The Team

Portrait Jim Zellers16900

Jim Zellers

President/Owner

Zellers, as most people refer to Jim, has always been known to make play his work from his days as a construction worker, to a furniture maker (with his own shop), a commercial stuntman, or a pro snowboarder.  While earning a BS in Geography at the University of Nevada, Reno, Jim discovered rock climbing and soon began to combine his youth passion of snowboarding into a lifelong career as a Snowboard Mountaineer.  After 20 snowboard mountaineering expeditions around the world, and titles like “Snowboarder of the Year”, “Father of Extreme Snowboarding”, Couloir’s backcountry Hall of Fame, Zellers united his experience and motivation and began to inspire others to make the workplace more fun and twice as productive.  After 300 events getting employees outside to play and work for outdoor industry companies, Zellers has launched High Camp to help others explore the fun in their workplace.

Emily Turner

Emily Turner

Camp Manager

Emily has lived in the Lake Tahoe area since 2002. After graduating from Bucknell University with a BA in geography, she moved to Squaw Valley in order to ski as much as possible and along the way, she’s found all sorts of other activities that keep her entertained, even when there isn’t any snow on the ground. Having had jobs in the skiing, climbing, and biking industries for over a decade, there is still nothing better than getting a call from Jim Zellers asking her to help on a trip. High Camp trips are not jobs; they are fun, adventurous, entertaining experiences to remember, even when you’re posted up as a shuttle driver or cook or dishwasher! In addition to working with High Camp, Emily co-founded and is a head coach for North Tahoe Bike Force, a kids’ mountain bike program that was conceived after coaching the Squaw Valley Big Mountain Ski Team, and is the Director of Operations for Alpenglow Expeditions, a premier high-altitude international guide service.

Dave Nettle

Dave Nettle

Mountain Operations

Dave has been climbing and skiing for over four decades with his earliest adventure, hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada solo at age 17.  After graduating from California State University Sacramento with honors in Environmental Studies, Dave moved to the Lake Tahoe area and has been there ever since.

Dave’s passion for climbing, skiing has fueled dozens of alpine climbing and ski mountaineering expeditions to the mountain ranges of Alaska, Canada, South America, Europe and Asia.  He thrives on pursuing challenges with ‘confident uncertainty’ and his philosophy of a successful climbing adventure is to travel light and simply while enjoying the people, cultures and friendships along the journey.

Since 1990 Dave has organized and hosted an adventure slide show series for the Tahoe community. Professionally, he’s managed mountaineering shops for over 25 years and since 2002 he has been an internationally certified Industrial Rope Access level 3 technician and Assessor, currently instructing Rope Access and Rescue courses for Ropeworks out of Reno, NV.

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J-Mack

Field Logistics

J. Mack has lived in the North Lake Tahoe area for over 20 years where outside of his passion for skiing he enjoys mountain biking, camping and cooking. In pursuit of an education in adventure, he spent a semester in Patagonia with the National Outdoor Leadership School.
His passion for skiing lead him to the early days of competitive free skiing (extreme skiing), which in turn lead him to the Chugach Mountains of Alaska where he started heli ski guiding for Points North Heli Adventures in Cordova and Juneau since 1998. In addition to Alaska, he has guided  biannual ski touring trips on the Antarctic Peninsula since 2009.
His credentials include Wilderness First Responder, EMT (’98 – ’06), Level III Mountain Guides Avalanche Course, CPR/Advanced First Aid (’98 – current).
Being a fellow member of the “Church of the Seven Day Recreationalist”, and being happiest when working in the outdoors helping people achieve new experiences, the call from High Camp  means another chance to live the dream!

Emily Turner

Camp Manager – Specializes in mt. biking, climbing, and skiing

When Emily Turner punches in the clock for work, it’s often from 21,000 feet above sea level on the north side of Mount Everest. The base camp manager for a busy Everest outfitter, Turner is responsible for keeping teams of climbers organized as they make their summit bids on the mountain each spring.

