Richard Duggas teaching the finer points of sea kayaking in Nootka Sound.

Instructors

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COLT instructors are not only chosen for their technical skills but also on their ability to effectively educate and pass on their knowledge in a fun, safe and supportive way. Some are COLT alumni.

All courses are taught at a guide-to-student ratio that ensures safety and maximum learning at all times. In the mountains and on rock guides are ACMG certified or equivalent. On the water they are certified by provincial or national standards. All possess high levels of wilderness first aid.

Instructors Bios

Jamie Boulding

Jamie Boulding
Don’t let Jamie’s size intimidate you. At 6’5” he’s a gentle sort of giant and impressively agile. He’s friendly and supportive and always willing to answer questions and pass on wisdom. There is no one that knows more about Strathcona Park Lodge than Jamie. He grew up here and with his wife, Christine Clarke, is the co-Executive Director of the resort. Running a remote, wilderness lodge is a full time job but Jamie is passionate about the COLT program and will be involved in many aspects of the program, especially on the water. Jamie is one of the most respected outdoor educators and paddlers in Canada. He’s a master canoe instructor, a senior whitewater kayak instructor and a sea kayak full guide examiner. He is a volunteer committee member for Water Use Planning for our local watershed, and has also spent many volunteer hours developing standards and best practices in outdoor leadership and education. Previous to the Lodge Jamie went to the University of British Columbia where he was the Thunderbirds Varsity Basketball Team Captain and a Canadian national team rower.


Bill Phipps

Bill Phipps
Bill is a true Vancouver Island local, born and raised in Campbell River. He is our main mountain and rock climbing instructor. He teaches the snow and glacier course as well as all introductory climbing courses. He started his climbing career many years ago and has developed a complete resume that includes steep rock routes to high mountain travel, alpine ski touring to ice climbing. In the off season Bill works as a ski patroller at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort where he combines his interest in first aid, search and rescue and helping people enjoy the great outdoors. It doesn’t hurt that he gets to ski most of the day too. Bill’s genuine interest in helping people learn as well as his generous personality rewards our COLT program with expertise. His attention to detail and organized teaching progression provides students with a lot of incentives to learn the finer points of climbing and mountain travel.


Laurel Archer

Laurel Archer
Few people spend as much time in self-propelled watercraft as Laurel does. She is extremely passionate about paddling, from ultra-long distance races to exploratory whitewater expedition trips. Ironically, Laurel grew up in arid southern Saskatchewan but by the time she was in university she was disappearing into the Canadian wilderness on long canoe trips. She’s paddled rivers, lakes and coasts from Central America to Asia over the past 20 years, and has been a wilderness canoe guide since 1988. She’s a master canoe instructor, whitewater kayak instructor and sea kayak guide trainer and lead guide. Besides writing a thesis for her Masters degree in Education, she’s penned three guidebooks based on her extensive experiences canoeing rivers in northern Saskatchewan and British Columbia. In 2007 she was inducted into The Explorers Club for her work in documenting historic and lesser-known canoe routes and her efforts to promote their conservation. Today, when she’s not training competitively for a canoe race, she works as a canoe and sea kayak guide and instructor. She’s a regular COLT instructor for canoeing, whitewater and sea kayaking and almost never misses the Nimpkish River trips. See www.laurelarcher.com for more about Laurel.


Richard Dugas

Richard Dugas
In his quiet, yet incredibly knowledgeable way Richard is one of the most respected instructors in the COLT program. Originally from Nova Scotia, with a mysterious past that may or may not include some time as a professional wrestler, Richard took the COLT program in 1992. He’s lived at Stathcona Park Lodge ever since. He has a passion for sea kayaking that he has quenched on long trips around the Maritimes of Canada, Baja, Mexico and the Pacific Northwest, including a solo circumnavigation of Vancouver Island and a trip around Newfoundland. Richard is a full sea kayak guide with a unique ability to make wilderness trips even more unforgettable. He will likely be on all COLT sea kayak trips. Richard is also a journeyman carpenter, helping to build and repair many of the buildings at the Lodge in the off season, and no slouch in the mountains.

Where are you from?

Digby, Nova Scotia

Where do you currently live?

