Melissa has been a working mountain guide since 2004. She is a passionate seeker of shared adventures and perfecting the balance of learning and teaching.  As an athlete, she is in competition with only herself, constantly pushing her own limits and trying to be the best mountain traveler she can be.

Melissa is the first American woman to successfully summit and descend Mount Everest without supplemental oxygen and has climbed the world’s highest peak six times. Known as a determined, hard-working and enthusiastic teacher, Melissa has devoted her life to learning from the mountains and sharing that knowledge with others.

In 2012 Melissa co-founded The Juniper Fund to provide financial support to families of local workers killed in the mountains of Nepal, and she continues to be actively involved with the fund.


Melissa lives in the Methow Valley of Washington State with her husband, Tyler, where they spend their time playing in the mountains while running their respective guide services.

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Notable Climbs
  • First American woman to summit/descend Mount Everest without oxygen*

  • 6 Summits of Mount Everest in 9 attempts, the most of any American woman**

  • First Ascent of Mustang Himal, in the Mustang region of Nepal

  • Mount Rainier, Washington 100+ climbs

  • Guided two 100% successful groups of celebrities and influencers on Kilimanjaro to raise awareness for the global clean water crisis, with SOTS, Summit on the Summit

  • Various guided ascents of Aconcagua, Kilimanjaro, Ecuador Volcanoes, Colombian Andes and various trekking peaks in Nepal

  • Fifty Peaks Challenge: Facilitated climbing the 50 state high points in record time: 41 days, 16 hours and 10 minutes

* American woman Francys Arsentiev summited Everest without oxygen in 1998, but tragically died on the descent. Her summit was pioneering and inspirational.

** Nepali Lhakpa Sherpa has 7 summits as of 2016, the most of any woman.