Our Team

Guest safety is our highest priority at GNPG. We are committed to ongoing training and certifications. Every guide, operator, and photographer has a minimum of Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification as well as AIARE Avalanche Level 1 certification. We host a variety of Avalanche training courses onsite throughout the year.



Lead Guides

Lead guides for Great Northern Powder Guides have five years of extreme backcountry experience. All of our guides are Wilderness First Responder trained and certified.

Tail Guides

Tail guides for Great Northern Powder Guides are up and coming lead guides and have a good knowledge of the area we are skiing.

Snowcat Operators

The snowcat operators for Great Northern Powder Guides have tremendous experience and extensive road building knowledge. All of our operators are outdoor emergency care technicians or wilderness care responders.The Operators stay busy running and working on heavy equipment in the summer months, and have knowledge with the workings of Pisten Bully’s. The operators also attend Alpine Service Schools, and they have grown up skiing and snowmobiling in the same area as we are currently skiing in now.



Jay Sandelin


Owner of Great Northern Powder Guides, as well as operator, guide, cook, and janitor. Started skiing at the age of 3 in Steamboat Springs Colorado. Ski raced, ski jumped, and Speed Skied in the U.S. and in Europe.

Kylanne Sandelin


Jay’s wife, Tarn and Dayne’s mama…Ky handles bookings, guest services, and manages the office (oh, and babysits Sway).

Tarn Sandelin

Cat Operator

Pisten Bully operator extraordinaire as well as part owner, mechanic, and fabricator. Tarn brings years of running and maintaining heavy equipment to our team as well as snow road building. He is safe, brave, and competent in the backcountry. Tarn has grown up skiing and snowmobiling in the very terrain we can now share with the public .

Dayne Sandelin


Part owner and guide is greatly missed around these parts lately. He’s living his dream as a helicopter mechanic for Temsco. Splitting his time between Ketchikan, Juneau, and Skagway he is training and preparing for our next big adventure!

Ken Manuel


Ken started skiing in Lake Tahoe at the age of four and spent his early years ski bumming there as a lift-op at Squaw Valley. Ken started Ski Patrolling and continued his way in the ski industry in Tahoe. Ken guided for Pacific Crest Snowcats for ten years, he also worked Heli-guiding in Valdez at Alaska Backcountry Adventures.

Jude Spors-Murphy


Jude is our tail guide and loves the winter, as skiing is his passion! He grew up skiing in the hills of the Midwest always dreaming of the mountains of the west. He lives his dream here in Montana.

Scott Lawhead


Clinical Laboratory Scientist (lab tech) for Kalispell Regional HealthCare since 1996. Scott has a great wife and daughter. Enjoys snowboarding, Telemark skiing, rafting, rock climbing, winter touring, mountain biking, riding my dual-sport motorcycle, and climbing peaks in Glacier. I’ve travelled a bit of the world (Thailand, Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina and India, I love long walks in the snow and fine dining (PBJ’s in-between laps on tours in Canada). I am very excited to be the first splitboard guide with GNPG and look forward to a fantastic season!

Carl Hubbell



Carl grew up in the Pacific Northwest, were he began snowboarding at the age of six and instructing at 15. He has lived in Montana for over a decade and spent much of that time guiding and exploring the state’s vast mountain ranges and quiet streams. He spends his summers as a fishing guide and jet boat operator in the wilds of the Alaskan bush.

Emily Barge


Emily is a lifelong local of the Flathead Valley with a passion for the mountains that has been instilled since childhood. She has been a professional photographer for over 10 years, If she’s not shredding powder in the backcountry, Emily spends her time as a local gold-smith and freelance photographer while raising her 5 kids to enjoy the outdoors as much as she does!

Taylor Westhusin


Taylor found his way to Montana in search of a college education and large mountains to shred which landed him in Bozeman, Mt where he got a degree at MSU and honed his backcountry skills!  Growing up in Colorado, Taylor skied his entire youth all over Summit County and has always been an avid out-doorsy guy enjoying mountain biking and trail running in the off season.  Soon after graduating college, he was hired here at GNPG, so he packed his bags, drove north, and the rest is history!

