Our Alaska Guides

It takes a talented individual to be able to lead an Alaska expedition, and our Alaska guides are true outdoor multi-sport professionals. We hand-select each guide based on their ability to deliver an unparalleled level of customer service, a strong wilderness skill set and background, and an insatiable passion for Alaska's wild spaces. Each lead guide is medically certified as a Wilderness First Responder and carries the necessary qualifications to competently backpack, hike, kayak, canoe, and climb throughout Alaska's vast wilderness. When you choose to travel with us, you can rest assured that your trip has been meticulously planned and executed by real Alaskans with authentic Alaska know-how, skill, and ability.

 

 



Aaron Fetter
Aaron has been guiding for Alaska Alpine Adventures since 2003 and his passion for the wilderness grows with every adventure. He came to Alaska in 2001 to complete a bachelor's degree in outdoor studies at Alaska Pacific University and pursue a lifelong dream of guiding in Alaska. Most recently, Aaron co-founded Adventure Appetites - offering Alaska Alpine Adventures' gourmet food to adventurers everywhere. He divides his time managing operations, packing food, and exploring Alaska's wild places. Whether traversing remote mountain ranges, climbing high on an Alaska peak, or packrafting a wild & scenic river, Aaron says, "I find inner peace while immersed in Alaska's most remote backcountry." Aaron is a Wilderness First Responder and certified Whitewater Rescue Technician. He lives in Anchorage with his wife Adele and daughters Emily & Samantha.

 

 



Haley Johnston
A Colorado transplant, Haley moved to Alaska and started guiding with Alaska Alpine Adventures in 2010. Since then she has been exploring the backcountry of Alaska both personally and professionally. Whether backpacking, kayaking, splitboarding, packrafting, trail running, or canoeing, Haley endeavors to immerse herself in the Alaskan wilderness both close to her home in Anchorage and in the most remote corners of the state. Although her duties with Alaska Alpine Adventures have expanded during the past five years, guiding remains her passion and priority. Her enthusiasm for Alaska’s wild places is only surpassed by her desire to share it with our guests. Haley is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, a certified Wilderness First Responder, a Whitewater Rescue Technician, and holds an AAA Avalanche Level 2.

 

 



Nick Allen
Raised in The Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nick (a.k.a. Nico) followed his dreams north in 2006, seeking out Alaska's promise of big wilderness and big adventure....ALASKA DELIVERED!! Nico is passionate about sharing the backcountry with guests and students alike. Outside of the busy Alaska guiding season, Nick draws on his B.A. in Outdoor Studies from Alaska Pacific University, to teach leadership and expeditionary skills courses for colleges both here and in New York. In his free time, you can find Nico packrafting down glacial streams, touring the alpine on his skis, or playing guitar and hanging out in the beautiful town of Girdwood, where he lives. Nick is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Whitewater Rescue Technician, and Leave No Trace instructor. You will never catch Nico in the wilderness without his favorite piece of equipment: his trusty umbrella.

 

 



Matt Beckage
This long-time Alaskan lives year-round in the Mastanuska-Susitna Valley. Matt has extensive backcountry experience and when he’s not in town you’ll most likely find him in the broad expanses of the Chugach or Talkeetna mountains. He juggles his time between family, climbing, skiing, cooking, teaching, and exploring the many wonders of the Last Frontier. Matt’s passion is “immersing explorers in the moment and sharing the majesty of this Great Land!” His enthusiasm, quick wit and humorous tales are sure to keep you smiling on your adventures. Matt is retired military and holds degrees from the University of Scranton, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the University of Alaska Anchorage. Matt is a Wilderness First Responder and holds an AIARE Avalanche Level 2. He’s also a Wounded Warrior Project Alumni and a Certified Peer Mentor.

 

 



Matt Dighton
Matt was born and raised in Alaska, where he spent his childhood hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, and canoeing in the vast and remote wilderness of the Interior. Matt joined the AAA team in 2015 after graduating from the University of Alaska Anchorage with a bachelor's degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation, with an emphasis on Outdoor Leadership and Administration. When not sharing the backcountry of his beautiful home state with our guests, you can find him backpacking, biking, climbing, and snowboarding in the mountains around Anchorage. Matt is a certified Wilderness First Responder and Whitewater Rescue Technician.

 

 



Norah Cook
Norah originates from the South Side of Chicago but left the White Sox for white capped mountains and found her passion for Alaska when she joined the AAA team in 2015. Her love for the outdoors was sparked when she started teaching outdoor education in the Shawnee National Forest in 2009. Since then Norah got a BS in Natural Resource Recreation and Tourism from Colorado State University. Norah is a ski enthusiast and teaches in the Wasatch mountain range in Utah. She is very passionate about the vast Alaskan wilderness and loves sharing it with others and has also been described as an "explosion of fun". Norah is a certified PSIA Level 1 Ski instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and has her Avalanche Level 1. She is thrilled to be apart of the AAA team and share it with guests!

