We have a friendly, professional and highly-talented team of guides and staff at Grizzly Bear Ranch. Put simply, we hire the very best people we can find.
Your wilderness and bear guides are trained, experienced and qualified in wilderness first aid, working around bears, off-road driving, radio communications and other core backcountry skills.
From backing up fully-laden trailers, to operating off-road vehicles, to being entertaining and informative hosts around the dinner table, guides need a whole array of different skills and we are proud of the team we have put together.
Kristin and Kim are our cooks and each vie with the other to turn out ever more impressive meals.
We also have three regular housekeepers – Mel, Cheryl and Rachel – the unsung heroes of the ranch who make sure that the cabins are always clean and sparkling and you have an ample supply of freshly-cut firewood.
Others who help out are Steve, our main mechanic, Jim, who services our small machinery, and Spring, who helps out with just about everything.
Julius and Kristin are your hosts at Grizzly Bear Ranch but Julius (pictured here with Katya) also guides in the field. One of BC’s more experienced bear guides with more than a decade of experience, much of it around grizzly bears, Julius still loves nothing more than setting out on foot with a small group of keen guests.
As well as being an active guide, Julius is the chairperson of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of British Columbia’s Political Committee, an active advocate for bear conservation, an occasional newspaper columnist, qualified rafting guide, wilderness first responder and private pilot.
A wilderness guide for more than 30 years, his work has taken him to Iceland, Greenland, the Arctic, the Antarctic, Russia and many other countries. He has also guided extensively in Canada.
In addition to his decades of wilderness guiding and his nature photography, Paul has also been a long time Canadian Heritage instructor. Teaching about the cross-cultural experiences of “first contact” and the fur trade are some of his greatest passions. Paul has guided at Grizzly Bear Ranch for a number of years.
Sage is a naturalist and much else besides. She joined the Grizzly Bear Ranch team in 2017, and is absolutely passionate about animals. Her enthusiasm for the natural world shines through in her guiding.
Sage has a diploma in Recreation, Fish and Wildlife and she is also a trained and experienced bear guide. She is qualified in wilderness first aid and defensive driving, and speaks French. Originally from Ontario, Sage has been living in the Kootenays for several years and considers herself a local.
Graham grew up in the mountains of British Columbia and has a deep love for nature. He has a diploma in Recreation, Fish and Wildlife and has long been interested in conservation.
Graham can often be found hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, ski touring, or enjoying the peace and quiet of the outdoors. An extremely versatile guide, he is at home brushing trails, cataloguing wildlife movements, rafting the river with guests, or checking out new terrain.
Hollie grew up exploring the English countryside on horseback. In 2014 after completing her Adventure Tourism Certification she became a trail riding guide in Canada.
She joined the bear guiding world in 2016 working with grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest and has since spent hundreds of hours interacting with bears. She has certified as a Full Guide with the Commercial Bear-Viewing Association (CBVA), the highest certification in the industry.
Hollie also actively participates in grizzly bear research. Along with Julius, she is on the board of the CBVA, the body that promotes and regulates bear-viewing in British Columbia.
Jody grew up in the Canadian Prairies camping out in anything from 40 degrees below to 40 degrees above.
“I knew I wanted to see parts of Canada I had not yet seen, and that is what drew me to guiding,” she says. “I have walked with polar bears, kayaked with belugas, listened to Arctic wolves howl under the northern lights, danced for the caribou, and canoed untouched northern rivers.”
Jody is an animal enthusiast and recently travelled to India on her own time to watch tigers and leopards in Rajasthan and rhinos in Assam.
Kim, and her partner Todd, live half a mile away from the ranch in their own small house and arrived in the valley the same year as Kristin and Julius. Kim is a Red Seal chef and has a long history in catering. Kristin and Kim ensure that the food you will be eating at the ranch will be first class.
Mel was born in the Philippines but has lived in the Kaslo area for almost 20 years. She says that the mountains, lake and wildlife mean it is a place she never wants to leave. One of the hardest-working people we know, Mel has worked with us for several years and is our head housekeeper.
Cheryl grew up in the local community and has lived here all her life. She is a true local with a sparkling smile and salty sense of humour. Cheryl works with Mel and Rachel making sure the cabins and the lodge are always clean and tidy for our guests. Cheryl is also passionate about green energy and is the local dealer for a US-based renewable energy company. She has supplied many in the community with their solar panels.
Rachel, also from Vancouver Island, has lived in the area for more than a dozen years. She has a long history in farming and runs an organic greenhouse which feeds up to 35 families a week in the local area. We are among her biggest customers and, while we grow our own herbs and some root vegetables, source most of our fresh produce from Rachel’s farm.