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: 15

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: 10

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: Katy Shipley, Operations and Marketing Coordinator
Years with TAC: 1

Education: Bachelor of Liberal Arts, Psychology, University of Nevada, Reno

Experience:
Ski Instructor - Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe
Snow Reporter and Group Sales Coordinator - Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
Lead Cook- Royal Gorge Cross Country
Freeride World Qualifier Athlete

Favorite Adventure Trip: This last winter, I did a ski trip up to Canada. I road tripped up with a camper, boondocking and visiting all my favorite stops along the way. I visited every Canadian resort I could, met tons of amazing skiers, and finally tried poutine for the first time.

Favorite Sports: Skiing, rock climbing, trail-running, hiking, or just anything outdoors.

Other than working for TAC: When Katy's not working, she is playing outside or training for skiing. She loves camping trips on the weekends, and jumping into lakes. When the sun goes down, she also writes for Snowbrains.com, a fun ski and surf industry news site.

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Name: Katie Jones (KJ) - Operations and Marketing Coordinator
Years with TAC: 1

Education: B.A. in Systemic Sustainability from the University of Virginia (Go Hoos!)

Leadership Experience: Katie has previous experience as a Lifeguard Trainer, High School Programs Director at a Summer Camp, & Yoga Instructor. She has lead numerous team building and leadership training activities for kids of all ages.

Favorite Adventure Trip: Katie's favorite adventure trip is this thing called life.

Favorite TAC Trip: Mountain Biking!

Favorite Sport: Meditating

Other than working for TAC: Katie hosts and produces the Wander Well Podcast which empowers women to live their best lives by sharing the stories of women who already are.
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Name: Tucker Ballister - Guide and Office Assistant
Years with TAC: 2

Leadership Experience: Tucker began guiding as a summer recreation leader with the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District for six consecutive summers through high school and college. He has worked as an outdoor guide and educator based out of Austin, TX for the last two years.

His experience includes leading day trips with paddling, climbing, biking, hiking, and ropes course activities. He also has experience designing and leading multi-day team building programs and whitewater adventures.

Tucker is CPR/AED and Wilderness First Aid certified, in addition to being a certified Lifeguard Instructor. He is excited to bring his hometown knowledge of the Tahoe area and passion for outdoor recreation to the TAC team.

Education: Master’s in Tourism Management, Colorado State University; Bachelor’s in Recreation and Tourism, San Diego State University

Favorite Adventure Trip: 28 days on the John Muir Trail

Favorite TAC Trip: Anything on the lake or exploring the amazing trails of the Tahoe backcountry

Favorite Sport: Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Wake surfing, and basketball

Other than guiding: Hiking, biking, paddling, backpacking, and anything else that keeps him active and social!

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Name: Chase Allstadt - Guide
Years with TAC: 7

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: 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: 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: 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: Johnny Staab - Guide
Years with TAC: 2

Leadership experience: Tour Guide for Alaskan cruise line, Red Bull Team Builder, two younger brothers and 16 nieces n nephews.

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: Amina Hughes
Years with TAC: First Year

Leadership Experience: Amina has been leading children for the past 5 years in varying capacities from after school climbing programs to summer camps, to extended wilderness trips, and outdoor education programs with elementary and middle school students.

Education: B.S Outdoor Education, International Affairs, EcoGastronomy. EMT and Remote EMT certified.

Favorite Adventure Trip: I sailed to the Caribbean from Boston while I was in high school.

Favorite TAC Trip: Kayaking

Favorite Sport: Too many to choose! Ski & Climb

What do you do when you’re not guiding for TAC: Climb, hike, anything outdoors and hanging out with my pet rabbit.
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Name: Patrick O'Malley
Years with TAC: 1st Year

Leadership Experience: I have been teaching (including opening my own school in S. Korea) for 10 years; Guided trips for a number of summers in Alaska; Captained a number of athletic teams across Asia, as well as Varsity sports in both high school and college; Fraternity President, New Student Orientation Leader; Outdoor Science Camp Counselor

Education: Bucknell University: BS/BA: Accounting, Minor: Philosophy; University of Missouri: Masters in Education

Favorite Adventure Trip: Riding my bicycle across USA and raising over $1 Million in doing so!

Favorite TAC Trip:Castle Peak for the full moon!

Favorite Sport: Ultimate Frisbee

What do you do when you’re not guiding for TAC: Playing sports, reading in my hammock, and Mountainbeering!
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Name: Tim Bogardus
Years with TAC: 2 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: MollyMollz Fathman
Years with TAC: 2

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: Peter Nocka
Years with TAC: 1

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: 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: Tyler Post
Years with TAC: 2

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: Trevor Husted
Years with TAC: 1st Year

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: Megan Matteson
Years with TAC:1

Education: Bachelor of Arts, Social Welfare, University of Delaware;
currently pursuing her Masters of Arts in Teaching Special Education, Sierra Nevada College

Leadership Experience: SOS Outreach North Lake Tahoe, Special Educator at Incline Middle School

Favorite Adventure Trip: Backpacking the Grand Canyon and Hiking Mount Evans

Favorite TAC Trip: Exploring the crystal clear waters of Sand Harbor on a SUP

Favorite Sport: Stand Up Paddle Board Racing and Backcountry Snowboarding

Other than guiding: Megan loves to travel the country seeing live music, snowboarding her local hill Diamond Peak, racing her SUP, and practicing Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga.

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Name: Jen Derr
Years with TAC: 1st year

Leadership Experience: 10+ years guiding whitewater kayaking, rafting, backpacking, mountain biking, hiking, climbing, snow sports, ropes courses and team building in Canada, Montana, Colorado, and California.

Education: Bachelor of Arts in Outdoor Education & Leadership.

Favorite Adventure Trip: Backpacking the Idaho/Montana state line trail and swimming in all the alpine lakes along the way.

Favorite TAC Trip: Kayaking the East shore of Lake Tahoe.

Favorite Sport: Road cycling and hiking.

Other than guiding (what do you do when you’re not guiding for TAC): Hike, bike and camp in the backcountry. Explore new places. Enjoy time spent with friends at favorite spots around Tahoe.
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Name: J. Damron
Years with TAC: 1st Year

Leadership Experience:
-20 year educator mentoring and guiding students through technical and conceptual terrain and self awareness
-3 years guiding on Donner Summit
-4 years as a Lead Instructor for Galileo Learning (Bay Area)
-3 years volunteering with the leading not-for-profit arts and culture organization Holland Project (Reno).

Education:
MFA @ San Francisco Art Institute in New Genres
BA @ UNR with a Fine Arts major and language minor

Favorite Adventure Trip: Backpacking in Hoover Wilderness

Favorite Sports: Hiking

What do you do when you're not guiding for TAC: I make art objects that I place in the landscape while also making limited edition functional objects. And I teach college courses during the semesters.
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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: 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: 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: Mike Trombetta
Years with TAC: 3

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: 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: Brandon Scutt - Guide
Years with TAC: 3

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: 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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