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Our Story

We are the Adventure Company

As the originators, innovators and leaders in adventure travel for more than five decades, we passionately create, craft and share indelible, transformative journeys to the world’s most memorable places. Our more than 200 unique and once-in-a-lifetime trips are designed to inspire and exhilarate, enliven and excite—opening eyes and minds through profoundly personal connections with nature and culture.

Our small group and custom adventures span the globe and the spectrum—of interests, environments, and activities—every one expertly planned and knowledgeably and passionately guided. And our commitment to making every experience a remarkable one has earned us preferred travel outfitter status for National Geographic Active Expeditions, Active New York Times Journeys, and Smithsonian Active Journeys.

We are the adventure company.

Our Heritage

In 1969, three intrepid mountaineer-explorers, Leo Le Bon, Allen Steck, and Barry Bishop, came up with a then-radical idea: to create a company called Mountain Travel out of their incurable wanderlust for global adventure and their passion for sharing backcountry wilderness experiences with others. Around the same time Richard Bangs and John Yost were rafting first descents of rivers across the globe, and created Sobek Expeditions in 1973. Their collective love for hiking and rafting adventures became a highly acclaimed business venture that still lives strong today.

Our Guides

Our expert guides and trip leaders are passionate about the lands they explore. You can feel it the moment you meet them. Some are locals who live in country year-round; others have made it their second home. All are true adventurers at heart—friendly, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.

Luis Die, Galapagos Ecuador

Luis was born in Seville, Spain, and graduated from the Universidad Autonoma de Madrid with a degree in Environmental Biology. He is fluent in Spanish, English, and French and has guided in Galapagos since 1999. In addition to being a professional nature photographer, Luis has a Master’s Degree in Geographic Ecology and is active with conservation groups. A born teacher, he enthusiastically shares his knowledge of Galapagos with people of all ages. He lives in Quito with his wife, twin sons, and daughter and is MT Sobek’s head naturalist guide.

James Kivuyo, Tanzania

James Adiel Kivuyo was born in Arusha, Tanzania, and has been guiding since 2000. He is passionate about the conservation of biodiversity in African wildlife and has led hundreds of walking safaris through the Serengeti. James speaks many languages, from English and Masaai to the local dialect of Chagga and Kiswahili—the national language of Tanzania. His language skills help him to communicate with people from a broad cultural spectrum and he loves sharing experiences with travelers from around the globe. James is also a qualified Kilimanjaro guide and has assisted summit bids for over a decade.

Mandela van Eede, USA

Growing up, Mandela spent a season in Africa, a season in Montana and various seasons traveling the world with her parents. She was raised on a nature reserve at the most southern point of South Africa and in the mountains and open plains of Montana. She has guided in Montana, Idaho, New Zealand, Morocco, Grand Canyon & Southern Africa. In addition to guiding, she plays didgeridoo, teaches Ashtanga Yoga and produces/hosts the adventure radio series/podcast, “The Trail Less Traveled, ” dedicated to documenting humanity by collecting stories and sounds from the most remote locations around the world.

Laurent Langoisseur, France

Laurent hails from Normandy, France, having grown up in Argentan. In 1991, he obtained his European Mountain Leader certification, and in 1995 he was awarded the coveted patch of the Compagnie des Guides. An avid sports enthusiast and inexhaustible hiker, Laurent has hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc close to 100 times. Laurent has been guiding for MT Sobek since 1995, and is a senior guide on our Tour du Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc Express, and Haute Route trips, as well as any other trip we can get him on! When he isn\’t guiding for us, he teaches First Aid and Mountain Rescue to mountain and hiking guides; and during the winter, he\’s a ski patrol monitor in the mountains above Chamonix.

Tomomi Shimazu , Japan

Tomomi was born and raised in Tokyo. After completing her degree in international relations, she studied in the UK and the US. Later she lived in Hawaii and Israel for years and traveled extensively in Europe, the US and Middle East. She now lives in Tokyo, close to its center and loves gardening, walking, cycling and yoga. Tomomi enjoys guiding and sharing her knowledge of both traditional and urban cultures of Japan.

