Julius is a former journalist who worked for many years as a foreign correspondent. At different times he was assigned to cover Bosnia, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Chechnya and elsewhere.
In 2002 Julius was posted to Moscow as the newspaper’s bureau chief to cover Russia under Vladimir Putin. Two years later he met Kristin while on assignment in her native Estonia. Kristin is a former reporter with the Reuters News Agency. They lived together in Moscow for several months.
Craving open spaces and clean air, they then decided to move to Canada. After a chance visit while driving across British Columbia to Vancouver in 2005, they fell in love with Grizzly Bear Ranch and begged and borrowed from relatives and banks to raise the money to buy it.
Since arriving at the ranch, Kristin has published a biography of the Estonian philosopher Nikolai Maim, part of the History of Estonian Thought series. More recently, she self-published the Grizzly Bear Ranch Cookbook.
To buy or download a copy of the cookbook please go to amazon.com or lulu.com and enter “Grizzly Bear Ranch cookbook”. A second edition came out recently.
When not guiding, Julius continues to be involved in journalism, politics and conflict. In recent years, he has taught journalism at the University of Alaska, the first non-US citizen to be offered the position of Atwood Professor. He has also been deployed by the British government to Afghanistan to work with Pashtun tribal leaders as part of Nato’s counter-insurgency efforts. He occasionally advises the British military on politics and stabilisation.
Both Julius and Kristin have prepared themselves rigorously for their current roles as your hosts and guides. Julius and Kristin are both trained as Wilderness First Responders. Both have completed Canadian firearms safety courses.
Julius has been trained in surviving hostile environments, has a license to operate boats, a commercial pilot’s license, a raft-guiding license and has certified as a full bear-viewing guide (certified by the Commercial Bear-Viewing Association of British Columbia). Between the two of them, Julius and Kristin speak fluent English, Russian, Hungarian and Estonian as well as more basic German, French (and some Pashto).