Gary Ryan, a lifelong climber, guide and connoisseur of mountain regions opened the Guide Garage in Ouray, CO in the Fall of 2014. Ryan’s life history is what infuses the Guide Garage with substance. He started climbing on the Gritstone edges of the Peak District National Park in England at the age of six. Under the tutelage of his climbing father and the climbing tradition of the local Rucksack Club, Ryan had a core of competent mentors. His first trip to the States at 15 years old saw him climbing 5.11 cracks in Yosemite Valley with his brother while his dad was off summiting El Cap, with by chance former Ouray local Mike O’Donnell. Before moving to the U.S. more or less permanently in 1988, Ryan spent winters learning the finer points of ski maintenance in the northern English town of Manchester. Summers were for travelling and climbing!
Ryan has made first ascents from Alaska to the Alps, is an AMGA Certified Guide and has an insider’s knowledge of the skiing and climbing industries. As a ‘pro’ climbing bum he ran his own independent rep business for a decade in Boulder, CO. Eventually, he got the prime job as sales rep for Black Diamond in the Rockies. He was with Black Diamond for three years before joining a small team of people who went on to create Scarpa North America, where Ryan helped build the climbing and ski boot sales programs. Ryan asserts there is a ‘new paradigm in retail’, which includes offering customers a sense of belonging and community.
Ryan adds, “The Guide Garage is made of, by and for backcountry skiers and climbers. I’m proud to say it’s somewhat powered and powdered by local outdoor community support”.