Sierra Mountain Guides


Sierra Mountain Guides
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Sierra Mountain Guides
Page By Steve Larson
Page Type Jan 25, 2007 / Jan 25, 2007
Object ID 2176
Hits 7119


June Lake, CA based Sierra Mountain Guides is owned and operated by long-time Sierra guide Doug Nidever. Doug is a UIAGM certified guide with 37 years of experience. They maintain a useful conditions report for Eastern Sierra ice climbs on their web site.

In addition to the usual array of snow, ice, rock and avalanche instruction available at most guiding companies, SMG offers one of the more comprehensive guide training curricula in California, starting with the top rope site manager course, and including rock, alpine and ski mountaineering courses (all AMGA sanctioned).

SMC runs a variety of trips year round in the Sierra, Alaska, and internationally. Areas of operation include:

  • Sierra Nevada
  • Wrangell-St. Elias range
  • Alaska Range
  • Canadian Rockies ice climbing
  • Bolivia
  • Peru
  • Ecuador
  • European Alps

For more information, contact them at:

Sierra Mountain Guides
P.O. Box 446
June Lake, CA 93529
Voice: Toll Free 1-877-423-2546 (ICE-CLIMB)
Fax: 760-648-7221



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rhyang - Jan 25, 2007 10:09 pm - Voted 5/5

Great people !
I've taken two seminars from Doug via SMG - one on waterfall ice climbing, and one on mixed climbing.

The waterfall ice seminar covered the basics of climbing & movement, but he also went over setting ice screws and making v-threads. One great exercise he had us do was practice hooking & stepping instead of always swinging & kicking.

In the mixed seminar we learned some basic drytooling techniques (torquing, climbing rock in crampons, hooking, etc) and thin ice technique (delicately tapping placements, hooking where possible, etc). It was amazingly fun, and great to watch Doug climb. I thought learning mixed technique was actually quite beneficial to technique on fat blue ice as well.

The second day of the mixed seminar was dedicated to a multi-pitch climb. We had a choice of going up Hobnail Boots (WI4- / 5.8, three pitches) or Heel-Toe direct (WI4+ / M5). Trevor Hobbs led us up Hobnail Boots (actually he was one of the FA party on this line).

Highly recommended !

gregoryv - Jul 5, 2007 8:46 pm - Voted 5/5

I've gone on two trips with two of their guides. Howie Schwartz and Doug Nidever. Both are excellent, careful and will push your limits if that's what you are looking for. I went ice climbing and did some alpine climbing on two occasions. Very knowledgable and a lot of fun. I would definately recommend them.

96avs01 - Aug 21, 2008 6:21 pm - Voted 5/5

Highly recommended
I used SMG for intro to ice climbing instruction. Howie Schwartz was a great instructor, and more than lived up to a friend's personal recommendation. I will look to them in the future for any instructional needs and give them a glowing recommendation.

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