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Colorado Mountain School Guide, Sarah Janin, on a backcountry skiing trip in Colorado.Sarah is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and is the first female Certified Splitboard Guide in America.  Sarah is also a Wilderness Medicine Instructor and an AIARE and AAI Avalanche Course Leader.

Sarah Janin came from the Pacific Northwest growing up in the rainy town of Ketchikan, Alaska. Once a teenager, her family moved to another remote island of Orcas in Puget Sound Washington. These islands are where her immersion in the wild outdoors began.

The saying of “once an island girl always an island girl” did not hold true for Sarah. At the age of 18 Sarah got a taste of Colorado when she went to visit her dad who introduced her to skiing and snowboarding. No longer was there an appeal to island life, but this transition to mountain life was her new found love.

Colorado Mountain School Guide, Sarah Janin, places a piece of protection while leading a rock climb.

Sarah’s passion for snowboarding brought her to Vail where she lived for 17 years, exploring the mountains. During this time, living in the Vail Valley, her passions brought her to start guiding and instructing for a small company where she got introduced to 3 disciplines of guiding.

Sarah first began to ski guide, which gave her the experience to become an AIARE avalanche instructor. From there she began rock guiding, which led her to get her first AMGA Single Pitch Instructor certification. With this experience, she began to guide ice climbing on the magnificent world-renowned frozen waterfalls of East Vail. While guiding, Sarah worked part-time on an ambulance as an EMT, which gave her the direction to become a Wilderness First Responder Instructor. Now Sarah enjoys traveling internationally enjoying the different continents that hold  deep powdery snow and spectacular world class rock.


“Learned So Much”

Took the AIARE 1 three-day class with CMS and learned so much. Great balance of classroom and field time. There was 1 guide/6 people which was a great ratio. The four guides were all extremely knowledgeable, open to answer any questions, and happy to give suggestions for gear and future adventures. They were also fun!

My group went out with Sarah on the first field day. Sarah did a great job at making sure we practiced all the rescue skills in the curriculum while adjusting the pace of the class to keep us warm on a truly freezing day. Sarah checked in with us often to make sure we were comfortable and still had all our toes.

My group went out with Matt on the second day. Matt not only taught us more rescue and avalanche skills but also gave us pointers for efficient backcountry travel/skinning. He dropped in anecdotes throughout the class to give real life, tangible examples.

I truly could not recommend this class at CMS more. Or even hiring Sarah or Matt (or Kyle or Chris!) as a personal guide. I feel like I have a solid foundation to keep myself safe this season and have the tools to continue my education.

- Meghan M

“Highly Recommended Experience”

Awesome guides, Buster Jesik, Sarah Janin, and Tyler Allen took us up Long’s Peak cables route. They couldn’t have been more friendly and knowledgeable. Highly recommended experience. Definitely looking forward to my next trip with CMS and this guide team!

- M.H.

“An Exciting and Eye-Opening Experience”

What an exciting and eye-opening experience for my first alpine climbing trip! Sarah, our guide, did a great job taking us through the day. The learning curve for becoming proficient at alpine climbing can be quite steep. Sarah was so patient, providing a lot of tips throughout the day and I feel I learned so much! I still have a ton to learn but I’ll be much better prepared for my next alpine climbing adventure!

- Mary Grieb

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