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 .

Kasey Allegro

Office Manager/Admin

Kasey, Tarn’s prettier half, and our office manager, was born and raised in Olney, Montana. She is a mama of four; two boys and two girls. Kasey loves the outdoors – from fishing, hunting, boating, dirt bike riding, camping, horseback riding, to cross – country skiing. She assists with all aspects of guest services and keeps our office running like a well oiled machine!

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.

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.

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!

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!

Cole Maxwell


Cole is no stranger to the outdoors, nor is he bothered by bad weather, in his eyes there is only bad gear and bad attitudes. If you can’t find him bumming and cooking delicious food in his conversion van at varying trailheads and public land pullouts in Northwest Montana, just walk a little further down the trail and you can find him climbing at the best crag, or snowboarding steep backcountry slopes (or maybe you won’t find him). Cole was born and raised in Whitefish, and with Glacier National Park as his playground, he holds much respect for big mountains and always looks to them for inspiration. Cole is a knowledgeable and gracious snowboarder who has 12 years of backcountry experience paired with an Avalanche level 1 and Wilderness First Responder certification. Cole also used to compete in slope style and boarder cross at a national level.

TJ Andrews


T.J. has been with Great Northern Powder Guides from the beginning. From fabricating the cat cabins and building yurts to finding the best runs for our clients… he is always passionate about all aspects of the business. In his off time he travels the world competing and performing flyboard shows. He is an auto and marine mechanic by trade so if you need that boat to float or those brakes to stop…hes your man. But in winter you need that steep and deep to put a smile on your face…he’s your guide!

Grant Hughes


Abandoning an urban based career in medical research, Grant, his wife and two young daughters moved to search for the ultimate thrills in Montana. Interests and activities off the snow include rally car driver, rock climbing, canoeing, golfing, biathlon, hiking and bowling. After a cat ski trip with Great Northern Powder Guides a few years back, he knew he had to become a guide to help others experience the greatest ski day imaginable.

Colton Crowley


Colton grew up skiing in the Mad River Valley of Vermont but when his older brother moved to Montana, he felt the pull of bigger mountains too and sent it to Bozeman 3 days after his graduation. He cut his backcountry teeth skiing the ranges of southwest Montana until the time came to head north and work for GNPG.

Damien Perron


Damien was born and raised in the Italian Alps at the base of the Matterhorn. He has been skiing since he was 3 years old. Damien loves the outdoors and came to Montana as a ski bum where he has learned to fly fish and loves it! He is a father of two girls.

Tom Whipple


Tom has worked in the San Juans of CO, interior BC, and primarily ski patrolling and guiding in the Steven’s Pass area of WA.  He currently teaches AIARE courses and guides in MT and the Tetons.  Tom is an accomplished whitewater kayaker and a starry-eyed novice spear-fisherman.  Sliding on snow in beautiful places is something he is passionate about and that he loves to share with guests.  AMGA Apprentice Ski Guide, AIARE Pro 1, WFR certified.  

Sara Kovalsky


Sara has worked as a ski instructor and holds an AIARE level 1 avalanche certification and a Wilderness First Responder certification. During the warmer months of the year she works at botanical gardens and native plant nurseries. In her free time she likes to ski tour, bag peaks in Glacier, paddle lakes and rivers, and go backpacking.


Official mascot

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