KWG’s guides are what really makes us special.
We’re proud to have built a crew of highly trained wilderness professionals that keep coming back year after year.
All of our guides are Wilderness First Responder and Swiftwater certified, with extensive local training and Alaska experience, as well as a love for the outdoors. We found them backpacking, climbing, packrafting and exploring all over the world and brought them back to hone their skills as wilderness professionals in Wrangell St. Elias. Plus, they are really fun to hang out with.
Meet our KWG family!
As far as we can tell, it’s almost impossible to not be smiling when you spend time with Betsy. She is always overflowing with passion and excitement about what she’s doing and the people she’s with, making it hard to not be affected by all that positive energy. Betsy’s thorough attention to every detail of a trip makes for unsurpassed client care. Her extensive knowledge of Wrangell St. Elias could only come from her 15 years of climbing, hiking, rafting and exploring in the area. It is her love for the valley and its community that convinced Betsy to buy property and build her own home in Kennicott overlooking the glaciers which she has been enjoying for so long. In 2011, after guiding for KWG for six years, Betsy became one of the proud owners of KWG and could not be happier with the crew she gets to train and learn with. Whether you go for a glacier hike, ice climb, or backcountry trip with Betsy, you’re sure to laugh, be amazed, learn something new, and have an incredible day! Betsy is Wilderness First Responder, Swiftwater Rescue and Rigging For Rescue Certified.
Jared is a backcountry pioneer who has established and guided new hiking and packrafting traverses within the National Park. He is also a dedicated outdoor educator with a deep appreciation for the natural history in the wild lands he explores.
In addition to guiding, Jared has also been involved with many different television productions as a safety guide, logistics coordinator, and the occasional camera operator. Some of his credits include National Geographic’s Life Below Zero, and Discovery Channel’s Edge of Alaska and Ice Cold Killers. He has also worked with many international television and film productions.
His adventuring has taken him across the globe. He has climbed rock, ice and snow across the American Southwest, in SE Asia, Nepal, South America, Israel and New Zealand. He has also spent time Packrafting in the whitewater of New Zealand.
Jared is well-versed in small or large scale trip logistics, and uses his intimate knowledge of the area and creativity to act as KWG’s primary trip planner and coordinator. He is excited to help plan and stoke the fires of your 2016 trip. Jared is a Wilderness First Responder, Rigging for Rescue certified, and Swiftwater Rescue certified.
The third of KWG’s co-owners, Monte has been guiding in the Wrangell Saint Elias National Park since 2004. Wasting no time, he successfully summited Mt. Blackburn 16,390 ft, the Kennicott Valley’s largest peak, and descended by ski in 2008. In years since, Monte’s enthusiasm for backpacking traverses has taken him to the farthest reaches of the park, logging innumerable off-trail miles in the backcountry both on his personal time and as a professional guide for KWG. Rounding out Monte’s climbing and backpacking experience is a degree in Outdoor Leadership with a minor in Theater from Western State College of Colorado.
Monte is known around the valley as a leader in innovation and exploration. He has pioneered packrafting first descents, and wrote a packraft guide to McCarthy Creek and a guide to local bouldering. When he’s not in Alaska, Monte tours with The Moth telling real stories on stage, and is on the board of American Packrafting Association.
Monte is a Wilderness First Responder, and an AMGA Rock Apprentice, Avalanche II, Rigging for Rescue, CPR and Swiftwater Rescue certified.
Krista follows migratory tips from the birds by spending winters down south in southwest Colorado and summers north in Wrangell St. Elias National Park. An upbringing in the wet climate of Washington State along with formal education in civil engineering and hydrology fostered a curiosity for all things water, taking her on a journey from groundwater research in northeast Arizona to the recreational glory of surface water via rafting and fisheries research on the Colorado River and many of its tributaries, and further upstream to snowpack research, ski guiding, and avalanche mitigation in the San Juan Mountains. Her journey has continued to McCarthy to experience firsthand the power of glaciers in the heart of the headwaters of some of the mightiest rivers in Alaska. When not out skiing, rafting, hiking, or biking, Krista can be found painting, writing, looking for edible plants, or dancing to whatever live music she can find. Krista is a Wilderness First Responder, Outdoor Emergency Care Technician, is Swiftwater Rescue certified, and has her American Avalanche Association Pro Level 1 Certification.
Jack spent his early years exploring the trails, rivers and rock of the Appalachian mountains. He gradually moved westward to larger and larger landscapes. He moved to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado and earned his B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. His journey to Alaska started with a long road trip that turned into an internship, morphed into an obsession, and finally became a profession. Jack has spent the last 6 summers guiding backpacking, ice-climbing and packrafting adventures all around the state of Alaska. Nothing makes him happier than sharing wild places with friends old and new. When he’s not guiding, Jack can be found climbing, split-boarding, packrafting, or working his other job building zip lines and challenge courses. Jack is a Wilderness First Responder, certified in swift water rescue, a member of the Society of Professional Rope Access Technicians and has his Avalanche Level 1.
Hailing from Brevard, North Carolina, Austin is yet another Brevard College grad joining us this year at KWG. With his degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education, and background in rock climbing and whitewater kayaking, Austin has jumped right into learning the ropes of the Wrangells. Guaranteed you’ll find him packrafting the Kennicott, hiking on Donaho or climbing the Root on his days off. Although he’s new to Alaska, Austin is stoked to bring his experience and Brevard character to Kennicott. Austin is Wilderness First Responder certified and ACA level 4 Canoe and Kayak Instructor certified.
