Our Team
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Owner, General Manager, Senior Educator and Senior Guide

Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides is owned and operated by Joshua Baruch. Joshua has been working in the outdoor industry for 21 years, with experience in outdoor guiding, healthcare, mountain rescue, transportation, and safety. Joshua has a tremendous passion for exploring the outdoors, a desire to promote exploration in others, a strong sense of responsibility related to mountain safety, and an uncanny ability to find the best local places and experiences possible.

Joshua grew up in Connecticut but spent much of his childhood ski racing in Vermont and backpacking/ski mountaineering in the Presidential Range of New Hampshire. His first backpacking trip was at age 7 with Mother, Heidi, and brother, Eddie, which included eight days and nights in the eight AMC huts around New Hampshire's Presidential Range. At the end of that trip, he was hooked by the mountains and what he had experienced on that trip. The next year he skied Tuckermans Ravine headwall for mothers day at age 8 and that tradition continued every mothers day for the next 8 years. Josh now lives in Boulder with his wife, Erica, son, Asher, and daughter, Lilah. When not working, Josh can be found on the many trails, peaks, and couloirs in Colorado’s front range mountains. Throughout the four seasons, the Baruch clan continuously explores the magnificent terrain, scenery, and wildlife of their incredibly extended backyard!

After years as a professional Tennis athlete on the ATP Pro Tour, Josh started guiding in 1997, with a 3-month guide apprenticeship in Switzerland and has more than 21 years of professional guide experience on 5 continents. Josh’s outdoor experience includes managing and owning a mountaineering guiding company that operated domestically and internationally for 5 years (California Expeditions), more than 30 international expeditions to five continents; AMGA training and AIARE certifications (SPI, Rock, Ski, and AIARE Level 3); 2 years high angle search and rescue experience; 2 years EMT-I working the 911 call system (Golden and SWAC Firestations); W-EMT training and certifications and WFR/WEMT Instructor; Critical Care registered nurse and ten years nursing experience (including trauma intensive care units, telemetry, post-anesthesia, interventional radiology); Certifications in Advanced Trauma Life Support, Advance Cardiac Life Support (ACLS),Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Whitewater Rescue Technician (WRT), Colorado River Guide Instructor; Fly Fishing Guide Instructor; College Instructor for outdoor navigation and wilderness survival; Safety consultant and risk management plans written for the State of California; and Former wildfire red card and wildlife crew member. Joshua’s formal education includes undergraduate and graduate studies in adventure education and leadership development and another degree in critical care nursing.Josh has continued to build upon a solid outdoor foundation and passion developed from a young age. The important lesson I learned is exposure at a young age can really set the seed for a fondness and love of the outdoors. I am trying to create the same foundation for my kids and those that I have the opportunity to share time with outdoors, regardless of their age. We all get our exposure to different things at different ages and times.

The most important thing is creating a safe, fun, and engaging experience to maximize personal growth, learning, and ‘thirst for adventure of some kind’.

Josh lives by four principles in the mountains and rivers:
1. Make sure your needs are being met.
2. The summit or destination is optional and getting down safely is mandatory.
3. Just because you love the mountains, does not mean the mountains love you.
4. We are the Stewards for future generations.

My goal is to create a safe, transformational, and amazing experience for all our guests!



guide Anita Engel bundled up sitting on top of a mountain

Anita Engel

Office Staff / Accounting Director
Anita moved to Boulder, Colorado 20 years ago to engage her love of the mountains. She spends her free time hiking and training for mountaineering challenges. Anita has been successful in completing many domestic and international treks including; the John Muir Trail, the Dolomites, West Highland Way, West Coast Trail and the Bernese Oberland region in Switzerland. Anita’s enthusiasm for adventure has taken her, along with her family to the third highest peak in North America, where they climbed Pica de Orizaba. When at home Anita takes advantage of the endless activities the Front Range offers. The Front Range is a playground for avid hikers and climbers where she spends much of her free time with friends and family.
Anita supports Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides with her organization skills and attention to detail. Anita can be found at the head office where she assumes the role as accounting director. She has been with Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides for the past 10 seasons and its Anita’s goal to guarantee every customer enjoys a unique experience with nature.
man wearing a hat and sunglasses taking a selfie with snowy mountains in the background

