Desert Ice Mountain Guides

About Desert Ice Mountain Guides

Desert Ice Mountain Guides is a one-man company run by Craig Luebben. Craig has guided and taught rock and ice climbing courses in Colorado since 1981, and has climbed all around the world. He is an American Mountain Guides Association certified rock guide, board member, and rock guide instructor. He has written the following instructional books:

  • How to Ice Climb
  • Advanced Rock Climbing (with John Long)
  • Knots for Climbers
  • How to Rappel
  • Go Climb!
  • Betty and the Silver Spider (how to gym climb)


Craig designed BigBro tube chocks, has tested and reviewed rock and ice climbing equipment for Climbing andRock & Ice magazines, and is a senior contributing editor for Climbing. He has opened more than 200 new rock and ice routes on five continents, and has guided rock, ice, and alpine climbs for Colorado Mountain School, Aspen Expeditions, San Juan Mountain Guides, Acadia Mountain Guides, Condor Adventures, Colorado State Outdoor Adventure Program.

Since Craig does all the guiding and instructing himself, Desert Ice can offer only a limited number of days. Sign up early to reserve your spot.

Why Hire an AMGA Certified Guide?

The American Mountain Guides Association trains and certifies guides in three guiding disciplines: rock, alpine, and ski mountaineering. The certification assures that your guide has been trained and examined in his or her profession, and is safe and competent. A guide who is certified in all three disciplines becomes an IFMGA guide (International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations). This international certification qualifies the individual to guide in many countries in Europe, plus New Zealand, and Canada. Ironically, the United States has difficult and complicated access: Concessionaires and permitees enjoy solitary access to much the country's best guiding terrain, and even certified guides cannot guide there unless they work for the permit/ concession holder. Though we cannot go everywhere we like, Desert Ice has held permits to guide at Eldorado Canyon, Horsetooth Reservoir, and North Table Mountain, Colorado, and Vedauwoo, Wyoming. We also have relationships with other guiding companies and can guide in some areas under their permits.