 

 



Sean Johnson
Sean is a Pennsylvania transplant who moved to Alaska in early 2014, after a five-year stint as an Arabic translator in the United States Marine Corps. He moved up to Alaska to attend Alaska Pacific University pursuing a bachelors degree in Outdoor Studies with a concentration in Snow Science. Sean enjoys Mountaineering, skiing, backpacking, packrafting, ice/rock climbing and photography in his personal time.

 

 

 



Joe Stock
Joe is an internationally certified IFMGA mountain guide with a passion for mountain adventure in Alaska. He has been climbing and skiing around the world for 30 years with significant time in New Zealand, Australia, Asia, Alps, and throughout South America and the western United States. Of all the places he's visited, the mountains of Southcentral Alaska are his favorite. Joe has an undergraduate degree in geology and geography from the University of Canterbury in New Zealand and a graduate degree in watershed science (snow science focus) from Colorado State University. In addition to guiding, Joe works as a writer and photographer. His guidebook for backcountry skiing in Southcentral Alaska, The Alaska Factor, was first published in 2012. Joe lives in Anchorage with his wife Cathy. Visit his website: www.stockalpine.com

 

 



Joan Travers
Joan is our urban adventurer, hailing from the great city of Chicago. After trading in her urban ways and Da Bears for real bears, she has really found a home in the mountains and rivers of Alaska. Joan is forever working on her degree in Wilderness Education from DePaul University, and has used her education as an opportunity to travel and experience wilderness areas around the world. An avid water sports enthusiast, Joan enjoys sea kayaking, canoeing, surfing, and floating lazy rivers, as well as exploring beautiful remote terrains. Her cheery disposition, active imagination, and long winded stories make her a delight to be around. Joan joined the AAA staff in 2012 and is a certified Wilderness First Responder as well as Leave No Trace Master Educator.

 

 

 

Nick D'Alessio
Born and raised in New Hampshire, Nick began climbing and skiing mountains as soon as he could walk. Now Nick lives in Girdwood, Alaska. He is a graduate of the Outdoor Recreation Leadership program from Colorado Mountain College and Alaska Pacific University’s Outdoor Studies program. Since 2008 he has been a year round mountain guide, ski guide, heli-ski guide for Chugach Powder Guides and educator working with the Alaska Mountaineering School and the Alaska Avalanche School. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of safe mountain travel. Along with his extensive experience he is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Avalanche Level 3, Leave No Trace Master Educator and has earned his Ski Mountaineering Guide certification through the American Mountain Guides Association. Nick looks forward to sharing his passion for the mountains with you. Visit his website at: remarkableadv.com

 

 


Bryan Caenepeel
Reigning from the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Asheville, NC, this true-blue Tarheel first visited the Greatland in the summer of 2005. The roots grew deep that first summer, and today he is proud to call Anchorage his home. Guiding has been a passion since settling in AK, and he has led over 4,000 guests through the state. Bryan joined the AAA team in 2011. The mountains and adventure within them have always inspired Bryan. On any given day you can find him enjoying his backyard seeking out powder stashes in the backcountry, rolling singletrack on his bike, or just capturing the beauty of the outdoors through the lens of his camera. Bryan was a key player in the launch of Adventure Appetites. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder.

 

 



Brooke Edwards
Brooke hails from the Great Pacific Northwest where her passion for all things outdoors was born. Calling Alaska her home for the last 17 years, she can be found year round exploring the mountains and rivers of this vast wilderness. Brooke graduated with an M.S. in Environmental Education with a primary focus on Ecotourism from The Audubon Expedition Institute and has spent over 2 decades applying these principles to guiding. Brooke has her Coast Guard 6-Pack, her Avalanche Level 2, and her Wilderness First Responder.

 

 



Brian Pinkard
Born and raised in the sprawling suburban wilderness of Washington state, Brian was driven to Alaska by the irresistible pull of the northern wilds, and began guiding with Alaska Alpine Adventures in 2016. His passion for the outdoors was fully stoked in 2015 while working for the Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, spending the majority of his season building immense rock staircases on one of Colorado's majestic Fourteeners. Brian loves immersing guests in the dynamic wilderness that Alaska provides - which words and pictures typically fail to capture. Brian currently spends his off-seasons pursuing a PhD in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Washington in Seattle, but he still feels most at home living in a tent and walking around with a heavy backpack. He has developed a love for cooking over a camp stove, and believes that mechanized transportation is highly overrated. Brian is a Wilderness First Responder.

