Program Director / Guide
Joe has been a professional ski patroller, snow safety director and guide for over 35 years, including the last 20 seasons with Helitrax. He is also an accomplished home builder and leads multi-day road cycling tours for Lizard Cycling Guides. Joe’s passion for outdoor adventure has taken him climbing, skiing and cycling on 5 continents, descending rivers throughout North America, ultra-distance mountain running in the backyard and bike packing remote areas of the South West. He currently tries to keep up with his daughter, skiing, biking and surfing whenever he can.
Guide / Snow Safety
Matt has been working in the outdoor industry since the mid 90’s. After earning a degree in outdoor leadership with instructional emphasis he instructed Outward Bound trips throughout Colorado, Wyoming and California. He began ski patrolling in Crested Butte, then moved to Telluride in 2001. As a ski patroller and snow safety supervisor in Telluride, he helped the ski area expand into new and uncharted terrain. He finished his patrolling career with an avalanche and feasibility study mapping Bear Creek, a backcountry playground adjacent to the ski area. From 2011-13 he was the North and South San Juan’s backcountry avalanche forecaster for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center. In the summer, Matt gets to run through sprinklers as the owner of Telluride Irrigation and San Juan Backflow Services.
Mark has been passionate about snow and skiing since childhood. He took this passion to new heights in mountains around the world, as well as at CU-Boulder, where he completed his MS in snow hydrology in 1997. Before joining the Helitrax team, Mark worked as a highway and backcountry avalanche forecaster for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center for seven years. Mark is a lead guide at Helitrax and also guides groups of heli skiers to other amazing locations around the globe. He received his MBA from the Thunderbird School in Global Business Management in 2011 and is the Executive Director at dZi Foundation, a Colorado based INGO that partners with remote villages in Nepal. Mark lives in the mountains with his wife and daughter. He speaks German and Spanish, and is trying to learn Nepali.
Sonja moved from Maine to Telluride in 1993 in pursuit of good skiing – she never left. She has been a ski professional for almost two decades: ski patrolling at the Telluride Ski Resort, ski guiding at Silverton Mountain, guiding for Mountain Trip and ski guiding for Telluride Helitrax. Sonja has skied from Colorado to Alaska, including an all girls ski trip “just goofing off for fun” where they skied off the summit of Denali. Sonja has pursued an education in snow science completing the three levels offered in the US and the AVPRO course for avalanche professionals. She finds inspiration in being in the mountains especially skiing in her Ophir backyard. She finds joy in sharing the mountain experience with others, especially with her husband and five year old son, Parker.
Drew has been a professional skier, snow safety director and high altitude mountain guide for twenty years leading expeditions around the world for National Geographic and Mountain Trip. He started guiding as a teenager in Telluride after growing up on the Western Slope of Colorado. He received a graduate art degree from RISD and Brown before returning to Telluride to open a coffee shop on main street. When not working he can be found in the deserts outside of Moab, UT climbing and running the days away.
Bill has over two decades of experience guiding skiing and mountaineering trips throughout the world. His passion for skiing and sharing the mountains with others has taken him from Alaska to Antarctica. He has climbed and guided guests to the top of the highest peak on each continent, the "7 Summits" twice around now, with three successful summits of Mount Everest and 30+ expeditions to Denali in Alaska. Bill spent over 10 years combined as a ski patrol/snow safety team member in Park City and at Silverton Mountain before moving to Telluride and joining the Helitrax guide team in 2005. He has his Level 3 avalanche certification and has pursued guide training through the AMGA, completing his Advanced Ski Guide Course/Aspirant Exam and hoping to finally finish his ski certification in the Spring of 2017. Bill is also the operations manager/co-owner of Mountain Trip International. He lives in Ophir, in the heart of the San Juan Mountains, with his son, Parker, and wife, and fellow guide, Sonja.
Angela was the 6th U.S. woman to become an internationally licensed IFMGA Mountain Guide. She has guided ski mountaineering trips on the Antarctic Peninsular and 20+ high altitude expeditions to the Himalaya, Alaska Range, Alps and Andes. She’s ski traversed across Lapland, reached the south summit of Mt. Everest and guided four of the other “Seven Summits”, including a ski descent of Mt. Elbrus. Angela is an Instructor Team Lead and Examiner for the American Mountain Guide Association, serves on the Technical Committee and was on the Board for six years. She co-owns Chicks Climbing and Skiing and runs all-women’s clinics throughout the U.S. and abroad. Angela has a Master’s in International Mountain Conservation and a Bachelor’s in Outdoor Ed. She was the 2011 AMGA Guide of the Year.
