I’m delighted to publicly announce that Katie Gerber has been hired as Co-Director and my first full-time employee. To start, she’ll be helping me run the guided trip program; as time and interest permits, I hope that her role will expand.
Katie has been involved in the program since 2020, as a guide and online instructor. She and I have guided multiple trips together and have also shared significant windshield time while driving the van to trip locations.
This job post solicited significant interest, with nearly 150 applications. I considered outside candidates, who I thought might bring fresh ideas and institutional expertise. But Katie was the most compelling candidate — in addition to her program familiarity and our personal rapport, she’s hard-working, entrepreneurial, communicative, level-headed, and attentive to details. Plus, she’s a really strong and knowledgeable backpacker.
It’d be more convenient if Katie were based on Boulder. But I understand why she selected Salida instead — it’s a favorite mountain town for my wife Amanda and me, and we considered moving there too.
Previously, Katie created Backpacker Academy, a series of online courses, and authored Adventure Ready: A Hiker’s Guide to Planning, Training, and Resiliency. She served as a holistic health coach, focusing mostly on nutrition. Her most notable trips have been:
- End-to-end thru-hike of the Grand Canyon, mostly off-trail on the north side;
- Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, Oregon Desert, and Colorado Trails;
- All fifty-eight of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks;
- Wind River High Route; and
- A 900-mile route in the Great Basin.
Katie has been serving in the Co-Director capacity since last month. So far, so good, and I’m very optimistic about the contribution that she will make.