Roddy bio

Roddy McCalley
Lead guide and CEO

I grew up in Palo Alto, California with frequent trips to the High Sierra.  My parents loved backpacking so much that they never stopped going, even with a baby, or a toddler and a baby, or two I really have been hiking in the Sierra as long as I can remember.

In college I studied Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, with the idea that someday I might help find a way for our society to avert the ongoing ecological crisis.  Looking for a part-time job, I found  an AmeriCorps program that paid college students to work in preschool classrooms.  I loved it, and went on to make my living working with kids for the next fifteen years.  After college I worked at Hidden Villa Summer Camp (an organic farm and wilderness preserve near where I grew up), and from there got a series of outdoor education jobs, working for Naturalists at Large, the Web of Life Field School, and the Boojum Institute for Experiential Education.  Outdoor education combines my love of the natural world and my enthusiasm for teaching.  Perhaps it even addresses the ongoing ecological crisis.

Hiking, backpacking and canoeing with school groups was an amazing way to spend my 20s.  I'd always loved backpacking, but sometime around 2002 I got hooked on rock climbing, too.  Wanting to pursue these passions as much as possible, I applied in the winter of 2008-09 to work for a guide service called Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides, where some friends already worked.  For the next five summers I had the privilege of hiking the spectacular trails of the High Sierra with guests from all over the country and and the world.  Guiding is interesting work, and quite different from outdoor education.  Sometimes you can hike quite fast, and far, with a group of adults.  Sometimes you learn more from them than they do from you.  I loved it.