Everest is a long way from Turner’s childhood home in New York City, though, where she would take the subway to one of the city’s climbing gyms in middle school. While she had always loved skiing as a child, it wasn’t until she was invited on a backcountry yurt trip by a friend and his dad in the tenth grade that she became hooked on the outdoors.

“It was the wildest experience I’d had at that point. I think from then on I saw myself being immersed in the mountains in my future,” says Turner. She went on to attend Bucknell University in Pennsylvania before heading out West

These days, Turner calls the Sierra Nevada home, and she resides near the Truckee River in Tahoe City, California. She’s active in the local community where she has worked as a coach for big mountain skiing at Squaw Valley Ski Resort and is a co-founder of the North Tahoe Bike Force—a mountain bike club for kids. Her hat company, Bandwagon Hats, which she co-owns with fellow High Camp employee Kerri Bradley, is popular with Tahoe locals. 

In addition to yearly trips to Everest’s basecamp, Turner was part of a select group of skiers a few years ago who visited northwest China to explore one of the oldest skiing cultures in the world.

With her passion for the outdoors and strong logistical skills, Turner was a natural fit to become High Camp’s base camp manager. She plays a key role in introducing clients to the outdoors, while keeping everyone safe and organized at home.

Greg Beardsley

Camp Manager -Specializes in hiking, mt. biking, and splitboarding

Greg Beardsley can remember his first trip to Yosemite when he was six years old like it was yesterday. “My cousins and I would wake with the smell of breakfast and then escape from the adults for the rest of the day,” said Beardsley, who grew up in Monterey, California.

While he was an avid skateboarder and skimboarder as a kid, it wasn’t until he attended college at Franciscan University in Ohio that he traded the beach for the mountains. Learning to snowboard in acid washed jeans and floppy Sorels at a small ski resort in nearby West Virginia, Beardsley was hooked.

During a semester abroad in Austria, he’d  hitchhike every day to the local ski hill after classes. Then by the early ‘90s, he moved to Lake Tahoe, California, where he says, “I truly discovered my love of snowboarding and eventually rock climbing.”

Now through his work with High Camp and as a guide for REI Adventures, Greg has led adventures in Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, Zion, Bryce Canyon, the Canary Islands and numerous places in between. He also owns a successful landscaping company which he is proud to say helped him put his daughter through college.

At High Camp, Beardsley enjoys introducing clients to climbing, backcountry skiing and mountain biking, in addition to his role as camp manager. He says he loves the logistical part of the job which includes, “making things happen on the fly and solving problems when things go sideways.”

Beardsley will likely be one of the last ones around the campfire at night, sharing stories from his adventures in the Khumbu of Nepal and climbing trips in Cambodia.

Preston Hopkins

Field Logistics – Specializes in climbing, hiking, and problem solving

As the field logistics manager at High Camp, Preston Hopkins wears many hats including gear room manager, shipment coordinator and “fireside babysitter”.

“There’s no typical day at High Camp,” says Hopkins, who also leads the companies climbing and hiking adventures, “which is why I enjoy it so much. I would describe my work as spontaneously vague, yet consistently adventurous.”

When he’s not on the clock for High Camp, Hopkins owns a private practice called, Nalu Performance, in Boulder, Colorado, where he works with athletes as a performance psychology consultant. He believes the outdoors can be therapeutic, and for several years he also worked in wilderness therapy, leading young adults on outdoor adventures in Montana, Idaho, and Hawaii.

Some of Hopkin’s most vivid memories of the outdoors are a winter camping trip to northern Minnesota in -40° temps, paddling the class V rapids of the Big Piney River in Arkansas, living on a veggie farm in Florida and climbing in a haunted forest in Colombia.

Born in Comstock, Wisconsin–a town with no street lights at 1200 ft above sea level–Hopkins holds a degree in Outdoor Education from Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, and a M.S. in Applied Sports Psychology from Adams State University.

