Ryder-Walker guides are professionals who work in the outdoor industry year round. They have various outdoor qualifications, from UIAGM and AMGA professional mountain guides, to certified ski instructors and professional ski patrollers. Additionally, they have completed medical certifications including EMT and Wilderness First Responder. At a minimum all guides have current first aid and CPR.
Of course certifications mean nothing if you don’t know where you are going. Our new hiking guides apprentice under a head guide before they lead a trip themselves. You will find your head guide very familiar with the local terrain, regional culture, food and customs, and conversational in at least one of the principal languages of the region. Second guides accompany most hiking trips (except those with very low group numbers) and work under direction of the head guide. They often offer alternative hikes or lead at a different pace to meet the needs of hikers of different aptitudes. Because our guides are knowledgeable and our guide to client ratio is so low-- usually 1:5 or less-- we can accommodate all levels of ability and often provide exciting and impromptu options along the way.
Beyond their professional qualifications, our guides are widely traveled and experienced in outdoor pursuits. In their free time you will find them mountaineering, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, backcountry skiing and exploring wilderness mountain areas around the globe. Some of our guides undertake extraordinary adventures and expeditions. Ask them where they have been!
In short, our guides are great people to be with. All the certifications, experience and knowledge in the world do not make a great guide, personality does. Our guides are adventuresome and free spirited individuals who share their knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to enhance your adventure and enjoyment of your travels. Our guests consistently compliment us on our choice of guides, and their scores on our review sheets regularly reconfirm our faith in them. We are proud of our staff and committed to building a real “dream team” of adventure leadership professionals! Allow us to introduce some of our guides:
Peter founded Ryder-Walker in 1984 after working seven years guiding hiking trips in the Alps. He is an AMGA professional mountain guide and, in addition to leading hiking trips, guides rock, ice, mountaineering and ski mountaineering trips. He is a PSIA fully certified alpine, telemark and snowboard instructor and has completed EMT and professional avalanche training.
Ken started leading hiking trips in Switzerland and Austria more than 14 years ago. He has completed the Wilderness First Responder course and is a PSIA full certified ski instructor and a certified level II snowboard instructor. During the winter he teaches skiing and guides trips into the backcountry at the Telluride ski resort, and in his free time climbs big alpine peaks and skis down them with wienerschnitzel in his back pocket. He has an uncanny ability to meet local people wherever he travels.
An engineer by training, an internationally certified ski instructor and examiner by trade and a Swede by birth, Daniel contributes a unique perspective to our guiding team. He is an avid hiker and climber and has traveled extensively throughout Europe. His fun-loving hijinx and cool head make him and ideal hiking companion and trip leader. He is fluent in English and German in addition to his native Swedish and speaks some French. He is also a certified AMGA Guide and Ryder-Walker's trip development director.
Melanie joined the Ryder-Walker Team a few years ago, but we'd be hard pressed to call her a newcomer. Guided by her previous career in marketing and tourism, as well as tapping the experience that stems from a long list of outdoor pursuits, Melanie jumped into her role as managing director without skipping a beat. When she's not directing the day-to-day operations of the company, Melanie jets off to Italy for a macchiato and a long hike.
Chris P., as he's known around the Ryder-Walker office, joined our company 12 years ago. He holds degrees in public relations and French and, like most Ryder-Walker guides, spends most of his spare time traveling and exploring wild places. He is a Wilderness First Responder, a certified Switzerland Network Specialist, an avid hiker and backpacker, a cyclist, and a paddler. Before Ryder-Walker, Chris led canoe trips through remote wilderness regions of Manitoba and Ontario, Canada. He also taught snowboarding for 11 years and attended school in France. Chris handled Ryder-Walker's day-to-day operations for 7 years and is now the company's director of communications.
Mike didn't waste any time when he moved from New England to Colorado to pursue his climbing aspirations. Ten years of climbing, mountaineering and skiing later, Telluride, CO is home and Ryder-Walker his family. Mike has a degree in Outdoor Education and additional certifications including Wilderness First Responder and AMGA rock climbing instructor. Mike is also a member of Telluride Search and Rescue and when he's not guiding in the Alps, he continues to seek out new experiences like becoming a certified EMT and guiding on North America's tallest peak. The only thing Mike loves almost as much as being in the mountains is a strong espresso on main street with his bulldog, June.
A 3rd generation Colorado native, Nicole knew she would forever be connected to a life of work and play in the mountains. En route, she earned a Bachelors in Integrative Physiology from The University of Colorado, Boulder and a passion for cooking and the outdoors. Establishing herself in Telluride lead Nicole to hone her skills as personal trainer, wellness chef, cyclist, guide and travel consultant for Ryder Walker Alpine Adventures. What could be more satisfying then that? Not much, but everyone likes a really good hug and she gives the best this side of the Mississippi.
This powder 8 ski champion honed his alpine skills straight from the womb in a small country hamlet of Austria. With a family to instill the love for the outdoors, Willi finished his studies and swiftly left the nest to explore that same love his family instilled for hiking, skiing and alpinism around the world. Willi eventually landed in Telluride, where he met the love of his life and mother to his child. Joining the guiding team at Ryder Walker has reconnected him to his roots in the Alps. When Willi is not teaching his little one German or frolicking in the mountains, he can be found drooling over vintage cars, bikes, anything old really, and of course, not without a frosty beer in hand.
At 28, this handsome Swede calls the world home. Staffan is never found couch surfing, rather constantly excelling at his passions for skiing, climbing, and adventure racing. As a self-employed brand, Staffan is not only the youngest guide at RW, but a fully certified ski instructor. Having the freedom to work anywhere, he eventually found Telluride and Ryder Walker. His ambition is high in hopes of becoming a certified UIAGM Mountain Guide and a professional athlete. On and off the trail, Staffan is witty, always full of energy and will crush anyone in a timed mile.
Barbara 'Babsi' Glanznig
Born with brains and brawn, this blonde bombshell was raised in the countryside of Austria where her and brother Willi’s sandbox was the great outdoors. Babsi eventually traded the mountains of Austria for the concrete jungle of Vienna to study law. When she was not in court, she could be found cooking for friends in her small city apartment, creating delicious meals inspired by her Oma. Having this creative outlet lead her to put the law aside in order to satisfy her hunger to travel the world, climbing, skiing, hiking and eventually becoming a certified Ashtanga teacher. Brother Willi and her reunited in Telluride in 2009, where like him lead her to Ryder Walker, re-planting her roots back to the Alps. Babsi is an open book of talent and proves that growing up in the outdoors leads to greatness. When she is not winning the Powder 8 Ski Championsips, she is on her yoga mat saluting the mountains in gratitude.
Group Image|Top Row Left-Right: Peter Walker, Daniel Sundqvist, Melanie Eggers, Chris Pranskatis, Catherine Pranskatis, Wilfried Glanznig, Mike Thurk, Barbara 'Babsi' Glanznig. Bottom Row Left-Right: Ken Fuhrer, Angelika Klarenfjord, Porter Teegarden, Ace Kvale, Nicole Nugent, Dave Gruss, Staffan Björkland, Annica Abbott.