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Toni Leskela was born in northern Finland near the polar circle where he grew up skiing, hunting and camping in the wilderness of Oulanka National Park and Ruka. After short period of guiding rafting, fishing and snowmobile safaris, Toni did his mandatory military services and moved to southern Finland to study engineering.

In the mid 90’s, while in Southern Finland, Toni began climbing because everyone he was backcountry skiing with in Southern Finland was also climbing and climbing became an essential part of his skiing adventures! Low and behold, Toni became a ski mountaineer. He skied and climbed all over the Alps, Norway, and his home turf in Finland while working a job at Suunto where he worked with altimeters, compasses, GPS’, and divecomputers.

In 2013 Toni moved to Colorado where he immediately fell in love with Rocky Mountain National Park. Toni was hired by Backcountry Access to run product development for their snow safety electronics. In 2016, while working for Trango Climbing Gear, Toni started instructing courses with Colorado Mountain School and enjoyed sharing the love of backcountry skiing and mountains with people so much that gradually, he left engineering behind and became a full time guide.

Sometimes Toni’s “engi-nerd” still comes out and he shares his intimate knowledge about kilonewtons on climbing gear and milliseconds on avalanche beacon signals but don’t worry, he will stop when asked politely. Toni is an AMGA Certified Ski Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, and Apprentice Rock Guide. Additionally, Toni is a Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Instructor, Leave No Trace Trainer, and an all-around pleasure to spend a day with in the mountains.


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