100 years of experience in Alaska's outdoors:

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Lia

Our Lead Guide

Lia is an avid bread baker with a running habit. Her early memories include both wilderness dog sledding and woodstove-side bread baking with her dad in Chugiak, Alaska. She now enjoys two young explorers of her own, ages 3 (who claims her food bib is a “race number”) and 7 (a proud backpacker) at her home in Anchorage.

 

Lia’s running joys are alpine ridges with blueberries and sharing stories and snacks. She’s won races from 5-50 km, but has yet to break 4 hours racing Crow Pass (it’s on her list). Sharing stories and improving trails are part of Lia’s work for the Kenai Mountains - Turnagain Arm National Heritage Area. She also enjoys her volunteer teams in Ski 4 Kids, Girls on the Run, and Spyder Soccer, or any chance to share being active outside with curious people and with chocolate-chip cookies.

Wendy

Wendy has been climbing in the Alaska mountains since she was a young child. Born in rural Alaska, she was raised in and around the Wrangell mountains. As a young adult, she discovered competitive mountain running and leaned in for the pure joy of it, turning out some pretty decent times on some of the toughest mountain races in Alaska.

 

She now lives in Anchorage and works two jobs that she loves: Business Development Specialist for Alaska State Parks and part-time fitness coach for Orange Theory Fitness. She has two grown adulting children and one granddaughter, as well as two furry kids who also love the mountains.

 

She has loved sports and movement for as long as she can remember, and fun fact: her Grandfather is given credit for inventing the jumpshot! Almost certain that's where her good lungs come from, Wendy’s goofy sense of humor and odd food choices make her a pretty darn fun trail guide.

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Rya

Rya grew up in Palmer, Alaska with the mountains as her backyard. From a very early age she has explored the adventure in and around them. In high school, Rya began cross country running and competitive nordic skiing, so when it came time to choose a college, she selected Western Colorado University to both ski and run for the only collegiate trail running team in the nation. Once on the Western Trail Team, she was able to experience everything from high caliber races (such as the Moab Marathon) to running in the Grand Canyon to competing with an Adidas Terrex team in Bad Gastein, Austria.

 

A year ago Rya decided to transfer back home to University of Alaska Fairbanks, where she competes on its cross country running and ski team. Rya is studying cell and molecular biology - and art! - with a plan to apply to med school and embark on a career in healthcare.

 

Between training and her studies, Rya is pressed to find “free time”, but when she does, she enjoys going out for coffee, baking, and occasionally binge watching a little Netflix. A fun fact about Rya is that she competed in Dog Mushing for seven years before she started skiing and running.