Our Guides, Staff, Owners

Jay Foley – Guide/Program Director/Owner

Jay Foley Mountain Skills Rock Guide

 

Jay began his climbing career in high school, foremly trained at the Oakwood school in the Gunks climbing area. After climbing the Nose on El Capitan in 1990, Jay went on to climb the first ascent of “the last unclimbed monolithic wall in Yosemite”, with the ground up first ascent of The Chief, grade V 5.12 on Yasoo Dome. Jay started his AMGA formal training in 2002 completing the Rock Guide  course, in the Red Rocks of Las Vegas, Nevada, where he lived and managed our Red Rocks programs for many years.

Jay has been a sponsored Mad Rock athlete since 2003 to the present. Jay Climbs 5.13c at 50

After three decades of active professional guiding and teaching, Jay maintains a childlike joy in his climbing and sharing his passion with others.

Today when Jay is not working, his main passion is still creating new routes and pioneering first ascents. Jay has done thousands of first ascents around the world, including Red Rocks Las Vegas, NV, New Mexico, Cuba, Thailand, El Salto and Sayulita Mexico just to name a few.

Jay also works as a professional rigger in the film and industrial rigging industry. He has led our Mountain Skills team in rigging/ mountain safety in films as Superman versus Batman and Wolverine among many others. Jay has also worked in front of the camera as a stunt performer on Longmire, Briarpatch, and Big Sky.

AMGA/SPI – AMGA Rock Guide Course graduate – IATSE and SAG-AFTRA, union member – Leave no trace (LNT) certified, NM Crag board of directors, BS Mass communications/mass media

Doug Ferguson – Guide/Owner

Doug developed a passion for the mountains and the outdoors during his high school competitive skiing career. His interest in climbing began in 1997 while he lived in Boulder, Colorado. Doug has climbed extensively across the United States, spending warmer months guiding rock in the Gunks, winter months guiding ice in the Northeast, and shoulder seasons in sunny Red Rock, Nevada.

Doug volunteers at the NYC Adaptive Climbing Clinic, teaching rock climbing to people with physical disabilities at Brooklyn Boulders. He was also previously on the Board of Directors for the Gunks Climbers Coalition, an advocacy group committed to creating and maintaining sustainable opportunities for responsible climbing along the Shawangunk Ridge and surrounding areas. Recently, Doug worked with Exum Mountain Guides in the Tetons, WY, during the summer months.

AMGA Rock Instructor, AMGA Certified Ice Instructor, AMGA Alpine Guides Course graduate, AMGA Advanced Rock Guides Course graduate, AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, AMGA Top Rope Site Manager, AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor Provider, AMGA SPI Provider, Wilderness First Responder certified, Leave No Trace Master Trainer, AIARE Level 2 Avalanche certified, National Ski Patrol Level 1& 2 Avalanche Safety certified, SPRAT Certified Level 1 Rope Access Technician.

 

John Kear – IFMGA

Rock and Senior Ski Guide/ Technical Director

John Kear Teaching AMGA SPI Course

John Kear is an internationally certified AMGA/IFMGA ski, climbing, and mountain guide as well as an active inspired climber.  John’s climbing, skiing and guiding encompasses nearly three decades of experience. After many years of professional guiding, throughout North and South America as well as Europe, he set out on a new path and received his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2015, currently practicing in Taos NM.

John shares his experience, knowledge, and mastery of mountains, instructing and assessing at all levels of the AMGA certification process, in Red Rocks of Las Vegas NV, New Mexico and Colorado, as an elite team member of the American Mountain Guides Association.  John’s love for the mountains also keeps him active with friends as a partner, mentor, and passionate member of the climbing and backcountry skiing community.

AMGA/IFMGA Mountain Guide – Doctor of Physical Therapy, Leave no trace (LNT) certified

 

Donna Longo – Office Manager/Logistics

Donna has managed our offices for over 30 years! She has climbed and lived extensively throughout the world including, Las Vegas, Nevada, New Mexico, Thailand, Mexico and New York. Currently she is an avid surfer spending much of her free time surfing in Montauk, NY and Sayulita, Mexico.

BS/BA – Business Management, First Aid/CPR, LNT certified

 

Thomas Gilmore – Guide


Currently residing in Las Vegas NV, Thomas began his climbing journey in 2012 and has been professionally guiding since 2015. He discovered a passion for rock climbing while serving in the US Army, stationed at Ft. Knox, Kentucky, where he was introduced to climbing in The Red River Gorge climbing area. He rapidly decided to make climbing his life! After being honorably discharged, Thomas hit the road for a year-long adventure; climbing at all the classic destinations in North America. After a thorough sampling of North American climbing, he went on to climb internationally in exotic places such as Patagonia, Spain, Morocco, Japan, and Mexico, simultaneously training to become a guide.
Thomas is passionate about rock climbing and loves to share this with others, whether that means summiting a major peak or instructing skills and rope systems in a controlled environment. His favorite climbing is on sunny, warm rock of all types!

AMGA Rock Guide – WFR – Leave no trace (LNT) certified

 

Jake Blanton – Guide

Jake Blanton, based in Las Vegas, NV, has been climbing and skiing for over fifteen years. He began climbing in the southeast eventually moving to Las Vegas, NV in order to live near Red Rocks, his favorite place to climb and share with others. Jake has guided for Mountain Skills Rock Guides since 2018. He also works as an instructor of mathematics at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Jake is always a joy to be around and spend the day with! His favorite days are spent in the mountains with stoked partners and whenever possible, dogs. Ph.D. in Mathematics, and Lecturer at UNLV. AMGA Rock Guide Apprentice in addition to SPI cert.

Ph.D. in Mathematics, and Lecturer at UNLV
AMGA/SPI/Rock Guide Apprentice – WFR – AIARE 1 – AIARE Avalanche rescue-Leave no trace (LNT) certified

 

Read Januskiewiecz – Guide

Growing up in south west NH Read found a love for the outdoors at an early age. He began climbing after a friend offered to take him ice climbing while ski bumming in Vermont and hasn’t looked back since. Read has climbed extensively all over the northeast and southwest United States. Priding himself as a “Jack of all trades”, constantly looking for new routes from boulders and big walls to backcountry powder descents.  Wether he is on splitter granite, choss, or sub zero winter conditions Read’s skills are solid and his stoke is always huge! Read gets as much out of others success as his own personal climbing. So if you are looking for a fun day out in the mountains, no matter what the objective, you’re in for a super charged good time!

AMGA/SPI – WFR – AIARE avalanche rescue -Leave no trace (LNT) certified

 

Noah Jones – Guide


Noah grew up on the southern end of the Rockies, in the Sandia Mountains of Albuquerque NM. When he is not working as a professional Ski Patrol or guiding for Mountain Skills you’ll catch him playing his guitar, staying on the slopes in the winter, and climbing or rafting anytime besides that!

AMGA/SPI ⁃ EMT intermediate ⁃ WFR ⁃ Leave no trace (LNT) certified
⁃Avy 1/ Companion Rescue ⁃ Avy 2 ⁃ Association of pro ski patrol alumni

 

Alexandra Weber – Guide

Alexandra is a snowshoe guide, nature enthusiast, and a local Taoseña for over 25 years. She loves guiding groups and sharing her love of the mountains and Taos. When not on the trails she enjoys cooking, yoga, gardening, painting, and traveling with friends and family.