fbpx

Broad-Based Experience

MEET OUR TEAM

Our broad-based adventure experience is something that we are very proud of. Over the years, our senior guiding team has developed their own deep understanding of what makes a great client adventure experience through their connection and immense respect for the great outdoors. The experience and knowledge obtained through their own adventure pursuits is now pass on to others through the development of boutique adventures experiences for Peak Potential Adventures.

Shane Pophfer standing at base camp on Denali in Alaska
Shane Pophfer leading a team through The Six Foot Track in the Blue Mountains
Shane Pophfer celebating after leading a team to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro

Shane Pophfer

Shane is the Managing Director and the founder of Peak Potential Adventures. He has successfully climbed some of the highest mountains in the world on his own personal adventure pursuits, as well a lead many clients on adventures across the globe like Mt Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp, Overland Track, Six Foot Track, Kokoda Track.  This extensive first-hand experience has allowed him to develop a wealth of knowledge and experience in managing and leading all levels of adventures. He is passionate about client safety and ensuring that they have a fantastic and memorable adventure experience.

Shane (also known as “Poff”) grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia. He had an adventurous childhood; swimming in creeks and rivers, climbing trees and bridges, roller-skating, riding his BMX or anything on wheels. One may ask, where does he get this zest for life? He says, “When it’s time to leave this earth, I want to be all used up and wrung out like an old sponge, with nothing left to give”. His enthusiasm for getting the most out life is infectious!

At the age of eighteen, Shane enlisted in the Army in 1986 and joined the 3rd Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), Australia’s elite airborne infantry battalion. As a young paratrooper, there was adventure and excitement, but with the role came a deeper understanding of courage, discipline camaraderie, loyalty, physical and mental endurance. These skills and core values would guide Shane as he negotiated the future challenges in his own life and on his own adventure pursuits.

After his military service, he moved around with his family, making the seaside town of Port Macquarie on the east coast of Australia his family home. This is where he found the love of the ocean and would regularly spearfish surf, and ocean kayak. The surrounding area also gave way to mountain biking, road cycling and paragliding.

Shane now lives on the Central Coast north of Sydney and even though he’s now a grandfather, he still lives by the mantra of ‘Adventure is a Way of Life’ as he quietly pursues completing the ‘7 Summits’ which covers climbing the highest point on the seven continents.

Some Past Personal Adventures

Expand all Collapse all
Aconcagua - Argentina, South America

Part of the Andes mountain range, Aconcagua is the second highest of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each continent), behind only Mount Everest in Asia. At 22,837 feet (6,961 meters), not only is it the highest mountain in South America, it is the tallest peak in all of the Americas, as well as the Southern and Western Hemispheres.

Denali - Alaska, North America

Denali, once called Mount McKinley, is the tallest mountain in North America. Located in south-central Alaska, the mountain's peak is 20,310 feet (6,190 meters) above sea level, also making it the third highest of the Seven Summits - the highest mountains on each of the seven continents - following Mount Everest in Nepal and Aconcagua in Argentina. By one measure, it could be considered the third tallest mountain in the world.

Mt Elbrus - Russia, Europe

Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe, and the tenth most prominent peak in the world. A dormant volcano, Elbrus is in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia, near the border with Georgia. Elbrus has two summits, both of which are dormant volcanic domes

Mt Kilimanjaro - Tanzania, Africa (Umbwe Route 3 days)

Mount Kilimanjaro or just Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, "Kibo", "Mawenzi", and "Shira", is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa, about 4,900 metres from its base, and 5,895 metres above sea level.

Approaching from the south of Kilimanjaro, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb to the summit. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.

Kokoda Track - Papua New Guinea

The Kokoda Track or Trail is a single-file foot thoroughfare that runs 96 kilometres (60 mi) overland - 60 kilometres (37 mi) in a straight line - through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. The track was the location of the 1942 World War II battle between Japanese and Allied - primarily Australian - forces in what was then the Australian territory of Papua.

