Crested Butte

Andy Sovick

Andy is the founder, owner  and publisher of Beacon Guidebooks. A self-professed map-geek, Andy has been skiing Colorado’s backcountry his entire life. Raised on cross-country skis pulled from a dumpster in Fort Collins, he started his ski career following his parent’s tracks along Cameron Pass. Having perfected the classic wobbly telemark turn, and subsequent telemark face-plant, he moved to Durango, where he graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango. He now resides with his wife and son in Gunnison, Colorado. From woodworking to book writing, Andy is a craftsman to the core. He believes that sharing crucial information and photos about skiing the backcountry will help travelers spread out, get inspired to explore, and most importantly, make better and safer decisions.

He shamefully (but happily) admits he finally traded in his telemark gear for proper alpine touring gear.

Berthoud Pass

Rob Writz

Rob began skiing and snowboarding as a teenager in Western Canada then learned how to hold an edge on the mountains of New Hampshire and Vermont. He has an insatiable desire to discover and has been exploring Colorado’s Front Range for over two decades. Rob is the creator of Front Range Ski Mountaineering, an online resource describing the winter backcountry skiing and spring ski mountaineering of Colorado’s Front Range mountains. His backcountry partners do not describe him as the quickest uphill, nor as the most stylish downhill, but they love how he shows up every time ready for more.

Snoqualmie, Baker and Crystal, Hurricane Ridge (ONP)

Matt Schonwald

Matt is the founder of BC Adventure Guides, a certified Ski-Mountaineering Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association and a certified Avalanche Instructor with the American Avalanche Association. He began skiing as disco was dying at New York’s Hunter Mountain, ‘The Snow Making Capital of the World’ and a summer ski trip to Mt Hood inspired him years later to move from New York City to Washington State for college and he never looked back. Matt let his curiosity for steep, wild snow combine with his passion for travel and big mountains lead him to guiding trips to Antarctica, Europe, Asia, North & South America.

In an effort to help preserve wild places, Matt completed his MBA in sustainable business from BGI and started his own company, Back Country Adventure Guides.

Between completing his ‘honey do list’ and enjoying the greatest touring on Earth at Snoqualmie Pass, Matt now shares his passion for snow with his daughter .


Josh Kling

Based in Durango, Colorado, Josh is the owner and lead guide for Kling Mountain Guides. Josh guides all types of rock, alpine climbing, trekking, backcountry skiing, ski mountaineering, and instructs AIARE avalanche courses. His climbing and trekking have taken him around the globe. He is an adjunct faculty member with San Juan College where he instructs numerous courses for their Outdoor Leadership degree. He also instructs courses at Fort Lewis College for the Outdoor Pursuits program. Josh has taught for numerous other nationally recognized organizations as well as working as a guide on Denali. He has completed rock, alpine and ski guide training from the American Mountain Guides Association and is an Aspirant Mountain Guide. He helps coordinate the Flight For Life Avalanche Deployment team in the San Juans and is a Technical Team Member, Training Instructor, and Winter Response Team Coordinator with La Plata County Search and Rescue in Colorado.

Josh worked as a consultant for the Backcountry Skiing: Silverton book and put in a huge amount of time making sure Andy didn’t get anything wrong.

How he fits it all into his life is as much of a mystery as how all those bumper stickers got on his Subaru Legacy way back in college.

Light Tours of Colorado

Lou Dawson

Dawson is a widely published author and professional blogger who specializes in writing about backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He wrote his first of many books over 30 years ago. Lou is well known as the first person to ski down all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks; a feat that went attempted, but not repeated for 16 years. He still does a prodigious amount of ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing, but he does not consider himself an extreme skier. He climbs and skis the high peaks for the joy of exploration, spiritual awe, athletic challenge and fellowship with family and friends.

Avalanche Search and Rescue, A Backcountry Field Guide

Alexis Alloway

Alexis is the author of Avalanche Search and Rescue: A Backcountry Field Guide. A professional member of the American Avalanche Association, she has been teaching avalanche education courses since 2006, including for the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), the Northwest Avalanche Center, Everett Mountain Rescue, Big Sky Backcountry Guides, and the Friends of the Gallatin National Forest Avalanche Center. She served as a volunteer mountain rescuer for nearly a decade, with roles including Winter Training Coordinator, board member, Operations Leader and Field Team Leader. A professional outdoor and classroom-based educator for nearly two decades, Alexis excels at simplifying complex information and giving students tools to make information stick.

Want to write a book for your area?

If you’re interested in joining our team of top-notch authors, feel free to contact us. Andy has created a full set of publishing tools for an author to get his/her information into a great book with relative ease and efficiency.