I have been guiding for NRA since 2004. I’ve spent most of my time on my favorite river the Nahanni, and have run over 30 trips down the river by raft and canoe. A highlight from my time in Nahanni National Park is an amazing heli-hiking trip up on the Ram Plateau in 2010. It was truly the most spectacular, pristine wilderness I have ever experienced. Periodically, I been able to experience other northern rivers including the Tatshenshini, the Alsek, and the Yukon.
I grew up camping and exploring by canoe as much of Ontario as I could manage with my family and through summer camp. Some of my favorite areas to explore by canoe include Georgian Bay, Algonquin, Temagami, the French, Spanish, Madawaka Petawawa and Dumoine Rivers. When I was 15, my father and I paddled 5 weeks down the Teslin and Yukon Rivers from Johnston’s Crossing to Dawson City. It was a journey of 822 km that changed my life towards river guiding professionally. During university, I was a canoe guide and an ORCKA instructor in Algonquin Park for 5 years in the summer months.
As an Outdoor Leadership Development Trainer for McMaster University’s Outdoor Recreation Program, I worked for 8 years leading trips for McMaster and organizing training courses. With McMaster, I have had the opportunity to extensively explore the American Southwest, the Rockies, Sierra Nevadas, the Adirondacks, and Baffin Island. Some of the trips I lead included canoe, hiking, backpacking, dog sledding, rock climbing, caving, and Niagara winery tours.
I am an instructor trainer for the Ontario Recreational Canoe Association. I instruct workshops in Risk Management and Group Leadership. I am a waterfront lifeguard with the Canadian National Lifeguard Association. I am a Wilderness First Responder with Wilderness Medical Associates. I am a certified instructor for High Ropes Courses and Team Building Facilitator through Adventureworks.
I’ve been guiding with NRA since 2004. I’ve spent most of my time on my favourite river, the Nahanni. I’ve also been lucky enough to experience the coastal rivers of the Yukon and Alaska- the Tatshenshini and Alsek. My amazing experiences in the north finally prompted me to move year round to the Northwest Territories. I am currently living in the tiny Inuvialuit Hamlet of Paulatuk, NT. It is located on the coast of the Beaufort Sea, where I have a lovely view out my office window of the (mostly) frozen arctic ocean. I am working for Parks Canada as the Manager of Tuktut Nogait National Park. It is an amazing, vast wilderness area of pristine tundra set aside to protect the calving grounds of the Bluenose West Caribou herd, one of the most important herds in the Arctic. The Smoking Hills of the Horton River is the closest major tributary to the community of Paulatuk; fingers crossed I get to see it while I am here.
I have finally moved to the NWT! Living in Yellowknife has been amazing. I’m spending as much time out on the land as possible, really enjoying the lakes and forests around Great Slave Lake. The forest is amazing for hiking and foraging wild foods, and everyone drives around with canoes tied onto their roof racks all summer so we can toss the boat in the water and head out fishing at any time.
Last year, I got my first subarctic winter under my belt (53 days in a row where the daytime high did not reach above -35, brrrrr). We put up with it because the Northern Lights are amazing, ice roads are awesome, and the snow castle is legendary!
The most interesting local news this fall is that a Muskox was spotted, in October, just outside of Yellowknife. This is really far south for the tundra animal, and no one can remember one ever being spotted in the area.
This summer, I got to travel the amazing Alsek River for the first time!! It was MY trip of a lifetime; a river that has been on my bucket list for decades. The glaciers were spectacular and the mountain scenery was beyond plausible description. Hiking up Goatherd Mountain, on a gorgeous summer’s day with the alpine wildflowers bursting in colour, was one of the trip highlights for me. We are so privileged to experience these pristine, world class wildernesses.