Born and bred in Alaska, Ari has been an Alaskan ski bum and river rat since earning his biology degree from Whitman College. Ari has worked seasonally as a commercial fisherman in Bristol Bay and Prince William Sound, a fish biologist on the Yukon River, remote fly fishing guide in western Alaska, and ski guide in the Chugach and now enjoys taking clients on Alaska Glacier Tours with Chugach Adventures.
He met his wife, Melanee on top of Cornbiscuit Mountain in the Chugach Range while ski touring and they have three adventurous young kids, Mia (10), Col Dov (7), and Taz (3). He has called Girdwood’s Glacier Valley home since 2006 and believes there is no better mountain town in Alaska.
Melanee was raised in the Talkeetna mountains, exploring Hatcher Pass and beyond. She has climbed and skied on Denali, been a raft and ski guide in Girdwood for over seven years, and has taught piano and guitar lessons since she was 15. She was known locally as “Supergirl,” playing in the Moby & Supergirl Show prior to giving up the limelight. She was asked to be on the National Geographic Reality TV Series that her father, Marty Raney, stars on, but told the producers “I don’t own a TV and don’t want to be on TV.”
Melanee loves sharing the magic of Alaska with visitors young and old. In 2013, she guided retired Supreme Court Justice, Sandra Day O’Connor, unbeknownst to her until the end of the trip, and was told she was one of the most inspiring women that she had met in Alaska.
Justin has been guiding for three years. Justin’s favorite activity is snowboarding in the winter and rafting in the summer. He is also a sucker for a snowmachine ride through Hatcher Pass on a sunny blue-bird day – can’t beat it! Justin was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. Most of his family also grew up here with his grandfather’s roots going back to 1950. Some of Justin’s most notable experiences while guiding would be the Twenty Mile River Heli-Assisted rafting trip in summer of 2013. He has also done various expeditions throughout southern Alaska, his favorite being the Little Nelchina to Tazlina River. During the 2013 season, he ran sixteen different Alaskan rivers.
Erin started guiding in 2011 in Talkeetna and later in Copper Center rowing the Talkeetna, Chulitna, Klutina, Tazlina, and Copper Rivers among others. She was raised in Fairbanks, but made Girdwood her home in 2014. Guiding with Chugach Adventures since 2013, she has enjoyed watching the business grow and guiding all the different trips. Erin’s parents wrote a field guide to Alaska’s grasses and loves all plants that flourish in the short Alaskan summers. In the off season she teaches yoga/children and keeps update with CA in the office.
Corey has been a guide for over ten years; kayaking , rafting, & skiing from Southeast Alaska to Southcentral Alaska and the Chugach Mountains. His hobbies include anything H20… either sliding down it in frozen form or floating on it with the flow of gravity. Corey was drawn to Alaska by it’s combination of mountains and ocean in the same geographic locale. One of the highlights of his outdoor experiences includes a multi-week sea kayaking expedition circumnavigating Alaska’s Prince William Sound. Corey is also a top notch photographer, most of the photos from this website come from his portfolio.
Check out his website at www.coreyandersonphoto.com for some more amazing AK photos. He enjoys getting up close in front of glaciers that are thousands of years old in kayaks, rafts, canoes, or on foot; with his camera ready.
Robert has been guiding with Chugach Adventures since 2017. He was born and raised in Alaska and spent his childhood adventuring throughout much of the country by snowmachine, snowboarding, backpack, sea kayak, raft and pack rafting. He graduated from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2018 with a degree in Outdoor Leadership and Adminstration. He recently launched an adventure tour business called, Northern Exposure Adventure Tours, that specializes in snowmobiling tours in the winter. He is one of our lead kayak guides and a true capable Alaskan guide.
Extraordinary Guide, Trip Leader, Ultimate Salmon Baker, and lifelong Alaskan adventurer. All of us at Chugach Adventures’ aspire to live life as full & fun as Illiya. He is a mentor & inspiration to all guides at CA and a friend to everyone that meets him.
Saraj is a 4th generation Alaskan bringing laughs and good times to every adventure. Born and raised in Girdwood, Ak, she is never too far away from fun. She is a outdoors kind of gal with experience ranging from guiding rafts down the Grand Canyon, to floating rivers, backcountry/heli skiing, and hiking in Alaska- she is ready to explore! Saraj is currently is studying to receive her Master’s Degree in Wilderness Therapy.
Emily grew up exploring the wilderness that is the last frontier. She has been guiding kayaking, climbing, and camping trips throughout South Central Alaska for the past 6 summers, and adventuring around the state for as long as she can remember. Currently studying Environmental Studies and Community Health at Tufts University in Boston, Emily enjoys skiing, backpacking, all things water, and anything that involves drinking coffee.
Molly grew up in Homer, Alaska, where the forest came down into her backyard, and Roseburg, Oregon, where the Pacific Crest Trail meandered only about 2 hours from her home. Her parents inoculated in her the skills to get outside by taking Molly and her siblings skiing as early as 3 years old. For Molly, the outdoors is not just a hobby. During the winter, Molly works as the Physical Education teacher at Pacific Northern Academy in Anchorage, Alaska. And when she’s not guiding in the summer, she’s helping teach outdoor classes at University of Alaska – Anchorage.
In 2018, Molly welcomed the most adorable, Oakley Atlas Soronen, into this world. We hope to see her back on the rafting sticks this next season, but know she has bigger responsibilities with her little big guy now. Oakley joined us for his first rafting trip this past season as an infant only a couple months old.
Past Guide – Kat Jacobs Cuthriell
Kat worked for Chugach Adventures for 3 years as an office & part-time guide. Her experience with Chugach Adventures helped her & her husband, Adam Cuthriell, launch Fish Hound Expeditions, a Fly Fishing Outfitter North on Willow Creek, who also operate remote fishing trips throughout Alaska. Kat still lives in Girdwood and occasionally part time guides and salmon bakes when we need her.
Past Guide: Daniel Pekich
Daniel rowed with us for 4 seasons. He was one of our youngest guides starting as High School Senior & Rowing for thee years during College Summers while attending Willamette College in Oregon. He graduated in 2017 from Willamette and started a career in the tech computer sector in Portland. We miss him and hope to have him back as a cameo guide each & every year. His explanation of blue ice is unmatched and his slam poetry, lyrics about Trestle Rapids are priceless.