Typically there are two instructors and one intern with a group of up to twelve students. The High Peaks Adventure instructors are talented wilderness leaders and teachers who are versed in backcountry travel and adolescent development. The intern is a college-aged High Mountain Institute alumni who is an aspiring outdoor educator. All High Peaks Adventure instructors have wilderness medical training.

For our days of rafting, climbing, and zip-lining we work with contracted, professional guides who are specialists in their field. We work with Arkansas River Tours for our day of rafting and Browns Canyon Adventure Park for our day of zip-lining. For our day of climbing, instruction is provided by experienced High Mountain Institute staff.

Clara Maeder

Clara was born and raised in Washington DC. At Bates College, she discovered her passion for outdoor exploration and the study of Spanish and Latin America. Clara has incorporated both into everything she has done since. She lived for nearly three years in Latin America backpacking from the Andes to the Amazon, studying community development in Bolivia, investigating and publishing an article about the student movement in Chile, teaching English at a Mexican university as a Fulbright grantee, and traveling with and teaching American students in Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia. Clara joined the HMI community as a Semester 35 Apprentice, is currently the HMI Semester Spanish faculty, and is thrilled to work in yet another capacity as an instructor for the High Peaks Adventure.

Alex Hamilton

Alex Hamilton is a graduate student in Environmental Studies and Law at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Alex holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. He’s worked in conservation and environmental education in California, Montana, Colorado and Uruguay. At HMI, Alex has worked as assistant kitchen manager and adjunct wilderness instructor. A skier, mountain biker and aspiring birder, you can probably find Alex recreating in the mountains.



Arthur Piantedosi

Arthur Piantedosi was born and raised on the north shore of Massachusetts. Arthur was a student at HMI during Semester 23 and returned to Leadville in 2016 as the Marketing Apprentice of Semester 37. After graduating from Hobart and William Smith colleges, Arthur joined his 102-year-old family business, Piantedosi Baking Co. in Malden, MA as the Business Process Analyst along with his bother and cousin. Arthur is thrilled to be taking time off this summer to return to HMI for a third time for the High Peaks Adventure.


 Hayden Shea

Hayden grew up in Jackson, WY and from a young age found a passion for exploring wild places in Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Hayden traveled east to study Conservation Biology at Middlebury College where she developed a love for field science and spent much of her time skiing and hiking in the Green Mountains. Soon after graduation, Hayden was drawn back to Jackson where she honed her teaching and outdoor leadership skills as a Field Instructor at Teton Science Schools. Hayden joined HMI in Semester 38 as the science apprentice and immediately felt at home. She is currently the Residential Life & Science Faculty for the HMI Semester, she is thrilled to be a part of the High Peaks Adventure this summer.

 Sam Vogel

Sam grew up in Northborough, MA and first headed to HMI as a participant of High Peaks Adventure in 2011 and then returned as a Summer Term student in 2013 where he fell in love with being in the outdoors. He is a part of the class of 2019 at Skidmore College in New York, majoring in Environmental Studies and is a member of the Alpine Ski Team. He spent the Spring 2018 semester in Australia studying rainforest and marine ecology to seek refuge from chilly New England winters. Sam enjoys hiking, skiing and reading and spending time with family and friends. He feels grateful to spend another summer in the Colorado Rockies with an incredible community.