Kira Frye

Kira is a fourth generation Montanan who developed her love for the outdoors at a young age, hiking the trails near her family’s cabin high in the Beartooth mountains. Family outings each summer provided the opportunity to explore other areas of Montana, including Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, while snowboarding at Big Sky and Bridger Bowl kept her active during Montana’s cold winters. Kira attended college at Montana State University, Bozeman, where she earned a degree in cell biology and neuroscience. She continues to pursue her passion for outdoor adventure expanding her backpacking and snowboarding adventures across the globe. She also enjoys whitewater rafting, mountain biking, climbing, yoga and cooking. Kira believes travel is an important part of her continuing education and strives to learn more about other cultures and new environments. Guiding has allowed her to experience the best of both worlds by sharing stories, experiences and laughs with people from all different walks of life.

Alex Bogner

Alex grew up in Woodstock, New York, and learned to ski in the Catskills at 5 years old. He has now skied all over the contiguous U.S., Alaska, Canada, and Peru. In 2017, Alex graduated from Lyndon State College in Vermont, where he earned a Bachelor’s in Mountain Recreation Management. Alex ski patrolled for 3 seasons, both in Vermont and Washington. He guided sea kayak tours and glacier hikes in Seward, Alaska for two seasons, and has guided several backcountry ski trips in the Northeast. Alex loves powder skiing, especially that Whitefish, Montana cold smoke, and he is excited to share his stoke with the guests at GNPG!

Tom Baffa


Tom grew up skiing in New Hampshire ski racing and ski jumping where he learned all about “variable snow conditions”.  After moving to Vermont he was a ski instructor and an adaptive ski guide before he began ski patrolling in 1999.  Tom enjoyed backcountry skiing in New Hampshire, Vermont and Northern Quebec often traveling to the western US and Canada for more diverse skiing and biking opportunities.    Eventually he moved to Utah full time to pursue work in Ski Operations risk management before he and his wife Molly settled in Montana in 2016 for the long haul.  Tom continues to expand his backcountry experience on skis and all things with 2 wheels.

John Van

Operator/ Mechanic

John hails from West Monroe Lousiana and has dreamed of living in Montana since he was a young man when he traveled to the Big Sky state for work.  He has been operating heavy equipment, farm machinery or in his words, “anything with a motor” for 55 years.  In addition to operating equipment, he is a jack of all trades when it comes to mechanical work, fabrication, etc.  Upon retiring, John and his wife bought a cabin in Rexford, Mt, and he is finally living his Montana dream as an operator for GNPG!

Rob Conte


Rob has been involved in the ski/ snowboard industry since graduating high school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania working in ski shops up and down the East Coast. The call of the Rocky Mountains drew Rob to Montana and he found himself fighting wilderness fires and guiding river rafting trips.  His curiosity and desire to explore the Stillwater State Forest brought him to GNPG where he has greatly expanded his mechanic/ shop experience while working on Cats and praying for snow!

Nick Peterson

Operator/ Mechanic

Nick has lived in Whiteifsh his entire life and grew up snowboarding on the Big Mountain.  He loves the mountains, rivers and lakes in the area and has always been an outdoor kind of guy pursuing adventures year-round in our beautiful state. Nick has worked in the construction and heavy machinery world his whole life and has become invaluable in our machine shop as he gets to know the cats from the inside out!

Rostyn Hamilton


Rostyn grew up slashing through the snow on his snowboard in Eastern Rocky Mountains of Wyoming while enjoying everything the area has to offer outdoors year round.  His love of nature led him to guiding on the rivers in Yellowstone National Park as well as working as a rock climbing guide at Devil’s Tower, Wy.   When his wife was hired here in Northwest Mt, it was the perfect opportunity for them to relocate and begin their lives in Montana!


Official mascot

SWAY had a cameo in the Warren Miller’s “Ticket to Ride” AND was Ski Magazines “Mascot of the Year”