Kaf Adventures is run with passion, experience, compassion, and dedication. We are committed to learning through experience, and creating an experience that fosters growth and human change. These are all qualities we feel drive success and create the leaders of tomorrow. We have a desire to create a community that cultivates responsible, conscientious outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers.

Kaf Adventures is a small company, which gives individual attention to our clients, offering a more personal and customized approach to instruction and guided experiences. Kaf is proud to have each and every person on our staff. They are truly the best people, mountaineers, guides, teachers and ambassadors of mountain culture anywhere!

Full-time Instructors/Guides:

Joel Koester: Instructor/Guide With a love for spending time with people outside, exploring the world and nature, and for teaching, Joel loves being part of the Kaf Team and Family. Filled with compassion, joy and an incredible positive energy, he looks forward to every trip he has the privilege to participate on and every participant he gets the opportunity to meet, teach, and learn from.Joel was born in WA State and has spent over 10 years traveling and living around the world. A large amount of this time was spent between Hong Kong and China, and Joel speaks Mandarin, Chinese. He has also traveled extensively in South East Asia, Europe and India, and from these adventures, has developed a great appreciation for the diversity that the world has to offer.Despite all the international travel, the Pacific North West is home. In his free time you will find Joel doing something cool with someone cool, most likely outside, be it climbing, backpacking, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, yoga, etc.Joel is a certified Remote Emergency Medical Technician, and an American Mountain Guide Association Single Pitch Instructor.With a BA in East Asian Studies and a Masters in Business, Joel supports Kaf in any way he can. Look forward to seeing his smiling face on one of your upcoming trips!

Mick Pearson: Founder and Owner, Instructor/Guide

Mick has traveled the world over in search of the perfect mountain experience. After working for years under other companies’ ethos and philosophies, nothing quite fit with Mick’s personal convictions and passions. So, in 2006 he set out on his own to make his vision of the holistic mountain experience a reality for anyone whom was captivated by his personality and talents as an instructor and guide. Having traveled all over the U.S. as the son of a railroad employee, Mick is accustomed to movement and new views; Mexico, Canada, Thailand, Europe, South America, Tanzania are some of the places and cultures that have shaped and influenced this tireless traveler. Currently living in Seattle, WA year round, managing Kaf Adventures and continuing to hold the vision of this ever evolving company, Mick works tirelessly to continue to provide world-class experiences that leave people affected positively with new knowledge and a greater perspective of the person that they are in the world around them. When he is not in the field (he works about 100 days/year on courses!) you can find him creating electronic music and making people dance, smile and wonder when he sleeps! Mick is an AMGA certified Rock and Alpine Guide, SPI Program Provider and speaks Spanish and little Swahili.

Andrew Archer: Instructor/Guide
Andrew Archer has been working as an Outdoor Educator for over a decade. He received his B.A. in Adventure Education from Prescott College in 2008 and has since worked for organizations across the U.S. teaching people how to travel through, play in, and connect with wilderness. Originally from South Dakota, he has a love for wide open spaces and off the beaten path climbing areas such as the Needles and Devils Tower. When not sharing his outdoor experience at Kaf, he spends his time as a carpenter, artist, and mindfulness educator.

Part-time Instructors/Guides

Paul Taylor: Instructor/Guide
Despite growing up in Florida, Paul Taylor found his
way to the mountains at an early age and they have felt like home ever since. His deep love of wild places and a passion for teaching have been a driving force in his professional and personal pursuits. He has spent the last 13 years working as an instructor, facilitator, and guide for numerous outdoor education companies and guide services across the United States. His early adventures were focused on primitive living skills and long distance hiking, where he has racked up over 10,000 miles of trail-time, including thru-hikes of the AT, PCT, and many other trails. More recently, Paul served as the Program Director and Senior Guide for Outpost Wilderness Adventures where he guided climbing, backpacking, and mountaineering trips in Colorado, Texas, Wyoming, Utah, and Mexico. His travels have taken him to Patagonia, Peru, Switzerland, Thailand, Scotland, and all over
Central America.Paul moved to the great Pacific Northwest with his wife,Claire, in the fall of 2013.He is excited to be a part of Team Kaf, where he serves as the Portland Program Director and looks forward to bringing his passion and experience to his new home! He is an AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor, AMGA Alpine Apprentice, EMT-B, WFR, LNT Master Educator, and has taken his AIARE level 2 certification, and looks to continue his path towards furthering his AMGA certifications.

