The Chisana News Wire

Have you subscribed to the Chisana News Wire?

If so, WONDERFUL! You are in the midst of it all!

If not, you can right here, right now. 

~Now, the Chisana News Wire has been through a few changes, on again, off again, change this, don’t do that…. but as I confessed to you a little while back, Alaska Chick’s Blog got lost inside all the information. We are back and happy to be simply …us.

What does The Chisana News Wire give you?

  • The monthly to every other month “touching base” straight from Pioneer Outfitters in Chisana, Alaska.
  • Personal messages and insider tips from Master Guide Terry Overly and of course yours truly, Amber-Lee as Mom and Manager.
  • Alaska Chick summing up the articles you may have missed as well as keeping in the loop with life in the bush.
  • Alaska Guide Training out in the field and keeping up with the “boys”.
  • An opportunity to Experience the Last Frontier with Pioneer Outfitters.

When you subscribe to our Chisana News Wire (“Keep in the loop with Pioneer Outfitters”), it will automatically be sent to you, via email each month (or ever other month), when new Newsletters are posted.

Easy to stay informed!

Be the first to hear about New Specials and keep up with Guides on Adventures, Excursions and Hunting Trips!

It also gives you an insider’s perspective on Alaska’s future guides, with Keepin’ Up With the Boys, updates on the Survival & Guide Training program and Alaska Guide Trainees.

The Chisana News Wire will have articles, links, check lists, and best of all:

Master Guide Terry Overly ~SPEAKS!

I’ll do my best to keep you informed and entertained, once a month (or so…), on what’s going on here in our neck of the woods!

Stick with us! We wont let you down. That’s just how we are.


Chisana News Wire ~ July-August 2014

July ~ August 2014
Keeping the Faith

Here in Chisana, our Summer officially ends with the start of our Fall Big Game Hunting Season. The willows and fireweed have all burst with color and the bear-berries are everywhere! Autumn has arrived in Alaska, ready or not.

With our Fall guests and clients arrival and our Team being mostly gone and away into the wilderness, the Stand for the Man in Black fundraiser is on auto-pilot until October.

After two separate huge and heart-felt efforts through the crowdfunding website Indiegogo, I decided to move our focus for #Stand4theManinBlack to our own website.

Stand for the Man in Black, the Fundraiser

Standing for Survival

Stand for the Man in Black FAQs

Please feel free to ask questions and to share this effort for survival with your own communities. We are fighting for a way of life and the right to share it as well as for others to experience it, in safety.

It is only by Standing together, Standing for Survival, that we will all survive and grow.

Thank you. For your support, your help and your presence in our lives. Here’s to wonderful (and safe!) Adventures! ~ Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick

Big Game Hunting News!
We have been working hard to make the information and help you may need to choose your Alaska Big Game Hunt easier for you.

The most important of those efforts has been the complete remake of our Fall Big Game Hunting Season schedule. In 2015 the hunts offered by Pioneer Outfitters will be longer, giving you more time to pursue and harvest the Alaskan Big Game animal of your dreams. This meant cutting out one of our own time-frames, but the benefits this offers our clients outweighs all else.

Another important bit of news is the last minute addition to our 2013 Big Game Hunting Season last year for Alaskan Grizzly Bear Hunts in October has become a grand hit for those only interested in harvesting an Alaskan Grizzly Bear and enjoying the Alaskan Autumn.

Here are the posts you might have missed for Pioneer Outfitters Big Game Hunting:

5 Biggest Mistakes Big Game Hunters Make

The Real Skinny on the Best Combo Hunt of Alaska

Alaska Big Game Hunting Resource

Your Alaska Grizzly Bear Hunt

Alaska Guide Training
Alaska Guide Training is not for the faint of heart. We at Pioneer Outfitters feel that it must be as hard as we can make it because under all of it, people’s lives are at stake.

We welcome Lestat Christensen and Coy Wilson to Pioneer Outfitters, to Alaska and to Alaska Guide Training.

Professional Guides are Leaders and one of the main focus of Guide Training is Leadership Training.

The latest posts concerning Alaska Professional Guides and Leadership:

Top Dog: A Professional Guide

Why the Little Things Count So Much

The Courage to Lead

Producing the Natural Physical Process of Guiding Leadership

Please always feel free to reach out. Contact us with any questions or pondering you might have and we’d be happy to help you find the answers you are looking for!

