Our Mountain Guides

The professionals at California and International Alpine Guides are dedicated to providing you a safe and memorable alpine experience. Owner/Director Dave Miller has a tight-knit team of International and California mountain guides that are hired based on their outgoing and friendly personalities, their formal training, and their dedication to the profession of mountain guiding.

How to choose a mountain guide:
For any mountain guiding, we highly recommend you look for guides that are certified and trained by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA). The AMGA is the standard in the United States for training and certification of mountain guides. It is not only the leading organization for training mountain guides in the United States, it is the only one that is recognized internationally. While there are some other upstart guide certification organizations as well as outdoor education companies with their own certifications, the AMGA is the only mountain guiding organization in the United States that is recognized by the International Federation of Mountain Guides (IFMGA).

Would you choose a dentist or an attorney with no standardized formal training or certification? Then why chose a mountain guide, with whom you place your well being, with no formal technical training?

For trekking and backpacking it's important you choose a professional who is familiar with the area and the culture in which they are guiding.

AMGA Certification
All of our technical mountain guides have undergone training through the AMGA and many are certified by the AMGA. Unlike most first world countries, certification in the United States is a voluntary process instead of a mandatory requirement that involves a series of 8-10 day training courses followed by 6-10 day certification mountain guiding exams. It is a rigorous process that represents a higher level of mountain guiding.

IFMGA/UIAGM Certification
The International Federation of Mountain Guides (IFMGA, or UIAGM by it's French acronym) certification represents the highest level of mountain guide certification in the world. It is a process that rivals or exceeds a common graduate degree in both time and money commitments. IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guides have been through a 4-6 year process that involves over 50 days of guide's training and 24 days of examination in all three disciplines - rock, alpine and ski. A fully certified IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guide is qualified to guide any terrain, anywhere in the world in which they have experience, whether on foot or skis. I

At California Alpine Guides you know what you're getting - friendly, personable & professional mountain guides who will lead you effeciently & safely through the mountains and on the rocks.

Dave Miller
Owner & Director
UIAGM/IFMGA Internationally Certified Mountain Guide & Ski Guide

AMGA certified alpine guide, rock guide & ski mountaineering guide
Dave has been climbing and exploring the mountains of California for over thirty five years. He has worked as a mountain guide in rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering and ski mountaineering throughout California, Europe, Mexico and South America for the past twelve years. Dave is the owner of California Alpine Guides and works full time as a climbing guide in the field. Dave lives in the Eastern Sierra Nevada minutes from Yosemite National Park and the resort area of Mammoth Lakes.

Climbing & Skiing Experience:
Dave's climbing adventures began back in 1980 while attending high school in the North Lake Tahoe area of the Northern Sierra Nevada while pursuing a career as an alpine ski racer. Twenty-nine years later Dave considers his proudest climbing achievements to be his multiple one-day ascents of Yosemite's El Capitan and his ascents of remote alpine rock routes in the High Sierra.

Dave's alpine climbing experience include long ice faces and rock climbing routes in Washington's North Cascade range, high altitude mountaineering in Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico, ascents in the French and Swiss Alps as well as ice climbs throughout California and Colorado. Dave has also climbed numerous Cascade volcanoes from Mount Shasta to Mount Baker.

Dave's ski mountaineering adventures include many glaciated ski tours in the French & Swiss Alps, the Coast Range of British Columbia and Alaska's Chugach Range plus many multi-day ski tours throughout the western United States.

Dave is certified mountain guide in alpine climbing, rock climbing & ski mountaineering through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) as well as a UIAGM/IFMGA internationally certified mountain guide in all disciplines. Dave also has a level III avalanche training certificate and is a Wilderness First Responder. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science.

Dave is known for his backcountry culinary skill and enjoys the creative outlet of cooking a great meal while in the field. He believes flexibility is key to any mountain adventure and is always willing to change objectives to suit your goals and abilities.

Check out: Dave's Photo Gallery & Blog

dave miller mountain guide
Photo: Dave rapelling into the Col du Chardonnay on the Haute Route

Scott Brown
Co-founder. Lead Rock, Ski, Alpine & International Guide
AMGA Certified Rock and Alpine Guide

For ten years, Scott has worked as a mountain guide, teaching rock climbing and ice climbing in the Sierra Nevada, Joshua Tree, Yosemite and on Mount Shasta in California. He is a co-founder of California Alpine Guides and guides in the field throughout the year. He guides high altitude mountaineering and has led 10 international climbing expeditions in Bolivia, Mexico and Peru.

