About Us

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SWS Mountain Guides™

We are proud to offer the most extensive selection of programs across California’s stunning landscapes. With a wide range of venues including Mt. Shasta, Mt. Whitney, Castle Crags, Alabama Hills, Crystal Crag, Bear Valley, Lover’s Leap, Calaveras Dome, North Palisade, Temple Crag, Mt. Sill, The Incredible Hulk, International Expeditions, and many more, our guide service stands out from the rest. Whether you seek winter adventures such as mountaineering, rock climbing, ice climbing, avalanche education, backcountry ski/snowboard mountaineering, or multi-day ski tours, or prefer summer adventures like mountaineering, glacier crevasse rescue courses, summer snow glacier climbing, Mt Shasta ascents, rock climbing, Mt Whitney ascents, Sequoia-Kings Canyon backpacking, Nepal trekking, and beyond, we have something to satisfy every adventurer’s craving. Join us and embark on unforgettable experiences in California’s great outdoors!

California Rock Guides™

Welcome to California Ski Guides! With a rich legacy that stretches back to 1981, we proudly stand as one of California’s most experienced rock guiding companies. Since our establishment in 2013 under the name of California Rock Guides™, we have continuously delivered unrivaled expertise and knowledge for over 40 years. From the picturesque Bear Valley to the iconic Lover’s Leap, the awe-inspiring peaks of the Southern Sierra Nevada, the mesmerizing Alabama Hills, the remarkable Lassen Park, and the enchanting Castle Crags near Mount Shasta, our rock climbing venues span the diverse landscapes of California. Immerse yourself in a world of adventure with us! Our mission is simple yet powerful: to provide you with an exceptional rock guide service that takes you on unforgettable journeys across the Golden State. Join us today and experience the exhilaration of conquering new heights!

California Ski Guides™

Established in 1981, California Ski Guides™ is the premier backcountry ski guiding company in California. With a rich history dating back to 1981, we are proud to be one of the oldest and most reputable names in the industry. While our official name may seem new, our legacy is firmly rooted in decades of experience and expertise. From the majestic Southern Sierra Nevada to the towering Mount Shasta, our ski riding venues span across the picturesque landscapes of California. Immerse yourself in the thrill of high-quality, high-energy ski guide services that few can match. Join us today and embark on unforgettable ski or riding adventures across California’s stunning terrains!

Welcome to SWS Mountain Guides, California Rock Guides, and California Ski Guides. These complementary guide companies operate under our parent corporation, Sierra Wilderness Seminars Inc. Founded in 1981 by Timothy Keating in Mt. Shasta, SWS is proud to celebrate 43 years of guiding adventure lovers into the breathtaking California wilderness.In 2017, SWS acquired Mountain Adventure Seminars, which was established in Bear Valley in 1996. This merger brought an additional 20 years of outdoor adventure expertise to our guiding family, enhancing our commitment to delivering unforgettable experiences.

Led by Timothy Keating, David Cressman, and Caleb Burns, SWS Mountain Guides, California Ski Guides, and California Rock Guides embody our team’s passion for the outdoors. We thrive on introducing, sharing, and educating others in the beauty of the wild places.

We are thrilled to offer Bear Valley tours, comprehensive avalanche education programs, and the Bear Valley Backcountry Shop, conveniently located in the Bear Valley Lodge. Our SWS Offices are strategically situated in Bear Valley, CA, Lone Pine, CA, and Mt Shasta City, CA.

Come join us on an extraordinary journey through California’s wilderness!


Main Office
110 Alpine St., Mount Shasta, California 96067

Bear Valley Backcountry Shop & Office:
P.O. Box 5104
265 Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley, California 95223

Lone Pine Office:
120 1/2  South Main St., Suite 1.5, Lone Pine, California 93545


SWS Mountain Guides has been in continuous operation since 1981 and is one of the oldest backcountry mountain guiding companies in California. Our quality of instruction & guidance in the mountains rests in our organizational strength, commitment to safety, and quality of our guides. They are passionate, generous instructors and talented guides who have tremendous enthusiasm for sharing mountain experiences with our clients. Professional training from the American Mountain Guides Association, American Avalanche Association, Leave No Trace, Wilderness Medical Associations. Our consulting physician Dr. Emily Sagalyn MD, MPH, FAWM, and SWS Mountain Guides professionally conducted bi-annual training and a commitment to mentoring. We are dedicated to professional training, maintaining a high commitment to our maintaining expertise and safety in the mountains, drawn from 43 years of professional guiding experience.

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