TripsView All

Ski & Ride

Custom Ski & Ride Trip

Baker Backcountry Skiing and Riding

Mount Baker Ski Descent

North Cascades Ski Mountaineering

North Cascades Ski Traverse

Rock

Custom Rock Trip

Mt. Erie

Vesper

Alpine

Custom Alpine Trip

Mount Baker Easton Glacier

Mount Baker Coleman Deming

Mount Baker North Ridge

Shuksan Sulphide

Shuksan Fisher Chimneys

West Ridge of Forbidden

Ice Cap Slam

Olympus

Glacier Peak

Vesper

Pickets Traverse

Eldorado East Ridge

Ruth & Icy

Dorado Needle

CoursesView All

Ski & Ride

Custom Ski & Ride Course

Intro to Backcountry Skiing and Riding

Steep Ski Mountaineering

Glaciated Ski Mountaineering

Rock

Custom Rock Course

Gym to Crag

Learn to Lead

Intro to Big Wall

Anchor Building

Alpine

Custom Alpine Course

Glacier Mountaineering

Crevasse Rescue

Anchor Building

Avalanche

Custom Avalanche Course

AIARE Level 1

AIARE Level 2

AIARE Rescue Course

Avalanche Alumni Mentorship Days

About Us

Our Mission

Our Team

Our Offerings

Our Partners

Our

Mission

Cascade Mountain Ascents is a trade name of Bellingham Mountain Guides, LLC, a worker-owned mountain guiding collective. Our mission is to provide high-quality, customizable trips and industry-leading education in the North Cascades and beyond.

We seek to cultivate a caring community of guides, guests, students, and partners who share a love of mountains and are dedicated to being stewards of these landscapes.

Meet the team

The Collective Difference

Cascade Mountain Ascents is a values-driven, worker-owned mountain guiding collective based in Bellingham, WA. At our core, we’re friends who love the mountains and want to make a sustainable career of sharing them with others.

As a collective, we are a democratic workplace where decisions, responsibilities, and profits are shared equitably among members. Worker ownership makes for resilient and competitive companies that center worker, community, and customer benefit.

Our strength is in our members. Many of the lessons we’ve learned in the mountains—collaboration, being adaptable, and managing uncertainty—are foundational to how we operate. We know that businesses and communities thrive when each member’s voice, skills, and talents are respected and supported, so we implement a business structure that does just that. This means that we prioritize high-quality training, building institutional knowledge through worker retention, and professional development opportunities for our members, so that we can provide stellar mountain experiences for you.

Come see what the Collective Difference is all about!

Mike Elges

Mike grew up in a small Colorado town at 9500ft surrounded by mountains. At 18, a passion for snowboarding and desire to stay away from a “real job” landed him at Colorado Mountain College pursuing a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. During this time, he discovered climbing and joined a community of people pursuing mountain craft as a profession and way of life. 

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Mike Elges

Mike grew up in a small Colorado town at 9500ft surrounded by mountains. At 18, a passion for snowboarding and desire to stay away from a “real job” landed him at Colorado Mountain College pursuing a degree in Outdoor Recreation Leadership. During this time, he discovered climbing and joined a community of people pursuing mountain craft as a profession and way of life. His early career was spent guiding rock climbing and teaching environmental education in Colorado and New Hampshire. Over the years, climbing and skiing has taken Mike all over the lower 48, Alaska, Canada and Peru.

In 2016, Mike moved to Washington to start a new chapter in his guiding and climbing career among the glaciated summits of the PNW. Bellingham Washington is home and he and his wife have no intention of going anywhere. In addition to working as a full-time guide in the winter, spring and summer seasons, Mike owns and operates a seasonal business in the fall, Northern Lights Holiday & Event Lighting. This “side hustle” has been a key ingredient in his success as a mountain guide, allowing him work year-round close to home and helping to fund professional development courses with the AMGA & AIARE.