Contact us soon, if you are interested in one of the remaining spots for October 2014 Alaska Grizzly Bear.

That’s all for this newsletter, stay in touch and look for more soon!


Chisana News Wire ~ Special Edition ~ Stand for the Man in Black ~ #Stand4theManinBlack

(April/ May 2014)

I promised to Be Fearless…

Stand for the Man in Black is the fundraiser I imagined, researched for, prepared and launched on April 23rd, 2014 (my 22nd Anniversary with Pioneer Outfitters) to raise the funds to replace the aircraft (Cubby) destroyed in a terrible fire on September 16, 2013.

Our future, as individuals, as a Team, as a business and as a community depend upon having an airplane. Our survival and the safety of all who come to experience the gifts Alaska has to offer, is at risk.

I promised you, my Team and myself that I would Be Fearless in every way in 2014. I would not shy away from the difficult or the terrible. I would Stay the Path and would always Walk the Talk.

On September 16th, 2013 we suffered a terrible blow. In that instant, we also all knew and understood how blessed we were. We had lost our only life-line to outside these mountains, but we had not lost the Man, himself.

Terry Overly, Master Guide Terry Overly is the Man in Black. He was named “The Youngest Old-Timer in Alaska” decades ago in Alaska Newspapers for standing toe to toe with the National Park Service.

Terry is the Man in Black. He is also Pioneer Outfitters, our Master Guide, the Boss, our leader and my dearest friend. He is the only Father I have ever had and “Papa” to my own children. He is a son, a brother, a father,a grandfather and United States Army Veteran. He is a good man with a good heart.

And I need your help. To help me to spread the word, to all of humanity that a good man needs help. There are historic implications, symbolic connections and community issues that are all very relevant, but at the core, a very good man needs your help.




We are now dependent on twice weekly deliveries of food, clothing, mail, fuel, feed, and more at $.40 per pound.

What’s more, we can no longer rescue or evacuate anyone in need. Our horses may die needing our assistance as we cannot travel by air to find where they have ranged.

Our home is only accessible by air, and we live in Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, our nation’s largest National Park.

What Happened?





~ September 16, 2013. Terry had flown in from the camp he was leading (His horse is always led- and he flies- because he needs to be able to check home and the other camps throughout his time in camp) and spent the night, gathering supplies and having already checked in on the other camps that were out and away.

Terry was getting ready to fly back to his camp with supplies and had already loaded the plane. He put the heater in it- to warm up the engine for about an hour and had stopped by my cabin to check on me as I was off the roster, sick. Terry was at the Lodge, and I was in my bed at my house about 600 yards away- between the Lodge and our airstrip when we heard gunshots and booms (the ammo in the airplane going off)- I called the Lodge, (Actually ready to chew some butt- I was trying to sleep and they were playing with guns! Men!)- and one of the crew said the most horrid words I had ever heard, “Terry’s airplane just exploded!”

~ I honestly thought I would die right then. I was very sick, and had actually for a moment forgot I had never heard the airplane take off- I thought Terry was in it. I ran. Ran screaming his name to get to the airstrip just as I also heard Terry yelling my name- running towards me. It was horrible and wonderful all at the same time.

It was horrible, of course. Cubby was our life line. But Cubby (the Piper Super Cub) meant NOTHING compared to this man, the only father I have ever known, standing in front of me, with tears running down his face. His poor airplane. An icon, here in Alaska. People from all over the state knew that black airplane- the Man in Black- and what he and it could and would do for others.

So, all we could figure out- once the fire was out and there was nothing left- was that something had to have faltered in the heater- causing some sort of a short. We DON’T know. All we do know is that now, relying on others to haul freight and to find our range horses is going to destroy this 90 year old business and ideal.

Q & A ~ The Issues





There are some basic FAQs and questions that are coming up about the Stand for the Man in Black fundraiser. I thought I would answer them here for you to understand what the ramifications of loosing the aircraft are for Pioneer Outfitters, the community of Chisana and those who come to Chisana and the Wrangell St. Elias National Park to enjoy it’s incredible gifts and beauty. So, here are the answers (FAQs) to Stand for the Man in Black.

How many bales of hay and bags of grain do you need in the winter?

