Leya Anderson

Will Agnew

Josef Saunders-Kowal

Multi-day Kayak Guide 

Leya was first introduced to paddling through canoe camps in Ontario and upon moving to the coast as a teenager, she swapped in her single blade for two. A talented illustrator and published visual artist, Leya is the creator of our beautiful ocean-themed Coast Mountain t-shirt. She holds a BFA from the University of Victoria and draws much inspiration from the constant ebb and flow of natural cycles. Last fall, Leya assisted with logistics for a First Nations led protest to remove fish farms from their traditional territory, an effort that put the damaging impacts of fish farms in the national spotlight. Leya recently returned to school to study Coastal Ecology at Northwest Community College in Prince Rupert. When she’s not paddling or cooking up a storm she enjoys long walks on the beach with her husky, Sundance Kid.

Multi-day Kayak Guide

Will  has spent most of his life between Britain, Canada and the US, but considers himself a citizen of the world. His passion for the natural environment and sense of adventure stems from his youth gallivanting around the western highlands and islands of Scotland. He first came to Canada as a student at McGill University in Montreal and discovered the country’s most incredible corners as an adventurer and a tree planter. He is co-operator of “Bearings in Mind”, a non-profit that promotes self-propelled exploration of the natural world, and is partway through a mission to climb the “Munros” a term for Scotland’s 283, 3000 ft peaks. Will’s infectious energy for exploration is sure to rub off on anyone he takes kayaking.

Multi-day Kayak Guide

Josef grew up in Australia, where he spent his childhood exploring the local coastline and wild backcountry. Propelled into wilderness leadership by an Outward Bound Internship, Josef discovered a new passion for helping others to have their own experiences in nature. A wanderer at heart, Josef has spent the last ten years travelling the globe, two of those cycle touring through Europe. He thrives on adventure, whether it be whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, caving, or ski touring. Over the next few years, Josef plans to embark on a cycling journey from the northern tip of Alaska all the way to southern Patagonia to raise awareness for mental health.

Albert Keller

Kate Keller

Silver Wyatt

Multi-day Kayak Guide

Albert grew up at Coast Mountain Lodge where he taught himself paddling skills in the sheltered waters of Evans Bay. Now entering his 13th season as a sea kayak guide, Albert makes sure that our kayak expeditions are well-equipped and run smoothly. Albert spends as much time as possible in a kayak – in summer touring and paddling the Surge Narrows and Okisollo tidal rapids, in winter navigating whitewater rivers. In addition to kayaking, Albert enjoys mountain bike adventures, backcountry skiing, and photography. He spends much of his winter in Nelson, BC on a hunt for deep powder.

Administrative Jack-of-all-Trades

Kate grew up in the mountains, and still seeks out the high country in the wintertime, but has also found a love for the ocean that keeps her coming back every summer. A lover of wildlife, photography, and adventure of all types (especially with four-legged friends), Kate can be hard to pin down, but can most often be found behind the lens or behind the scenes in a ‘jack-of-all-trades’ role. Kate is mom to Cedar’s BFF Luna, and spends much of her winter in Nelson, BC. Kate handles most of our communications and is the friendly voice on the other end of the telephone when you call us up!

Kayak Guide & Discovery Islands Lodge Host

Silver grew up among the rocks, lakes and trees of the Canadian Shield. After spending two years working with horses and cattle in the Australian outback, she found herself in BC at the beginning of what has now been 10 years reforesting the province. She is passionate about self-propelled exploration and the all the places to go overland and by sea. She is also a skilled ceramic artist and is excited about small scale agriculture, a passion that will have to wait until she’s finished wandering. She is thrilled to join the Coast Mountain Team for her first season sea kayak guiding!

Olivia Vihant

Sedona Simpson

Shawnai

Discovery Islands Lodge Host/Manager

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Olivia followed the call of the mountains and now calls BC home. She feels most alive when moving through wilderness under her own power, whether it’s kayaking, hiking, running or cycling. Olivia recently completed a Mountain Skills Training certificate at College of the Rockies, and has spent her time kayak guiding, instructing, and ski patrolling ever since. In between adventures, she enjoys pottery, guitar, reading, cooking, and photography. Olivia works as a host and kayak guide at Discovery Islands Lodge.

Kayak Guide & Discovery Islands Lodge Host

Originally from the Yukon and Alberta, Sedona followed the call of the coast and now finds herself happily living on Vancouver Island. When she’s not in the ocean or in a kayak, she can be found hiking nearby trails, working on a poetry book, or seeking the sun. When winter rolls in, she’ll be on the side of a mountain snowboarding, or in a hockey rink playing for the local women’s team. Sedona’s aim is to live a life she loves, which led her to working in the wilderness, guiding fellow nature lovers. Sedona is ecstatic to be joining the Coast Mountain Expeditions team this summer. If everyone she meets leaves with a smile on their face, her mission’s been accomplished.

Coast Mountain Kitchen Magician

A long-time Read Islander, Shawnai lives by the waters edge in Evans Bay with her husband, children and many animals. She is a passionate outdoor enthusiast and nature lover. Shawnai can be found cooking up a storm in the Coast Mountain kitchen where she enjoys creating delicious lodge meals and expedition food full of local flavour. Fun fact: Shawnai’s dog Marley is actually Cedar’s mom!

Cedar

Luna

Max

Lodge Dog

Cedar was born and raised on Read Island.  He graced us with his presence in 2012 and knows the business well! Nobody at Coast Mountain wears more hats than Cedar! Official welcoming committee, cuddle therapist, food disposal expert, stick fetcher, and wildlife manager are just a few of his many job descriptions.

Branch Manager

Luna came to us in 2015 via the BCSPCA.  She spends her winters as a powder hound in Nelson BC and her summers cruising the beaches of Read Island. Her main duties include: generating enthusiasm,  squirrel monitoring, stick & branch inventory and food-waste consultation.  This one has a real zest for life, and it is contagious.

Welcoming Committee at Discovery Islands Lodge

Max is an old soul.  She spent her puppyhood prowling around the Australian outback, narrowly escaping venomous snakes.  Since her move to Canada she has crossed the country 16 times by train, plane and automobile, spent many long days in the hull of a canoe, supervised the many adventures of her humans and enjoyed the views from glaciers and mountain tops along the western coastline as far North as Alaska! She has recently been certified as a St.John’s Ambulance Therapy dog.

Ralph Keller

Co-Owner, Kayak Guide

Co-founder Ralph moved to Read Island in 1979 where he founded Coast Mountain Expeditions with wife Lannie. A passionate advocate for the preservation of island ecosystems, Ralph is a key organizer of the Coastal Tourism Working Group, a body of local businesses that advocates for conservation and responsible logging practices in the Discovery Islands. Ralph remains a jack-of-all-trades for Coast Mountain; he runs the boat, picks up people and  supplies and delivers them to the right place. He operates and maintains all the complex off-grid systems that make the operation run and still finds time for kayak guiding. To say the place would fall apart without Ralph is no understatement!

Lannie Keller

Co-owner, Kayak Guide Wrangler

Lannie co-founded Coast Mountain with Ralph way back in 1987. Today, she tends the garden, rules the kitchen, helps get dinner or breakfast on the table and…she makes sure trip food gets packed out right. Lannie is reason everything happens on schedule ’round these parts. Passionate about the preservation of whole ecosystems, Lannie is the organizational drive behind the Discovery Islands Ecosystem Mapping (DIEM) Project, a community initiative to collect sensitive ecosystem data and make it accessible to conservation efforts.