Our team is what sets us apart.

Ryan McMahon

I was a wrestler growing up, and through preseason cross country, I somehow became a runner. Over time I found these sports actually had a lot in common: You not only push yourself physically, you also push yourself mentally and continually realize “I’ve been here before, I can do this.” With that mentality, I’d always been interested in marathons and in my mid 20s signed up for the St. George (UT) Marathon. Following the race, I spent the next week visiting the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, and Utah’s “Big 5″ National Parks. It was the start of what would become a full blown love affair with the outdoors. 

On that trip, I took hundreds of photos and soon realized that the quality of the phone camera simply didn’t reflect the truly incredible views I was seeing with my eyes. I soon got an entry level Sony mirrorless camera, and over the last 8 years have been doing the exact same trips that we suggest here at ECA. I now shoot on a Sony a7riv with GMaster Lenses and have visited 43/62 US National Parks (plus a number in Canada)

I started Elite Custom Adventures (ECA) with the goal of creating experiences that our guests will remember for a lifetime.  I had no urge to just want to “take people on a trip”. I wanted to use my experience to help guests create, prepare for, expereince, and memorialize the same adventures that have impacted me so deeply in my own travels.

Outdoor accomplishments include climbing Mt. St. Helens, Grand Canyon Rim 2 Rim, Jasper’s Skyline Trail, Smokey Mountains AT Section Hike, the Glacier PNT Section Hike, and 5x Marathons.

Personal accomplishments include a Business Management and Sociology degree from Tulane and an Executive MBA from Vanderbilt. Served as a volunteer middle school wrestling coach for 3 years.

Please contact me directly if you have any questions or feedback.


Rob Purple
Partner and Strategic Advisor

Rob and Ryan go all the way back to middle school and have remained close friends into their professional lives. Rob got the travel bug and a passion for adventures and the serenity of the world’s beauty early in life. Following his transition into professional life, over the past 13 years, Rob has emerged over as a leader in management consulting driving major business and technology transformations within both the public and private sectors. He brings this energy, experience, and equity, working directly with Ryan, to buttress ECA’s operations, brand awareness, and business development. In his personal time, Rob moonlights as a sommelier, is an avid foodie and movie buff. He enjoys weekend jaunts with his wife, Carly, and their energetic Vizsla, Kubrick.

Stuart Retallack

Chief Executive Canadian, Lead Guide/Videographer

Stuart is our man north of the border. A lifelong photographer, Stuart loves to get outside and experience the beauty of our planet. He is a reformed rock musician, and now works in film and television as a director of photography, camera operator, and drone pilot based out of Vancouver, BC. Stuart has guided numerous trips across Canada, and will be able to make sure you get the “local” experience. Favorite places in Canada include Algonquin Park and Phillip Edward Island (Ontario), Kananaskis and Kootenay (Alberta), and Tricouni Mountain and Wedgemount Peak (British Columbia). We know Stuart will be able to show you the “real” Canada, from secluded mountain peaks to plates of poutine.

Ready to make your dream adventure a reality? Let's talk! Visit our contact page or fill out this form to reach out.