Meet Our Guides
CEO - Senior Guide
Founder of SWS
43 Years of Professional Guiding Experience
Tim, one of the founders, has been guiding and operating SWS Mountain Guides for over 40 years. He has over 100+ summits on Mt. Shasta and over 100+ on Mt. Whitney. As an avid backcountry skier, he has logged countless ski ascents on Mt. Shasta, Mt Lassen, and several Trans Sierra Ski crossings and various climbing and skiing routes in the High Sierras. Tim’s high altitude experience includes ascents and 40 plus international expeditions in Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina, Tanzania, Nepal, and Russia.
- AMGA Alpine Guides Course
- AMGA Certified Single Pitch
- Professional Climbing Instructor Guides Institute Certified Top Rope Guide
- Wilderness First Responder
- Certified American Avalanche
- Association Avalanche Instructor
- Pro 2 Avalanche Training
- Certification, Graduate from the
National Avalanche School
- Leave Not Trace Certified Trainer
- Membership in the American Alpine Club since 1997.
- BA in Geography from Humboldt State University
- Tim speaks Spanish, is married to Emily White-Keating, and has a 22-year-old son; Joshua plays college baseball.
COO - Senior Guide
Mt Shasta Operations 28 Years of Professional Guidng Experience
David is one of the principal owners of SWS Mountain Guides and has over 25 years of managing & guiding experience for SWS Mountain Guides. Dave is a veteran SWS guide, having over 100 summits on Mt. Shasta to his name. In addition, Dave has high altitude experience and International expeditions in Ecuador, Bolivia, Russia, and Argentina. Dave’s true passion, however, is climbing in the Palisades on mixed routes. A little-known fact about Dave is that he is a fantastic backcountry chef and can cook a mean couscous burrito. Dave is a graduate of the 10-day AMGA Alpine Guide Course, AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, holds a Wilderness First Responder (WFR), and is a graduate of the National Avalanche School and Avalanche Level I & Level II. In addition, he graduated from Humboldt University with B.S. Degrees in Biology, Zoology, and Oceanography. Dave lives in Mt. Shasta with his wife, Alana. They have three children Jarrod, Mariah, and Jesse.
CMO - Senior Guide
Avalanche Level Pro 2
Caleb Burns is originally a Southern Oregon native. Growing up outdoors instilled a natural love of adventure and exploration. He traveled much of the West Coast with his father at a young age and found a love of the mountains. After college Caleb continued to travel much of the country and has spent time in most states West of the Mississippi. After meeting his now wife they decided that Southern Oregon offered outdoor access that was hard to match. They are now raising their daughter in Southern Oregon and can often be found hiking, kayaking, camping, skiing, or relaxing at the beach. Caleb is an active member of Search and Rescue and mainly works in the Cascades, Mexico, and the Sierras. One of his most memorable climbs is assisting NASA and National Geographic on an expedition to explore the fumarole caves at the top of Mt. Rainier for information gathering on the MARS rover project. He has a love of helping people get outside and encouraging them to pursue their goals, but also helping to enjoy the beauty of the areas they travel in. Outside of guiding, Caleb most enjoys spending time with his family.
Leave No Trace
Born and raised in Mérida, Venezuela, Kique grew up scrambling up 4,000mts peaks. Summers saw him taking 72hr bus trips to explore the Andes in Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, and Argentina. After graduate studies in Switzerland at the ETH and in California at UC Berkeley, Kique completed a 15 yr career as a Program Manager at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory while leading 15 expeditions to South America. Since then he has joined SWS and his organizational skills, attention to detail, AMGA training, and in depth knowledge of the Andes have allowed him to tailor highly successful expeditions at all experience levels. Kique is fluent in English, Spanish, German, and Japanese. He is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, AMGA Certified Alpine Guide, and an AMGA Assistant Ski Guide.
