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Welcome to the home & heart of Southeast Mountain Guides! We are thrilled to meet you.

Our Mission

To help develop people as climbers whether they are a complete beginner or an expert!

Our Standard

Above all, we believe in connecting with people. We achieve this by providing meaningful and engaging experiences in the realm of climbing. We strive to be professional servant leaders who are committed to personal growth and genuine connection with others.

Connection – Growth – Professionalism – Servant Leadership – Integrity
We strive to connect with people authentically.
We seek to cultivate an environment of growth and betterment.
We support a team made up of professional and caring servant leaders who act with integrity.
These core values guide us as we offer climbing services that minimize risk; encourage learning; are refined, relevant, engaging, and unique; and that promote climbing stewardship through responsible enjoyment of the outdoors.
Our Instructors

All of our instructors for our guided activities are nationally certified through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) as Single Pitch Instructors or Rock Instructors. Our instructors are professional, friendly, and knowledgeable, and strive to provide the best service and experience for each and every client. This takes time, dedication, and training towards their craft. Please consider providing gratuity for your instructor (15-20% recommended).

In 2001 Mark and Kathy Meyer opened up the country’s first Via Ferrata, providing the public with a thrilling, yet easily accessible way to experience high adventure on our sandstone cliff lines. Their daughter Nicole became the company’s first rock climbing instructor in 2004, and she’s been guiding and managing the business ever since. After all these years, the Via Ferrata and guided activities remain the key services offered. Keeping it in the family, Nicole purchased the company in November 2017 and renamed it Southeast Mountain Guides, formerly Torrent Falls Climbing Adventure. Her passion for rock climbing continues to open new doors for climbing and instruction possibilities. But none of this growth would be possible without you. So truly thank you for your continued support and dedication.

The origins of Via Ferrata can be traced back to the Alps. For centuries, simple, protected paths through mountainous terrain connected alpine villages to their pastures. In WWI, Via Ferratas were built to help troops move through the mountain ranges of the Dolomites. Some of those wartime routes were restored with modern Via Ferrata hardware (iron rungs and steel cable) and are now used for recreation.

Our Via Ferrata became the first commercially operated course in the United States on 9-1-01, and has been enjoyed by folks all over the world since then!

Nicole loves living, working, and playing in the beautiful & rugged mountains of eastern Kentucky in which she has lived for over 20 years now.

What Nicole loves most about owning and operating Southeast Mountain Guides: “Oh gosh, I truly love the ample opportunities to connect with people, my crew and clients. I also thoroughly love business and all the diversity, challenges, and rewards of being a small business owner.”

What Nicole is most passionate about: “Jesus Christ is the foundation of my life. And of course the growth of my company and rock climbing. Outside of that just simply enjoying life and being physically active outdoors.”

Fun Fact: You will daily find Nicole drinking hot black tea from her favorite mug(s) with a broken handle(s).

Nicole has been the owner of Southeast Mountain Guides since 2017, but she has been a part of the company since its inception in 2001 when her parents started with the Via Ferrata, climbing guide service, BBQ restaurant, and a Bed & Breakfast. Nicole managed the Via Ferrata & guide service for 8 years before purchasing it. Nicole has been an AMGA certified climbing instructor since 2004.

See you soon!

Gannon hails from the lovely state of North Cackalacky (also known as North Carolina). He first found climbing while attending Appalachian State, but that has snowballed into an avalanche lifestyle of traveling and adventuring (and of course climbing)!

Gannon has lived in three different countries and has visited dozens more. In his most recent adventure, he spent several months in Southern Spain building a rock climbers hostel in the small town of Cogollos de La Vega. While he loves to travel, in 2020 his adventurous spirit was called Stateside into the beautiful state of Kentucky and the enchanting Red River Gorge to work for Southeast!

Gannon is an AMGA SPI certified Climbing Guide and current Manager of Southeast. No matter if he is in the office, working on the Via Ferrata, or taking some clients out on a guided trip, you can count on his positive attitude and cheerful spirit!

