Our Team

Yosemite Guide Service Team


Our Guides/Summer Camp Counselors are the key ingredient to success for Lasting Adventures. Although we all come from different backgrounds, we all share a passion for Adventures, Yosemite, and sharing it with others in a way that will create memories to last a lifetime. Our Yosemite guide staff is a young and energetic group who all understand the importance of professionalism, caring, and risk management. Some of our guides have grown-up in the program having started as a youth participant themselves. While others have been selected for the backgrounds and experiences they have with youth and within the outdoor environment. It’s common to have guides with off-season jobs of being a teacher, naturalist, counselor, or other youth professional. Many of our guides reside in the sierras year round. On most trips you will get the privilege of meeting more than one guide.

Our guides come together for a week long staff training each year. We bond as a team through fun activities, setting goals, and debriefing. This is essentially the same Adventure Based Programming model we facilitate on our youth, group, school, and corporate adventures. Our staff training week also covers Wilderness Ethics and Leave No Trace Principals, Risk Management and Emergency Protocols, Yosemite History, Positive Youth Development, and the basics for providing outstanding customer service in the back-country. Through the connections we create during our staff training, and also through their shared passions, it is common for our staff to spend their off-time together (usually in the Tuolumne Meadows vicinity). During the summer our team works, lives, and plays together!

On every youth trip (not exceeding 12 participants) there is a ratio of at most 1:6, but in most cases the ratio is 1:4. Each trip will also have at least one male and one female Guide/ Counselor as necessary.

Through our Guide Service, on day trips and backpacking trips, we will staff each adventure with 1-2 experienced guides who bring with them significant Yosemite backcountry experience. Ratios will not exceed 1:6; usually less.

Every leader has, at least, certification as a Wilderness First Responder and C.P.R. All leaders have also completed an extensive background check including criminal history.

Looking to join our team? Check out our Employment Page.

Administrative Team

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SCOTT GEHRMAN

Executive Director/Founder
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Scott is the Founder and Executive Director for Lasting Adventures, Inc and has been facilitating the Yosemite High Country Adventure since 1997 in which he has personally logged over 5,000 miles as a guide in the Yosemite backcountry. As both a credentialed school administrator and counselor, Scott has well over 25 years of experience working with youth. Scott attended Sonoma State University in California where he obtained both his Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a Masters in Counseling. Scott holds certification in Basic Backpacking Awareness, is certified as a Wilderness First Responder by the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School, and he is trained as an Outdoor Emergency Care professional. In addition to actively leading and guiding the Yosemite High Country Adventure and through community collaborations and support, Scott has also successfully developed many other youth development programs; and he is also a requested presenter on these topics. When not in Yosemite, you might be able to catch Scott on the slopes snowboarding in Tahoe.

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CHRIS HUBACH

Operations Manager
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Chris grew up in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, spending his weekends hiking, camping, and climbing. After his first year of University he began working as a Wilderness Ranger in Yosemite, and spent 8 summers hiking and climbing in the park. He has also worked as a Wilderness Ranger in Rocky Mountain National Park, as a peer mentor for students starting university, and as an EMT. Chris has extensive risk management experience within the National Park Service and is also a Leave No Trace Master Educator. In addition to having hiked every mile of trail in Yosemite, Chris has traveled to 36 different countries. If he’s not working, he’s traveling!

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JULIET RAMIREZ

Program Director
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Juliet grew up in Southern Louisiana, where her first adventures in the wilderness included catching crawfish and searching for alligators with her family. She eventually moved to the Smoky Mountains, where she discovered her love for backpacking, rafting, climbing, and sharing those adventures with others. After graduating with a degree in English Literature, she began traveling and working as an environmental educator, hiking guide, white water guide, and wilderness therapy field instructor. Through guiding she learned that exposing others to the wilderness is one of the most wonderful things in the world, and she fell in love with the joys, beauty, and challenges of living in the mountains. Juliet obtained her Wilderness First Responder certification in 2015. She has spent her last year in Yosemite, working as a naturalist and guide in the park. She loved her season of guiding for Lasting Adventures and is thrilled to be returning as part of the Administrative team. When not guiding, Juliet enjoys baking bread, gardening, and traveling.