Using an average of 30 horses, and again using an average of 15 of those horses needing to be supported throughout the 4 harshest Alaska winter months, we would feed 150 bales (70# bales of timothy hay) per month equaling #600 bales of hay during the winter. In addition to the hay fed daily, we would also feed 6 tons of sweet feed (a mix of barley, oats and molasses) and 4 tons of alfalfa pellets to those same horses to support these 15 horses that could not range.

  • 150 ~70# bales of timothy hay =10,500 pounds
  • 6 Tons sweet feed                      =12,000 pounds
  • 4 tons alfalfa pellets                  = 8,000 pounds

This totals 30,500 pounds of freight at $.40 per pound equals $12,200.00 for freight alone to be paid on top of buying the hay and feed for the horses.

The needs of the horses vary of course and the number of horses that need to be fully supported with no grazing on wild grasses also varies.

Normally speaking, even the horses that tend to need us humans to help them along rarely need our assistance before the second week in December. Once they begin needing us however, we cannot abandon this focus until some point in April when the river conditions deteriorate to the point of hazards and risks in safety crossing the rotting ice and the snows have left enough that they (the horses) no longer have need or wish to see us (baring gifts of free feed or not). These are range horses and they prefer to pretend for as long as they can that they are wild and free.

How many people are supported by Pioneer Outfitters? How many people live in the Chisana Community?

The number of people that live with Pioneer Outfitters in Chisana of course varies. At this time, there are 10 people one of which is a child who live here year-round. There have been and will be during different periods of time (high seasons) an average of 7 to 10 more people who live and work with us for 2 to 3 months at a time.

We call the area that the Community of Chisana lives at “The Other End” as 3 miles away and they all live within an acre or two of each other. The number of year-round residents that can vary too of course ranges between 5-8 with that number growing to between 10-20 during the Summer and Fall months.

Pioneer Outfitters do not per-say “support” any of the numbers that live with us. We support one another and each of us that live and work for and with Pioneer Outfitters provides a valuable contribution to the whole and the Team. We are a family and we support one another.

What kinds and how much fuel do you have flown into Chisana?

  • Diesel  3,650 gallons per year
  • Gasoline 750 gallons per year
  • Propane 700 pounds per year
  • Oil  40 gallons per year

The diesel is used for the generators that keep the power, Internet and phone system for the Community running. (Only the phone system is community-wide.) The diesel is also used for the heavy equipment like D-6 and Case CAT for things like plowing the airstrips and other massive jobs that require the huge equipment.

The gasoline that is flown in is for running the chainsaws for wood cutting that fills the stoves we use for heat as well as for running the water pump, snowmachines and ATV’s we use for hauling wood, water and traveling to the mail boxes two miles away where the plane lands with the mail and freight at all times except for during the winter when they land on our airstrip the majority of the time.

The propane is used for cooking and the oil keeps every engine running smoothly and properly.

How often do you fly and how far?

How often Terry flies his airplane is incredibly difficult to answer. Especially trying to be completely accurate.

Ok. Most often, when Terry flies out of Chisana he has one of two destinations in mind. Northway, Alaska is 80 miles away. It takes 30 minutes in the Cessna 206 and 55 minutes in the Piper Super Cub to fly to Northway (ORT). From here, Terry can drive 7 miles from the airstrip to the Alaska Highway where he can get fuel or possibly a few groceries, although there is rarely anything in the way of groceries or supplies on the shelves in the village store.

Flying into Tok, Alaska takes 45 minutes in the Cessna 206 and approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes in the Piper Super Cub. In Tok, diesel, propane, gasoline, oil, groceries and supplies may be had within a five mile radius of the airstrip.

Flying out of Chisana and into Northway or Tok are 95% of the time fuel runs. Groceries are always added depending on availability in Northway and if and where there is room, no matter which destination and the other 5% of the time are mainly for replenishing fresh foods, family gatherings or doctor appointments.

The majority of our own grocery and supply shopping is done and stored in Chisana 3 times a year in Anchorage or Fairbanks, Alaska which involves multiple flights to bring everything home after driving from and back to Northway in one of our own vehicles kept there for this purpose.

