Garrett Bennett - email
Senior Guide / Owner
Garrett began climbing at age 12 and has more than two decades of experience rock climbing, canyoneering and hiking in over ten countries, across five different continents. He is certified in high angle rescue, confined space rescue, and is a certified Wilderness First Responder through the Wilderness Medical Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Garrett graduated from Arizona State University with honors and prior to founding CenterFocus, he had eight years of guiding experience working for multiple adventure companies. Garrett has also guided in the jungles of Central America. Garrett was a manager of the Climbmax - Climbing Center in Phoenix. Additionally, he had been the lead climbing guide for various climbing programs where he certified and trained other guides. He has worked with the United States Forest Service as a Wildland firefighter for five seasons where he also served as an orienteering instructor. His attention to detail is impeccable, his commitment to client satisfaction is unabating, and his passion for the wilderness is never-ending. When he's not guiding Garrett can be found cleaning up local canyons and researching environmental law.
David Malpas - email
Internet Marketing / Co-Founder
Dave, a native of New Jersey, graduated from the University of Mass., Amherst before moving to Arizona. He has been climbing for over 15 years and hiking for well over 20. Dave has had several years of guiding experience with various southwest adventure companies.
Dave's outdoor leadership skills were honed at a young age in scouting where he achieved the highest rank of Eagle Scout and is currently a Rock Climbing Merit Badge Counselor. He is a former firefighter/EMT, and also worked for the United States Forest Service as a Wildland firefighter and CPR instructor. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder and is also certified in high angle rescue. He has travelled throughout all fifty states, and most of the Canadian provinces. Dave has climbed extensively around the United States and in Europe and is currently deployed to McMurdo Station in Antarctica.
Zack Summit - email
Climbing / Canyoneering Guide
Zack Summit grew up on the East Coast before heading west to study Environmental Science at Prescott College in Prescott, AZ. Zack has been backpacking since before he could carry a backpack and rock climbing in New England and the West for ten years. He is an AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor, certified Wilderness First responder, and has been trained in high-angle rescue and advanced wilderness medicine. Zack works and plays outside, and you won't see him happier anywhere else. When he's not summiting a Sedona spire or exploring local slot canyons you can find him leading community service trips for teenagers, cooking, or packing for the next big adventure.
Charles Matheus - email
Lead Grand Canyon Backpacking Guide
Charles Matheus is an Arizona native who has a B.S. in Natural History and Education from Cornell University. Charles is also a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School's Mountain Instructor's Course and has been guiding and teaching in the outdoors since 1988. He has led extended backpacking and climbing trips into most of the West's major mountain ranges and deserts. Charles likes to combine his passion for backcountry living and biology by keeping trip-by-trip species lists of flowering plants and birds. Charles has been a certified Wilderness First Responder for nearly 20 years. Besides leading canyon trips, Charles volunteers for an organization that provides rites of passage and long-term mentoring for underprivileged teenage boys.
Sevve Stember -
Climbing Supervisor / Guide
Sevve began climbing on the sea cliffs of Lake Superior's North Shore. He has been continuously pursuing his appetite for climbing throughout the American West making numerous ascents in Yosemite and Zion as well as establishing a first ascent in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado. Sevve recently spent six weeks in Chilean Patagonia where he established four new climbing routes on the untouched 500 meter cliffs of the Valle Cochamo. Stember's team was featured in Climbing Magazine and the American Alpine Journal in regards to their Patagonia Expedition. When not climbing, Sevve can be found teaching math and science in Phoenix or working as a Park Ranger in Yosemite National Park.
David Klingbeil - email
Ranch Manager / Canyoneering Guide
As caretaker for the Rocking X Ranch in the Sierra Ancha Wilderness, David serves as the adventure ranch manager and canyoneering guide for CenterFocus. In addition to potentially being the fastest hiker on earth, David knows the Anchas like his own back yard - as they are literally his own backyard. David is medically qualified and has served as a backcountry ranger for the Forest Service in these areas. He has been an avid rock climber for over ten years and has also served as a guide for multiple adventure companies where he learned to walk just a little bit slower for his clients.
