Andy was born and raised in Fort Collins, cross-country skiing along the northern front range of Colorado with his family. With a strong sense of adventure, he moved to Durango where he graduated with a bachelor’s degree of humanities from Fort Lewis College in 2004. In 2005 he and his now-wife Gail moved to Crested Butte together. While he was a full time timber-framer and father of a 1 year-old, Andy created the “Off-Piste Ski Atlas” for the Crested Butte area in 2013. In 2014, he created the first edition of the “Off-Piste Ski Atlas” for the Silverton zone. In 2015, he founded the publishing company and began helping authors get their own projects, books, and maps from start to finish. He is quick to hand gratitude and responsibility to all of the team members here, and so many other people who have inspired him and helped him along the way.
Gail has been behind the scenes at Beacon Guidebooks since its inception – as a cheerleader, copy editor, sales assistant, booth girl, and consultant. In 2021 she stepped down from a 15 year teaching career and into a full time role with the growing business where she handles all of the wholesale orders, shipping and fulfillment, book-keeping, customer service, website maintenance and more. Her ability to take on new challenges and her keen sense of organization is helping Andy stay focused on working with new authors to expand products two-fold in 2022. Also an artist, Gail serves as the President of the Board of Directors for the Gunnison Arts Center. When Gail is not in the office, she’s out in the mountains with her family and friends or digging in her garden.
Keitha started working with Beacon Guidebooks before it was a thing! She’ll never forget meeting with Andy about the very first book (Crested Butte) and how nervous they were about unleashing this information about the wild, into the wild. It has been a fun journey watching it grow into a widely-respected publishing company. With a BFA in Graphic Design from Colorado State University, Keitha moved to Crested Butte, Colorado, in 2005 and never left. After the mountain town multi-job hustle, she landed a position at Crested Butte Printing, gaining years of invaluable experience. Over the past decade she’s been freelance designing for a myriad of local clients with the occasional national or international gig. Keeping it small has allowed for a healthy life/work balance, with plenty of time to enjoy adventure, travel and skiing around the world.
It’s rare to see Alex without a camera bag on his back! Whether it’s mountain biking with friends, backcountry skiing, or a casual jaunt, he’s always carrying the extra weight to get that next great shot. Many of Alex’s favorite photo shoots have involved researching the Milky Way and finding out when it is perfectly aligned, and staying up all night to witness his artwork come to life. Originally from Evergreen, Colorado, Alex’s passion for skiing and mountain biking landed him in Breckenridge, where he learned how to fly drones and soon became a FAA Certified Drone Pilot with a Remote Pilot License. In 2016, he founded Summit Aerial Media and later Alex Neuschaefer Photography. Adventure travel has taken Alex to Argentina, Cuba, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Japan where he has photographed and filmed diverse landscapes, architecture, and experiences. When Alex is not out biking or skiing, he enjoys yoga and growing peppers in his garden.
Farid Tabaian is the Owner/Operator and Chief Cartographer of Singletrack Maps. A Colorado Native, you can find Farid spending his free time riding singletrack with his wife and enjoying hikes with his cattle dog. Singletrack Maps was established in 2009 and creates printed trail maps for areas throughout Colorado. In addition to folded trail maps, they offer large format map prints of select areas like Crested Butte and Golden / Denver Metro Foothills. Singletrack Maps has created base map cartography for Beacon Guidebooks since 2014. “It has been really fun partnering with Beacon Guidebooks. Their approach to mapping backcountry recreation and travel smart / travel safe techniques really help to educate all user types” says Tabaian.
Emma holds a master’s degree in outdoor and environmental education from Alaska Pacific University. She has worked as a camp counselor, avalanche educator, raft guide, horse groom, kindergarten wrangler, and cocktail waitress. In addition to a decade as an itinerant outdoor educator and gal-of-all-trades, she is a writer whose work has appeared in Outside, Powder (RIP), and on The Dirtbag Diaries. Most recently, Emma is the author of Dead Reckoning: Learning from Accidents in the Outdoors (Falcon 2021), as well as the editor of two volumes of The Snowy Torrents. She has been copyediting Beacon manuscripts since summer 2021 and currently makes her home in Boise, Idaho with her husband, two very good dogs, and a handful of backyard chickens. You can read some of her work at emmarwalker.com.
Ashley joined the team in 2020 when she began pulling weeds and planting seeds in Andy and Gail’s gardens in Gunnison while working on her masters degree at Western Colorado University. From gardening, grew food and friendship and she started getting involved with Beacon by editing, then working on web development, and has since taken on a multitude of different projects within Beacon.
Originally from Oregon, she fell in love with the mountains of Colorado, and summits in general. She can often be found on a high trail somewhere hiking or climbing, the more technical the better. The girl just can’t sit still; she’s been to 48 countries, hiked all the 14ers in Colorado in two years, has climbed 23 state highpoints and a handful of country highpoints as well.