Sam is the owner and Chief Guide for Montana Alpine Guides (MAG). He has guided professionally since 2004 throughout the contiguous US, Alaska, Europe, and South America. He considers his back yard, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, his favorite place to climb, due to the endless opportunities for vertical exploration in every direction. He has made many first ascents close to home including “The Infiniti Line” (V, 5.12b, C1, 1,000’), “The Velvet Hammer” (5.12, 900’), “The Reverie” (WI 6+, M7 600’), and “Raven Crack-ed” (1,400’ WI 5+ M7), among others. He has an immense love for climbing and for teaching folks the mountain skills it has taken him years to learn. He shares his passion through his guiding and the large number of folks who return to climb with him year after year hold testament to that fact.

More highlights about Sam:

  • First ascents in Montana, Wyoming, Alaska, Peru, Mexico, and Morocco.
  • Climbing trips to Argentina, Chile, Peru, Cuba, Mexico, US, Europe, and Africa.
  • Successful guided trips on rock, ice, and alpine through out the US, Mexico, Europe, Alaska, and Peru.
  • Certifications: WFR, CPR, AVALANCHE I & II
  • Two time Mugs Stump Award Recipient
  • Double major in Spanish and Geography (MSU)

How do the experiences you offer at Montana Alpine Guides give guests a unique perspective on the history, people or culture of your region?

We offer professional guided climbing and backcountry ski trips through out the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. This is a unique way for individuals, families, and groups to see the wilder side of our countries protected lands through engaging and fun adventures.

How have the experiences that you offer evolved since their inception?

We initially only ran rock climbing trips. We now also offer ice climbing, mountaineering, and backcountry skiing. We have also extended a recent focus toward education to rise up to the public demand for courses in all disciplines that we guide.

What is one detail of an experience you provide that may go unnoticed by guests, but which you feel is important?

We have a deep respect for this land and make every attempt as individual guides and as a business to foster the protection of these lands in which we operate.

What do you wish every guest knew as they consider participating in the experiences you offer?

That these activities don’t need to be “extreme.” There is something for everyone. We have taken 6-75 yr olds out ice climbing and rock climbing. You don’t need any experience, just a willingness to have a fun adventure.

Do you find that guests have a greater challenge dealing with the physical component of the activities you offer or the environmental exposure inherent to operating in the backcountry through all types of weather?

Physical. We try to push folks if they want that, and so that can be the point. It’s more rewarding to try hard and succeed than to idle through mundane successes.

What is one travel trend that really excites you?

Adventure travel found right here in the US.

What sets Montana Alpine Guides apart from other guide companies?

We have an extremely talented and educated pool of guides that are respected among all guide services. Despite having traveled and climbed all over the globe, we all call this home out of a deep love for this area.

What is one insiders tip to getting the most out of an experiential travel vacation?

Climb and ski with Montana Alpine Guides – it will stand out among all of the other travel experiences for years to come, and this is what we continually hear from our guests.

What is one strategy that has helped your business to grow?

Honesty, motivation, and a deep love for what we do.

What is one personal habit that has helped you to be successful?

Honesty and hard work.

Please share one instance where a guest had a moving or emotional reaction to the experience you provided to them.

We had a guy from Japan who came to climb the highest mountain in MT. Upon reaching the summit he cried and stated that when his life flashes before his eyes, the trip we were on would be one of those flashes. Countless families have written us after their vacations to let us know it was the best part of their trip.

Sam’s email:
Montana Alpine Guides on Facebook:
Montana Alpine Guides on Instagram: @montanaalpineguides
Sam is also a professional photographer:

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