Ben Mitzner

Guatemala & Nepal Instructor

B.A. Environmental Studies and Political Economy, Lewis & Clark College

Born in Denver, Ben was never far away from mountains. As a teenager, he started spending summers in wilderness areas across North America, first as a participant and then as a trip leader. His love for leading groups through the challenges of wilderness travel has taken him from the Rocky Mountains to the Alaskan and Canadian Arctic, China, and Australia, and led him to less-remote trip leading in Central America and India.

Ben is passionate about exploration, whether in the Arctic or down a side alley in Shanghai, and has always believed in the power of experience to teach us most about ourselves. He loves to take risks and challenge himself, knowing that the person who comes out on the other end will be better for it. He believes in the potential of experiential education to facilitate challenging situations, and trusts himself to find ways to understand and process the results. Ben is also drawn to the more human moments of travel, and has had some of his most incredible moments jumping the language barrier and finding ways to communicate with total strangers in unfamiliar places.

When he isn’t leading trips, Ben is most likely climbing rocks– from deep water soloing in Vietnam to light-and-fast alpinism in the Pacific Northwest. And if you catch him on a lazier day, he’ll probably be hunting down the best coffee in town, eating Thai food, playing guitar, or reading Edward Abbey.