Karen grew up in Germany. Her childhood dream of becoming a mountain guide took some time to realize while she was busy studying Physics and racing road bikes. Finally, she found her passion for skiing and mountain climbing in Colorado.
She spent many years ski touring the San Juan backcountry in Colorado, racing on the ski mountaineering circuit, and ski patrolling at the Telluride Ski Area where she did avalanche control work and forecasting. She has climbed and skied most of the Colorado Fourteeners, the Grand Teton, and Denali, along with trips to the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, Japan, the European Alps, and the high Andes in Chile.
Karen started guiding in 2009, turning her passion for the outdoors into a profession. She now guides year round in different mountain ranges, from the volcanoes in the Northwest and the snowy Tetons in Wyoming to the beautiful sandstone of Red Rock outside of Las Vegas and the majestic peaks of Alps. She is also an avalanche course instructor for the American Avalanche Institute and is one of the owners of Chicks, her mission is educating and training women to be skilled, self-reliant climbers and skiers.