Shunnie Chen


Shunnie is a native of Taiwan who grew up in New Jersey. He found his passion for the outdoors when he went on a backpacking trip in the Adirondacks at a young age. Since then, he’s backpacked, climbed, skied, and whitewater canoed in the Canadian Rockies. He thru-hiked the Long Trail in Vermont and eventually migrated to Colorado to pursue his outdoor interests. Shunnie has worked in various sales and marketing roles in the outdoor industry for more than 15 years. He had a short stint as an outdoor instructor for Project USE, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving at-risk youth and underserved communities in the NY/NJ metro area. He enjoys connecting people to the outdoors and helping them see the value and benefits of experiential education and outdoor adventure. He loves traveling and spends most of his time hiking, skiing, and suffering on his bikes. He also enjoys a good slice of pizza and beer.

therapy dog Tye Baruch a golden doodle laying on a picnic table

Tye Baruch

Therapy Dog / Educator

Tye is Colorado Wilderness Rides And Guides and Colorado Wilderness Corporate And Teams official outdoor and therapy dog educator.  Tye is a F2 Golden Doodle; thus he has hair instead of fur and has a non-shedding hypoallergenic coat. His father was a full poodle and mother a golden doodle. Like his roots, Tye has a gentle and calm, but appropriate energetic disposition.  He is a quick learner and has mastered the “touch down shake” for Sunday football games,  how to travel the multi-use trails of Boulder and how to leap to the rescue of swimmers or paddlers perceived to be in danger.  Tye was born in the town of Herber City Utah and has spent the majority of his young life in Colorado assisting with outdoor adventures, facilitating leadership and team building events, and being a source of healing for many of our guests. Tye recently turned two and qualified for the service dog program based on his sweet disposition, good nature, and being a great healer. You will see him around our offices, on dog appropriate guided tours or at our education and training events. Organizations and clients can request to have Tye on sight to help promote healing, tranquility, and increased productivity or learning.  Tye’s favorite activities include dawn patrols (chasing skiers up and down the ski slopes);  any days in the snow or on the river;  playing fetch with a ball; fly fishing ; or helping to bring love, compassion, and empathy to your day.




guide Brad Kahland standing in lupines with mountains in the background

Brad Kahland

Guide / Educator

Brad has worked as a Grand Canyon National Park Ranger, a Sea Kayak Guide in Monterey Bay and Tomales Bay, California, an Adventure Guide in Vietnam, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, and the U.S., and a naturalist in Boulder, Colorado. Brad explored vast areas of Colorado working in wilderness-therapy programs for adolescents and their families, serving variously as a Field Instructor, Logistics Coordinator, Education Director, and Family Counselor. Brad was also a support team member of the Extreme Ice Survey, a global project documenting the rapid retreat of the world’s glaciers and leading to the film Chasing Ice.

Brad has a passion for sharing the outdoors and a connection to Nature with other people. Between guiding trips, Brad is usually hiking, kayaking, paddle-boarding, practicing Tai Chi, watching a mountain sunset with good friends, or planning his next winter trip to Mexico.

smiling man wearing sunglasses and his snowshoes strapped to his back walking in the snow

Chip Mitchell


I am originally from New Hampshire but have lived all over (NH,VT,OH,NY,CA) and I have lived in CO for 4 years now.This season I will be mainly working in the office to help book trips. When I get to sneak out of the office I mainly guide backpacking trips but also do some rock climbing, leisure tours, peak ascents, and teambuilding. I love getting out whenever I can. Personally, I love climbing and it is my main adventure sport. I have climbed since 2009 and am currently getting my prerequisites in order so that I can pursue my SPI (Single Pitch Instructor). I started guiding while in college for our outdoor programs in Vermont and did a lot of trips in VT and in the nearby Adirondack park in NY. Since school I have guided some shorter trips for Summer Camps and Education Centers in ME and NY and have amassed 8 years of experience facilitating groups in wilderness settings and education centers. Last year was my first year with CWRAG and I loved every minute of it. The last 3 years I have worked at Cal-Wood Education center guiding and facilitating groups of school-aged kids around its 1200 acre property teaching subjects from Fire Ecology to survival skills and beyond. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Adventure Education and Psychology and will be pursuing a masters in Wilderness Therapy through Naropa University starting fall of 2021. I have a Mental Health First Aid Certification and hold my Wilderness First Responder through Wilderness Medical Associates. I have done a lot of training in regard to group dynamics and processing. I really believe that great things can come from diving deep with a group and using what they bring to show them how rad they really are. I would say my guiding philosophy focuses on identifying the challenges we face during backcountry pursuits can help to give us confidence in the front country. Once you climb a “real” mountain you realize the mountains life puts in front of you are less scary and not there to make you feel weak but to show your true inner strength. I believe that “roughing it” is not what adventures are for. The front country world is rough enough, I believe that we go on adventures to smooth things out. Teambuilding is a huge passion of mine and incorporates it into every trip I lead or group that I work with.

