Sea Kayaking British Columbia

About Coast Mountain Expeditions Staff

Coast Mountain relies on highly skilled people who understand this area, know the stories, and know the best ways to share our temperate rainforest & marine environments with you. Our kayak guides and co-workers are all friendly and good-humored individuals committed to making your time with us safe and memorable. Two guides accompany each kayaking trip. Coast Mountain Expeditions kayak guides are certified Advanced Wilderness First Aid and also certified by the Sea Kayak Guides Alliance of BC, North America's largest regulatory body for professional kayak guides.

Albert Keller

Lead Guide, Operational Floater

Albert grew up at Coast Mountain Lodge, teaching himself paddling skills in the sheltered waters of Evans Bay. Now a guide and instructor, 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 biking, skiing, and photography. He spends his winters in Nelson, BC in an endless hunt for deep powder.

Emalee Vandermale

Discovery Islands Lodge Host, Kayak Guide

Emalee grew up on Vancouver Island and discovered her love for the ocean at a young age. In summer, she wears many hats - cheerfully welcoming guests to Discovery Islands Lodge, preparing scrumptious breakfasts from scratch, and guiding multi-day kayak expeditions to name a few. In winter, Emalee attends Quest University in Squamish where she is finishing up a sciences degree.

Rob Shackell

Multi-day Kayak Guide

Rob doesn't stay in one place for long. In summer, he leads multi-day wilderness kayak tours, his winters are spent exploring mountains the world over, often on skis. In spring, Rob works in Korea as a wilderness youth leader. Rob has a degree in Outdoor Education and is working towards his ski guide certification. He has extensive guiding experience and coastal knowledge that he brings to our multi-day kayak tours.

Will Agnew

Multi-day Kayak Guide

Will spent most of his life between Britain, Canada and the US, but considers himself a citizen of the world. His passion for the natural world 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. Today, he is most passionate about exploring and sharing the natural world through self propelled means, whatever they may be.

Kate Keller

Operational Floater

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 her winters in Nelson, BC.


Leya Anderson

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 published illustrator and visual artist, Leya has a BFA from the University of Victoria and draws much inspiration from the constant ebb and flow of natural cycles.When she’s not paddling or cooking up a storm she enjoys long walks on the beach with her husky, Sundance Kid.

Megan Steeves

img_5229-1Kitchen Magician

Since she was 13, Meg has spent most summers sailing around the west coast with her family on their sailboat, where she developed a love of the ocean. She also enjoys spending time on skis in the mountains, and true to her title is a food magician! More recently, she has been studying International Development and Spanish at Dalhousie University in Halifax. Meg works in the kitchen to prepare many of the meals and tasty treats we enjoy at the lodge and on kayak trips.


Joyalea Carson-Austin

Discovery Islands Lodge Host, Kayak Guide

No matter the place or time, you will find Joyalea either on the ocean, in the forest, or daydreaming about the perfect loaf of bread. Having grown up all over Vancouver Island, respecting the inhabitants of different places is the closest Joyalea has ever come to a “philosophy of living.” A connoisseur of all things hilarious, it will amaze you what seemingly obscure ideas hold the potential for a good laugh. You will find her whipping up breakfast, hosting guests, or out guiding day trips.


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.

Ralph Keller

Co-Owner, Kayak Guide

Co-founder Ralph moved to Read Island in 1979 where he founded Coast Mountain Expeditions with wife Lannie. 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 '87. Today, she's the friendly voice at the other end of the telephone. She also tends the garden, rules the kitchen and 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.


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.