MEET THE TRIP LEADERS
CMC Adventure Travel Leaders are seasoned adventure travelers who are passionate about sharing their love for the world with others. They volunteer their time to create active small-group adventures to inspiring destinations around the world. Their hard work and dedication to the Colorado Mountain Club allows you to experience the world with other like minded, passionate, and friendly travelers, knowing that you have experienced and knowledgeable trip leaders. Be sure to thank these amazing people when you meet them!
Bill Blazek has been enjoying the mountains of Colorado since long before moving here in 1981. Bill has extensive experience hiking, rock/snow/ice climbing, backpacking, snowshoeing, and backcountry and downhill skiing throughout the Western U.S. and Alaska as well as the French and Swiss Alps, Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and Aconcagua in Argentina.
Bill has been a member of CMC since 1986 and has been a trip leader since 1989. He has been a senior instructor for the Basic Mountaineering School for many years and an assistant instructor in the High Altitude Mountaineering Section. He is certified in Wilderness First Aid.
Successful summits Bill attained include Mont Blanc in France, Monte Rosa and The Dom in Switzerland, and Kilimanjaro in Kenya. In the U.S. Bill has summited Denali, Mt. Rainier, the Grand Teton, Granite Peak, Mt. Whitney, Mt. Muir, all of the Colorado 14ers, and many others.
Bill has also run over 50 marathon or longer races and has done many mountain trail runs. He has traversed the Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim, non-stop and unsupported in a single day, on 5 different occasions and by 3 different routes, as well as other long distance hikes in the Grand Canyon.
When not enjoying the outdoors Bill is a software engineer doing Quality Assurance Automation Development in telecommunications at CenturyLink in Denver.
Louise grew up in England’s Lake District where a passion for hiking, cycling, and camping was instilled from an early age. Early backpacking trips involved heavy canvas tents, rain, mud, and midges but also included memorable evenings drying out in the pubs and gorgeous scenery. She’s hiked the highest peaks in England, Scotland, and Wales, the Tour du Mont Blanc, and the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. She seldom goes on vacation without her bike and has enjoyed many self-supported rides in Europe and the USA. She started her career as an immunologist then managed to weave her background in science and her passion for travel into a career in international business development with biopharma organizations. So far, her adventures have taken her to Europe, the US, South America, South East Asia, Israel, Morocco, and Russia. Anticipating retirement and the need for mid-week adventure friends, Louise joined CMC in 2017 and took Wilderness Trekking School. She is still doing trips with the friends she made on this program. She soon became a Trip Leader and enjoys leading summer and winter hikes as well as backpacking trips. She has served on the Backpacking Section Committee since 2020 and is currently Vice Chair and Treasurer. When not out on the trails, Louise can be found volunteering as a Naturalist in Roxborough State Park, teaching alpine skiing, planning adventure travel, or hiking with her very active rescue dog.
Schools Completed* - WTS, CPR/AED, WFA, TLS, AT, AT, ATA
Bio coming soon!
Renée has been a volunteer in the Colorado Mountain Club since 1987. She has instructed in the Wilderness Trekking School, the Basic Mountaineering School, and the Backcountry Ski Touring School (BSTS). Wanting others to have great experiences with the CMC too, she was a long-time member of the Adventure Travel Committee and still serves on the BSTS committee.
Hiking and cross-country skiing are her passions and she has summited all 54 of the Colorado Fourteeners and through-hiked the nearly 500 miles of the Colorado Trail. She enjoys exploring the historic South Park region of Colorado where she and her husband own a cabin. Her Adventure Travel trip leads and co-leads include winter trips to Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, and Glacier National Parks, and also the Inca Trail in Peru, and Canyon de Chelly.
As a data analyst for a large hospital company, Renée enjoys “finding the story in the data”. She is now “semi-retired” to a half-time position, giving her more time to hike, bike, ski, travel, and enjoy other favorite activities such as reading, listening to American roots music, and enjoying live theater.
Anne Keil has been a Colorado Mountain Club trip leader for hiking, snowshoeing, biking and downhill skiing trips since the late 1990s, She has traveled and hiked throughout the United States and internationally since her years in college and just loves to explore the world. She is a semi-retired Physical Therapist now living in Western Colorado. She is a guide for Colorado Mountain Expeditions on sections of the Colorado Trail, Arizona Trail and in the Hermosa, Colorado area.
Carol Kotchek has been a CMC member since 2009 and now works at the CMC as Director of Accounting.
Her first passion is technical rock climbing. She’s climbed extensively in the Western United States and
Mexico and worked two winters as a climbing guide in Red Rocks, Nevada.
Before being employed at the CMC she worked at the American Alpine Club as an accountant and also
an event organizer. She executed ten International Climbers Meets in Yosemite Valley. An event where
fifty climbers gathered together to share education, camaraderie, and their love of the sport. She also
managed two AAC member gatherings in Red Rocks, Nevada.
Besides climbing, she loves hiking, biking, skiing, and traveling to foreign countries. With the goal of
becoming more emersed in the south of the border travel experience, she is working on learning
Spanish by taking classes in Mexico City and Antigua, Guatemala.
Greg Long has been a CMC member since 1992 and trip leader since 1994. He is a long time member of the Pikes Peak Group council and has taught many of their schools, including BMS and HAMS. He started leading adventure travel trips in 2006 and has led 11 HAMS graduation climbs of Mt. Rainier as well as trips to South America and the Alps.
Greg enjoys everything from easy day hikes to multi-day backpacks to long distance cycling to technical mountaineering expeditions. He has thru-hiked both the Appalachian Trail and Colorado Trail and summited Mt. ShishaPangma (8,016M) in Tibet. He considers one of his finest trips to be a failed summit bid on Denali’s West Rib route because the team worked together well to overcome many challenges.
Sharing challenging experiences with other adventurous people is what makes a great trip for Greg, and he looks forward to many more AT trips.
Sherry is a 25-year CMC member. She became a trip leader after taking WTS and became the director of BMS. Sherry was the Denver Group new member chair for several years, chair of the annual dinner, CMC president twice, and now is on the CMC Foundation. In her professional life, she is a court reporter who freelances in Denver.
Sherry takes great pride in the work she has done for the CMC and is one of its strongest supporters. She welcomes the opportunity to lead the In State Outing and looks forward to reconnecting with old friends and making new ones.
Carrie Simon joined CMC 2007 to learn some new rock climbing skills. The graduation climb was indelible and she will cherish those first memories of CMC camaraderie for life.
She spent a lot of time climbing with her new friends, then decided to join the local chapter council as the marketing chair. In addition, Carrie is a trip leader, international trip leader, instructor.
Originally from New Hampshire, Joanne came to Colorado as a college student and decided to make the Centennial State her home. As a trip leader who joined the CMC in 2012, and has led trips to Bryce Canyon and Glacier National Parks in Winter and upcoming trips going to Croatia and Yellowstone in Winter. She is an assistant instructor for the CMC Backcountry Nordic Ski School. Joanne has organized many trips for family and friends to international destinations such as Costa Rica, Italy, Greece, France, Iceland, Norway, Germany, Netherlands and Peru. Joanne is a Registered Nurse with critical care and is certified in WFA, BCLS and ACLS. She and her husband Chip are passionate about maintaining an active lifestyle and their goal on the weekends is to never be home!