About The Team

Our guides & partners

JOY PROCKTER

Joy is a Professional Interpretive Guide and a certified Hiking Guide with the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG).  She loves to walk and smell the flowers! Seriously, flowers are her favourite. Joy also loves to canoe, rock climb, mountain bike, drink coffee and eat chocolate. Coffee and chocolate are essential food groups in a mountain girl’s diet.

Joy grew up in the prairies of Alberta and migrated to the incredible Canadian Rockies of Jasper National Park. She lives in Jasper, Alberta with her beautiful Labrador-X Suka and her adventurous husband Sean. Together they operate Jasper Hikes and Tours Inc where Suka is easily the most popular guide! ?

She enjoys an authentic travelling style visiting natural areas, learning local flora, fauna and cultural exchanges and trying new sporty activities. Joy has travelled to the European Alps, Peru and its altiplano, Chilean & Argentinian Patagonia, the South Korean peninsula, and all over the Canadian and American west. Life is one adventure after the next, enjoy it with friends!

KRISTINE O’RIELLY

Born and raised in the small fishing village of St. Brendan’s, an island off the east coast of Newfoundland, Kristine grew up with the Atlantic Ocean, humpback whales, and icebergs in her backyard. She attributes her rural upbringing for her love of nature and all things wild. Kristine’s first foray into hiking and backpacking began on the East Coast Trail.

Kristine holds a bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a master’s in Applied Sustainability from Queen’s University. Fun fact: After seeing a photo of the Alpine Club of Canada’s historic Abbot Pass Hut in a 2011 issue of Canadian Geographic, Kristine felt drawn to the Canadian Rocky Mountains. A visit to that very same hut in 2015 and a little luck (or perhaps it was fate?) landed Kristine a full-time job in Calgary, Alberta and she’s been busy exploring western Canada ever since.

Kristine has organized dozens of hiking and backpacking trips, both within Canada and internationally – including Alaska, Iceland and Nepal. She also loves to experience the charm, food scene and culture of Canada’s mountain towns. Field, BC holds a special place in her heart.

As a guide, Kristine loves to help others learn how to minimize their footprint in the outdoors and is an active volunteer with the Yellowstone to Yukon Initiative, Parks Canada, and the Alpine Club of Canada’s Access and Environment Committee. A type 1 diabetic for 27 years, Kristine believes that everyone – regardless of background and ability – belongs in the great outdoors. Let her show you around!

HELEN SOVDAT

Helen Sovdat is an ACMG and IFMGA Mountain Guide and has been actively guiding for over 30 years. She is passionate about the mountains. Over many miles in the outdoors she has come to share some incredible journeys with her groups and made some amazing friends. She believes the lessons we learn in nature can enhance our lives.

Helen is a long-time guide with the Alpine Club of Canada, Canadian Mountain Holidays and is an instructor with the ACMG certification program. She has led a variety of expeditions in Canada and abroad, with travels to the St Elias, Andes, Himalaya, and Altai mountains. She enjoys the challenges of working in a wilderness setting with diverse groups of people. The energy and dedication of the mountain community motivates her to stay active.

An explorer at heart, Helen loves to ski and climb near her home in Canmore, Alberta. There is always something new to discover in the mountains. She has a diverse history of adventures, including long trips to the remote icefields of the Coast Mountains, Columbia Ranges and Rockies. Through her travels she has gained a greater respect for our wild places and is committed to protecting them.

SHANNON BUCKLES

Shannon has been hiking and adventuring in the Canadian Rockies and abroad for over 25 years. She grew up in Calgary and was exposed to camping and skiing as an energetic youth and later pursued hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, rock climbing, mountaineering, back-country skiing and kayaking.

With her Geography degree and passion for all things wild, Shannon has spent her professional life working in environmental education, emergency response and outdoor pursuits. She has worked with Parks Canada, Alberta Parks, the Knight Inlet Lodge, The Alpine Club of Canada and the City of Calgary. She has spent most of her time working and playing outdoors in Canmore, Banff and on the west coast of British Columbia.

Her outdoor passions have taken her around the world to SE Asia, Australia, Europe, South and Central America, Mexico and countless road trips to the US. Shannon loves to plan and organize backpacking and alpine hut excursions and can easily persuade friends and family members to join her adventures.

As a hiking guide, Shannon enjoys sharing her knowledge and passions for flora and fauna, cultural and natural history as well as photographing wildlife and mountain vistas, adventuring safely and simply having fun!

Certification

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Apprentice Hiking Guide – Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG)

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Apprentice Interpreter – Interpretive Guides Association (IGA)

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80 Hour – Advanced Adventure Medic- Rocky Mountain Adventure Medicine

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Level 1 Cross Country Ski Instructor – Canadian Association of Nordic Ski Instructors (CANSI)

ANNE DREW

The family story has it that Anne drew had to be lured up her first backpacking trail with M&Ms. This is no longer the case.  Her greatest joy now is sharing the wonderful world of the outdoors with others. Anne drew hails from Berkeley, California.

She has lived and travelled all over the world, but has a special love for western North America and is happy to find her home in the Canadian Rockies. She speaks Spanish and German as well as English, and is now working on Portuguese. Since the M&M days, her personal pursuits have grown to include rock, ice, and alpine climbing and she loves the wide, open spaces of the world above tree-line.

Certification

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Apprentice Hiking Guide – Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG)

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Apprentice Interpreter – Interpretive Guides Association (IGA)

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80 Hour – Advanced Adventure Medic

Our Affiliates

Nathalie is a certified ACMG Hiking Guide and member of the ACMG, the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. All training and exams take place off-trail and in the remote Canadian mountain wilderness to insure a high level of competency and client care no matter the settings.

We are members of the ACMG,  the professional association of trained and certified Mountain Guides, Hiking Guides and Climbing Instructors dedicated to protecting public safety and enjoyment in climbing, skiing and hiking adventures.

Nathalie is a member of The Interpretive Guides Association which has for mission to inspire people through interpretation to discover and care for the natural and cultural environments throughout the world.

Nathalie is a long-time active member, trip leader and mentor of the ACC – Alpine Club Canada – Calgary section. The ACC is a not-for-profit volunteer group, dedicated to self-propelled mountain activities who strives to build and support a thriving mountain community and all associated activities. ACC members backcountry ski, rock climb, ice climb, hike, scramble, mountaineer, train, tell stories and take pictures. If it involves the mountains, ACC members are interested. 

Nathalie is certified in wilderness first aid every 3 years. Slipstream Wilderness First Aid, founded in 1990, is an industry-leading Wilderness First Aid training organization, expanding services across BC, Alberta, Yukon, Nunavut, the Northwest Territories and Japan. Wilderness First Aid certification provides the tools necessary to make critical medical & evacuation decisions and the ability to implement long-term care and stabilization until medical help arrives.

Nathalie is a new affiliate member of the BLBCA, a member directed association of privately-owned lodges located in the major mountain ranges of British Columbia, Canada. She is looking forward to collaborating with BLBCA members and taking her guests to all amazing places offered by them.

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