craig van hoy world climbing and trek expert at Go Trek Trekking and Mountain Guide Home Mexico Mountain and Volcano Guide Belize Mountain Guide Equador Trekking Guide Machu Pichu Trekking Guide Bolivia Mountain Guide Argentina Mountain Guide Russia Mountain Guide Everest Trekking Guide Kilimanjaro Trekking Guide Indonesia Trekking Guide Climb Mt. Rainier and other Pacific Northwest Mountains Contact GoTrek to start your next guided trekking adventure!

About GoTrek

Reliability, consistency, personality. Choosing a professional, especially one you will live with on a mountainside, needs those qualities . . . and more. When you take precious time out of your busy schedule and invest hard-earned dollars into a special adventure, you deserve climbing guides who are experienced, knowledgeable, certified - and also know how to tell a good joke! In the dynamic, ever-changing environment of international climbing and alpine adventures, you also want a company like Go Trek and its irrepressible leader, Craig Van Hoy. He has mountaineering, cultural and environmental awareness, and approaches each climb with contagious enthusiasm. Go Trek’s reputation has brought repeat clientele for both international expeditions and domestic trips - a testament that Craig and his climbing guides are simply the very best in the business.

Craig Van Hoy

Craig, born and raised in a South Seattle community bordering Puget Sound, began his mountaineering career as a teenager by climbing virtually every peak in the Cascades and Olympic mountains. His first international trip, made at age 20, was the ascent of a peak in the Indian Himalayas. Since then, he has reached the summit of Mt. Rainier more than 300 times and has personally lead more than 60 successful treks and climbs in Mexico, South America, Asia, Africa, Europe and Antarctica. Craig has participated on impressive expeditions to climb the world's highest mountains including Mt. Everest from the north side in 1987 and again in 1991. In 1989, he was a member of the first American team to reach the summit of Kangchenjunga, the world's third highest mountain.

In recent years, Craig's greatest accomplishment has been watching clients improve their mountaineering skills and climb mountains around the world. In the spring of 2001, two of his clients reached the summit of Mt. Everest, including Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind climber to scale that peak.

Combining a love for the outdoors with passion to see people succeed, Craig's philosophy is for all participants to come away from each trip with a greater appreciation for the mountains and a better understanding of the many cultures we visit. He is one of the select few American mountain guides fluent in both Spanish and Nepali – the primary language of Nepal. Craig lives with his two energetic children, Josiah and Bethany.

Craig is a Certified Alpine Guide by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA).

GoTrek Guides

  • Rómulo Cardenas

    photo: Rómulo CardenasRomulo is one of the most experienced professional mountain guides in Ecuador and one of the pioneers of mountain guiding in the Ecuadorian Andes and beyond. His reputation and passion for the mountains drove Craig Van Hoy and Go Trek to enlist his special services. He climbs and guides not for the job, but to help participants fulfill their dreams and find new routes and new personal summits. Romulo is fluent in English and has been climbing and leading groups around the world for more than 30 years. During his vast mountaineering career, Rómulo became the first Ecuadorian to reach the summit of Mount Vinson and Denali. In addition, he’s an avid photographer, focusing his camera on Andean culture, flora and fauna of Ecuador.

  • Carlos Escobar

    photo: Carlos EscobarWhen Go Trek and Craig Van Hoy travel to South America, they typically utilize Carlos’ expertise. Carlos, fully certified by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA), directs a variety of climbing programs in Bolivia, his native country, and has climbed extensively throughout South America. A 20-year veteran of mountain guiding, Carlos was president of the Association of Bolivian Mountain Guides and is a UIAGM/UIAA certified International Mountain Guide. He has ascended Illimani more than 40 times, Huayna Potosi 70 times, Sajama 20 times, Illampu 12 times and Jancohuma 15 times. He has vast experience on the popular Peruvian peaks (Ausangate, Huascaran, Alpamayo), Ecuadorian peaks (Chimborazo, Cotopaxi, Cayambe) and has made seven trips to Aconcagua. Carlos has also assisted several scientific expeditions in the Bolivian Andes organized by the Climate System Research Center of the University of Massachusetts. The aim of these expeditions was to maintain the world’s highest satellite-linked weather station on the summits of Sajama and Illimani.

  • Matt Farmer

    photo: Matt FarmerGo Trek’s Craig Van Hoy recruited Matt because the man can do it all – and he’s got that “can’t wait” enthusiasm to get on the next mountain. Farmer has a solid background in all disciplines of climbing and particularly enjoys long alpine rock and ice climbs as well as ski-mountaineering. And, speaking of rocks, he’ll be the first to tell you that he earned a B.S. in Geology, which allows him to "B.S. about geology as long as you want." Matt welcomes the chance to share with others the challenges and subsequent rewards of moving through technical terrain in the mountains. Level III avalanche certification and medical training such as EMT and OEC certifications complement his diverse skills as a climber and guide. These qualifications form a core of competence which ensures a fun time in the mountains whatever the itinerary. Matt is IFMGA certified and is working on his full AMGA certification.