Climbing experience:
He has ten speed ascents of Yosemite big walls including The Nose, Lurking Fear, and The Zodiac on El Capitan. He has logged over 40 nights on Yosemite big walls, climbed the 2000' Widows Tears in Yosemite Valley, has climbed Mt. Shasta and Mt Whitney too many times and spends his winters guiding ice climbing in the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

A certified Rock Climbing and alpine Guide through the American Mountain Guides Association, Scott is AIARE level II certified and is in the proccess of becoming an international IFMGA certified guide. Scott has a Bachelors Degree in Recreation Administration with a minor field of study in Business from Humboldt State University and currently offers webdesign services. He has three years as an integral member of Yosemite Search And Rescue and is currently a Wilderness First Responder & LNT Trainer.

dave miller mountain guide
Photo: Scott climbing somewhere

April Mayhew
Lead Rock, Alpine & International Guide
AMGA Rock Guide Training

Originally from Alaska, Aprilís love of the outdoors was rooted in her from birth. After studying Biology in southern California, she relocated to the Sierra Nevada to be closer to nature and her passion: Climbing. Eventually she made her passion her profession, and since has climbed all over the world, including expeditions to Africa, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador and Makalu in the Himalaya.

April has guided numerous international expeditions to South America's Aconcagua and the Ecuador Volcanoes, Africa's Kilimanjaro and Mount Kenya and the Mexico volcanoes. In California, she has guided extensively throughout the Sierra Nevada including too many winter Mount Whitney ascents to count!

April is currently pursuing full IFMGA certification as a mountain guide with the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), something currently less than ten American women posses.

Climbing experience:
In her spare time, April travels for climbing to areas such as: Indian Creek; Rifle; Yosemite; Incredible Hulk; California’s High Sierra; Mexico; Brazil; Ecuador; Argentina; Spain; Nepal. Other hobbies are running, photography and writing.

AMGA Rock Guide Training
Wilderness First Responder
AIARE level one Avalanche.

dave miller mountain guide
Photo: April climbing on the Incredible Hulk

Rich Graziano
Backpacking/trekking guide

Rich has been guiding since 2005.  While pursuing his Ph.D. in Philosophy, he worked both a rock climbing instructor and the rock climbing instruction program coordinator for the UCSB Adventure Programs.  After moving to his current home in San Luis Obispo to accept a full-time academic position at Cal Poly, he began his formal training with the American Mountain Guides Association and has worked during the summer months in a guiding capacity throughout the Sierra Nevada and in Joshua Tree National Park.

Climbing Experience:
The mountains and wild places have always been an important part of Rich’s life.  As a boy, his family would take regular camping trips in the Sierra Nevada.  It was these formative experiences that made Rich feel drawn to and want to spend as much time as possible in the high places.  Eventually, his love of the mountains led Rich to take up rock and ice climbing.  He has spent many years climbing and exploring in such places as the Grand Tetons, Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows, the Eastern Sierra Nevada, Colorado and Scotland.  In addition to climbing, Rich has spent time many long days throughout the years trekking backcountry trails throughout California, and has trekked off-trail coast-to-coast routes through the highlands of Scotland twice.

Rich is an AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor and working toward the AMGA’s full certification as an Alpine Guide.  He is also a certified Wilderness First Responder (Wilderness Medical Associates) and is AIARE level I certified.  Rich has a B.S. in Exercise Science (CSUF), two M.A.’s in Philosophy (Biola University & UCSB) and is a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy (UCSB).  In addition to his work as a mountain guide, Rich is a full-time philosophy professor at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo, CA.

dave miller mountain guide

Jason Champion
Lead backpacking & Ski/snowboard Guide
Enthusiastic about climbing mountains, Jason shares his reverence for the environment and imparts personal knowledge and technique. He has been a guide for California Alpine Guides for four years, and
Leads backpacking trips through Yosemite, as well as teaches introduction to Mountaineering, and Glacier travel in the Eastern Sierra.
In the winter he leads back country split board trips and works as a heli ski guide for H2O in Valdez, Alaska.In summer he also works for Shasta Mountain Guides, climbing Northern California’s beautiful Mt. Shasta Jason has over ten guiding certificates including AAA and Aiare Avalanche II, American Mechanized Ski Guide, Crevasse Rescue, Wilderness First Responder and LNT Trainer.

AAI Level II Avalanche certification

dave miller mountain guide

Andrew Dickie
Lead Trekking Guide
Andrew has been guiding for the last 6 years throughout California including 4 years on Mount Shasta. Andrew guides rock climbing, winter mountaineering and trekking trips.

Andrew lives in Truckee, CA. and has trekked all over the world including India and Turkey, but believes the West Coast is the best playground for climbers and skiers. He also works as a professional ski patroller in the winter when he is not guiding winter mountaineering trips. Andrew's philosophy is that there is no other classroom in the world like the mountains and he enjoys sjaring what he has learned with others so they can have a safe and fun experience in these beautiful places. When not guiding he spends at least 80% of his time somewhere in the mountains.