guide Cindy Gagnon wearing a pack above treeline on a mountain trail

Cindy Gagnon

Guide / Educator

Cindy was born and raised in NH, and moved to Boulder in 1990. Her professional career began as a telecommunications engineer and her outdoor career as an Elite Ironman Triathlete. After racing triathlons for 18 years, Cindy expanded her horizons to the Colorado mountains. She joined the Colorado Mountain Club (CMC) to learn mountaineering and rock climbing skills. In 2005, Cindy left the corporate world to spend a year traveling in the mountains of Nepal and North America. She found her passion here, and shifted her professional focus to outdoor skills education, leadership, and risk management. Cindy also became involved in a community-based cycling group, leading bike tours throughout North America.

In 2006, Cindy became the director of the CMC Boulder Mountaineering School, where she managed outdoor education courses and instructed in all disciplines (rock, ice and snow). At the same time, she started to expand her professional outdoor skills by becoming a Ski Patroller, Ski Instructor and Avalanche Instructor.

Cindy joined CWRAG in 2008 as a hike, ski, rock and cycling guide. Her professional certifications include NSP and AIARE Avalanche Instructor, PSIA Level 2, WFR, and CPR. Cindy’s passion for the outdoors and energetic spirit drive every trip she guides — she connects with clients, which enables her to customize each trip to be fun yet challenging. Her adventurous spirit drives her own life, and has helped her summit 23,000-ft Himalayan peaks, backpack New Zealand, ski-tour the Canadian Rockies, and cycle Tour de France routes.

guide Dave Hansen wearing a climbing helmet sitting on rocks

Dave Hanson

Guide / Educator

Dave has been working in the outdoor education industry for 6 years, following completing a degree in education in Denver, Colorado. After a first successful season teaching snowboarding, Dave knew he was in the industry he wanted to be in, and skiing, mountain biking, rafting, and climbing instruction/guiding soon followed. Training staff in many of these disciplines has shown Dave how to bring out the best in individuals as well as groups. With a long list of certifications (AASI Level 2, PSIA Level 1, TerraMethod Level 2, AIARE Avi 1, Swiftwater Rescue, Wilderness First Responder) and a degree in education (Metropolitan State University), Dave is no stranger to continuing personal and professional development. His philosophy is “Never stop learning, growing, progressing, and enjoy the ride!”

man wearing a hat and a blue jacket standing in a grove of aspen trees

Gabe Chez

Guide / Educator

Gabriel is originally from Arizona and has called Colorado home for the last 9 years.  You can find him climbing peaks year round, skiing all winter, and backpacking or climbing all summer.  After thru-hiking the Colorado Trail in 2016, he found his lifelong passion for the outdoors.  Skilled in everything from backcountry cooking, wilderness survival, Colorado plants, ecology, and wildlife, Gabriel is at home anywhere outdoors.  He loves bad movies, good sushi, and a nice cup of coffee.

With professional training including an AAS in Outdoor Education, Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Pro 1, Naturalist, SWRT, Leave No Trace certifications, as well as Search and Rescue coursework through the Mountain Rescue Association and FEMA, Gabriel is committed to helping others experience nature and the outdoors safely and profoundly.