Mike grew up in Ski Racing in the tiny hills of NJ and racing triathlons in the summer. At age 17 he qualified for Team USA racing at the World Championships. His love for mountains brought him to Colorado for college where he got a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. Mike came to Alaska for his first time in 2018 to intern at a heli-ski operation and fell in love with the mountains. He has been guiding in the Wrangells with KWG since 2019. He has passed and received his Professional Level 1 Certification through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, and taken a single pitch instructor course through the AMGA.
In his off time he likes to Ski, Climb, Highline, Paraglide, Surf, Paddle, Backpack, Go fishing, Running, Biking…. Pretty much everything outside and Mikes got a Smile on his face.
Although Hannah Hindley completed her formal education in the east (earning degrees in English and Organismic & Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University), her work and heart are rooted in the mountains and forests of the west. For the last decade, she has guided up and down the Pacific coast, from the Sea of Cortez to Yosemite, Olympic, and Glacier Bay National Parks. She has led trainings in interpretation, orienteering, and kayak safety; has taught cross-country skiing; directed sailing trips aboard historic tall ships; guided teen backpacking adventures in the Sierras and the Olympics; and trekked across the mountains of Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, and Hawaii. She came to Southeast Alaska in 2012 as a kayak instructor and wilderness guide, but her hunger for big mountains, wild rivers, and good community eventually drew her farther north to Wrangell-St. Elias: the most breathtaking place in all of Alaska! When she’s not out leading glacier hikes, you can find her writing mostly true stories, foraging for edible plants, and scouting for untouched places to explore. Hannah is a Wilderness First Responder and has her 100-ton near-coastal captain’s license.
Originally from New Jersey, Jill is another Brevard College graduate with a degree in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education. Prior to joining the KWG family in 2021, Jill was an instructor with Colorado Outward Bound school based out of Moab for 3 seasons. During the off-season, she lives in Durango, Colorado where she spends her time teaching art, rock climbing, making pottery, playing her guitar, and experimenting with new recipes. Between trips in Kennicott, you can most likely find her snapping candid pictures with her polaroid, tending to the staff garden, ice climbing on the Root, or flopping around at the swimming hole. Jill has her Wilderness First Responder, CPR and Epinephrine certifications.
Originally from Maryland, Alissa did her undergraduate degrees in philosophy and communications at Rider University in New Jersey and graduate work in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. After owning a business for a decade in Washington DC, she decided to make a hard life pivot to pursue experiences that bring her joy – namely being outside in nature and sharing the things she’s learned with others as an educator.
In the winter, Alissa is a Senior Alpine Snowboard Patroller and Outdoor Emergency Care Instructor at Smugglers Notch Resort in Vermont and helps teach medical, rescue toboggan, and avalanche rescue skills for the National Ski Patrol’s Eastern Division.
She visited Alaska for the first time in 2021 and was blown away by the Wrangell Mountains, and she’s over the moon excited to be joining the KWG family this summer. In her free time, you’ll find her hiking, splitboarding, paddling, scrambling, climbing, yoga-ing, reading (narrative nonfiction suggestions are always welcome!) and often just staring out at the mountains in awe and amazement. Also, if you bring your dog to visit, she’ll 100% ask if she can pet them!
The Wrangells have been Avery’s home forever and thankfully she loves it because she’s been hanging out in this valley since she was 10 days old. Avery has spent time in the Wrangells every summer of her life. Her front yard is a glacial moraine where she learned to walk and hike. Avery has taken so much joy in bringing friends and family out into the wilderness, she has spent an unknown amount of hours in the mountains, on glaciers, and rafting the rivers of this area. Avery has many connections to the guiding world and community, her dad Howard Mozen started and ran a rafting company based out of Mccarthy for many years. As a 8 year old scrabbling about on the scree slopes with her little brother their nanny was none other than the future co-owner of KWG Jared Stayeart. Avery has spent multiple winters in Montana working on getting a nursing degree and hanging out in the mountains on her skis. She loves working with kids and taking them into the outdoors. You can often spot her on a hike spinning yarn out of raw wool with a drop spindle. Avery is so excited that she gets to work and play all summer in the home of her heart!
Avery is a Wilderness EMT and has her Avalanche Level 1.
Ry grew up in McCarthy and has been hiking and skiing in the Wrangells since he could stand up. Ry learned to self arrest when he was 10, using the prongs of a hammer on the steep bluffs of McCarthy creek. When he’s not out on the trail or organizing the yurt, you can find him building bike trails and working on his tiny cabin. During the winter Ry is a competitive nordic ski racer, and plays the violin on days when it’s above freezing. Ry is a certified WFR.
Jesse started his guiding career with KWG and comes back to guide big trips in the Wrangells. Originally from New Hampshire he moved to Colorado to study Environmental science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. After a few years of back and forth between Alaska and Colorado Jesse decided to make the big move to Alaska where he found his wife and bought a house in the small town of Palmer. He’s been working on Denali for Mountain Trip for 3 seasons. Jesse is a certified Wilderness First Responder (WFR), has his American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education(AIARE) Level 1 and 2, is an AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide, and member of the Wrangell St. Elias Search and Rescue.
When he’s not guiding you can find him taking personal trips into the Alaska Range or backcountry skiing and ice climbing around the Palmer Area.