We are a team of two that unexpectedly found love in exploring and discovering the wilderness together. Our relationship began on the trails of Strathcona Park. Inspired by each other’s devotion to growth and change, and the desire to support each other’s passions, we made a fresh start together and created MB Guiding.
Everyone deserves to enjoy the benefits of nature, especially if they need a little help. We believe the wilderness has a powerful ability to make people feel better both mentally and physically. Our goal is to facilitate awesome adventures in partnership with our guests.
MB Guiding is an Association of Canadian Mountain Guides (ACMG) certified guide service. Mike, an ACMG Hiking Guide, is the lead guide on all trips and has decades of outdoor experience. The ACMG sets professional and technical standards for hiking guides, as well as mountain guides, climbing guides, ski guides, rock guides, and climbing instructors. Thompson Rivers University partners with the ACMG to operate an internationally recognized training and certification program. Lara is training to be an ACMG Assistant Hiking Guide. Continuing professional development is an ongoing process.
Location, Location, Location
Hiking is our life and we love our island home. Our guests come from all over the world to experience this diverse and special place. From remote alpine peaks to world-famous coastal routes, Vancouver Island offers unique adventures for everyone. Our weather is the warmest in Canada, and although you should always bring a rain coat, you won’t mind one bit once you see all those whales!
We are big believers in a lightweight philosophy on and off the trail. After years of traditional backpacking, we discovered a better way to trek. By researching the lightweight style of hiking, we have decreased our own pack weights. The rewards include increased agility, fewer injuries, lower gear expenses, and more enjoyable trips. It feels great to lessen our impact on the environment with lighter steps. We have energy to appreciate the adventure, and arrive at camp with stamina to spare. Extending lightweight thinking to our home life has been a joyful and freeing experience.
We love the animals. One of the joys of a wilderness experience is seeing animals alive and happy in their natural homes. Science has shown that the vegan lifestyle can also benefit human health and that of the environment. Our goal is to inspire people to try new things and show how fun and easy an outdoor vegan lifestyle can be. Lara has been a vegan for fifteen years and Mike for three.
Mike guided our family of three across the wilds of Strathcona Park. The initial trail is a pleasant stroll with a gentle climb the next day up to Mt Albert Edward for gorgeous views of all the peaks. So far, literally a walk in the park… but once we started to hike down the other side the real adventure began. This is when you see the merits of an experienced guide, as Mike’s knowledge of the ridge came in handy to avoid sharp drop-offs and also to pass the packs down one by one to lower the risk of slipping on the steep slopes. We made camp in a lovely little clearing with the full moon overhead – just us and the birds. The next day we hiked across to Ruth Masters and had the crystal clear waters all to ourselves. The early morning ascent of the Augerpoint really demonstrated Mike’s good understanding of the terrain. We had to be nimble footed to scramble up the path, but it is well worth the effort as the views at the top are spectacular with both coasts of the island visible in the distance. A great traverse, which we would thoroughly recommend.Stuart, Yumi & Kai - London UK
Thank you for an incredible day! Justin is still beaming about being able to climb a summit. I had a great day, too, thanks to you. You encouraged without pushing, made it fun even though it was hard work at times. We always felt comfortable and that we were in good hands. Thanks again for making this possible. The day and the ascent were the highlight of Justin’s and my visit here this year.Barry and Justin, Toronto
Mike is very personable and detailed individual and combines these attributes very well to offer a most enjoyable outdoor experience. He loves to share his knowledge of all things outdoors allowing him to accommodate moderate excursions for the novice and something unique for the more adventurous. Local knowledge is key to Mike’s success and he’s always improving. From the mountaintops to the sunny shores it’s always a great joy to be out and about with Mike.Kevin and Christine, Calgary
Mike is insanely knowledgeable, infectiously passionate, and absolute pro..on the trail and in the office. Mike LOVES what he does and every client leaves his hikes/tour/program with a strong connection to him and the area he’s brought you to. He’s the BEST guide I’ve ever worked with and nobody knows Vancouver Island better than Mike.Jason and Jennifer, Vancouver