Anne Stine Mathison, Norway

Anne Stine is an accomplished Norwegian guide and has close ties to MT Sobek as the operations manager of a local guiding team. She is highly knowledgeable about hiking and skiing in Norway, and has skied 1,600 miles north to south across the country! Anne’s passion for the outdoors and for adventure travel, coupled with her love of guiding, makes her a perfect leader and trip companion. Meet Anne on MT Sobek’s popular Best of Norway’s Great Outdoors adventure

Rodrigo Bahamondez, Patagonia

Ro” was born in the Last Hope Province of Chile and grew up in Patagonia where he developed a deep love for the outdoors. He has been guiding for the last 14 years in Patagonia & Canada. Ro is an accomplished hiker, kayaker, mountaineer, and wilderness responder. He is also a talented photographer, with a keen eye for capturing the natural beauty of Patagonia. He is a certified Mountain guide and kayak instructor and has completed Wilderness Emergency Responder & Medical; (WFR NOLS-EASPA).

Erik Perez, Spain

Erik was born and raised in the Asturias region of northern Spain and has been leading MT Sobek trips in Europe, Asia and South America since 1989. Erik is a highly accomplished mountaineer and backcountry downhill skier who holds the coveted IFMGA/UIAGM certification, which is the highest professional award attainable in mountaineering. He has written two guidebooks on hikes and climbs in the Picos de Europa. Erik studied Humanities at the University of Oviedo-the capital city of Asturias-and received a Masters degree in History. He is among MT Sobek’s most well-loved guides, leading Across the Pyrenees, El Camino de Santiago, and MT Sobek’s 50th Anniversary Base Camp Trek in 2019.

Andy Ambelang, USA

Andy was born and raised in the great outdoors of Montana. At the young age of 15, he launched his first trip down the Salmon River in Idaho and has never looked back! He spends his summers guiding down the Salmon before heading over to the Colorado River in springtime and fall to guide through the Grand Canyon. Internationally, he has spent time guiding in Nepal, Ethiopia’s Blue Nile River and Madagascar’s Mania River. In the off season, Andy works as a ski patroller at Montana Snowbowl and skis with his dog Dani every chance he can get.

Jawad Aburumman, Jordan

Jawad Aburumman Jawad grew up in Amman, where he studied Accounting at the University of Jordan. He became a licensed guide to pursue his love for hiking and exploring the trails, canyons and deserts of Jordan. His local expertise and knowledge provides the perfect support in exploring the beautiful country.

Kevin McDermott, USA

Kevin McDermott—a.k.a. “Thirsty”—is an integral part of Mountain Travel Sobek’s Arctic rivers program. His laid-back manner puts everyone at ease, and he is a wealth of knowledge about Arctic rivers. Kevin has been guiding since he was 17 years old. Although he normally spends his winter months in Colorado’s Telluride ski area, he has climbed Denali three times, reaching the summit in 2000. Thirsty is a legend in the MT Sobek circle and endears himself to travelers with his expertise, calm demeanor, and sense of humor.

Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa, Nepal

Lhakpa Norbu Sherpa was born in Namche Bazaar to a mountaineering family. (His father was a climbing Sherpa and went to the South Col on several expeditions, including the 1963 American Everest expedition.) After completing his education, Lhakpa spent time mountaineering on Kanchenjunga, the third-highest mountain in world, and trekking among Nepalese peaks. Lhakpa has a deep interest in environmental issues and speaks Nepali, Sherpa, and Tibetan as well as English. Lhakpa has worked with MT Sobek since 1983, first as sirdar and now as a legendary trekking guide.

Preferred Outfitter For

The World In Context

Designed for the most discerning traveler, our joint trips promise you will travel smarter, gain understanding and return inspired. A New York Times journalist or subject matter expert accompanies each tour, providing captivating insights and rich context. Through lectures, Q&A sessions and informal discussions, our experts will educate and inspire you throughout your Journey.

Bring the Spirit of Adventure to Everything

Royal Robbins is focused on functionality, versatility, and style and their mission is to create sustainable outdoor apparel for people who bring the spirit of adventure to everything they do. They share in our passion for sustainable, transformative adventures and we’re excited to work together in creating them.