  • Doug Ironside

    photo: Doug IronsideDoug’s uncanny ability to communicate his knowledge of outdoor recreation skills to climbers and trekkers of all ages was a logical fit for Go Trek and Craig Van Hoy. Doug’s vast experience in snow sports ranging from snowshoeing to skiing allows all outdoors enthusiasts to become more adventurous in a safer manner. He’s been guiding outdoor recreation in the Pacific Northwest for more than 20 years and his avalanche safety class has brought national acclaim. Doug takes his clients beyond basic “snow science” to study how avalanches form, where they form and how to assess their potential. In addition, he explores the human behavior related to avalanches - how decisions are made, how groups operate, how real or perceived "peer pressure" is best handled on the slopes. Doug is the co-facilitator of the annual Outdoor Orientation Odyssey at Reed College in Portland.

  • Arnold Pedrosa

    photo: Arnold PedrosaAll of our Go Trek clients who join us for a Mexican trip are treated to Arnold’s historical and cultural expertise not only in Mexico City but also in the colonial town of Puebla. Arnold, a native Mexican, serves as Go Trek’s cultural tour guide and has earned degrees in Cultural Anthropology and History from the University of San Diego and continues to learn and teach near his home in Mexico City. While many visitors are overwhelmed with the cultural logistics of historic areas, Arnold has ushered Craig Van Hoy’s customers to the “can’t-miss” parks, cathedrals, and famous places of Mexico for eight years. He knows the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City like the back of his hand and accompanies our guests even in the mountains. Arnold has done some scrambling and trekking on his own, having reached the summit of 14,121-foot La Malinche with the Go Trek group in 2002.

  • Alaina Robertson

    photo: Alaina RobertsonWhile born and raised in Seattle, Alaina spent a significant amount of her climbing life away from home. While her passion for climbing – the spark that moved Craig Van Hoy to hand-pick her as a Go Trek partner - has taken her all over the world, she has chosen to spend most of her time in Latin America and India. Alaina has trained with the Indian Army in their Himalayan mountaineering program and has done her fair share of rock climbing in Central America which led to her participation in one of Guatemala's adventure television programs. Her interest and fascination with ice climbing has taken her to legendary international destinations along with well-known sites in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Washington, New York, New Hampshire and Maine. She completed a successful winter ascent of Maine’s Mount Katahdin, the northern terminus of the Appalachian Trail and the most challenging peak in the Appalachian Mountains. Closer to home, she has guided and climbed virtually all the distinguished peaks in the Pacific Northwest has more than 30 ascents of Mt. Rainier. Alaina holds a variety of certifications, including B-3 Helicopter and Wilderness First Responder. She also enjoys hiking, skiing, snowboarding, caving and circus ribbon acrobatics, manages an indoor rock wall and is completing a degree in International Studies at Middlebury College.

  • John Rust

    photo: John RustWhen it comes to calming anxious climbers on a difficult rock mass, John has few peers. John’s patience, good humor, kind disposition and experience make him a natural teacher and a terrific member of Craig Van Hoy’s Go Trek team of guides and instructors. A veteran mountaineer, John is a professional rock climbing instructor and ski coach with an accomplished race history to his own credit. He’s led multiple rock, ice and alpine climbs in the Tetons, Bugaboos, Dolomites, Swiss Alps and Alaska. He has been the lead guide in dozens of international expeditions – including a 2003 Lhotse excursion - and has reached the summit of many or Europe’s remarkable peaks, including Mt. Blanc, Matterhorn, and Monte Rose along with Antarctica’s Vinson Massif and Alaska’s Mt. McKinley.

  • Lisa Rust

    photo: Lisa RustLisa’s expertise in Northwest climbing, coupled with her impressive international experience, makes her an ideal leader for Go Trek’s clients. Rust has worked as a professional mountain and rock-climbing guide since 1995 and has over 50 ascents of Mt. Rainier and numerous ascents of glaciated peaks in the Pacific Northwest. She has also guided six expeditions on Mt. McKinley, climbed and guided on legendary mountains such as Aconcagua, Elbrus, Mt. Blanc, and the Matterhorn. She’s trekked peaks in Nepal and was a guide on Mt. Everest for the American Women's Expedition that reached the south summit in 2002. Lisa, a middle school science teacher in Hood River, Oregon, is a nationally certified EMT and has Level 2 Avalanche Training and Outdoor Emergency Care certification through the National Ski Patrol. When she's not climbing, Lisa enjoys mountain biking, telemark skiing, and spending time with her husband and fellow climber, John Rust.