Darren Wise standing on a mountain summit in the Fox Glacier in New Zealand
Darren Wise leading a team to the summit on Mt Kilimanjaro
Darren Wise giving a big thumbs up after summiting Mt Aconcagua in Argentina

Darren Wise

Darren has always had a passion for adventure from a young age. At just five years old, he was seen jumping off a ten-metre diving board! What developed at a young age was a “leap of faith” attitude that saw him seek out an adventurous career path. Darren has successfully summited some of the highest mountains in the world on his personal adventure pursuits, but his real passion is sharing his adventure knowledge and facilitating adventure experiences for others.

Originally from Tasmania, Darren enlisted in the Australian Army in 1986. After his initial basic soldier training, his was posted to the 3rd Royal Australian Regiment (3RAR), Australia’s elite airborne infantry battalion. After serving nearly seven years, he discharged from the Army. Darren has a deep passion for great outdoors, eco-tourism and pursuing new adventures.

For Darren, the greatest reward is watching others get the most from their adventure experiences by just being outside their comfort zones or experiencing new things. Apart from being an adventure guide, Darren is also a qualified fitness instructor and has assisted many people in train for their adventure goals and pursuits at the highest level. Darren is also a qualified IRATA Rope Access Technician.

Darren is passionate about leading people into some of the most beautiful and unspoilt adventure destinations in the world and is excited about leading some of the Tasmanian treks as he considers Tasmania is one of the most iconic trekking destinations in the world. Also, Darren’s Tasmanian heritage that dates back to the early settlement of Franz Ludwig von Bibra in 1823 means it’s a place very close to his heart.

Darren now resides in Sydney and also still lives by the mantra, ‘Adventure is a Way of Life’ as he also quietly pursues his quest to complete the ‘7 Summits’ with Shane.

Some Past Personal Adventures 

Expand all Collapse all
Aconcagua - Argentina, South America

Part of the Andes mountain range, Aconcagua is the second highest of the Seven Summits (the highest peaks on each continent), behind only Mount Everest in Asia. At 22,837 feet (6,961 meters), not only is it the highest mountain in South America, it is the tallest peak in all of the Americas, as well as the Southern and Western Hemispheres.

Denali - Alaska, North America

Denali, once called Mount McKinley, is the tallest mountain in North America. Located in south-central Alaska, the mountain's peak is 20,310 feet (6,190 meters) above sea level, also making it the third highest of the Seven Summits - the highest mountains on each of the seven continents - following Mount Everest in Nepal and Aconcagua in Argentina. By one measure, it could be considered the third tallest mountain in the world.

Mt Elbrus - Russia, Europe

Mount Elbrus is the highest mountain in Europe, and the tenth most prominent peak in the world. A dormant volcano, Elbrus is in the Caucasus Mountains in Southern Russia, near the border with Georgia. Elbrus has two summits, both of which are dormant volcanic domes

Mt Kilimanjaro - Tanzania, Africa (Umbwe Route 3 days)

Mount Kilimanjaro or just Kilimanjaro, with its three volcanic cones, "Kibo", "Mawenzi", and "Shira", is a dormant volcano in Tanzania. It is the highest mountain in Africa, about 4,900 metres from its base, and 5,895 metres above sea level.

Approaching from the south of Kilimanjaro, the Umbwe route is a short, steep and direct climb to the summit. After reaching Barranco Camp, the trail turns east and traverses underneath Kilimanjaro's Southern Ice Field on a path known as the Southern Circuit before summiting from Barafu. Descent is made via the Mweka route.

Kokoda Track - Papua New Guinea

The Kokoda Track or Trail is a single-file foot thoroughfare that runs 96 kilometres (60 mi) overland - 60 kilometres (37 mi) in a straight line - through the Owen Stanley Range in Papua New Guinea. The track was the location of the 1942 World War II battle between Japanese and Allied - primarily Australian - forces in what was then the Australian territory of Papua.

Mitchell Morley leading a team to the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro

Mitchell Morley have a rest leading a team on the Six Foot Track in the Blue Mountains
Mitchell Morley on his way to Everest Base Camp

Mitchell Morley

Mitch has been guiding for Peak Potential Adventures for some years now and has a love for all things active and outdoors. The constant feedback we receive from clients is that he’s easy to get along with and mixes well with any age group. It’s obvious that Mitch has a passion for adventure and sporting challenges with his long list of personal achievements from ocean swimming, triathlons, ironmans and obstacles courses including the 24-hour endurance events. Mitch is also a qualified personal trainer having completed his Cert III and Cert IV in fitness. When Mitch is not helping out on adventures, he is personal training clients at Active Fitness HQ on the Central Coast in NSW.

