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Eli recently relocated to the island of Puerto Rico with his family after 30 years of full-time work as a mountain instructor and guide with a passion for all of the climbing arts that include ski mountaineering, mixed climbing, alpinism, water ice, and big wall free climbing.  Eli has had a passion for striking first ascents (and descents) around the world especially in the Andes, Alaska Ranges, and out of his home in the Colorado Rockies.


For three decades Eli has been in the fortunate position of mixing guiding work and personal climbing and skiing. He has a great deal of professional experience – in 1991 he became only the third exam certified rock guide in the US and he is the 18th IFMGA Guide from the US. This has led to training and certifying over 400 AMGA guides and coaching thousands of climbers and skiers in managing their own risks in these sports.

Although Eli loves helping others to understand how to stay safer in the mountains, life isn’t all about exams. Eli has been an expedition leader to mountains all over North America, South America and the Himalaya with over 115 successful trips. He continues to lead trips to explore the Andes along with hosting guide trainees from around the world who join him in Puerto Rico to learn the art and science of climbing instruction.

Eli has been enjoying his new life in the Caribbean with regular doses of ocean time. He has brought his expertise in climbing tourism and route exploration to this enchanting island that has the potential to become one of the top destinations for rock climbing in the world, with countless limestone cliffs and caves to explore around his new hometown of Ciales.

Notable Ascents

  • Freedom or Death (V 5.12b 400 m), Liberty Bell, Washington Pass - Erstbegehung
  • Grizzly (M10 WI5+), Bear's Den, RMNP - Erstbegehung
  • Blood Feud (5.12d), The Bookend, RMNP - Erstbegehung
  • First Born (V 5.8 70°, 1 800 m), Fathers and Sons Wall, Denali - Erstbegehung
  • Jackin’ the Johnson (IV 5.11c 400 m), Hallett Peak, RMNP- Erstbegehung
  • West Rib (AK IV, 2 800 m), Denali- drei geführte Aufstiege, zweimal bis zum Gipfel
  • Diamond (V 5.10-5.11), Longs Peak RMNP -Rekord mit 52 geführten Aufstiegen