Chloe Steepe and Rob Vance

Rob: I started guiding for NRA in the spring of 2006. Taking a year off a few years ago to guide a 50 day canoe trip in Ontario has been my only summer away since I started guiding up north.  I have been fortunate to guide trips on 4 different northern rivers.  This past summer I had the good fortune of leading our Mooseponds trip on the Nahanni, a dream that was hatched a decade ago, was fulfilled! In years past I have also guided on the Coppermine, the Mountain and the Tatshenshini.

As previously mentioned, back in 2007 I guided a 50 day flatwater canoe trip across mid-North Ontario returning back to camp in Algonquin Park on day 50. This was an incredible journey that saw us paddle nearly 2000 kilometres and portage roughly 200! (An 1/8 of which was conquered on day 42 — a 24 km portage leading back in Algonquin Park)

In 2008, my wife (Chloe) and I jumped on a plane to New Zealand to challenge ourselves with a cycling touring adventure. We spent the better part of 2 months looping around the south island.  A trip of a lifetime, and we vowed to someday return.  Outside of guiding, I can be found skiing (nordic, telemark and water), kayaking and cycling…I also quite enjoy relaxing at my family cottage near Algonquin Park!

As a self proclaimed water-bug, I have carved out my career by spending time in and on the water in all season.  After the guiding season you can find me teaching swiftwater, motorized boat and ice rescue for Raven Rescue. I also teaching wilderness medicine courses – ranging from 2 – 8 days in length. And lastly, when I am not on the road teaching, you will most likely find me substitute teaching on the Morley First Nations reserve in Southern Alberta.

The part of guiding I enjoy the most is the hard work and amazing company. I enjoy the challenge of the river, the weather and the logistics.  Two favourite moments that come to mind are having the opportunity to guide the Mooseponds with my wife Chloe and being one of the lucky ones who has witnessed a 60 000 caribou migration (which lasted for 9 hours and came directly through our campsite at Melville creek on the Coppermine River. My favourite thing in camp is fire and on the river it would have to be the sounds of the water.

Hailing from Ontario, I began canoeing young, however it wasn’t until I landed in Alberta that I made the jump to whitewater paddling (don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE portaging). I am a canoeist at heart, but do enjoy the luxuries of raft trips.  I hope to continue my journey’s north each summer and dream weekly of new northern river that I would like to travel (including, but not limited to – a river in the Peel watershed, the Firth and any Tundra river!)

We currently live in Canmore, AB and are enjoying the recent purchase of our first home – and the renovations that came with it!

Chloe:  Outdoor spaces are my classroom, office and playground. With degrees in Physical & Health Education and Geography from Queen’s University, as well as a Bachelor of Education with a specialization in Outdoor Experiential Education, I have spent the past decade teaching Outdoor Education and guiding canoe and raft-based expeditions in Ontario, Quebec, the Arctic and Sub-Arctic…with a few hiatuses to travel across Canada, as well as to Europe, South and Central America, Australia and New Zealand, where we (Rob and I) circumnavigated the South Island of New Zealand by bicycle in 2008.