Alex Chavanne


Alex was born and raised in Northern California, an area more wild and closer to nature (and colder!) than most imagine. From the time he could hold his head up, he was seated in a kayak, eventually beginning to lead tours off the rough and rocky Santa Cruz coastline after graduating from the University of California.

Spending his entire youth climbing and skiing the Sierras, surfing, kayaking, and boating off the coast, and traveling the world with his parents led Alex comfortably into a life of guiding. His education in earth sciences at the university inspired an environmentalist attitude, as well as a research-based approach to science and learning. Working among scientists and leading experts has allowed him to make friends with and learn from some of the brightest and most enthusiastic members of the industry since the start, and it has also inspired a passion for the birdlife and ecology of the polar regions.
Since beginning work with a world-class surf kayaker in Santa Cruz, Alex has traveled the world, continuously challenging himself in and out of a kayak. He has guided monthlong kayak trips in the Patagonian fjords, paddled with orcas in the deceivingly tricky and frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest, and provided hands-on logistical support for whole-season scientific field trips in the high Arctic—these opportunities, along with others, have provided lessons and experience in leadership and wilderness conduct.
These skills are useful for his guiding work in polar regions, but they also transfer well to Alex’s personal life. When not guiding, he can be found climbing, paddling, skiing, and fishing around the Lofoten Islands which he calls home.

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