With one of the highest guides-to-guest ratio in the world, you can understand why we receive so many Top Service awards. Your every need is taken care of during this all-inclusive experience.
People make the experience and the Mountain Trek staff are some of the best on earth. We want you to enjoy your transformative experience as much as we love providing it. From the gourmet chefs who prepare your delicious meals to the knowledgeable and safety-conscious guides who take you out onto the trails, your experience reflects our award-winning service. All the staff work hard to ensure you are well taken care of throughout your stay so you’ll not have fond memories of your time with us. And our support doesn’t stop there. As part of the Mountain Trek community, you’ll receive regular follow ups from us and we encourage you to touch base anytime if you’re needing support, encouragement or you just want to say hi.
Here are just a few of the faces you’ll see during your time at Mountain Trek:
Program Director, 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.
Head Guide, Fitness Director
Cathy Grierson 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. She’s been a certified hiking guide for 25 years and has also 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.
You’ll always eat your veggies after you’ve spent some time with Jenn Keirstead! 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.
Guest Services Coordinator
Michelle Engert is usually the first person guests communicate with when booking a stay at Mountain Trek. She is our friendly, supportive and wonderful front-line person who ensures all the details of your stay are perfectly arranged and who provides a welcome reception upon your arrival.
Yoga Teacher, Fitness Instructor
Katya Hayes has been a 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.
Energetic and passionate about health and fitness, Sage Leboutan has been working in the field of wellness for years. She loves to travel and has taught yoga in Central and South America. She grew up in the West Kootenays where she developed her passion for the outdoors and since has completed her Bachelors Degree of Kinesiology from UBC – Vancouver.
Energetic and passionate about health and fitness, Simon Shave recently completed a undergraduate degree specializing in stress and health. Beyond these passions he has grown up both playing and working throughout the the beautiful Kootenay mountains.
Jeannie Dwyer has been playing and working in the outdoors of British Columbia all her life. Born and raised in the West Kootenays, she loves nothing more than showing guests the beautiful secret spots around the region.
Krista Van Ee is a veteran guide with Mountain Trek and has been hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking in the West Kootenays for over a decade. Originally from Vernon, British Columbia, she followed her mother’s path into the outdoor guiding world and has never looked back.
Melissa Bryan has worked in a variety of cooking environments over the past 18 years, from wineries in the Okanagan to cat ski operations in the Monashee mountains. In most cases she’s worked with local farmers or had gardens on site as she values good-quality ingredients. She’s very excited to be part of the Mountain Trek team because “I love seeing people transform before my eyes – it’s very rewarding to know how they feel when they eat good, healthy, clean food.”
Bonnie VanTassel has lived and worked in the Kootenays for decades. In the 1990s she created a unique restaurant on Kootenay Lake called Sternwheelers with a flare for a fresh and eclectic menu and then she worked at an Ashram cooking under the supervision of yogis to create healthy farm-fresh food for many. Since 2001 she’s been at Mountain Trek sourcing and preparing food and she’s now a full-time evening chef through the season.