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 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.
Mick’s true passion is education. He has found a unique passion for educating aspiring instructors and guides in the U.S. You will find him outside helping new leaders gain confidence in their ability to make decisions in complex environments.
When he is not in the field (where he spends over 100 days a year) you can find him creating electronic music and making people dance. Mick has a habit of making those around him smile, and you might just wonder when he sleeps!
Mick is an AMGA certified Rock and Alpine Guide, SPI Program Provider, AMGA Instructor Team Member, LNT Master trainer, a Wilderness First Responder, a certified Level 3 Avalanche graduate, an instructor for the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, and speaks Spanish and a little Swahili.
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.
For four years, Woody lived in China most of the year, where he guided outdoor education trips and spent the rest of his time rock climbing, traveling, and studying Mandarin Chinese. However, he couldn’t resist summer in the Pacific Northwest, and he returned home every year for the beautiful weather and Cascadian adventures. Woody is based in Seattle these days, although he hits the road for climbing and skiing trips up and down the West Coast and returns to China every year to guide Kaf Adventures’ crack climbing trip in Liming.
Nature and adventure are two of Woody’s biggest passions, and guiding allows him to share these passions with other intrepid people. He can’t imagine a better office than the beautiful forests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest.
Woody is an AMGA Assistant Rock Guide and Single Pitch Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Trainer.
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.
Ryder is an Assistant Rock Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association, holds a Wilderness First Responder Certification, and has earned his AIARE Level 1 in avalanche safety.He currently splits his time between Liming, Yunnan Province, China and Seattle, Washington.
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.
Brigit lives in Snoqualmie Pass where she spends as much time as she can be exploring the local mountains on her skis (or traveling around trying to find the best snow). While occasionally tempted by other ranges, she is always most excited when there is enough snow on the ground in the Central Cascades to ski local lines without having to get in a car. Her dream “trip” would have to be blue skies, stable powder, and a few good friends with the same days off work at Snoqualmie Pass (a surprisingly hard combination to achieve!). Brigit also enjoys trail running, rock climbing, cooking, crossword puzzles, and creeping around creeks trying to find new swimming holes with her dog Rivi.
Brigit is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Trainer.
“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.”
Outside of his work at Kaf, he can be found outfitting others for their personal adventures at the Mountain Shop in Portland, OR. A perfect day for him would include cragging in the sun with his partner, dog and friends but any day outside exploring the wild and vast PNW is a good day. He’s also a lover of music, good food, meditation and creativity.
Archer is a AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, AMGA Apprentice Rock and Alpine Guide, Wilderness First Responder, AIARE Level 1, and Leave No Trace Trainer.
Jenna grew up in Colorado where she cultivated her connection to the mountains as a child, but didn’t find her passion for recreating in them and skiing until she was a young adult. Her interest in wildlife and the outdoors led her to pursue a degree in biology, and then to Idaho and Alaska where she enjoyed working as a wildlife biologist surveying for wolverine, bears, birds, whales, and anything else Alaska could drum up. While in Alaska, Jenna became an adamant backcountry skier devoted to improving her powder-swhishing telemark turn in the big mountains, and then more recently, learning to fit in as an AT skier. During this time she learned a lot about snow and avalanche hazards. This led her to obtain her avalanche course instructor training with AIARE, and eventually to becoming a course lead. Her years of outdoor work and backcountry adventures also nudged her to a full-time career in women’s-specific outdoor recreation. In 2011, Jenna sidestepped from her wildlife career to become the owner of Backcountry Babes. She was owner/manager of the company and worked as a backcountry guide and instructor, focusing on encouraging educational and adventure outings for women in backcountry skiing, avalanche education, backcountry hut trips, mountain biking, and rafting.
Besides being a wildlife biologist and backcountry avalanche instructor, Jenna also has a M.S. degree in sustainable design and has worked in sustainable building and architectural drafting. She now lives in McCall, ID where she is working as a winter caretaker at a wildlife rehab sanctuary, and fills in the holes as a “roving” AIARE avalanche course lead for several small providers across the West. Jenna has an Avalanche Level 3 certification, is a Pro Member of the American Avalanche Association, is a trained whitewater rafting guide, and has a Wilderness First Responder certification. Jenna has been teaching introduction to backcountry skiing and avalanche education courses since 2009; and has been working as a lead avalanche instructor for Kaf Adventures since 2017.
In her free time Jenna enjoys going on adventures with her dog; and anyone else that will come along. Her favorite activities are backcountry skiing, backpacking, and rafting. She is always in search of the elusive wolverine, and has seen 8 of them so far!
Her motto: Anytime in the mountains is a GOOD TIME!
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.