Awards & Accolades

We are very proud of the awards that we have been nominated for, the accolades that we have won and the press that we receive. Over 50+ years our itineraries have been honored as “Tour of a Lifetime,” “Trip of the Year,” and “World’s Best.” Here are just a few of our top honors and media mentions.

10Best Readers’ Choice Award 2020
Best Adventure Travel Company Winner – MT Sobek

Travel Weekly Magellan Awards 2019
Gold Award Winner – 50th Anniversary Campaign

Q&A: MT Sobek Co-Founder Richard Bangs on 50 Years of Adventure”  – August 13, 2019

AFAR’s Traveler’s Choice Award 2018
Finalist Best Tour Operator – MT Sobek

Travel + Leisure World’s Best Award 2011
Finalist – MT Sobek

World’s most luxurious hiking trip”
MT Sobek’s Tour du Mont Blanc

Outside’s Trip of the Year
Finalist – MT Sobek’s John Muir Trail

National Geographic’s 50 Tours of a Lifetime
Finalist – MT Sobek

Giving Back

At MT Sobek, we are not simply observers of the world’s unique cultures and delicate environments. We take an active role in their preservation, supporting worthy organizations that contribute to the betterment of societies around the world and protection of the wild and beautiful places we visit. 

Protect The Galapagos

MT Sobek is proud to support the Galapagos Conservancy by making an annual conservation investment to its Santiago Society program. Galapagos Conservancy is dedicated exclusively to the long-term protection of the Galapagos Islands, and collaborates closely with the Charles Darwin Foundation, the Galapagos National Park, and many other institutions that are committed to the conservation of the entire archipelago.

Save the Tiger

MT Sobek guide Brian Weirum has made saving tigers his life’s mission, and a key component of that is our annual Save the Tiger trip, which Brian designed and has led every year for over two decades. A portion of the proceeds from every Save the Tiger trip goes to Brian’s non-profit: The Fund for the Tiger. MT Sobek has raised over $300,000 to help support tiger conservation in India and Nepal.

Preserve Alaska

The Alaska Conservation Foundation is the only public foundation solely dedicated to conservation in Alaska. The ACF’s vision is for an inspiring Alaska that is naturally thriving, biologically and culturally diverse, rich in wildlands, bountiful in terrestrial and marine life, sustainable in its economic development and thoughtfully protected—forever. MT Sobek supports the ACF by sharing their mission and vision with generations of adventure travelers.

Our Team

Collectively we have lived, worked, trekked, rafted, climbed, kayaked, and cycled on every continent. We’ve led groups, scouted routes, crafted itineraries, and built relationships in every destination all to ensure you have the perfect experience on every MT Sobek trip. Quite simply, we live for adventure travel.

Leadership

Massimo Prioreschi

President & CEO

Anne Wood

Director of Trip Development & Operations

Lauren Frei

Director of Sales & Guest Services

Aimee Graham

National Sales Manager

Gisele Camozzi

Gisele Camozzi

Controller

Program directors

Julie McCormack

Program Director for Asia & the Middle East

Mara Drazina

Program Director for Rivers and North America

Mindy Teini

Operations & Guest Services Manager, Custom Travel

Regional specialists

Erick Malver

Regional Specialist for Europe, Central & South America and North America & Rivers

Melissa Ladvala

Sales Manager, Custom Travel

Tamara Ewing

Travel Consultant & Alaska Specialist, Custom Department

Adventure coordinators

Debbie Driggers

Adventure Coordinator

Kathryn Gritt

Adventure Coordinator

Frequently Asked Questions

Got questions about MT Sobek? We've got answers!

What are the dynamics of group travel and how much freedom will I have to do my own thing?

Traveling in small groups—generally 16 or fewer—gives you the benefit of close attention from experienced, world-class guides and the companionship of like-minded adventurers. Your entire journey has been carefully crafted to truly experience the best of an area. Often our trips have very full days! However, your guides have the flexibility to adjust during the day for an unplanned tea break with locals, stop for a unique bird or animal sighting, or other unexpected opportunities that make your trip the adventure of a lifetime.

What do your trips include?

Our small group travel includes expert guides with in-depth, boots-on-the-ground experience in their destination, and all accommodations, most meals, sightseeing, ground transportation, and airport transfers as noted in the itinerary. Optional trip protection is available by request for a nominal fee. Your adventure coordinator can help with suggestions for flight routes to and from your trip from our recommended provider.

