Where the Wild Guides Are

May 2, 2004
Outside Magazine
Winter Travel Guide 1996

Where the Wild Guides Are
By Hannah Holmes

If you romped around the great outdoors for a living, where would you go when you had to take a vacation? We squeezed some winter travel tips from four professional guides:

Outward Bound instructor Mary Fingeroff left her North Carolina post last fall to spend months wandering in New Zealand. She raves about hiking on the North Island's wild Coromandel Peninsula. "Get a good topo map, not the Forest Service map," she says. "I learned that experientially."

When snow shuts down the mountaineering season, Andrew Carson, owner of Jackson Hole Mountain Guides, takes his family to Lighthouse Park, an easygoing campground just outside Negril, Jamaica. The Carsons take day hikes in the nearby hills and rent bikes in Negril, but spend most of their time lolling, flipper-clad, in the soft blue water.

"When we're on vacation, we do the stuff we're normally paid to do," says Jim Slade, who for 23 years has guided trips worldwide for Mountain Travel-Sobek. Last winter he headed to Thailand for some trekking and beach-bumming on Koh Samui. The Thai weather is ideal in December, he says, but divers beware: Water clarity suffers in that season.

When her flying-guide business chilled last winter, Alaska pilot Lori Egge headed to Chile to navigate a twin-engine flying boat, and spent six weeks buzzing all over Tierra del Fuego. "I'm ruined for conventional travel," she says. "Driving in a car takes too long.

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