Aiare Level II Avalanche certification

dave miller mountain guide

Eric Layton
Lead alpine, rock, backpacking & Ski/snowboard Guide
AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
AMGA ski mountaineering guides course

Ericís love for the mountains brought him to Lake Tahoe, CA in the late 90ís, were he continued his pursuit of climbing & snowboarding. During the spring and summer months you can find him guiding on Mt. Shasta and climbing throughout the Sierra Nevada. In the winter he heads North with his splitboard to work as a cat and heli ski guide. Guiding professionally since 2007, his passion and expertise for mountaineering and backcountry skiing and splitboarding has led him to work as a guide for California Alpine Guides, Shasta Mountain Guides, H20 Heli Guides in Alaska and Baldface Guides in British Columbia. Eric is a certified AMGA Single Pitch Rock Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, American Avalanche Institute Level III, and is working towards his full AMGA Ski Mountaineering Certification.

CSGA (Canadian Ski Guides Assoc)GLACIER COURSE
AIARE LEVEL I & II avalanche
AAI Level III Avalanche certification
CAAI Canadian Avalanche certified


dave miller mountain guide

Allen Losh
Lead Trekking Guide
Allen is a California native who grew up in the Santa Rosa area and the coast. The mountains have always had a stronger pull on him then the oceans current. Growing up he found himself headed east into the Sierra’s more often than sandy beaches of the Pacific Ocean.

After completing his Army enlistment in 2011 as a medic in Germany, Allen started a different career path as a trekking guide for California Alpine Guide and headed back to college to obtain a degree in Outdoor Education. Allen has trekked on three different continents, with the Andes being one of his most memorable. Allen spends as much time as possible in the outdoors and during his downtime from guiding and college work he enjoys trail running and backpacking with his wife Laura.

Allen has been an EMT since 2001 and is a Leave No Trace, certified trainer

dave miller mountain guide
Photo: Allen in the High Sierra on New Years day.

Mark Grundon
Lead Rock & Alpine Guide
AMGA Certified Rock Guide

Mark has been mountain guiding for the past six years thorughout Colorado, Alaska and most recently on Mount Shasta. Mark is equally at home on rock climbs as well as alpine and ice climbs. Mark spends most of the summer season climbing and guiding throughout the Western United States, mostly in California. In the winter he ski patrols for Crested Butte, Co.

Climbing Experience:
Mark has been rock climbing since a young age while growing up in the mountains of Vermont. He excells at steep desert crack climbing as well as long Yosemite rock climbs. Mark's ice climbing experience has revolved around the superb ice climbs of Southwestern Colorado.

Mark is an AMGA certified Rock Guide. He holds an EMT-basic and Outdoor Emergency Care Technician certificates and holds a Leave No Trace principles trainer certificate. He also has avalanche level II training. Mark has a degree in recreation and Environmental studies from Western State College in Gunnison Colorado.

dave miller mountain guide
Photo: Mark climbing in The Needles of the Southern Sierra

Rich Meyer
Lead Alpine, Ski & International Guide
AMGA Ski Mountaineering Training

Rich has been guiding for over ten years. In addition to Sierra Nevada ski guiding, Rich has led our Ecuador volcanoes expedition for the last three years. He is also a senior guide with Shasta Mountain Guides and also works a bit for Alpine Ascents International on Mount Rainier and Denali, as well as ski guiding with NASTC.

From local ski tours in Tahoe, to guided expeditions in Alaska.  Some of his adventures include: trekking in Bhutan, skiing the Haute route in the Alps, guiding on Mt. Shasta, Mt. Rainer, Denali, and guiding the volcanoes of Ecuador.  Rich has logged numerous ski descents in the lower 48, Alaska, Canada, Argentina, Chile, France, and Switzerland.  Rich is most often found in working in California, where he guides various routes and ski descents in addition to teaching glacier seminars and avalanche courses.  Rich has had extensive training from a variety of schools, including the PSIA and the AMGA.

AMGA ski guides course
AMGA ski mountaineering course
Widerness First Responder, certified by Wilderness Medicine Institute
American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education, (AIARE) Level I II III
AIARE: certified avalanche instructor
American Avalanche Association
NOLS: Leave No Trace, certified trainer

dave miller mountain guide
Photo: "Papa Bear" Rich Meyer

Ben Adkison
International trekking Guide

"Remember when you were a kid and always wanted to climb to the top of things?  Climbing mountains makes me feel like a kid again, just on a larger scale and with a bit more responsibility, but the feeling is still the same.  I grew up on a solar-powered ranch in the Highland mountains of southwestern Montana. I went to college in Missoula, Montana (a place I may always call home?) at the University of Montana and got a degree in Recreation Management–Nature-based Tourism".

Ben has been a mountain guide for the last fours years on Mt. Shasta, the Sierra Nevada, western Montana, southern Utah, Mexico, South America & Alaska. He has guided expeditions on Denali, Aconcagua and the volcanoes of Ecuador and Mexico. He traches classes for the University of Montana’s Outdoor Program in almost every genre of outdoor skills.

Widerness First Responder, certified by Wilderness Medicine Institute
American Institute of Avalanche Research and Education, (AIARE) Level I II
Leave No Trace, certified trainer

dave miller mountain guide
Photo: Ben "Montana" Adkison


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