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RILEY COX

Equipment and Intern Manager
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Riley Cox was born and raised in Chico, CA, at the base of the foothills of the Sierra Nevada’s. Although he spent most of his childhood outside under the sun, it wasn’t until his freshmen year of college that he truly fell in love with Outdoor Education. Now an avid backpacker and rock climber, Riley has a degree in Outdoor Education from Chico State, spent three years as a trip leader for Adventure Outings, and is a graduate of the NOLS Outdoor Educators Mountaineering course. Coming in on his second season with Lasting Adventures, Riley is beyond excited to continue sharing his passion for life, rocks, and silliness with everyone he meets. Joining Riley for a Bday on the trail is a real treat!

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MICHAEL MISSELWITZ

Marketing and Development Manager
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Michael grew up among the Redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains, where he spent much of his youth in the woods, often with a rough case of poison oak. He took his first backpacking trip to Yosemite at eight years old as cargo on his dad’s shoulders, an experience that evolved into a lifelong love for the Sierras. Over the years Michael’s thirst for wild adventures evolved into an obsession with rock climbing, hiking and surfing, and he carried it with him to college working as a lifeguard and surf instructor while earning a bachelors degree in journalism at San Diego State University. Upon graduating he paired his passions for writing and the outdoors to spawn his career as an editor for SURFING and SUP Magazine, telling stories of travel and adventure. His published works recount tales of backpacking through the jungles of Indonesia, surfing unknown breaks in Central America, running rapids in the Colorado River, climbing crags in Joshua Tree and competing in ultra-endurance events in Bora Bora, among other adventures. He’ll be the first to say: the stories from Yosemite are his favorite.

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CHRISSY MURPHY

Administrative Assistant/Registrar
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Chrissy grew up camping in the Sierras all her life, but it wasn’t until her first visit to Yosemite as a teen that she absolutely fell in love with nature and the Sierra’s. That single day hike in Yosemite, and her now husband Tim, launched a growing need for nature that introduced her to backpacking. On one particular trip to the Yosemite backcountry Chrissy was engaged to on top of Clouds Rest. While finishing up school, Chrissy (& Tim) guided for Lasting Adventures for three summers. She received her BA in History and continued on to obtain her teaching credential. Chrissy took a break from guiding to peruse her passion of teaching while teaching history at Gridley High School. Chrissy would leave teaching to become a stay at home mother for her twin sons Eli and Wyatt. Chrissy enjoys road-tripping with her family all over the U.S. or exploring nature with her twins. Chrissy is beyond thrilled to be joining the amazing staff of Lasting Adventures once again and to give back to the company that gave her some of the most wonderful and lasting memories of her young adult life.

2019 Yosemite Guide Staff

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ALISON AJANGO

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Alice grew up playing on a tire swing and frolicking in the woods in her backyard where she was born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. After high school she was itching to start exploring, which led her to college in Orlando, where she got her degree in English-Literature and a certificate to Teach English as a Foreign Language. After college (and a few-dozen road trips) she truly discovered her passion for the outdoors, which led her to conservation work in the Santa Cruz Mountains, the Grand Canyon, and around the Southwest. Constructing trails and living in a tent only solidified her love for the earth and adventuring, and she intends to continue her path of exploration absolutely everywhere she can. Alice feels passionately that you are never too old (or young) to grow and evolve, and that learning never stops.

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TREY APPIER

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Trey grew up in Chico, CA. He is a nature enthusiast that has a deep love for Yosemite National Park and the Sierra Nevada Mountains. He advocates having a loving, and grounding connection with our natural world, and he can’t wait to share Yosemite’s awesomeness with anyone willing to go on an adventure with him! In his off time, he enjoys participating in multiple outdoor sports including golfing, swimming, hiking, etc. and he loves to play music. Trey is trained in CPR, Wilderness First Aid, and EMT

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NICHOLAS ESTRADA

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A Pacific Northwest native, Nick grew up in Bellingham, Washington spoiled by the surrounding splendor of the San Juan Islands, Puget Sound, and the Cascade Mountains. As a kid, he loved exploring the wide range of outdoor endeavors Washington has to offer before moving to Phoenix, Arizona to attend university. He developed a love for instilling wonder, appreciation, and respect for the outdoors in others when he started guiding fellow students across the spectacular American Southwest. After graduating with degrees in Exercise and Wellness, and Parks and Protected Area Management, he worked as a wilderness guide for youth near Vail, Colorado. Nick is passionate about exploring unfamiliar places and our connection and responsibility to those places. He returned to Arizona this past winter to work as a snowboard instructor and is thrilled to be embarking on another summer with Lasting Adventures!

