An Idaho native, Marty has lived full time in the West Central mountains since graduating from the University of Oregon in 1992. He achieved Level 3 instructor credentials in Alpine and Telemark skiing and became Director of Snowsports School at Brundage Mountain Resort, and Instructor Trainer for PISA-NI. After 12 years at Brundage, Marty made the switch to the newly opened Tamarack Resort in McCall, working as a snowcat ski guide. During that time, he also volunteered to help create the Friends of the Payette Avalanche Center and worked as an avalanche forecaster and educator. Since 1994 Marty has passionately pursued his vision for owning and operating a backcountry yurt system, and is proud to offer exceptional human powered experiences to winter enthusiasts.
Ian grew up just a few miles down the road, at the foot of Jughandle Mountain. Growing up he raced nordic, skied Brundage, and poked around the woods of the Payette National Forest. During his freshman year at University of Idaho he bought a cheap set of telemark equipment at the ski swap, and headed into the backcountry. Despite his best efforts to the contrary, he graduated with a slew of ski buddies, a drift boat, and a Bachelors of Science in Fisheries Resources. Since then, snow, rivers, and fish have dragged him all throughout the Pacific Northwest, but he never manages to stay away from Central Idaho for too long.
Now his favorite hobbies include blinking in group pictures, breaking his snowblower, and snagging trees on his backcast. In the summer you can find him driving a sweep boat down the Middle Fork of the Salmon. In the winter, he'll be out on a ski tour with his partner and their dog, perpetually trying to convince them to go "just peek over the next ridge." He loves PPG and Lick Creek Summit because there's something for everyone, and that something is usually fresh freakin snow!
Nate is a born and raised Minnesotan who packed up and headed west after finishing high school. He began his work in the ski industry as a ski patroller for Beaver Creek in Colorado. Silverton Mountain was the next evolution, where he began helicopter and chairlift based ski guiding. Nate eventually became the Snow Safety Director of Silverton Mtn and is grateful for the many exciting and humbling moments in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. Nate has been involved in emergency services his entire adult life; ambulances, fire departments, mountain and dive search and rescue and ultimately smokejumping, which brought him to west central Idaho.
It only took one trip down the Salmon River to convince Gary to move to Idaho. Prior to that, he had spent a number of years guiding on different rivers, leading expeditions, and working for the National Outdoor Leadership School. Part of his graduate work at the University of Idaho was the development of the McCall Outdoor Science School, where he now works. Originally from South Carolina, it took a few years for him to figure out how to turn left, but persistence paid off. After a few years with the Payette Lakes Ski Patrol Gary was ready to take his skills and apply them to the winter backcountry.
Gary loves the mix of people, powder, and science that he finds on every PPG course.
After showing up in town and giving Marty a hard time for not having any women on his staff, he admitted his wrong-doing, and gave Jenna a job. She has been involved in teaching avalanche safety for over 12 years and has been an AIARE course leader since 2017. She grew up in CO, and came around to skiing and outdoor recreation late. As a young biologist, she ended up in a ski town looking for winter work, where she found a “will work for ski pass” job, and a friend that taught her how to telemark ski in the backcountry. Combining her love of nature and powder skiing in the woods, she started to find a true part of herself.
Not stopping there, she migrated north through Idaho and onto Alaska to pursue both wildlife biology and backcountry skiing. Jenna likes to make as many “swervy” turns in life as she does on skis. Taking a hiatus from field biology, she became the former owner of Backcountry Babes, a women’s specific outdoor recreation company, and branched into teaching women-specific avalanche safety courses. Not leaving wildlife biology or avalanche training behind, she followed her newest passion for sustainability, and dabbles in building and carpentry. Trying to find herself in life, she has discovered that there is no “growing up”, it’s about growing “out”. Jenna now has two M.S. degrees (in wildlife biology and sustainable design), does remodel work on the side, and works most time as a field biologist for the Idaho Intermountain Bird Observatory. She has taught recreational avalanche courses since 2009 in AK, CO, WA, OR, MT, and now ID. After years of transitioning back and forth through Idaho, she now calls McCall her true home. She is happiest getting outdoors to ski, backpack, raft, hike, hotsprings, and explore new places. She loves sharing her own learning through teaching, and is psyched about Marty coming to his senses and letting her work for Payette Powder Guides!
Andy started skiing on the icy rolling hills of Pennsylvania. At first chance, he loaded all his belongings into an old pickup and drove to a somewhat random spot on a map in Colorado. Years later he would see “Aspen Extreme” and chuckle. At a ski shop in Beaver Creek, a friend loaned him a set of old Atomic telemark skis with Rottefella Chili Pepper bindings, and it changed his life. He started to walk away from the crowds at the resort. Years later, after bouncing around various ski towns in Colorado, he followed a girl to Idaho, eventually finding McCall, where he realized just how amazing Idaho is. He has yet to accept that he need not ski every inch of snow that falls on McCall. As such, most mornings you can find him checking the snow stake at Brundage, making coffee by headlamp so as not to wake the family as he slips out to ski a quick pow lap before work.
He loves the overlapping Venn diagrams of life that PPG provides, and is always ready to break trail, talk shop, or crack a beer. When he is not playing in the snow he gets his kicks riding mountain bikes, climbing rocks, and enjoying most anything outdoors.
Sam is a McCall native. At age 8 his life’s trajectory was set when he found snowboarding. While studying recreation at the University of Idaho he was introduced to the backcountry and new he wanted to spend as much time there as possible. After graduating he bounced around Idaho, Oregon, and Colorado chasing powder and solitude until he realized there really is “ no place like home”. As PPG’s token split boarder and recovering “park rat”, two facts his fellow guides are never too quick to remind him of, he will generally be drooling over a cliff, pillow line, or couloir. When not in the mountains he can be found guiding on the rivers of Idaho, Oregon, California, Texas, and India, or working as an EMT for McCall Fire.