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.

Name: Kevin Hickey - Owner/Director
Years with TAC: 18

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: 15

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: Abby Howe - Office and Marketing Coordinator
Years with TAC: 3

Leadership Experience: PSIA certified Ski Instructor, Ocean kayak guide in La Jolla, CA

Education: Bachelor's in Sociology from University of Vermont

Favorite Adventure Trip: Six months of exploring the South Island of New Zealand

Favorite Sport: Skiing!

What do you do when you’re not working for TAC?: I love to ski, hike, paddle, camp, go on road trips, make art, and cook/bake for friends.
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Name: Peter Nocka - Field Coordinator/Head Guide
Years with TAC: 4

Leadership Experience: Guiding Kayak Tours in Portland, Oregon. Two seasons of guiding backpacking trips in Yosemite National Park

Education: Bachelors in Economics from Lewis & Clark College

Favorite Adventure Trip: Six week canoe trip through northern Ontario to Hudson Bay.

Favorite TAC Trip: North Shore Tour

Favorite Sport: Rock Climbing!

What do you do when you’re not guiding for TAC?: In the winter I teach skiing at Heavenly Ski Resort in South Lake Tahoe.
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Name: Ben Rice
Years with TAC: 2

Leadership Experience: Ben spent many years in consulting before coming to his senses and making the full transition to the outdoors. Since then he has been certified as a PSIA ski instructor, WFR, CPR, and Avalanche Level 1.

Education: Bachelors and Masters in Business at the University of Texas at Austin

Favorite Adventure Trip: Multi week horseback riding through the central Asian steppe

Favorite TAC Trip: Snowshoe Full Moon Tour at Castle Peak

Favorite Sport: Any version of sliding on snow

Other than guiding: When he’s not guiding Ben is usually camping, skiing, climbing, playing the ukulele, or practicing his bocce skills. When not in Tahoe he loves traveling abroad, visiting friends around the country, or slowly making his way to every national park. Otherwise he’s probably reading five different books he won’t finish or is lost in the woods.
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Name: Scott Hillock

Years with TAC: 2

Leadership Experience: Scott has been guiding outdoor excursions for the last 5 years. From wildlife interpretation at the San Diego Safari Park, multi-day trips exploring national parks, to glacier guiding in Alaska, he has developed a sincere passion for elaborating on nature’s wildest places.

Education: Sustainable Tourism (SDSU)

Favorite Adventure Trip: Canoeing the Black Canyon on the Colorado River

Favorite TAC Trip: Sand Harbor SUP

Favorite Sport: Lacrosse / Spikeball

Other than guiding: I enjoy bicycling, rock climbing, cooking outside and ultimate frisbee.
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Name: Mike Trombetta
Years with TAC: 5

Leadership Experience:
-15 years running a kitchen staff as chef or sous chef.
-Tail Guide at Pacific Crest Snowcats
-Guide at Alaska Rendezvous Heli Ski Lodge
-4th Grade Educator for Winter Wilderness Survival Program

Education: New England Culinary Institute, Winter Weather Forecasting, WFR, CPR, Level 3 American Avalanche Institute

Favorite Adventure Trip: Every year I am lucky enough to go back to Valdez, its a dream come true. But my favorite may be one of the times my wife and I hiked the Kalalau Trail on the Napali coast. Se cliffs, rivers, waterfalls, amazing beaches, beachfront camping, and incredible people!!

Favorite TAC Trip: Kayaking out of Sand Harbor on Lake Tahoe

Favorite Sport: Snowboarding/Skiing

What do you do when you're not guiding for TAC? Skiing/snowboarding, snowmobiling, mountain biking, hiking, camping, swimming, fishing, bocce, or anything else that gets me outside with my family. I also work springs in Alaska working as a guide for Alaska Rendezvous Heli Ski Lodge and I am a team member of the Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue.
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Name: Tim Bogardus
Years with TAC: 5 years

Leadership Experience:
- Seven years teaching skiing at Alpine Meadows. I've guided off-piste Alpine Excursions, and I've taught hundreds of kids and adults from beginners to experts.
- Teaching and guiding SUP lessons and trips on Lake Tahoe (and other waters) since 2013.

