Guides/Staff

Steve Guides Page PhotoSteve Banks – Lead Global GuideIFMGA Logo
Steve is a fully certified AMGA/IFMGA licensed mountain guide. This is the highest level of international guiding certification in the world and is held by only a handful of American guides. Steve has lived in the Gunnison Valley since 1995, but is a frequent traveller climbing, skiing and guiding all over the world. Steve is an EMT, AIARE Level 1 & 2 avalanche course leader, has been a forecaster and the Executive Director for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center, has worked for the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol and is currently in the pool of instructors for the AMGA helping to train the next generation of mountain guides. Steve is a Mammut sponsored athlete and the Global Guide Director for Irwin Guides. Check out his website at www.stevebanksmountainguide.com.

 Jayson Simons-Jones  – Lead GuideJSJ Guides Page PhotoIFMGA Logo
Jayson has been living and guiding in the Crested Butte area since 1999 and was the Owner/Operator of CBMG from 2007-2014. These days Jayson can be found taking CBMG’s guests to all the far flung corners of our backyard Elk Mountains, as well as being the face of CBMG’s international prescence, guiding alpine climbing and skiing regularly in such places as Europe, Alaska, South America, & Africa. He is also an AIARE Level 1 & 2 Avalanche Course Leader, an Instructor for the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS, and a ‘has been’ member of the Crested Butte Pro Ski Patrol & Crested Butte Avalanche Center. Jayson is an AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering & Rock Guide, and an IFMGA/UIAGM Aspirant Guide. He holds a current Wilderness EMT-B and an AIARE Level 3 Avalanche Training Certification.

Donny Roth Bio Photo Donny Roth – Guideski_mountaineering
Donny is solely focused on sharing human-powered skiing.  His primary passion is guiding, which he does, as a AMGA-certified Ski Guide, in both the northern hemisphere as well as in Chile, where he has spent every “summer” since 2004.  Colorado has been his home since 1993 and the West Elk Mountains are one of his favorite ski destinations.  Donny has appeared in the ski films Solitaire and Valhalla by Sweetgrass Productions and is a regular contributor to multiple ski industry publications.  In 2013 he was nominated as Avalanche Instructor of the Year at the Outdoor Retailer Show and has presented at the Snowsports Industry Association show about the importance of responsible backcountry travel.  He is an ambassador for the Winter Wildlands Alliance.  Donny is an AIARE Level III Avalanche Forecaster and Level I Course Instructor; he was an examiner for PSIA and a heli-ski guide earlier in his career.  He is sponsored by Dynafit, Zeal Optics, Skratch Labs and Backcountry Access.  You can follow his adventures on his personal website www.independent-descents.com.

Ian Havlick – Guideski_mountaineeringIan Havlick 150x150
Ian is a Colorado native who has been playing in mountains all his life. After learning what true powder skiing was while captaining the University of Utah Nordic Ski Team in Salt Lake City, Ian decided to retire from ski racing around groomed gerbil loops and become an avalanche professional and mountain guide. Ian comes to CBMG with extensive backcountry experience across the Western United States as well as the Canadian Rockies, Alaska, Norway, and Iceland.   He has been guiding since 2001. Ian has guided several trips on Denali in Alaska for Mountain Trip International and has worked for Telluride Helitrax. Ian is an AMGA Certified Ski Guide and is pursuing IFMGA certification in Rock and Alpine disciplines. Ian holds AIARE Level III avalanche certification and forecasts for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center and is a Professional Member of the American Avalanche Association.  Ian also guides fly fishing trips for Irwin Guides here in Crested Butte, and for several outfitters in central Idaho.

Laurainstructor_SPI_BW Laura Chase – Guide
Laura grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where she fell in love with the outdoors (minus the spiders), skiing and climbing. She came to the Gunnison Valley in 1998 in search of powder, climbing partners and a BA from Western State College in Outdoor Leadership. While in school, she worked for the outdoor program, guiding other students on rock and ice climbng trips. Guiding has taken her around Colorado and to Mexico and Nepal, teaching everything from mountain biking to rock climbing and women’s empowerment clinics. She is a professional member of the American Mountain Guides Association, a certified AMGA Top Rope Site Manager and Wilderness First Responder. Laura leads rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, sea kayaking and wild flower trips for CBMG.
Will Nunez – Guideinstructor_SPI_BWWill website photo
Will graduated from Prescott College with a degree in Wilderness Leadership in 2008. Throughout his academic and field based studies, he found a passion for guiding and traveling to wild and adventurous places. Will developed his technical ski mountaineering skills in the Chugach Range of Alaska and on Mount Shasta in California. Rock and ice climbing has been his passion since high school and he’s since led routes in Keen Valley NY, North Conway NH, Yosemite Valley, Red Rocks NV and Joshua Tree. Will has also guided multi-day alpine climbing trips in the North Cascades of Washington. For the past two years Will has made his home in Crested Butte pursuing the mountain life and his guiding career through working for the Adaptive Sports Center; guiding people with different abilities in rock/ice climbing, skiing and mountain travel. Will is continuing his development by starting his professional guide path through the American Mountain Guide Association. He is currently a certified AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and Wilderness First Responder.
Evan Evan Ross – Guide
Evan, originally from Jackson Hole WY,  gained his ski skills from participation in the Jackson Hole Ski Club starting at the age of 7. He has since traded the skinny skis and groomers for fatter planks and powder.  His skills extend beyond skiing though and he is well known in the whitewater kayaking community for many first descents on rivers in Peru, Madagascar, and Siberia.  When he’s not skiing or paddling he can be found on his mountain bike logging long rides around the Crested Butte area where he now lives and works. Evan has started his guide training path with the AMGA, is a certified EMT-B and AIARE Level I Avalanche Instructor.


