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Backcountry Ski and Splitboard Mountaineering Course

About Us

Colorado Adventure Guides Logo
Professional Backcountry Outfitter & Guide Service in Summit County, CO
Colorado Adventure Guides Crossed Skis

Colorado Adventure Guides (formally known as Colorado Bike & Ski Tours) has been in operation since 1994. We are the premier backcountry outfitter and avalanche education provider in Summit County offering 4-seasons of activities for all ages and experience levels. We live simply and are a small enough company to be able to give every client who contacts us personal service. We also invest in resources and training opportunities for our guides and being a small outfitter allows our team to be more a tight knit family than you would find in larger companies. A love of the outdoors and a dedication to offering the highest quality experiences has helped to transform CAG to what it is today. It is an honor to be able to share our backyard with our guests and to act as stewards of our natural mountain resources.

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Activities Offered
Acres of Terrain
5 Star Reviews
Years in Business

Meet Our Team

Abe Pacharz

Owner & Co-Founder/GM/Lead Guide

Abe grew up in the Adirondack Mountains of northern New York. Growing up in such a beautifully wild place played a large role in developing his love for the outdoors and a passion for exploring. After getting his start as a guide for the University of Vermont outing club, he spent almost 10 years traveling the western states, guiding French adventurers through our beautiful National Parks. His passion for guiding and outdoor education has inspired him to pursue training from the International Mountain Bike Association, American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, Wilderness Medicine Institute, and continues to pursue other guide certifications.

Justin Ibarra

Operations Manager/Lead Guide/AIARE Course Leader

Raised in Colorado, Justin has been a guide and outdoor educator for nearly 14 years. He attended Colorado Mountain College for Outdoor Recreation Leadership and along with being Ops Manager Justin leads AIARE Avalanche Education and ACA Swiftwater Rescue Courses, and is Lead Guide and trainer for CAG. Justin is medically certified as a Wilderness First Responder and has various other certifications and training’s including High Angle Rescue and an AMGA Ski Guide Course Completion. His passion, tactfulness, and overall stoke for being in the mountains is contagious and he loves to share these experiences with others.

Paul Schmidt

Lead Ski Guide / AIARE Instructor

Growing up on the East Coast, Paul often skipped school to go hiking on whatever trails he could find nearby. Shortly after graduating from college he moved to Summit County, Colorado. He has guided Germans on several hiking and mountain biking trips throughout the Southwestern United States and Canada, and speaks fluent German. He currently works as an Avalanche Technician at a local ski area in Summit County and splits his time between Colorado and New Zealand ski patrolling year round. He is AIARE level III certified, is a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician, and is an AMGA Assistant Ski Guide and AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide

Mike Restivo

Office Manager

Michael was born far from the mountains in Miami Florida but after a six-month volunteer opportunity in Nepal, he developed a passion for climbing and mountaineering. After graduating from FIU, he switched coasts and landed in Seattle where he learned to climb in the North Cascades and grew a new love for skiing. He then moved to Boulder where he fell in love with the backcountry ski community, which brought him to Summit County. When he’s not outside you can find him spending hours in his kitchen. Michael is extremely passionate about providing the best experiences for Colorado Adventure Guides’ guests.

Chris Edwards

Lead Ski Guide/AIARE Course Leader

Chris “Sunshine” Edwards was born and raised in Detroit, MI. Went to Fort Lewis College in Durango, fell in love with the San Juan Mountains and backcountry skiing. In 2008 he began professionally working as a ski guide and spent 11 winters in the Wallowa Mountains of Oregon as the Lead Guide for Wallowa Alpine Huts and as an avalanche forecaster for the Wallowa Avalanche Center. Chris is a course away from AMGA Ski Guide Certification, has Avalanche Level 3 with AAI, Professional Member of the AAA, Mountain Weather Certificate CAIC, WFR with WMI/NOLS, Grade V License Guide NZRA. He currently lives in Denver and works with CAG in the summers guiding and instructing.

Katie MacKnight

AIARE Instructor/ Senior Guide

Katie got her start learning to ski in Crested Butte, CO along with her first backcountry hut trip to the nearby 10th Mountain Division Friend‘s Hut. Upon returning to Fort Collins to complete a degree in Restoration Ecology and graduate studies in Forestry/Fire Science, she began familiarizing herself with the Medicine Bow and Never Summer Ranges. She is certified as an EMT-B and then Wilderness First Responder since 2008, Katie has safely enjoyed a decade and a half of navigating Colorado’s big backyard by way of mountain bike, cataraft, and skis and enjoys sharing that passion with others. We are stoked to have Katie on our team!

Clint Decker

AIARE Instructor

Clint moved to Colorado in 2004 to be in the mountains and snowboard. After a few years of in-bounds riding and starting to feel restricted by the resort’s boundaries, he started getting educated and into the backcountry. After climbing and splitboarding some classic routes around Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington State, and two expeditions to the Central Alaska Range, Clint decided to get into formal education and guiding. He is an AIARE Instructor and AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide. He’s learning to ski but still loves splitboarding equally. Clint lives in Silverthorne with his wife, who also loves backcountry skiing, and his dog, Stark.

