Our Guides

Our Guides
Guides are often the key to any successful outdoor adventure. Our guides are highly skilled outdoor enthusiasts who are passionate about sharing the beauty of the natural world. These knowledgeable and fun loving individuals make your adventure unforgettable by sharing sides of Tahoe few people see. Feedback from our guests has been clear: Our guides make the difference.

Trip leaders who work for Tahoe Adventure Company are truly special people. We hire only the top 10% of all applicants who apply. Because the Tahoe area is so beautiful, and our trips sound more like fun than work, we find ourselves with piles of applications. We are fortunate that we draw experienced guides from a variety of interesting leadership backgrounds: Outward Bound instructors, NOLS course graduates, river guides, sea kayaking guides, professional mountaineers, environmental educators, teachers and teambuilding facilitators.

Most of our staff members are long time locals in the Tahoe area, offering local insight on secret spots and little known lore and history. All trip leaders and assistant guides are CPR and First Aid certified while many have earned EMT, Wilderness First Responder, and Lifeguard certifications. Our rock climbing instructors boast American Mountain Guide Association certification as well.

Guide training: Our leaders are constantly learning and perfecting the skills necessary to lead great trips. We offer many hours of training to our guides through Trip Leader mentoring, focused in-services and ongoing staff training sessions for all the activities we offer.

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Name: Kevin Hickey - Owner/Director
Years with TAC: 13

Education: Bachelor of Arts

Leadership Experience:
Kevin is the Founder and Director of Tahoe Adventure Company. His goals from the start have been to offer the highest quality adventure trips and tours with a focus on the natural and human history of the Tahoe/Truckee area.

Kevin has over 20 years of Guiding and Outdoor Education experience throughout the U.S. and Abroad. He spent many years teaching wilderness education, backpacking, rock climbing and sea kayaking. He has also worked as a naturalist, ropes course facilitator, and developer of custom teambuilding programs. Additionally, he has worked as a ski patroller and on the logistics and medical teams for various adventure races around the globe.

Kevin has a passion for sharing the outdoors with guests and especially enjoys working with youth and school groups. He holds EMT, CPR, Avalanche Level II, and Leave No Trace Trainer certifications.

Favorite Adventure Trip: A 3 week trip to the Himalayas with his wife. Each and every scuba diving trip he has ever been on.

Favorite TAC Trip: On the water, SUP Tours; On land, any mountain biking tour.

Favorite Sports: Telemark Skiing in the backcountry or at the resort.

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Name: Katie Hickey - Operations
Years with TAC: 8

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Studies, UC Santa Barbara

Leadership Experience:
Katie manages and oversees the operations, marketing and bookkeeping at TAC. In addition to previously managing the operations for a small international travel company, Katie has experience working with different populations teaching Environmental Education and Home Health in California as well as abroad.

She holds WFR, CPR and First Aid Instructor, and Avalanche Level I certifications.

Favorite Adventure Trip: Scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands with Kevin.

Favorite TAC Trip: Thunderbird Lodge Kayak Tour and Lodge to Lodge Kayak.

Favorite Sports: Alpine and cross-country skiing, stand-up paddleboarding, mountain biking, running, gardening, cooking, and chasing her kids.

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Name: Kelly Larson - Office & Marketing Coordinator
Years with TAC: 1

Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of Montana, Environmental Science & Communication Studies

Leadership experience: Backpacking Camp Counselor, Children's Ski & Snowboard School Manager, Professional Ski Instructor, Field Guide

Favorite Adventure trip: Hiking in Yosemite and backpacking through the Trinity Alps Wilderness

Favorite sport: Snowboarding

Other than guiding: Travel, sing, read, play outside, yoga
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Name: Kerry Andras - Guide
Years with TAC: 13

Education: Bachelor of Science, CSU Chico. Peace Corps Mali, 2000 - 2002.