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NICOLE FRATI

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Nicole is an east-coast adventurer who continues to find new corners of the world to explore. Growing up, Nicole was taken along by her father on backpacking, rock climbing, and ice climbing trips at a very young age. She went on to study both Adventure Education and Health Education in college, as well as completing a Rocky Mountain Semester with NOLS in 2013. Throughout school Nicole gained experience working with two non-profits in her area, along with working for her University’s Outdoor Center. Nicole has since worked in Alaska, New Zealand, and Australia as a health advocate and kayak guide. Nicole is an avid climber but has just as much passion for teaching, traveling, and making connections with others along the way. She believes in the value of both experiential education and outdoor recreation, and sees the most growth when these two come hand-in-hand. Nicole recently updated her Wilderness First Responder while on a short visit to her beautiful New Hampshire home. She is excited to start her new chapter with Lasting Adventures!

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GUS GEBHART

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Gus grew up in Berkeley, California, and his passion for the wilderness started with day hikes in Lake Tahoe when he was five. He had his first experience with Yosemite with Lasting Adventures in 2013 at age 14, and immediately fell in love with the dramatic granite walls and beautiful trails and rivers. Lasting Adventures and Yosemite became an important part of his life, and came back every year to better his skills and knowledge of the area. He became a junior guide in 2015, and is now super stoked to begin working with Lasting Adventures as an intern! Gus is a certified Wilderness First Responder, and he plans to major in Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College in Durango, Colorado.

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ANTHONY GORDON

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Anthony was first introduced to the outdoors via his father’s love for skiing and camping in his RV. When he was a freshman at Chico State, he attended his first backpacking trip on the Lost Coast and his passion for the outdoors escalated. His new found hobby of getting out into the wilderness away from the noise of society transformed into more than just a hobby. 3 years of leading trips for Chico State’s Adventure Outings Program, a B.S. in Recreation Administration with a focus in Parks and Natural Resource Management, and a never ending thirst for climbing rock walls, skiing powder, and long days on the trail make Anthony’s love for the outdoors obvious. Anthony is stoked to start his first season with Lasting Adventures!

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RACHAEL GREEN

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Hi! I’m Rachael! I grew up in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and now I live in Gunnison, Colorado where I go to Western Colorado University. I am currently working on getting my bachelor’s degree in Recreation and Outdoor Education with and emphasis in Leadership. I have a strong background in rock climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking and I am super excited to be in Yosemite and enjoy the outdoors ALL SUMMER LONG!!! Its going to be a blast!

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WILL HEAPS

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Will Heaps started his outdoor education in Appalachia, found his passion for adventure in the Rockies, and found his home in the Sierra Nevada. Thanks to parents that booked campsites instead of hotel rooms to save on travel expenses, he is quite comfortable laying his head close to the ground to sleep. Along the path to becoming an Eagle Scout, Will learned the outdoor survival skills that have given him the confidence to leave behind civilization and live in the wilderness. Will began camping as a child, backpacking as a teenager, and climbing/canyoneering in college. He graduated from BYU with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation and worked near Zion National Park as a therapist. Finding that he yearned to spend even more time in the wild, he left behind the life of a therapist and went full time into guiding with Lasting Adventures during the summer of 2015. Will loves being a guide because it affords him the opportunity to invite others to share in the experiences that have given him the hope to carry on through difficult times, including his amazing wife and beautiful daughter. When your life is simple enough to fit all necessary possessions in a backpack, you have plenty of room left to fill yourself with happiness and adventure.

