Guides, Chefs & Staff

Guides, Chefs & Staff


When there are more staff than guests, you know that our Top Service awards are truly deserved. Every need is taken care of in this all inclusive experience.


You are surrounded by some of the most supportive people when you’re there – and it was the hardest thing for me to say good-bye to. The staff is incredible. They ACTUALLY care about you, and they’re not paying me to say this. I have never felt so tended to, so nurtured, so supported, and so strengthened. – Edmonton, AB


The staff at the Alpine Lodge in Nelson, Canada or the team at the health spa resort in Baja, Mexico strive to provide you with 5 star service. We want you to enjoy this transformative experience as much as we love providing it. From housekeeping who cleans and provides laundry service, to the chefs preparing the meals and the guides who take you out onto the trails, your experience reflects our award winning service.

Kirkland Shave

Program Director, Life Coach, Lead Guide

Strong, focused, dedicated and nurturing — Kirkland Shave embodies the essence of Mountain Trek. A park ranger and wilderness skills instructor for two decades, a certified hiking guide and a certified Life Coach, Kirk is a motivator who challenges guests to do more than they thought possible. His care and attention help guests make important and enduring lifestyle changes. Kirk walks the Mountain Trek talk…sometimes barefoot.

Cathy GRIERSON

Head Guide, Fitness Director

Cathy has developed a fitness program at Mountain Trek that complements the hiking intensive. Her positive, upbeat manner inspires and motivates our guests; she is a true role model. For 25 years as a certified hiking guide, the outdoors have been her “office” where she has worked as a park ranger, an Outward Bound instructor, an avalanche technician, ski patroller, rappel forest firefighter and a Wilderness First Aid instructor. On the trail or in the gym, Cathy’s vitality and vigor are contagious.

Melanie Robin

Guest Services

Melanie brings her sense of adventure, an infectious love of outdoor activity, and a finely tuned sense of warm hospitality to her role.
After receiving her M.A. in Environmental Studies from the University of Ottawa, Melanie set out to explore all the world had to offer.
Before deciding to settle down in the Kootenays, Melanie spent time around the world, and longest of all three years in New Zealand where she worked in guest services roles for various hotels, as a marine tour guide, and even a sailor.

Jennifer Keirstead

Nutritionist, Guide

You’ll always eat your veggies after you’ve spent some time with Jenn! Her whole hearted approach to food and diet is both passionate and inspiring. Jenn has been practicing and teaching about the healing qualities of whole foods for the last decade. With a background in psychology and nutrition, she delves deep into diet, lifestyle and emotional aspects of food, offering insightful and practical changes that garner huge results.

Anna Topf

Kinesiologist, Yoga Teacher, Guide

Energetic and passionate about health and fitness, Anna has been working in the field of wellness for over 10 years. Anna has taught yoga for many years and has spent the last seven working as a kinesiologist in exercise therapy. She is a Medical Exercise Specialist, (MES) and a Certified Chek Exercise Coach. The Chek philosophy focuses on finding your body’s potential through core strength and posture, a perfect complement to Mountain Trek’s program of integrated health.

Katya Hayes

Yoga Teacher

Katya Hayes has been a dedicated yoga teacher for 15 years. She owns her own studio, and teaches classes ranging from gentle yoga for beginners to Power Vinyasa. Katya became the first western woman to receive certification by the International Korean Yoga Association. She has studied the ancient teachings of yoga and Buddhism and the traditions of Iyengar, Ashtanga and Vinyasa flow. For 12 years, Katya has been one of our primary yoga instructors and has produced a DVD entitled “Anywhere Yoga – A Gentle Practice” for everyday living.


Where The Spa Cuisine Comes From…Laurie Heartland

Laurie’s passion for cooking has spanned over thirty years, and has taken her from the kitchens of Banff, Alberta and the mega volume of Expo’s 86-88, to the remoteness of tree planting camps in the far corners of British Columbia, before she settled in the Kootenays to raise her family.

She is delighted to have the opportunity to express her creativity and pursue her keen interest in alternative foods and nutrition, while nurturing Mountain Trek Retreat guests.

Mountain Trek Nelson Retreat’s kitchen team of Laurie Hartland, Bonnie Van Tassel, Deborah Welbourn, Sarah Sinclair, and Nancy Guillemette, share a love of feeding the bodies and souls of those that sign up for the MT experience. As a whole they are able to sustain and educate guests with their healthy cuisine and are all honoured to be an integral element of such an enriching environment.



Guides, Chefs & Staff Provide These Benefits & Program Features:

All Inclusive Program Daily Laundry Cooking Tips Personalized Service
Recipes Lifestyle Coaching Daily Yoga Classes Cooking Tips
Alumni Events Available Extras Daily Foot Care Newsletters

Book NowPeople make the experience. The guides, chefs and staff work hard to ensure you are well taken care of throughout your stay, so that you will not only have fond memories of your time with us, but will want to come back again and again.

Choose your weeks now or call 800-661-5161 to talk with us about our staff or our all inclusive programs.

Fitness Retreat