Meet The Team
The Wild Earth Family
Blue Netherclift – Founder & Director
Blue is the owner and operator of Wild Earth Adventures with a passionate vision for the company. Originally from the UK, as a teenager he ventured into the wilderness of Algonquin Park in Eastern Canada, on his own, for two weeks in a canoe, with no idea what he was doing. It was his coming of age, his call to the wild and he never looked back. Check out the Travel Journal entries “Alone in the Wilderness” to find out more.
Since graduating from London University’s Agricultural College in 1994 with a BSc in Land Use and Recreation, Blue has been travelling the world working in the adventure tourism industry, leading expeditions throughout Africa and South America. An avid skier and climber, the call of the wild continued to pull him back to Canada to explore the vast wilderness he now calls home. With a combination of a solid background in adventure tourism, an intimate knowledge of Canada and his network of contacts Blue has been able to design and sell unique adventures that share his passion for wild places.
Chris Leonard – Paramedic, Sea Kayak Guide, Backpacking Guide, Canoe Guide
Chris grew up in Newfoundland on the rugged coast of eastern Canada. In 2001 he bought his passion for the outdoors to Western Canada and now lives in Canmore, Alberta with the love of his life. Chris first joined the Wild Earth team in Bella Coola in 2006 and loves coming back every year to explore more of this vast and untouched wilderness.
After many years sea kayaking with clients around Vancouver Island, Chris now spends as much time as he can climbing and skiing in his local mountains. He also teaches Outdoor Leadership and trains guides in Advanced Wilderness First aid. In his spare time he is a Primary Care Paramedic, and enjoys working on his tan lines. Clients will find Chris to be a very relaxed guide (see photo!) with a strong emphasis on safety and fun.
Sarah Manwring-Jones – Yogi, Canoe Guide, Backpacking Guide
Sarah is a creative, open-minded woman with experience facilitating groups & communities in a variety of formal and informal forums. Sarah was the co-founder of The Squamish Yoga Studio which has become a popular community space. Prior to this Sarah spent over 10 years working and studying in fields of experiential education, educational philosophy, outdoor based learning and sustainable development.
Interested in the empowerment of young women and children in her hometown of Squamish, Sarah’s skills as an educator begin with her intricate and open communication style, both one-on-one and with groups. Sarah values supportive group learning and effective listening as cornerstones to self-empowerment and personal growth. Furthermore, Sarah is driven and innovative with respect to creative ideas, community development and the practice of inquiry.
Phil Stone – Author, Photographer, Mountaineer
Author, photographer and mountaineer Phil Stone spent 15 years researching before publishing Island Alpine in 2003, the ultimate guidebook for hikers, climbers and skiers exploring Vancouver Island. During these research years Phil spent countless hours guiding and instructing in the mountain regions of Western Canada. During this time he was very active as a climber in his own right, establishing many new routes through Strathcona Park and Vancouver Island.
Phil enjoyed his first hiking experiences in Newfoundland on the wild eastern shores of Canada and in the English Lake District with his Father. Phil calls Quadra Island home, which is one of the wilder Gulf Islands of British Columbia. After 20 years exploring and writting several books he continues to explore and adventure as owner and editor of the Discovery Islander and WildIsle publications.
Brooks Hogya – Paramedic, Instructor, Backpacking guide
Brooks is well known in Western Canada as the owner/operator of Slipstream Wilderness First Aid and we were happy that he has decided to come out of ‘retirement’ as a backcountry guide to lead our westcoast backpacking trips.
As a Wilderness First Aid Instructor since 1991, Brooks has taught hundreds of 5 and 10-day classes of Wilderness First Aid all over Western Canada to guides, outdoor adventurers, field scientists, park wardens, and the like. From 1986 to 2003, Brooks was a Backcountry Adventure Guide leading wilderness trips from 5 to 25 days in length in Western Canadian. Brooks and his lovely wife, Anne Marie, have 2 highly-energetic young sons, Austin and Oliver.
Maria Jorgenson – Cook, Host, Make up artist and Logger
Maria was born and raised in the wild frontier town of Anahim Lake on the Chilctoin Plateau near Bella Coola. A genuine cowgirl, there is more to Maria than meets the eye. She has been an accomplished make-up artist based in Vancouver and a remote cattle fencing chainsaw wielding logger. She’s an inspiring young woman of many talents and a wicked sense of humour to match.
Maria worked for many years at the Dean River Lodge, one of the premier fishing lodges near Bella Coola. She is always looking for new challenges and in her spare time loves to travel.
An accomplished horse rider she was the star of the ABC network TV show Born to Explore featuring Wild Earth Adventures, with Maria cooking and hosting the film crew.
Kinley Aitken – Food and Nutrition, Rock Guide, Talent
Kinley has many talents and it’s hard to know where to start. As well as a keen yogi and nutritionist she is also a professional guide and chef. During the summer, Kinley organizes the food for Wild Earth trips in between her work as a rock guide in the Canadian rock climbing mecca of Squamish, near Vancouver.
During the winter months she seeks steep and deep powder while working as the chef for Whitecap Alpine ski touring lodge. Kinley also enjoys hanging from a rope while rigging in the arts and entertainment and industrial rope access industries. Her diverse background means that Kinley, as well as being a keen adventurer, really understands the needs of guests on a multi day trip and can organize a tasty menu that is both nutritional and delicious.
Chilco – The camp guardian
Chilco is a 5 year old chocolate labrador with a ton of energy and a heart of gold. You may meet Chilco on one of the horse trails with the pack train. She is a tough tomboy and incredibly strong, both on the trail and in the water hence the nickname Beastie.However she is incredibly gentle with kids and very protective with a ferocious bark, making a great bear dog. Her favourite thing to do is swim and by the end of the day she is found curled up snoring.