Though Dan seems to carry a warm smile and enthusiasm everywhere he goes, he most comes alive in the mountains – especially snowy mountains. His heavy involvement in our avalanche and ski mountaineering programs well suits his sharp, scientific mind and his passion for skiing and guiding. Then again, he also loves rock climbing, and can often be found guiding in Eldo, Lumpy or RMNP. He’s completed several avalanche and guide education courses (including the AMGA Ski Guide and Rock Instructor courses and the Level 2 AIARE course), and is an AMGA Top Rope Site Manager and a Level 1 AIARE Avalanche Instructor. Before focusing his considerable energy on guiding, Dan used his biology degree to conduct conservation research on birds and bighorn sheep, and for behavioral disturbance research on raptors for the Access Fund. He’s also researched climber traffic in Yosemite.
Dan began climbing at age 13 with his uncle and father, and with them he also climbed his first alpine route – it left a big impression. They were nearing a summit in the Tetons when, “We saw this tall skinny guy running around all by himself. It turned out to be Alex Lowe. He was soloing the Grand Traverse and congratulated us on our first big mountain. He then went off to solo the Grand Teton. I’ve been hooked ever since.”
He’s subsequently climbed extensively in the West, including considerable time spent in the Utah desert, Joshua Tree, Squamish, Washington and throughout Colorado. Dan brings a likeable combination of optimism, dry wit and knowledge to his work and play, whether he’s backcountry skiing, rock climbing or alpine climbing. He simply loves being in the mountains, because “you end up climbing great routes, with generally very few people, in awesome locations.”