Education: BA at the University of Maryland and MA at the University of North Carolina

Favorite Adventure Trip: Stand-Up Paddling across Lake Tahoe the long way (22 miles), Day-Hiking along the Sierra Crest, Off-Piste Powder Skiing

Favorite Sport: Skiing, SUP, Golf

Other than guiding (what do you do when you're not guiding for TAC): Photography, golf, writing, and hiking.
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Name: Trevor Husted
Years with TAC:4

Leadership Experience:
- 5+ years of international guide experience
- Mountain/Ski Guide
- Tahoe Nordic Search and Rescue
- Achieve Tahoe Adaptive Program – Volunteer
- Freelance Writer

Education: Bachelor of Arts – Communication, Washington State University. Master of Arts – Teaching, Sierra Nevada College

Favorite Adventure Trip: Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Favorite Sport: Ski/Snowboarding, Mountain Biking, Surfing

Other than guiding (what do you do when you’re not guiding for TAC): Climb, play guitar, cook, yoga, read, write, SUP, camp, travel, everything music!
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Name: Tyler Post
Years with TAC: 6

Education: Arizona State University, Physical education; St. Mary's College, Health, Physical education and recreation

Leadership Experience: Head sophomore baseball coach, assistant varsity baseball coach, supervisor on ski trips, outdoor education trips and athletic events with high school students; National Ski Patroler at Squaw Valley; running a ropes course; and being a big brother!

Favorite Adventure Trips: Too many to say: hiking the John Muir Trail; bike touring Highway 1 from Oregon to Los Angeles; road trip to all 50 states; volunteering at an animal refugee farm in Namibia; and trying to summit all the high points in the states (currently at 35).

Favorite Sport: backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, wake boarding, running, swimming, SUP paddling, skate skiing, biking, scuba diving and kayaking.

Favorite TAC Trip: Sand Harbor: clear waters, big boulders and white sands never gets old.

Other than guiding: New experiences and new people are what makes me get up and go. Nature and the outdoors are my church.
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Name: Alyssa Valdez-Peck
Years with TAC: 2

Leadership Experience: Alyssa has a Backcountry Guide Cert., has been a Canoe Guide in the Boundary Waters, and a Naturalist and Glacier Canoe Guide in Skagway, Alaska. She's led and instructed international students in mountain biking, caving, rock climbing, camping in China/Hong Kong

Education: Outdoor Leadership degree from Vermilion Community College

Favorite Adventure Trip: Kayaking to Emerald Bay

Favorite TAC Trip: Disco Paddleboard!

Favorite Sport: Volleyball

What do you do when you’re not guiding for TAC?: Alyssa likes to play in the woods, rock climb with friends, relax on beaches of Tahoe with a book and take frigid dips in the clear blue water.
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Name: Mike Sasaki
Years with TAC: 1st season!

Leadership Experience: Led Rock Climbing guide for Aztec Adventures, PSIA Level 1 Ski Instructor, Climbing gym supervisor and head route-setter

Education: B.S. in Environmental Engineering from San Diego State University

Favorite Adventure Trip: 2.5 day ascent of The Nose on El Capitan in Yosemite!

