Chris Benson

I was born in Denver, CO and after spending about a year at our home in the mountains North of Alma, my parents moved to Corrales, NM. New Mexico was a wonderful place to grow up and I enjoyed spending time outdoors and playing music. After a pivotal experience as an Outward Bound student, I attended Western State Colorado University, and studied geology. After graduating with a B.A. in Geology, I moved up-valley to Crested Butte and focused on guiding, skiing, and snow science over the next six years. While living in Crested Butte, I got my EMT and worked part time for the ski patrol. During my time in Crested Butte, I also taught avalanche courses, was an assistant avalanche forecaster, and guided for a cat-ski operation.

During the spring, summer, and fall, I worked for Outward Bound (15 years in total) leading courses up to 81-days in length; teaching outdoor skills and developing young leaders in a variety of settings and activities.


In 2011, I guided for the American Alpine Institute in WA. Later that fall, I moved to Moab to become the Southwest Program Director of the Colorado Outward Bound School. In 2015, I guided a trip on Denali and spent the rest of the summer guiding in the beautiful San Juan Mountains of Colorado. I began my graduate course work at Northern Arizona University with a science teaching program which later changed to Geology.

For my graduate research, I studied modern and past climate change in the Alaskan Arctic by reconstructing glacier activity through lake sediments and moraines.

I work part time for the USGS in Moab, UT on a soil-geomorphology project that focuses on the connections between geology, soils, and vegetation communities of the Colorado Plateau.


Recently, I acquired my Commercial Pilot Certificate and hope to share the experience of flying over the canyon country. 


  • Wilderness first responder
  • CPR, AED and airway management
  • WEMT (2008-2016)
  • LNT-trainer
  • Swift Water Rescue Technician
  • Commercial Pilot