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Trip Guide

Lisa Heffernan

Lisa’s love for adventure in wild places came by her honestly. After learning how to scale the family piano before she could walk, climbing trees and riding her bike became her favorite childhood pastimes. She grew up in Calgary and her family spent their summer vacations at their property on Shuswap Lake in the interior of BC, where the conifers were not so easy to climb, but the swimming, exploring and cliff jumping kept her busy. Surprisingly, she spent little time in the mountains closest to home until she went to University, where her degree in Ecotourism and Outdoor Leadership exposed her to many of the amazing locations in the Canadian Rockies, as well as some further flung vistas in Uganda, Peru, and Bolivia. The exposure to new cultures, landscapes and adventures furthered her passion for nature. She has since spent the past 10 years working as a guide in the Canadian Rockies and sharing her passion with people of all ages from around the world.

Lisa believes that we can learn a great deal about the world, and ourselves, through the people we meet and the places we visit, and she spends as much of her free time as possible traveling to wild places locally and abroad to meet new people, try new food, experience new environments and pursue her favorite outdoor activities. She even met her partner Pete while ice climbing (at a location you may visit on an Austin trip!) and the pair live in Calgary. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Calgary, with the hope of sharing the learning potential of nature with the generations of youth to come.

What is your favorite vacation destination?

I often spend my Spring or Fall in the deserts of the USA. The landscapes are so different from what I am used to here in the Rockies and I find it inspiring how life can live in such extreme environments. That said, I try to travel to new places as much as I can too, as there is still so much of the world I want to see!

What is your favorite hike?

In University, I hiked the Yungas Cruz trek in Bolivia with some of my classmates, an old Incan trail in the heights of the Andes. It was a coming-of-age experience for us, the first big experience we had planned and orchestrated independently of our professors. Hiking through diverse ecozones at high altitudes, we saw great sights, overcame a great challenge and learned what we were capable of.

What is your favorite bike ride?

The mountain biking trails around Moab, UT, and Fruita, CO keep Pete and I coming back year after year!

Favorite movie?

Labyrinth. I watched it so often as a child that I had it memorized by High School, and it still has a soft spot in my heart.

Favorite book?

Away by Jane Urquhart

The Orenda by Joseph Boyden

Or anything by Margaret Atwood

Favorite song?

Old Pine by Ben Howard

What are your hobbies?

My favorite outdoor activities are rock climbing, mountain biking, hiking, expedition camping, sea kayaking, and backcountry skiing. I also love reading, salsa dancing, yoga, dining out, and improving my Spanish and German language abilities.

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