Judson Wright

ACMG Ski Guide, Canadian Avalanche Association Professional

Judson is the lead guide of Kootenay Backcountry Guides.  After finishing high school in Ontario, Judson moved to the Kootenays and started his backcountry journey. While learning to ski tour in the Whitewater and Kootenay Pass backcountry, the seeds of an idea to bring a local ski guiding operation to the Kootenays were planted in his head. He spent the next 10 years exploring the mountains of western Canada and getting his A.C.M.G. guiding certification. Over time Judson fell in love with showing others the incredible backcountry in his backyard.  In 2016 he officially launched Kootenay Backcountry Guides with a mission to increase safety in the backcountry and help others get the most out of their winter backcountry adventures.   

Carla Aldinger

Canadian Avalanche Association Professional
Carla was born and raised in the West Kootenays and now calls Nelson home. Her guiding career started officially back in the winter of 2005/06 with Selkirk Snowcat Skiing in Meadow Creek, BC. Over the past 15 or so years Carla has also spent time working at a heli-ski operation in the Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges and spent a lot of time digging in the snow in the Valhallas and Bonningtons. Her love of skiing has taken Carla to Argentina, Japan and Europe on some most excellent ski adventures. Carla is a professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association. Carla has worked for Kootenay Backcountry Guides since its inception teaching AST 1 courses. Carla’s guiding career has also included road biking in Europe, hiking in the Kootenays, and polar bear viewing in Churchill, MB.

Dan Swearingin

CSGA, L3 Ski Guide, CAA Professional Member, CSIA L2 Ski Instructor

Dan has been Ski Touring, Mountaineering, Alpine Climbing for 30 years and still love every part of the mountains, and how small and balanced they make him feel. A Slocan Valley resident since 2005, Dan started his career as a Professional Ski Guide in 2011. He’s been teaching Avalanche Course with Kootenay Backcountry Guides since 2017. Dans has been working with and shredding pow with Judson Wright for many years now and share the same philosophies in the mountains and in life. “There is room for all of us as long as we are aware of each other, and of ourselves. I believe strongly in Avalanche Education. The more knowledge we have, the more “Safe Fun” presents itself!”

Kevin Armstrong

ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide, Canadian Avalanche Association Professional, Worksafe BC Avalanche Blaster, TRU Adventure Guide Diploma, University of Toronto Honours BA
Kevin Armstrong is an Apprentice Ski Guide from Nelson BC. He has over 6 years of experience working at ski touring operations in the Kootenay Mountain ranges, ski patrolling, cat skiing, teaching avalanche education courses and avalanche forecasting. Originally from Ontario, he has an appreciation for icy conditions, though he prefers neck-deep coldsmoke and has been enjoying BC pow for the past 10 years. On the off season, he works as a Ministry of Forests Initial Attack Fire Crew Leader. He also likes climbing and road biking and recently participated in his first Gran Fondo. He lives in Nelson with his wife, Nashira, and their son, Mica.

Jeremy Birse

ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide, Canadian Avalanche Association Professional

Rockies raised and Kootenay transplanted, Jeremy embraces the challenge of guiding solely on a snowboard. Having spent almost 30 years now on the board, he's stoked to share his wealth of experience. Having started out as a rock guide, his comfort with verticality will help put you at ease while you billy-goat your way into that choice line. In his spare time he's a very proud papa. If he can get away he enjoys travelling to climb & prefers if you have to bushwack to get there.

Audray Wright

ACMG ski guide Apprentice

Audray Wright has been in the ski industry for 15 years. She set herself free from the nylon boundary rope in 2017 when she became an ACMG apprentice ski guide. Being a guide allows her to share her enthusiasm for the endless possibilities of ski travel. Her love of ski touring took her to some remote locations here, in Canada, but also in the Himalayan and Caucasus Mountains. When she is not sliding on snow, she teaches mountain biking, works as a paramedic and hangs out on the lake with her family.

Roger Yim

ACMG Ski Guide, Canadian Avalanche Association Professional.

Roger is a fully certified A.C.M.G. ski guide and professional member of the Canadian Avalanche Association.  Roger is a bundle of good times and great humour.  Two things Roger does really well are finding powder and cook incredible food.  Roger is a long time Kootenay resident who knows the area inside and out.  When not working for Kootenay Backcountry Guides you can find Roger at Retallack Lodge,  and Powder Creek Lodge.

Joe Pavelich

ACMG Ski Guide, Canadian Avalanche Association Level 2

Joe Pavelich is a certified ACMG Ski Guide and has been guiding Snowcat, Heli, and Ski touring groups for over 18 years throughout the interior of British Columbia. Joe has also worked instructing avalanche courses and as a Avalanche Forecaster for Canadian Pacific Railways. He has a very infectious attitude to being in the outdoors, especially when it comes to skiing. Originally from North Vancouver, for the last 20 years Joe has lived in Nelson BC.

Bruce Gardave


Bruce Gardave has over 25 years in the search and rescue field in BC. Bruce has taught avalanche rescue and mountain rescue with the province for over 15 years. Also, a certified CSGA Level 1 ski guide, Bruce guides for Selkirk Snowcat Skiing Snowcat in Meadow Creek. As a certified CAA level 2, Bruce loves to keep up on all the latest snow science and rescue techniques and pass them along to his students. Home for Bruce is Nelson BC where he lives with his wife and his son enjoying all the Kootenays has to offer.

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