The majority of flying Terry generally does, that is done almost daily at some periods during the year, is to locate and keep track of the range horses by air as well as to discover any changes or dangers in the terrain for riders from the ever changing rivers and creeks flooding, forest fires and ice flows and break-ups.

The flying Terry does in Chisana is almost always done in the Piper Super Cub for maneuverability and the capability it has (with a real honest-to-goodness-Alaska-bush-pilot) for landing dang near anywhere.

How many rescues have you (Terry Overly) made?

(~ I asked that Master Guide Terry Overly answer this one, himself.)

“That’s a hard one to answer. There has not been a single year since I began flying in the Wrangell Mountains that I have not been called upon to find a lost or over-due hiker, dog sled team or snowmachiner.

Last summer, I was called on two different times to locate a man and his wife who were riding horses cross-country from Argentina across Alaska to Mt. McKinley. On both occasions he was overdue at his expected rendezvous and both times I located him and his position to those waiting for them.

I have been called upon to rescue and evacuate women and children from the White River during massive flooding, winds and mud slides.

I have made emergency supply flights for stranded parties and reported their locations for the authorities searching for them numerous times.

I have been called by the USGS and National Geographic Teams to help them find trails they were unable to find on the ground and get them back on the routes they got turned around searching for.

I have medevac’d one person with a massive firearm injury into Northway where I was met by the Emergency Medevac with twin engine aircraft immediately transferred the patient and flew into Anchorage.

Another time, I with my Cubby were called on to fly into another Outfitter’s hunting camp to rescue and evac a 65 year-old man who had badly broken his leg and the Emergency Medevac couldn’t reach because of very turbulent winds and couldn’t get down onto the airstrip.

I was called, again for Cubby (Piper Super Cub rated Experimental) and my own experience, to land on a “5,000′ high mud ball” airstrip to retrieve 4 FAA personnel during a late September snow storm. They had been hunting caribou and the air taxi that had dropped them off could not get back into them to fly them out. They ended up staying with us in Chisana for 2 days before the weather cleared enough to be picked up.

There are more. Sadly, they were not all rescues. Some were simply to find the remains of down aircraft’s. There is never a reason to refuse. We are given the skills we have to use and if we ever have a chance to use the skills we are given for other’s good, even once, then it is good.” ~Master Guide Terry Overly

EXACTLY what is the money raised to be used for?

~ To replace the aircraft lost to the fire on 9-16-13.

Was there no insurance?

~ We are unable to insure against fire as there is no fire department/ rescue available to the community.

How does “The Man in Black” having an airplane do anything at all for the community of Chisana? 

~ Having an airplane allows us to haul our own fuel, which keeps the generators running that supplies the power for the phone system and company that provides phones for the entire community. It allows us to offer our guests and clients the comfort and safety of that airplane in this wilderness. Standing ready, whenever it may be needed.

Terry has flown for other people’s lost horses and lost dogs of course, but he has also searched for and found lost hikers, hunters that were injured, planes that have gone down, snowmobilers that had broken down and were in danger of freezing. He has landed his plane in running water and rescued families from flooding, taking off just in time to watch the cabin be washed away. He has answered numerous calls for help when an elderly neighbor is injured or falls ill, never accepting anything in return.

What do you plan to use any remaining or even extra money raised by this fundraiser for?

~ The long term goal is to create a space in Chisana, surrounded by the wilderness to facilitate groups, teams and companies being flown into so that they may gather, study, network and become stronger together.

People who may not be looking to go on a great Wilderness Adventure, but to be surrounded and be part of one, away from the hustle and distractions of the world.  An Inn with a Great Rooms for conferences, equipped with the same Wi-Fi that we already operate with.  A comfortable and informal gathering place that affords the privacy and peace so many are looking for but with the added space so that larger groups of people can be accommodated.

My Call To Action





Why do I believe so deeply that others, perfect strangers who have never even heard my name or Terry’s or even Pioneer Outfitters would even care?

I believe, because of what I have witnessed and understand to be true. None of us, are alone. None of us were meant to stand alone. We are all in this life together and caring for one another, helping one another and standing for one another is what we need to do.

We need, to be needed. To be asked. To be believed in. All so that we can come to understand one another, to make each other stronger by sharing our experiences and our own knowledge with others. To make connections. To grow.