Campbell River, British Columbia

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

I have always liked playing outdoors, camping with my folks, canoeing and hiking with friends. I took the COLT course in the spring of 1992, did my practicum during the summer and got hired on as a school instructor that fall. I started teaching with COLT in 1995, and continued to work with school groups until 2003.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

Sea kayaking and surf kayaking

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

My wife and I try to get out on adventures whenever we can. Weekends mostly, but we do try to find time to do one longer one each year, and hopefully a big one every few years. As for work ,I’m busy with maintenance at the lodge.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

I don’t really have one

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

I don’t really look at things that way these days. I have been able to get out on a few longer adventures over the years, either solo or with friends. I usually come back from these trips with a big confidence boost and feeling on top of the world. But these are things I, or we just decided to try. In the grand scheme of things it was just a bit of cycling or paddling.


Dave Prothero

Dave-Prothero_bio
David grew up on Vancouver Island, but after a trip to Nepal in 1995 where he did a rafting trip down the Kali Gandaki river he was hooked. From there David has worked on 6 continents safety kayaking and rafting in places like Iceland, Morocco, India, Australia, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand, Turkey, Scotland, and of course world famous BC. David is a mainstay of the Whitewater community on Vancouver Island with a wealth of local knowledge and the event organizer for the Puntledge Paddle Fest.

Where are you from?

Comox

Where do you currently live?

Courtenay,BC, Vancouver Island

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

Worked as an international Raft Guide/ Safety Kayaker for 13 years in a number of different countries, while also working on photography skills, cooking before heading into a health care career in the Comox Valley. Kayak teaching opportunities came about when I was back on the Island with a school program at SD 69 and at COLT.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

Whitewater Kayaking

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

I work at St Joseph’s hospital and explore the rivers of Vancouver Island and else where via my Kayak or raft.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

It’s hard to choose, but I think i will have to go with my river runner kayak. Also my Bodum as coffee is essential to my day.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

Competing in a number of White Water Kayaking races across BC and PNW
Kayaking in a number of different countries

Do you have a website(s) where people can find out more about you?

http://raftinglife.ca


Rob and Laurie Wood


Sarah Hauser

Sarah Hauser
All the way from Toronto, Ontario Sarah now calls Vancouver Island her home. Sarah completed the COLT program in 1997 and has since taken on various jobs in the outdoor industry including working for Strathcona Park Lodge as an outdoor instructor, canoe tripper in Ontario, ski patrol at Mt. Washington, sea kayak guiding and COLT instructor. Her infectious smile and extensive knowledge of the ocean are sure to make any COLT sea kayak trip fun and educational.

Where are you from?

Toronto, Ontario

Where do you currently live?

Courtenay, BC

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

My parents introduced us to camping and canoeing in Algonquin Park. When I was in high school I worked my summers at a camp taking kids on canoe trips. After high school I came to BC and took the COLT program where I learned many more outdoor activities. I ended up working at SPL and then later worked as a sea kayak guide/instructor.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

Sea kayaking
Canoeing

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

Other guiding work or instruction work involving sea kayaking. I have a handful of employers. I also seem to spend a lot of my free time on my mountain bike on trails close to home, or in the winter I work and play on my skis.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

My sleeping stuff. Because it’s nice to know that I’m going to have a super cosy sleep after playing out side all day.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

Oh jeeze, I don’t know. I just have fun out there. I have been on a few long personal trips in my sea kayak. One on the Central Coast of BC and one in the Gulf of California, Mexico.
Last year I did my first solo multi day kayak trip and I was pretty stoked on that. It was a short 4 day trip but I had strong tail winds the whole time.
It’s pretty fun when you bike over a feature on the trail that you have walked so many times before.
Also that I am training other’s to be sea kayak guides.


Hannah Preston

Hannah grew up in Campbell River and spent her youth climbing with her family and the Heathens at Crest Creek Crags. Her Dad did the COLT program in 1995 and started taking his daughters out after that. After high school she spent the next 5 years devoted to climbing. She did many trips down to the western states and Mexico. In recent years Hannah has gone on climbing trips to Australia and New Zealand as well as spent more time exploring the mountains close to home. Some of her favourite climbs have been an all-female Nose in a day on El Cap in Yosemite, All along the watchtower on N Howser in the Bugaboos, new routes in the Purcell’s and the Leaning towers, along with countless classics in Squamish. The summer of 2012 Hannah did her ACMG assistant rock exam in Squamish and in 2015 completed her Full Rock exam in the Rockies. She loves sharing her passion with others, watching people learn and get excited about climbing is as good as doing a new climb yourself. Hannah lives in Squamish working as a Rock Guide in the summers and an Industrial Rope tech in the shoulder seasons… leaving plenty of time for climbing adventures.


