As a retired clown, Stephen emits positive energy that can overwhelm even the worst conditions and has been known to juggle surrounding objects if so required. Although Stephen prefers the vertical terrain that rock and ice climbing bring, his guiding career has also included the disciplines of rafting, sea kayaking, and backpacking, too!
A wandering spirit from a young age, Stephen has always had an eye for the next big adventure and an utter lack of inhibition. As a teenager, this sent him galavanting around the world with all his possessions stuffed in a 90L backpack. From ballets in St. Petersburg to rounds of tejo (a popular Columbian throwing game) in Bogota, he was always searching for new experiences. His love for the outdoors, however, didn’t reach its full height until he embarked on a trip to complete the seven summits…of former Yugoslavia.
Twenty-some countries later and a few dollars left in his bank account, he decided to head back to the states and earn a degree at Virginia Commonwealth University. It was there that, with the help of the Outdoor Adventure Program, he learned how to pursue his love for the wilderness and the vertical, professionally. Amid his studies at VCU, Stephen joined us out in the Wrangells for a summer and was immediately enraptured. Nowadays, armed with a degree in philosophy and a Baby Blue Honda Odyssey (Dan), he has been set loose on the world; spending summers in Alaska and winters in crag parking lots, trailheads, and on the occasional couch.
Stephen’s positive energy is infectious, and even after a rainy day of ice climbing, if you’re lucky enough to have Stephen as a guide, you won’t be able to stop smiling!
- Hometown: Albuquerque, NM
- Education: Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy
- Certifications: PCIA Single Pitch Climbing Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, Swiftwater Rescue, AAIRE Avi 1
- Favorite Wrangell Adventures: Backpacking Skolai to Nizina Lake via the High Pass Odyssey and then packrafting the Nizina River to McCarthy
- Best Wrangell Memory: Playing contact (a word game) to keep spirits high while pushing up the last few benches towards the Skolai airstrip. We were in the process of completing the High Pass Odyssey (normally an 8-day trip) in a day and a half.