Steve lives in Ridgway, Colorado with his wife Eva and their sons Franz and Niklas.
Steve has been a professional mountain guide since 1992 and in 1999 he became the ninth American to achieve IFMGA certification. He has guided trips across the globe from Alaska to the Karakoram. He has a long list of first-guided ascents in Alaska: Ham and Eggs Couloir on the Moose’s Tooth, Peak 11,300 via the SW Ridge, the West Face Couloir of Mount Huntington, the Harvard Route of Mount Huntington, and the Moonflower Buttress of Mount Hunter. Steve was also the first non-European guide to lead ascents of the Eiger’s North Face (1938 Route) Grande Jorasses by the Croz Spur, Cima Grande’s North Face (Comici-Demai), Piz Badille’s North Face (Cassin Route), and Triglav’s North Face (Long German Route).
In addition to being an accomplished guide, Steve is a world-class climber. Steve’s most famous ascent may be the Central Pillar of the Rupal Face with Vince Anderson but he has compiled an impressive list of first ascents and new routes in Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, the Alps, and the Karakoram. Reinhold Messner has called him “The best high-altitude climber in the world.” Steve is an athlete-ambassador for Patagonia, Grivel, La Sportiva, Zeal Optics, and Coros Watches.
Professional Awards and Citations
- B.S. The Evergreen State College (1995)
- AMGA-IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide (1999)
- Golden Piton-Alpine Climbing (2004)
- Piolet d’Or (Golden Ice Axe) People’s Choice Award (2005)
- Golden Piton-Alpine Climbing (2005)
- American Mountain Guide Association Presidents Award (2005)
- Pakistani Director-General of Sport, Olympic Award (2005)
- Piolet d’Or (Golden Ice Axe) (2006)
- Best Mountain Book, Banff Book Festival (2009) (Beyond the Mountain)
- Boardman-Tasker Prize for Mountain Literature (2009) (Beyond the Mountain)
- Jury’s Prize, Best Mountain Film, Kendal Mountain Film Festival, Kendal, England. (Ice, Anarchy, and the Pursuit of Madness)
- American Alpine Club, Underhill Award for Lifetime Climbing Achievement (2014)
- Evergreen State College Hall of Fame Inductee (2018)