Keith has worked full-time as a professional mountain guide for 20+ years. He is a licensed IFMGA Mountain Guide and currently trains and certifies guides through the American Mountain Guides Association. Though he loves climbing, skiing is Keith's true passion. It has taken him to the far reaches of the globe with firsts descents throughout North America, Iceland, Antarctica, and Europe. He's guided ski descents off the summit of Denali, Mont Blanc, and many of the 14ers in Colorado. But when it comes down to it, he really enjoys exploring at home in the rugged and steep San Juan Mountains and he says "flying around these mountains is almost as cool as skiing them!" He is the owner of a small international guide service, All Mountain Adventures, where he spends his spring ski touring throughout the Alps and summers based between Chamonix and Zermatt for summer alpine endeavors.
BRIAN "SPEED" MILLER
Senior Guide / Co-Founder
Brian moved from Minnesota to Telluride in 1976. Brian’s deliberate, easy-going demeanor, lead to the nick name “Speed”. In 1983, Speed and three backcountry ski partners, created Telluride Helitrax. Since that time Speed has been involved in all aspects of daily operations. Speed is an avid backcountry skier and consummate avalanche forecaster of the San Juan snowpack. Speed spends his spare time swearing at his computer [“confuser”] and playing Rolling Stone songs on his guitar. Speed’s current role at Telluride Helitrax is that of senior guide and spiritual leader.
Shannon has been flying helicopters for over 10 years, which has taken him from Alaska to the Caribbean and back. Originally from the Southcoast of Oregon, Shannon moved to Prescott, AZ to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and obtained a degree in Aeronautics while completing his professional flight training. After receiving his degree, he was a flight instructor before moving to Alaska to work as a tour pilot in the Southeast and utility pilot in Denali National Park. Shannon joined MBR Helicopters based out of Montrose, CO in 2015 and now gets to enjoy flying heli-skiing in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. When the snow melts, he continues to fly, fighting fire throughout the Western U.S.
John has been a helicopter pilot for over 15 years. After working for many seasons as a snow cat operator in Alta, UT, he decided to move on to “different equipment”. The majority of his flying career was spent in the mountains of Alaska but he has always been drawn to the San Juans and is happy to call them home. John has been the primary pilot for Helitrax since 2014. He is an avid skier with first ski descents in Alaska and a degree in Glacial Geomorphology. John lives in Durango where he also enjoys biking, fishing, snowkiting and camping with his wife and daughter.
Marketing & PR
Heidi grew up skiing at the age of two in Vail, CO. After moving to the San Juans following college at the University of Colorado in Boulder, she worked in marketing and PR at the Telluride Ski Resort for five years. In 2014, Heidi started her own marketing business and has been working with Telluride Helitrax (and other local outdoor brands) ever since. On her days off, she enjoys backcountry skiing with her dog Annie Oakley and mountain biking in the summer months.
Helitrax Office Expert
Greg has been a lover of skiing from the days of wooden skis with metal edges held by screws and rope tows. Growing up on both the east and west coasts, Greg attended university in Utah and was a member of the National Ski Patrol while at college. He studied Business Administration and was in the financial services/mortgage lending business for ten years. Next came the creation of an adventure travel tour company, followed by the founding of a fiber arts tour company. The last decade has seen Greg in the Helitrax office helping with reservations and putting together trips. He spends most of his free time in the saddle, hiking/snowshoeing or, during winters, skiing!
Helitrax Office Expert
Xochitl has been captivated by big time mountains since she first started snowboarding in her late teenage years. She felt the draw towards Telluride, offering endless opportunities in the highest concentration of 14k ft peaks anywhere in the state. Originally from California, she pursued an education in Pasadena in culinary arts, and spent 10 years dedicated to that passion. These days, you can find her in the high alpine, on her yoga mat, or pursuing her love of travel and cultural exploration. Xochitl is thrilled to be the newest member of the Telluride Helitrax team.
Helitrax Office Expert
Michelle moved to Telluride from Buffalo, New York in 1986 in pursuit of an alternative lifestyle. She had never seen the mountains and had only skied once in her life. She started learning to ski her first winter and hasn’t looked back. She is an artist (ceramics, mainly) and has worked in many different fields in pursuit of experience and knowledge, and to keep it interesting.