I am coming up on my 9th season with NRA, and within that time I have guided on the Nahanni, Tatshenshini and Alsek Rivers. I have worked for the Outdoor Recreation Program at Vancouver Island University, and am currently working on my Masters with a focus on Integrated Land Management from Acadia University in Wolfville, NS, but Vancouver Island is home.
The best thing about guiding is getting others into the most beautiful places in the world that they could not access otherwise. When I think of guiding my first thoughts are of laughter and big smiles around camp. Next is the joy of traveling in remote areas with all the comforts of home.
The outdoors drew me into guiding and the people I meet keep me coming back for more. Those who commit to Northern trips are some of the most important people in terms of preservation. In many cases, if tourism didn’t exist, some of these rivers wouldn’t have the protection and international recognition they now do. Continuing to show people that “some things should last forever” (CPAWS) is one way to keep rivers protected from resource extraction.
I think the best way to convince friends to get ‘on board’ is to realize that the trips we offer are the perfect length of time for wilderness trips. One needs a few days to truly decompress and begin to soak up the wilderness. And before you know it, 10 nights have already gone by and it’s time to head back to the hustle and bustle of the big city.
The fall has been very busy with our new baby 🙂 . I am working at North Island College with the adventure guide program. I am also teaching rafting with SD 69, working at Comox Valley Marine and of course, looking forward to skiing and paddling local rivers.
What a season! The Alsek River continues to amaze me. I’m still looking at images almost everyday and can’t wait to get back to the North. In the meantime, I’ve seen some other classic rivers in B.C. and the early season wet weather on the westcoast has brought up my favourite local run. Once the rivers freeze up I’ll be making my way into the backcountry to make some turns.
As with most years, many of the highlights of year involved guiding in the North and this past summer was no exception. My first trip this year we had high water – VERY High Water! The level was over double the volume I’d ever seen the Tatshenshini Canyon. Very exciting! I thought after this trip how could any other trip compare. However, the variety of fun and inspiring river travellers and some awesome guides/co-workers amounted to endless adventures and made everyday feel like the best day ever.
I’m already looking forward to living in the North for what I’m sure will be another amazing summer of laughs, contemplative moments, and new experiences in a place I like to call home.
Look forward to seeing you again soon!