This is important. It is not for me and it isn’t only for the Man in Black. It is to continue a near-century old business, it is to preserve a way of life and it is to ensure someone is always there, to provide security and an extra layer of safety.

Please help me to Stand for the Man in Black. Please donate if you can but also, please help me to spread the word.

The Stand for the Man in Black fundraiser is located on at ~>
The Pioneer Oufitters website now has a Page dedicated to this fundraiser ~> Fundraiser: Stand for the Man in Black
On FaceBook Stand for the Man in Black also has updates and more information daily.


Our Thanks (Options, Perks and Prizes!)






Betsy Cross is an artist and a dear friend. She is creating beautiful artwork to benefit Stand for the Man in Black.

Fundraiser Artwork

Print of original artwork, $50.00 ~ 100% donated to the Fundraiser

Custom work, $50.00 ~ through the end of June 2014

On FaceBook we also have an online Arbonne party to benefit Stand for the Man in Black. Please note that Arbonne is “Botanically based skin care, cosmetics and nutrition products” and feel free to invite any friends that you believe may enjoy using or trying these products out. I would like to thank Melissa Kirkpatrick for introducing me to her dear friend Kari Triplett who is an Area Manager with Arbonne and who is donating all the proceeds for this to our Fundraiser.

And! On the indiegogo site, where the Stand for the Man in Black fundraiser is located, we have PERKS! (Lots and LOTS of perks!) But mostly, what we have are hearts full of gratitude, that is all these are.

EVERYONE who stands with me and Stands for the Man in Black will have their name carved onto a new center piece log that will be put into a place of honor in the Shushanna Room, so all that come later will see who helped us live and grow. To honor and remember each individual and to always keep your names fresh in our minds as well as the minds that come to experience the great Alaska wilderness safely and fearlessly.

~Thank you for hearing me.

Amber-Lee Dibble, aka Alaska Chick


Chisana News Wire ~ Spring Time in Alaska ~ March – April 2014

“Spring time in Alaska can be a real mess at times.” ~ Master Guide Terry Overly





A word from the Man in Black…
Master Guide Terry Overly.

Spring time in Alaska can be a real mess sometimes. It’s true. But it is also a time of rebirth and growth.

Here in Chisana everything is melting and thawing. We are finding things on and in the ground that we haven’t been able to locate in months and had given up for lost!

The ground is still frozen here in Chisana, so we have been cutting firewood like it is going out of style and using the snow machines and my Case CAT to haul out what has been cut before all the snow leaves.

The Chisana River is still frozen for the most part but our ice bridges are collapsing and the water on top of the ice is almost three feet deep in places. Playing on the wet ice makes for slippery and wet play time for us all in addition to the sunburn. We are at between 14 and 15 hours of sunshine already with temperatures between 45*F -50*F every day.

We are all looking forward to the Summer we have planned as well as what it may bring. Today is a beautiful spring day and we are heading out and across the river to begin looking for the range horses so that they can be wrangled in the next couple of weeks and brought home.

Sure wish Cubby was still with us.

Take Care, Stay Strong, Be Fearless.

~ Master Guide Terry Overly

Alaska Chick’s Blog ~

Alaska Chick’s Blog is the voice online for Pioneer Outfitters. It is a way that I, Amber-Lee Dibble, aka Alaska Chick, can introduce you to the family and Team here at Pioneer Outfitters. It is a way for me to share with you Chisana, Alaska, the Park and the wildlife and wilderness that surround us as well as all there is here to be shared with you. It is a way you can be part of our journey through life, to become all we can be both as individuals and as a team.

What I had absolutely no warning of; when I started Alaska Chick’s Blog were the incredible gifts it would also bring into my own life. You!

Recently, a discussion came up about business “blogs” and what was the main point of that blog. I think my own answers frustrated most others because while I research and study hard to help create and maintain an awesome website and blog, we are simply not in a normal type of business and I see a great potential to do more than simply further myself and our business along.

The great potential I see is in you. More accurately, I see the potential to make great changes in the world by becoming a bigger “us”. You and I, together. All of us. I wrote a little bit of it in my post Social Media Madness and Mayhem.

Alaska Guide Training ~

The biggest news and updates for March ~ April about the Alaska Guide Training is that two of Pioneer Outfitters Alaska Guide Trainees are ready and yanking at the bit to send in their applications for their Professional Alaska Guide Licenses.

