Among the Aspen area’s offerings of excellent guide services, I’ve always been impressed by the focus and incredibly solid safety record of Scott Messina’s Aspen Alpine Guides (AAG). Though the years, Scott became the word in guiding the 10th Mountain Huts, as well as showing an inspired dedication to the educational and field maintenance services of the 10th Mountain Hut Association. Indeed, if you’ve enjoyed backcountry skiing at the 10th Mountain Huts over the past decades, know that much of what you enjoyed is there because of Scott’s hard work. Thus, it’s worth mentioning here that Scott has sold AAG to a trio of outdoorsmen who come from a background of mountaineering education that’s truly impressive, especially their NOLS component. Here is the press release:
ASPEN- After hundreds of ascents of 14,000-foot-peaks and shear rock faces, Aspen Alpine Guidesâ€™ long-time employees reached their career summits. On June 18th 2007, Ron Rash, Tim Shortell and Josh Gross purchased Aspen Alpine Guides, a local guide service that has specialized in all-season mountain sports adventures for more than 18 years. With the same seasoned guides valley residents have come to know and trust, Aspen Alpine Guides will continue to offer single and multi-day guided mountaineering, rock climbing, backpacking, hiking, ski touring, snowshoeing and hut-to-hut backcountry skiing trips.
Aspen Alpine Guideâ€™s new owners tout more than 50 years of cumulative professional outdoor experience. For more than 20 years, Ron Rash worked as an Aspen-Highlands ski instructor, Aspen Alpine Guidesâ€™ lead guide and an outdoor educator teaching snow safety and backcountry awareness. During the same time-frame, Tim Shortell logged thousands of backcountry hours as a senior National Outdoor Leadership School instructor and an Aspen-Highlands ski instructor. With a degree in outdoor leadership from Prescott College, Josh Gross has specialized in rock climbing and alpine mountaineering for nearly 10 years. While Aspen Alpine Guides is now owned by these highly-trained guides, former owner Scott Messina, who is personally responsible for the companyâ€™s success, will continue to participate as a consultant.
WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.