Alex Banas PhotoAlex Banas – Guide

Alex grew up all over the west but calls Summit County, Colorado home. He is finishing up his degree in business at Western State Colorado University this upcoming fall. However, you are more likely to see him climbing up in Taylor canyon, biking at Hartman’s or exploring the mountains around Crested Butte. He is excited to be a part of the CBMG team. He is an accomplished ski mountaineer with his favorite line being ford-stettner on the Grand Teton. He is an avid rock climber spending amble hours in eldo, and other areas around Colorado. In the winter he works for Breckenridge ski patrol. Currently he is AIARE level II and NREMT-B certified about to delve into the AMGA program with the ski guide course this winter.

Amy Stevens – Guide

Amy 150x150 Crested Butte finally pulled Amy away from the Michigan “city girl” lifestyle in 1999. She received her BA in Exercise physiology and joined the Western State Rescue Team. She has led sea kayaking, mountaineering, backcountry snowboarding, ice and rock climbing trips. She has since left the valley on occasion to guide sea kayaking in Mexico, as well as ice climbing, sea kayaking, and mountaineering expeditions in Alaska. Currently Amy splits her time between the waves and mountains. Teaching outdoor education in California, with her downright love for adventure here in Crested Butte.


Billy Rankin 150x150Billy Rankin – Guide
Snow Safety Director and Risk Manager has been an outdoor professional since 1992 when he arrived in Crested Butte with his focus on guiding and education. He began with Outward Bound in 1994 and has lead mountaineering, river, sea kayaking, and canyon courses in Colorado, Utah, Mexico, and Alaska. Billy was a forecaster for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center for 10 years. He worked for 10-years on the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol and previously worked as a Snowcat ski guide for Irwin Lodge. He is a certified level 3 Avalanche Practitioner, a certified AIARE Avalanche Instructor and teaches avalanche courses locally and for the Silverton Avalanche School. Billy is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician and teaches wilderness medicine for the Wilderness Medicine Institute of NOLS. During the off seasons Billy may be found Heli-ski guiding for our operation in Iceland, playing in the Elk Mountains, kayaking through the Grand Canyon, and travelling the globe.


Clay Meier – GuideClay Meier 150x150
Clay grew up skiing and climbing in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. Moving to the Gunnison Valley to attend Western State College allowed Clay to expand on his climbing and skiing abilities (and attend the occasional class too!). After graduating with degrees in Outdoor Leadership & Resort Management and Business, Clay went on to work for the Crested Butte Professional Ski Patrol. Clay has done extensive international traveling & guiding and has ski mountaineering and rock climbing experience in places like Alaska, Canada, South America, and much of the Southwest. Clay currently is a Wilderness EMT, AIARE Avalanche Level 2, and is a member of the Western State Mountain Rescue Team.


Dan 150x150Dan Escalante- Guide

Dan has been guiding for well over a decade now throughout Colorado, the American West, and beyond. Before coming to CBMG he guided rock climbing, mountaineering, skiing, ice climbing, kayaking, mountain biking, and winter activities for such organizations as Outward Bound, Colorado Mountain College, & Western State College. Dan has done extensive international traveling & guiding and has mountaineering and rock climbing experience from such places as Yosemite, Alaska, Peru, New Zealand, and Australia. Dan is fluent in Spanish, has been a member of the NPS rescue team on Mount McKinley, worked as a technical rigger for Primal Quest adventure races, is a WFR, holds his AIARE Level 2 Avalanche Certificate


Ian Hatchett – GuideIan
Ian is a professional mountain guide from Australia, and is our big mountain specialist, who has been living in Crested Butte for the past 20+ years. Primarily an alpine climber, Ian has climbed all over the world from Scotland to Chile, Canada to New Zealand…including numerous expeditions to 8,000 meter peaks in the Himalaya & Karakorum. Here in Colorado, Ian has climbed all the 14ers (30 of them via technical routes), and would be happy to throw you a rope and point the way to the summit. In winters, apart from ice and alpine climbing, Ian has skied or snowboarded over 100 days a season in the backcountry for the past 20 years. He knows and loves our Elk Mountains and will be happy to share that love with you.


