OUR GUIDES

Professional Guides for Alaska's Wilderness

Remote wilderness travel demands professional guides with exceptional technical skills. Our clients demand personable, knowledgeable, and hard working guides. Arctic Wild is fortunate to have an astoundingly skilled, informed and passionate group of guides working with us. Some guides only work one trip a year while some hike and paddle with us all summer long for decades.

Our guides’ skills are born of both experience and solid training. In addition to completing our annual in-house training all of our lead guides carry a Wilderness First Responder medical certificate and many of them have Swiftwater Rescue training. Some guides also work as biologists or mountaineers, professional conservationists, and photographers. All of our guides have the experience and knowledge to make your trip safe, fun, and educational. All of our guides love their work!

Arctic Wild Guides

Bill Mohrwinkel, Co-owner/Guide

Bill is an exceptional guide and educator who has been leading trips since 1989. He has worked as an instructor, guide and program supervisor for both Outward Bound and The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in Alaska and across the US and Mexico. Bill is an accomplished mountaineer, exceptional paddler and an efficient, graceful and skilled outdoorsman. In addition to his technical skills and training Bill is a well rounded naturalist and birder. Bill has been active in protecting the Arctic Refuge coastal plain from oil and gas development by touring the country with a slide show. He currently works on conservation issues near his home in Palmer, Alaska. He lives with his wife Carrie and daughter Halley, and works winters as a concert promoter for Whistling Swan Productions; bringing folk, blues and Indie music to south-central Alaska.

Bill Mohrwinkel

Michael Wald, Co-owner/Guide

Michael loves sharing his knowledge and passion for wild places. It is this love of teaching that has led Michael to work as a wilderness guide, educator and researcher. Michael has been leading wilderness trips since 1991, helping others understand and enjoy wildlands from Alaska to Labrador to the Antarctic in all seasons. Additionally, Michael has taught science courses at the high school and the undergraduate level, and has participated in research projects ranging from marine mammal studies to songbird habitat characterizations. Michael is able to draw on these diverse experiences to help others understand the intricate and fascinating ecology of polar regions. When not guiding or exploring Alaska's rivers with his wife Sally and sons Leo and Nolan, Michael enjoys carpentry and wooden boat building. In the winter Michael does the scheduling, booking, and logistics for Arctic Wild.

Michael Wald

Sally Andersen, Office Manager

Sally keeps Arctic Wild on-track and efficient. Being married to long-time guide and co-owner Michael Wald, she is no stranger to the business. And as a lifelong resident of Fairbanks and a field research biologist with a Master’s Degree in Botany, she is no stranger to the arctic. But, as mother to 6 year old Leo and 4 year old Nolan, she is keeping a little closer to home these days, In addition to Arctic Wild, she works for the Interior Alaska Land Trust. Sally and Michael spend winters in the relative warmth of Haines, Alaska.

Sally Andersen

Ron Yarnell

Ron started exploring Alaska’s Brooks Range in the early 1980's, long before other guiding companies, operating Wilderness Alaska-Mexico. Ron's company eventually grew into Arctic Wild. Freed from Administrative duties, Ron can concentrate on what he likes most, showing participants the magnificence of the arctic wilderness. Ron enjoys helping people experience the wilderness and sharing his knowledge of animals, plants, geology, and local history. When any of us at Arctic Wild need information about a river or backpacking route, Ron invariably knows the answer. Ron's depth of experience is part of what make Arctic Wild special. In addition to leading trips for Arctic Wild, Ron guides trips in Mexico, Belize, Nepal, and Thailand through his business, All About Adventures.  Additionally, Ron is fulfilling a lifelong dream of building a log cabin on a lake 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the central Brooks Range.

Ron Yarnell

Dan Ritzman

Dan found his way to Alaska after receiving a Graduate Degree from the School of Forestry at the University of Idaho. In 1994, Dan guided his first trip on the Hulahula River in the Arctic Refuge. We are very fortunate to have Dan guiding in the Brooks Range with us every year since. When not introducing people to the beauty and wildness of Alaska's arctic, Dan spends his time advocating for its protection as the director for Sierra Club's Alaska Program and serving on the board of the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. And then there was that one time when Dan combined his camping expertise with his advocacy. He brings his gentle humor, superlative outdoor skills, and nuanced perspective on Alaska conservation to each of the trips he guides. Dan is a former Fairbanksian, and now lives with his wife Cindy and son Brody in Seattle.

Dan-Ritzman-Guide

Nancy Pfeiffer

Having guided for more than 20 years throughout the state, her competence is obvious. Her experience as director, instructor and guide with the Alaska Avalanche School, along with her extensive resume skiing and mountaineering throughout Alaska and the world have given her a depth of experience (and some outrageous stories) which add to any trip she guides. When not seeking out wild places and hot springs in Alaska, Nancy can be found riding her horses across the Andes or working on her upcoming book. Nancy lives with her husband Frederick in Palmer, Alaska and in Sweden.

Nancy-Pfeiffer-Alaska-Guide

Moe Witschard

Moe first visited the Brooks Range in 1988 when he ran the Noatak River in a couple of ancient Folbots with three college friends. Hooked on the north, Moe has returned to Alaska most of the summers since then to teach courses for the National Outdoor Leadership School, do many personal trips, and to guide for Arctic Wild. Moe has explored rivers throughout Alaska, the Yukon, NW Territories, and Baffin Island. His current craft of choice for his personal trips is the packraft. He is an accomplished mountaineer, avid mountain biker, expert boater, photography instructor and a pleasure to travel with. Moe lives in Bozeman, Montana and while we normally don't hire guides from outside Alaska, we made an exception for this man of many talents. He also works as an editorial and commercial photographer. See some of his work at www.moephotography.com.

