SIMMONS MOUNTAIN WORKS LLC = CHRIS SIMMONS
I'm a licensed IFMGA American Mountain Guide - the highest professional qualification available. This license is required in order to guide in most of the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations' 26 member associations, but uniquely, not in most of the United States. I was the 75th American to qualify for the IFMGA license when I passed my last certification exam in 2011. I earned every bit of it, with about 60 days of instruction, over 300 days of prerequisite requirements, and 30 days of examinations. Because of course and exam schedules, in the United States this takes at least 4.5 years, and takes 7 years on average to reach this qualification. In 2016 I was invited to join the National Instructor Team of the American Mountain Guide Association.
ABOUT MY GUIDING
I offer private custom trips to individuals or small groups of folks who already know each other. That's what "Custom Built Mountain Adventures" means to me. I've heard it described as "boutique" and "bespoke", but I'm building something with my guests, and "custom built" describes it best to me.
I am committed to offering professional, safe, and high-quality climbing and skiing trips for all levels of skill and experience. I follow a mountain tradition that dates back 200 years to the Alps of Italy, France and Switzerland with the added North American ingredients of wilderness, remoteness, and independence. When I head out to work, I'm not on vacation - I'm here to make sure you get the most out of yours. Mountain guiding is what I do, its my passion, my craft and certainly a way of life for me.
I've been guiding in Washington, Oregon, and northern California for 17 years. Mountain guiding in the United States is a byzantine arena of permitting, paperwork and insurance. Much of my work is done as a member/co-owner of the Certified Guides Cooperative. Most of the remaining work is as a guide employee of The Mountain Bureau. I also offer trips as an employee of Northwest Mountain School, Smith Rock Climbing School, Timberline Mountain Guides and several other guide services as a "guest guide". Realistically, this gives me an operating terrain from Bend, Oregon north to the Canadian border. My IFMGA license gets me past there to offer trips in British Columbia, Alberta, as well as adventures in Antarctica, France, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Switzerland.
I'm originally from a small town near Mt Shasta in far northern California. My parents started teaching me to ski when I was knee-high, and that led to summers backpacking and rock climbing as a teenager. After high school I joined the US Navy, became a Hospital Corpsman - a medic - and was assigned to the US Marine Corps and their Mountain Warfare Center. When I got that out of my system I worked briefly for the National Outdoor Leadership School before discovering mountain guiding on Mt Rainier and the Cascades, and was introduced to the AMGA, the IFMGA, and the professional certification process - 17 years ago.
I'm 45 years old, my birthday is September, and I'm married - we've been together for 15 years. We have a house in Seattle, Washington that we share with two overly-energetic and smart australian cattle dogs. I like punk music, read science fiction when I'm not reading guide books, and I have a weakness for good bakeries and strong espressos.
MY PROUDEST GUIDED TRIPS
Mt Shuksan North Face - ski descent
Torment-Forbidden Traverse - alpine climb
Annupuri Range, Hokkaido, Japan - ski descents
Mt Vinson, Antarctica - ski descent