Angela Hawse

Awarded "2011 Guide of the Year" by the American Mountain Guides Association

Prescott College AffiliationAlumni
Area of StudyBA-Outdoor Education and Interpretive Naturalist/MA-International Mountain Conservation
Graduation Year1986/2001
Area of ExpertiseInternationally Certified Mountain Guide
BusinessExum Mountain Guides, American Mountain Guides Association, Telluride Helitrax
Current JobIFMGA / UIAGM Mountain Guide
LocationRidgway, Colorado

Angela Hawse's education helped her achieve her wildest dreams. She was recently awarded 2011 Guide of the Year by the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA), the second woman in history to hold this honor. Angela is also the sixth woman in the U.S. to be certified by the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association.  

Angela received both her undergraduate degree in Outdoor Education and Interpretative Naturalist (1986) and her Master of Arts in International Mountain Conservation (2001) from Prescott College. Today, she does what she’s always done, lives her life to its full potential.   Hawse is the first one who will admit she never wavered from her dreams. “Prescott College and my mentors instilled in me the importance of following my dreams, trying my hardest, enjoying experiences with others and being a steward of the natural world,” she said.  “Those years were fundamental to shaping my lifelong dreams, many of which I have achieved.”   

Hawse is still only one of two female instructors and examiners working for the AMGA, training aspiring guides. She has spent the last 10 summers in the Tetons working for Exum Mountain Guides, surrounded by alpine grandeur and spectacular wildlife. “I have the honor of working for some of the country’s best clinics for women, teaching climbing for groups like Chicks with Picks, founded by Prescott College alumna Kim Reynolds ’84. Her current “dream job” is working as a ski guide in her own backyard in the San Juan Mountains for Telluride Helitrax.

Hawse is considered one of the most experienced and accomplished female guides in the US. She has led more than 20 high-altitude expeditions, climbed big walls in Pakistan, led climbers up Aconcagua in the Andes, and ski traversed Swedish Lapland. She’s led five expeditions up Denali, climbed in Argentina, India and Patagonia, and scaled big walls in Yosemite and Zion national parks.

Three trips really stand out in her memory, not for their thrill-seeking element, but for their personal meaning in her life. The Everest Challenge expedition in 1998, she played a role in the effort that got Tom Whitaker to the top of Mount Everest, the first disabled ascent of the world’s highest mountain. In 2004 she led an all female group up Ama Dablam, raising $23,000 for the dzi Foundation, which helped start a safe house for girls in Nepal. On Argentina’s Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas, she was part of a group that hauled down 2,000 kilos of trash from the mountain.

“My experiences at Prescott College certainly shaped my destiny and gave me the tools to seek out and live my dreams. I am forever grateful to Prescott College, my mentors and friends there.”