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.
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 grew up in Massachusetts and loved skiing so much he moved to Alta, Utah, after high school to try his hand at being a ski bum. He’s been passionate about mountains, snow and skiing ever since, and has created his lifestyle accordingly. Mark received his Masters degree in snow hydrology from CU Boulder and the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR). Before joining the Helitrax team, he worked as a highway and backcountry avalanche forecaster for the Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) for seven years, primarily based in Silverton. Mark now continues to be a lead guide at Helitrax and also guides groups of heli skiers and boarders to other amazing locations around the globe through his business Global Powder Stoke. Mark speaks German and Spanish and enjoys meeting and skiing with people from all corners of the globe.
After growing up learning to ski on the snow-covered landfills of southern Michigan, Jeff has been in the ski industry for over 15 years. He has worked as a ski patroller and avalanche forecaster. Jeff joins the Helitrax team after seven years with the Colorado Avalanche Information Center forecasting for the San Juan backcountry and along Colorado State Highway 550, “ The Million Dollar Highway.” Jeff enjoys traveling in the air and holds his single-engine Private Pilots license and professional drone certification. When he’s not spending time in the snow, you’re likely to find Jeff wearing flip-flops enjoying almost anything the San Juans have to offer. Jeff is also the founder and seamster of San Juan DirtBags. A heavy-duty multi-use mesh bucket bag he makes during his downtime at home. Jeff splits his time between Sawpit and Silverton.
Sonja has been working as a ski professional for over 20 years. Ski patrolling at the Telluride ski area, ski guiding for Silverton Mountain, guiding for Mountain Trip, and ski guiding and forecasting for Telluride Helitrax. She grew up skiing in Maine and has since pursued deeper snow and bigger mountains. She finds joy in sharing the mountain experience with others, especially in her back yard of Ophir with her husband, Bil, and son, Parker.
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 is an AMGA certified Ski Guide. 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 Helitrax guide, Sonja.
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.
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.
Eric has been guiding for over 25+ years now. He is a licensed AMGA/ IFMGA Mountain Guide since 2010 and currently trains and certifies guides through the American Mountain Guides Association. He has been on the Snow Safety team for 15+ years at the Telluride Ski Resort and now a Snow Safety Supervisor. His passion is for big ski tours through the mountains, connecting different valleys with steep lines on the way. He has ski guided throughout the western US mountains, AK, British Columbia, Alps and memorial ski descent of Mount Vinson in Antarctica. When not ski guiding, Eric is alpine guiding in the Swiss/ French Alps for the summers, basing out of Chamonix. He also can be found guiding in amazing climbing areas around North America, such as Eldorado Canyon outside Boulder or Squamish B.C. near Whistler Canada. Eric and his wife, Kat live in the Mountain Village of Telluride, just steps from the ski slope and single track trails.
Eric, better known as “E.T.” to his co-workers on the Telluride Ski Patrol, has been patrolling for over 25 years and has been a Supervisor for TSP since 2008. His favorite part of ski patrolling is doing avalanche control work and getting terrain open in order to share that powder skiing experience with guests. In the summertime he is in charge of the Mountain Bike Patrol for Telluride Ski Resort. On his weekends he shares his enthusiasm for climbing and mountaineering with clients guiding trips for San Juan Outdoor Adventures and Telluride Mountain Guides. He gained much of his experience as an Instructor and then Course Director for The Colorado Outward Bound School leading trips for 10 years mostly here in the San Juan Mountains.
Maddie was born and raised on Hastings Mesa, just outside Telluride, Colorado. Growing up with the San Juans in her backyard she has always had a work hard, play hard mentality. Her parents strapped a pair of skis on her feet at the age of 2 and there was no looking back. While she raced competitively in high school, she switched her focus to big mountain and backcountry skiing when she moved British Columbia to attend university. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, Maddie spent three summers working as a field biologist on Vancouver Island. She returned to Colorado in 2017 and decided to call Telluride her home base again. Since returning stateside she has guided ski mountaineering in California, powder skiing in Japan and cat-skiing/backcountry skiing locally around Telluride. She now splits her time working as a mountain guide on Denali in Alaska and as a heli-ski/backcountry guide in the San Juans. When she’s not guiding skiing in the winter Maddie also teaches avalanches courses and is a member of the Salomon Ambassador Ski Team. Maddie holds her Pro Level 2 certification from Canadian Avalanche Association and is currently an AMGA Assistant Ski, & Apprentice Alpine, and Rock guide. Maddie recently put down roots in Ophir and plans to build a home with her partner Will so they can continue to explore the center of the San Juans for years to come!
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.
Lorne has been flying helicopters for over 16 years and has truly done it all, from National Park Service contracts in the Wrangell-St. Elias Range to powerline construction in San Diego. Prior to becoming a pilot, Lorne worked as a snowcat driver, ski and climbing guide and timber framer so he could pursue his passions for alpinism, river running and other top-priority ski bumming activities. When he’s not flying, Lorne is likely out skiing big lines in the San Juan Mountains and beyond. It’s easy to do when Silverton, Colorado is home.
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.
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.
Sue attended Colorado College and fell in love with the wide open vistas, the perfect weather and the people. Sue quickly became enmeshed in the mountain lifestyle and culture. She moved to Telluride upon graduating thinking to be a ski bum for a year or two.... that was 30 years ago! Over the years she has worn many hats... Outward Bound instructor, massage therapist, homeopathic practitioner, and putting her BA in Art to use, a very successful jewelry designer. Her one true love is skiing. Sue competed throughout her 20s and 30s in telemark bump skiing and even had a cameo in Warren Miller’s Cold Fusion. She is very excited to join the Helitrax team and get folks out into the backcountry powder.
Kate found her way to Telluride after graduating from the University of Vermont in 1995. The allure of the ‘wild west’ turned out to be double rainbows and waterfalls in the summer and dreamy powder to ski every winter. This Virginia native never looked back and made Telluride her home. For over 20 years, Kate has been involved in hospitality, in all areas of this ski resort; beginning with interior design, hotel lodging, spa wellness, catering and floral design for destination weddings. She has a natural ability to provide guests a truly authentic experience. In 2021, she achieved her 200-hour teaching certificate in Hatha yoga with a focus in restorative yoga and working with persons recovering from traumatic brain injuries. She is also an avid trail runner. Kate shares her passion for skiing and anything outdoors with her two teenage sons.
Fiona was lucky enough to be born and raised in Telluride, Colorado, where growing up in the mountains is just something called life. She is an avid backcountry enthusiast and spends as much of her time in the San Juan Mountains among the snow and wildflowers. She graduated from Lewis and Clark College in 2009, but Fiona new she needed to come back to her mountains and the community in Telluride. In 2013 she started her landscaping business, Dig It Gardening. She also helped run Opus Hut for five years. She tries to keep life simple with summers devoted to flowers and winters to skiing… or trying to get on the helicopter. Otherwise, you can find her in the office at Helitrax or managing the Bridal Veil Backcountry Ski Camp.