JOSEPH SHULTS — PROGRAM DIRECTOR, GUIDE
Joe has been a professional ski patroller, snow saftey director and guide for over 30 years. He started his outdoor career as a ski patroller in Washington state and moved to Telluride in 1990. Joe has climbed and skied on 5 continents, descended rivers throughout North America and dabbled in ultra-distance mountain bike and running races. He currently stays fit by chasing his 6 year old daughter around the San Juan Mountains and surfing whenever he can.
DREW LUDWIG — SNOW SAFETY DIRECTOR / OPERATIONS MANAGER
Drew has been working as a professional mountain guide for the past ten years and with Helitrax for the past three. When not ski guiding or teaching avalanche education in Telluride, Drew works for Mountain Trip as a guide to the Seven Summits. He has spent the past nine seasons in Alaska leading remote routes up Mount McKinley and has also guided climbing trips to Antarcticaʼs Vinson Massif and South Americaʼs Aconcagua. Drew works as a photographer, artist and activist during the remainder of the year and occasionally finds time to train for an endurance ski or running race with his dog Ruth. His love for the mountains is infectious and he delights in sharing this with anyone stoked to hop in the helicopter or head out for a tour.
BRIAN MILLER — SENIOR GUIDE
Speed moved from Minnesota to Telluride in 1976. His easy-going demeanor soon led to the nickname “Speed.” In 1982, he and three backcountry ski partners created Telluride Helitrax. Since that time, Speed has been involved in all aspects of the organization. He is an avid backcountry skier and consummate avalanche forecaster of the tricky San Juan snowpack. In his spare time, he swears at his computer (a.k.a. “the confusor”) and plays a repertoire of Rolling Stones songs on his guitar.
BILL ALLEN — GUIDE
Bill has over fifteen years of experience leading mountaineering trips throughout the world, including Antarctica, Papua New Guinea, Nepal, South America and over twenty expeditions to Alaska. Prior to working at Helitrax, he spent ten years combined as a snow safety team member for the Park City and Silverton Mountain ski patrols. In addition to guiding the earth’s largest mountains, Bill periodically works as a heli-ski guide with Chugach Powder Guides in Girdwood, Alaska. He is the co-owner of Mountain Trip International and lives in Ophir’s famous “Cabin 3″ with his wife Sonja.
ANGELA HAWSE — GUIDE / ASSISTANT SNOW SAFETY DIRECTOR
Angela is one of the most experienced women guides in the country with over two decades of guiding worldwide. She was the 6th woman, and one of only 8, to become a fully certified UIAGM / IFMGA Mountain Guide through the American Mountain Guides Association. Angela has led 20+ high altitude expeditions, including 5 on Denali and three of the other coveted “7 Summits.” Her endeavors have taken her from ski traverses of Lapland to the second highest point on earth, the South Summit of Mt. Everest at 28,875ft. She has skied and climbed throughout the U.S., Alaska, Canada, the Andes, Karakoram and Himalaya. Angela is a Senior Guide for Exum Mountain Guides in the Tetons, one of only two women Instructors and Examiners for the AMGA, has her Canadian Avalanche Association Level 2 Certification and a Master of Arts degree in International Mountain Conservation. Angela lives in Ridgway and is passionate about skiing and sharing the mountain experience with Helitrax guests in her home range, the San Juans.
MARK RIKKERS — SNOW SAFETY DIRECTOR, GUIDE
Mark grew up skiing and then spent winters in Alta and Crested Butte before going to college. He received his MS in snowmelt hydrology from CU-Boulder, where he was a research assistant at the Institute for Arctic and Alpine Research. Before joining Helitrax, Mark was an avalanche forecaster for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center for seven years. He completed his MBA at Thunderbird in 2011 and is currently Executive Director at the dZi Foundation, a Colorado based not-for-profit that partners with remote, underserved Himalayan communities to build civic infrastructure and increase local prosperity. Mark lives in Ophir with his wife, Corinne, and daughter, Sonja. He speaks German and Spanish, and is trying to learn Nepali.
MARK FRANKMANN — GUIDE / CO-FOUNDER
Mark has made Telluride his home since 1976. In addition to his work as a senior ski guide Mark administers the Helitrax website, media assets and internet presence. An avid backcountry skier Mark enjoys many other seasonal outdoor adventures including whitewater kayaking, mountaineering and desert exploration. When not out and about Mark is occupied in his own venture, Open Range Imaging, an architectural rendering, web site design and illustration business. Mark also plays keyboard in a local rockabilly band, The Gold Kings. Mark loves Telluride and is always looking for opportunities to share this special place with friends new and old.
SONJA NELSON — GUIDE
Sonja moved from Maine to Colorado in pursuit of good skiing-she never left. She has been a ski professional for the past decade: ski patrolling at the Telluride Ski Resort, ski guiding at Silverton Mountain and exploring the mountains of her Ophir home. Sonja spends the summer in Alaska working as a biologist on salmon fish studies and guiding whitewater raft and sea kayak trips. She also manages personal fishing trips from her tiny boat Gabriella. Sonja has traveled the world to climb and ski and recently skied off the summit of Denali on an all girls “goofing off for fun” trip.