Over the recent months, there are many people that have risked their lives to support others during this difficult time. We are extremely grateful for their sacrifices and are excited that some of them have reached out to SYMG about much needed adventures for this coming summer. Read one of the emails we received recently from a returning guest:

Hello SYMG!

I know this is a tough time to plan a trip, but as two emergency medicine providers, we need something to look forward to. I understand that the park could be closed, but I certainly hope it is open. We have time off in June and would like to spend it with you. We had an amazing trip with our SYMG guide a few years ago and I’d like to book something special. Thank you in advance!

Frank Dorn, SYMG alumni

To show our appreciation we’re teaming up with Adventure Medical Kits and LEKI to provide guests like Frank, who are joining one of our hikes, climbs, or expeditions this summer, a gear package. To be eligible for this gear giveaway, we ask that any individual who is interested share their story working through the pandemic with the tags “#helpingtheheroes, @adventuremedicalkits, @lekiUSA, @symg1991” on their social media account (Facebook or Instagram).

We will select the first 20 applications based on merit to receive an Ultralight / Watertight Pro .5 medical kit and a pair of LEKI trekking poles which will be brought to their trip orientation or day of climbing/hiking.

If you or someone you know is deserving of this please have them share their experience working through the pandemic using the hashtags to be included in the giveaway.

Thank you (or them) for serving!

-SYMG Team

Graham Ottley
Born and raised in the Midwest (Iowa & Illinois), I always held a fascination for the outdoors and mountain landscapes as some “distant place” on maps. That fascination continues today but I am fortunate to have now lived and worked in the mountains for 15+ years. My first job as a guide was leading sea-kayak trips in coastal Ketchikan Alaska. After that season, I attended undergrad in the Southeast (Montreat College) studying Outdoor Education and Environmental Studies and went on to pursue my MBA. I first visited the Yosemite area during a spring break climbing trip with some buddies. I can vividly recall driving in and being completely awestruck by the beauty of The Valley, ...as well as all the great climbing : ) After college I worked as a Guide with Summit Adventure in Yosemite as well as internationally in the Ecuadorian Andes and mountains of Mexico. I enjoyed teaching outdoor education in Santa Cruz and Yosemite Valley during my off-seasons. I also worked with Outward Bound California leading youth trips and eventually worked as Program Director at their Midpines and Joshua Tree locations. In 2016, I transitioned to SYMG and appreciated the thoughtful approach to the work of guiding. I enjoy spending time with the great crew of guides that come here to work, live and play. Beyond work in the outdoors, I am a proud father of two children, Owen & Eleanor. I enjoy adventures with them and my wife Sarah not quite as far afield. While we still return regularly to visit family in the midwest, we are happy to call Southern Yosemite home.