Skyward Mountaineering is a boutique mountain guide service run by Vince Anderson and Steve House. Headquartered in the San Juan Mountains of Western Colorado we specialize in preparing alpinists for off-the-beaten-track climbs and have a track record of safely guiding difficult ascents of classics like the Eiger’s North Face and the Moonflower Buttress on Mt.Hunter.
At the core of our philosophy lies a emphasis on concurrently training skills, judgment, teamwork, fitness, and mental preparation. To achieve this we emphasize the practice of all aspects of alpinism from multi-pitch rock climbs to ski-mountaineering to climbing the great alpine faces of the world.
Vince Anderson is the 7th IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide in the USA & is currently the Director of the Ski and Alpine Guide Education Programs for the American Mountain Guide Association.
Steve House has been climbing and guiding all over the world since the early 1990’s and was the 9th Mountain Guide in the USA to earn IFGMA Guide Certification.
Alpinism is a discipline of virtue
Skyward feels obligated to share with their clients a view toward climbing and skiing that counts ethics, courage, and aesthetics among its virtues. We aim to lead our clients through an apprenticeship of ascents and descents that ramp up in difficulty and commitment level. Skyward guides aim to find the sweet-spot of challenge where you can experience the true spirit of alpinism: adventure, challenge and partnership.
Skyward wants you to feel as if you have shared our rope as a real climbing partner.
IFMGA certified Mountain Guide
Vince is a third generation native of Colorado who climbed his first mountain at age five, started skiing at eight, and has called the mountains home his entire life. When he is not out guiding, climbing, skiing, he can often be found on the bike with his wife and three sons in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Since 1994 Vince has guided thousands of happy clients on custom ice climbing adventures around Colorado, the Canadian Rockies, the Alps, Alaska, the Himalaya, the Karakoram and the Andes. In 1998, Vince earned the highest level of certification available to mountain guides world-wide, becoming an International Federation of Mountain Guide Association (IFMGA) Certified Mountain Guide. Today Vince passes on his famed experience and calm to young aspiring mountain guides as an instructor and examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA).
Vince is also passionate about climbing in his personal time. He ice climbed competitively from 2001 to 2008, attaining sixth overall in the World Cup Ice Climbing championship in 2002. Since 2010 he has been the route setter for the difficulty competition at the famed Ouray Ice Festival. Vince is an alpinist who abides by the “light is right” alpine style ethic. Most notably, he and Steve House completed their famous new route on the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat (26,660′, ninth highest mountain in the world) in alpine style without oxygen in eight days during September of 2005. Vince and Steve have also partnered on numerous other ice, mixed, and alpine climbs, including the first ascent of K7 West in Pakistan and a new route on the North Face of Mount Alberta in the Canadian Rockies.
• B.S., Civil Engineering, Colorado University, Boulder (1993)
• AMGA-IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide (1998)
• American Mountain Guide Association Presidents Award (2005)
• Pakistani Director-General of Sport, Olympic Award (2005)
• Piolet d’Or (Golden Ice Axe) (2006)
• Jury’s Prize, Best Mountain Film, Kendal Mountain Film Festival, Kendal, England. (Ice, Anarchy, and the Pursuit of Madness)
IFMGA certified Mountain Guide
Steve is a husband, climber, mountain guide, skier, cyclist, traveler, student, eagle scout, and author of two books. He currently lives in Ridgway, Colorado with his wife Eva, although they spend time in Europe and Asia each year. He began climbing with his father as a child, and was introduced to alpine climbing in Slovenia after graduating high school in 1988.
Steve has been guiding professionally since 1992 and in 1999 he became the ninth American to achieve IFMGA certification. He has guided trips across the globe from Alaska to the Karakoram. He has a long list of first-guided ascents in Alaska: Ham and Eggs Couloir on the Moose’s Tooth, Peak 11,300 via the SW Ridge, the West Face Couloir of Mount Huntington, the Harvard Route of Mount Huntington, and most recently the Moonflower Buttress of Mount Hunter. Steve was also the first non-European guide to lead ascents of the Eiger’s North Face (1938 Route) Grande Jorasses by the Croz Spur, Cima Grande’s North Face (Comici-Demai), Piz Badille’s North Face (Cassin Route), and Triglav’s North Face (Long German Route).
In addition to being an accomplished guide, Steve is also a world-class climber. Steve’s most famous ascent may be the Central Pillar of the Rupal Face with Vince Anderson but he has compiled an impressive list of first ascents and new routes in Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, the Alps, and the Karakoram. Reinhold Messner has called him “The best high-altitude climber in the world.” Steve is an athlete-ambassador for Patagonia, Grivel, and La Sportiva.
- B.S., Ecology, The Evergreen State College (1995)
- AMGA-IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide (1999)
- Golden Piton-Alpine Climbing (2004)
- Piolet d’Or (Golden Ice Axe) People’s Choice Award (2005)
- Golden Piton-Alpine Climbing (2005)
- American Mountain Guide Association Presidents Award (2005)
- Pakistani Director-General of Sport, Olympic Award (2005)
- Piolet d’Or (Golden Ice Axe) (2006)
- Best Mountain Book, Banff Book Festival (2009) (Beyond the Mountain)
- Boardman-Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature (2009) (Beyond the Mountain)
- Jury’s Prize, Best Mountain Film, Kendal Mountain Film Festival, Kendal, England. (Ice, Anarchy, and the Pursuit of Madness)
- American Alpine Club, Underhill Award for Lifetime Climbing Achievement (2014)
Scott Johnston is a lifelong athlete, climber, and coach. Starting as a very successful swimmer, he earned himself a scholarship to university, but soon found climbing to be more interesting.
Growing up in Boulder during the 1970’s he partnered with pioneering climbers such as Charlie Fowler, Pete Athens, and Peter Metcalf during a time when chocks were cutting-edge protection and lug soled Krohnhoffer climbing shoes were state of the art. Scott went on to make many significant ascents in Canada (a very early ascent of the Emperor Ridge), Alaska (Second ascent of the Messner Couloir, solo), and Nepal (Third ascent of Ama Dablam). A mechanical engineer by training, Scott worked first in the aerospace industry before starting his own business designing research grade astronomical instrumentation.
Within Boulder’s tight-knit athletic community, Scott gained notice for his cardiovascular endurance. He was tested and found have an incredibly high VO2max and was quickly recruited into nordic ski racing. After just a few years Scott was skiing at the World Cup level, traveling the world racing on his skis. During this period he ran a successful exotic collector-car restoration and sales business that focused on his favorite automobile, the Porsche 911.
In 1997 Scott and his wife Midge retired to Mazama Washington. Not one to be idle he soon began coaching the local junior cross-country ski team. In 2003 he officially began coaching Steve House on a daily basis and continues to consult with Steve on his training today. Scott continues to climb actively and establish new routes around his home in the North Cascades. Since co-authoring Training for the New Alpinism, he as begun coaching more climbers. He continues to actively coach three of North America’s top nordic ski athletes and had four athletes competing in the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia.