(800) 385-1416


12516 W 8th PL Golden, CO 80401, CO

Summit Ascents International, LLC Copyright 2019

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Summit Ascents International is an authorized mountain guide service of Shoshone National Forest, Jefferson County Colorado and Boulder County Colorado

Our People 

Eric Whewell

Lead Guide

Eric Whewell comes to SAI with 16 years in the guiding industry. He is certified through the American Mountain Guides Association in Rock, Alpine, and Ski Mountaineering disciplines, attaining IFMGA/UIAGM status in 2013. He is a part of the instructor team for the AMGA and also serves on the AMGA Technical Committee. Eric will work with SAI to meet our AMGA requirements, mentor and train guides, guide in various SAI permitted areas, and help drive our climbing programs as a whole. SAI is elated to have Eric on board and look forward to building out our guided services under his expertise and supervision!

Markus Beck

Alpine World Ascents: Partner Guide Service

SAI Guides has teamed up with Markus Beck to help offer trips in the Alps. These trips are offered directly through Markus's company Alpine World Ascents. He is an AMGA/SBV/IFMGA certififed professional Swiss-American ski & mountain guide, specializing in custom designed instruction and guiding, dedicated to your mountain adventures locally and around the globe!

Nadia Kimmel

Desert Mountain Medicine: Guide/Medical Consultant

SAI Guides has teamed up with Desert Mountain Medicine for Risk management and medical consulting. DMM has been helping training guide services in wilderness medicine Instruction since 1998. Their teaching approach heavily favors hands-on, scenario-based practice taught in a wilderness setting. We pride ourselves on the dynamic delivery of course curriculum using innovative educational techniques and integrative scenarios. We strive to deliver professional courses that are rich in quality, consistency, and effectiveness while still having fun “in the classroom.”

Mike Schneiter

Consultant Guide

SAI Guides has teamed up with Consultant Guide Mike Schneiter for mentoring, and guiding service consulting. He has climbed extensively throughout North America since 1997 and has been involved in instructing and guiding climbers since 1999. With notable ascents of famed rock climbs like El Cap and the first ascentionist of over 250 routes in Colorado and Utah, Mike has made climbing a big part of his life and is eager to share that love with others. Mike has been a member of the American Mountain Guides Association since 2003 and is a certified Rock Guide and Single Pitch Instructor Assistant Provider. He has also successfully completed the Ice Instructor and Alpine Guide Courses. He was the recipient of the Petzl AMGA Scholarship in 2012 and continues to be active with the American Safe Climbing Association, Mike has rebolted hundreds of bolts and helped maintain dozens of routes  in Colorado and Utah. During the school year he teaches rock and ice climbing, canyoneering and climbing self rescue courses for Colorado Mountain College in addition to working with various groups on low and high ropes course initiatives with their Foundations of Sustainability in Leadership program. He also teaches wilderness medicine for Desert Mountain Medicine. He is also a high school teacher of Social Studies and Outdoor Education at Glenwood Springs High School and sponsor of the HS climbing club and team. Mike was a longtime coach of the high school cross country team and is an avid runner himself. He has been sponsored as part of Brooks’ Inspire Daily running program since 2006.

Eva Vaitkus


Eva grew up in Prague, Czech Republic and spent her childhood backpacking, skiing and ski touring around Europe with her family. After finishing her college degree in business management and finance she realized an office job wasn't her calling and in 1995 she moved to Whistler, Canada to become a professional ski bum. She spent her time on Canadian glaciers ski mountaineering and the summers tearing down mountain bike trails of the Pacific Northwest or base jumping off cliffs around British Columbia. Ultramarathon running has been a huge part of her life with 21 100 mile race finishes and countless shorter distance races as well. In 2005 opportunity arose to make a move to Colorado and rest is history. These days Eva and her partner Todd spend their time doing technical scrambling and couloir climbing up Colorado's 14ers and 13ers, backpacking, hiking, alpine climbing, rock climbing, ice climbing, canyoning , canyoneering , mountaineering and ski mountaineering. She also sails all over the world including, Bolivia, Ecuador, European Alps, Japan, New Zealand and Australia just to name few. Eva's quest for being a safe and proficient outdoor enthusiast got her level I and II avalanche certification, she completed basic and advanced crevasse rescue courses and is an active member of Routt County Search and Rescue team where she regularly trains in ropes rescue techniques, wilderness survival, first aid, backcountry navigation and snow safety.

Sean Durrum


Sean is a Colorado native with over 37 years of climbing and mountaineering experience. Sean's love for mountains started at early age when as a 10 year old started and eventually finished climbing all of Colorado's 14ers and did many other technical alpine climbs and scrambles around the state. During college, Sean spent most of his free time rock climbing around Boulder area and eventually started a small private guiding and climbing school, consulting work and conducted climbing seminars for REI. Sean used to be active in technical caving and exploration and spent many years volunteering for Rocky Mountain Rescue Group where he learned advanced high angle rescue techniques. Over the years Sean has obtained certifications in rock and ice climbing, high altitude mountaineering, ski mountaineering and has AIARG level I & II certifications. Sean's pursuit of climbing adventures has brought him to places like Bolivia, Peru, Washington State and he has climbed countless crags throughout the US. Presently you can find Sean climbing technical alpine routes, ice climbing, high altitude mountaineering, ski mountaineering, canyoning, canyoneering, mountain biking and still testing his skills at crags throughout Colorado. Sean's ambition is to continue climbing and attempt summits in Alaska and Himalayas.

Brad Hodge


Brad is a Colorado native and cut his teeth in the Rocky Mountains, loading up in the family car as a kid and setting off on unplanned adventures.  Since then, he has explored many avenues of playing outdoors professionally, working as a volunteer Wildland Firefighter, a Whitewater Rafting Guide and a Colorado State Park Ranger.  He has earned over a dozen safety and skills certifications, including Wilderness First Responder, Avalanche Safety and Winter Wilderness Survival.   Brad chases his passions and maintains the pursuit of adventure at the forefront of his life.  He savors the unmatched calm that can be found above 14,000 feet and is on a quest to answer the call of every summit, and moving up to bigger mountains in foreign lands.  As he continues to build towards his IFMGA certification, Brad is enjoying sharing his knowledge and experience, and is always learning from those that come to call themselves Mountaineers.

Dan Hunter


Dan has always had a passion for adventure. After a six month self guided trekking trip through the Andes, he realized climbing high altitude remote peaks was one of his main goals in life. Moving to Boulder, CO to pursue his dream, he immediately began sport climbing along the front range, soloing the flatirons, and climbing all the 14ers in Colorado. Dan quickly progressed to snow and alpine ice climbs in Rocky Mountain National Park, leading trad and ice, and high altitude scrambles and runs. Dan received his wilderness first responder from NOLS in the summer of 2016 and began working for Avid 4 Adventure teaching youth rock climbing and outdoor survival skills. His progression has continued with becoming an experienced ski mountaineer, along with taking on longer more committed ice and rock routes in the mountains.

Aaron Henriquez


While he is not surfing, spearfishing or making peanut butter jellies, Aaron is probably planning his next extraordinary adventure in the mountains. Aaron likes to spend his time fly-fishing, playing guitar and discovering new ways to entertain himself either at sea level, or altitude. Aaron was born in the Colorado Rockies, but grew up in the deep deep south, in the Republic of Panama. Guiding has been in his blood for generations. Whether it is crossing the sea in a tropical storm, or helping neighbors find the best pizza in town, Aaron loves to share a good experience. Rock climbing has been his primary focus for the past 5 years. He particularly craves days in the Alpine that include, but are not limited to, sleeping under rocks, on rocks, or in his personal truck bed hotel. Aaron is also a wood worker and carpenter. He trains for the coldest days by hammering nails in the deep of winter. His passion for philosophy and life make for a good climbing partner. He has completed his AMGA Rock Guide Course, and has dreams of one day becoming a fully certified IFMGA guide. Aaron likes to have fun, and more importantly he likes to share the fun and build lasting memories with his friends and clients.

Tendi Sherpa

Partner, Guide and Director at TagNepal

SAI Guides has teamed up with TagNepal for our Nepal trips. Tendi Shepa was born in the village of Khembalung, a mountainous region of Sankhuwasabha District of Nepal in 1983. Following the footsteps of his mountaineer father, he started his trekking and mountaineering career when he was just 13 years. In 20 years’ time, his juvenile involvement in the field turned into his passion, profession and achievement. Now, he is an IFMGA/UIAGM Certified Mountain Guide with 12 successful summits of Mt. Everest and years of mountaineering and trekking experiences in the Himalaya, Europe (Alps), South America (Andes) and China. In addition, he is also a high altitude rescue professional. He took rescue training on Longline Helicopter rescue in 2011 at Sion, Switzerland by Air Glacier, FXB, Bagnoud du Sauvetage, Maison Francois. Since then, he has also been involving in various rescue missions in Nepal and abroad.


Business Director at Tag Nepal

SAI Guides has teamed up with TagNepal for our Nepal trips. Sagar Poudyal is an experienced professional in tour, trekking and expedition operations with more than 10 years of experience. After his graduation in Masters’ Degree of Business Administration, he started his professional career as an auditing practitioner in one of the highly reputed chartered accounting firms. Later, he grew an interest in adventure operations and joined the field of travel and adventure industry in 2004. Since then, he has been successfully operating numerous Tours, Treks and Expeditions including the highly ambitious operations in Mt. Everest, Mt. Lhotse, Mt. Cho Oyu and Mt. Manaslu. He has valuable experiences of working with highly acclaimed international Adventure Outfitters including Benegas Brothers Expedition Inc. Utha, USA; Mountain Madness Inc, Seattle, USA; Rainier Mountaineering Inc, Seattle, USA etc.


Pakistan Trekking and Guide

Coming soon!


Pakistan Trekking and Guide

Coming soon!

Scott Halpenny

Owner/VP of Operations

Scott's background is in Business/IT consulting and built Summit Ascents International from the ground up. Scott's lived his life in the mountains from an early age, by starting to snow ski at age 14. He told his Father while in Breckenridge at age 15, that after he graduated from high school he was going to come to Colorado and become a mountain guide. After school, he went a different route with an undergrad in psych and an MBA in Enterprise IT management and Finance. He spent most of his career helping fortune 500 companies rebuild business and IT processes throughout the world, including clients such as Bank of New York Mellon, First Data Services, and even Petzl and Osprey. He finally fulfilled his life long dream by building SAI and working to better the industry as a whole through business innovation. Scott is an avid ice/rock climber, backcountry skier, back packer, 14er/13er bagger, starting to add big mountains to the list, and 2019-2020 looking to add paragliding to the mix in hopes of speed flying off his peaks! Generally anything in the mountains he will try or do. He plans to take the AMGA SPI course and exam when not running operations for the organization, but prefers to keep the certification dollars for this team!

Kendra Miller

Global Operations Manager/Alpine Fitness Trainer

Born and raised in Colorado, Kendra grew up in the mountains. Spending many summer weekends on adventures, camping or hiking with the family! At an early age she was definitely an adventurer at heart with zero fear, earning the nickname 'Daredevil'!Spending all of her school days in track and cross country, she decided to take that passion to the mountains. She ended up falling completely in love with trail running, realizing it was a quick and fun way to explore new unknown areas. She ran her first Ultra marathon in 2008, and now has many under her belt! Kendra is also a Yogi, and has been practicing for 20 years now. Last year she took the next step in her Yoga journey by taking her YTT to get certified to teach! Once being a guide for trail runs, and now teaching yoga- She has a dream to start a class that combines the 2 YoRunGa! She also started climbing a few years ago where one of our guides Alex had first given her lessons. Spending a fair amount of time on the walls at the gym and outside, she has a big desire to continue improving her skills outdoors in all sports! Forever holding a huge desire to learn and grow!