Favorite TAC Trip: Kayak trips on the lake

Favorite Sport: It's hard to beat a powder day skiing out in the Tahoe Backcountry

What do you do when you’re not guiding for TAC?: Skiing, climbing, mountain biking, and highlining are all Mike's favorite things to do out here
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Name: Shannon James
Years with TAC: 1st season

Leadership Experience: Lead educator for Trackers Earth and lead many outdoor education trips in Hong Kong and China

Education: Bachelors of Science

Favorite Adventure Trip: Hiking Granite Peak in Montana

Favorite Sport: Soccer

What do you do when you’re not guiding for TAC?: Shannon spends her time skiing, climbing, and running
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Name: Ryan Janics
Years with TAC: 1st

Leadership Experience: As a stage IV cancer survivor, I have held many different leadership roles both professionally and personally. For example, I have a record of public speaking for Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation; I was the only speaker at one specific event that broke the record for corporate donations. In work, I am often consulted with for decisions, I help set up standard operating procedures, keep track of data, and create metadata. I managed several 5-10 person teams for a previous employer in San Diego while I was attending college. When I was battling cancer, I couldn’t play competitive sports for roughly 7 years. During that time, I took my competitive spirit online and created a 300-person group that would meet online every day and play video games recreationally as well as competitively.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts and Sciences: Economics: Specialization in Quantitative Analysis and Minor: Spanish

Favorite Adventure Trip: May Lake in Yosemite

Favorite TAC trip: Sand Harbor Kayak Tours

Favorite Sport: Basketball

What do you do when you’re not working for TAC?: I work multiple jobs in the restaurant industry and when I am not working I like hanging out with my friends and my dog Oliver.
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Name: Ben Faucher
Years with TAC: 1st season

Leadership Experience: I began leading wilderness trips in New England during college summers and helped to found and lead trips for my college outing club. I also worked as a youth corps crew leader in Colorado. After college I moved to Lake Tahoe, where I have been living for 12 years. During that time, I have spent 5 summers leading kayaking tours on the lake and have guided natural history hikes. I have also spent summers working as a backcountry ranger in California and Idaho as well as worked on field teams conducting environmental research. During winter months I am a ski patroller at Squaw Valley and have been an Avalanche Forecaster there for 4 years.

Education: A.A. in Outdoor Education from Colorado Mountain College, B.S. in Environmental Science from Evergreen State College

Favorite Adventure Trip: Bike touring from Olympia, WA to San Francisco, CA. Backcountry skiing the High Sierra and Grand Tetons. Skiing 18,500’ Pico De Orizaba in Mexico.

Favorite TAC Trip: Sand Harbor Kayak Tour

Favorite Sport: Backcountry Skiing

Other than guiding: Skiing, Mountain Biking, Paddleboarding and playing with my 2 year old daughter
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Name: Molly Fathman
Years with TAC: 4

Leadership Experience: Outdoor Education & Recreation Professional since 2000 in Europe. Teacher/Instructor. Trainer. Sales & Marketing Director.

Education: Bachelors of Science in Marketing, Miami University, Oxford Ohio

Favorite Adventure Trip: Multi-sport, multi-day anything. Sea to Summit has always been a favorite since guiding 22-day trips in the Pacific North West including backpacking, white water rafting, and technical sea kayaking.

Favorite Sport: Wakesurfing?

What do you do when you're not guiding for TAC?: Own/run a Concierge and Property Mgt business in North Lake Tahoe.
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Name: Joel Oberly
Years with TAC: 3

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Environmental Science University of Washington

Leadership Experience: Joel has spent the last years leading and guiding hiking and cycling tours domestically and internationally. He enjoys sharing his passion and enthusiasm for the outdoors. He holds First Aid, CPR, WFR, and Food Handler's Certifications.

Favorite Adventure Trip: Bike touring from Reno to Mt. Whitney, backcountry skiing and camping along the way.

Favorite TAC Trip: Any SUP or Mountain Biking trip.

Favorite Sport: Backcountry skiing, paragliding, mountain biking, tennis.

Other than working for TAC: When Joel isn't guiding, he is playing with his puppy and his girlfriend and indulging in the Tahoe lifestyle. You can find him mountain biking, paddleboarding, rock climbing, and BBQing with friends any chance he gets.
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Name: Kerry Andras - Guide
Years with TAC: 14

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: John Arsenault - Guide
Years with TAC: 7

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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