When Berndt isn’t working at the fire station or participating in Kaf experiences, he can be found skiing, climbing, or hiking throughout the Northwest. He also spends a lot of time walking his two black labs at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, WA.
Outdoor guiding and instruction allows Berndt to share the activities he is passionate about while having fun and meeting new people. His favorite Northwest climbing area is Washington Pass/Mazama. He also enjoys skiing wherever the snow is fluffy, or at least present.
His favorite trips have been hut-based Via Feratta tours in the Dolomites and week long ski hut tours in the Fairy Meadows of British Columbia. Some of Berndt’s future planned trips include rock climbing in Potrero Chico in Mexico and a ski hut tour in Silvretta Alps of Austria.
Berndt is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Trainer.
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.
Sharon lives to climb alpine rock in the North Cascades and the High Sierra because they require a combination of skills on rock, ice, and snow. To paraphrase Peter Croft, she loves the feeling of being at home in spectacular environments. Her favorite climb to date is the Northeast Ridge of Bugaboo Spire, and her dream trip is to bikepack the Carreterra Austral in Patagonia and climb as many peaks as possible along the way.
Other than guiding and climbing, Sharon enjoys mountain biking, skiing, napping, and cooking out of the back of her purple 1987 4WD Toyota Van.
Sharon started guiding with Kaf in 2018. She is stoked to share outdoor adventures and skills with you this summer!
Sharon is an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Wilderness First Responder, and Leave No Trace Trainer.
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 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 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.
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.).
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 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.
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.
2019 marks the first year working with Kaf Adventures and as rock climbing guide. When I am not guiding or rock climbing, you can find me working out, skiing, hiking with my dog Baker, cooking, gardening, playing video games and doing arts and crafts (i just started knitting and painting)! Outside of guiding, I am also studying for my Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) certification to work as a fitness instructor during the off season. In addition to Kaf Adventures, I am running my own company called Never Stop Moving and working at the Summit Everett Climbing Gym creating and instructing fitness programs, teaching rock climbing, and coaching the climbing club.
Guiding is very exciting to me because I love teaching and helping other people achieve their goals. I want to aid in getting people out into the mountains to experience the fulfillment of reaching a summit, pushing one’s comfort zone, achieving a goal, enjoying the outdoors and most importantly having fun.
My dream trip is to climb Aconcagua in Argentina. I traveled to South America by myself for two months after college and found myself exploring the base of this majestic mountain. Ever since, I have wanted to go back and summit it.
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.
Over the course of his 16-year career, he has worked as an instructor, facilitator, and guide for numerous outdoor education companies and guide services across the United States. His early adventures were focused on teaching primitive living and survival 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. His favorite place in the entire world is the region of Patagonia in Argentina and Chile, where he is always looking to spend more time exploring and climbing and one day living with his family. The area he is most excited to return to is climbing in the Cordillera Blanca of Peru, where he and his wife spent their honeymoon. When he’s not teaching or working, he enjoys trail running, climbing up Mt. Hood and at Smith Rock, cooking, reading, glass blowing, and traveling with his wife, Claire and daughter, Zola.
Paul is an AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide, AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, EMT-B, Wilderness First Responder, LNT Master Educator, and an AIARE 2.
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.
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 and on May 19th he became the first Tanzanian to summit the world’s highest mountain, Mt. Everest (29,0028ft). On 26 August 2014, Wilfred continued his pursuit of climbing the worlds highest peaks and summited the highest mountain in Europe, Mt Elbrus. He plans to complete the 7 summits.
Wilfred and his family of two children are part of the Chagga tribe. They live in the town of Moshi where he grew up.
Zack started his guiding career working as a rock climbing instructor and guide in 2014 while completing his university degree. He studied Forest Sciences with a focus on Snow and Avalanche Forecasting at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. During his degree, he worked as a tail guide and avalanche instructor for numerous Canadian ski-guiding operations, and spent his summers as an alpine and rock guide in the Sierras, SE USA, among other locations. During his degree, Zack did an undergraduate research project looking at the effects of vegetation on snowpack instability, which he ultimately presented at the 2018 International Snow Science Workshop. Climbing and guiding has taken Zack to all areas of the world, including: the French and Austrian Alps, New Zealand, northern Canada, Mexico, and numerous regions in western Canada and the USA. Zack is in the process of completing his full IFMGA mountain guide certification through the AMGA, and ultimately aims to balance guiding with research in avalanche forecasting.
Zack’s favorite activity in the mountains is split-boarding big lines on big peaks and working to find the best conditions to do this in; though he enjoys any aspect of mountain travel and especially connecting others to the beauty and lessons that the mountains have to offer.
Office Administration Team
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 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.
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]