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LUCIE HLADIK

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Most of my childhood was spent in Burlington Vermont. It was there that I spent spring, summers and fall racing sailboats on lake champlain and backpacking. My winters were spent ski racing on ice. When I was 17 I hiked the length of Vermont, the following summer I lead backpacking trips throughout Vermont and New Hampshire. I then decided to take a semester off and attend a semester long NOLS in Lander WY. I am currently living in Bozeman MT and attending Montana State University studying Biology. I have trade in my race ski for a touring set up and have fallen in love with backcountry

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MADDIE HODGE

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Maddie Hodge is from Edinboro, Pennsylvania. She currently lives in Gunnison, Colorado while she is studying at Western State Colorado University in the Recreation and Outdoor Education/Special Education with an outdoor leadership emphasis. Maddie worked for a state universities outdoor program and climbing wall, where she discovered her two greatest passions in life: education and the outdoors. “Being able to teach someone something new is an amazing feeling”. Maddie feels like teaching is something that gives her purpose and makes her feel like she has a real impact on the world around her. Maddie has experience as a ski instructor, and has a strong passion in working with special education and adaptive education. She is also a Wilderness first responder. She can’t wait to give people the trip and adventure that will last a lifetime in the beautiful lands of the Yosemite National Park with amazing leaders and educators.

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GABRIEL 'CRITTER' KEE

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Two months after graduating from Florida State University Critter moved to China where he ended up staying for 7 years. During his final two years in China he worked as a backpacking guide, outdoor educator, and translator in the Tian Shan mountain range of Xinjiang, China. Upon returning to the states he worked as a naturalist in the redwoods of California until he left again for 6 months abroad, guiding a group of folks throughout Thailand, China, Mongolia, Turkey, and Lebanon. Though he spends a lot of time on the go, Colorado and California are where he considers home. If he’s not guiding in the Sierras, chances are he’s snowboarding, snowshoeing, or hiking somewhere in the Rockies.
Critter is incredibly passionate about global-awareness, intentional interactions, the wilderness, and the combination of those three things for the sake of life-changing experiences. He has spent time in 30 national parks and is excited for another season helping others experience the power and beauty of Yosemite.
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ERIC KOONS

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Eric grew up spending his free time roaming around the Santa Monica Mountains and visiting the Sierra Nevada mountains whenever possible. His family’s summer holiday destination was a yearly trip to Yosemite where they spent weeks in the Valley and Tuolumne Meadows. This helped him develop a passion for adventure and after graduating university it led him to explore other areas of the world. He lived in Asia for four years teaching high school science and traveling. More recently he has been working with the refugee community in Greece. He loves to learn about new cultures and explore new places. He has spent much of his life in the outdoors and believes it is a very important part of development, especially for teenagers.

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JENNA LEVY

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A love for the mountains was ingrained in Jenna as a child growing up in Boulder, Colorado. The influence of a very environmentally conscience community resulted in her leaving to pursue a degree in Environmental Science from Chico State. During that time, her intrigue for outdoor pursuits developed and she was first introduced to Yosemite in the form of a six-day, 60 mile backpacking trip. After that unforgettable experience, she has been unable to stay away from the park for long and joined Lasting Adventures in 2016. Post college life has taken Jenna from Lake Tahoe to Santa Barbara with intermitted residence in Colorado as well. Last fall she was fortunate enough to participate in a 50-day Outdoor Educators Course with Outward Bound in Big Bend National Park. Jenna loves sharing the majesty of Yosemite with guests from every walk of life and it is with great joy that she returns for her fourth season with Lasting Adventures!

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SHELBY LOWMAN

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Hello! My name is Shelby Lowman and I am an avid climber of all the things, writer, photographer, all-around adventurer, and amateur mustache grower. I’m originally from Colorado but spent most of my early life moving around the world in a military family.  These travels exposed me to varying cultures, natural beauty, and unique challenges. Those experiences combined with a stint in the military combined to foster a deep passion for not only recreating in beautiful, natural spaces, but to also protect and conserve them for others to enjoy. I currently live in Gunnison, Colorado and am studying the intersection of environmental sustainability, climate science, and human geography at Western Colorado University and work at the student run outdoor pursuits program as a guide.  I’m also certified as a WEMT, Rope Rescue technician, and search and rescue technician. I am a strong believer that impactful, positive experiences in the outdoors have the potential to change lives and inspire stewardship in others. I am committed to providing this experience for those on my trips and look forward to exploring the beauty of Yosemite with you!