Tony Shaw

Tony Shaw
Coming from Industrial Lancashire coal mining town of Accrington, UK Tony Shaw has become a fixture in the paddling scene in Canada. There’s no other way to put it than to say, “Tony Shaw is dedicated to paddling.” He has over 60+ plus years of paddling experience, was awarded the Brian Creer Award which is awarded to those who have made significant contributions to the Recreational Canoeing Association of British Columbia. His choice of water craft these days is a Canoe but he has spent his fair share amount of time in a kayak as well. His wealth of information about rivers is extensive and he is more than willing to share beta on rivers with you, all you have to do is ask. Tony teaches the Canoe portions of the COLT program which includes the Lake Water Instructors and White Water Canoeing. When he isn’t teaching with the COLT students he guiding schools groups on the Bowron Lakes and teaching canoeing to schools/colleges on Vancouver Island. Recently Tony achieved a 40 year dream of his of by paddling the Finlay River.  The journey along this waterway was epic!

Where are you from?

United Kingdom – Lancashire

Where do you currently live?

Nanoose Bay, BC

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

I became interested as a teenager with a program put on by the school where I was teaching. It was about building canoes (read Kayaks) with frame and artificial skins. I learned to canoe (read Kayak) in the local canals of Lancashire. I was hooked! Later in life I realized that my real passion was the ‘canoe’ a real ‘canoe’ and took to that with aplomb.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

I teach various aspects of canoeing from the lake water skills, to instructor level and also some white water canoeing.

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

I am retired and build websites! I am a member and Vice-President of the Parliamentarians Association of British Columbia, Vice-President of the Recreational Canoe Association of British Columbia. So, lots of meetings!

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

My Kevlar Prospector 17 is the boat designed for sheer pleasure when tripping! It is the perfect design for river tripping adventures.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

I am proud of the job I do with COLT students and they inspire me. I also did a river trip that was really epic down the Finlay River in Northern British Columbia. I was published in Kanawa with several trip reports.

Do you have a website(s) where people can find out more about you? http://www.alongcameaspider.ca


Emre Bosut

Paddling has accompanied Emre on his journey through life. Starting off in a whietwater kayak searching for waves along the shores of Lake Ontario where he grew up, it’s been a long journey to his current home in Tofino BC, where the waves are much bigger. One thing that hasn’t changed is Emre’s love of being on the water, which today may be in a whitewater boat, a sea kayak, a surfboard or a stand up paddleboard.
Emre has never felt the need to stick to one craft when exploring the playground that nature provides. Having worked as a whitewater kayak instructor, safety kayaker and raft guide on the Chilliwack river, the Ottawa Valley, and in Costa Rica, Emre’s curiosity to explore has eventually lead him to the coast. Since settling in Tofino, Emre has worked as a sea kayak guide on the waters in Clayoquot Sound while further developing his love for surf on a surfboard and most recently, on a stand up paddleboard. Emre’s passion for learning and applying his experience to new endeavors is what was behind the creation of Tofino SUP Adventures, a paddleboarding school operating in Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Park.
When he’s not playing in the coastal environment, Emre continues to embrace the opportunity to pursue whitewater around Vancouver Island and apply the perspective he’s developed over the years of learning different crafts to contribute to the COLT whitewater program.


Will Stanhope

will-stanhope-bio
Will Stanhope is one of the best trad climbers in the world. The Squamish local travels all over the globe challenging some of the hardest climbing routes. Take a look in any climbing magazines or youtube his name and you will find some his accomplishments.

Where are you from?

North Van BC

Where do you currently live?

Squamish BC

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

I’ve been an avid climber since I was ten years old. When I was 20 I completed my ACMG assistant rock guide certification. Last year I completed my full rock guide cert. Guiding is a cool way to spread the stoke and excitement of getting up in the vertical world. I really enjoy it.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

The climbing component.

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

I’m a professional rock climber and spend a good portion of the year travelling.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

The new Metolius Ultra light Master Cams. Smooth action and fierce holding power. I also really love my Arcteryx Nuclei hoody.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

Putting up the first free ascent of the Tom Egan Memorial Route on the East Face of Snowpatch Spire in the Bugaboos with my longtime friend and partner Matt Segal.


Scott Ballhorn

scott ballhornWhere are you from?

Wetaskiwin, AB

Where do you currently live?

