Meet our staff:
Program Director, Life Coach, Lead Guide
Strong, focused, dedicated and nurturing — Kirkland 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 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 fire fighter and a Wilderness First Aid instructor. On the trail or in the gym, Cathy’s vitality and vigor are contagious. In her free time Cathy can be found…outside.
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.
Although Jenn grew up in a swimming pool, competing all over Canada, she’s most at home experimenting with food from her garden and pursuing backcountry adventures with her dogs.
ANNA TOPF, BHKin
Kinesiologist, Guide, Yoga Teacher
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. Anna spends most days outside hiking, biking and playing in the dirt.
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. Katya spends her free time exploring the wonders of the mountains with her three children, husband and small, super dog.
Mountain Trek’s Kitchen Manager
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 Retreat’s kitchen team of Laurie Hartland, Bonnie Van Tassel, Deborah Welbourn, Judith Taylor and Sarah Sinclair, 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.
Guest Services Coordinator
From your initial contact to greeting you when you arrive, Shari is delighted to guide you through the process of understanding the details of the Mountain Trek program. As the first person you’ll talk to, she loves helping international clientèle get here, and even more, loves seeing their glowing faces on the final day. With a passion for health and wellness, well organized communications, and an amazing office view that can’t be beat, Shari works to ensure the investment in your health with Mountain Trek is handled seamlessly.
Massage and Reflexology Practitioner
Norah has spent her life exploring the healing arts. First studying Reflexology and Herbology lead to doing training in Massage, Polarity, Shaitsu, Aromatherapy and Trigger Point Release. Her travels and studies have taken her to India learning Cranial Sacral Therapy, and Thai Traditional Massage in Thailand.
She loves and is inspired by different cultures, travelling and studying different healing modalities. Norah is currently studying Ayurvedic medicine with an Ayurvedic doctor in Bali in the winter seasons. She’s grateful to have the Kootenays as a place of such special beauty and nourishment to come home too.