“Are they ready?” ~ is the question. They have put in their time. They have been taught all that a Professional and ethical Alaska Guide needs to know and understand. “Are they ready?”  They are ready if they use all they have been taught. They are ready if they remember they are part of a Team ~ no matter where they go from here. They are ready if they remember that it isn’t about them, it is about the Outfitter, the client and the state and wildlife they are representing.

Another big deal is that John and Glen Murphy are home again in Chisana to help reign in the wild young ones and new trainees have been and continue to arrive each week.

Horseback Hunting ~

Oh yes! Even though the Spring Grizzly Hunts are what most of the focus is on right now, when will we catch the horses and bring them home, when will the ice bridges across the river fall and most importantly: when will the bears wake up (?!!); we are also getting gear lists and repairs under way.

This year’s Spring Grizzly Hunt will have a staring roll in the first of a whole lotta filming that has been scheduled for 2014. Hopefully, the film crew wont arrive before the bears wake and they do arrive before our guests!

Horseback Adventures ~ In the Year of the Horse!

The Summer Horseback Adventures and all of the amazing things we will see this year is really all I can dream of! The newly added Horseback Fitness Adventure is going to be such a gift to everyone involved with it as the very first 21 Day Horseback Adventure in what has to be the greatest and most beautiful spot in the entire Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve.

Cutting the new trail up the side and across the Chisana Glacier is going to be an AMAZING adventure! I think that most of us here are just as excited if not even more excited about this than anything else!

Are you going to be part of the Horseback Adventures this year? Wonderful!! We cannot wait to meet you!

My heavens! Our first Horseback Adventure guests will begin arriving mid-May!

Behind the Scenes ~

There is a whole bunch happening Behind the Scenes. It feels like spring has sprung here in the mountains, but we are still buried in snow and ice. However, everyone has shifted into a higher gear and the months are flying by.

The Pro-Team are heading back home to here in Chisana, and two have already arrived! Brothers, John and Glen Murphy arrived only days ago and Wesley should be home any day. We have another Alaska Guide Trainee arriving within the next week and you will get to meet him soon!

Next month the Spring Grizzly Hunters will arrive along with the film crew that just might be part of our foreseeable future.  The range horses will have to be located and wrangled back across the river and readied for the spring and Summer Adventures ahead.

The biggest thing happening Behind the Scenes now and has been for a while is the announcement I will make soon. Please be sure to watch for it!

March ~ April Spotlight!
Fall Horseback Hunts ~

Alrighty! The focus spotlight isn’t actually on a particular Horseback Hunt that Pioneer Outfitters offers, but a major change coming in 2015 for the Fall Horseback Hunts that we offer.

Master Guide Terry Overly has been talking about this for a while now. He decided to completely overhaul and reschedule ALL of the Fall hunts. To create time-frames that allow much more time in the  field with enough time between hunts for the Guides to restock and the new hunting clients to have their rifles and paperwork finished as well as creating a more relaxed environment and happier guides!

~ AND I have received the new schedule! OUTSTANDING!! It cuts our dedicated hunts by one- but almost guarantees many, much happier clients as well as much healthier and happier guides! So if you are looking at booking YOUR Alaska Big Game Hunt in 2015, you may want to give Terry a call and get the low-down on what is not on the website yet!

Chisana News Wire ~ Be Fearless ~ January-February 2014

The Year of the Horse ~ 2014


A word from the Man in Black…
Master Guide Terry Overly.

It’s already the end of February and a lot has happened since February of 2013, in all of our and your lives to be sure.

I believe everyone should have a daily journal that is kept up to date. Something one writes in, faithfully. It allows each of us to go back and see how we have changed, or “evolved” if you will. Because we all are, evolving, through life on a daily basis.

“Times are a changing” and we must keep up with current events. All the global worries, money worries, evolutionary worries, who is really running our country worries, who is really in charge at the White House worries, health worries, just plain old worry ~ it’s everywhere. Do any of them matter? It doesn’t seem to matter if we worry, so we need to focus on what to do about it. That’s what we are doing. “Be Fearless” ~ right?

These are the things I have been thinking about, all the time, every day, and when I was reminded to write this down to share with you here, I thought I just would.

