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Meet the Team

Meet The Team

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!

Guides & Instructors

Mick Pearson Owner/Founder

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 his personal convictions and passions. In 2006 he set out on his own to make his vision of the holistic mountain experience a reality for anyone who shared his passion for the outdoors.

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, Taiwan, Europe, South America, Tanzania are some of the places and cultures that have shaped and influenced Mick. Currently, Mick resides in Seattle, WA managing Kaf Adventures and continuing to hold the vision of this ever evolving company. He works tirelessly to continue to provide world-class experiences that provide knowledge and a greater perspective of the great outdoors.

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Woody Jacobson Instructor/Guide

Woody Jacobson grew up in the Seattle area where he was fortunate to partake in backpacking, rafting, skiing, and climbing trips all around the Pacific Northwest with family and friends. He first got into guiding in 2013 while he was studying politics at Whitman College. There, he took an AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor course and began teaching indoor rock climbing courses to fellow students as well as guiding outdoor climbing trips. Woody got involved with Kaf Adventures in 2017 and has since worked his way up from shadowing courses to instructing full time.

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John Barkhausen Instructor/Guide

Despite growing up in the flat suburbs of Chicago, John gained a love for wild places early in his life. After earning a degree in Wilderness Leadership from Prescott College, John began turning that love into a career. He has worked throughout the country, and internationally, guiding rock climbing, ice climbing, skiing and avalanche courses, sea kayaking, hiking, and even a few biking trips. He has spent much of this time teaching adventurous sports to high school and college aged students.

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Ryder Stroud Instructor / Guide
Ryder has 15 years of mountain experience across the globe. He has established first ascents in some of the best climbing destinations in Asia. In China, he has organized climbing expeditions to the remote parts of the eastern Himalaya and put up new routes across four of the most rugged provinces in the country–including one of the China’s longest rock climbing routes. He has also spent time climbing across great ranges of North America from the Coast Range to the Sierra Nevada. He is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and occasionally leads adventurous travelers on trips in western China.
Brigit Anderson Instructor/Guide

Brigit is originally from New England and moved to Washington in 2012 to be closer to the mountains. Through both her work and studies the mountains have been the driving force in her life. She has an undergraduate degree in Geology and is pursuing her MSc in Sustainable Mountain Development. In addition to Kaf, Brigit works with Vertical World Climbing Gym, the Summit at Snoqualmie, and the Northwest Avalanche Center. To her, guiding is not just about taking people climbing but also about sharing the science, culture, history, and sport of the mountains.

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Andrew Archer Instructor/Guide

“Archer” grew up in South Dakota and developed his excitement for climbing at the nearby quartzite cliffs of Palisades State Park. Eager to share his passion for climbing and the outdoors with others, he studied Adventure Education at Prescott College and then went on to work in the field of Outdoor Education. He started guiding in 2007 in Crested Butte, CO and has since worked across the U.S. in places such as the High Sierra, Joshua Tree National Park, Indian Creek, Ouray Ice Park, Devils Tower, and the White Mountains.

Archer has been with Kaf Adventures since 2016. As an instructor, Archer strives to instill confidence in his students while encouraging them to make conservative evaluations of the hazards associated with mountain travel. In the words of one of his mentors, “Go big, be safe.”

Berndt Bittlingmaier Instructor/Guide

Berndt is passionate about outdoor instruction and risk management. In addition to 15 years as a career firefighter/EMT, Berndt has a strong instructional background from community and technical colleges in telecommunications and mountain rescue subjects. He brings his instructional and communication skills to the rock and snow world with Kaf, where he has worked since April of 2016.Berndt is an Apprentice Rock and Alpine Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association.

Sharon Birchfield Instructor/Guide

Sharon earned her B.A. in Political Science from Seattle Pacific University and worked in non-profit administration and event planning for ten years. During that time, a co-worker invited her on a last-minute trip to the Enchantments. When she saw climbers dotting the summit of Prusik Peak from the shore of Lake Vivian, she was intrigued by climbing. In 2010 she took an Intro to Rock Climbing course with the Seattle Mountaineers and her life was forever changed. She has been instructing in mountaineering clubs for five years, and began the transition into guiding last year. Her favorite thing about instructing and climbing is seeing people accomplish things they once thought impossible.

Amber Smith Instructor/Guide

Before Amber could walk, she explored the mountains and ancient settlements of North, Central, and South America on her father’s back, an archaeologist and outdoorsman. As a teenager, she made home in Turkey and Tajikistan, and in 2011 her curiosity and love for exploration led her to take on a whole new adventure: climbing! Since then, Amber has climbed rock and glacial routes throughout the Western United States before falling in love with Washington. The epic sunrises, craggy peaks, and physical challenge brings her back to the Cascades again and again. Amber’s favorite spot in the North Cascades is the Winne’s Slide Bivi on Mount Shuksan and Amber’s dream trip is ski touring in Japan

David Glisson Instructor/Guide

David grew up enjoying the Pacific Northwest as his backyard. Much of his spare time was spent climbing volcanos in the Cascades, spending days at the local crags, or just putting in miles on the PCT. In the winter, you’ll find him wherever there are frozen waterfalls to climb or mixed routes for dry-tooling. David also loves the water. Scuba diving in the Puget Sound, free-diving at a local beach, or hitting the coast for some surfing are his favorite ways to connect his soul to the world.