Growing up on the Central Coast in NSW, Mitch from a young age was drawn towards his passions of, adventure, fitness, and sport. Mitch has played representative squash at a National level and is also an accredited squash coach. He is an avid rugby league player on the Central Coast and is always looking for the next great adventure and challenge to complete.

Mitch has the ability to develop a quick rapport with clients on treks and is always there to lend a hand and provide assistance as required.

As part of his ongoing outdoor and leadership training with Peak Potential Adventures leadership team, he has successfully completed Mt Kilimanjaro, Everest Base Camp, Kokoda and is a lead guide on our Six Foot Track trek.

Yesse our lead African guide entertaining our clients in Moshi
Yess our African local guide on the summit of Mt Kilimanjaro
Yesse leading one of our clients to the summit of Mt Kilimanajro

Yesse

With over 320 successful Kilimanjaro summits under his belt, you would be hard pressed to find a more experienced, knowledgeable and passionate guide on Kilimanjaro. Yesse is part of our Peak Potential Adventures family having worked with him since 2013 when we started taking groups to climb Kilimanjaro. He has continually delivered exceptional service with his hard-working attitude, strong climbing abilities and exceptional leadership and organisational skills. Yesse will always go above and beyond for clients and his social awareness and leadership skills are on point, he knows when to give that little bit of extra motivation and encouragement when clients need it the most. We are proud of our 100% summit success on Kilimanjaro currently getting all our clients to ‘The Roof of Africa’, but a huge part of that result is the experience and knowledge of Yesse and our amazing local team that provide unparalleled support from start to finish.

Yesse grew in up the Karansi Village which is in Siha District and not too far from Kilimanjaro, he has three sisters and one brother and is married with one child. He knows the mountain well growing up under its shadow and is a well-respected guide on the mountain and member of his community

In 2006, he graduated at the School of Tourism Intel Training Centre in Moshi with a certificate in tour guiding. Yesse started his career on Kilimanjaro as a porter at the age of 22 before going back to school to study to become a mountain guide. He completed 6 months study at the Mweke Wildlife College before completing his first aid and customer service program with the Kilimanjaro National Park Service which secured him a position as an assistant guide in 2010.

Yesse speaks excellent English, is fun to be around and engages well with all clients. Yesse has been working in a guiding capacity on Kilimanjaro for over 9 years now with 5 years as a lead guide. He is a fully licenced and a registered guide with the Kilimanjaro National Parks Service.

Luke Viles in Nepal doing a high altitide medical training course
Luke Villes doing some rock climbing in his sparetime
Luke Viles doing some indoor rock climbing

Luke Viles

Luke is the newest member of the Peak Potential Adventures family, recently joining us in a medic capacity. Some of our adventures involve higher altitudes, so Luke will be not just assisting guiding some of our treks, but will also be in a position to provide some specific advice and assistance around high altitude training and prevention. He was recently trained in Nepal at a medical mountain outpost to treat altitude mountain sickness (AMS), edema, and hypoxia. Luke’s love and passion for adventure and helping others, makes him the perfect addition to our experienced team.

Luke is 28 years old and lives on the Central Coast in NSW. He has grown up with the passion and drive for adventure and exploring the great outdoors. Being the adventurous type, he loves surfing, rock climbing, touch footy, rugby league and of course hiking and mountain climbing. He is passionate about helping others in their adventure pursuit and is always ready to go above and beyond to provide a seamless and well-organised adventure experience.

He has been a firefighter on the Central Coast for the past 7 years where he has been trained in emergency situations such as swift water rescue, rope rescue and patient extraction. He has also been trained for natural disaster assistance and is currently studying to become a paramedic. He has recently worked in the foothills of Nepal at a mobile health clinic treating patients with hypoxia and other altitude illnesses. For Luke, personal safety is paramount and as a guide and medic, he takes immense pride in making sure that everyone has an enjoyable and safe experience.