Amber Smith: Instructor/Guide
Before Amber could walk, she explored the mountains and ancient settlements of North, Central, and South America on her fathers back, an archaeologist and outdoorsman. As a teenager, she made home in Turkey and Tajikistan, and in 2012 her curiosity and love for exploration led her to take on a whole new adventure: rock climbing. Since then, Amber has climbed throughout the Western United States, favoring long moderate traditional routes.
Also in 2012, Amber moved from Salt Lake City, UT to Portland, OR to pursue a degree at Portland State University. For four years, she worked as a Senior Trip Leader at the Portland State Outdoor Program, where she found joy in designing and teaching technical seminars in backpacking and rock climbing and training new staff in conflict resolution, active listening, and allyship. During summers, she continued to build her skills as a Field Instructor at Outback Therapeutic Expeditions and as a Field Technician with the State of Idaho. Before graduating from Portland State, she wrote her thesis on what she calls ‘Feminist Outdoor Leadership:’ a guide to facilitation strategies for participant empowerment and oppression alleviation through Outdoor Education.
Amber is dedicated to community building, personal adventure, and collaborative learning! She looks forward to playing outside with you!

Berndt Bittlingmaier: Instructor/Guide
Berndt, pronounced Bear-nt, entered the Kaf community as a student on a Single Pitch Instructor course. The company’s diverse activities and focus on empowering participants to achieve goals resonated with him. He grew up skiing and building snow forts in Alaska. After living in Guam for 7 years, he settled in Washington for college, finding the climate and breweries agreeable. He began rock climbing in 1999 at Mt Erie and loves going back for the views and variety of routes. Beautiful Mt Shuksan, frequently a course offering at Kaf, was the first alpine climb he undertook. Recently, he dragged a sled up the West Buttress of Denali, 40 years after his father climbed the route.A career Firefighter/EMT, Berndt has a passion for learning and instructing. He has instructed at local community and technical colleges since 2005, as well as for local Mountain Rescue groups. He is a member of the American Alpine Club and has worked with the Mountaineers during their decision-making seminars. He is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and completed the Alpine Skills Course. As part of the Kaf community, he hopes to continue to share the love of the outdoors with others, while having fun and mitigating risks.

Matt Sellick: Instructor/Guide
Matt was born and raised in Northwest Ohio. His family exposed him to the wonder of time spent outside through flyfishing trips to Michigan and West Virginia. This wonder drove him to the state of Washington for college, and Matt quickly became acquainted with the mountains and deserts of the West. Within his first week of school a friend introduced him to rock climbing, and Matt’s wonder slowly gave way to passion. He took every educational opportunity he could and quickly found himself as a college graduate with an English degree in one hand, and an AVI 2, SPI, and WFR in the other. Matt left Washington after college, taking to the road for two years to follow his passions of climbing, skiing, traveling and to live simply. For 14 of those months Matt was working as a Wilderness Therapy Guide on a week on, week off schedule, which afforded him time to wander the southwest, and turn his leisure activities of yoga, climbing, and flyfishing into a lifestyle. Matt left his job as a Wilderness Therapy Guide to take the AMGA Rock Guide Course, and relocate to the Pacific Northwest. When Matt is not climbing he is probably reading, taking photos, and drinking coffee. He has been to 47 of the 50 states and is trying to figure out a reason to visit Delaware, North Dakota, and Nebraska.Matt is a certified AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide, Wilderness First Responder, and AIARE Level 2.

