Meet the Team

We love what we do, sharing this special place with others, and we are committed to the highest standards of safety. If you’re in the Lake Tahoe area, be sure to link up with us for some rock climbing at Lover’s Leap!

man in white helmet and red shirt smiling


Owner/Lead Guide

Petch has been climbing since 1989 and has passion teaching and guiding as much as he does for climbing. At the end of an eight month climbing trip that took him and his partner from Joshua Tree in Southern California to Devils Tower in the eastern part of Wyoming, and everything in between, the final stop turned out to be Lover’s Leap. The right turn towards Lover’s Leap landed Petch in the campground in 1993. Climbing for eight months and a bank account of zero, he quickly found a job at the Strawberry Lodge. Falling in love with Lover’s Leap and Strawberry he found making a home easy. A guiding job opened in 1996 with teaching youth backpacking and rock climbing. The exciting future of guiding as a full time profession led to the opening of Lover’s Leap Guides in 2003. With his enthusiasm and knowledge of Lover’s Leap, Lover’s Leap Guides has become the most popular and busiest service to climb at Lover’s Leap. He has spent countless ours working with the Access Fund, CRAGS, and the Forest Service to maintain trails, protect nesting raptors, and community outreach. Climbing most of the routes at Lover’s Leap, he has also added numerous routes of his own. From 5.5 to 5.12D, some of his first ascents have become modern day classics. A good chance you will probably climb one of his routes when you climb with Lover’s Leap Guides.

Petch is certified by the AMGA as a Rock Instructor and holds his certification as a Wilderness First Responder and CPR.

Steve Schwortz


Steve started climbing over 20 years in the Shawangunks in New York. A traveler and generalist at heart, he has climbed a little bit of everything in a lot of places - boulders and clip-ups, desert towers and big walls, waterfall ice, alpine ridges and big peaks . Since moving to California in 2008 he has climbed many of the classics in Tahoe, Yosemite, Bishop and throughout the Sierra.

Steve has been teaching climbing in various programs since 1997 and also spent 15 years working as an academic anthropologist and archaeologist earning three degrees and working on dozens of field projects in the US, Europe and Africa. Leveraging his varied outdoor education, scientific fieldwork and experience, his focus is on delivering high quality climbing instruction, fun experiences and effective programming for climbers of all experience levels and backgrounds. Climbing and archaeology combined to provide effective ways to travel extensively throughout North America, Europe and Africa while exploring both the natural and cultural worlds.

Steve is certified as an AMGA SPI and CWI and is a Provider for the AMGA CWI Program as well as the AAC Universal Belay Program. He is a certified WFR and holds the CWA Work-at-Height certification for Qualified Climbing Wall Workers. He also guides at Donner Summit for NASTC and ASI, works with several climbing gyms in Northern California and teaches at Sacramento City College.
photo: Tom Goliber

Patrick English


Patrick splits his time between hunting down splitter cracks and rowdy ski descents. He left the steep sandstone of the South East and have been wandering the Sierra Nevada and beyond for inspiring climbs and beautiful areas. The fun climbing and endless obscure routes at the Leap keep him coming back for more. Patrick's main goals are to share the love of adventure and to help people become safe and efficient climbers.