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!

 

Instructor Team:

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Morgan Miller: Instructor

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.

“His bio above really speaks to the character that Morganhas, and lives to every day.  If you find someone with a higher level of integrity in life, and passion for the wilderness, I would love to meet them.  A true steward of the mountains, Morgan speaks from a place of deep reverence and experience.  Incredibly talented, humble and adaptable, he is able to meet anyone where there are in the moment and craft an incredible experience around the outcomes that individual has, even if they don’t know what they want. He is a true mountain-smith.” – Jason Wheeler

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Matt Sellick: Instructor 

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.

PA040781amga_spi 2014Zak Krenzer: Instructor

Zak Krenzer grew up near Seattle spending his youth playing in the woods and riding the lifts at Snoqualmie Pass. At 18, he Joined the U.S. Army and served 5 years as a Military Police in support of the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. At the end of his contract he made the decision to return to Washington State to find solace in the mountains that he grew up daydreaming about.

After being introduced to Climbing, Backpacking and Mountaineering, he had found his passion. Zak hit the ground running, spending every free weekend outside and learning everything he could about climbing from his mentors. Having learned how to live simply early on, he hit the road in his Toyota pickup and made trips all over the western half of the United States. He has climbed glaciers in the Cascades, splitter hand cracks in the Utah Desert, golden granite in the Sierra, ice in Hyalite Canyon and is always planning the next big trip. Zak’s enthusiasm and passion for learning are exceeded only by his love of teaching.

Zak earned is Certification as an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor in 2015 and is actively working towards the next level certification. His other certifications include WFR, CPR, and AIARE Level 1. His passion for both learning and instruction make him a great addition to Team Kaf.

 

CRAP5552amga_spi 2014Christian Cattell: Instructor 

From very early on, Christian’s family knew that he had an incredible curiosity for everything around him, whether it was examining animal poop and trying to identify the animal, to catching frogs and lizards at the small ponds and streams abundant in his lifelong home- the Sierras. Born in Germany to a Black Hawk Pilot and an Army counselor, Christian moved to the Lake Tahoe area at the age of 4, where he first began to take notice of the immensity and power of the mountains. As with all young men and women in today’s society, Christian struggled with the pull of the social norms placed upon him by his mentors and the internal calling of his passion, and at 19 years old, joined the military in hopes of becoming a pilot for the US Air Force. During his six year enlistment, Christian was afforded the opportunity to travel the world; taking him from Afghanistan, to Africa, and all over the US. Christian first began climbing in a climbing gym in Reno at the age of 10, and always felt an incredible pull toward pursuing the dangers and adventure of climbing huge walls and jagged peaks of the High Sierra. Sometime during his military stent, Christian succumbed to the overwhelming call of adventure, and decided that his true calling was in fact the wild places climbing would take him and realized that his life-long goal of flying was actually a fallacy. So, in 2013, Christian loaded his truck, and drove South from Reno; landing him in a place that would forever change his life: Yosemite Valley. Since then, Christian has hit the road in his truck, starting a new life as a fully-fledged dirt bag, and has spent a large part of his energy climbing the huge granite walls including El Capitan, Half Dome, and Washington Column. Christian’s love of climbing and big walls has influenced his desire to teach others a craft which has had a profound impact on his own life, and has enough stoke and enthusiasm for ten people. This boy LOVES climbing, and he wants to climb with you.

Christian is a Wilderness First Responder, CPR certified, and is actively working on becoming a Single Pitch Instructor through the AMGA.

 

 

 

Archer Bio PhotoAndrew Archer: Instructor

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.

 

 

 

 
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Berndt Bittlingermaier: Instructor

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.

 

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Claire Nelson: Instructor

Claire grew up playing on the beach and in the woods with her family in southern California.  These early experiences created a love for the outdoors that never went away.  In high school, she spent her summers in 4-H Adventure Camp and joined a 2-week Outward Bound expedition.  In college, Claire completed a semester with the National Outdoor Wilderness School involving 3 months in the wilderness backpacking, rock climbing and sea kayaking.  Focusing on Environmental Studies, Claire realized she could be most effective as an environmentalist by facilitating wilderness experiences for other students.  She has guided in California, Maine, Texas, Colorado, Wyoming and Nevada and now the North West teaching experiential outdoor education and wilderness skills to youth and adults.  After a brief stint as a wildland firefighter, Claire moved to Austin, TX and managed a wilderness-based mentoring program for underserved youth.  Claire loves to rock climb, do yoga, and be outside as much as possible.  Claire has earned her Wilderness EMT certification and is a certified Single Pitch Instructor through the AMGA.  She is so excited to join the Kaf Adventure Family here in the North West and share her love for adventure!