Moe-Witschard-guide-phot-alaska

Dori MacDannold

Dori is a long time wilderness guide who has kayaked, mountaineered, and hiked through the wilds of Alaska, Wyoming, and Mexico, and makes her home in Palmer, Alaska. She has been an instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School and with the University of Alaska, Wilderness Studies Program. She has guided wilderness trips with Arctic Wild since 2000 teaching countless clients how to travel in the Arctic with grace and style. Dori is also a yoga instructor, massage therapist, and sole proprietor of Hoop-n-Hula Milk-n-Cookies.

Dori MacDannold

Dave Shaw

Dave Shaw first came to Alaska in 1998 after graduating from The Evergreen State College. His first summer in the great land was spent working as a bird bander in Denali National Park. He fell in love with the state and moved up full time in 1999 to work as a field biologist.  Dave attended graduate school at the University of Alaska Fairbanks where he received his Masters in wildlife biology in 2006.  He has worked as a naturalist guide in Antarctica, the rainforests of Central America, the Rockies of Colorado, and in Alaska.  While at home, Dave can be found skiing the trails, slopes and mountains around Fairbanks and the Alaska Range, fly-fishing Alaska’s rivers, backpacking along remote ridgelines, poking under mossy rocks, or waiting for the perfect light with his camera. He makes his living as a wildlife biologist and freelance photographer/writer/wilderness guide.

David Shaw

Cameron Baird

Raised in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, Cameron Baird grew up playing in the wilderness.  He has since been guiding trips in Alaska for a dozen years from the Alsek River in Southeast Alaska, to the Arctic Coast.  With a formal education in Environmental Studies from the University of Alaska Fairbanks he holds a deep love of the land, inspiring those around him to experience the natural world with renewed wonder. He is also an excellent nature photographer. Cameron, his wife Becky, and their daughter Skyler call Fairbanks their home.

Cameron Baird

Hugh Rose

Hugh has been guiding for 20 years from Alaska, to the Antarctic. His talents as naturalist, geologist, and photographer make him one of the most respected guides in Alaska. Drawn by Alaska's natural beauty, he left a 10-year career in geology to explore the state's vast landscapes and unique wildlife. When not guiding for Arctic Wild, Cheesman's Ecology Safaris or for himself, Hugh can be found exploring the state in his Cessna, raft, or on skis. In addition to his skills as a naturalist and guide, Hugh is a top-notch professional photographer. You can view his work on his photography website. Hugh lives in Fairbanks with his partner Allie.

Hugh Rose Alaska Guide

Garrett Jones

Garrett came to Alaska in 2005 expressly to experience the Brooks Range. He has a Bachelors of Science degree in Recreation, Parks and Tourism from Radford University Virginia and an Associates Degree in Environmental Science from Mendocino College in California. His eleven years of guiding experience range from working as a fishing guide in Montana and Wyoming, as a wilderness instructor in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Alaska, and now as a guide with Arctic Wild since 2006. Experiencing Alaska and the arctic is a life changing event and he loves sharing this amazing journey with others. Garrett is a top notch boater and an enthusiastic naturalist. When not cooking in the arctic, Garrett builds custom homes in Fairbanks.

Garrett Jones

Emilie Entriken

 

Emilie has been guiding in Alaska since 2008. With a wide range of experience rafting big glacial rivers of southeast Alaska and canoeing just about every lake and stream she can, Emilie brings superlative river skills to Arctic Wild. Emilie's ability to share her passion for wilderness travel, her excellent risk management skills and her easygoing and down to earth personality make her a joy to travel with. When not guiding, Emilie can be found working with the University's reindeer research program, training sled dogs, building her own home, picking berries or fishing for salmon. Clients regularly praise Emilie's quiet competence and bright smile.

 

Wilderness Guide Emilie Entriken

Steve Springer

Steve is an avid outdoorsman and boater who enjoys sharing wilderness experiences with fellow outdoor enthusiasts. Steve is an excellent birder, has worked as a biologist for the Alaska Bird Observatory and enthusiastically guides birders from all around the globe whenever he has the chance. Come fall, Steve trades his river boats in for a dog sled or skis and goes mushing or skijoring with his huskies under the aurora. Its ironic that his bio is so short- he is never at a loss for words. His stories of adventures and natural history always delight and amuse his companions.

Steve Springer

Peter Elstner

 

Peter moved to Fairbanks in 2002 and spent his first winter poring over maps of the Brooks Range in his spare time. He made his first foray into the Range in the summer of 2003 and fell in love with the emptiness and savage beauty of the land. He has spent time exploring and working in northern Alaska every year since. Peter has a varied background in outdoor education, public health, songbird and forest science, wilderness and international travel, and aviation. Peter is an excellent naturalist, superb birder and a good teacher. But his familiarity with the wilderness is second to his liveliness and rich sense of humor which bring warmth to even the chilliest river days. Peter has a real talent in sharing his enthusiasm for Alaska with people from all over the world.

 

Alaska Guide

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