Petra Cliffs Guides and Instructors

Our highly experienced instructors are committed to providing programs that meet and exceed the goals of our participants. These staff members have undergone extensive trainings with various organizations like the AMGA, AIARE, NOLS, ACA, and more.

All of Petra Cliffs' Outdoor Guides have current Wilderness First Responder and CPR certifications. They are tested & evaluated each season in the field for competency.

Steve Charest

AMGA Certified Rock Guide & Certified Ski Guide, Aspirant IFMGA Guide

Steve is Petra Cliffs' Co-Owner and Head Guide. He is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, Certified Ski Guide, and Aspirant IFMGA Guide.  Steve has been professionally guiding rock, ice, mountaineering, and ski mountaineering programs since 2001. He has a degree in Outdoor Education from Johnson State College and completed a NOLS Outdoor Educators Course for Mountaineering & Rock to kickstart his career as a mountain guide and educator.  Read more about Steve.

Andrea Charest

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Advanced Rock Guide Course & Aspirant Exam, Ice Instructor Course, Alpine Guide Course

Andrea is Petra Cliffs' Co- Owner and Jill of All Trades.  Andrea began working for Petra Cliffs in 2002 as a birthday party facilitator, and has moved through each and every position along the way to proprietorship.  Andrea is committed to providing a high quality climbing center and offering its visitors, members and employees a positive environment and valuable education. She gets outside as much as possible as a rock and ice climbing guide, and when she's not working... she is climbing.  More on Andrea!

Tim Farr

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Rock Guide Course, Ice Instructor Course

Tim has been passionate about the outdoors his entire life. He is currently certified as an AMGA Single Pitch Instructor and has successfully completed the AMGA Rock Guide Course. He also is certified as an ACA Coastal Kayak Instructor. Certified as a New York state licensed Rock and Ice Guide, he is a Leave No Trace Master Educator, Wilderness First Responder and Association for Challenge Course Technology Level 1 Practitioner. He has been certified as a Swift Water Rescue Technician and has completed a level 2 American Avalanche Association course. More on Tim...

Matt Bresler

Matt is a passionate and well-rounded climber who began guiding for Petra Cliffs in 2008. When he is not in the mountains, Matt works as a classroom teacher in northern Vermont. He enjoys all disciplines of climbing, including year-round rock, snow, and ice climbing. Matt has experienced climbing in 17 US states (at last count,) but loves climbing in New England most of all. Trained as a climbing instructor, avalanche observer, and Wilderness First Responder, Matt is a patient, confident guide for students of all ages and abilities.

Aaron Rice

Aaron holds the world record for most human-powered vertical feet of skiing in a calendar year. He spent over 330 days in 2016 skiing 2.5 million vertical feet. He now spends his time in the beautiful green mountains of Vermont finding new ways to enjoy the sport of skiing. Sharing the beauty of the New England Woods is one of those ways. Aaron spent several winters guiding UVM students through the Outing Club backcountry skiing development course while he attended school there from 2008 - 2012. He has completed 4 AIARE I courses around the country and has completed his AIARE II. Aaron has skied all over the Rockies and American West. He has also spent 7 months skiing in Patagonia, the Andes in Argentina, and the Volcanoes in Chile. 

Mike Carlin

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

Mike has worked as an educator in outdoor pursuits since his time as an undergraduate student. After graduating from Saint Michael's College in 2013, he worked as an Outdoor Pursuits Specialist at the State University of New York at Cortland. In 2014 he returned to VT, and began guiding for Petra Cliffs. In addition, Mike works as a graduate assistant to the Saint Michael’s College Wilderness Program - his primary duties include the development of instructional staff in rock, ice, coastal, whitewater, mountain bike, and ski disciplines. Continuing work as an outdoor professional, while pursuing a Master’s Degree in Education, has afforded Mike the opportunity to further develop his own teaching, learning, and coaching processes. Mike works to provide constructive, student-centered experiences in the outdoors. He is an American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Single Pitch Instructor, American Canoe Association (ACA) L3 Coastal Kayak Instructor, and ACA L3 River Kayak Instructor. Mike is a Wilderness First Responder, and holds avalanche training through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE).

Paul Brown

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor

Paul has been climbing for over 25 years, and guiding for the past 15+ years in New England and the Adirondacks. He is an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor. During his extended apprenticeship in negotiating the vertical environment, Paul has had the good fortune to climb rock and ice in many corners of the U.S., including such places as the Tetons, Yosemite, the granite cracks and sandstone spires of Utah and Arizona, and the icy flows of Ouray and Boulder, Colorado, amongst others. More on Paul...

Evan Kirk

AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Front Desk Staff, Youth Program Staff 

Climbing since 2010, Evan joined the Petra staff after moving to Burlington to finish his undergrad at UVM. While he believes any climbing is great climbing, you’ll have to twist his arm to get him to clip bolts or pebble wrestle because he’d much prefer to be two pitches up plugging gear all day long. If he’s not rock climbing he’s running, mountain biking, cycling, hiking, skiing, ice climbing, or generally, doing anything that doesn’t involve water (unless that water is frozen of course). Evan usually works the front desk, but also works summer camps and birthday parties and enjoys helping new climbers gain the confidence and skills they need to have a great time on the walls. He looks forward to seeing you at Petra Cliffs and hopes to see you at the crags too!

Katrina Brace

Katrina has been a part of the Petra Cliffs family for many years. She originally joined the SumMAT Staff team as our Rock Specialist and has taught Private lessons and our Womens Clinics as well as lead our popular Girls Rock Expedition! She is an AMGA (American Mountain Guide Association) Single Pitch Instructor. Katrina began her climbing experience on the coast of Maine in Acadia National Park about 8 years ago.  Originally from the Boston area of MA she is an Environmental Studies/Geology student at the University of Vermont, graduating this year.  Katrina is very active at UVM as a TREK Orientation Leader and a climbing leader in the Outing Club. When not climbing Katrina loves to do everything else outdoors from hiking, paddling and other outdoor adventures!

Hire Katrina for Outdoor Climbing

Hire Katrina for a Private Lesson