BECKY SWITZER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR AND GUIDE/TRIP LEADER
Originally from the Midwest, Becky moved to Bozeman in 2005 to complete a Masters degree in Science Education. She has worked for various nonprofit organizations in the West, including Teton Science Schools and Montana Outdoor Science School, and has served on the boards of a handful of nonprofits in the Gallatin Valley. Becky has also done a fair amount of guiding, including rock climbing and kayak touring in North Carolina, as well as guiding backpacking trips in Yellowstone National Park.
Climbing, however, is where Becky's passion lies. Needing a break from her collegiate soccer career, Becky embraced climbing while living in the Southeast, making long weekend trips from coastal North Carolina to the Appalachians. As her love for climbing grew, Becky found herself gravitating towards the mountains; first in Jackson, Wyoming before putting down roots in Bozeman. She has traveled all over the US for both outdoor trips and climbing competitions. Becky has also traveled extensively in Central and South America, Europe and India for other outdoor pursuits.
In the last five years, Becky has taken to becoming a student of climbing. She believes that crafting a well-rounded and individualized training plan can allow climbers to progress at a tangible (and injury free) rate. For her, staying current with the most beneficial research combined with training periodization has led to competing at both the ABS and SCS Open Nationals as well as sending routes up to 8a+. Becky looks forward to sharing her love for climbing with the TTS community, both in Bozeman and beyond!
Leigh Spokas, Guide/Trip Leader
This native Montanan and now recently, Californian, has been climbing for more than 15 years and has loved every second of it . . .(OK, there was that one time in an offwidth . . .!) Leigh lives and breathes all things climbing - from bouldering to ice climbing and everything in between. By training and education, Leigh is an ecologist, but she decided many years ago to dedicate her life to climbing and climbing education.
Leigh's spent more than a decade coaching, instructing and guiding children and adults both indoors and outside. She loves coaching and instructing for performance climbing, and she is also passionate about teaching technical systems for rescue, caving, multipitch climbing and canyoneering. She says she hasn't met a type of climbing or a rigging system she did like!
Leigh has extensive experience and several certifications with Search and Rescue, High Angle Rescue, Swiftwater Rescue, Helio Rescue, Alpine/Backcountry Rescue and Incident Command. She is also a nationally registered EMT.
BRANDON SMITH, GUIDE/TRIP LEADER
Affectionately know as B, Brandon has been working for Touch the Sky since 2003. He's been on most of our trips and has coached the Bozeman Climbing Team since 2002. We think Brandon has the perfect combination of patience, grace, and masterful rock craft. He's made the commitment to being an educator and mentor, and takes both very seriously. B is the lead guide and coach for The Climbing Academy.
Brandon also works at Spire Climbing Center and makes awesome paintings.
joe manlove, GUIDE/TRIP LEADER
Joe Manlove has been a volunteer guide with Touch the Sky for the better part of a decade. Normally, he's a professor of mathematics at Columbia College, but during the summer, he brings his enthusiasm for learning and climbing to TTS youth.
After 15 years climbing, Joe not only adds passion and drive to our trips but a wealth of knowledge and experience. He has yet to find a type of climbing he doesn't like! Joe also has extensive experience with Search and Rescue, High Angle Rescue, Swiftwater Rescue, Helio Rescue and EMS.
Taylor Fragomeni, Guide/trip leader
Taylor Fragomeni grew up near the Adirondack Mountains of New York, where she got her start climbing during her senior year of high school. She escaped to the west a few months later to attend Montana State University, where she earned her B.S. in Earth Sciences and subsequently decided that the preferred career path involved coaching youth and guiding climbing.
Taylor has dabbled in several forms of climbing, but most thoroughly enjoys technical sport climbs and alpine bouldering. She has been routesetting since 2012, instructing and guiding since 2014, and currently spends most of her time coaching the Bozeman Climbing Team and managing the routesetting crew at Spire Climbing Center.
aaron bugh, guide/trip leader
Aaron started his climbing career on his high school’s climbing team but very quickly ventured outside to the cliffs of Colorado’s front range. Since moving to Bozeman, Aaron has been able to dedicate most of his time to climbing, training, coaching, and dreaming about climbing. He currently is the Head Coach for the youth team at Spire Climbing Center as well as the program coordinator. Most of Aaron's free time is spent bouldering or sport climbing on a rock somewhere, though he can occasionally be spotted at a local competition.