Strathcona Park Lodge

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

I have been playing sports and staying active in the outdoors for as long as I can remember. In high school I took a gym class where we canoed and climbed which ended up being the start of my journey to making the outdoor world my career.  After high school I traveled and eventually ended up at Lakeland College where I earned a diploma in Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Leadership. I did a bit more traveling after earning my diploma and worked in the tourism industry as a raft and bicycle guide. In 2007 I went back to school to earn my Bachelor of Tourism Management from Thompson Rivers University (TRU).  I started to work at Strathcona Park Lodge shortly after TRU teaching outdoor education and becoming their marketing manager.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

I teach white water paddling and shoot photos and videos that you see on the COLT website.

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

Working at Strathcona Park Lodge and playing in the outdoors as much as possible. There is so much to do in the outdoors on Vancouver Island that it truly is a outdoor recreationalist paradise.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

I don’t really have one.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

I really enjoy teaching and passing on my passion for the outdoors. Seeing people learn how to roll or climb a route for the first time is great to witness. Beyond this I enjoy hanging out with my friends going on adventures. The most recent adventure of paddling through the Grand Canyon sticks out in my mind.


Tony Maclane

Tony Mclane

Where are you from?

Squamish

Where do you currently live?

Squamish

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

As a kid growing up in Squamish I spent a lot of time mountain biking and snowboarding. When I left high school rock climbing became my prime focus. My attraction of rock walls, from boulders to bigwalls has taken most of my time and energy. I’m grateful to share this love as a teacher to beginners of all ages.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

Rockclimbing in Squamish. Multipitchs, single pitch and bouldering.

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

Rock guiding work in squamish very similar to working with colt. Mountain safety management for oil exploration. Personal climbing from hot deserts to cold mountains and indoor gyms.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

Climbing shoes! La Sportiva women’s Muiras. They seem to fit my feet just right. Shoes are essential for effective rockclimbing, magic slippers you could say. Many things can be gone without but not shoes very easily.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

A handful of bigwall routes in California and BC. Single day ascents of 1000 Metre routes, first ascents, rope solo ascents and free climbs.


Seb Tashiro

Seb Tashiro

Where are you from?

Germany

Where do you currently live?

Strathcona Park Lodge

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

Ever since I became part of a german environmental youth group I had interest in the outdoors and outdoor education. I started rock climbing more than 15 Years ago and fell in love with the mountains while exploring the swiss alps.. I worked as a climbing instructor in a climbing gym, taught lead climbing courses in the Mediterranean and lead students up mountains in the swiss alps.
I studied Geography and also hold a degree in Outdoor and Experiential Education a great combination of understanding our environment and working with people.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

Snow and Glacier course, other mountain trips and rock climbing

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

Manager of instructional Staff for Strathcona Park Lodge and also play in Strathcona park.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

I am somewhat a gear-geek and therefore have many pieces of gear that I like a lot. I do like gear that can do more than one thing :).
Like my Camp Chair that I use as part of my sleeping pad. Also, I do love, like so many climbers, the shiny things on my harness and the sound they make when approaching or tackling a climb.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

I love traveling and therefore I am always happy when exploring a new country and culture.
I love the moments climbing a mountain when you are exhausted and tired and then reach the summit and you forget all about the approach and just can take in your surrounding.
Do you have a website(s) where people can find out more about you?
https://strathconaparklodge.com/about/people-of-strathcona-park-lodge/


Jason Green

Jason Green

Where are you from?

Peterborough Ont.

Where do you currently live?

Squamish B.C

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

I’ve been climbing for the last 20 years in the Squamish area and also travel to different climbing destinations around the world such as Argentina, Greece and places in the united states. Through the passion and experience of rock climbing and the enjoyment of teaching I became a A.C.M.G. rock guide.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

I teach and take the COLT students rock climbing in the Squamish area. From single-pitch climbs to multi-pitch climbs on the Stawamus Chief. The students learn different climbing techniques along with rope work and hazard assessment on the rock.

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

I work as a full time rock guide in the Squamish area.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

I’d have to say its would be my climbing shoes. Without my shoes it would not be as enjoyable to climb considering I like to push myself on difficult climbs.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

It would be the many first accents of rock climbs in the Sea to Sky corridor. Memories I will have for the rest of my life and sharing these memories with friends.


Julia Leibold

Julia Liebold

Where are you from?

Germany

Where do you currently live?