Leadership experience: 12 years with TAC

Favorite Adventure trip: Paddling the circumference of Lake Tahoe in 4 days

Favorite TAC trip: Thunderbird Lodge

Favorite sport: Skate Skiing

Other than guiding: Playing music in various local bands, including Sneaky Creatures, and teaching private music lessons


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Name: Robin McElroy - Guide
Years with TAC: 10

Education: Bachelor of Arts, University of Colorado, Boulder

Leadership Experience: Robin's first teaching job was as a rock climbing instructor when she was 14. She's since taught skiing internationally, guided white water rafting for Tahoe White Water, and taught outdoor education programs for high school students with the Gateway Mountain Center.
She has been an outdoor educator for the past several years for TAC leading mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and team building events.

Favorite TAC Trip: The Sand Harbor Kayak Tour and The Full Moon Tours. The sunset tours are great because she loves seeing the colors of the sunset reflecting off the surface of the water and also loves having the lake all to herself!

Favorite Sport: Big Mountain Skiing

Other than Guiding: Robin is on ski patrol at Squaw Valley in the winter and competes in Big Mountain Skiing events. She loves to do almost all independent sports in both the summer and winter - skiing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, rock climbing, running, swimming, wake boarding, wake surfing, fishing, and paragliding.
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Name: Sean Bunnell - Guide
Years with TAC: 6

Education: Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, Northern Arizona University

Leadership Experience: Canadian Outdoor Leadership Training. Teaching skiing and rock climbing.

Favorite Adventure Trip: High Sierra ski touring/backpacking

Favorite Sport: Backcountry Skiing

Other than guiding: Sean enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including painting and gardening.






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Name: Chase Allstadt - Guide
Years with TAC: 6

Education: Bachelor of Science, Adventure Recreation

Leadership Experience: Outward Bound Instructor, Raft guide

Favorite Adventure Trip: Middle Fork of the Salmon River Rafting

Favorite TAC Trip: Sand Harbor Kayak Tour

Favorite Sport: Anything on the water

Other than guiding: Chase enjoys swimming with his dog around Donner Lake or floating and fishing on the Truckee River. He also likes to Brew Beer!!


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Name: John Littleton - Guide
Years with TAC: 5

Education: Grinnell College, Grinnell IA Anthropology, OEC, EMT, AIARE 1-3 professional avalanche certifications, AIARE Instructor Training Course, National Avalanche School, Rescue 3 high angle technician, AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Course

Leadership experience: Outdoor Educator/guide 10+ years, professional ski patroller and avalanche route leader, non commissioned officer US Navy

Favorite Adventure trip: It's a tie: Chamonix vs Alaska

Favorite TAC trip: Thunderbird Lodge Kayak Tour

Favorite sport: skiing, rock climbing, SUP

Other than guiding: Planning the next adventure

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Name: John Arsenault - Guide
Years with TAC: 6

Education: Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, Boston University. Master of Arts, Teaching, University of Maine,Orono.

Leadership Experience: While exploring the country for over ten years, John has worked in a variety of outdoor organizations as an adventure, environmental science and outdoor ed instructor and program director. With a diverse past in experiential education, he has worked with groups in a variety of activities and environments: open ocean, whitewater, hiking, camping, caving, mountain biking, and mountaineering. John also has additional experience owning and operating a small property management company, working as a finish carpenter, facilitating organizational business management, sustainability, curriculum development and teamwork workshop sessions, teaching high school and college English, as well as traveling to Ecuador and the South Pacific with international service learning programs. His volunteer work includes the Sierra College Outdoor Club, Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue, cultural exchange with numerous Native American and international indigenous tribes, green building and sustainability advocacy, literacy, and ecology restoration.

Favorite Adventure Trip: An 11 day sea kayak expedition with OBW on the coast of Maine.

Favorite TAC Trip: Any full moon tour. John says, "being near Lake Tahoe during full moon is magical."

Favorite Sports: All of the above. The one he is doing that day.

Other than guiding: John teaches English for Washoe County Schools at Hug HS, for Sierra College in Truckee, and TMCC in Reno, writes freelance, and enjoys travel and adventure sports including backpacking, hiking, whitewater kayaking and rafting, mountain biking, and back country telemark skiing.
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Name: Kelly Boire - Guide
Years with TAC: 6

Education: Bachelor of Science, Sussex, England

Leadership Experience: After relocating back in the United States, Kelly settled in Truckee, CA and has worked as a naturalist guide and outdoor educator in the Lake Tahoe area, Yosemite, Mendocino, Point Reyes, Olympic Peninsula and Moab. She is an avid outdoor enthusiast who has been guiding, teaching and lecturing in the North Lake Tahoe area for over 15 years.

