Program director Connie Morrison
Connie joined us spring 2008 as our office manager and program director. Connie is an accomplished skier and also works with Mammoth Mountain teaching for their disabled sports program.
She is the enthusiastic voice you will hear when you call us and she looks forward to helping answer your questions about the Sierra and all the SMC offerings.
Caroline is jumping in to help in the SMC office due to a wave of Covid-19-related setbacks, including Connie needing to help school her grandchildren.
Caroline was raised in Alaska and used to be great on skis, but after 20+ years in PDX, got into competitive cycling, and then, as a member of the Broken Collarbone Club, into more extreme forms of walking. She thru-hiked the PCT and the SHR, and has rambled a lot in the Eastern Sierra. She solo’d the Hayduke 3 times, suffering a Bark scorpion sting but enjoying a lot of (Colorado) River time. Caroline recently ended a gnarly 8-year annual habit of overnighting on Mount Whitney. Her favorite trail food is Sour Patch Kids.
Her professional background is in acute care nursing (RN) and full-stack web development. Please be patient with her as she learns the ropes and helps arrange your exciting trips and courses!
Tyler grew up hiking in the Sierra Nevada before being introduced to rock climbing as a teenager. In the thirty years since then, he has climbed extensively in this same mountain range, including Yosemite (he has climbed El Capitan multiple times) as well as various other crags and mountain ranges throughout the West. Much of this climbing happened during spring, winter and summer breaks while working as a high school English teacher in southern California. After more than ten years in the classroom, Tyler made a career change and began guiding several years ago. He loves the fact that he now combines his teaching skills with his passion for the outdoors. While climbing is his first passion, Tyler also enjoys hiking, backcountry skiing, and a bit of fly fishing now and then. He lives in Mammoth Lakes with his wife, Mona.
- AMGA Assistant Rock Guide
- AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide
- AIARE Pro 1 certification
- Wilderness First Responder
Michelle is a backpacking and rock climbing guide certified as a Wilderness First Responder, AMGA Single Pitch Rock Instructor and AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide. Michelle grew up in southern California, but after falling in love with snowboarding at Mammoth Mountain, it did not take her long to leave the coastal lifestyle of surfing, organized sports and traffic for the mountain life. She has called now Mammoth Lakes her home for 15 years. You can find her hiking, trail running, mountain climbing, snowboarding, skiing, rock climbing, and adventuring with her dog and friends in her “big backyard,” the eastern Sierra Nevada.
After enjoying a decade of personal trips exploring the High Sierra, Michelle decided it was time to share that joy with others by guiding trips for SMC. Two of her favorite trips are the John Muir Trail and its cross country neighbor, the Sierra High Route. Nothing is better than escaping the fast-paced front country for weeks at a time to find solace in the back country. Day to day tasks at home are replaced by self-sufficient foot travel across hundreds of miles of alpine terrain where basic needs of food, water, shelter and rest become the priority. The only things on the to-do-list include seeking out: vistas, alpine lakes, high passes, open meadows, peaceful campsites and other hidden gems along the way.
Creating tasty backpacking meals is something Michelle enjoys. She has taken years of work alongside talented local chefs and applies it to her backcountry meals.
At SMC we also want to be engaged and to engage our guests in the natural history of the Sierra Nevada. To that end we are please to be able to work with Chris Norment as our Science Advisor.
Chris is a Professor of Environmental Science and Ecology at the College at Brockport, State University of New York. His current scientific research focuses on the ecology and conservation of birds and amphibians in the Northeast. However, he also has long-standing research interests in the ecology of desert and arctic and alpine habitats. He has conducted research in arctic Canada and Alaska, the Snowy Mountains of Australia, the Northern Rocky Mountains, and Death Valley region (where he is pursuing his current obsession with the Inyo Mountains salamander). He also has worked as a secondary high school science teacher, Outward Bound mountaineering instructor, U.S. National Park Service biologist, and gumball machine repairman. He has authored over forty scientific papers and published four books of creative nonfiction.