I grew up in Topeka, Kansas, and moved out to Laramie, Wyoming for college in 2017. Wyoming really sparked my love for the outdoors, through all the hiking, camping, and climbing there is to do in the state.
I was able to explore aspects of the outdoors that were not present in Kansas, climbing quickly became a favorite hobby of mine!
I received a degree from the University of Wyoming in Environmental Systems Science with a minor in Geology in 2020. After graduation, I worked at a local ski area as a ski instructor and enjoyed it so much! That job made me want to pursue outdoor leadership roles through utilizing my knowledge of the outdoors I gained with my degree, and rafting seemed like the perfect fit. I had been rafting with my family twice when I was younger and absolutely loved it, rafting felt so unreal, unique, and exciting! I joked with my mom about being a raft guide while I was still in college, I never imagined I would actually be doing that one day!
I moved down to New Mexico this spring, and the scenery and natural formations amaze me every day. In my free time, I’ve been exploring the area with my Husky, Flash. I’ve also spent some time climbing in Diablo Canyon, the views from the climbing wall are awesome!
What is your favorite river and why?
My favorite river is the Rio Grande. When I went rafting with my family 6 years ago, we went rafting on the Rio Grande, giving it a special place in my heart. The sweet memories of working with my siblings as a team and accomplishing something so different than what we were used to is what make the Rio Grande a happy place for me. Seeing and running the Racecourse section of the Rio Grande so closely has challenged and pushed me to be a more confident person. The Big Rock rapid is my absolute favorite rapid, imagining my line through Big Rock and making that happen in real time is such a rewarding feeling!
Favorite river-related story:
One of my favorite river stories is from my first commercial run. My 4-person crew of high schoolers and a parent was a little quiet when first getting into the boat and I wasn’t quite sure how the trip was going to go, but after we started chatting, they all had such big personalities. They were one of the best teams I’ve had, they had so much fun going down the rapids together and they listened to my directions perfectly! We got stuck on some rocks for a minute, but after we got off the rock, they were all so proud we worked together to continue downstream, they were telling the other boats about it with excitement. I will never forget my very first commercial crew; it was such a joy to see them grow as a team.
What are your other hobbies, interests, or passions and why are they important to you?
In my free time, I love sport climbing at different crags. I spent a lot of time in Wyoming exploring climbing spots around where I lived, and I hope to do the same in New Mexico. Climbing helps me grow personally as I challenge myself to harder routes. I also enjoy going on hikes with my dog or with friends! Hiking is such a great way to see remote areas and get some good exercise. I also love the Lord, my faith is something that is so important to me, I wouldn’t have this life if it wasn’t for Jesus. I’ve also spent some time skiing; I love being out on the mountain with friends! Skiing is a great way to spend time outdoors when it’s too cold to climb.
What type of certifications do you have, degrees, etc.?
I have a degree in Environmental Systems Science with a minor in Geology from the University of Wyoming.
Ava in Action
LEAVE A REVIEW FOR Ava!
Leave a Tip for Ava