Robin Pendery: Instructor/Guide
Robin grew up wandering in the deserts and mountains of Utah with her family. After moving to Seattle, she found herself enamored with the rocks and glaciers, and proceeded to learn everything she possibly could about climbing. From waking up early to get in a little extra training, to staying up late pouring over maps and trip reports, climbing moves Robin through her day. It pushes her to work a little harder, dig a little deeper, and smile a whole lot more.Now, she is stoked to help others share in the deep sense of freedom and fulfillment climbing has given her. Everyone should have the opportunity to explore beautiful places and in doing so learn about themselves and others. Robin strives to share her love of climbing with others in a compassionate and supporting environment.


Kevin Dombrock: Instructor/Guide
Whether at an open bivy on an alpine ridgeline, a cozy tent in a glacier camp, or a circle of close friends and family around a campfire; outdoor places are where Kevin feels most at home.  Thanks to the love and support of his family, a pre-walking Kevin began his wilderness exploration from on top of Dad’s shoulders, and he quickly developed a nearly precocial ability to sleep on the ground.  His self-powered downhill skiing career began at age three, and he had to learn quick to keep up with his older brother.  Grateful for a solid foundation of nature appreciation, Kevin went on to work with large mammals and earn a Wildlife Biology degree from Colorado State University.  Throughout this pursuit, Kevin also challenged himself with new technical outdoor skills in climbing, backcountry skiing and mountaineering.  He found his purpose encouraging nature preservation and facilitating interpersonal growth and discovery, and believes it best to actualize this by supporting peoples’ outdoor goals.  Beginning on the lakes, rivers, and trails of northern Wisconsin over a decade ago; Kevin leads all varieties of outdoor trips.  Some of his latest experiences include working in wilderness therapy at New Vision Wilderness; climbing, mountaineering and skiing in the Cascades; ice climbing in Canmore, BC; backcountry skiing throughout the Selkirks; climbing in Peru and Mexico; and mountaineering in Ecuador.  Kevin now resides in Spokane, WA, and is excited to connect with a new outdoor community in the Inland Northwest while maintaining his Kaf Adventures family.Kevin is a certified AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Level 1 & 2, Outdoor Emergency Care candidate, and volunteer for Inland Northwest Search and Rescue.

Morgan Miller: Instructor/Guide
Growing up in small-town Michigan, despite the natural beauty of forest and lake, can make one a restless sort.As a result Morgan has spent nearly 20 years traveling through 48 states of this great country pursuing adventure, “sick turns”, climbing work, sunsets & mountains, ghosts of history & a degree in Recreation Management in 2003 from Michigan State University. In 2006 Morgan landed in Washington to work as a climbing instructor and delighted in what the new “home mountains” had to offer. International visits to ski and wander the Aosta Valley of the Italian Alps & volcanos of the Chilean Andes left him inspired by the knowledge and skill of local mountain guides and the people’s ability to live with the elements in all seasons, not just to recreate in them. To live as close to “The Nature” as possible, Morgan now calls Snoqualmie Pass home where unless working throughout the Cascades, he claims to “never leave one USGS topo map’s worth of terrain”.Professionally, Morgan is also a part time faculty member of the Bellevue College PE Outdoor Skills Certificate Program and the Summit at Snoqualmie Nordic Ski School, and the former Manager of the Vertical World Climbing Gym in Redmond, WA. A current Wilderness First Responder and former EMT-B, Morgan has also received training and certification from the American Mountain Guides Association (Single Pitch Instructor, Climbing Wall Instructor Provider & Alpine Skills Course), Professional Ski Instructors of America (Nordic and Telemark skiing), and Kaf Adventures Guide Training.Whether they are looking to learn the skills to safely climb with friends, climb “the big mountains you see on a clear day”, make a perfect turn, or have a stylish moving meditation through the mountains, Morgan’s passion is simply helping his student’s safely and confidently actualizetheir dreams. He believes that Kaf Adventures is one of the finest places to do this, and is honored to be part of the staff and community that believe in top-notch professional climbing instruction.

