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Born in rural, western Japan, Norie Kizaki was raised in the Buddhist monastery her family has administered for generations. A graduate of Tokyo’s prestigious Obirin University, Norie moved to Colorado 1996 and earned a masters degree in International Intercultural Communications from Denver University. Leaving behind a successful consulting career, Norie turned her passion for climbing into her profession.

Norie is the first mother to complete the Mountain Guide Program, the first Japanese woman to achieve IFMGA status, and the first woman of color to become AMGA/IFMGA guide. She is also a 2023 Guide of the Year Award recipient from American Mountain Guides Association. She is an AIARE Instructor and Certified Wilderness First Responder.

Norie joined the CMS team in 2009 after working for Colorado Outward Bound for five years. She enjoys helping clients establish a solid foundation of skills, guiding women with passion for climbing or skiing, and instructing anyone looking for a break-through in their abilities. She has been returning to Japan every winter for the past decade to guide mostly Americans to show the magical land of powder skiing!  

Her love of climbing and skiing has taken her to Bolivia, Canada, Cayman Brac, Chille, Ecuador, France, Italy, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Thailand, and (hopefully!) many more beautiful places to come.

When not guiding, Norie enjoys family time with her husband and her young son.  She particularly enjoys climbing or backcountry skiing with her husband, trail running with girlfriends, cooking (and eating!) Japanese meals, and planning her next family adventure!

Norie and her husband David Wolf are passionate about creating an inclusive and diverse community of mountain recreants and professionals, and sponsor the Kizaki-Wolf Scholarship of the American Institute for Avalanche Research & Education.

Follow Norie’s adventures (or join her on one!) by visiting her website at Or follow @noriekizaki on Instagram!

Or email her directly at

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