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Alex Chavanne

Kayaking Guide

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Alex was born and raised in Northern California, an area wilder and closer to nature (and colder!) than most imagine. Since he could hold his head up, he was seated in a kayak, eventually beginning to lead tours off the rough and rocky Santa Cruz coastline after graduating from the University of California.

Spending his entire youth climbing and skiing the Sierra’s, surfing, kayaking and boating off the coast, and travelling the world with his parents led him comfortably into a life of guiding. His education in earth sciences at the university inspired an environmentalist attitude, as well as a research-based approach to science and learning. Working among scientists and leading experts has allowed him to make friends with and learn from some of the brightest and enthusiastic members of the industry since the start, and inspired a passion for the birdlife and lichen ecology of the polar regions.

After beginning work with a world-class surf kayaker in Santa Cruz, Alex has travelled the world, continuously challenging himself in and out of a kayak. Guiding month long kayak trips in the Patagonian Fiords, paddling the deceivingly tricky and frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest, and providing hands-on logistical support for whole-season scientific field trips in the High Arctic, among others have provided lessons and experience in leadership and wilderness conduct.

Although these skills are useful for guiding work in polar regions, they also transfer well to Alex’s personal life. When not guiding, he can be found climbing, paddling, skiing and fishing around the Lofoten Islands which he calls home.

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