Mountains as imposing as the mafia.
Kathy & Craig
Craig and Kathy (Skye to her friends) are hikers whose writing and photography have empowered hundreds of thousands of people to explore wild lands worldwide.
Their second date was a 20-mile (32-km) dayhike in Arizona. The distance they’ve since hiked together exceeds twice the earth’s circumference.
In 1989, hiking in the Canadian Rockies inspired them to immigrate from the U.S. to Canada. They soon covered so much ground in the Rockies, their co-workers who’d lived there decades were asking Kathy and Craig where to go hiking. That was the inspiration for their first, refreshingly unconventional book: Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies, The Opinionated Hiking Guide.
Kathy, an ESL teacher, and Craig, an advertising-agency creative director, eventually erased the line between work and joy. They abandoned their careers, started their own publishing company—hikingcamping.com—and began writing uniquely compelling guidebooks. They’re now the authors of twelve titles, including the bestsellers Where Locals Hike in the Canadian Rockies, Where Locals Hike in the West Kootenay, and Hiking from Here to WOW: Utah Canyon Country.
Because hiking is their life, not just their livelihood, they often explore beyond the purview of their books. They’ve trekked through much of the world’s vertical topography, including the Nepalese Himalaya, Patagonian Andes, and New Zealand Alps. In Europe, they’ve hiked the Scottish Highlands, Spain’s Costa Blanca and Els Ports mountains, the Canary
Islands, Mallorca’s Serra de Tramuntana, the Alpes Maritimes, the French, Swiss, Austrian and Italian Alps, the Spanish and French Pyrenees, Italy's Dolomiti and Apennini, and the mountains of Norway. In North America, they’ve explored the B.C. Coast, Selkirk and Purcell ranges, Montana’s Beartooth Wilderness, Wyoming’s Grand Tetons, the Colorado Rockies, the California Sierra, Utah's Wasatch Range, and Arizona’s Superstition Wilderness and Grand Canyon.
While their publishing company remains in the Canadian Rockies, they now live in Utah canyon country where they own and operate Utah Slickrock Guides (www.UtahSlickrockGuides.com). Spring and fall they guide cross-country dayhikes in the high-desert, canyon-country wilderness of Utah's Grand Staircase—Escalante National Monument. In winter, they lead small groups of ambitious hikers in Spain: a Canary Islands trip in January (www.CanaryIslandsHiking.com), a Costa Blanca mountains trip in February (www.CostaBlancaHiking.com).
Each summer, they lead small groups of keen hikers in the great mountains of Europe: a Swiss Alps trip in July (www.SwissAlpsHiking.com), an Italian Alps trip in late August / early September (www.ItalianAlpsHiking.com).
The transition from writing guidebooks to guiding in person was a natural one for Kathy and Craig.
"Whether writing or guiding," Kathy said, "our motivation has always been the same.
"We want to share the joy, wonder and exhilaration we find in the world’s supreme hiking destinations. We've done it with our readers for nearly 30 years. Now we're doing it with our guests."