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Kyle Koch: Instructor

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.

 

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Robin Pendery: Instructor

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.

 

KevinDombrockamga_spi 2014Kevin Dombrock: Instructor

Kevin has been wandering outside since he learned to crawl.  He first experienced downhill skiing at the age of 3, and cried when it was time to break for lunch.  Since then his love affair with the outdoors has only grown, and he has been pursuing the most effective  way to help people experience similar natural connections.  Kevin holds a degree in Wildlife Biology from Colorado State University and has spent time working with elk, mule deer, big horn sheep, mountain lions, and bobcats.  As well as working with animals, Kevin has also been working with people since he began leading wilderness trips throughout Wisconsin and Upper Michigan in 2007.  Before Kaf, Kevin worked for New Vision Wilderness, helping struggling teenagers ground themselves in the outdoors.  He has also spent time exploring the Rockies, climbing Tuolumne’s famous granite, ascending sandstone in the Utah desert, and experiencing the glacial peaks and rocks of Peru and Ecuador.  Now based in Seattle, Kevin is grateful to be near the endless landscape of the North Cascades and their surrounding wilderness areas.  Whether you are an avid adventurer, or just taking your first steps into the woods; Kevin will passionately support you.  The stars aligned when Kevin found Kaf Adventures, and he now manages operations and works in the field with tireless excitement.  If he’s not outside, you may find him working on his latest construction project, doing yoga, or writing a song.

Kevin is a certified AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and AIARE Level 1.

 

 

 

 

 

 

20140212_142239amga_spi 2014Lindsey Gay: Instructor

Lindsey spent her childhood playing on the coast of Massachusetts- swimming in the ocean, building forts in the woods, expending every last bit of physical and creative energy. While in college she worked as a summer camp counselor, guiding 12-yr old girls on adventures along the bay, leading make believe pirate plunders on land, and supporting them through their newly embarked journey of individual development.  It was while working as a camp counselor that Lindsey realized how important creativity and diversity are in any youth program.

Lindsey eventually moved to Portland, Oregon where she worked full-time as a geologist and part-time as an assistant outdoor educator.  However, it was working with middle and high school students at the Catlin Gabel School where Lindsey felt most fulfilled.

In 2011, Lindsey changed careers and accepted a job as the Programs Manager and Head Youth Team Coach with the Seattle Bouldering Project (SBP) in Seattle, WA. For four years she strived to develop programs that would engage youth through creative, high-energy, physical challenges and problem-solving activities; in order to initiate individual understanding and group unity.

It was during this time that Lindsey recognized the need for an outdoor component to the SBP Youth Programs. A way to further use the sport of climbing to mentor, guide, and challenge youth of all ages; to create strong climbers, promote team building, stimulate individual growth, and define character. In 2012, Lindsey met with Kaf Adventures and the first Youth Outdoor Climbing Trip was created.

Other than rock climbing, Lindsey enjoys whitewater kayaking, yoga, gardening and being outside with her dog ‘Kip’.  Lindsey has passed her elementary education teacher licensure tests for the state of Washington.  She holds a BS in Journalism, and a BS in Environmental Geology, from Northeastern University.

 

Joel_Koester_Bio_Photoamga_spi 2014Joel Koester: Instructor

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!

 

 

 

 

Wilfred MoshiWilfred Moshi

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.

 

 

 

3. Karma Sherpa in SibujeKarma Sherpa:  Visiting Assistant Instructor

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.
Administrative Team:

Mick Pearson Bio PictureRock Guide Logo Cert 2014AMGA Alpine GuideMick Pearson:  Founder/Owner, Instructor

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 a AMGA certified Rock and Alpine Guide, SPI Program Provider and speaks Spanish and little Swahili.

“I met Mick in 2007 working for Outward Bound in Oregon.  Before meeting Mick, his reputation proceeded him “So much fun and full of energy”, “An amazing climber and really positive”.  It was all true, and it is this passion, energy and creativity that has carried Kaf Adventures to what it is today, and what drew me into wanting to be a part of this company.  After spending countless days in the mountains, and even more in the office, I am so proud to call him a friend and brother.” – Jason Wheeler

 

 

 

PaulTayloramga_spi 2014Paul Taylor: Instructor, Oregon Program Director

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.

 

 

 

Kevin Sullivan
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Kevin P Sullivan: Marketing Director, Graphic Designer, and Instructor
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BioPhoto_MathiesonReed Mathieson: Logistics Director and Instructor

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 an outdoor adventure with you!

 

Lin Miller

Lin Miller: Registration/Accounting

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.