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Guide Profile Jim Pence
Jim Pence

Jim Pence

NATURALIST GUIDE

Why did you come to Yosemite?

JP:  I grew up in Yosemite Valley! My parents and I moved there when I was 3.

What are your hobbies?

JP: Hiking, white water rafting, bookkeeping and skiing.

What is your favorite hike/trail in Yosemite?

JP: Spillway Lake/Parker Pass/Bloody Canyon

Tell us your craziest hiking story.

JP: I did a four day trip through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne (52 miles) and I didn't see anyone the entire trip. It was amazing but also strange. It was one of the best multiday backpacking trips I have done.

What's your favorite hiking meal or trail snack?

JP: Trail mix with the M&M's.

And what is your dream vacation?

JP: Exploring more remote places that Yosemite has to offer.

Allie S Guide Photo
Allison “Allie” Schneider

Allison “Allie” Schneider

Why did you come to Yosemite?

I came to Yosemite to explore one of our most iconic national parks and share my love of nature with others.

What are your hobbies?

I love trying new things, bonus points if it’s outside! You’ll most often catch me hiking, trail running, practicing yoga or archery, or with my nose in a book.

Favorite hike/trail here in Yosemite?

My favorite hike so far here in Yosemite is the Young Lakes Loop Trail and Ragged Peak in the high country. It can be a long day, but the view is so worth it.

What’s your craziest hiking story?

When I was studying and teaching in Costa Rica, a friend and I backpacked through Nicaragua for a few weeks. Our first stop was in the city of León, where we met some fellow travelers talking about “volcano boarding” on nearby Cerro Negro, so of course, we had to give that a try!  After a couple of hours of driving through herds of cattle, we made it to the base of the volcano where we hitched our boards (a homemade kind of plywood sled) onto our backs and hiked probably the hottest hike of my life to date to the top. The trail was gravelly and unstable, the kind where every step forward was countered by a half-slide back, the air smelled like sulfur, and the sun was unrelenting, but we were determined. Hours later, getting to the top was a relief — though you can’t stick around long because the volcano is one of the most active in Nicaragua and due for an eruption! Following an investigation of the smoking caldera, we donned our neon jumpsuits and safety goggles and took turns hitting the slope. Let me tell you, after all that, putting the fear of an eruption behind you and sliding down a volcano at speeds up to 60 mph is a rush.

Tell us about your go-to favorite hiking meal/trail snack?

On a day hike, I love to bring fresh fruit. It’s a sweet snack that’s also super hydrating!

What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be to spend a year backpacking through South America.

Michelle “Meesh” Ramos

Michelle “Meesh” Ramos

Naturalist Guide

Why did you come to Yosemite?

MR:  For the past few years I’ve worked in sleep away camps and after-school programs in Florida. In the summer of 2018, I wanted to challenge myself, and experience something new. So I flew to the mountains! And I’m not quite ready to leave!

What are your hobbies?

MR: I truly enjoy the arts. Whether it's drawing, painting, crafting, singing, and more. Something that I continue to fall in love with more and more is hiking and camping. Especially since being in Yosemite it’s quickly growing into an obsession!

What is your favorite hike/trail in Yosemite?

MR: A very tough question! So I will be choosing two, haha! Glen Aulin has a special place in my heart. It was my first backpacking experience in Yosemite and it did not disappoint! I was accompanied by my good friend, the adventure queen Maure Buckley! My second is Clouds Rest. The diversity in plant life and beautiful scenery was breathtaking! I’d like to do it again and catch the sunrise!

Tell us your craziest hiking story.

MR: What immediately comes to mind is my hike “almost” to the top of El Capitan. My boyfriend and I had been planning to hike to the top of El Cap for weeks and we were hoping to do this hike before he had to go back to Michigan for school. Luckily the weather had cleared up and so we took the opportunity! The hike began pretty well! The weather was perfect, we were super excited and having a blast! About 2 hours in I began to feel a bit sick but I didn’t say anything. As we got higher in elevation we began to see snow, which for me was pretty exciting since I’m from Florida and I never really have had the chance to experience it. We continued on and the snow is getting deeper and deeper, but we could still see the trail. This hike, by the way, was super tough for me! But, my boyfriend, Lance did a great job of motivating me. After hiking for hours we are sinking to our thighs in the snow we can’t tell where the trail is. We check the map on our phone and it seems that we were going the right way but we weren't too confident. It dawns on me that we are not going to be able to finish the hike, it was starting to get dark, our phones are dying, and it’s starting to get really cold. I was so disappointed I start crying haha! As we hike down altitude sickness hits me! I was soooooo embarrassed! I sickly made my way down the mountain with Lance who was so caring during this whole thing. Finally were about a mile from the car and we look up. The sky is shining with stars, it was unforgettable. We made a deal to try it again this summer. I can’t wait!

What's your favorite hiking meal or trail snack?

MR: My favorite trail snack is definitely Guac squeeze packets accompanied with crackers, cheese, and salami! My meal is hands down rotisserie chicken with alfredo pasta and avocado! Delicious!

And what is your dream vacation?

MR: My dream vacation would be to head to Chile and do some hiking and camping in Torres Del Paine National Park! There is an animal called a Guanaco that I really want to see!

Guide Profile Tino
Santino “Tino” Thornton

Santino “Tino” Thornton

assistant guiding manager


Tino joins us from the East Coast but has instantly dialed into the Yosemite adventure mode. Catch Tino as he explores Yosemite and adds to the list of peaks he has summitted.

Why did you come to Yosemite?

ST: To climb and explore the beauty of the west.

What are your hobbies?

ST: Climbing, hiking napping, hiking then napping.

What is your favorite hike/trail in Yosemite?

ST: Saddlebag Lake to the summit of Mt. Conness.

Tell us your craziest hiking story.

ST: Me and my friend summited an amazing mountain. On our way down we were walking in the dark. We eventually spotlighted two glowing eyes. We shined our lights on it to discover that it was a mountain lion. We speed walked away while blasting music, shaking keys, yelling, and doing our best to be loud. The lion stalked us for a while before it got bored.

What's your favorite hiking meal or trail snack?

ST: A tortilla covered in Nutella, peanut butter, banana and granola.

And what is your dream vacation?

ST: To spend a few night on a portal edge on El Capitan.