Ian Atkinson

Ian has been a lover of nature since his childhood days of collecting rocks and getting lost in his backyard in Austin, TX. After earning a degree in Education from UT Austin, Ian spent a number of years working as a product developer and director of customer experience in the ultralight backpacking industry. During a thru-hike of the Colorado Trail in 2017, he fell in love with the state and decided to make the permanent transition in 2021, where he finished climbing all 58 Colorado 14ers, and became one of the few people in the world to complete Colorado’s 100 Highest Centennial Peaks.Ian now resides in Boulder, CO where you can find him exploring scrambling routes in the flatirons or hiking one of the local peaks. He’s looking forward to learning as much as he can about mountaineering, rock climbing, trail running, guiding, and wilderness medicine while developing a community of like-minded outdoorsy folks. He is a big believer in the trail as a common ground to heal and develop strong bonds, and can often be heard extolling the virtues of his favorite mantra – “one step at a time”.

guide Jack Bruner riding some rapids in a boat

Jack Bruner

Guide / Educator

Jack Bruner has been fly fishing for the past 54 years. That means that he started when he was eight. Growing up in Colorado and spending summers on the family ranch in Montana chasing trout was just what you did. Not only do trout fear his name, but Jack ties his own flies, builds his own bamboo rods, and just completed building his 30th wooden drift boat. He embodies everything there is about the sport.

Jack’s sense of humor, his ability to teach, and his knowledge of fish on the fly, make him the ultimate guide. There is no trip that is “just a trip” and there is no fish that is “just a fish”. He recognizes that nature has given us an opportunity to appreciate trout, mountains, rivers and relationships. His goal as a guide is to respect the client and do everything possible to give them the ultimate fishing experience, whether it is on a lake, in a boat, or wade fishing. And even if the day was fishing and not catching, Jack will make you laugh, have a beer with you , and let you know that some days the fish win.

guide Jill Yarger outside on a mountain hike

Jill Yarger

Guide / Educator

Jill joined the guiding staff of Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides in the summer of 2014 and has enjoyed leading hikes, climbs, snow shoe trips, and hut to hut skiing treks, and helped companies develop their employees with outdoor based team buildings and leadership events. Her goal is to help her guests make the great peaks, meadows, and rivers of the beautiful Rocky Mountains accessible, and to discover new possibilities in themselves.

Jill moved to Boulder Colorado in 1990 from the flat lands of the midwest and never looked back. After a few initial unguided hikes resulting in becoming slightly lost and very wet and cold, she searched for and found the Colorado Mountain Club and over the next few years, took all the mountaineering training she could get her hands on. She went on to give back to the mountaineering community by teaching others in all forms of mountaineering, and leading hikes and climbs. When she saw some of her friends responding to help other lost and injured skiers and climbers, she discovered and joined the National Ski Patrol and the Mountain Rescue Association. She was an active member of the local Mountain Rescue Association (Rocky Mountain Rescue Group) and for 13 years helped injured and lost mountaineers return back from the trail to home. She is an active ski patroller and first aid instructor in the National Ski Patrol since 1996. It was an aerospace engineering career that brought Jill to Colorado, but it is the mountains that keep her here. Today the call of sharing her love of the mountains has drawn her away from the engineering world and into guiding people into journeying into the alpine nature, and returning safely.

Jill has done hikes and climbs in Alaska, Africa, the Italian Dolomites, Machu Picchu, skied in Canada, and descended canyons in southern Utah, but her outdoor home is Colorado. She hikes, rock climbs, snow shoes, bikes, kayaks, canoes, and skies all through Colorado discovering more wonder on every trip.

man wearing a visor and blue sweatshirt standing next to a waterfall

Joe O’Leary

Guide / Educator

Joe O’Leary began his guide career in 1993 on the rivers and trails of southern West Virginia after graduating from Purdue University with a BA in Kinesiology. He worked and traveled extensively throughout the US, Canada, and Central & South America before making Boulder, Colorado his permanent home in 2000. Joe joined the Colorado Wilderness team in 2017. As a Senior Guide, he specializes in mountain, river, and wilderness excursions, and he is a Lead Facilitator for our Corporate and Teams events. In addition to guiding and educating, Joe is a writer, editor, and nature photographer, and has enjoyed careers in brand marketing and hospitality. While Joe continues to enjoy the many challenges and benefits of adventure travel and recreation, by far his most important pursuit is nurturing lively relationships with his wife and their four children.

