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Benefits of Adventuring with a Master Interpretive Guide

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Benefits of Adventuring with a Master Interpretive Guide

This week I sat down with Yervana Local, Joel, a long time Lake Louise resident who has been guiding in the area for nearly 30 years. He’s worked as a naturalist and Interpretive Guide with both the Parks Service and his own guiding company. He describes himself as an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys everything from birdwatching to climbing.

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What is a Master Interpreter?

Joel is unique in that he holds the title of Master Interpreter with the Interpretive Guides Association (IGA). This coveted title is the highest level of certification you can achieve with the IGA and is awarded via nomination. In other words, the board of the IGA nominates outstanding guides who they believe deserve recognition for their work in their field. There are less than 19 guides with the title of Master Interpreter, each of them an expert in their field.

Joel explained to me that Master Interpreters are considered to have the deepest and most robust knowledge of their craft and local lore. Not only do they guide themselves, but they also run instructional courses for prospective guides.

Deepen your knowledge of the Rocky Mountains

When it comes to knowledge about the Rocky Mountains, Joel is a goldmine, whether it’s the history, geography, wildlife or plants; he’s got an answer to your question! However, when going out with a Master Interpreter you can expect more than just knowledge and expertise. Joel explains that they are great at curating unique experiences for their guests. When I asked Joel what his favourite part of his job was he told me it was getting to meet people and connecting them to nature.

 “It’s very rewarding to share nature with guests and to see their joy and excitement” 

Throughout our chat with Joel, he expressed how much he enjoyed getting to create a welcoming space for all; whether it’s your first time snowshoeing or the 100th hike you’ve done!

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If you are interested in learning about the Rockies and meeting Joel, book a snowshoe adventure with him in Lake Louise.


Maxine works with guides and operators to ensure that their Yervana Adventures stand out, and helps Explorers to get outdoors on unique, locally-led adventures. Currently living in Nelson, B.C., Maxine loves to spend time outside climbing as much as she can in the summer!

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