About Us

Welcome to SWS Mountain Guides, California Rock Guides, and California Ski Guides — three synergistic guide services united under our parent entity, Sierra Wilderness Seminars Inc. (SWS). Established by Timothy Keating in Arcata, California after hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 1980, we moved to Mount Shasta, CA. in 1995, our journey has been one of continuous growth and passion for the great outdoors.

In 2017, SWS acquired Mountain Adventure Seminars, a venerable service founded in Bear Valley in 1996. This union brought an additional two decades of outdoor expertise into our guiding family. Guided by Tim Keating, David Cressman, and Caleb Burns, our company embodies a profound love for nature and a contagious enthusiasm for sharing, introducing, and educating others about the wonders of “the wild places.”

At SWS, we firmly believe that a guided experience should transcend the mere pursuit of summits. It should be cultural sensitive, educational, adventurous, and profoundly meaningful. We take pride in our commitment to making your experience something more transformative and enriching. We go beyond merely passing through the areas we work in; we aim to provide our guests with an immersive experience of the local culture. Your journey with us is not just about summits—it’s an opportunity to connect with the richness of the regions we explore.

SWS Mountain Guide Logo

SWS Mountain Guides™

We offer an extensive array of programs across various locations in California, Oregon, Nevada, and internationally.   We currently operate the broadest range of programs in the most venues inside of California of any guides service.  From iconic peaks like Mt. Shasta and Mt. Whitney to stunning destinations like Castle Crags, Alabama Hills, Crystal Crag, Bear Valley, Lover’s Leap, Calaveras Dome, North Palisade, Temple Crag, Mt. Sill, The Incredible Hulk, and many others – our offerings cover a wide spectrum to provide the experience you’re after!
California Rock Guides Logo

California Rock Guides™

California Rock Guides – established in 2013, our roots trace back to 1981, making us one of California’s longest-standing rock guiding companies. From the Southern Sierra Nevada to Castle Crag by Mount Shasta, our extensive history is woven into the diverse tapestry of California’s rock climbing scene. Few can rival the depth and variety of experience that California Rock Guides™ brings. We stand firm on the principle of delivering a top-notch rock guide service across California & Oregon.
California Ski Guides Logo

California Ski Guides™

California Ski Guides – established in 2013, our legacy dates back to 1981, marking us as one of California’s most enduring backcountry ski guiding companies. From the Southern Sierra Nevada to the slopes of the Southern Cascades, we offer ski and riding experiences from Nevada to Oregon.  Our wealth of experience is just one thing that sets us apart.  We provide a depth and variety that few can match. California Ski Guides™ is firmly rooted in the commitment to delivering a high-quality, high-energy service.


At SWS Mountain Guides, we’ve been guiding adventures since 1981, we stand as one of California’s pioneering mountain guiding companies. Our legacy is built on a robust organizational foundation, an unwavering commitment to safety, and the exceptional quality of our guides.

What sets us apart? It’s the passion and generosity of our instructors, the talent of our guides, and an infectious enthusiasm for sharing the magic of the mountains with our guests. Our company is not only comprised of skilled guides but also dedicated mentors, making your experience not just memorable but also educational.

Our guides boast professional certifications from organizations such as the American Mountain Guides Association, Professional Climbing Guides Institute, American Avalanche Association, Leave No Trace, and Wilderness Medical Associations to name a few. Dr. Emily Sagalyn MD, MPH, FAWM, our consulting physician, ensures the highest medical standards. Through bi-annual training and a commitment to mentorship, we uphold our dedication to continuous improvement.

With 43+ years of professional guiding experience, we’re not just about leading climbs; we’re about crafting transformative mountain experiences. Join us for a experience that blends expertise, safety, culture, and a love for the mountains into an adventure like no other.

Let us help you find your next adventure!


SWS Main Office:
110 Alpine St. Mount Shasta, California

Bear Valley Office:
P.O. Box 5104
265 Bear Valley Rd, Bear Valley, California 95223

Lone Pine Office:
120 South Main St., Suite 1.5, Lone Pine, California 93545