  • Tino Villanueva

    photo: Tino VillanuevaTino is all about safety and communication – the essential ingredients that drove Go Trek’s Craig Van Hoy to enlist the versatile guide as a partner. Tino knows that the most primary responsibility of a guide is to maintain their client’s safety in an inherently dangerous environment and he’s undergone intensive training to prepare himself for nearly every possible experience. Tino constantly monitors and evaluates terrain, objective hazards, client health, weather conditions and snow stability while providing useful instruction in a very helpful manner. He is also trained and knowledgeable in rescue specific techniques and has aided climbers on Denali, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood and in the Crystal Mountain backcountry requiring extensive evacuation techniques and/or helicopter evacuation. He’s led technical alpine climbs on the North Ridge of Mt. Baker and the Fisher Chimney on Mt. Shuksan. A graduate of the University of Oregon with a degree in Human Physiology and a minor in Chemistry, Tino is also an accomplished musician.

  • Kent Wagner

    photo: Kent WagnerKent’s genuine appreciation of people and cultural is a terrific asset that Go Trek and Craig Van Hoy absolutely wanted to tap. Kent has explored and photographed remote landscapes around the globe visiting familiar and exotic cultures and documenting mankind’s interaction with the natural world. He consistently leads fascinating climbs and treks and returns with images as compelling and unforgettable as the people and places they represent. Kent has spent considerable time guiding on Denali, Kilimanjaro and Aconcagua – several of the Seven Summits of the World; as well leading dozens of successful ascents of Mt. Rainier. He grew up in New Hampshire where his love for the outdoors began while hiking, climbing, skiing and running rivers in the Northeast. After studying music in college he moved west in 1987 to pursue outdoor activities and photography. He has guided more than 100 river trips through Grand Canyon, has lead backcountry skiers in the wilderness of Colorado and Utah, and spent several seasons working as a divemaster in the Andaman Sea west of Thailand. A resident of Boulder, Colorado, his photography work has been featured in numerous outdoor magazines, catalogs and websites. Visit his website at: www.kentwagner.org

  • Brenda Walsh

    photo: Brenda WalshLiving in the Northwest provides not only a variety of climbing and trekking challenges, but it also allows skilled climbers the chance to specialize on a specific peak. While Brenda’s versatility is well known through the region - and one of the main reasons she was asked to join Craig Van Hoy’s Go Trek Expeditions – she has spent about as much time on Mt. Rainier as any consistent guide. She's now a senior guide on Mt. Rainier and expects to reach her 100th summit this summer. Her nine years of professional guiding has taken her to Alaska, Mexico, South America, and this spring to the Himalayas. Her certifications include: WFR, U.S. Avalanche Level III, LNT, and she has a B.A. in Geography (GIS). She is a key program manager for Team Survivor NW in Seattle, a nonprofit providing fitness programs for women cancer survivors. She is also the event manager for an annual fundraising climb on Mt. Rainier that supports the Chris Hooyman Outdoor Education Fund. In her spare time, Brenda likes to telemark, randonee ski, snowboard, rock climb, run, and play soccer.

  • Scott Wazny

    photo: Scott WaznyScott Wazny, a Portland resident and snowboard instructor at Mt. Hood, is one of the reasons Go Trek’s custom climbs are so varied and instructional. Scott has scaled virtually every major peak in the world, including Mt. Everest. Scott has also had recent expeditions to Costa Rica’s Mt. Chrippo and Argentina’s Mt. Aconcagua along with the three highest points on the African continent – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. Kenya, and Mawenzi.

    Scott’s experience in the Swiss and Austrian Alps and other European mountain destinations rivals the resume of any regional climber. His successful summit adventures include: Monte Rosa, (15,290 feet); Matterhorn (14,775), Dom (14,995), Eiger (13,026), Jungfrau (13,642), Monch (13,550), Schrankogel (11,536), Birkkarspitze (9,070), Grossglockner (12,500), Zugspitze (9,780) and Mont Blanc (15,775).

    Craig Van Hoy’s ability to lure versatile climbers with international experience makes the Go Trek calendar of adventures as complete as any in the country.

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If you are ready to get going and want to speed the process along, complete the steps below.

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    Minimum International Group Size: Land costs for International departures are priced with a minimum group size of five participants. If the group size falls below this number the extra costs incurred may be split between trip members or a single supplement cost may need to be added. Charges are assessed on a per trip bases and represent actual costs.

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