Certifications:
Wilderness First Responder/CPR
AIARE Course Instructor
AIARE PRO 2
AMGA Certified Rock Guide
AMGA Certified Ski Guide
AMGA Aspirant Alpine Guide
Leave No Trace Trainer

Zack McGill

Zack grew up in Durango, CO and began venturing into the mountains of the North and South San Juans at an early age. He studied Elementary Education and Communication at the University of Colorado in Boulder and worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School for 7 years – leading long expeditions (15-52 days) throughout the Southwest and Alaska.
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Zack McGill

Zack grew up in Durango, CO and began venturing into the mountains of the North and South San Juans at an early age. He studied Elementary Education and Communication at the University of Colorado in Boulder and worked for the Colorado Outward Bound School for 7 years – leading long expeditions (15-52 days) throughout the Southwest and Alaska. Colorado was where he began his guiding career working for several small guiding operations as well as the Colorado Mountain School before moving to Bellingham, WA in the spring of 2017 to work for Baker Mountain Guides. The North Cascades are home now and he’s not going anywhere. 7 months out of the year, you can find him on skis teaching avalanche courses, ski guiding, or dreaming of shredding pow in between rain events. The remaining months, he works as a guide and instructor for everything from alpine rock to glacier mountaineering in the Cascades.

Certifications:
Wilderness First Responder/CPR
AIARE Course Leader
AIARE PRO 2
AMGA Certified Ski Guide
AMGA Certified SPI
AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide
AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide
Leave No Trace Trainer

Alyssa Young

Alyssa grew up in Northern California and now calls the North Cascades her home. She is a dedicated backcountry skier and has worked throughout the West as an avalanche educator, outdoor educator, and naturalist. As the Operations Manager at CMA, she works closely with guides and guests to support stellar experiences in the mountains.

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Alyssa Young

Alyssa grew up in Northern California and now calls the North Cascades her home. She is a dedicated backcountry skier and has worked throughout the West as an avalanche educator, outdoor educator, and naturalist. As the Operations Manager at CMA, she works closely with guides and guests to support stellar experiences in the mountains. She’s jazzed on employee ownership and democratic workplaces, and how these structures can underlie excellent outdoors programming. 

Alyssa was introduced to the snow and avalanche world at Prescott College, where she dove headlong into the fields of Environmental Studies, Adventure Education, and Cultural and Regional Studies. She loves the multifaceted nature of avalanche education and guiding and is constantly learning about how people relate to community and place and through mountain travel.

Certifications:
Wilderness First Responder/CPR
AIARE Course Instructor
AIARE PRO 1
AMGA Alpine Skills Course
Leave No Trace Trainer

Phil Straub

Hailing from New England, Phil spent the last 16 years pursuing life, research, and work in the mountains. He’s lived in Montana, Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, California, Argentina and now Washington learning about these mountain ranges through backcountry travel, mountain guiding, and scientific research.
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Phil Straub

Hailing from New England, Phil spent the last 16 years pursuing life, research, and work in the mountains. He’s lived in Montana, Arizona, Alaska, Colorado, California, Argentina and now Washington learning about these mountain ranges through backcountry travel, mountain guiding, and scientific research. He worked for 7 years with Prescott College instructing avalanche and alpine climbing courses and taught for numerous avalanche centers and schools around the West. His travels also include extensive research in the mountains, focusing on snow science, meteorology and snow hydrology. These days you’ll find Phil seeking out fresh ski lines, splitter cracks, or pouring over weather models trying his best to negotiate with the atmosphere

Certifications:
Wilderness First Responder/CPR
AIARE Course Instructor
AIARE PRO 2
AMGA Apprentice Ski Guide
AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide
AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide
Leave No Trace Master Educator

Matt Lubar

Whether in mountain boots, rock shoes, or on skis, Matt is a deep believer in the ability of movement through mountain landscapes to enrich our lives, and thoroughly enjoys sharing the mountains with all his guests. Besides mountain travel, Matt’s passions include soul music, ice cream, and street tacos, preferably all at once.

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Matt Lubar

Growing up at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Boulder, CO, Matt first experienced the wonders of mountain travel via a backpack on his mother's back before he could walk. Though he sadly can no longer fit in a backpack, Matt continues to passionately pursue mountain travel in all its forms. Whether in mountain boots, rock shoes, or on skis, Matt is a deep believer in the ability of movement through mountain landscapes to enrich our lives, and thoroughly enjoys sharing the mountains with all his guests. Besides mountain travel, Matt's passions include soul music, ice cream, and street tacos, preferably all at once.
Certifications:
AMGA Apprentice Ski Guide
AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide,
AMGA Apprentice Alpine guide
AMGA Certified SPI
AIARE Pro 1 Certified
AIARE Instructor
Wilderness First Responder
LNT Trainer

Joseph Hobby

For over a decade, Joseph’s dedication to the mountains has awarded him a proficiency in many different styles of climbing including traditional, alpine, ice, and mixed. Joseph’s fondness and contagious devotion to ski mountaineering does not go unnoticed amongst his partners and guests. These passions have led him to the Alps, Canadian Rockies, Alaska, the Himalayas, and many domestic ranges in pursuit of shared climbing and ski objectives.

