Skyward Mountaineering is a boutique mountain guide service run by Vince Anderson and Steve House. Headquartered in the San Juan Mountains of Western Colorado we specialize in preparing alpinists for off-the-beaten-track climbs and have a track record of safely guiding difficult ascents of classics like the Eiger’s North Face and the Moonflower Buttress on Mt.Hunter.

At the core of our philosophy lies a emphasis on concurrently training skills, judgment, teamwork, fitness, and mental preparation. To achieve this we emphasize the practice of all aspects of alpinism from multi-pitch rock climbs to ski-mountaineering to climbing the great alpine faces of the world.


Experience the true spirit of Alpinism: Adventure, challenge and partnership.


Vince Anderson is the 7th IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide in the USA & is currently the Director of the Ski and Alpine Guide Education Programs for the American Mountain Guide Association.

Steve House has been climbing and guiding all over the world since the early 1990’s and was the 9th Mountain Guide in the USA to earn IFGMA Guide Certification.

Alpinism is a discipline of virtue

Skyward feels obligated to share with their clients a view toward climbing and skiing that counts ethics, courage, and aesthetics among its virtues. We aim to lead our clients through an apprenticeship of ascents and descents that ramp up in difficulty and commitment level. Skyward guides aim to find the sweet-spot of challenge where you can experience the true spirit of alpinism: adventure, challenge and partnership.

Skyward wants you to feel as if you have shared our rope as a real climbing partner.

IFMGA Certified Mountain Guides, Vince Anderson, Steve House, San Juan Mountains, Colorado


Portrait Vince Anderson, Certified IFMGA Mountain Guide

Vince Anderson

IFMGA certified Mountain Guide

About Vince

Vince is a third generation native of Colorado who climbed his first mountain at age five, started skiing at eight, and has called the mountains home his entire life. When he is not out guiding, climbing, skiing, he can often be found on the bike with his wife and three sons in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Since 1994 Vince has guided thousands of happy clients on custom ice climbing adventures around Colorado, the Canadian Rockies, the Alps, Alaska, the Himalaya, the Karakoram and the Andes. In 1998, Vince earned the highest level of certification available to mountain guides world-wide, becoming an International Federation of Mountain Guide Association (IFMGA) Certified Mountain Guide. Today Vince passes on his famed experience and calm to young aspiring mountain guides as an instructor and examiner for the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA).

Vince is also passionate about climbing in his personal time. He ice climbed competitively from 2001 to 2008, attaining sixth overall in the World Cup Ice Climbing championship in 2002. Since 2010 he has been the route setter for the difficulty competition at the famed Ouray Ice Festival. Vince is an alpinist who abides by the “light is right” alpine style ethic. Most notably, he and Steve House completed their famous new route on the Rupal Face of Nanga Parbat (26,660′, ninth highest mountain in the world) in alpine style without oxygen in eight days during September of 2005. Vince and Steve have also partnered on numerous other ice, mixed, and alpine climbs, including the first ascent of K7 West in Pakistan and a new route on the North Face of Mount Alberta in the Canadian Rockies.

Awards and Citations

• B.S., Civil Engineering, Colorado University, Boulder (1993)
• AMGA-IFMGA Certified Mountain Guide (1998)
• American Mountain Guide Association Presidents Award (2005)
• Pakistani Director-General of Sport, Olympic Award (2005)
• Piolet d’Or (Golden Ice Axe) (2006)
• Jury’s Prize, Best Mountain Film, Kendal Mountain Film Festival, Kendal, England. (Ice, Anarchy, and the Pursuit of Madness)

Portrait Vince Anderson, Certified IFMGA Mountain Guide

Steve House

IFMGA certified Mountain Guide

About Steve

Steve is a husband, climber, mountain guide, skier, cyclist, traveler, student, eagle scout, and author of two books. He currently lives in Ridgway, Colorado with his wife Eva, although they spend time in Europe and Asia each year. He began climbing with his father as a child, and was introduced to alpine climbing in Slovenia after graduating high school in 1988.

Steve has been guiding professionally 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 most recently 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 also 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, and La Sportiva.


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Awards and Citations

  • B.S., Ecology, 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)

Steven Van Sickle

Aspirant Mountain Guide

Steven is a dedicated climber and certified AMGA mountain guide who is conscientious and skilled at balancing the needs of clients in a safe and professional manner. Originally born in New Mexico, Steven grew up traveling the world in an Air Force family.

After a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, Steven went back to New Mexico to attend school and found himself learning to climb on the steep granite cliffs of the Sandia mountains in northern New Mexico.  After years of big wall climbing and hard rock climbing in America’s great climbing areas, the natural progression to alpine climbing brought him to Ouray, CO.

In 2012, Steven began the Alpine Mentor program.  This unique opportunity allowed him to climb challenging routes in Colorado, Alaska, France, Italy, and India with world class mentors from around the world.  Today, Steven’s focus is on completing high altitude technical alpine routes on peaks throughout China and Asia, exploring every corner of the San Juan mountains he lives in.

guide buster jesik

Buster Jesik

IFMGA certified Mountain Guide

A native to the Front Range of Colorado, Buster Cruz Jesik began climbing at age 10, and has since made ascents of rock, ice, and alpine routes in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. Buster was introduced to mountaineering through boy scouts. His troop was active in hiking the Colorado 14ers, backcountry skiing, and rock climbing. In middle school Buster discovered indoor rock climbing, By age 13 he had made an ascent of the North Face of Longs Peak in winter leading the technical pitches, and began traveling to Ouray during the winters to climb ice. During high school Buster continued to attend the Ouray Ice Fest every year, attending clinics from world class ice and alpine climbers. After graduating high school in 2004, Buster began pursuing a career as a musician while attending community college. After graduating with an associate’s degree he began working as a rock climbing guide while also teaching music lessons. Eventually his love of the mountains won out, and Buster became serious about becoming a guide.
In his personal climbing, Buster has primary focused on making speed ascents of classic big wall routes in Yosemite, Zion, and the Black Canyon. As an alpinist he has summited Denali multiple times, climbed classic routes in Rocky Mountain National Park, the Canadian Rockies and the Alps, and made the first ascent of an unclimbed 17,000 foot peak in a seldom visited corner of the Indian Himalayas. He was also selected to participate in the first Alpine Mentors Program, started by Steve House to train and mentor the next generation of alpine climbers.
As a guide, Buster’s loves to teach modern techniques for climbing safely and efficiently. He has experience coaching and training rock climbers who want to maximize their performance, and used these skills to lead the Fountain Valley High School climbing team to a state victory. His work has taken him up and down the Front Range of Colorado to the classic ice climbs and backcountry skiing of the San Juan’s, the desert rock of Utah and Nevada, and the world class alpine climbing of Alaska. Buster’s calm demeanor and expertise is ever present whether its sharing his enthusiasm for climbing with a beginner or working with an advanced climber looking to up their game.