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KARA MACEROSS

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I grew up in a small town of Beaver, PA and loved spending every waking moment in the outdoors as a child. Once I was taken on my first backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park I was hooked and eventually decided to change my career from the Fashion Industry to the Outdoors and that was the best decision I ever made. I then took an Outdoor Educator course with NOLS in the great Wind River Range for backpacking and rock climbing, got my Wilderness First Responder certification, and have since taken kids out into the outdoors from the White Mountains in New Hampshire to the desert in Joshua Tree National Park and challenged them in activities that include backpacking, rock climbing, white water kayaking and canoeing.

In my free time I love going canyoneering, backpacking, trail running, researching new cheesy jokes, cooking and eating lots of yummy food, climbing multi-pitch routes in Red Rocks, road tripping, playing lots ‘o’ board games, writing for my blog, star-gazing, chasing rainbows and ultimately lounging in my hammock.

I believe in the philosophy that you should never stop learning and I am very much looking forward to learning even more about Yosemite, where I got first bitten by the outdoors bug, and sharing that knowledge with all the participants on Lasting Adventures trips!

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CIARA MACKEN

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Ciara was born and raised in Southern California but has spent the last four years living in Thailand. She first moved to Asia in 2013 when she studied abroad at a university in Bangkok. After completing her undergraduate degrees from UC Santa Barbara in 2015, she returned to Thailand to work as a high school English teacher. Working in education fostered her love for teaching and her enthusiasm working with teenagers. During her free time in Thailand, you could find her reading in a hammock on the beach, playing smashball or freediving around Phuket. She spent most of 2018 traveling through East and Southeast Asia, enjoying incredible diving, hiking, and backpacking. Most recently, she’s been working as a teacher and scout leader with refugees and asylum seekers in Greece. Her favorite part of the week is taking the scouts on hiking and outdoor expeditions on Saturdays in the nearby forest. She lives to be outdoors, whether it’s underwater, in the mountains, or with her feet in the sand. She’s excited to continue sharing her passion for the outdoors and environmental conservation with teenagers.

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MARINA NEAL

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Marina is an adventurous spirit from Oregon with a deep love for the ocean and mountains. Marina has spent her whole life outside. She became seriously hooked on the outdoors after a sunrise hike to a summit near Mt. Hood at the beginning of high school, and has been living in her hiking boots ever since. Her love for the outdoors has taken her backpacking through the wilderness of New Zealand, surfing in Australia, rock climbing all over the West Coast and exploring every corner of her home state of Oregon. She is about to graduate from the University of Oregon with a degree in communications and photojournalism. When not outside, she can usually be found listening to folk music with a camera in one hand and a water bottle in the other. Marina is so excited to be working in Yosemite this summer with Lasting Adventures!

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LILLY PELL

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Lilly grew up in Fresno, CA, where she sought refuge in the Sierra Nevada and California coastline. After many years of exploring, Lilly became passionate about the infinite potential of growth and inspiration nature provides. This kindling love for the outdoors led her to move to Arizona, where she attends Prescott College with a degree in Adventure Education and a minor in Cultural Regional Studies. Lilly hopes her degree will instill a fulfilling life of educating social awareness, self-advocacy, and respect for the outdoors. When Lilly isn’t studying or working as a High Ropes Facilitator, she is planning her next backpacking trip! Lilly has 100+ days of backcountry experience and has been lucky enough to explore trails and rivers all across the Colorado Plateau. Growing up so close to Yosemite, it is easily a place Lilly equates as a part of “home.” She is so honored and excited to lead others, sharing the experience of witnessing such an amazing place she holds dearly.

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RYAN SANDER

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Ryan Sander grew up in Chicago and is currently in his third year at Northern Arizona University, pursuing a degree in Parks and Recreation Management with an emphasis in Outdoor Education and Leadership. Some of Ryan’s passions highlining, sailing, climbing, backpacking and music.

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MATTHEW SCHILOWITZ

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Matt is an Outdoor Adventure Education major who loves working in the outdoors. He has been climbing, hiking and paddling all over the US, but his favorite places include the Sierra Nevada and Mojave desert in California and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Sharing adventures with others and teaching about our planet and its amazing natural wonders is Matt’s passion. After a day of climbing mountains in Yosemite, he loves to scan the sky and practice astronomy, one of his favorite subjects to teach. Matt’s next big adventures is a third season with Lasting Adventures!