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Joseph Hobby

For over a decade, Joseph's dedication to the mountains has awarded him a proficiency in many different styles of climbing including traditional, alpine, ice and mixed. Joseph's fondness and contagious devotion to ski mountaineering does not go unnoticed amongst his partners and guests. These passions have led him to the Alps, Canadian Rockies, Alaska, Himalaya and many domestic ranges in pursuit of shared climbing and ski objectives.

Joseph is an IFMGA Licensed Mountain Guide, Wilderness First Responder, LNT Trainer, Avalanche Instructor and Forecaster. He provides uplifting and zealous experiences for his guests while rock, ice and alpine climbing, backcountry and ski mountaineering along with avalanche instruction. Joseph is based in Salt Lake City, UT and predominantly operates in Utah, Washington, Alaska, Nevada, Colorado but often found in other locations worldwide.

Certifications:
IFMGA Mountain Guide
AMGA Certified Ski Guide
AMGA Certified Rock Guide
AMGA Certified Alpine Guide
AIARE Pro 2 Certified
AIARE Instructor
Wilderness First Responder
LNT Trainer

Jodi Redfield

Jodi was born and raised in rural Montana where the mountains were her backyard. She grew up going on horse pack trips in the wilderness and going skiing with her dad wherever it fit in around ranch chores. She has a background in Horticulture, a love for education and spent the last 10 winters in the snowiest places of Montana teaching and skiing before migrating further west to explore the glaciers and wild corners of the Cascades. Jodi loves sharing the mountains with people eager to explore, and is always scheming up the next best adventure snack to take on a summer running trip.

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Jodi Redfield

Jodi was born and raised in rural Montana where the mountains were her backyard. She grew up going on horse pack trips in the wilderness and going skiing with her dad wherever it fit in around ranch chores. She has a background in Horticulture, a love for education and spent the last 10 winters in the snowiest places of Montana teaching and skiing before migrating further west to explore the glaciers and wild corners of the Cascades. Jodi loves sharing the mountains with people eager to explore, and is always scheming up the next best adventure snack to take on a summer running trip.

Certifications:
AMGA Apprentice Ski Guide
AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide
AIARE Course Instructor
WFR/CPR
Avalanche Pro 2
LNT Trainer
Check out our offerings
Trips
Courses

We are lucky to work
with some great partners

Backcountry Essentials

Since 2006, Backcountry Essentials has been Bellingham’s premier ski and outdoor specialty shop. We’re proud to be partnered with the most professional, friendly, and downright good-looking crew in the outdoor retail biz. Gear Up. Go Play.

Check out Backcountry Essentials >

Green Mountain Physical Therapy

Injuries happen. When they do, we trust Green Mountain Physical Therapy to provide customized physical therapy assessments and treatments targeted at getting us back doing what we love… being in the mountains with y’all!

Check out Green Mountain Physical Therapy >

Traverse Equipment

As guides, we see a lot of equipment malfunctions and broken gear. We’re psyched to partner with Traverse Equipment to provide inclusive ski specific repair kits that can handle whatever unfortunate accidents life throws our way.

Check out Traverse Equipment >

Global Rescue

Medical and security emergencies happen. When they do, we rely on Global Rescue to provide integrated medical, security, travel risk, and crisis response services to our travelers worldwide.

Check out Global Rescue >

Folkrm

Folkrm makes backcountry specific, long grip, poles that are the perfect tool for the human powered chairlift. As mountain professionals, we're psyched to partner with the best in the biz to make uphill simplified.

Check out Folkrm

Gearhouse

CMA is excited to patner with Gearhouse to offer in-person, evening classroom sessions for AIARE Level 1 Courses in Seattle. Gearhouse members can sign up at a discounted rate and have access to member perks including lodging, equipment rentals, and a carpool.

Check out Gearhouse

Contact us

Operations@cascademountainascents.com
(360) 207-1650

Join the team!

We are not currently looking for qualified humans to join the team, but, when that changes, you can find information about job openings here!