Ty Lampe - email
Lead Havasupai Hiking Guide
Ty Lampe is an Arizona Native that was born in a small mining town North of Phoenix, AZ. There, Ty began exploring the great outdoors and later continued on to spend 10 years working for the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center, a wildlife rehabilitation and educational division of the Arizona Game and Fish Department, where he worked with numerous species of wild animals and educational programs with an emphasis on venomous reptiles of North America. Ty has enjoyed a professional outdoor guiding career of over 20 years, where he has shared his knowledge of the Southwest with visitors from around the world. Ty has served as a consultant for several B.B.C. documentaries, as well as for P.B.S., Discovery Channel, Oxford Science Films and also for several movies that have been filmed in the state. Ty has worked as a white water rafting, mountain biking, fishing, horse-backing, and backcountry hiking guide. Ty has guided Havasupai for over 13 years, and is one of the most knowledgeable non-natives in the area. When not guiding, Ty can be found searching for a rattler to spend a relaxing day with or enjoying the sweatlodge with the natives of Havasupai.
Van Nielson - email
Canyoneering / Climbing Guide
Van has a B.S. in Recreation Management and youth leadership, as well as experience as a Zion based canyoneering guide. Van has also made numerous descents of canyons in Costa Rica and New Zealand. At a young age Van loved the outdoors, earning an Eagle Scout with the Boy Scouts of America before moving to Utah, and then Arizona. When not guiding, Van can be found playing traditional sports or the role of "Uncle Van" for his nieces and nephew.
Melissa Philibeck - email
Archaeology Guide / Assistant Canyoneering Guide
Growing up in the land of the Menominee Indians, Melissa has always had an interest in Native American culture and a connection with the natural environment. Before moving to Arizona, Melissa graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in Archeology and an emphasis in Native American studies. She has participated in several excavations of prehistoric Native American sites that date back 1,500 years. For the past five years she has worked for the National Park Service as an Interpretive Ranger providing archaeological tours for visitors from all over the world.
Bennett Musick -
Rock Climbing, Canyoneering & Backpacking Guide
Bennett is a Jack-of-all-Trades in the outdoors. Despite being a certified Massage Therapist, he couldn't deny his passion to become a professional guide. He is an AMGA certified Single Pitch Instructor and is also a certified Wilderness First Responder. He lives to be outdoors. Bennett has a fantastic personality, even when the going gets tough. When he's not hammering out milage in Grand Canyon National Park or dangling on a rope somewhere, you usually can't find him as he is quite elusive.
Eric Martin -
Assistant Canyoneering Guide
After spending five years saving our National Forests from wildfire, Eric Martin decided it was time for a change of pace and CenterFocus was lucky enough to pick him up. Eric has an incredible personality and if you're lucky enough to be on one of his tours, he'll probably have you laughing just about the entire time. He is extremely dependable and his attention to detail and safety are second to none. When he's not dropping into a slot canyon, Eric can probably be found riding his motorcycle with his dog Charlie Brown on board.
Barry Malpas -
One could say that Barry has a passion for astronomy and science. His education from Rutgers is in Mathematics, Physics and Astronomy. Originally from New Jersey, he came out to visit Arizona, fell in love with the dark skies and never left. Barry was a co-founder of the United Astronomy Clubs of New Jersey, a member of the Antique Telescope Society, is on the board of the Coconino Astronomical Society at Lowell Observatory and is a 50 year member of Amateur Astronomers, Inc. in Cranford, NJ. He has written several articles on Amateur Astrospectroscopy, is researching for a book on the the History of Women in Astronomy, and also teaches astronomy at Coconino Community College. When the sun is up, and he's not viewing sunspots, you can usually find Barry playing the guitar and singing a tune.