At North Cascades Mountain Guides we believe that the most important part of an enjoyable and successful guided experience is the guide. That is why we hire the most experienced, trained and well-rounded guides in the business. The majority of our guides have been guiding for over a decade (some of them for several decades) and have guided all over the world. The vast majority of our guides are AMGA certified and all of them are true professionals. We also make sure that these guides are fun to hang out with, because let’s face it, it doesn’t matter how good a climber or skier the person is if they aren’t fun to be with.
The owners of NCMG have worked for large and small guide services, as instructors and examiners for the American Mountain Guides Association and chief instructors for large outdoor educational organizations. They have seen what separates the exceptional guide from the average and have gone out of their way to hire best of the best. Book a trip with NCMG today and experience the difference.
Larry Goldie, co-owner and lead guide for NCMG, has been making a living as a mountain guide for over two decades. He has climbed, skied and guided extensively in the Cascades, with additional experience in the Alps, Sierras, Rockies, Alaska and Canada. In addition to guiding for NCMG, Larry is an instructor and examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), as well as an instructor trainer for AIARE, also being one of a select few teaching AIARE 3 courses. With that background, Larry is one of our lead avalanche educators. Larry is an internationally (IFMGA) licensed Mountain guide and AMGA certified guide.
Jeff Ward, co-owner of NCMG, is a fully certified AMGA and IFMGA licensed Mountain Guide and has been working as a full-time professional mountain guide since 1995. In addition to working as a guide for NCMG, Jeff is an instructor and examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), teaching the next generation of American mountain guides. Jeff also works for the Northwest Avalanche Center (NWAC) as a professional observer. Jeff lives in Leavenworth, WA with his wife Kristen and 6 year old daughter Allison.
Paul Butler, co-owner of NCMG, has been guiding in the North Cascades for over 17 years. His experience has been a combination of private guiding and working as a Chief Instructor for the Pacific Crest Outward Bound School. His passion for climbing has led to adventures all over the western United States as well as abroad in Ecuador, Patagonia and the Alps. He is a level III PSIA certified Nordic and backcountry ski guide.
Joshua Cole, a co-owner of NCMG, has been adventuring in the mountains for more than 18 years, and guiding for 11. He has climbed and skied extensively in the North Cascades, Swiss Alps, Italian Dolomites, Sierra Nevada, New Zealand and the ranges of SW Montana. Josh has given trainings and presentations on wilderness risk management to numerous organizations and is a lead instructor for Wilderness Medicine Training Center. Josh has worked as a professional ski patroller in Montana and New Zealand, and has a former life as a geologist. Josh works in the North Cascades as a ski, alpine and rock guide for NCMG. Josh is an AMGA Certified Ski Guide, Single-Pitch Instructor and is working towards his AMGA certification in the rock, ski and alpine disciplines.
Matt Walker, co-owner of NCMG, has worked as an outdoor educator and mountain guide for the past two decades. This work has allowed him to travel and climb throughout the world on six continents. Matt has focused his work teaching and facilitating leadership development through outdoor adventure. His work, as the director of NCMG’s professional development program, has inspired Fortune 100 organizations to integrate adventure into their leadership platforms and he delivers keynotes and professional development workshops focused on adventure as a core leadership skill. Matt is a certified Rock Instructor by the American Mountain Guide Association and is working towards both his Rock Guide and Alpine Guide certifications. Matt received his Master’s degree in Behavioral Science from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA and uses these skills to lead NCMG’s Professional Development and Team Building programs in addition to guiding climbing programs in the North Cascades, US Southwest, and Kilimanjaro expeditions.
Tim Connelly has been around the world block a few times and with his 13 years of mountain guiding, he has found himself helping people fulfill their dreams from Alaska to Patagonia, from the Himalaya to the Alps to Antarctica with many a stop in between. Tim is a fully licensed IFMGA and the 2006 recipient of the AMGA’s Outstanding Guide of the Year’ award. Tim is recognized throughout the guiding world for his expertise and passion for the peoples and experiences to be had in the mountains. Tim speaks French and Spanish. Tim works as a ski and climbing guide in the European Alps for NCMG.
