day ascents on Mount Rainier’s Liberty Ridge and Mount Huntington’s Harvard Route to 30 and 40 day expeditions on Denali and Himalayan 8000m peaks, Pete loves all facets of climbing and the friendships fostered in the mountains.

IFMGA Licensed Mountain Guide
AMGA Certified Alpine & Rock & Ski Guide

AIARE Avalanche Level 1, 2, 3
AIARE Course Leader
American Avalanche Association Pro Member
Wilderness First Responder Certified
Leave No Trace Trainer

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Karsten Delap

Born and raised on a farm in Indiana, Karsten has found his home in the mountains. Embarking on his 15th year in the guiding profession, with 20 years climbing experience, he has climbed extensively throughout the United States and abroad. He has delved into all aspects of climbing from bouldering and sport climbing to alpinism and ski mountaineering. His guiding experience includes AMGA Certified Rock Guide and AMGA Certified Alpine Guide. He has taught AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and Climbing Wall Instructor Programs. He is also a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT-B), has his Swift Water Rescue Certification, and has worked as a SPRAT Level 1 Technician. When at home in North Carolina, he volunteers for several local Rescue Teams and works as an EMT for an ambulance service. As a professional athlete representing several national companies, he has also worked on product design and testing for his various sponsors. Karsten has immersed himself in the climbing world with both work and play. You can check out more on his personal website: www.karstendelap.com

IFMGA Licensed Mountain Guide
AMGA Certified Alpine & Rock & Ski Guide

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor/Provider 
AIARE Avalanche Level 1, 2, 3
Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (WEMT-B)
Swift Water Rescue Certification
SPRAT Level 1 Technician
Leave No Trace Master Educator

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Phil Wortmann

Phil is an experienced climber and guide, who not only gets after it almost everyday, but also shows a high amount of integrity and respect for the mountains which he endures. Phil has a strong resume of ascents and first ascents in the Rockies, Cascades and Alaska. Although he is adept in any terrain, he excels at mixed climbing. His attention to finer details and high standards for safety make him one of the best guides in the Rocky Mountain region. His all-around abilities in the mountains, his strength, and focus speaks bounds for the passion he has for the mountains in which he plays on. Phil approaches each environment with deep respect to preserve and protect for the next climbers.With a true passion for climbing and alpinism, we are pleased to have Phil’s energy, ability and professionalism at the core of the Pikes Peak Alpine School. When Phil is not climbing, you can find him doing figure fours while running up Pikes Peak. And when he isn’t doing either of those, he is teaching English at Palmer High School in Colorado Springs. Phil is pretty dang amazing!

AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide 
AIARE Avalanche Level 1, 2
AIARE Course Instructor  
American Avalanche Association Member
Wilderness First Responder Certified
Leave No Trace Awareness Course

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Jes Meiris

Jes has been climbing for 26 years, and has guided for over a decade. She is a leading female climber, known for her speed records in Yosemite. Her climbing style encompasses conviction yet sustainability towards the rock, using both confidence and commitment. For every action we take as climbers, it is important to realize our impact. Protecting and educating is in Jes’ human nature. When she isn’t in the mountains, she dedicates her time to teaching outdoor education and coaching elite climbing at a local Colorado preparatory high school. Jes, a Colorado native, has been a leading voice for multiple advocacy and stewardship groups in the Front Range such as Chicks N Chalk and the Pikes Peak Climber’s Alliance. When she’s not guiding or climbing, Jes enjoys traveling around the world and is also a classical pianist.

AMGA Assistant Rock Guide
AIARE Avalanche Level 1
Warriors Way Trainer

Wilderness First Responder Certified
Leave No Trace Awareness Course

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Sebastian Grau

Seba is a professional Mountain Guide and Geographer. He has been guiding since 2001. Seba  grew up in Chile and has been living in the US since 2009. Seba has a great amount of experience guiding high altitude mountains and expeditions- between Alaska, Wyoming, Colorado, New Hampshire, Antarctica and South America.

IFMGA Licensed Mountain Guide
AMGA Certified Alpine & Rock & Ski Guide
AAI Avalanche Level 1, 2, 3
Wilderness First Responder Certified
Leave No Trace Awareness Course

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Steve Banks

Steve is an American Mountain Guide based in Crested Butte, Colorado.  Two decades of guiding have taken him around the American West, Europe, Asia, Canada, South America, and Iceland.  He is a member of the American Mountain Guides Association National Instructor Team helping to train the next generation of professional and certified guides.  Skiing is his passion and you will find him in the powder filled mountains of Hokkaido in the heart of winter, skiing over the fjords of Iceland in the spring, and in the backcountry of Colorado in between.  As the snow melts, Steve turns to rock and alpine guiding in the Rockies, Tetons, and Cascade mountain ranges while still managing to find time for rock climbing and mountain biking.