 

 



Malcolm Herstand
Malcolm learned skills for wilderness work and play in the mountains of Montana as a skier, fly-fisherman, and field ecologist before his first trip to Alaska in 2008 - after that it only took a couple years before he called Anchorage his year-round home. With extensive experience on rivers, glaciers, and mountains, and a passion for natural science, he loves sharing Alaska's massive landscape with curious visitors. Malcolm has Wilderness First Responder and Avalanche Level 2 certificates.

 

 



Tina Elderkin
Tina was first driven to arrive in the mountains, from the rolling hills of Appalachia, in 2012. She took a leadership role in conservation, blazing trails in the Rocky Mountain wilderness of Colorado, Utah and Wyoming. Traveling between states and seasons, her work in Environmental Education allows for exploration of the high Sierras and state parks along the coast in California. Alaska Alpine Adventures welcomed her in 2016 with open arms and delicious backcountry treats. Tina finds motivation in a changing environment; the startling, dynamic landscape of Alaska offers this in spades. She loves to introduce guests to the “Alaska factor,” sharing the thrill of ambitious adventure and the gratitude of small moments, outdoors. Tina is a Wilderness First Responder.

 

 


Brita Irving
Brita was born and raised in Fairbanks and has been exploring interior Alaska since childhood. Joining AAA in 2013, after working as a scuba dive guide in Thailand, gave her the opportunity to explore stretches of Alaskan wilderness inaccessible to most. She graduated with a BS in physics and math in 2010 and an MS in atmospheric science in 2012 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She now splits her time between exploring mountains and rivers and driving underwater autonomous vehicles around the Arctic and Antarctic seas. Brita has an unmatched passion for Alaska, wilderness conservation and preservation and loves to share these with her guests. Brita is a certified Wilderness First Responder, is River Rescue Certified and has her Avalanche Level 1.

 

 



Dan Oberlatz - Owner
Dan has been exploring Alaska's vast wilderness since 1992. For nearly 20 years he has systematically explored remote and poorly understood regions of the Alaskan wilderness, on foot, skis, and by raft especially in the environs of Lake Clark National Park, where he lived year-round until 2005. With at least 15 exploratory expeditions into this little-known wilderness, and multiple expeditions across Alaska, Dan is likely the greatest current authority on the backcountry of the northern Aleutian and southern Alaska ranges. To his credit, Dan has done more than just explore. He is vitally concerned with the sustainability of the wilderness and the viability of the rural communities in the region. Dan spent 6 years as Vice President of the Alaska Wilderness Recreation and Tourism Association. In 2013, Dan was elected to serve on the board of directors of the Alaska Travel Industry Association. As a board member of the Renewable Resources Foundation, he promotes responsible and appropriate tourism as a way to help impoverished communities, while preserving Alaska's wilderness heritage. In 2008, Dan was awarded AWRTA's Ginny Hill Wood Award for his contributions to Alaska conservation and sustainable tourism. Dan is committed to exploration, to the preserving of the wilderness for future generations, and to the advancement of knowledge. His expertise is sought after by various, and he has been quoted or featured in Outside Magazine, Alaska Business Monthly magazine, US News & World Reports, the Associated Press, National Parks Magazine, Men's Journal, and others. His photographs have appeared in a number of national publications including Outside, Backpacker, Men's Journal, and National Geographic Adventure and Traveler. Dan is also a member of the Explorers Club, to which he was elected in 2009. But as much as anything, Dan loves the backcountry, and he finds his greatest joys while immersed in it. With humor and panache, he goes out in search, and each time he returns he brings greater knowledge and interest to the outside world. He splits time between homes in Anchorage and Lake Clark with his wife Danielle and daughters Isabelle and Bryn.

 

 



B-Dog
B-Dog joined the Alaska Alpine Adventures team in 2009 and has since ventured to the far reaches of the state. His most recent pursuits have taken him on backpacking adventures in Wrangell-St.Elias and Lake Clark National Parks, as well as kayaking on the remote Katmai Coast. When not adventuring in the Alaska wilderness, B-Dog winters alone in the company warehouse in South Anchorage. He looks forward to sharing the stories of his adventures with you, and possibly hitching a ride on you backpack or the bow of your kayak.

Gear Rental

Travelling to Alaska, but short a few items on your gear list? We offer a few of the "must have" items for rent at reasonable prices.

The Best Food

Our healthy, flavorful, filling, and nutritious Gourmet Backcountry Cuisine has won multiple awards!

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