The first thing you will quickly realize about Ian Nicholson is his never-ending stoke to be out sharing the mountains with people, whether on rock, on glaciers or on skis; and his passion to be out in the mountains has been known to spur people to greater heights. Ian is an internationally licensed IFMGA/UIAGM mountain guide. Some of Ian’s experience ranges from having established over a half-dozen first ascents in his home range of the Cascades as well as opening new routes in farther-off regions such as the Waddington Range, Patagonia and the Alaska Range. Ian has also authored a local climbing guidebook entitled SuperTopo: Washington Pass Climbing and is a regularly contributing editor for OutdoorGearLab and writes occasionally for publications like Climbing Magazine. Ian is AIARE Level III certified, a Wilderness First Responder and is an AIARE Level 1 and Level 2 Course Leader and a LNT Trainer.
Sid Pattison comes to North Cascade Mountain Guides by way of the Seattle where he was born and cut his teeth climbing and skiing in North Cascades. Since those early days his mountain pursuits have taken him to the greater ranges and crags of New Zealand, Europe and the Alaska range but the wild nature of the North Cascades will always bring him home. Sid lives with his wife and two daughters in Winthrop, Wa. Sid’s AMGA training includes a Rock Guide Course.
Drew Lovell has been basing out of the Eastern Cascades since 2003, where community, weather, rock, and snow have all conspired to help call this place home. A climbing and skiing guide since 1998, he has worked in the Cascades, the High Sierra, the Chugach, Wrangell, and St.Elias Ranges. Over 20 years of personal experience in alpine climbing and ski mountaineering have delivered Drew to high and wild places from China to Alaska and cultures in between. Educated as a Geologist, Drew has also worked as a Field Biologist, Avalanche Forecaster, Climbing Ranger, and professional Ski Patroller.
Ryan Audett was born and raised in Washington State. He began his skiing career at the age of 4 and ventured into the climbing realm in 1996. His travels have taken him all over the continental US, Alaska, Canada, and New Zealand. He has professionally ski patrolled for 8 years and is a owner/handler of a currently certified avalanche rescue dog. He has been guiding for 11 years in the Pacific Northwest. Ryan is an AMGA Single-Pitch Instructor and has taken the AMGA’s Ski Guides Course.
Steph Williams first worked as a guide in 2003 on the glaciers of Alaska’s Wrangell Mountains. Since then she has been privileged to work and play in the spectacular alpine wildlands of India, Iceland, Switzerland, New Zealand, China, Chile, and across western North America. She spent a decade as a professional ski patroller at Stevens Pass, teaches Nordic skiing in the Methow Valley, and surveys the North Cascades wolverines as a field biologist. A Michigan native, the Pacific Northwest has been home to Steph since 2001. She lives with her husband, Drew, in Twisp.
Brad Sawtell now calls the Methow Valley his home after living many years near Breckenridge, Colorado. While living in Colorado, he worked as an Avalanche Forecaster and Educator for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC). Prior to forecasting, Brad directed the Wilderness Program for the High Mountain Institute (HMI), was senior staff at the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and worked as a mountain guide for various guide services. He served on the board for the American Avalanche Association (A3) as the Certified Instructor Representative as well as on A3’s Education Committee. Brad also works as an Instructor Trainer for The American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and a ski guide for North Cascade Heli. Brad works as a ski guide and avalanche instructor for NCMG.
Jennifer Schumacher is the NCMG Office Manager. She moved to to the Pacific Northwest in 2001 and quickly fell under the spell of the Cascades. After many years visiting the Methow for climbing and skiing she and her family moved to Mazama in 2013. When not in the office you can find her hanging out with her family, climbing, skiing or hiking around in the backcountry.