Emma Wood

AIARE Instructor

Emma grew up on the coast of Maine but quickly fell in love with the western mountains. She has spent the last five years guiding and teaching outdoor education in Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho. Emma is a certified AIARE Instructor with a WFR and is thrilled to be working for Colorado Adventure Guides this winter. She also instructs rock climbing and backcountry skiing courses for NOLS and the High Mountain Institute. She loves teaching skills that empower people to go explore safely on their own time! Emma also runs her own sewing company making packs, rescue sleds, and more!

Kyle Ervin

Senior Splitboard, Raft, Peak Ascent, Mountain Bike Guide

Born and raised in a small town in South Jersey Kyle made the move out west to Colorado and discovered what he had been missing out on. In the past 5 years he has had a strong appetite for learning and progression that has led him to gain education through the Wilderness Medicine Institute, Desert Mountain Medicine, Colorado Mountain College, Silverton Avalanche School, and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education. Kyle enjoys whitewater kayaking/rafting, mountain biking, splitboarding, skateboarding, hiking and is currently expanding his skills for ice and rock climbing.

Scott Levin

Senior Ski/Peak/Ice Climbing Guide

After growing up mostly in north Florida, Scott knew he wasn’t suited for warm temps and wetlands. He moved to Colorado as soon as he was able, finding solace in the steep hills. After college Scott found himself living and working seasonally, spending his summers in Alaska as an ice climbing guide and winters in Utah, Colorado, and wherever else had decent snow. He spends his time climbing ice, rock and snow, but is mainly driven by skiing in the backcountry. Scott is currently certified as a Wilderness First Responder. He is pursuing training with the American Mountain Guide Association, and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education.

Pat Gephart

Senior Ski & Splitboard Guide

Pat is originally from Pennsylvania and has been snowboarding for 20 years. Honing his skills in the parks and half pipes of the icy east coast, he eventually migrated west and has called Summit County his home for the last 7 years. After he discovered splitboarding in 2014, it quickly becoming his main focus ever since. Navigating the backcountry in Summit County’s complex snow pack helped him focus his attention to snow science and its important role in the decision making process. He is driven by the ever evolving learning process that is required while in the backcountry and loves to share it with others. Pat’s passion is blending splitboarding with alpinism.

Tanner Thompson

Demo Center Manager/River Guide

Tanner left his southern roots in Arkansas to discover his passion for the mountains and rivers of Colorado at the early age of 15. He works as a Lead Whitewater Guide in the summers, and in the winters manages the Demo Center for CAG’s gear rental program as well as snowshoe guides while expanding his skill sets within the splitboarding and Peak Ascents disciplines. Tanner is adept at crafting comfort out of very little thing in the mountains. He spent a collective 10 years working as a wildland firefighter, Search and Rescue Technician, and acquiring whitewater boating skills on the western slope of Colorado.

Sean Riley

Lead Rock & Peak Guide/ Senior Ski Guide

Sean has worked with ski patrol for 7 seasons at our local Keystone Ski Resort, in addition to spending a season down on the South Island of New Zealand on the rime covered ski field of Coronet Peak. Sean enjoys nerding out on snow science and making pow turns through the forest. In summer, easy alpine climbs and moderate multi-pitch trad routes are his adventures of choice. He also enjoys spending the shoulder seasons on long mountain bike rides. When he’s not out skiing, climbing, or biking you can probably find him at home staring at maps and planning his next adventure. Sean holds his EMT, AIARE Pro 2, AMGA SPI, and is currently working through is AIARE instructor qualifications.

Susie Nothnagel

Lead Bike & Hike Guide, Senior Ski Guide

Susie grew up in Colorado Springs and ended up settling in Breckenridge, CO where she has lived for the past 24 years. She has been on the Breckenridge Ski Patrol for 22 years and when she’s not working on patrol, she can be found exploring the backcountry ski terrain of Summit County. In the summertime, Susie’s focus shifts to hiking and mountain biking. Susie’s love for hiking has drawn her to some of the best hiking regions in the world, including Nepal, Tibet, Switzerland, Italy, Croatia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru and Alaska. Right here in Summit County, there are countless miles of beautiful trails to explore and Susie would love to show you some of her favorite places.

Sam Streletsky

Lead Mountain Bike Guide / Instructor

Sam is a BICP Level 2 MTB coach who lives in Silverthorne, now in her third summer of guiding with CAG. She grew up in the Boston area before moving to Vermont, where she was a teacher and volunteer firefighter/EMT.

Sam runs a Bike Match Program for the Cycle Effect, fixing donation bikes and matching them with members of the community. She also oversees the Team Summit Ski Racing Development team in the winter. Sam loves teaching clinics, getting more people on bikes, and enjoys racing in the Summit Mountain Challenge series.


100 Fawn Ct Suite C, Silverthorne, CO 80498


(970) 893-8007

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