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.
For twelve years, Connie was the enthusiastic voice you heard when you called us. We wish her many awesome ski runs and laughs with her family, who she has taken more time to be with.
Paloma grew up in Seattle, Washington where she discovered her passion for the mountains through family backpacking and climbing trips in the Cascades. In 2017 she traveled to South America and fell in love with the granite towers of Patagonia. Since then she has split her time between Patagonia, Chile and the Pacific Northwest. She has been working for the past four years as a bilingual climbing and hiking guide. Paloma spends as much time as possible climbing and some of her favorite areas are Patagonia, the Peruvian Andes, the Cascades, Indian Creek, the Wind River Range, and the High Sierra. When Paloma isn’t pursuing her own climbing goals she finds fulfillment in sharing her passion with others and teaching the skills necessary to be self-sufficient in the mountains. She is currently certified as an AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide, Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Level 1, and Leave No Trace Trainer.
Born and raised in the Bay Area, Julia grew up chasing her dad on his mountain bike and running through the hills with her sisters. Julia was first introduced to the Sierras on an annual father daughter camping trip at Shaver Lake, CA. Ever since, she has been seeking ways to spend more time in the mountains, whether it’s with a hefty pack on her back or skis on her feet. Julia graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a degree in International Development and Food Studies. This fall she will start a master’s program at University of California Santa Barbara studying Environmental Science and Management. This is Julia’s first season with Sierra Mountain Center and she looks forward to spending much of it in the backcountry.
Ryan grew up near the coastal tidewaters of the Puget Sound in Washington State, but has since traded moss and rain for the sunshine and splitter cracks of the Sierra Nevada. Since graduating from Western Washington University in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in Outdoor Adventure Management, Ryan has called the Sierra home. Beginning with leading extended backcountry mountaineering and backpacking trips for the Outward Bound School all over the range, he finally settled down in Mammoth Lakes to enjoy the unbelievable skiing and climbing the Eastside is famous for.
Ryan’s passion for climbing has taken him around the world, from Yosemite Valley where he has climbed more than 15 big walls including a 9 day ascent of Tribal Rite (5.10 A4), to 6 seasons in Patagonia where he has made many major ascents including Fitz Roy and first ascents of remote alpine walls.
But year after year, the Sierra Nevada remains Ryan’s base, and he loves introducing people to the Range of Light. Ryan’s favorite Sierra climb is definitely the Third Pillar of Dana, of course coupled with fish tacos from the Mobil Station.
Certifications and professional courses include:
- AMGA Certified Rock Guide
- AMGA Aspirant Alpine Guide
- AMGA Assistant Ski Guide
- AIARE Level 1 Instructor
- AIARE Level 3 Certification
- Wilderness First Responder
Calvin grew up near the city of Boston and quickly realized his need to be in close contact with nature. He enrolled at Unity College of Maine in 2010, took a National Outdoor Leadership School semester course in 2011 and graduated in 2014 with a Bachelors of Science in Adventure Based Environmental Education. Shortly after, he moved to the Far East in search of adventure and professional experience. I Nepal, he worked as an educator and guide for Initiative Outdoor, a leadership school in Kathmandu. During his half a year stay he managed to help lead back packing expeditions as well as rock climbing and caving trips. Calvin taught children about the joys of outdoor living at local school and invited students to join him at the office for some bouldering sessions and climbing lessons. Next, Calvin made the decision to move to Vietnam where he worked as a rock climbing and sea kayak guide in Lan Ha bay. Another half a year was spent here exploring his new home island of Cat Ba and journeying into the bay to be the first to summit some of the karsts’ most inviting rock faces. Since Calvin’s travels in Asia he has returned home to the states only to continue his travels. But since May of 2016 he has made a big change. He’s settled here on the eastside and dedicated himself to guiding in the Sierra Nevada and practicing the art of alpine climbing.
Mike is another east coast transplant to California who hasn’t looked back after falling in love with the mountains and deserts of the West. He is a graduate of Oregon State University where he studied outdoor leadership and experiential education. Mike’s professional background in outdoor education brought him to the High Sierra to lead expeditions for Outward Bound in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park. Mike has worked for Sierra Mountain Center since 2012 guiding trips in the Mt. Whitney Region, along the John Muir Trail and off-trail throughout the range. During the winter you can find Mike caring for injured skiers and performing avalanche control as a professional ski patroller at Mammoth Mountain. Mike is a professional member of the American Avalanche Association and has completed professional level training through the AAA and AIARE. He enjoys climbing peaks and long walks with good company in the high country of the Sierra, and getting out for big backcountry ski lines on sunny spring days.