IFMGA Licensed Mountain Guide
AMGA Certified Alpine & Rock & Ski Guide
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program Provider
AIARE Avalanche Level 1, 2, 3

AIARE Course Leader
Emergency Medical Technician (EMT-B)
Swift Water Rescue Certification

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Wade Curtis

Wade was born and raised in central New York. He didn’t discover the world of climbing until early adulthood. As a kid he was drawn to the mountains through snowboarding, and in high school was hired to instruct at the local resort. After joining the military, Wade was selected to attend the Army’s mountaineering school where he first learned to rock climb. Joining the military has provided Wade with opportunities to ski and climb in diverse locations throughout the US, Chile, Austria, Scotland, and France. Wade is now an instructor at the Army’s mountaineering school where he trains special- operations personnel to survive in and move through mountainous terrain. Currently an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Wade is pursuing additional AMGA certifications. He devotes his free time to the mountains and advancing his craft through climbing, skiing, and snowboarding.

 

AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide
AMGA Apprentice Ski Guide
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
AIARE Avalanche Level 1, 2, Pro 1
Wilderness First Responder Certified

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Ryan Fifer

Born and raised in Arizona when the West was still wild, Ryan was nurtured on cactus flowers and pit viper venom.  His formative years involved backpacking, kayaking, scrambling, climbing, and hunting in the Sonoran Desert.  Endless encounters with rattlesnakes, cholla cactus, and vicious jack-a-lopes inspired Ryan to be an infantry medic and paratrooper in the United States Army for ten years, during which he was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan.  With degrees in Physical Education/Exercise Science/Sport Administration, Ryan is an elementary school physical education teacher and coach known for his patience and love of teaching.  He enjoys climbing, hunting, fishing, and backpacking in his free time and is the proud father of an awesome daughter who is a BOSS!

 

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
AIARE Avalanche Level 1
Wilderness First Responder Certified

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Matt Jerousek

Matt has been in love with the mountains since 2007.  His passions center on mountaineering and the technical aspects of ice and rock climbing, though he can occasionally be spotted clicking into a pair of skis as well.  Matt is an adept teacher who looks forward to sharing the skills and techniques needed to travel safely and efficiently in the mountains with other climbers who are just as thrilled about “the game” as he is.  When he isn’t out in the hills, Matt spends his time gardening, mountain biking, and throwing the frisbee with his two border collies.

AMGA Assistant Rock Guide
AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor 
AIARE Avalanche Level 1, 2
Wilderness First Responder Certified
Leave No Trace Awareness Course

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Ryan Hammes

Ryan Hammes, Director of Outdoor Education at Colorado College, has been an active member of both the AORE and AMGA community since 2006.  He is a certified Rock Instructor, CWI Provider, and SPI Provider for the American Mountain Guides Association.  A Wisconsin native, Ryan received his Master’s of Science degree in Adventure Education from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and has had the opportunity to teach academic courses, instruct for Colorado Outward Bound School, volunteer as a backcountry National Ski Patroller, teach wilderness medicine, publish a number of works related to rock climbing and adventure education, and volunteer as an EMT/Firefighter for Manitou Springs Fire Department running their high-angle rescue team.  His main passions revolve around climbing, backcountry skiing, bluegrass music, and fly-fishing.

AMGA Certified Rock Instructor
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Program Provider
AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Program Provider
AIARE Avalanche Level 1, 2
Wilderness EMT Certified
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Megan Yingling

Megan’s passion for the mountains shines through in everything she does. She first learned the art of climbing movement and technique as a competitive youth climber before discovering alpine and more traditional styles of climbing while attending college in Gunnison, Colorado. Since then, she has climbed all over the country with some of her favorite destinations being the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Grand Teton National Park and Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area. Megan’s passion for guiding lies in providing extraordinary experiences for others with a foundation in safe mountain practices. Her climbing style emphasizes movement and technique, and is complimented by her work as a certified yoga instructor. She strives to provide the opportunity for others to expand their mental and physical comfort zones in a safe and supportive environment. Megan holds a Bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Recreation and Psychology from Western State University.

AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

Wilderness First Responder Certified

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Danielle Piscatelli

Danielle is a native of Boston and spent many years hiking and skiing in and around the mountains of Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine before relocating to Phoenix.  While in Phoenix she enhanced her hiking and backpacking skills exploring many parts of Arizona and Utah, including several trips into Grand Canyon National Park.  In addition to Pikes Peak Alpine School, she currently guides for Colorado Mountain Expeditions, based in Colorado, and nationally based Fitpacking.  Outside of guiding Danielle teaches outdoor education for Colorado Mountain College and trail building skills for the Outdoor Stewardship Institute.  She currently lives in Denver and is excited to explore all that the Centennial State and Rocky Mountains have to offer.  In her spare time, she is actively involved in the community as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of Women’s Wilderness, leads trail crews for Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, is a Peak Steward with the Colorado Fourteeners Initiative, and is the Colorado Volunteer Programs Manager for Camber Outdoors.


