Nature News from Jackson Hole

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The Divine Hiker

Naturalist Guides We take pride in our guides and their commitment is a key part of our success. Each member of our staff has chosen guiding as a profession to share his or her expertise and passion for nature.  Their dedication, knowledge, loyalty, and work ethic make our tours memorable.

 

Our Guides

CathyCathy Shill is an acclaimed leader of the natural world. In 1989, she created The Hole Hiking Experience in Jackson, Wyoming. Her company reaches thousands of people each year to inspire with nature through lively interpretation. The trips are fun and engaging and clients are given the opportunity to connect to natural processes, wildlife, and learn innate natural connections. She is a dynamic leader and has inspired children, executives, and shared “ah-ha” moments with anyone who has a desire to learn. She has toured with Walt Disney, Phizer Corporation, Jansport, Carlson Companies, Young Presidents Organization, Mars, IBM, MCI, Atlantic-Bruecke, University of Wyoming, Shell, and many more. 

 

She has travelled to Kilimanjaro, the Galapagos Islands, Italy, New Zealand, Nepal, India and Bhutan to pursue natural exploration and cultural experiences. She enjoys the synergy of life found by balance. Her interests include meditation, yoga, qi gong, and a universal connection to all life.

 

JillJill LeBlanc spent her youth in Massachusetts with a life-long interest in Earth Science and Education. She received a science degree in 1996 from Fitchburg College which led her to Vermont to continue her studies with the natural world.  With a degree in Earth Science, she followed her passions and started to guide hikes with the New Life Hiking Spa. During that time, she learned to snowboard and the big Jackson winters drew her to this area in 2001. Jill started working for The Hole Hiking Experience in 2003 so she could teach and share her passion for the environment with others. In her free time, she continues to snowboard, mountain climb, teach yoga, and spend as much time as possible with her two dogs.

 

BevBeverly Charette came to the region when she was 2 and has been deeply connected to this area ever since. Growing up in Wisconsin, she moved to the mountains of Colorado in the 1980's and then to northern New Mexico, finally returning with her family to Teton Valley, ID, in 1999. An undergraduate degree in English and history and graduate studies in social work along with an 8-year career in children's book publishing helped her to hone communication and leadership skills that serve her well as a guide. Her passion and avocation, however, has always been natural history and the environment. Years tending domestic plants in nurseries and landscaping led her to seek out their cousins in the wild, eventually leading hikes year round for Sierra Club and now for The Hole Hiking Experience. She calls herself a "Visitor Center junkie" and a perpetual student of nature, learning something new every day. "To get where I am today, I followed my heart to the mountains and then let my feet carry me the rest of the way." In addition to being a naturalist, Beverly is also a Reiki Master therapist, a professional singer, and co-owner of a video store with her husband in Driggs, ID.

 

DariaDaria was drawn initially to The Hole Hiking Experience due to her love for the mountains, combined with her desire and ability to help others. She has been with the company since 2003 and her study and practice of using plants and herbs as medicinal remedies has been fun to share with her clients. She has been a teacher of many different subjects which has been very useful in her work as a hiking guide. Such subjects include Reiki, crystal work, organic whole foods, dance and drumming instructor and ski instructor. She has lived in the area for over 20 years, most recently spending summers in Victor, ID and winters in Guinea, West Africa.  

DariaAlan Hotle has been busy absorbing the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem for the past 13 years. He has guided rock climbing in New Mexico, whitewater rafting, flyfishing in Alaska, and spent a season guiding in Yosemite. Alan lived on Kodiak Island for three years and has a special interest in bears. As an avid photographer, he knows where and how to get the best shots in the Tetons. His high-energy approach to guiding is just as much fun as it is informative.

 

DariaBelinda Gunn was born into a military family in Colorado. Having lived in the Philippines, Hawaii and several other states before age 10, she was bitten by the travel bug early in life. After receiving her Masters degree in Economic Education from the University of Delaware and teaching for nearly a decade in the public school system, she decided to combine her love of education and her passion for the outdoors and the natural world by moving back to the west. She came to Jackson in 1996 to pursue a new career as a whitewater and scenic raft guide on the Snake River. Her time river guiding was spent learning about all aspects of the area including its natural history and sharing it with her clients. Belinda has also volunteered in wildlife studies for the Wildlife Conservation Society and for the National Forest Service leading snowshoe and ski tours as a naturalist. She was drawn to the Hole Hiking Experience as a way to combine her love of hiking and her desire to educate others about the local environment. She still likes to travel and has rafted, kayaked, biked, hiked and experienced nature throughout Asia, the Pacific, Central America, Africa and Europe. Locally and regionally, she enjoys snowboarding, mountain biking and long river trips in the southwest.