Sholto Radford: Instructor/Guide
The outdoors and adventure has been a current running through Sholto’s life since his early childhood. Instilled by his parent’s passion for exploration and willingness, perhaps irresponsibly at times, to drag two small children with them. He grew up in Wales but has explored extensively in other parts of Europe as well as the globe, driven by his love of the mountains, rivers and the sea. Before moving to Seattle with his wife in October 2015, Sholto founded and ran a company in the UK providing wilderness retreats. He has also worked as a researcher and teacher at the University of Bangor, specializing in mindfulness based approaches and prior to that as a kayak instructor, and raft guide. The move to Seattle has been fantastic; what a place to live and explore! (Also despite all the complaining here it is not nearly as wet as Wales so count yourselves lucky).

Kyle Koch: Instructor/Guide
Kyle is a former IT software technician turned adventurer after graduating the Anake Outdoor school in 2012. Since then he has been a guide doing white water rafting, ziplining, kayaking, backpacking, survival trips and a wilderness therapy guide. Currently he is the Anake Outreach Coordinator at Wilderness Awareness School. After rekindling his passion for climbing trees here in the PNW he has now set his sites on climbing rocks. He enjoys reading the stories left in the landscape by animals track and sign, exploring the wonders of eating wild plants, and flipping off pretty much everything (parkour!). He has a deep passion and love for connecting people with the natural world, their community, and self. I am excited to hear your story and share some of my own.

Administrative Team

Rikki Doetsch: Office Manager, Operations Director, and Instructor/Guide
Rikki is a professional outdoor educator, backpacking guide, Yoga instructor, and Office Manager at Kaf Adventures. She fell in love with the outdoors at a young age while canoeing, backpacking, and frolicking through the woods and rivers of northern Minnesota, and her love of wilderness, climbing, and facilitating experiences in nature has continued to grow ever since. She has led trips all over the world from Eastern Europe to Central America, and her passion for travel, nature, exploration and freedom is constant source of inspiration. She is a competent leader and a forever student invested in helping people discover their truest potential. She is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Master, and lover of life!

Reed Mathieson: Logistics Director and Instructor/Guide
Growing up in the urban environment of the SF Bay Area, Reed took solace in the quite world of the redwood forest and surf of the Northern California Pacific coast. The privilege of spending winters skiing in the Sierras and summers camping up and down the coast drew him to sharing these experiences with everyone he encountered. This passion for adventure and community led him to leave his position as a trades worker in order to pursue outdoor education.Upon completion of a NOLS Outdoor Educator Semester, Reed began studying environmental studies at Portland State University. Under the mentorship of the colligate Outdoor Program he became a senior trip leader, climbing gym instructor, and the Trip & Staff Development Coordinator for the country’s oldest colligate outdoor program.At Portland State, he found challenge, community, and personal growth, which helped shape his development from an outdoor enthusiast to an outdoor educator. As an instructor, he aims to empower his clients with knowledge to achieve in the outdoors independently. He values inclusion, accessibility, and collaboration. Reed is proud to be a member of the Kaf team, and looks forward to an exciting outdoor adventure with you!

Kevin P Sullivan: Marketing Director and Instructor/Guide
Kevin wears many hats at Kaf. Ironically he doesn’t like to wear hats. He has a small head and most don’t fit well.He is an educator at heart and is attracted to sharing his passions with others. The list is endless but it usually begins with climbing, continues to urban cycling, turns around to meet art and design, and comes full circle with coffee and beer.Professionally he is an outdoor educator, mountain guide, graphic designer, bike messenger, and marketing director with a Wilderness First Responder medical certification, AMGA Single Pitch Instructor certification, and Leave No Trace trainer certification. He is a graduate of NOLS’ Pacific Northwest Outdoor Educator Mountaineering course where he spent a month climbing on Mount Baker, in the North Cascades, and at Smith Rock.He has worked with the Outward Bound School in the Northwest and New York City, the YMCA’s B/GOLD Mountain School in Seattle, and Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York.Unprofessionally, he pretends to know about coffee, drinks too hoppy IPA’s, intellectualizes about art, and reads books about anything, while dreaming of the next adventure. He has been to forty five of the fifty states, and traveled to Italy, Singapore, Vietnam, and Thailand. He hopes to climb in the greater ranges, but for now the North Cascades will do.He is at home in the mountains and the city, where he attempts to strike a balance between his polar draws: the peace, serenity, and simplicity of the mountains, and the energy and culture of the city. Growing up in Michigan fortified his connection to the outdoors, and Brooklyn, New York satiated his appetite for the urban experience. In 2012 he moved to Seattle, his “city of compromise” to be closer to the mountains. He has been home ever since.