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QUINN SULLIVAN

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Quinn Sullivan grew up always trying to engulf himself in nature. He started guiding in college while pursuing and earning his degree in Recreational Therapy from Chico State in May of 2017. Growing up within Northern California, Quinn saw from a young age what impacts nature had on him and how those impacts could better so many other lives. Quinn became a Wilderness First Responder in June of 2016 while guiding with Adventure Outings at Chico State. While attending college, Quinn worked as a care provider for kids and adults with cognitive and physical disabilities. Quinn also works for a sports camp called Ability First. This camp is for kids living with spinal chord injuries or disabilities who want to pursue a career in sports. These amazing individuals whom he has been so fortunate to work with have taught Quinn how he should never take his own capabilities for granted in life and to always be an advocate for inclusion. Being from Chico, it was very easy for Quinn to commute to secrets spots within Upper Park, which is famous for its scenic bluffs, beautiful swimming holes, and well kept trails. Quinn has recently taken up rock climbing and archery as well as being an avid backpacker and hiker to add to the plethora of interests that come with Quinn. With a background in Recreational Therapy Quinn understands the benefits that come with engulfing yourself in nature and Quinn will never hesitate to lend a helping hand or be a source of encouragement for anyone coming to Lasting Adventures in need of an adventure.

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EMMA TEERING

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Originally from The Netherlands, Emma grew up in Pacific Grove, California, where she fell in love with the ocean and the forested mountains of the Central Coast. As a child, she spent most holidays and school breaks hiking and camping in Yosemite, making the spectacular mountains and valleys of the park feel as familiar as home. After consistently bothering her dad to take her on her first backpacking trip at age 14, Emma became hooked on the outdoors and life in the mountains. Following high school, she took a gap year to spend some time backpacking, kayaking, and climbing mountains in the Patagonian wilderness. Currently pursuing an undergraduate degree at Lewis & Clark College in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Emma spends most of her weekends either backpacking, kayaking, trail running, mountain biking, or working as a Trip Leader for her school’s outdoor program.

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JACK WATERHOUSE

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An avid outdoor enthusiast, Jack received an undergraduate degree in Expeditionary Studies from Plattsburgh State University in upstate New York. A former ski instructor, rappel and via ferrata guide, and hotel housekeeper at the Yosemite Valley Lodge, he enjoys enriching the lives of others through sharing his passion for the natural world.

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KIRSTIN WHITING

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Kirstin is from a small town in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, raised by outdoor and bluegrass loving parents. She spent her childhood camping, biking, skiing, hiking and spending time with friends and family. Her love for photography and capturing the beauty of the world is what really connected her to the outdoors. She graduated from Colorado State University last year with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies. After 6 months of living on the South Island of New Zealand, she realized how important the outdoors and adventure are to her. She also just finished a season working as a Ski Instructor in Winter Park, where she was proud to call herself a professional ski bum. Kirstin is passionate about using the outdoors as a tool for growth and learning for humans, and is excited to spend another season with Lasting Adventures.

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SAAGAR BARMEDA

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Saagar was brought up in the flatlands of Indiana where his parents cultivated his love for the mountains at a young age. When he was a child his parents told him stories about their expeditions in the Himalayas and ever since then, he has been fascinated by the mountains, seizing every opportunity he can get to go out and climb. His adventures have led him to multiple national parks over the years and his favorite climb to date is Mt. Elbert. He is passionate about high altitude mountaineering and hopes to summit the tallest summit on every continent one day. He is currently studying Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University and when he is not climbing, you can find him taking pictures, road biking, skateboarding, and Rubik’s cube solving. Saagar is a certified Wilderness First Responder and is fluent in Spanish, English, and two Indian languages (Hindi and Gujarati).

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SOPHIA BARWEGEN

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Growing up in sunny San Jose, California, Sophia Barwegen always has loved spending time outdoors whether it be hiking in the local old growth redwood forests of the Santa Cruz mountains or tidepooling in Half Moon Bay. While Sophia would make regular visits to Yosemite in the wintertime with her family, she did not truly fall in love with the park until her first Lasting Adventures trip in 2016. She was amazed at how breathtakingly beautiful the backcountry was and it inspired her to pursue a deeper connection with natural world around her. To this date she has completed five Lasting Adventures trips, including the 27 Day Junior Guide Leadership Expedition, and she also worked with the company for her high school’s senior service learning project where she served as a junior guide in the Santa Cruz mountains. In addition to being an outdoor enthusiast, she loves baking, reading, photography, and researching various environmental science issues. Sophia will be attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo this Fall to study environmental protection and management. She cannot wait to spend this summer as an intern for Lasting Adventures and is honored to share her love for Yosemite to others.

