Black Sheep Adventure Sports’ guiding operations were created with the idea that Adventure cannot necessarily be packaged by sport and sold in bulk. Adventure is something that involves some uncertainty, some highs and lows, a lot of work, a little suffering and often results in pivotal, life changing memories.
What does that mean? It means that while we do offer some standardized courses and trips, we do so because it’s a great way to get to know people and develop relationships. Once we know someone, we can really work with them to create custom and unique trips that call to their sense of adventure.
Every one of our guides is Certified by the ACMG (Association of Canadian Mountain Guides) and our head guide is also a Fully Certified IFMGA Mountain Guide. An ACMG or IFMGA Certification means you can be confident your Guide has undergone advanced training to an internationally recognized standard, is committed to ongoing professional development and can make safe and informed decisions to reduce risk and maximize trip enjoyment. This ensures our guests receive the very best and safest experience possible.
Going with another company? We encourage everyone seeking a guided adventure in the mountains, whether it’s for skiing, climbing or mountaineering, to ask if their guide is Certified by a Mountain Guide Association. The profession is fairly unregulated in BC, the US and some other parts of the world where anyone can call themselves a guide! As a result some companies hire non-certified guides to keep costs down in a trade-off between cost, quality and safety.
All the reviews posted to the Black Sheep reflect the personal and professional opinion of the author. We are not compensated in any way for writing our reviews though we are often supplied with test samples.
We put a great deal of effort into testing before putting proverbial pen to paper and try to provide as much information as possible. The reason there are no overly negative reviews is because we simply don’t want to spend a bunch of time testing crappy gear. If we come across something we really don’t like we’ll typically provide some constructive feedback directly to the brand instead of undertaking a review.
If you have any questions about any of the reviews or just want to say hi feel free to shoot me (Monte Johnston) an email. Happy Trails!
The People Behind Black Sheep Adventure Sports
IFMGA/ACMG Mountain Guide, Editor in Chief
Monte’s a ACMG / IFMGA Mountain Guide that works full-time skiing, mountaineering & climbing from his home base in Squamish, BC. After graduating university with an engineering degree he found he wasn’t satisfied only chasing his passion for the mountains on weekends or in the evenings. This led him away from working behind a desk into a life of guiding, avalanche forecasting and movie/film safety work.
Monte has since climbed and skied all over the world and has a passion for travel, always researching that next adventure. Past trips have included Patagonia, Kenya, Oman, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, Australia, New Zealand, Spain and Japan. Of course he’s also visited numerous areas closer to home like Bella Coola, Bugaboos, Rockies, Rogers Pass, Alaska, Yukon, Indian Creek, Red Rocks, Zion, Joshua Tree, Index, Yosemite, etc. He’s currently planning some ski trips to India and Russia and a climbing trip to China.
In addition to Guiding, Monte’s an avid gear junkie. He simply loves testing the limits of new gear, apparel and equipment for various articles and reviews though mainly for BlackSheep’s site.
Editor / Reviewer
Nic Vissers is a BC boy and totally obsessed gear head. A technical expert when it comes to gear, Nic can found projecting sport climbs just north of Squamish, or down in Yosemite heading up BigWalls when he isn’t on the Chief climbing. Nic is also a passionate photographer, an avid climber, alpinist and a lifelong skier. Nic started climbing indoors at the age of 16 and after a few months visited Squamish for the first time. He was hooked. The summer after high school he moved into his truck and dedicated himself fully to rock climbing and started working at climbing gyms. He now takes every opportunity he can to get into the mountains.
ACMG Apprentice Splitboard Guide
After getting his degree in Criminal Justice Hayden decided policing was not for him, so he moved to Japan to teach English and fortunately for us, discovered the world of ski guiding. He has been guiding for 9 years, beginning his career in Hokkaido and converting his travel addiction into a career.
One of Hayden’s youthful goals was to spend every night, year round, in a hotel. He’s halfway there as he lives out of his duffel bag six months of the year while guiding in Hokkaido, Pakistan, the Alps as well as near his current home, Squamish.
ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide
Although Holly was born in Vancouver B.C. to a family of skiers and mountain lovers, she was swept away from Canada’s West Coast at age 10 to lead a vagabond lifestyle around the world. Now settled in Squamish, Holly is an ACMG Apprentice Ski & Hiking Guide and shares a new appreciation for the mountains she grew up with. A past Freeride World Tour athlete, she now spends her winters ski touring and heliski guiding. She fills her summers leading hiking trips in her backyard – the mountains of Southwest B.C.
Dan (the Danimal) Robb
ACMG Apprentice Ski & Apprentice Alpine Guide
Whether it’s taking clients through amazing pow stashes, crossing complex glaciers, climbing steep granite walls or guiding groups down wild Yukon rivers, Dan’s comfortable doing it all. His professionalism and charismatic, humble demeanor make him a pleasure to be around and an amazing guide. Originally from Canmore, AB, Dan now calls Squamish home. In the winter he splits his time between guiding ski touring, heli-skiing and avalanche forecasting while his summers are spent guiding rock routes in Squamish, alpine routes all over BC and even the odd canoe trip.
ACMG / IFMGA Mountain Guide
The unofficial OG of Blacksheep @chrislawrenceguiding provides perspective, wisdom and the experience of three decades dedicated to mountain life. Chris has worked as an outdoor education instructor, a ski patroller, a snow cat ski guide, a heli ski guide, a ski touring guide, an Ice climbing guide, a rock climbing guide, a mountaineering guide and as a film safety rigger. Chris’s experience ranges from ski descents in the Japanese and the European Alps. Chris cut his teeth in the coast range of British Columbia but nourished his skills in the Strathcona Alps of Vancouver Island before graduating to multiple ascents of Mt. Waddington, BC’s highest peak. He eventually called Squamish home where he has established himself as a Mountain Rescue Training specialist and is helping build a helicopter rescue TEAAM. Link: https://www.teaam.ca/