Favorite Adventure Trip:Hiking the Narrows in Zion NP.

Favorite TAC Trip: Sand Harbor Kayak Tour

Favorite Sport: Stand-up paddleboarding

Other than guiding: Playing music, making art, reading and socializing with friends.

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Name: Ben Kimple - Guide
Years with TAC: 3

Education: Bachelor of Science in Recreation Management, SUNY Cortland.

Leadership Experience: Ben ran the on campus rock climbing wall in College, worked as a ropes course facilitator and team builder, completed a NOLS semester course, worked as a nature trail guide in Lake Placid New York, and taught both skiing and snowboarding at Greek Peak Mountain in New York, and then again with the Adaptive program at Alpine Meadows in California.

Favorite Adventure Trip: Sailing on the Sea of Cortez, Baja Mexico.

Favorite TAC Trip: Sand Harbor Kayaking

Favorite Sport: Skiing

Other than guiding: Camping, rafting, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, mountain biking, running, playing music, listening to music, getting outside with his dog!
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Name: Lynn Kennen - Guide
Years with TAC: 2

Education:vBachelor of Science in Recreation Management, University of New Hampshire, Durham

Leadership Experience: Lynn has been guiding, instructing and coaching folks since the age of 13 when she started teaching skiing at Wachusett Mountain in Massachusetts. She is a heli ski guide in Alaska with Majestic Heli Ski. She is a class 5 whitewater raft guide and trip leader for Tahoe Whitewater Tours. She has worked for 5 years as a ropes course facilitator/ outdoor educator and is a certified yoga teacher. She has worked at 4 different ski areas, most recently at Alpine Meadows as a ski instructor and staff trainer.

Favorite Adventure Trip: Rafting the Middle Fork of the Salmon, Idaho to back-country ski from the rafts. Also Rowing the Grand Canyon, Lynn encourages everyone to try this once in their lives.

Favorite Sports: Skiing, mountain biking, hiking, yoga, rafting, stand-up paddleboarding

Other than guiding: Lynn is the General Manager of The River Grill in Tahoe City. You can also find her mountain biking every day in the summer and skiing every day in the winter.

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Name: Neil Favor - Guide
Years with TAC: 3

Education: Bachelor of Science, Environmental Policy, Analysis and Planning

Leadership Experience: Assistant Coach, NCAA Women's Diving Team (UC Davis)

Favorite Adventure Trip: Whitewater rafting in Southern Oregon or Backpacking through the Sierra.

Favorite Sport: Soccer

Other than guiding: Hiking, fishing, enjoying Lake Tahoe, anything on the water.

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Name: Sarah Halas - Guide
Years with TAC: 1

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Sociology

Leadership experience: Sarah began guiding backpacking trips in college. She went on to guide multi-sport adventure travel trips in New Zealand, and then back country skiing in Utah, Idaho, California and Antarctica.

Favorite Adventure trip: Ski mountaineering in Chamonix, France

Favorite sport: Skiing

Other than guiding: Airplane flight instructor and pilot at Truckee Airport: http://www.truckeeflighttraining.com/

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Name: Julia Mitchell - Guide
Years with TAC: 1

Education: Bachelor of Science, Psychology and Neuroscience, Colby College.

Leadership experience: Outdoor Trip Leader and Camp Counselor for Wilderness Adventures Trip in Alaska and Yellowstone National Park.

Favorite Adventure trip: 17 day backpacking and kayaking trip through Yellowstone National Park and a snowboarding trip to Queenstown, New Zealand.

Favorite sport: Snowboarding and hiking. Anything on the water! Also, watching ice hockey, GO CAPS!

Other than guiding: Snowboard Instructor at Squaw Valley, hiking, camping backpacking, running/working out, photography, reading and going to the beach
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Name: Lance Ward - Guide
Years with TAC: 2

Education: Bachelor of Science, Political Science, University of Arizona

Leadership Experience: Tour Director for Alaskan cruise line, raft guide, lead guide for snowmobile tours in Colorado, Eagle Scout

Favorite Adventure Trip: Four day, three night trek into the Andes of Peru, camping in the home village of Q'ero Natives guided by Inca Shamans

Favorite Sport: Anything that gets him outside and provides a workout

Other than guiding: Lances tries to stay involved in nearly every action sport out there. Dirt biking and water skiing are at the top of his list but he's always game to try something new.