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EMMA BEARDSLEY

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Emma was born and raised in Truckee, California. She grew up rock climbing, skiing, and camping, which fostered her love for the outdoors. Yosemite has a special place in her heart, as she has visited the park nearly every summer for the past twenty years with her family and friends. She is a passionate outdoor enthusiast, who loves nothing more than to play outside, especially in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Emma recently completed a three month Wilderness Medicine and Rescue course with NOLS, and received various certifications while basing out of Wyoming, Utah, and Nevada. She is currently a third year student at Western Washington University and will be receiving a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Management and Leadership, with an emphasis in Outdoor Recreation. She looks forward to a career in the guiding industry after graduation. As she begins her first season with Lasting Adventures, Emma is stoked to spend her summer sharing her true love for Yosemite and the Sierra with others!

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ZOE FERGUSON

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Zoë grew up in San Francisco, CA, and discovered her love of the outdoors on trips to Yosemite as a child. Before joining the staff, she participated in 5 Lasting Adventures programs as a camper, including the 27-Day Junior Guide Expedition and the inaugural Young Women’s Adventure Program. When she’s not galavanting through the woods, Zoë studies at Wellesley College in Massachusetts, where she sings A Cappella with the Wellesley College Tupelos and explores as much of the East Coast landscape as she can. She is beyond excited to join the LA guide team as an intern this summer after spending so many years as a participant!

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OLIVIA HOCKLEY-RODES

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Olivia Hockley-Rodes grew up in Culver City, California. She spent her childhood summers camping in Yosemite Valley with her family. At age 15, she embarked on her first backpacking trip with Lasting Adventures and instantly fell in love. She went on to attend a backpacking and sea kayaking Outward Bound course in 2016, traveling through the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades National Park in northern Washington. Last summer, she completed a thru hike of the John Muir Trail, summiting Half Dome and Mount Whitney along the 211 mile trek. Currently, Olivia studies engineering at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California. She completed an Outdoor Leadership course at Pomona College, learning how to facilitate experiential education, and received a certification in wilderness first aid. Upon graduation from Harvey Mudd in 2022, Olivia hopes to hike the entirety of the Pacific Crest Trail. She is so excited to spend her summer in Yosemite (her favorite national park!) and join the Lasting Adventures team.

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CURTIS IVANOFF

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Hey y’all, My name is Curtis Ivanoff.  I grew up in a military family and have lived in 7 different states. Most of my summer and winter breaks I spent in Wyoming where I first learned about the back country and outdoor recreation. In high school I started running. Running gave me the opportunity to spend every day outside and experience trails and new places. During the summer of 2017 I spent about 3 months in Peru, here I went on multiple hikes. One of the most memorable hikes was a multiday hike where I hiked from Cusco to Machu Picchu. During this hike the guides taught me about Peru, hiking, and outdoor recreations. After that hike I began to pursue my interest in outdoor recreations and tourism which ultimately led me to Lasting Adventures! Here’s some quick fun facts about me, I am currently studying Biology at Bethany College in Kansas. I also run Cross country for my school and I am coached by a world class athlete. I have been on a Wall Street Journal video. I have been chased by a Llama. And I broke my toe while lifting. As you can see I have multiple stories to share and I am excited to share them with the Lasting Adventure team while also hearing their adventurous stories, but I am most excited to create a new story in Yosemite with Lasting Adventures.

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KELSEY ZONDERVAN

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Kelsey Zondervan was born and raised in the city of Kalamazoo, Michigan. She was always involved in athletics growing up, but didn’t get her first taste of the mountains until her last year of high school on her senior trip to the Smokey Mountains. She is currently getting ready to start her last semester at Grace College in Winona Lake, Indiana where she is majoring in Sport and Recreation Management. She spent last summer in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where she summited seven 14ers and found a passion for thru-hiking. After connecting with CDT hikers on a short backpacking trip, she began looking for long-distance hiking experience and is excited to learn all she can as a team member at Lasting Adventures.