Joshua Tree Guides

​Climbing School and Guide Service  

Zeke Federman - JTG Founder and Senior Guide

Zeke has been a professional rock climbing guide for 18 years and has over 22 years of climbing experience to share with you! Over the course of his long career, Zeke has proven to provide safe, fun and empowering guided rock climbing and instruction experiences for his numerous clients. He has done the majority of his climbing in the Eastern Sierra, Joshua Tree National Park, Yosemite National Park, Red Rock & Spain. Zeke has also established numerous first ascent rock climbs across California's famed Sierra Nevada mountain range. 


He has also worked on a wide array of rock climbing instruction/guiding projects, ranging from training the U.S. Special Forces to major Hollywood climbing productions, including but not limited to being in charge of facilitating climbing segments for the Bachelor T.V. Series and the Dr.Phil Show! He is also a PCGI certified Multi-Pitch Guide and Approved Mentor. Zeke treasures the many friendships that have blossomed from his relationships built with his guided clients over the years and looks forward to climbing with you soon!

Alan "Al Dude" Swanson - Senior Guide

Al is one of the few people in the world who have pioneered first ascent rock climbs in Joshua Tree National Park! His Joshua Tree rock climbing knowledge and experience stand widely recognized and unparalleled. Al is a local Joshua Tree climber and guide who has been climbing for over 30 years and has guided professionally for half that time. Al also holds a degree in Geology from the University of California. On top of being extremely accomplished in many capacities, Al has numerous first ascents under his belt and full of climbing history for you to soak up!

Rick B. Picar III, M.S. - Owner and Chief Guide

A local Joshua Tree climber and resident. He has been climbing in Joshua Tree for over 20 years, along with other  world class climbing destinations such as Yosemite National Park, Inyo National Forest, Red Rocks, Nevada, Devil's Tower, Wyoming, El Potrero Chico, Mexico, and Tonsai, Thailand, just to name a few.

Rick has a Master's degree in Counseling. He has been a professional counselor and educator for over 20 years. His background enables him to work extremely well with clients of various demographics and abilities. Clients have always appreciated his professionalism and outgoing demeanor. He is a lot of fun to climb with and you can be sure that having fun and your safety is his top priority.

Rick is a PCGI Certified Lead Guide and Approved PCGI Mentor for aspirant guides. He also serves as the current President of the Professional Climbing Guides Institute (PCGI). Rick is also a Certified Wilderness First Responder.

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Meet Our Guides