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: Robin McElroy - Guide
Years with TAC: 11

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: Johnny Staab - Guide
Years with TAC: 3

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: 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: Tucker Ballister
Years with TAC: 4

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: Peter Nocka
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: 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: 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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