Dr. Emily Sagalyn MD MPH FAWM
Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM)
Dr. Emily Sagalyn-Brown is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and holds the internationally recognized Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM)
Dr. Emily Sagalyn-Brown is Board Certified in Emergency Medicine and holds the internationally recognized Diploma in Mountain Medicine (DiMM) training in glacier, high altitude, avalanche, and helicopter rescue. She is also the faculty of the DiMM program through the Wilderness Medical Society (WMS). Emily received her B.A. from Columbia University in New York, NY. She received her medical degree from the University of Massachusetts in Worcester, MA. She completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA, and a fellowship in Wilderness Medicine and EMS at the University of Utah. While in Utah, she also completed her MPH. She serves on the board of the Wilderness Medical Society and earned their Fellowship of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine (FAWM). Emily has been the consulting physician for SWS Mountain Guides since 2010. She has provided wilderness medical care at the Kunde Hospital in Nepal, the medical clinics in Big Sky, Montana and Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and various locations throughout Utah.
AMGA Rock Guide
Leave No Trace
Tony started climbing in MT in 1997 after moving there for college. From then on, all he wanted to be was a climber. Tony started guiding in 2004 and became an AMGA certified rock guide in 2007. He has climbed fairly extensively in the American west and has found success on a few trips to Europe. Tony is a full time science teacher and is raising two children that will be better rock climbers than he is in short order.
Dr Brad Thomas
Dr. of Physical Therapy
PCGI Rock Guide
Avalanche Level 2
Brad discovered rock climbing while attending graduate school in the great hills of eastern Pennsylvania. Since, he has been relentlessly pursuing his climbing passion. From the sandstone cliffs of Kentucky, granite spires of the Sierra and the Tibetan foothills of western China, Brad has been seeking adventure and improving his alpine skills and knowledge for the last 10 years. He is excited to have finally turned this passion into his profession as a guide with SWS. When he’s not guiding or climbing, Brad spends his time crafting human powered adventures, on his bike or split-board, alongside his practice as a Doctor of Physical Therapy.
Manager Lone Pine Office
ADA Ski & Mountain Specialist
Neil has over 20 years of experience guiding SWS; he oversees & manages our Lone Pine operations.
Neil Woodruff began his outdoor career as a child learning North American plants and animals from his family members, including biology, botany, farmers, hunters, and gun makers. Since then, he has expanded his North American knowledge and studied African and South American ecosystems. Neil currently divides his year between California and Wyoming. In California, Neil primarily works for SWS Mountain Guides, where he guides: mountaineering, alpine rock climbs, rock climbing courses, survival courses, spring ski/snowboard mountaineering, and the occasional winter ascent in the Sierra Nevada. He winters in Jackson, WY, where he teaches snowboarding and skiing for Jackson Hole Ski Area, also serving as a staff trainer. Neil has also worked for various California and East Coast Ski Resorts and internationally in Portillo, Chile. Since 2007 he has served as a clinician for PSIA-w specializing in adaptive sports. Most recently, Neil moonlighted as a consultant and instructor with the Foundation Deporte y Desafio in the first Spanish accreditation of Adaptive Snowboard Instructors, an event held in preparation for the 2015 Universiada de Invierno (Winter World Student Games) in Granada. In his spare time, Neil has developed sport, aid, and traditional climbing routes in California from Mt. Shasta to Lone Pine and trekking routes in Kenya. Neil’s certifications include AASI Level III Snowboard instructor, PSIA Level III Adaptive Instructor (one of four persons to receive this certification on a snowboard), PSIA Level I Alpine Ski Instructor, and Children’s Specialist Level II. Neil also possesses Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Leave No Trace, AAA Avalanche II certifications, and the AMGA Ski Guides Course and AMGA Rock Guides Course. ADA Specialist.
AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide
A3 Avalanche Level 2
Resident hillbilly, Matt Mahaney was born and raised in West Virginia. Matt was adopted into the SWS family in 2017. As a Lead guide for SWS and an AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide, Matt enjoys adventuring in beautiful places with rad people. When not in the mountains, Matt produces the California Backcountry Report for Mountain Guide Media LLC.
Avalanche Level Pro 1
Bec is a passionate and skilled educator and has taught at all ages in public and private sectors. She has completed the triple crown, traveled a 500 mile exploratory route through the desert of Nevada, California and Southern Oregon. She has completed alpine routes in Yosemite, the Wind River Range, Inyo Mountains, Elkhorns, Steen Mountains, the L2H Route, and several volcanic circumnavigations. She has hiked well over 10,000 miles and spent hundreds of nights in the backcountry. More recently her passion has transitioned into the winter high alpine. Bec has climbed and skied every volcano in the Cascade Arc, and many in the Chilean Ring of Fire. She guides because she is determined to pass on knowledge to people who love, or will grow to love, the outdoors as much as she does.