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Name: Adrianne Bouchard - Guide
Years with TAC: 2

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology & International Development, UCLA

Leadership Experience: Adrianne has over 5 years experience teaching outdoor education throughout California and leading youth on cultural immersion trips in Hong Kong, the Dominican Republic and Alaska. She has also worked summers as a sea kayak guide in Alaska and as a backpacking guide in the Sierras Nevadas. She settled down in Tahoe over a year ago and has since been tutoring students in Spanish and teaching at an after school youth program.

Favorite Adventure Trip: Climbing & diving in Thailand

Favorite Sports: Running, Biking, & Climbing

Other than guiding: When Adrianne's not guiding, she likes to train for triathlons, ski & snowboard, kayak, mountain bike, garden, and cook yummy vegetarian meals.

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Name: Rich "Richie" Plainer - Guide
Years with TAC: 1

Education: Studied AOJ, Leadership training through the State of California and United States Navy

Leadership experience: Retired Public Service, ski instructor

Favorite Adventure trip: Any diving or skiing

Favorite TAC trip: Anything on the water

Favorite sport: Skiing

Other than guiding: Climb, paddle board, slack line, dive, ski

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Name: Garrett Johnson - Guide
Years with TAC: 1

Education: Studies in Outdoor Adventure leadership and Ski Business Resort management at one of Tahoe’s local colleges, Sierra Nevada College, in Incline Village, NV.

Leadership experience: Garrett has led in various settings such as; river rafting, backpacking, winter camping, mountaineering and canyoneering.

Favorite Adventure trip: 21-day extended field course with NOLS in the canyon lands of Utah where he picked up much of his canyoneering and mountaineering experience

Favorite TAC trip: In Garrett’s time with TAC he has enjoyed the many team-building events we have hosted to help other companies find their comfort zone by removing them from it.

Other than guiding: hiking, playing Disc Golf, going to one of Tahoe’s many beaches and in the winter he enjoys skiing on nearly a daily basis and going on winter camping trips in various locations around the lake.


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Name: John Staab - Guide
Years with TAC: 1

Leadership experience: Tour Guide for Alaskan cruise line, Red Bull Team Builder

Favorite Adventure trip: 4 weeks hiking in the Khumbu Region of Nepal

Favorite sport: Mountain biking, skiing, hiking

Other than guiding: Traveling and bar tending

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Name: Brandon Scutt - Guide
Years with TAC: 1 year

Education: MA Spanish Literature

Leadership experience: Spanish teacher, ski coach, study abroad adviser and chaperone

Favorite Adventure trip: Backpacking and kayaking the Costa Rican Caribbean Coastline

Favorite TAC trip: Full moon hike at Donner

Favorite sport: Mountain biking

Other than guiding: travel, garden, play music on guitar and saxophone, read good books and be outside. Outdoor activities include skiing, biking, kayaking, climbing, backpacking and fishing.
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Name: Ian Tucker - Guide
Years with TAC: 1

Education: Some college

Leadership experience: Adventure Camp Guide

Favorite Adventure trip: Bike packing Mackenzie River Trail

Favorite sport: Mountain Biking

Other than guiding: Northstar Bike Coach, working on my van, sailing, personal development, studying German and Spanish

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Name: Tom Rowley - Guide
Years with TAC: 1

Education: UK College and Keele University

Leadership experience: Ski instructor, ran a recruitment business in London for 6 years

Favorite Adventure trip: Solo around the world trip - 18 countries in 10 months. Highlights were: Trans Siberian railway from Moscow to Beijing, volunteering at Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai, Tailand; getting my PADI open water on Kho Tao; 5 day desert road trip across Bolivian Salt Flats and many others!!

Favorite sport: skiing or football (or soccer, I maintain that American football should be called hand egg)

Other than guiding: Adventure around Tahoe, ski instructing, road tripping with my friends and filling up mu passport

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