We guarantee small groups with a client to guide ratio of 4 to 1. Our guides are among the region’s most experienced and knowledgeable backcountry skiers and riders and will find the best snow and terrain to suit your ability. All guides are certified in CPR, Advanced First Aid (Wilderness First Responder or Winter Outdoor Emergency Care) and Avalanche Safety (Level II and above) and adhere to the guidelines established by the American Mountain Guides Association for professional ski and snowboard guides. Our guides will provide instruction, interpret the natural environment, and speed your learning with individualized attention. All guides participate in training sessions prior to the winter season.
Co-owner Jeff Jung has been professionally skiing in the Tetons since 1994 as a lead patroller at Grand Targhee Resort and as a backcountry guide for Teton Backcountry Guides, formerly Rendezvous Ski Tours. Jeff has skied extensively throughout the western United States, with exploration spanning from Alaska’s Chugach Range and the Canadian Yukon to the Sierra Nevada of California, British Columbia, Wyoming’s Teton Range, and throughout Argentina and Chile.
Jeff is certified as an Outdoor Emergency Care Technician and an EMT. He holds a Level III Guides Avalanche Certification from the American Avalanche Institute in Wilson, WY, and has been trained under the guidelines of the AMGA participating in the Ski Guide course in Wyoming and the Ski Mountaineering Guide Course in Valdez, Alaska. In addition to free and fixed heel ski mountaineering, Jeff is an avid rock climber, surfer and mountain biker.
Co-owner Diane Verna has been a professional backcountry ski guide in the Tetons since 1996. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental and Outdoor Education from Prescott College in Arizona. Her studies combined natural history interpretation with outdoor recreation skills. She has worked for Outward Bound as a Field Instructor in Montana’s Beartooth Mountains, in the Adventure Education Department for Prescott College as a Backcountry Skiing Instructor, and has instructed Nordic skiing for various institutions.
Diane is certified as a Wilderness First Responder from the Wilderness Medical Associates of NOLS and has been an EMT for Teton County, Idaho. She is certified in Nordic Instruction from the Professional Ski Instructors of America and has studied Avalanche Forecasting under Jerry Roberts on Red Mountain Pass in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Diane has participated in the AMGA Ski Guide course in Wyoming and the Ski Mountaineering Guide Course in Valdez, Alaska. In the summer months, Diane guides interpretive day hikes and backpacking trips in the Tetons.
Erika Eschholz is a longtime outdoor educator and guide who loves the fresh air and big mountain views. She believes that time in the hills can inspire people to appreciate life and bring out the best of the human spirit. She is delighted to help others experience the wonders of the snowy mountains and the simple bliss of sliding down slopes on skis. Erika has been leading people in the great outdoors since 1990. Some of Erika‘s favorite places explore include Garwal, Himalayas, Brooks Range, AK, Coast Range, and the Selkirk Mountains of BC. She has traveled as far afield as Antarctica. When there is little to no snow in the mountains Erika can be found growing organic vegetables with her husband Ken at their farm in Victor, Idaho. Come visit Erika any time of year and reap the harvests of the season in the Tetons be it powder or peas.
Tony Jewell grew up in the California suburbs, but once he visited the mountains of Wyoming, he knew he found home! Tony has been backcountry skiing since the mid-seventies and loves sharing his passion with others. In 1980 he started working for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is one of their senior instructors with over 450 weeks in the field. Many of these weeks involved extensive winter expeditions. Tony is a dedicated skier and has been a Nordic ski instructor for over 25 years including 14 seasons at Grand Targhee. Tony has traveled, climbed and led trips in many mountain ranges around the world including Alaska, Canada, Pakistan, India and New Zealand. He owns a photography business (Tony Jewell Photography) and will photograph clients on his tours, too! Tony lives in Alta, Wyoming with his wife Deb and two sons.
Kate Koons grew up in the Garden State first donning skis as a toddler at a park on top ski hill in northern New Jersey. In 2001, she moved to the Tetons and has made it home ever since. Kate has been leading backpacking, climbing and skiing groups all over the globe since the late 90’s. But snowy, cold locales have always been her favorite. Working in Antarctica, the Himalayas and right here at home drive’s Kate’s passion for the mountains. Kate has been working for the National Outdoor Leadership School since 2001. She holds a professional level III certification from the American Avalanche Institute, is a Wilderness First Responder and a member of the American Avalanche Association. When the snow has left the mountains, she can be found in Victor, ID in her garden, riding her mountain bike and trail running with her dogs and husband Kevin.
Matt Lloyd is on an endless pursuit to find the perfect powder turn. He’s grateful for every backcountry moment and appreciates each uniquely special day in the mountains. Matt celebrates his fifteen-year outdoor career: he’s a level I-III avalanche, AMGA- trained, and WFR/ CPR certified ski guide, a PSIA certified ski instructor for Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, and a local fishing and whitewater guide. Matt is blessed with the wonderful support of his wife Kerry and son Brooks. Expect a fun, educational and memorable day customized to your specific goals when exploring the Teton backcountry with Matt.
Josh Parker is known for his exceptional enthusiasm and passion for backcountry skiing. Parker, as Josh is fondly known, is all about helping you realize your goals in mountains. He has been a Ski Guide in the Tetons since 2006, has spent nearly three decades sliding on snow, and instructs Level I avalanche courses. In the summer, you may him with a chainsaw in his hands earning a living fighting wildfires for the Forest Service. He and his wife Sarah call Teton Valley, ID home. Level III Avalanche Certified, completed AMGA Ski Guide Course, Member Affiliate American Avalanche Association and WFR certified, Parker also demonstrates perfect form and technique of the alpine turn.
Paul Rachele is a Midwest transplant who drifted to the mountains after college and never really left. He appreciates the power and simplicity of sliding through the mountains. Some of his most memorable ski descents are of the Grand Teton and Denali, but his favorite run is the Do It’s on Teton Pass. Paul is Level III Avalanche trained. In 2016, Paul received the highest certification a guide can acquire by becoming an internationally certified mountain guide through the IFMGA. He spends his summers in the Wind River Range and on the Grand Teton.
Stefan Mitrovich is our aviation specialist, ski guide, and mountaineering guide. Stefan started climbing at a young age and completed many north American classic climbs and first ascents on alpine routes, big walls and ice routes starting in the early 1990’s. Stefan is also an advanced rated paragliding instructor, tandem pilot, and fly guide and has flow all over the world including the Himalayas, Mexico, Alaska and the Swiss and French Alps to name a few. Mainly spending his summers flying and his winters ski guiding in the Tetons, Stefan loves to take people out on their first adventures in the mountains, whether it be on skis, on foot or even over them. Stefan is AIARE Level II, Wildereness First Responder and many pilot certifications.
Teton Backcountry Guides is an insured business operating under a special use permit from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest since 1986 and a Concessionaire’s permit from Grand Teton National Park. References can be provided upon request.