a blog by april mayhew


Originally from Valdez AK, immersion within the outdoors has been hardwired since birth. As a toddler I enjoyed exploring the great, wild outdoors that surrounded my family’s remote cabin, often riding atop my best friend Sasquatch – the family St. Bernard – with lofty dreams of adventurous expeditions to far corners of the yard, and beyond … to the neighbors’ farm.

Guiding Pics--35Years and many miles later, I successfully escaped the clutches of a career in law and relocated to northeast California, where I quickly tapped into the region’s prolific climbing network and commenced the pursuit of all things Climbing. Years later, I was granted the opportunity to make my passion my profession as a full-time mountain guide. I’ve been lucky enough to have visited over 20 countries, and climbed granite and limestone walls and scaled peaks in most of them. I’ve climbed and guided throughout California’s Sierra Nevada, in the Cascades, the volcanoes of Mexico, the Andes, Tanzania and Kenya, and in the Himalaya.

Today I travel for climbing year round. On rest days, I enjoy sports, writing, photography, and cooking – developing recipes using spices and ingredients I’ve picked up during my travels. I also enjoy learning languages to better connect with new and old friends in places I frequent. Currently I’m studying: Swahili, Maasai, Chagga, Spanish, Portuguese. So far I’ve picked up a little Korean, Thai, Spanish, Dutch, Nepali, Khmer, and English – but only the bad words.

I am pursuing full certification with the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA).

Exum Mountain Guides
Sierra Mountain Center
Monache Adventures International
International Alpine Guides
Sierra Mountaineering International
Eastside Women’s Climbing Group

Cerro Aconcagua Argentina 6962m 8 expeditions, 6 summits
Kilimanjaro Tanzania 5895m 12 expeditions
Iztaccihuatl Mexico 5199m
Pico de Orizaba Mexico 5611m
Illiniza Norte Ecuador 5126m 2 expeditions
Cotopaxi Ecuador 5897m 2 expeditions
Cayambe Ecuador 5790m
Chimborazo Ecuador 6268m
East Ridge, Mt. Russell Lone Pine, CA 14,086’ 5.0 Grade III*
Mt. Williamson Independence, CA 14,375’ 4th Class Grade IV*
North Rib, Mt. Tyndall Independence, CA 14,026’ 5.6 Grade III*
Middle Palisade Big Pine, CA 14,018’ 4th Class Grade IV*
Matterhorn Peak, North Arête Bridgeport, CA 12,279’ 5.7 Grade III*
West Face, Cardinal Pinnacle Bishop, CA 5.10-*
South Face, Charlotte Dome Big Pine, CA 5.8 Grade III*
Third Pillar, Regular Route Lee Vining, CA 5.10+ Grade III*
Palisades from the West Bishop, CA 5.9 Grade IV*
S.E. Face, Mt. Kenya Kenya 5188m 5.8 Grade III
Lower & Upper Exum, Grand Teton Wyoming 4198m 5.4 Grade II

Mt. Whitney:
Mountaineer’s Route-Winter Lone Pine, CA 4422m 30+ ascents*
Mountaineer’s Route-Summer Lone Pine, CA 4422m 20+ ascents*
East Face Lone Pine, CA 4422m 5.7 Grade III*
East Buttress Lone Pine, CA 4422m 5.7 Grade III*

Makalu Nepal 8463m**
Mt. Meru Tanzania 4572m
Mt. Rainier Tacoma, WA 14,410’

The Yawn Tuolumne 3 pitches 5.7+
Regular Route, Fairview Dome Tuolumne 12 pitches 5.8 Grade III*
Nutcracker Yosemite Valley 5 pitches 5.9
Central Pillar of Frenzy Yosemite Valley 5 pitches 5.9
NE Buttress, Higher Cathedral Yosemite Valley 11 pitches 5.9+
S. Face Washington’s Column Yosemite Valley 4 pitches 5.10+
Third Pillar, Mt. Dana Lee Vining, CA 6 pitches 5.10c*
East Buttress, Middle Cathedral Yosemite Valley 11 pitches 5.10c Grade IV
N.E. Face Half Dome Yosemite Valley 23 pitches 5.10c A1 Grade IV
Serenity & Sons Yosemite Valley 7 pitches 5.10d*
Moratorium, Schult’s Ridge Yosemite Valley 4 pitches 5.11b
Freeblast, El Capitan Yosemite Valley 10 pitches 5.11b
The Rostrum Yosemite Valley 8 pitches 5.11c*
Lucky Streaks, Fairview Dome Tuolumne 6 pitches 5.10c*
Oz, Drug Dome Tuolumne 4 pitches 5.10d*
Blues Riff, Phobos Cliff Tuolumne 2 pitches 5.11c*
Heart of Stone, Fairview Dome Tuolumne 10 pitches 5.12 Grade III
Positive Vibrations Incredible Hulk 12 pitches 5.11a Grade IV*
Sun Spot Dihedral Incredible Hulk 9 pitches 5.11b Grade IV*

Chamonix: France
South Face, Rébuffat Route, Aiguille du Midi 5.10

Los Arenales: Argentina
Mejor No Hablar Ciertas Cosas El Coyote 5.10+ Grade IV
Harmonica Harmonica 5.10- Grade
Cinemacope Mitre 7a+ A1

Rio de Janiero: Brazil
Via do Totem Pan de Asucar 5.11+ Grade III

Desplomilandia: Spain
Yogur de Coco Buena Sombra 6c
Cosas Caseras Buena Sombra 6c+
Los Zauden Buena Sombra 7a

AMGA Rock Instructor Course
AMGA Rock Guide Course
AIARE Avalanche Level II
Wilderness First Responder/CPR

* Multiple Ascents
** Unsupported expedition. No summit achieved due to weather.

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