A BIT ABOUT THE SIERRA CLIMBING SCHOOL
We Believe in AMGA Training and Certification
The Sierra Climbing School was founded by two long time Yosemite guides Aaron Jones, and Mark Grundon, who settled in the Eastern Sierra. Both Aaron and Mark are AMGA Certified Rock Guides. All of our guides operate within their scope of practice for their training or certification level with the AMGA.
The Sierra Climbing School's goal is to be the number one source of climbing education in the Sierra.
Co-Owner, Head Guide
Aaron Jones began climbing in Kentucky’s Red River Gorge during high school. He first climbed in California’s Sierra Nevada in Yosemite in 2003 and moved here to climb full time in 2004. Aaron has climbed and guided many of the Sierra’s biggest climbing objectives including El Capitan (47 times, including several one day solo ascents) and multi-day alpine climbs in the range. AMGA Certified Rock Guide since 2012, Apprentice Alpine Guide, Wilderness First Responder since 2010, and a Leave No Trace Trainer. Aaron now calls Bishop, CA home with his partner Christy and two dogs, Tilly and Abbey.
Co-owner, Head Guide
Mark grew up in Vermont and began climbing at the age of 15 there. In college he got hooked with the climbing bug in Gunnision Colorardo. He has began climbing in the Sierra 2002 and has made his home in Lee Vining, where he lives with his wife Norma, daughter Isabella and dog Camelia. He also guides trips in Mexico's El Potrero Chico and runs El Potero Chico Guides. Mark is a strong believer in “living the dream”, and following your passions whatever they may be. Mark has his EMT, a Leave No Trace trainer certification, is an Assistant AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Provider, AMGA Apprentice Alpine Guide, and AMGA Certified Rock Guide.
Lead Guide, SPI Provider
Viren was born in Bangkok, Thailand but spent his childhood in Canada and Southeast Tennessee. He started teaching rock climbing in 1999 in at sandstone crags in the southeast and spent summers guiding rafts and teaching climbing in West Virginia. He moved to the Sierra Nevada Mountains in 2003 drawn by the granite walls of Yosemite and moved to the less populated Eastern side of the sierra where he has lived for the past 14 years.
Viren has guided for over 20 years and has guided and climbed in the North Cascades, Canadian Rockies, Alaska Range, Red Rocks, the Himalaya and South American Volcanos. Viren is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide and AMGA Certified Alpine Guide, has completed an AIARE Pro 2, and is an AMGA SPI Provider.
After cutting his teeth on rock and ice crags on east coast he traveled all over making ascents of everything from short roadside rock climbs to big peaks in the wilderness. Ian first climbed in the Sierra in 2008 and moved to Mammoth Lakes a few years later, where he still lives with his family. Though he loves all kinds of climbing, big walls and winter routes hold a special place in his heart. He rounds out the year with forays to Red Rocks, Joshua Tree, Moab, the North Cascades, Alaska, and Canada. Ian is an AMGA Certified Alpine Guide, Assistant Rock Guide, and Single Pitch Instructor. He is also a Wilderness First Responder and Leave No Trace Master Educator.
Nick Lozica is from the San Francisco Bay Area, and found climbing at an early age in the gym. Nick's love of rock climbing brought him to the Eastern Sierra in 2020 and has been climbing non stop since. As well as climbing, backcountry skiing has become a winter passion. Nick is currently an Apprentice Rock Guide, AIARE Instructor, Certified SPI and Wilderness First Responder.