Here is the real reason why Wilderness Outings courses are as great
as they are — our staff! Each of them bring a wealth of personal and
professional experience, and an enthusiasm for their subject matter
that shines through every moment of your course. We are proud of each
any every Wilderness Outings staffperson – they bring the course to
All Wilderness Outings staff are required to possess significant
personal and professional experience to qualify, and must hold medical
certifications at a minimum of Wilderness Advanced First Aid (or
higher), as well as CPR certification.
Wilderness Outings staffs most rock climbing
courses with American Mountain Guides Association certified instructors,
per the conditions
of commercial use permits.
John DuGene — A retired Navy pilot, John has spent years in the outdoors including trips to Philmont Boy Scout Ranch, several summits of Mt. Whitney, and hiking throughout the United States. As a pilot, he was accomplished at low-altitude navigation and aerial reconnaissance. He is currently teaching high school algebra. Recently he climbed the volcano El Pico de Orizaba (18,490 ft) in Mexico, and Mt. Aconcagua (22,840 ft) in Argentina – the highest summit in the world outside of the Himalayas. He loves all types of navigation and map work: whether airborne, sailing, or in the wilderness.
Michael Habicht — Michael
Habicht has been climbing and backpacking since discovering the great
outdoors in college. He has spent the last eight years honing his skills across the Western States and keeps coming back to Southern California, a mecca for climbers and backpackers.
He has been teaching for W.O. for 3 years and loves helping others discover the joys of a wilderness outing.
LeMay — Monique LeMay has been teaching rock climbing and back packing with Wilderness Outings for over seven years. As one of only a handful of female rock guides she has a unique perspective on the sport and understands how to teach techniques to a broad range of clients. Her bright smile and thrill to be a guide can get anyone excited to be outdoors!
Matt ‘Tristan’ Sieleman — An avid skier and climber, Tristan " cut his teeth" in the mountains of Colorado. After moving to California in 2001, Tristan began his guiding career leading rock climbing trips in Joshua Tree national park. Since then he has been guiding everything from the boulders of Bishop to the summit of Mt Whitney and from rappelling raging waterfalls in the Caribbean to climbing frozen waterfalls in the Sierra. Tristan is a certified multi pitch guide thru the Professional Climbing Guides Institute. He also trains and certifies guides for PCGI and is a member of their technical committee. Tristan splits his time between Joshua Tree and the eastern Sierra. No matter what your adventure, Tristan is able and willing to take you there and bring ya back with a smile!
Stiteler — Kier developed an early thirst for adventure
in the mountains of New Mexico where he began honing his climbing skills in college. He relocated to California in 1995 to pursue the big cliffs in Yosemite where he has scaled many Grade VI big walls as well as hundreds of long classic climbs all around the Golden State, Nevada, Utah, and Arizona. He began guiding in 1997 and has worked for a few different guide services sharing his love for climbing as well as rigging and performing climbing stunts for several TV commercials and Reality Shows. He now splits his time between rock climbing, surfing, and his career in developing anti-cancer biotherapeutics at Amgen in Thousand Oaks, CA, but his one true love is still teaching and guiding rock climbs around California.
Glen Van Peski, Ultralight Backpacking Program Coordinator
My passion is sharing ideas about getting outdoors with less and lighter stuff. Backpacking with 20
lbs. on your
is a whole
than with 50 lbs. on your back. Go towards the light...
Lee White — After
graduating Art Center College of Design in 1974, Lee started working
as a full
time professional photographer
in 1975 and with Wilderness Outings in 1994. His work has been commissioned
companies allowing him to shoot extensively throughout
the US and in parts of Asia, Africa, England, Europe and South
all formats from 8X10 to 35 mm and now has a
strong involvement with digital photography which is welcome in
Stephanie Zito — Stephanie loves inspiring people to live and play in the outdoors. A former Peace Corps Volunteer, Stephanie has lived and traveled throughout Africa and India. Since 2004, she has guided backpacking, rock climbing, and teambuilding throughout the Western U.S. Having landed in San Diego, Stephanie now splits her time between the land and sea, working as a wellness consultant, teaching yoga, surfing, and climbing in the mountains and desert.
John Jacobs, Director of Program and Operations —John has an extensive history in the field of Outdoor and Adventure Education, including nearly 20 years as an instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates. John spent nine years with the Pacific Crest Outward Bound School as Instructor and eventually Program Director for the High Sierra Mountaineering and Rock Climbing program. John has worked with Wilderness Outings since 1989, primarily teaching rock climbing courses as well as instructing all of the Wilderness Medicine courses previously offered. He has worked extensively with the Boojum Institute, serving as Program Director, Board Member, and Risk Management Committee Member. In addition to his work with Wilderness Outings, John currently operates Adventure Risk Management, specializing in risk management-related training and consultation. John currently holds Wilderness EMT certification, as well as American Mountain Guides Association certification at the level of Single Pitch Instructor. John’s outdoor skills and experience are equally extensive — he has hiked the entire 2600 mile Pacific Crest Trail, and the John Muir Trail (twice). His climbing experience is diverse, and includes technical ascents of many peaks in the Sierra, Cascades, and Alaska, as well as extensive rock climbing experience from Yosemite’s Big Walls to Southern California’s classic climbing areas such as Joshua Tree and Tahquitz/Suicide Rocks.
Jeff Cooper, Program
Consultant. Jeff Cooper was the Director of Wilderness Outings
13 years, when it was organized
under Adventure 16, from 1989 to 2002. During that time, he grew the
program to serve well over 15,000 clients, introducing them to the
outdoors and the very fine cadre of instructors he had cultivated
for over a decade.
Before that, Jeff worked for various other experiential
education and outdoor programs, including a 12 year tenure with Outward
Bound. He is a professional member and certified Top Rope Instructor
with the American Mountain Guides Association, keeps his WFR & CPR
current, and still enjoys teaching and guiding. With many big wall
climbs, mountaineering ascents, sea kayak expeditions and cross-country
ski traverses to his credit, his current interests find him surf kayaking,
mountain biking, or canyoneering. And, of course, he always takes
his cameras with him.
Cory Freyer, Navigation
Cory Freyer hails from Colorado and has lived in the Los Angeles area for the
last 23 years. She has backpacked extensively in the Sierra Nevada and the Colorado
Rocky Mountains in summer and winter conditions. Her love of wild places has
inspired her to trek in Nepal, Bhutan, Japan and Patagonia. Mountaineering is
also a part of her repertoire with climbs of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Shasta and Mt.
Whitney. She has a particular passion for maps and navigation
and has participated in several Orienteering competitions.
For the last 12 years she was the West Los Angeles
coordinator for Adventure 16's Wilderness Outings Program where she
also taught courses in Backpacking , Winter Camping and Map and Compass
We are pleased to have her join Wilderness Outings
as the Director of Navigational Skills where she continues to develop
and teach Map & Compass courses as well as a course in navigating
with GPS receivers.