AIARE Avalanche Level I

Wilderness First Responder Certified
Leave No Trace Trainer

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Jared Reene

Jared grew up in Michigan, where he surfed the Great Lakes’ fresh water “third coast” while studying Political Science, Philosophy, and Arabic.  After working for the United States Government and living throughout the Middle East, Europe, and Asia for over a decade, discovering the mountains of Colorado changed his life. While living in Washington DC, Jared frequented Seneca Rocks (West Virginia) and made regular ascents of Mt Rainier in Washington before finally moving to Colorado Springs in 2015.  Since then, Jared has become an accomplished climber, backcountry skier, and mountaineer, exploring many of the hidden gems throughout the Pikes Peak region.  When not in the mountains, you can find Jared playing his guitar, endlessly tinkering with his ski mountaineering setup in the garage, or planning new adventures with his wonderful wife, Whitney.

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
AIARE Avalanche Level 1
Wilderness First Responder Certified
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Samuel Perlik

Sam fell in love with the mountains when he was 10 and he has been doing his best to work and play in them ever since.  He spent 12 years as an Army infantry officer, which provided ample opportunity to carry heavy loads up and down hills and also facilitated lots of exploration.  He has lived and worked in North Carolina, New York, Georgia, Alaska, Texas, Massachusetts, Argentina, and Afghanistan.  Sam started guiding/instructing in 2016 while a faculty member at the United States Military Academy.  He is passionate about sharing his love of the mountains through guiding and outdoor instruction.  Sam’s spouse is an Army helicopter pilot and he has two young children who will very shortly be dragging him up climbs much harder than any he has ever done himself.

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor (Lead)
AIARE Avalanche Level 1
Wilderness First Responder Certified
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Gretchen Merten

Born in Laramie, Wyoming, Gretchen has degrees in History from Northern Arizona University.  Her previous job experiences include weather forecast broadcasting for NOAA, entomology research for the USDA, research and teaching at the University level, and work in the outdoor retail industry since 2005.  Her outdoor passions are backcountry telemark skiing, backpacking, and trail running.  After having experienced amazing adventures in the Colorado Rockies and North Cascades with PPAS, she looks forward to facilitating training and trips for novices and experts alike while managing the day-to-day operations of Pikes Peak Alpine School. Gretchen enjoys British humor (James May is her spirit animal), cooking, reading, bad poetry (not including her own), craft beer, and hanging out with her best friend/husband Lance.  She dislikes being inside and sitting down.


AIARE Avalanche Level 1, 2


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Hannah Odeen

Hannah is a Biology student at UCCS. Growing up in San Diego, she discovered her love for climbing in Joshua Tree and has been inspired by the impressive granite peaks of the Sierra Nevada Mountains from a young age. In addition to being a PPAS intern, Hannah also work for UCCS’s Student Outdoor Learning Experience Center in which she takes students on trips such as rock climbing and sandboarding. When she is not at school, you can catch her at the local crag singing, dancing, and climbing! After she graduate in two years, Hannah hopes to have a career that encapsulates biology and the mountains.


Wilderness First Responder

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Micah Lewkowitz

Micah began his guiding career in 2006 in New England and it has since taken him on multiple international expeditions and throughout 10 states in the USA.  He is a passionate climber who embraces the changes of the seasons by rock climbing in the desert sun during the spring and fall, venturing in the Alaska Range, Rockies, and Cascades for alpine climbing and mountaineering during the summer, and ice climbing throughout the winter.  Micah enjoys the challenge of moving efficiently through vertical terrain and sharing his accrued mountain sense with his guests.  With a background in outdoor education, Micah is always excited to help climbers learn safe and practical climbing techniques while fostering a community of mentorship, self-reflection, and growth.  After a day of climbing in the mountains, Micah enjoys spending time in Ridgway, Colorado with his wife Hilary and forever puppy Shakti.


AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
AMGA Certified Rock Guide
Wilderness First Responder Certified

American Mountain Guides Association, AMGA Training/Certification Flow Chart.

Apprentice Alpine Guide = Alpine Guide Course
Assistant Alpine Guide = Advanced Alpine Guide Course
Certified Alpine Guide = Alpine Guide Exam

Apprentice Rock Guide = Rock Guide Course
Assistant Rock Guide = Advanced Rock Guide Course
Certified Rock Guide = Rock Guide Exam

Apprentice Ski Guide = Ski Guide Course
Assistant Ski Guide = Advanced Ski Guide Course
Certified Ski Guide = Ski Guide Exam

Pikes Peak Alpine School operates under special use permits from the USDA Forest Service, Pike National Forest and is an equal opportunity service provider & employer

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