What are my fellow travelers like?

MT Sobek guests come from all walks of life and all corners of the United States and the globe, from first-time travelers to seasoned adventurers. Whether you’re traveling solo, with a spouse, or with family, you’ll feel welcome. One thing all of our guests have in common: a love of being active in the outdoors! Often strangers meet on an MT Sobek trip and become life-long friends. Your travel companions include our team of enthusiastic, expert guides—park rangers, naturalists, conservationists, photographers, mountaineers, rafters, and intrepid explorers who truly love the chance to share their stories, experience, and intimate knowledge with our travelers.

How do I choose the right activity level for me?

All MT Sobek trips have an assigned activity level from 1-5. Level 1 trips are our most relaxed and often focus on wildlife and cultural experiences. Level 1-3 trips welcome families and new adventurers—you don’t have to be an expert kayaker or hiker. Our Level 4 and most challenging Level 5 trips tend to attract seasoned trekkers and paddlers, and previous experience is required. Please see the trip page for specifics on each trip’s activities, and be sure to contact our knowledgeable Regional Specialists for advice or to ask any questions to help select the trip with the activity you are looking for.

Can you accommodate special requests?

We strive to make your experience on our trips the best it can be. With advance notice, we can often accommodate dietary restrictions such as gluten-free or vegetarian meals or assist with arranging extra services before or after your trip. Please be aware that despite our best efforts, due to local customs or logistical constraints, we cannot guarantee that every trip will be able to accommodate your specific needs, dietary or otherwise. Please contact us to discuss your special request.

What do i need to know before my trip?

Once you’ve booked your trip, we will connect you with a dedicated Adventure Coordinator who will lead you through the entire pre-trip process, from confirming travel dates, providing info on visa requirements and suggestions for booking your air, or advice on getting in shape. From beginning to end, your Adventure Coordinator will be there to answer any of your questions.

If I am traveling alone, can you find me a roommate or will I have a private room?

We welcome solo travelers! If you are willing to share with a roommate, there is no added charge for travel on most of our trips. If you prefer the privacy of a single room, most trips offer a limited number of fully private single supplements for an additional fee. Contact us for details.

What if I have to reschedule or cancel my trip?

We know that things change and you may not be able to take your trip as scheduled. If you should need to make a change, reach out to your Adventure Coordinator for assistance rescheduling or canceling your trip. We make every effort to be accommodating, but please read the terms outlined here for full details. We highly recommend obtaining travel protection for this very reason.

Is my trip guaranteed to go?

For our regularly scheduled group departures, we will review trip status and notify you prior to 65 days prior to departure (or closer as the situation changes) to determine if it is safe and possible to run your trip. We will let you know when your departure is confirmed to go as far in advance as possible so that you can arrange your flights. Please note that due to permit requirements, under-enrollment, or other factors outside our control (including COVID openings and closings), we sometimes need to cancel a departure. If this happens, your Adventure Coordinator will work with you to book an alternate departure or trip; or to refund your payments. We reserve the right to change these policies without prior notice as travel restrictions remain fluid. MT Sobek is not responsible for airfare you have booked on your own.

I am traveling with a large group. How do I book a trip?

If you are traveling with a large group, it may be possible to reserve an entire MT Sobek departure for only your friends or family. For smaller groups of 4-8 guests, we can often create an unforgettable adventure on an unlisted date of your choosing. For additional information or to get started planning, see our Custom Trips page here.

Do you offer custom trips? What are my options?

The sky’s the limit! We have connections with experienced, knowledgeable guides nearly everywhere in the world. If you’re looking for the custom trip of your dreams, we have crafted the perfect adventures for weddings, family reunions, executive retreats, and singular trip-of-a-lifetime experiences. Click here to see our Custom Trips page and get started making your dream trip a reality!

Do you work with travel professionals?

Yes! We welcome working with travel advisers. For information on working with MT Sobek, please see our travel professionals’ page. If you have any questions or need further assistance, please reach out to our National Sales Manager Aimee Graham at aimee@mtsobek.com.