Guides & Staff

Wild Alpine is a small team of mountain professionals and support staff. We are mountaineers, skiers and splitboarders, educators, and world travelers. Guides and instructors are hand picked based on their commitment to safety, athleticism, professional development, and exploration in Alaska’s vast mountain country. Most are year-round Alaskan residents dedicated to the northern lifestyle, others are select pros from the lower 48 and around the world who join our team during the height of the mountaineering and ski seasons.

Wild Alpine professionals are trained and/or certified by accredited institutions including the American Mountain Guides Association. Their skills meet or exceed AMGA industry standards.

“Eli was a soft-spoken man, cautious – the way you’d want a mountain guide to be … He led us through pines and around the detritus of an avalanche … scampering up blue ice the way a cat might ascend the drapes…”
- Ethan Todras-Whitehill, New York Times


Eli Potter owns Wild Alpine and is Lead Mountaineering and Ski Mountaineering Guide

Eli Potter, Co-Owner
Lead Mountaineering & Ski Mountaineering Guide
Eli is an accomplished mountain guide. He guides peaks throughout Alaska including legends of the Wrangell, St. Elias and Alaska Ranges. A life devoted to exploring the white places of the world earned him countless first ascents and descents. Wild Alpine is the result of Eli’s dedication to traversing the deepest glaciated landscapes. He is pursuing full AMGA/IFMGA Certification.


aria thomases owns and manages wild alpine guides in alaskaAria Thomases, Co-Owner
Operations Manager
Aria is dedicated to facilitating extraordinary adventures in Alaska’s most outstanding destinations. Her experience in diverse aspects of adventure travel spans six continents (one more on the bucket list!) and her favorite, home state of Alaska. Aria is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon and field instructor for the National Outdoor Leadership School.


wilderness ski ambassador andrew mclean ski mountaineering icon guides for wild alpine in wrangell st elias national park alaskaAndrew McLean
Professional Ski Mountaineer, Technical Climbing Equipment Designer, Wilderness Skiing Ambassador
Andrew McLean is a connoisseur of steep, remote ski descents. This passion has taken him to all seven continents, where he has carved first descents in places such as Baffin Island, Antarctica, Iran and Morocco. As a ski mountaineer, he climbs peaks before skiing them and his expeditions often involve spending weeks camped in cold, snowy locations. As a veteran of over twenty expeditions and hundreds of first descents, Powder Magazine voted McLean as One of the Greatest Skiers of Our Time. By profession, McLean designs mountain climbing equipment and uses many of his own inventions while skiing. He is also the author of The Chuting Gallery — A Guide to Steep Skiing in the Wasatch Mountains, which was the first skiing guidebook devoted exclusively to steep skiing in America. Andrew’s first trip to Alaska was in 1995 when he climbed and skied the Messner Couloir on Denali. Since then, he has returned to Alaska five times and considers it his favorite place to ski. Andrew lives with his wife, Polly, two daughters, and one old Yellow Labrador in Park City, Utah. To learn more about Andrew, visit his website:


Tyler Reid guides for wild alpine in wrangell st elias national park alaskaTyler Reid
AMGA Certified Ski Guide
A native of the PNW, Tyler has an extensive background in the mountains. He’s guided climbing and ski mountaineering trips in Wrangell-St Elias National Park and the Alaska Range, including two Denali expeditions. Outside of Alaska, he’s guided the North Cascades, Olympic Mountains, and on Mount Rainier, in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains, and internationally. He is an AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide and an AIARE Level 1 and 2 course instructor.


AMGA Certified Ski Mountaineering Guide Erin Smart

Erin Smart
AMGA Certified Ski Guide
Erin is a Seattle native who’s dedicated her life to skiing and climbing. She grew up exploring the Cascades of Washington State and has since spent several winters ski mountaineering in La Grave and Chamonix, France. Erin graduated magna cum laude from Western Washington University. She is an AMGA certified ski mountaineering guide, and is pursing the full AMGA/IFMGA certification.


wild alpine guide seth waterfall

Seth Waterfall
Mountaineering & Ski Mountaineering Guide
Seth specializes in expeditions to wild and remote places including summits in Nepal, Antarctica, Alaska, Africa, Ecuador and Argentina and the Cascades. Seth has recorded ascents of many alpine grade V ice climbs in the US and Canada, ski descents of many major peaks, including Mt. McKinley. He is proud to be sponsored by Eddie Bauer and Whittaker Mountaineering.


Matty Smith guides for Wild Alpine Guides in Wrangell-St Elias National Park, AlaskaMatty Smith
Mountaineering & Ski Mountaineering Guide
Matty has been climbing and skiing in Alaska since the early 1990′s. He loves exploring AK with people from all over the world. His career includes: heliski guiding in Valdez and Haines, climbing in the Alaska Range, working as a mountaineer for the United States Antarctic Program. Matty has made his home in the Wrangells since 1995 and is still skiing and climbing new lines every year!


Nick D’AlessioNick D'Alessio guides for Wild Alpine Guides and Outfitters in Wrangell St Elias National Park, Alaska
AMGA Certified Ski Guide
Nick began climbing and skiing mountains as soon as he could walk. He lives in Girdwood, Alaska where he is a year round climbing and ski guide and educator. Along with his extensive experience base he is a certified Wilderness First Responder, Avalanche Level 3, Leave No Trace Master Educator and has earned his Ski Guide Certification through the AMGA.


julian jules hanna guides for wild alpine in wrangell st elias national park alaskaJulian Hanna
Mountaineering & Splitboard Mountaineering Guide
Julian guides throughout Alaska including Wrangell-St Elias Ranges, Denali and heli-ski adventures in the Coastal Range. He is a climbing/skiing ranger on Mount Rainier. Julian’s experience includes field instruction for the United States Antarctic Program, Antarctic Search and Rescue and expedition consulting. Steep lines and stable snowpack keep him coming back to Alaska.


Chris_SmithChris Smith
Mountaineering & Ski Mountaineering Guide
Chris has made notable achievements in the mountains including the Hans Saari memorial grant for alpine exploration in 2008, guiding clients to the summit of Denali, and summiting then skiing Mt. Blackburn (16,400ft). His enthusiasm for mountaineering and skiing is infectious. Chris lives in McCarthy, AK with is wife-to-be, Kirin and their dog IO Bones.


Sking and Climbing guide Edward MooreEdward Moore
Mountaineering & Ski Mountaineering Guide
Born a South Carolinian, Ed moved to Alaska in 2009 to pursue adventures in the mountains, and to attend Alaska Pacific University. He is an avid rock climber, ice climber, backcountry skier, and mountaineer.



samantha haedrich is the creative director for wild alpine guides in alaska

Samantha Haedrich
Creative Director
Samantha is a graphic designer based in Portland, Maine. She recently designed the book Building Knowledge In Architecture for the University Press Antwerp and worked with the Government of South Australia’s Thinker in Residence Program. Samantha holds an undergraduate degree from Carnegie Mellon and an MFA from Yale School of Art. She is an Adjunct Professor at Maine College of Art.