River guides at heart, Brian McCutcheon and Ashley Scanlan both came from a life of guiding around the globe but found a home at Chilko Lake and River. After decades guiding in the area, they purchased a slice of waterfront heaven, and in 2013 Bear Camp was born!
Brian grew up as a young golf and tennis pro and started his career in Ontario, completing his degree of Physical Education at the University of Western Ontario while simultaneously cutting his whitewater teeth on the world-famous Ottawa River. Following his lust for adventure, he set out to paddle his way around the globe and boasts that he has avoided “real work” for most of his life since founding his own tour company, ROAM Adventures, 1986.
Ashley spent most of her younger years in the saddle training horses in Ontario until the mountains called her West…then South… then North. After working as a wrangler in Jasper, Alberta, then paddling her way through Central and South America, Ashley knew that she wanted to spend her life showing people the wilderness that she loves. This decision ironically brought her back indoors to study Tourism and then Ecology at Selkirk College. After falling in love with Chilko, she fell in love with the man that was rafting there (Brian), and in 2010, they teamed up to build their dream together.
Chef Luca is caught between two loves– with food, and outdoor adventure. Luca grew up with wilderness as his playground and was inspired, and mentored by the best chef in the world: his grandmother. Luca made an inseparable connection between food and love, and his career has taken him to the height of urban fine dining, but his heart lead him back to the earth – and to Bear Camp. When he’s not in the kitchen, chances are Luca is foraging for ingredients in the forest, or out on the water catching a fish for dinner.
Katrina has worked, studied and instructed across Canada, diving deep into the outdoors and inspiring a passion for wilderness with all who join her; her love of all things mountain, paired with her background in yoga and meditation, has lead Katrina to the far reaches of Nepal and Australia, but she always calls BC home.
After 40 years of living in the British Columbia backcountry, Mike (aka “Grizz”) is the man that you want to know if there is a zombie apocalypse or, more likely, if you just want to learn some wilderness survival skills to impress your friends. Wildlife tracking, primitive weaponry, leather and metal work, sustainable gardening, and traditional log home building are just a few of his skills that span his 7 decades as a wilderness expert.
Our in-house engineer and fly-fisher extraordinaire, Tamarack was born in the mountains of BC and packed up his engineering degree in his tackle box to join us at Bear Camp. Well versed in making the machine run smooth, Tamarack keeps the hot showers hot and the beer fridge cold on our off-the-grid property, making him one of our favourite people! How did we get an over-qualified engineer to a boutique camp in the wilderness? We just had to tell him about the trout!
Steve is a photographer, writer and biologist based out of Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. He is tiresless about documenting the world via the most evocative means possible. During your trip with ROAM, guests often wake in the morning to the beautiful calls of birds in the surroundings, or it might just be Steve trying to call the birds. If you are on a trip with this guy, get ready to have a walking encyclopedia of bird knowledge at your side, as well as a certified member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association.
We met this Costa-Rican river lover deep in Patagonia on the Rio Futaleufu. Jorge has logged over 130+ rivers and counting, and we are happy that he considers rivers here in BC among the best in the world! When Jorge is not busy running class V, wrangling horses or being interviewed for OUTSIDE magazine’s “Guide of the Year”, you can find him on the dance-floor, cutting the rug with his serious salsa moves.
Kyle Smith grew up in Ontario and inspired by the nature around him, pursued Environmental Studies at Algonquin College, but “the mountains were calling…” and he moved west to beautiful BC and hasn’t looked back. Kyle loves to be in the backcountry in every season and shares his passion for photography with anyone who is keen to learn.
Our business was born from the love of beautiful and wild places, and with that comes a responsibility to stand up for the protection and preservation of the environment.
We know that our business activity, and our mere existence on Earth, have an impact and creates by-product. So we strive hard to reduce harm and operate sustainably with the environment and community around us. We designed the camp to have a minimalist footprint, keeping our tents 12-14’ above ground and thus allowing the property to remain an important wildlife corridor. We used a lot of re-purposed wood during the construction of our camp, provide organic and biodegradable soaps and shampoos for our guests as well as use local organic produce whenever available. We focus our efforts on using our own energy as much as possible, from paddling kayaks on the lake, hiking the local trails, or horseback riding in the mountains. It is true that sometimes we use fuels in order to access parts of the area, and in a symbiotic way, that effort to reach these wilderness areas, also protects it, by creating an awareness and passion for the natural environment.
Staying true to our values is something that we are proud of at Bear Camp, and we are committed to bettering our practices with more sustainable technologies as they become available.