Justin Studt / Guide & Educator

Justin Studt

Guide / Educator

Justin was born and raised in Kansas City, MO, where he competitively raced BMX bikes. He moved to North Carolina for college. This is where he was introduced to rock climbing. After graduating college, he moved to Colorado in 1999 and began his career in construction as an Operations Manager, managing 250 employees and over 20 million in sales annually. Outside of the office, Justin could be found climbing in Eldorado Canyon multiple times per week. In 2007, Justin moved to Boone, NC to run a startup construction company.

While he was building a company, he also took interest in pre-hospital medicine, completing an EMT-Basic course and volunteering with a local rescue agency. He eventually became a paramedic, working on an ambulance part time. During his free time, Justin was involved in the Boone mountain biking community. Justin returned to Colorado in 2012, working as a ski patroller and paramedic, the start of his journey into avalanche education. Justin has been working as a guide and educator for the past few years, where he enjoys connecting with clients and helping them increase their enjoyment in the mountains.

Justin is an American Mountain Guides Association Certified Single Pitch Instructor, an AMGA Apprentice Ski, Alpine, and Rock Guide, an AIARE & AAI Course Leader, he holds an American Avalanche Association Professional Level 2 certificate, he holds a Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Association (PMBIA) Level 1 certificate, a Wilderness First Responder and Paramedic certificate.

John Galloway


John was born and raised in Charleston, South Carolina. Growing up on the water, he got hooked on fishing for redfish very young. John knew he wanted to see and fish different parts of the world and had his eye on the University of Colorado Boulder since before high school. That is exactly where he went after graduating high school in May 2020. As soon as he arrived, he picked up a fly rod and began fishing the famous rivers of Colorado. He considers Colorado, Boulder more specifically, his new home and backyard. John has become an avid snowboarder and developed even more of a passion for the outdoors since moving out west. John wants to share his love for nature and show others how impactful and beautiful nature is.

woman high above the ground hanging out at a rock climbing anchor organizing gear and rope

Kristen Felix

Guide / Educator
Born in Washington, DC and raised in Rockville, Maryland, I enjoy heat and humidity as well as cold at elevation. After graduating from the University of Maryland College Park, I moved straight to Boulder for phenomenal climbing access and began working at Eldora Mountain Resort. I am lucky to call Colorado home and have experience skiing and climbing here since 2009. I began guiding in 2012 with Avid 4 Adventure where I biked, kayaked, canoed, climbed, and hiked all summer long. Climbing is my guiding specialty, for I love bouldering, trad climbing, and sport climbing. My philosophy, and goal to share with others, is: to succeed I need to get out of my own way, break down mental barriers, and summit new heights. With that, let’s share the freedom of the hills. 
woman wearing a hat and pink rain jacket standing at the waters edge

Kristin Smith

Kristin is originally from the far northwest corner of Washington State, where she learned to ski, bike, climb, sail, kayak, and raft. She headed to Montana for college, where she added ice climbing and cross country skiing to her outdoor resume. After heading down to Colorado for a job, she decided to stay and explore some Front Range peaks for a while.  Kristin is a WFR, a certified small boat sailor, and AIARE Level 1. She’s worked as a guide for almost ten years in everything from climbing to whitewater rafting, and even spent a season as a medical officer on board the schooner Adventuress in the Salish Sea. When she’s not outside she can be found writing or reading books, accompanied by an endless supply of tea.

Noah Horning

Noah is a multi-sport guide who lives in Longmont Colorado. He loves to combine activities to make for an exciting day. Noah enjoys soft turns in the winter but he is most happy when hiking to his secret alpine fishing spots. The adventure of a multi-day backpacking fishing trip is the perfect combination of rigor and relaxation. Noah studied psychology in Cambridge Massachusetts where he learned about the intrinsic relationship between ecological prosperity and human health and wellness. With outdoor recreation as his medium, he hopes to foster stewardship and kindle a deeper relationship with one’s self.

man wearing a helmet and personal floatation device walking up a rock trail after white water rafting