jake resizedJake Beren – Guide
Jake is all over the place … Jake has been guiding in Washington State since 2006, returning to his home state to combine passion and profession after first summitting Mount Rainier on his 15th birthday. In the Spring/early Summer he makes his pilgrimage to the Alaska Range to guide his favorite trip on Mount McKinley, teaching climbers how to live and climb on North America’s highest peak. In the winter Jake heads south to guide the volcanoes of Mexico and Ecuador before heading to South America’s highest peak, Argentina’s Aconcagua. When not guiding globally, Jake calls Crested Butte home and shares his wealth of experience and skills with Crested Butte Mountain Guides guests.  Jake’s favorite aspect of guiding is sharing his love of the high places and teaching others how to access the view.


Kelly Graff  – Administrative Assistant Kelly Bio Photo
Kelly is a Colorado native whose passion for the outdoors brought her to Crested Butte. She has been a winter sports enthusiast since a young age and looks forward to learning more about the backcountry. Kelly started her path to Crested Butte as a Leadership Development Counselor for a YMCA where she was certified open water lifeguard. She worked with kids and corporate companies facilitating team building, low ropes course challenges, zip lines, the Alpine Tower and high ropes course. Kelly then pursued a career in massage therapy with a heavy emphasis on injury and sports recover. in 2010 she moved to Crested Butte and managed the Elevation Spa. She joined CBMG in 2014. When she is not booking trips for CBMG you will find her mountain biking, trail running or doing just about anything outside.

Reed Bio PhotoReed Betz – Guide & Equipment ManagerIMBA Logo
Reed graduated from Central Michigan University and moved immediately west in 2002. While in college, Redd fell in love with traveling to new mountain ranges like the LaSals, the Appalachians, and the Porcupines. Reed loves sharing his passion and experience with others through backpacking, rock climbing, canyoneering, mountain biking, running rivers, and backcountry skiing. He has worked in various elements of outdoor industry, such as admin and guide staff, since 2000 including Central Michigan University’s Outdoor Program, Outward Bound, Trailhead Wilderness School, Adaptive Sports Center, and Rim Tours. Reed Joined Irwin Guides in 2009. He is a certified Level 1 Mountain Bike Instructor and guide through the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and it working toward furthering his certifications in the guiding world.


Ross Matlock – GuideRoss
Ross grew up in Australia and learned to ski as a teenager.  He has been living and skiing in the US for almost 20 years now, with a never ending passion for skiing and ski teaching.  Ross is currently a member of the PSIA National Nordic/Telemark Team, which is a team of the best Nordic/Telemark educators in the country.  He has been the Head Judge of the US National Telemark Free Skiing Championships for the last ten years.  Ross is also an Avalanche Level 1, AIARE certified Instructor and avid backcountry skier.  Whether it is hiking in the Anthracites of Crested Butte, a skin track in the backyard of the Ryounkaku Lodge in Hokkaido Japan or a heli lift in Valdez, Alaska.  As long as the snow is deep and the friendships are good, Ross is happy.  In the summer Ross keeps his ski legs in shape by guiding folks on the amazing single track mountain bike trails that surround Crested Butte.


TiffTiff Simpson – General Manager
Tiff acquired her love of the outdoors hiking and camping with her family in Northern California where she is originally from, but it wasn’t until attending Idaho State University that her outdoor interests began to expand into mountain biking, rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, and backcountry skiing.  While at ISU she guided & instructed the aforementioned activities for their Outdoor Program and after graduating went on to guide in WA, WY, and CO.  She is a WFR, ACA Whitewater guide/instructor, Swiftwater Rescue & Safety certified and has completed her AIARE L2.  She’s since hung up her “guiding hat” but continues to remain active in the outdoor industry.  She landed in Crested Butte in June of 2011 after many unsuccessful attempts to put down roots in numerous other mountain towns across the west.  She is currently liking the vibe in Crested Butte and thinks she might stick around for awhile.


Zach Guy – Guide

ZachZach grew up in Estes Park, Colorado and has always loved playing outdoors. He moved to Crested Butte in 2011 after finishing his master’s degree in snow science at Montana State University. In the summer, Zach enjoys riding the fantastic trails that CB has to offer. He has finished the Colorado Trail Race twice, a 500-mile, self-supported mountain bike race across the state. In the winter, he forecasts for the Crested Butte Avalanche Center and guides at Irwin. Zach is an accomplished backcountry skier, with ski descents off of many of the regional 14er’s, the Grand Teton, Mt. Rainier, and more. Zach is AVPro and Wilderness First Responder certified, holds a UCI pro mountain bike license, and is an Eagle Scout.

Alex Banas – Guide Intern