Ned Tibbits, Director/Instructor:
Besides having nearly 50 years of wilderness experience, 31 of which as a wilderness skills instructor, Ned brings a lot of training to the school. He has worked as a U.S.F.S Wilderness Ranger, Rural and Urban Paramedic, Professional and Volunteer Ski Patrolman, Sheriff’s Department Search & Rescue Member, and currently maintains certificates in Emergency Medical Technician-Instructor, NOLS Wilderness EMT, the National Ski Patrol, the Wilderness Medical Society’s Fellow and Diploma in Mountain Medicine status, Amateur Radio, and Search & Rescue Instructor. He is a graduate of the University of California at Davis in English and Physical Education and received his Paramedic training at Stanford University. Ned has thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail (1974), bicycle-camped 5,000 miles in Europe (1979), completed half of the Continental Divide Trail (1980), and hiked, skied, and snow-shoed his favorite trail, the John Muir Trail many times. He has been married to his wife, Juliee, for thirty-two years and they have three children.
Juliee Tibbits, Assistant Director/Instructor:
Juliee started exploring the hills and fields in urban California as a very young girl. Ned and Juliee grew up together, lived in the same neighborhood, rode the same bus, and hiked the same hills, but didn’t meet until 1984 when she walked into a ski shop where Ned was working to rent ski equipment for a weekend getaway. As an example of “love at first sight” and Divine Intervention, this was both! Within the next year, they had completed a thru-hike of the John Muir Trail together where Ned proposed to Juliee one starry night in Upper Evolution Valley. From their beginnings together, Juliee always supported and encouraged Ned to pursue his God-given dream of helping others discover the benefits of wilderness life. She became a proficient thru-hiker and field skills instructor and has helped teach nearly every Mountain Education course since the school’s creation. Juliee is currently an ICU nurse while pursuing her Masters Degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner, yet continues to be involved in teaching women’s backcountry skills for Mountain Education.
Matt is our Cameraman and Assistant Webmaster when he isn’t working as a metal fabrication field manager. In essence, he is the technical side of Mountain Education and has been a very vital part of the school since he earned his Eagle Scout rank from the Boy Scouts of America. He, also, is our motorsports enthusiast and head mechanical and electrical “bottle-washer” of the company, helping us with transportation and logistical issues over the years.
Typical of siblings and as Matt’s younger brother, John has a completely different calling on his life. John has bicycle-toured California and spent two months bicycle-camping throughout Europe. As one of his first backpacking trips, John went as far as to “yo-yo” (hike both directions of a linear trail in one trip) the famous 211-mile John Muir Trail in less than one month (422 miles). Long trails can change livesand this adventure brought John close to God as he relied upon Christ to take care of him when he was most challenged! John has graduated from a 4-year Christian College and plans on a future in international human resource management. John often helps train Mountain Education’s students in applying what they’ve learned in the very practical ways he’s experienced based on his trips and a lifetime in the school.