Hi Matt, It’s amazing how the past few Avalanche reports on NWAC have so closely captured exactly what we learned in class about the current snow pack. Your class has been a real eye opener. Thanks again to you, Mark, and Shane. Looking forward to seeing everyone on the message board and out on the slopes.
Thanks, Matt. I really enjoyed the day, even though I got tired at the end. At least I know my headlamp works! You and Matteo did a great job. It’s clear that you are a real professional, in the best sense of that term. You do your work with great attention, and you have fun doing it, too.
Went with Matt and BC Adventure Guides on a great hike up Mt. Ruth a couple weekends ago. Matt not only knew his mountaineering, he also had a wealth of knowledge about geology and history of the wilderness. Quiz Matt on the heights and rock types of any mountain and you’ll have hard time stumping him. It’s also great to find a guide who is laid back and fun to trek with.
Purchased the Intro to Backcountry course and went out with a group on Saturday Feb 21 2011. The conditions could not have been better – tons of fresh snow, cold temps and not a cloud in the sky! Our head guide (Matt) was really helpful in the run-up to the day, allowing us to change the meet point due to a member of our group coming from down south, answering my numerous questions and even letting us add a person last minute at the since-expired discount price. The guide-to-guest ratio was 1:2 and after the drive and a quick brief we were on the snow by about 9:30. Matt is obviously very experienced (20 years in the backcountry, ex ski patrol, has bagged multiple big mountain summits) and throughout the whole day while we were hiking he was educating us on the safety aspects of backcountry travel as well as basic transceiver training. He was also very personable – even when he had to tick us off for being slightly too gung-ho on a couple of the runs.
In terms of the snowboarding and skiing? The day was epic…. We probably covered 2500 vertical feet across 4 runs. Bottomless powder, a few trees, couple of small jumps and beautiful conditions. We were at Paradise on Mt Rainier – and you are literally on the side of the mountain – you can even see Camp Muir from some runs, which is the mid camp for summit climbs. This package was exactly what I was looking for – an introduction into the world of the backcountry combined with some epic snowboarding. Obviously in one day you barely scratch the surface of the things you need to know but I feel my chances of getting in trouble are greatly reduced now. And if worst comes to worst I know how to dig someone out of an avalanche.
I will definitely use Matt and BC Adventure Guides again.
“What do you look for in a mountain guide? Training and credentials combined with varied outdoor knowledge and experience are givens. But I also want one with empathy and a high concern for safety paired with a cheerful outlook. After many years of climbing, heli-skiing, and ski-mountaineering I’ve had the inconsiderate pushy drill sargeant, and the speechless trudging drudge; they’re no fun! I prefer a pleasant personalty and a shared sense of comraderie. After all, we are in this together. Matt Schonwald and BC Adventure Guides meet my criteria, and he’s fun to be with. Go with him; I have. You’ll be safe, and have a memorable adventure.”
“I’ve climbed with Matt several times and each has been a successful and enjoyable experience. Matt can chat intelligently about politics, the deeper meaning of “Chinatown” AND South Park, and keep you alive all at the same time (of course, you have to keep yourself alive, but Matt can show you how)! A true Renaissance Climber, I’d recommend him to anyone.”