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Pangaea Guides

Professional Sea Kayak and Glacier Guides

Pangaea Adventures hires to the highest standards and focuses on guides with a great balance of experience, safety, friendly personality, and education. Our guides care about the overall   experience of every guest and strive to balance recreation and education. Each guide practices "leave no trace" ethics and creates a comfortable atmosphere for all levels of kayakers. Each head guide is trained in advanced wilderness medicine and rescue. Their backgrounds are all in guiding and teaching. We hire adults who are personable, friendly, knowledgeable, helpful, patient, responsible, and safe.


Tim Duffy aka "Duff" has several years of experience guiding paddling, backpacking and ski-mountaineering trips throughout Alaska. Originally a Maine-ah, Duff ski guides winters in Nevada, explores the world on vacation, and is currently our backup boat captain. You can sit back and enjoy the cruise with Duff while he throws fun facts at you and sometimes even raps them. He acquired the company in 2008 and says the Valdez vistas still have him in awe.

Sam Benoit: Hailing from land of the second best cheddar in the world, Sam got his start as an outdoor professional by logging many hours in the woods and on the mountains and waters of Vermont. This season marks Sam's 5th season with Pangaea. In his tenure, Sam has lead clients on all of the tours Pangaea has to offer, has served as the resident handy man, and now can be found captaining Pangaea's water taxis. Sam is neither bashful nor unlearned in the flora and fauna of the region so even though he looks like he just crawled out from the bowels of the M/V Mayflower Star, don't be shy about asking him a question!

Pete Cueno (pronounced Swain-yo) emerged from the caves of Maquoketa, Iowa where he spent 18 years wrestling corn bears and breaking hearts before earning his B.S. at the “Harvard of the Midwest,” as well as the title of “Third Most Successful Cueno Child.” After reaching his full potential in the heartland, Pete set off to become Pangaea’s most triple rectified guide, whose wilderness experience ranges from alpine climbing expeditions in Patagonia to backcountry snowboard trips throughout the Western United States. Pete will literally destroy his body to ensure you have the best possible experience and he proudly reports zero broken bones among his clients to date. This guy’s legit.

Jack Bynum If we were to measure our guides based on age, we would all quickly underestimate the talent and experience that Jack brings to Pangaea. Haling from New York, Jack started to hone his skills as a young man traveling around like Pac-Man gobbling up trips like golden orbs. Whether in the mountains or on the sea, Jack will captivate you with his vast knowledge and experiences. Did I mention his cooking ladies? What a catch for being only 20. We look forward to sharing him with you all as one of our sea kayaking and glacier guides here at Pangaea. 

Hannah McGowan: Hailing from Memphis, TN, Hannah came to Valdez for the first time as an intern with Pangaea in the summer of 2007.  Mystified by the grandeur of Prince William Sound and fascinated by  its rich biodiversity, she returned to Pangaea for the next few summers to share this unique place with others as a lead guide. Meanwhile she pursued studies in marine ecology and wilderness leadership at Prescott College, so she is psyched and well equipped to nerd out about sea life, especially whales and intertidal invertebrates.  Since graduating in 2011 she has fallen in love with rock climbing, turning her attention to desert splitters and granite masses between ski seasons, which she spends skiing up and down mountains in Alta, Utah.  Now feeling the pull of the great north and it's rugged coastline, she emerges from the landlocked mountains and deserts to return enthusiastically for a fifth season at Pangaea. 

Thomas Mooney-Myers: Voted most likely to be napping, Thomas made the obvious choice, and returned for his second year guiding in the Alaskan wilderness from the far away state of Washington. As comfortable in the raging rapids as he is in the serene beauty of Columbia Bay, you will feel confident in knowing Thomas is your lead guide. Hard at work on his trick-rolls, he will make sure you’re impressed with his every move. Revered for his insatiable appetite for knowledge, Thomas cannot wait to fill your ear with all of the interesting factoids he has bottled up inside. Feel free to snuggle up close, and ask why the baby seal is his spirit animal.

Kate Klibansky: The guide whose presence is always preceded by an all encompassing giggle that brings to mind the constant presence of the antagonist in a horror film, Kate is a seamless hybrid of a graceful sea creature and rainbow expelling unicorn.  Let this outward appearance fool you not though, for Kate is a badass rafter hailing from back east, and emerging from the remote (ish) mountains of Utah to continue shredding and Baldy slammin’ in the great white north.   

Ian Colegrove: Originally hailing from a small birdwatching village in Ohio, Ian ventured to Valdez to guide for Pangaea in May. After studying the theory of ecotourism and adventure travel at Hocking College, he decided he would put it to use here in Alaska. This enthusiastic guide can lift a kayak with one hand while leading mocking jays in song with his Johnny Cash baritone. In his time off he enjoys backpacking in the mountains, competitive ping pong, and exploring the deep. As your guide, this sensitive Sagittarius will lead you through the beautiful 'bergs of Columbia Bay while filling your head with fun facts. So really, ask him about the birds in Alaska; if you weren't stoked about them before, you will be after your trip!