Connor Grew up in Central Washington on the Eastern edge of the Cascades.  He developed an appreciation for nature as a child while hiking, fishing, hunting, and just generally playing in the woods with his friends and family.  His first year at college he discovered rock climbing and suddenly every break from school was filled with climbing trips to various parts of the Western U.S..  He cut his teeth on the granitic crags and peaks of the central Cascades and on the volcanic tuff found at Smith Rock, Oregon.  He started instructing rock climbing in California during the Summer between climbing trips and decided to make a career out of it.   Since that decision Connor has guided in the Sierras, on Cayman Brac, on Mt. Rainier, and now in the beautiful Red River Gorge!

Connor has experience in a wide variety of climbing styles, but particularly loves trad climbing on the perfect cracks in the Red River Gorge.  His other hobbies include: looking at rocks, baking, skiing, looking at rocks, slacklining, Dungeons & Dragons, drinking tea, and looking at rocks (he really likes rocks…).

He is a certified Wilderness First Responder, as well as a certified Single Pitch Instructor through the AMGA.

Connor is patient, knowledgeable and always excited to share his experience to anyone looking to start or advance their rock climbing, and most importantly have fun while doing so!

Diego was born in Brazil but grew up living in Puerto Rico. He is trilingual, which means he is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and English. Diego’s favorite type of climbing is bouldering and sport, and his favorite route at the Red River Gorge so far is Hippocrite at the Zoo. Diego said he loves working at Southeast because: “I get to work outdoors and meet cool people every day! It gives me great satisfaction to see folks enjoying themselves and getting over their fears!”

Fun Fact: his favorite color is Navy Blue

David splits his time between his primary residence in Bloomington, Indiana and “the cottage” located north of Stanton, Kentucky, just outside of the Red River Gorge area.

David found climbing somewhat later in life but, along with his two sons, fully embraced it once found. David has climbed all over the United States including Devils Tower, Smith Rock, the Sierras, Queen’s Creek, Horseshoe Canyon Ranch, and Jackson Falls.

In addition to climbing, David enjoys working on projects around the house, reading, hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and spending time with his wife, Jane, and the rest of his family.

David is a retired teacher who enjoys flexing his teaching muscle as a certified AMGA Single Pitch Instructor.

Lindy is from as far west as you can go and still be in the state of Kentucky. She first tried her hand (and fingers and toes) at rock climbing in a gym while in college, and after graduation decided to move to Red River Gorge to get a taste of the outdoor rock climbing scene! She likes to travel and learn languages, and has visited 25 countries (and hopes to visit more in the future). She also enjoys hiking, reading, knitting, embroidering, and caring for her small family of plants.

Lindy is always excited to learn and loves to try new things.

My name is Connor, I’m originally from the climbing mecca of the US, Florida. My outdoor climbing experience was in Railay Beach, Thailand with a guide in 2017, and I’ve been hooked ever since. I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the past two years climbing in some of the best areas across the country from Joshua Tree to Indian Creek to Wyoming and now the Red River Gorge. In my own climbing I’m most excited about long routes in massive landscapes as well as excellent movement on high quality rock, ideally both combined. Aside from climbing, I also surf, love live music, and am a PhD student at the University of Tennessee. 

Jarek is a homegrown native of the Red River Gorge. Born and raised in the small town of Beattyville, he grew up just minutes away from some of the most famous crags in the world. Although oblivious to the wonders of rock climbing for much of his life (better late than never), he discovered a passion for the outdoors through hiking and exploring that flourished into the great struggle with the vertical. He has become well-versed with the numerous trails and climbing areas of his home turf, but seeks to further his experience abroad after getting a brief taste of the big mountain multi-pitch of Red Rock Canyon and the classic trad lines of Tennessee Wall. 

Some personal life-altering challenges encouraged Jarek to finally pursue his interest in guiding and instructing through the AMGA as a single-pitch instructor. Now, you can find him spreading that ever-present climbing stoke to his clients and continuing to refine his skills as both a guide and a climber. He is incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share his passion, knowledge, and humble fun-loving attitude of climbing to all.

On the off chance he’s not on the cliff, Jarek enjoys hiking the trails, hunting (and bushwhacking) for natural arches, training in Muay Thai kickboxing, going way too hard at the gym, car-singing, mediocre impressions, and crushing his wife at table tennis…sometimes.

Our Difference

We believe climbing is life-changing, and it’s our goal to help you discover that! We take the time to get to know you and help you begin or advance in your journey of climbing.

Contact Us for More Information and Reservations