Phil Howard

Phil has been an avid outdoor enthusiast his entire life. He made the decision to move to Colorado from the Midwest 15 years ago to further pursue his passion for the outdoors. For a decade, he worked as a full-time guide, leading rafting trips and safety kayaking throughout the western region. During the winter months, he gained experience as a backcountry cat ski guide with Steamboat Powdercats. Phil now works full-time as a welder and metal fabricator, working for Colorado Wilderness when he can!

guide Phil Lloyd-Davies outside on his mountain bike

Phil Lloyd-Davies

Guide / Educator

Phil came to Colorado with a passion for the outdoors. He spent many years skiing, climbing, kayaking, hiking and biking primarily in Colorado and neighboring states. His current focus is mountain biking, teaching mountain biking skills, and skiing. Phil has been guiding for CWRAG since 2013, when one of his fellow guides told him he would get paid to ride his bike.

Phil enjoys sharing his knowledge of the local trails and proficiency of bike handling skills to provide the best outdoor adventure. On a typical ride, he can offer trails of varying difficulty to accommodate the client’s ability and comfort level. His goals for all adventures are safe, challenging and memorable fun in the outdoors of Colorado. Phil can customize a mountain bike trip for riders from beginners to advanced levels and provide professional instruction along the way as desired by the clients.

Phil’s favorite comment is: “No matter how many times I ride a trail, I always feel like the most fortunate person on the planet, to be living and working in this beautiful environment.”

An engineer by education, a volunteer Nordic Ski Patroller for over 30 years, an Outdoor Emergency Care (OEC) technician, a volunteer bike patroller, a professional bicycle mechanic and an International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) mountain bike instructor, Phil can easily manage all aspects of a memorable trip.

woman wearing a hat and large back pack smiling as she hikes with mountains in the background

Sarah Bury


Born in Southern Maryland, Sarah grew up hiking and backpacking the East Coast. Her love of all things outdoors led her to manage a local outdoor gear shop, where she facilitated outdoor education and training for backpacking, kayaking, SUP’ing, snowshoeing, fishing and climbing. Sarah first migrated west to Colorado in 2009, and fell in love with fly fishing the canyons and exploring the far corners of the state. She primarily spends her time fly fishing, skiing, trail running, and backpacking. Sarah loves the challenge and beauty that comes with all seasons in the outdoors, and especially loves sharing that enthusiasm with others through guiding.

Tanner Perry

Tanner grew up in the shadow of Shenandoah National Park, outside the small town of Luray, Virginia. As teachers, his parents had summers off which meant road trips all over the country to explore boundless opportunities for fly fishing, white water rafting, hiking, and riding ATVs. After graduating from Virginia Tech with degrees in Geography and Outdoor Recreation Management, he moved to Massachusetts and then to Colorado, where he has worked full-time as a GIS Technician and part-time as a guide for CWRAG since May 2022.

In his free time, he enjoys rock climbing, fly fishing, backcountry skiing, cooking, and watching movies. Extended time off means road tripping to the American Southwest, where the red desert never fails to inspire him.

His certifications include Wilderness First Responder, AMGA SPI, AIARE I, and Fly Fishing Guide Training. He specializes mainly in guiding fly fishing, rock climbing, and corporate events.

guide Zach Weinzetl holding a fish he caught

Zach Weinzetl

Guide / Educator

Zach has over 10 years guiding experience working for outfitters and lodges as well as wilderness programs. At Colorado Wilderness Rides and Guides, Zach primarily guides fly fishing. An avid outdoorsman and wilderness connoisseur, Zach spends most of his free time finding the off-the-beaten-path gems of Colorado fly fishing. Growing up in Western Montana, he has an affinity for connecting with nature and experiencing the natural world directly. For Zach, the experience of fly fishing is complete as soon as he puts on his waders, steps into the water, and looks up at the surrounding mountain peaks; catching fish only adds to the adventure.

As a guide, Zach tries to understand his clients’ aspirations and create an experience that they will be talking about for years to come. Zach has a BA in Contemplative Psychology from Naropa University and is an experienced rock climber, mountain biker, kayaker, back packer, and of course, angler. He has Wilderness First Responder medical training and takes pride in anticipating potential risks to help clients relax and fully enjoy their experience. It is Zach’s philosophy to always have a rod handy no matter where he goes. He and his fishing equipment travel everywhere together.