Elyse Rylander: Elyse comes to us from Poynette, Wisconsin, where she was raised on cheese curds and carefully brewed IPA's. Like any self respecting Wisconsinite she attended the University of Wisconsin where she majored in Women Studies. After graduation she moved out to Seattle where she ran a drop-in center for homeless youth before embarking on her Pangaea saga. A cool and collected leader with a vast knowledge of the area, she returns for her fourth season here at Pangaea.  Lesbi-honest, she's pretty much the flyest cat in Valdez. Last year, together with her girlfriend, she started Outthere Adventures, a non-profit geared towards building courage and confidence in queer youth through wildness experience. You can check them out at www.outthereadventures.org

Kira McGieson: Born at home in the Pacific Northwest and shortly thereafter plopped in a baby carrier and hiked in to the Olympics, Kira has spent ample time in the mountains and on the sea. Her bread and butter for the last 9 years has been lead sea kayaking trips throughout the San Juan Islands and backpacking trips for women up to 50 years her senior throughout the Cascades. For a great time on the water and unwavering optimism, Kira is your gal.

Tyler Campbell: TC is not the heir to a multi-billion dollar soup company. He is a full-time mid-westerner, ski- bum and pursuer of gnar. Split-boarding the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado and canoeing the Boundary Waters of northern Minnesota weren't cool enough so Campbell finds himself in Alaska this summer in the pursuit of.... yup. MORE GNAR!! He can make a mean grouse and dumpling dish and will talk your ear off about the Lewis and Clarke Expedition.


Heidi Sarazen: Hailing from the beautiful garden state, Heidi headed south to the University of Georgia where she perfected the southern drawl. Post UGA her passion for the outdoors led her to become WWOOFer in Vermont, and raft guide in South Carolina. More recently she has spent multiple seasons slaying pow in Telluride. If you are lucky enough to have her as your guide be sure to ask her about her watercolors.


Stanton Mayer: after graduating from UVM and retiring from his position as master caddy at a prestigious country club back home, Stan decided to leave New Jersey and explore new places. His adventurous soul led him to spend 7 months backpacking, cycling, and exploring all around Asia. After that, Stan realized his culinary potential while working at a ski resort restaurant in Utah. This guys’ backcountry cooking skills are legit. While his heart will always lie in the Adirondacks, Stan joins us at Pangaea this year to broaden his experience as a sea kayak guide and to explore all that Valdez has to offer.


Marie Crane: Marie comes to us from the University of Montana as our lovely intern, specializing in wilderness studies, outdoor tourism, and fish processing. But don’t let her sparkly eyes fool you, for Marie is a classic outdoors(wo)man. She enjoys mountaineering, climbing, skiing, hunting, fishing, and boating. This summer she can be found in the office wielding guests and reservations, in the kitchen cookin’ up some mean fish tacos, or out on the slopes looking for leftover snow to make some turns on. She awaits the day her very own Unique Duck Flats tour materializes for her life to be complete.


Andrew Morreale: In tribute to the great success of past academics such as Jane Goodall, Andrew has journeyed from beyond his ivory tower to study among the ape-like guide community in order to better understand their primitive habits and even more primitive hygiene. Between extensive journal taking, photography, fantasizing about scrums, and sticking sick dynos, Andrew manages to find time for himself in his daily runs, where he struggles to balance the overwhelming beauty of Valdez with his continued frustration with the unerring accuracy with which the raft guides can fling their own feces.  Besides all these things, the “Professor” is a friendly, humorous, and overall wonderful addition to the Pangaea crew. 


Kristina Rodriguez: A native to the Chicago area, Kristina joins us for her third season as the office manager for Pangaea. She graduated with a double BA in Environmental Studies and Spanish from Lake Forest College outside of the great city, and has since spent her time roaming the U.S. and Latin America. Ask her about exploring Machu Picchu, starting an organic farm at LFC, or learning first hand about immigration issues at the U.S./Mexico border. She’s done all these things! You can also ask her all about Pangaea Adventures, or about how she’s enjoyed her transition to the Land of the Midnight Sun.



Join Pangaea Adventures for sea kayaking tours in Alaska. Guided trips in Prince William Sound. Sea Kayak Day Tours to famous glaciers like Columbia Glacier. Sea Kayak Camping Tours in Alaska wilderness. Backpacking Wrangell St. Elias National Park. Glacier Day Hikes in the Chugach Mountains. Guided glacier hikes on Worthington Glacier. Water Taxi Valdez.