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Brian Houle

Brian Houle

Guide: Washington, Mongolia, Alaska, International

Originally from North Dakota, Brian grew up hunting, fishing, and spending much of his time outdoors. He graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead (MSUM) with a degree in anthropology, and worked for a number of years as a field archaeologist in the lower-48 United States and beyond. Brian was introduced to climbing while studying abroad at the University of Otago, New Zealand. Bringing back a newfound passion for the sport, he balanced his time between digging and climbing.

The transition from archaeology to guiding came slowly, and eventually he found himself immersed in a two-year, international guide training program. After this program Brian worked as an intern with Chiang Mai Rock Climbing Adventures (CMRCA) in Northern Thailand. Initially in charge of training the Thai guides for the AMGA SPI course and exam, his duties soon led to full-time guiding, as well as being the Head of Risk Management and Guide Training. Brian has guided in Asia for 5+ years – and has guided trekkers along remote regions of the Great Wall of China – making him a seasoned international traveler and guide on rock, snow, and ice.

When not guiding in the Cascades, Alaska, Argentina, or further afield, he spends his time as a climbing arborist in Tacoma, WA.

Significant Ascents

Back to the Primitive, China
Haba Shan, China
Souls Awakening, China
1000 km unsupported cycling trip across Cambodia
Numerous first descents in the caves of Northern Thailand
Denali (2 expeditions)
Aconcagua (3 expeditions)
Pico de Orizaba
Mount Rainier (multiple ascents via several route)
Mount Baker
Iceland Peak, AK
Finland Peak, AK
Torment – Forbidden Traverse, WA
Cepeda, Picu Urriellu, Spain
Davis – Holland Lovin’ Arms, WA
SE Ridge Mount Cowen, MT
23 – day traverse of the Chugach Range, AK


AMGA Single Pitch Instructor
AMGA Rock Guide Course
AMGA Alpine Guide Course
AMGA Alpine Skills Course
Wilderness First Responder
Leave No Trace Trainer


Yes – enjoyed that it was more than just a mountain climb. Enjoyed the cultural aspects as well as the hiking/climbing. Yes. I’ve climbed with many guides through the years and appreciated Ben’s low key yet competent demeanor and his sense of humor. Appreciated his pace and his desire to make sure everyone was able […]


  • Staying Hydrated in the Backcountry

    Sometimes the harsh environment encountered in mountaineering can make even the simplest tasks difficult. Staying hydrated is a perfect example – something that is among the most banal of tasks in the lowcountry can become exceedingly complicated in a cold, snowy environment. When all available water is locked up in solid form as snow or […]

  • webbing, anchor, water knot


    The following is the fifth in a series of “how-to” videos on the major knots and hitches used in the mountains. Stay tuned for more videos on knots like the bowline and ring bend, and hitches like the Klemheist and Prusik! The water knot is a simple knot used to tie two ends of webbing […]

  • Knots and Hitches: The Figure 8 Follow Through

    The following is the fifth in a series of “how-to” videos on the major knots and hitches we use in the mountains. Stay tuned for more videos on knots like the bowline, ring bend- and hitches like the Klemheist & Prusik! The Figure 8 follow through is a standard knot used for many different purposes […]

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