I first met Mike in 2008 when he was the lead guide for a wellness / hiking vacation that I took on Vancouver Island (contracted via a local resort). Mike proved himself to be an expert in many ways. He adapted our daily hikes based on weather conditions as well as experience and capabilities of the hikers. He provided encouragement when I thought a hike was too challenging, showing me how to set my own pace and tackle obstacles. His knowledge of the areas we hiked was tremendous. He seemed to know the answer to every question that I threw his way (and I always have many questions!). I enjoyed that first two week trip so much that I quickly signed on for a trip the following year which I enjoyed just as much as the first.Bernadette, Boston
Thanks to MB Guiding for running a terrific Trip Planning and Leadership course. This is a great workshop for folks with novice to intermediate skills who are looking to expand their hiking and backpacking horizons and gain some very valuable resources and skills around leading trips and planning larger adventures. Even though I am a fairly experienced backcountry traveller the course format and Mike and Lara’s collaborative approach made for an exciting exchange of information from everyone present that sent me home with both new knowledge and valuable refinement of existing knowledge and skills. Thanks for a great workshop and a weekend well spent.Bil, Nanaimo
In true workshop style, Mike often lead by opening up discussion on a topic and encouraged everyone’s participation as he guided us through the content. Everyone could learn something here and new tips were bountiful from both Mike and many in the group. Constructive discussions took place. I found much of the workshop very thought provoking, even afterwards. On day two we ran through several practical scenario’s and this was excellent. I also found that I was able to compare how a professional prepares and can compare this to how I prepare and found it reassuring in what and how I’m doing and where I could improve things.Rick, Victoria
My wife and I hired Mike to guide us along the rugged and beautiful Nootka Trail for the six-day, 35-km trek. Mike’s enthusiasm was evident the minute we met him at the float plane, and that enthusiasm never waned and was matched by his knowledge, commitment and culinary skills. Despite the ruggedness of the trail, we always felt safe and confident, yet still challenged, allowing us to enjoy the trip and the many sites and features Mike pointed out. The pace he set was perfect for all four members of our group. His commitment to detail was evident, and he presented a perfect balance of guiding while allowing us to enjoy our own personal experiences. As a result, the trip was very memorable and we would certainly recommend Mike to anybody considering his services.Toby and Mary, Nanaimo
Mike has guided me and my family through the North Coast Trail on Vancouver Island. We had an excellent time. The whole organization was on very short notice and everything worked out great for us. Would not hesitate to have Mike as a Hiking Guide again!Alfred, Switzerland
Despite the rain and cooler than average temperatures Mike remained positive and always helpful. We learned a lot from Mike during our trip specifically the importance of staying put to stay warm and safe and how to set up camp to make it comfortable in rainy weather. Mike is very knowledgeable about hiking and he is methodical about being safe in the back-country. We really appreciated that Mike is always ready to have fun and he has lots of interesting stories to tell about the local area. Both of us had an excellent experience on our Della Falls hiking trip with Mike.Catherine and Bruce, Vancouver
Mike was incredible, he sorted out my accommodation and planned a personalized, fun packed and varied two days of hiking. If you are looking for a guide who is efficient, dedicated, knowledgeable and full of enthusiasm, then Mike is your man. I have never met anyone who has so much passion for what he does and who knows so much about the history of Vancouver Island, the culture, terrain, flora and fauna. Mike instinctively tailors the intensity appropriate for one’s physical ability. He showed me amazing feats of animal engineering (magnificent beaver creeks) and taught me how to identify animal tracks, filter drinking water from the river and a few other survival tricks. If you are looking for an amazing experience, then you can’t go wrong with Mike; he is one terrific guide. Thank you Mike and I will see you again soon for our next adventure.Choi, Hong Kong
Mike was extremely knowledgeable of all aspects of his job. Our daily hikes depended on weather permitted, where we hiked and how long we hiked that day. He got to know my boy friend and I instantly, made an assessment based on our age, level of activity and interests and planned our days accordingly. I was impressed with his ability to help us achieve the goals we set out to accomplish. Thank you Mike for the incredible experience!Amy, Chicago
Mike was a very personable expert who had all the bases taken care of and his attention to detail always provided us with fabulous results!Peter and Shiela, Calgary
Thank you for leading such a great course today. We really enjoyed ourselves and got a lot out of it. We’d both be very interested in an advanced version to build on these new skills.Silas and Irini, Nanaimo
Mike taught us many tips for preparing for a trip (gear lists, communication, planning apps, etc) and I think all participants left the weekend knowing that the pre-trip preparation is quite likely one of the most important aspects of leading a trip.Alois, Victoria