Apex Mountain School is a full-service mountaineering adventure company located in Vail, Colorado. It has been rooted in the community and the Colorado climbing culture for 20+ years. Apex’s reputation includes but is not limited to:

Scott Smith, founder of Apex, has more than 25 years of climbing experience and over 15 years commercial guiding experience. He trained under the AMGA (American Mountain Guides Association), and is certified as an AIARE avalanche educator. Our guides have more AMGA and AIARE certifications than any other guide service in the area. We dedicate ourselves to providing the best possible experience by prioritizing clients’ safety and personal goals.


Safety should be the first concern of any guiding company. After safety, what sets Apex apart is our drive to install comfort and trust in clients with our tight knit team built from our family owned business. We strive to provide unparalleled adventures and skills training to clients of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. A keen sense of client care and risk management, as well as our impeccable safety record, inspires the confidence our clients look for in a professional mountain guide. It is a trademark upon which our reputation is built.  

I have nothing but amazing things to say about my AIARE I class with Apex. All my instructors and especially Stew, who lead my group during the field sessions, were fantastic. I have come out of that class more confident, more motivated and most importantly more knowledgeable towards backcountry skiing. They even made it snow a foot overnight before the third day of the class! I cannot recommend these guys highly enough!!

Arthur S