Jake Skeen Instructor/Guide

Jake got into guiding after years spent skiing and climbing in a variety of terrain throughout the western US, South America, Alaska and Europe. Jake has been guiding since 2017 and is a recent addition to the on-call instructor team at Kaf. When he’s not guiding, Jake enjoys exploring new mountain ranges, biking, playing music and spending time with friends and family. Jake’s favorite aspect of mountain guiding is contributing to a unique adventure for guests that is often a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

James Kreitman Instructor/Guide

In a way I always knew I wanted to spend my life adventuring. As a child in Baltimore Maryland I explored deep alleys of the city soon leading me to the coastal islands of the Chesapeake Bay. These early childhood feelings took me to the Adirondack State Park in New York where I received my B.S in Expeditionary Studies. Here I learned of my passion for all styles of climbing and sea kayaking. Since leaving Baltimore I have been able to lead trips in the Florida Keys, southeast Alaska and even spend a year in the canyons of Zion National Park.

Joe Lee Instructor/Guide

Joe has been bouldering and single-pitch climbing in the mid-west since the mid-nineties. In 2015 Joe hired Kaf Adventures (Mick Pearson) to take him out multi-pitch trad climbing at Index, WA. The experience was empowering and eye opening. What had seemed impossible-adventuring up big vertical faces-became possible.

Since climbing with Mick, Joe immersed himself into trad climbing. Seeking out and climbing adventurous routes became more than recreation, it became his passion. Joe has climbed many of the classics at iconic crags in North America (e.g., The Bugaboos, Squamish, Yosemite, RMNP, Eldorado Canyon, Joshua Tree, Red Rocks, The Gunks, El Potrero Chico, etc.).

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Kevin Dombrock Instructor/Guide

Whether at an open bivvy 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 quickly 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.

Matt Sellick
Matt Sellick Instructor / Guide

Matt grew up in Ohio and went to college in Washington where he quickly discovered climbing. He realized that you can’t climb a corn field, and stayed West after school, pursuing certification in the guiding industry. He has worked in Utah and the Pacific Northwest. Matt sees mountain travel as the locus for his passions of climbing, wellness, and adventure. Matt is pursuing full AMGA certification.

He enjoys photography, fly fishing, cooking, and reading when he is not climbing.

Matt is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, Apprentice Alpine Guide, Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, and Avalanche Pro 1.

Megan Fritz Instructor / Guide

I am originally from Boston, MA where I started rock climbing when I was 18 years old. I majored in Mechanical Engineering and worked in the industry for 5 years while concurrently starting a women’s rock climbing organization called Never Stop Moving. I have always aspired to become a rock climbing guide, but starting Never Stop Moving after moving to Seattle in October of 2015 gave me the final push and motivation to jump out of my comfort zone and work towards achieving this goal.

Paul Taylor Instructor/Guide

Despite growing up in Florida, Paul Taylor made his way to the mountains and outdoors at an early age. His deep love of wild places and a passion for teaching have been a driving force in both his professional and personal pursuits. Currently, he is a Portland based climbing and mountaineering guide for Kaf Adventures who also serves as Kaf’s Oregon Program Director, where he has been instructing and guiding for the past 5 years.

Wilfred Moshi Africa 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 had been to climb Mt. Everest, considered by many to be the most difficult and harshest mountain in the world. He achieved this goal in 2012.

Office Administration Team

Erika Klimecky Managing Director

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Erika grew up in Minnesota and enjoyed outdoor activities from a very young age. She spent her youth exploring outdoor environments, collecting bugs, learning about birds, botany and whittling when she wasn’t camping, cross country skiing or fishing from a canoe. One childhood experience that forever changed her was a week at a winter camp in remote northern Minnesota where she went snowshoeing for the first time (in wood and sinew snowshoes). That same week, she stood on a frozen, snow-covered lake at midnight while camp counselors called to the wild timber wolves. They called back.

Lin Miller Accounting

Lin handles the bookkeeping and assists in registrations. Retired from a career in the railroad industry, she spends her time assisting Kaf Adventures clients and staff. Lin and her husband love to travel, visiting friends and family in San Diego and Seattle, and all points between on the West Coast. They also enjoy spending time outdoors, going on cruises, and taking international trips. During the warm months, you can find Lin working in her flower garden, tap dancing with a senior’s group, or touring with her husband in their hot rod.

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John Barkhausen Operations Manager

As our Operations Manager, John oversees the daily operations of all our courses and trips. He communicates with guests, organizes equipment for guides, leads our guiding staff, manages our commercial use permits, and supervises our rental program. He also serves as the Portland Program Director and manages all programming in the Portland and Mt Hood area.

Feel free to reach out to John at [email protected]