Kimberly has climbed in the Tetons, Wind Rivers, Sinks Canyon and Wild Iris in Wyoming; in Eldorado Canyon, the Flatirons, and Boulder Canyon in Colorado; at the City of Rocks in Idaho; and in the Needles in South Dakota. When not in the Tetons, she lives in Sacramento, CA with her partner.
In addition to Exum, she helps people figure out what they’re meant to do – and do it – through her life/career coaching business, Coaching Heights. She is also working on a project about the history of Exum Mountain Guides and is collecting material from guides, office staff, and clients alike – please contact her to share your stories!
I first came to the Tetons when I was 12 years old to visit my uncle, Peter Lev, a long-time guide and former Exum owner. Here he is with his dog Tukche. On that trip we went up to the Lower Saddle and spent the night in the old Quonset hut. The next morning I hung out with marmots while he climbed. That was my first experience of this magical place!
In 1996, while working in the Exum office, I did my first overnight climb on Mt. Moran* with former Jenny Lake Rangers Ted Wilson, Rick Reese, and their adult children and significant others. There were 8 of us all together. The climb itself was fabulous, but as a group we dealt with a knocked out tooth, minor dehydration, 4 lost toenails, and a 2am paddle back across the lake. I had never been so exhausted, but I was hooked!
*No, this is not a picture of Moran – I don’t have any! This is from a climb of the First Flatiron in Boulder, CO.
In 2002 I climbed the Grand Teton for the first time. Here I’m on the Lower Saddle with my guide, Bill McKenna. As it turned out, five of the 8 people in our combined group were named Bill: my guide, the second guide (Bill Dyer), and 3 out of the 5 clients! We had an amazing time and climbed the Exum Ridge.
2005 marked my 2nd ascent of the Grand, this time via the Complete Exum Ridge (both the lower and upper portions of the Ridge) with former Exum guide/owner Mike Poborsky. There is excellent climbing on this route.
I took part in Exum’s Alpine Seminar in 2006 with guide Kent McBride. This is a shot of me on the Northwest Ice Couloir on the Middle Teton – a first ascent of my uncle’s. We also climbed the Owen-Spalding route on the Grand Teton in mixed conditions that same trip.
Thanks to fellow office colleagues Jane Gallie and Margo Krisjansson and Exum guide Bill McKenna, I’ve recently been exploring the pristine backcountry of the Wind Rivers. My mountain-attack poodle, Tucker, always comes along and does most all of his own hiking, except when some of the boulder hopping gets to be too much for a 15-pound dog!
In 2015, I climbed Mt. Owen with guides Brian Smith and Colby Stetson and a long-time Exum client, Jeffrey. We bivvied just below the summit block and after setting up camp, Brian and I ran up to the top to tag the summit at 8:20pm. I’ve now climbed 6 of the 7 Summits of the Tetons (the Grand, Middle, Moran, Owen, Buck, and Teewinot) and just have the South Teton to go!
Life is too short to not be doing what you love, and I love working at Exum! I’m equally passionate about helping others find out what it is that they are meant to do, through my life/career coaching business, Coaching Heights – which, appropriately enough, has a mountain climbing theme. Check it out!
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