Strathcona Park Lodge

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

As a child growing up in Germany I played a lot in the outdoors. I was an outside kid, playing free outside with neighbors and friends whenever possible. I think these early experiences formed the base for my connection to nature and my love for the outdoors. My family always made sure we spent our weekends and holidays active, often hiking and exploring. After high school I knew I wanted to work with people in social work or education. I got into a Bachelor Program of Education and Social Psychology and explored different fields of work along the side, eventually coming across a new Masters Program in Adventure and Experiential Education in central Germany. It was like an Epiphany and clear that this was my path. During my Masters program I got more formal training in Mountaineering, Climbing and Canoeing and further opportunities to work in the outdoor education world. I worked for a youth work organization that offers adventure based counseling programs to school groups, in an outdoor education center that offers outdoor activities to people with disabilities and worked in the field of nature and forest kindergartens. Shortly after finishing my degree I started working for Strathcona Park Lodge as an Outdoor Instructors and did so for years to come.

What do you teach in the COLT program?

I started teaching for the COLT Program in 2014 and co-lead a few the eight day Nootka Sound Sea Kayak Trip. I continued to do that this year and also co-lead an Introduction to Mountaineering in Strathcona Park.

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

When not working for COLT I work for the Program Department of Strathcona Park Lodge as their Manager of Instructor and Curriculum Development. Even when not working I love to spend my time outside. A beautiful day is nearly impossible to spend inside! I love roaming around on our nearby trails spending time in the forest, going for swims and paddles on the lake or climbing at the nearby crags and when more time available longer sea kayak trips and mountain journeys fight for their priorities. Living and working here, being part of the Strathcona Park Lodge community adds a whole other piece to how the day to day life goes by from intimate gatherings over community events to sport, yoga or game nights.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

Rubber rain gear with a wool sweater underneath! Ever since I have discovered this combo the wet coast doesn’t bother me anymore.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

This year I went on a solo kayak trip around the the north end of Vancouver Island. I still thrive off that. It was a great experience. Other than that I think our proudest achievements lie in succeeding to turn a student, friend or guest onto the outdoors. It is time for a shift in our thinking about how we live on this planet. Every time we can provide someone with an experience that gets them to value the natural world more and sparking to be more gentle with it, we can be proud I think.


Fred Giroux

Fred Giroux

Where are you from?

Dalhousie , NB

Where do you currently live?

Field, BC

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

I was introduced to the world of outdoor education through Outward Bound weekend trips offered at my high school. This inspired me to study Outdoor Recreation and Natural science at Lakehead University and pursue a life dedicated to being outdoors and in the mountains

What do you teach in the COLT program?

I have helped teach the intro to mountains course and also the glacier course.

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

Good adventures with good friends using natural landscapes as our playground.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

The protective case for my sunglasses. Since owning one. I’ve managed to keep the same pair for more than 6 months.

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

Anytime I go climbing with my brother!


Amy Benskin

Amy Benskin

Where are you from?

Victoria

Where do you currently live?

Victoria

Tell us a little bit about your background in the outdoors and how you became a teacher of outdoor activities?

My love for the water started in high school, as I spent my summers teaching sailing and racing in regattas. I spent two years traveling around Australia and Thailand teaching scuba diving, then returned to Canada to do COLT in 2005. I fell in love with the lodge, the people, and the lifestyle…. so I suppose that’s where it really started for me! I Instructed at the lodge for many seasons between semesters at TRU’s Adventure Guide diploma, and also spent a few seasons raft guiding, sea kayak guiding, and teaching scuba diving. Somewhere in there I was also Chief Instructor at Strathcona Park Lodge for a season!

What do you teach in the COLT program?

It has varied through the years, but has included Whitewater Canoeing, Sea Kayaking Nootka, Nimpkish whitewater expedition, Tofino surf kayaking, and Brewster lake canoe tripping (back when that was included in the program!)

What keeps you busy when you are not working with COLT students?

Everything! Too much! I have recently moved back to Victoria from Campbell River and am working as a Scuba Diving Instructor / boat captain for Rockfish Divers, as well as a sea kayak guide for Ocean River Sports. I climb, bike, hike, and do yoga…. and love to plant ID 😉
… and i’m going to school to be a high school math teacher.

What’s your favourite piece of outdoor gear and why?

For all the female leaders in the outdoors, I think we can all agree that when it comes to wearing a drysuit, the Freshette is the best piece of gear you’ll ever have!

What are some of your proudest achievements in the outdoors?

Doing the COLT program was definitely one of my big achievements when I was starting out in the industry. Returning to instruct the water-based programs for COLT for the past 8 years is now one of the things I am most proud of. Colties teaching Colties!
Other than that, I wouldn’t say I have one achievement that i’m most proud of. I love what I do and all the experiences that have taken me here. So really…. i’m proud of it all!


Michael Crawford (Doc)

Bio Coming Soon.


Ian Strachan

Bio Coming Soon.