- Avalanche Level Pro 1
- WFR (Wilderness First Responder)
PCGI Single Pitch / Rock Guide
A3 Avalanche Level 2
Wilderness First Responder (WMTC)
Winston Mueller – As a southern Oregon native, Winston has built his experience climbing rock and mountaineering in Oregon’s Cascade range and high desert crags. Winston has been guiding with SWS since the 2021 season and plans to continue developing his skills and education through the AMGA all while guiding Mt. Shasta and rock climbing around the west.
PCGI Single Pitch / Rock Guide Apprentice
A3 Avalanche Level 1 & 2
Wilderness First Responder (WMTC)
Avalanche Level Pro 1
Scott, is one of our Senior Guide guiding for SWS on Mt. Shasta & Eastern Sierra.Scott grew up rafting, skiing and climbing in Hood River, Oregon and is now in his 12th year at SWS with over 100 Mount Shasta summits under his belt. In that time, guiding has gone from a part-time summer job to a full-time career and full-blown passion. Since his first mountaineering experience on Mt. Hood in the 90s he continues to climb peaks of the Cascades and Sierra Nevada, big walls in Yosemite Valley, big mountains in Alaska, South America, and other major climbing areas and mountain ranges of the west. In addition to climbing and guiding, Scott loves running as way of exploring and enjoying the mountains. He is a finisher of several marathons and ultra-marathons up to 100 miles. Scott studied Journalism at Southern Oregon University and also holds certifications for WFR, AAA Avalanche Level II, and is a certified Leave No Trace Instructor. He has also completed the Rock Guide Course and Alpine Guide Course through the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA). He lives in Medford, Oregon with his wife Becky and four-year-old daughter Ellery.
Avalanche Level 1
AASI Level 2 Ski instructor
- AIARE Avalanche Level 1
- AASI Level 2 Ski instructor
- Wilderness First Responder
Matthew joined the SWS team in 2013 and is always looking forward to sharing his joy of the great outdoors and help you create new and unforgettable memories of your own.
AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide
Tyler grew up in North Carolina and has been living in the Sierra Nevada since 2012. He has worked for SWS since 2015. He currently maintains status as an apprentice rock guide under the AMGA scope of practice. Tyler has been a wilderness first responder since 2010 and continues to hold this certification. Tyler also holds a professional level 1 avalanche certification through the American Avalanche Association. Tyler has 13 years of experience living working and recreating in the mountains.
BA in Commerical Recreation Management
Eric has been with SWS for several years. He originally comes from Michigan, where he had a love of the outdoors including skiing and backpacking. After graduating from Michigan State with a Bachelor’s degree in Commercial Recreation Management, he moved to Lake Tahoe to ski the Sierra Nevada. Since, Eric has gained experience in mountaineering, ski mountaineering, and rock climbing. Eric spends his winters as the Children’s Snowsports Manager at Sierra at Tahoe.
James Brown, aka “JB,” was one of the principal owners of SWS Mountain Guides with over 20 yrs of guiding experience. After college, “JB” moved to the mountains of Wyoming and Utah to live his passion. JB has climbed or guided in almost every significant range in the US and four continents. He guided for SWS in the Cascades, Eastern Sierra, and Internationally. In addition to his guiding career, JB is also an avid backcountry skier and ski mountaineer. If you can’t find him skiing big mountain lines in the winter, you can find him teaching, guiding, or mentoring in the western mountains’ mountain ranges.
- IFMGA Guide
- AMGA Certified Ski Guide
- AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
- AMGA Assistant Rock Guide
- PSIA Alpine Instructor level II
- Certified Backcountry Instructor
- Avalanche Level Pro 2
- Board Member, Sierra Avalanche Center
- Leave No Trace Certification
- ADA Specialist
JBs favorite trip to guide is Island Peak, Nepal.