For this former collegiate runner who has worked as a high school track, rock climbing, and whitewater paddling coach, sharing his love of sports and the outdoors is second nature

Jason Mack

Camp Manager and Field Logistics – Specializes in mt. biking and hiking

Jason Mack likes to joke that when he’s onsite at a High Camp event, he’s a “cooler and campfire technician”. In real life, “J Mack”, as his friends like to call him, is both a veteran heli-ski guide and international backcountry ski guide. 

Born and raised in Woodstock, Vermont, Mack learned to ski at Suicide Six, vertical drop 650 feet. He attended Western State College in Gunnison, Colorado, where he says a semester abroad in Patagonia with NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) was pivotal to finding his calling in the mountains.

Since then, Mack has gone on to make a career from his love of the outdoors. A successful freeride competitor in the ‘90s, Mack parlayed his ski chops into a position as a heli-ski guide. For close to 20 seasons, he made the pilgrimage every winter to southeast Alaska where he worked for Points North Heli-Adventures. He guided everyone from film crews to novice skiers down epic descents in the Chugach Mountains.

In addition to heli-ski guiding, Mack has worked as a backcountry ski guide on expeditions to Antarctica and Svalbard, Norway, and he continues to work as a ski guide on private trips in Haines, Alaska. It’s those early days of pioneering runs in the Chugach for Points North, though, that Mack remembers most fondly.

Mack has acquired a multiple of certificates that make him both an expert in outdoor safety and an overqualified “cooler technician”. These include: Level 3 Avalanche with Exum, OEC (Outdoor Emergency Care), WFR (Wilderness First Responder), High Angle Rigging & Crevasse Rescue w/ Rope Werks, and Helicopter Stabo Rescue with Butte County Sheriff.

When he’s not guiding adventures, “J Mack” lives with his wife Maura and son Declan near the base of Alpine Meadows Resort in Lake Tahoe, California. He supplements his guiding lifestyle by working in real estate and as a professional ski patroller at Squaw Valley.

Billy McCullough

Camp Chef – Specializes in making active people eat well

Billy McCullough is not only an award-winning chef but also a pioneer when it comes to creating gourmet meals in remote places like national parks, riverbanks and deserts.

Known for blending unique Asian flavors with local, sustainable products, he has served meals in the most humbling conditions from a hurricane-ravaged kitchen in Puerto Rico to a 300-year old farmhouse in the Austrian Alps.

He can just as easily prepare his famous sweet and sour eggplant on a Coleman stove while catering a backcountry ski trip

“Companies seem to like the High Camp culinary experience,” says McCullough, who has a full outdoor kitchen with the firepower of an indoor commercial kitchen. “They tell us a crazy place they would like to have an event, and we always say yes.” 

McCullough’s path to culinary connoisseur started in his 20s when he needed a way to afford his Grateful Dead habit. What began as a side-hustle, serving miso rice bowls to hungry Deadheads in the parking lots at concerts, blossomed into a passion for food.

Despite having a degree in American Literature from the prestigious Middlebury College in Vermont, McCullough put his lit degree on the backburner and moved out West to attend the Western Culinary Institute in Portland, Oregon. He then went on to train under Chef Douglas Dale at Wolfdale’s in Tahoe City, California.

McCullough eventually opened his own restaurant in Truckee, California, called Dragon Fly, which was named “the first true Cal-Asian Restaurant’ by Mike Dunne of the Sacramento Bee and won “Restaurant of the Year” from the Sierra Sun.

Now a longtime member of the Truckee community, McCullough was named “Volunteer of the Year” by the Truckee Chamber of Commerce, “Citizen of the Year” by the local Interact Club, and was awarded “Vocational Person of the Year” and the “Paul Harris Award” from the Truckee Noon Rotary Club, where he is an active member.

He’s been integral to Truckee’s slow food movement and is a cofounder and board member of the Tahoe Food Hub, which distributes food raised and harvested within 80 miles of the Tahoe area. McCullough laughs that the mountains are what finally saved him from the Dead.