Founded in 1985, Sawtooth Mountain Guides is rooted in a long history of mountain adventure first established by the original Sawtooth pioneers and homesteaders who explored the local mountains and rivers. Heading into the wilds with a Sawtooth Guide, you are accompanied by professionals who have first hand knowledge of the area having lived here for years.
Sawtooth Mountain Guides was founded by Kirk Bachman, who first started his explorations of the local terrain in the early 70’s with skis, rope, and ice axe. Kirk also built and established the first North American yurts as backcountry ski huts in the Sawtooths at that time.
Erik Leidecker became half owner of SMG in 2002, and as a fully-certified IFMGA mountain guide, brought a tremedous level of professionalism to the operation. Chris and Sara Lundy, long-time local guides and avalanche professionals, purchased Kirk Bachman’s half ownership in 2013. In 2021, Niels Meyer purchased Chris and Sara’s half ownership. Kirk remains at SMG as an active guide and trusted advisor.
Erik, Niels and the entire SMG guide staff love their work and derive great joy in sharing their passion for the local mountains. It is their commitment to professionalism as well as their life-long knowledge and experience of the nooks and crannies of the area that will serve you in joining Sawtooth Mountain Guides for your adventures whether for a half-day jaunt or an multi-day adventure.
Sawtooth Mountain Guides is an Accredited Mountain Guide Service by the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA), and is the only accredited guide service in Idaho. Accreditation means that we’ve received an independent outside review, ensuring our operation meets or exceeds the current industry standards as defined by the AMGA. Acredited guide services:
- Are committed to high technical standards, strong programs, and a quality staff of engaged and engaging climbing instructors and guides.
- Have AMGA certified guides on staff.
- Encourage staff members to pursue AMGA certification, provide mentoring, and support staff through the AMGA training and certification process.
- Conduct annual terrain specific trainings utilizing AMGA certified staff members.