Guide Profile: Ian Guilar

Growing up in Ontario, it was family and summer camps that inspired my appreciation of wild places. I spent a lot of time in a canoe, fishing with my grandfather, looking for ‘Mr. Big’. There were many hikes with my mother, who never seems to want to stay on the trail; its always about exploring! I started teaching canoeing at summer camp when I was 17, after being certified as an instructor through the Ontario Recreational Canoe Association. I led kids of all ages on multi day trips and taught canoe skills while in high school and university. After completing my bachelors in physical geography from Trent University, I committed myself to continue experiencing wild places and sharing them with others. That goal took me to Alberta and British Columbia, where I worked as a dog sledding guide and white water raft guide. Eventually, I found my way to the North West Territories, where I rafted the Nahanni for the first time in 2018. I didn’t know what I was looking for when I first set out, but the Nahanni may be just that. It’s wild, remote, and beautiful; Every trip down the river gives me so much to be thankful for. I continue to study the history and culture of the area, and am always looking forward to the next adventure! When I’m not working on the river, I work as a tree planter, dog sledding guide, or carpenter. In between contracts, I pursue my passions: rock climbing, hiking, snowboarding, surfing, and travelling. See you on the river!