Lin Miller: Registrant/Accountant and Instructor/Guide
Known to the Kaf Team as “Kaf Momma”, Lin helps with registrations and bookkeeping/accounting – working on-line as she does not live in the PNW. Lin is from the West Coast, and her 33 year railroad career took her to Oregon, California, Colorado and eventually Nebraska. Her love of the outdoors, sense of humor and belief in “helping those who want to help themselves” led her to volunteering her time to help the entire Kaf Team and their clients.

Elyse Cogburn: Logistics Assistant
Upon finishing her undergraduate degree in environmental studies and geography at Portland State University in 2015, Elyse celebrated by summiting her first peak, Mt. Adams. 6 months later, on the eve of 2016, she set out on what would turn into a 10 month climbing adventure throughout South America.One month into her travels, Elyse landed in Patagonia. It was here that her passion for all things climbing started to emerge. She landed a job for a guiding company and rental shop owned by three brothers from her home state of Oregon. After completing a season in Patagonia, Elyse continued to travel and headed north and climbed her way through Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia.Upon returning to the Pacific Northwest in the late fall of 2016, Elyse couldn’t stop thinking about climbing… and the gender inequalities in the climbing community. Without a plan, or a job, or money… Elyse focused her energy and got to work on a friends idea of creating an online networking platform for women climbers to connect. This has now turned into Alpenglow Collective.Elyse’s passions include outdoor education, leadership building, empowering underrepresented communities to get outside, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.

International Team

Wilfred Moshi: Mount Kilimanjaro Instructor/Guide
Wilfred was born at the base of Mt. Kilimanjaro in the town of Moshi, Tanzania. The challenges of summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro have inspired him his whole life. He has guided many groups to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro, but his life dream finally realized in the spring of 2012, had been to climb Mt. Everest, considered by many to be the most difficult and harsh in the world. Wilfred and his family of two children are part of the Chagga tribe. They live in the town of Moshi where he grew up.Wilfred received training from Kilimanjaro Tanzania National Park, (KINAPA), and is a certified KINAPA guide and Wilderness First-Responder.As a highly committed, professional mountain trekker, in 2012 Wilfred was qualified to become part of a Mt. Everest expedition team. He was one of the few Africans at Everest basecamp in 2012; and on May 19th he became the first Tanzanian to summit the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest (29,0028ft). On 26th August 2014, Wilfred continues climbing and summited highest mountain in Europe, Mt Elbrus.

Karma Sherpa: Himalaya Instructor/Guide
Karma Geljen Sherpa was born in the famed Solukhumbu District of Nepal, also known as Everest Region. He watched as friends, family, and neighbors gained employment working on Himalayan expeditions, and before he became a teenager, Karma began working as a high elevation porter.Karma was quickly promoted to cook, guide, and finally Sirdar (lead guide/expedition leader), as he guided ascents of 8,000 meter peaks such as Cho Oyu (26,906 ft./8,201 m), Manaslu (26,759 feet/8,156 m), and the very difficult Dhaulagiri (26,795 feet/8,167 m). Karma also guided high elevation technical peaks such as Ama Dablam (22,349 ft./ 6,812m), and dozens of 6,000 meter peaks such as Mera Peak, Labuche East, Island Peak, Pachermo Peak, Pisang Peak, and others.Karma holds certification through the Nepal Mountaineering Association, with training in rock and ice climbing, glacier travel and rescue, navigation, and mountain first-aid.What really makes Karma stand-out, though, is his compassion for people from all walks of life. He has a ready smile, a contagious laugh, and a spirit that is always looking for ways to give back to people in his community. We are very lucky to have such an experienced, skilled, and good-hearted individual as part of our team.