Sierra Mountain Center is California’s premier mountaineering school and guide service. Located in Bishop, California we offer rock climbing, summer mountaineering, waterfall ice climbing, backcountry skiing, guide training, summer and winter instruction and custom guiding here in the Eastern Sierra of California. There are a lot of guide services offering trips in the Sierra Nevada, so why do we believe that you will get the most out of letting us be your guides.
We are knowledgeable and local
We are the oldest most established local guide service. The Eastern Sierra has been our home for nearly 30 years and these are the mountains where we love to climb, hike and ski. There are few working guides who know the Sierra as well as we do, from the popular paths of the Sierra, but also the little-known places where we have been exploring new routes, tours and remote summits. We know the best routes and the small details that make for a successful trip. When you call us and ask what conditions are, we simply look out our office window and give you up to date information.
We have also literally helped write the books on climbing here - "High Sierra Climbing" by Chris McNamara, of Supertopo – “Eastern Sierra Ice” – self-published by us and the “Climbers Guide to the Bishop Area” by Maximus Press.
We are qualified
We believe in the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) programs and the level of quality assurance that they give you in choosing a guide. Our guides are trained and certified by the AMGA. Certified guides have demonstrated before his or her peers high levels of competence and judgment as well as fulfilling technical requirements such as emergency medical certification, rescue training, and snow stability forecasting. Guides certified in rock, alpine and ski gain the international (IFMGA) credential. This IFMGA credential makes us one of the few companies able to guide in other member countries.
We care about wild places
We have been active in Wilderness preservation for years and SMC takes its responsibility to the land seriously with an important part of our programs being to help others learn about and experience the land we love. SMC guides are trained in Leave No Trace principles and travel lightly upon the land. Join us in exploring and preserving this remarkable and fragile environment.
We have trips for everyone
Our trips are designed to cater to all skill levels from the novice to the expert. We divide instructional programs into “Acquiring the Skills” for those wishing to gain knowledge and techniques and “Applying the Skills” which put your skills to use allowing you to take the next steps in challenging yourself.
Our groups are small with low guide to participant ratios
Large groups can detract from the learning process and the wilderness experience. We work to keep ratios as small as practical, and our small groups give you more of what you came for: skiing, climbing and exploring the Sierra.
All inclusive programs
Scheduled trip prices are all-inclusive (except for any rental equipment). Overnight backcountry programs include permit fees; group equipment such as kitchen, group technical gear, first aid supplies and avalanche beacons and good backcountry breakfast, lunch and dinners.
We offer scheduled and private guiding and custom trips
With a custom trip you get exactly what you want, when you want it and with whom you want, if you want company at all. Call us to arrange a custom trip with your goals and specifications.
Take the next step and join us in the mountains for a wilderness adventure.
In the mountains, all is pure, all is calm,
all complication is cut off.
Rare are they who know how to listen,
happy they who possess wisdom.
One pauses on high ledges,
one climbs to the high clouds,
one sits in the depths of a gorge,
one pauses in windy grottos.
Here is the realm of harmony and joy,
where the past and present become eternal.
Hsieh Ling-Yun 385-433AD
What was true nearly 2000 years ago is even more so today. In the modern world with the pressures of cities, job, family, financial turmoil and the mortgage it is always good to get to the mountains and to reconnect with the natural world, be it climbing, skiing, hiking or just sitting in the sun by a lake.
REGISTRATION/QUESTIONS? CALL 760-873-8526
You can make a preliminary contact by email, or using one of the registration forms, but we'll want to speak with you to be sure that you or your group are in appropriate physical shape. Our trips are active outdoor programs and while you don’t have to be a super fit athlete to participate, you do need to be in appropriate shape as most programs require a moderate to high level of physical fitness.
Remember that the mountain weather can change rapidly, making any backcountry trip extremely physically challenging. Thus, we find the initial conversation over the phone an important step in the sign up process. After confirming availability we'll then send you our registration materials or you can download them from here.
|ONLINE RESERVATION FORM
Step 1: Sign up Information
Step 2: Billing Information
Step 3: Medical Information + Consent to Cancellation and Risk Policy