We are pondering which road (Path, as Amber-Lee tends to refer to it as), which road, down-over-across leading to where and why. What will be, what we will have and when will we ever reach that road?

Keep your eyes wide open and focused on your set goals. Be alert and cautious. Be ready. Disasters can happen and do, but when you look closely enough, the blessings are there too.

There are winners and there are losers, but in reality the only difference is that the winners don’t quit. We here at Pioneer Outfitters are strong, stable and enduring. We are a family and we will never quit.

Take Care, Stay Strong, Be Fearless.

~ Master Guide Terry Overly

Alaska Chick’s Blog ~

We have been focusing on the word that the Team here at Pioneer Outfitters chose for 2014, Fearless. Knees shaking, tummy-twisting or not, we will continue to embrace new ideas.  We will Be Fearless, Now! 

Suddenly Sunday has been a really nice way to include yet another part of our journey and desire to be all that we were meant to be and accomplish, so I really hope you enjoy these posts.

Monday Motivation is also another way for the Team to stay strong and connected. With each other as well as you. Motivation is what keeps us dedicated and committed, to each other and to serving you.

Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick, the new videos we do every Wednesday night, out by my fire has been quite the learning experience. Not only are we learning more and more about how to make some nifty vids to share with you, but You Tube is becoming my friend as well! LOL, you all know it has taken me all of these last three years to brave those waters! The Campfire Chats now also have a page of their own on the website. They can be found by looking under the “Blog” tab. (Leave us a question!)

My first Guest Post of 2014 was over at Mark Harai’s The Enlightened Entrepreneur Blog with 6 Amazing Tips Help You Get Started Right Making Videos For Your Blog, where I shared a few of the biggest lessons I had to learn the hard way, myself. Hopefully these tips will help you skip these mistakes and jump right into making great videos for your blog!

Alaska Guide Training ~

There comes a period of time, I have noticed, especially in the younger generation of Alaska Guide Trainees, when it becomes apparent that we are simply in a holding pattern. The Trainee feels he or she knows all that is needed to know and understand and anything that is attempted to correct or add at this point is met with an obstinacy that comes from inexperience.

In one Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick, Be Fearless Now! The entire Team, present at the time, added their thoughts about our focus for 2014, “Be Fearless Now!”

In another recent post, “What You Don’t Understand About Ethics” we review once again the confusion that surrounds Ethics.

Without the airplane to search for horses, the boys have been putting a lot of miles on the snowmachines keeping track of the range horses, the old and the new. They have been getting a little trapping in on the side and cutting wood like it’s going out of style!

We are excited to meet and welcome the new Alaska Guide Trainees that will be joining us in March and April. There is going to be a lot going on this coming Spring and Summer so we are trying to get everyone in and settled before things start really hoping over the next few months.

Winter & Spring Excursions ~

Talk about some strange weather! Normally speaking, here in Chisana during the month of January we are dealing with cold temperatures ranging from -40*F down to -55*F with at least one plunge all the way to -60*F to be expected. This year? It is raining. Yes, raining. The boys are cutting firewood in sweatshirts and complaining about how hot they are (because a minimum of winter gear is a must whenever they are in the wilderness) and everyone is slip-sliding around trying not to fall into the puddles of water!

Spring Excursions were bumped up to begin Late February this year and we expect to be spending a lot more time out on the ice, splashing around in the icy waters after February’s incredible snowfall begins to melt over the next couple of months!

Horseback Hunting ~

The Spring Grizzly and Black Bear Hunts are the entire Team’s focus as it may be one of the most incredible Springs in Pioneer Outfitters long history.

Master Guide Terry Overly and I answered a bunch of questions about Spring Grizzly for a couple of young brothers in Michigan during January’s Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick, Spring Grizzly that you may enjoy watching.

Also, the 5 Biggest Mistakes Big Game Hunters Make is a great post of tips to help your next (or first!) Big Game Hunt a very successful one, on all levels.

Here are a few more posts that will get you in the “mood” for the Hunting to come!

Horseback Adventures ~ In the Year of the Horse!

Very recently we at Pioneer Outfitters were called and compared to the 1970’s tv show, Fantasy Island as the Exclusive Horseback Riding getaway for a wilderness Adventure unlike any other, anywhere.

Behind the Scenes ~

There is a TON going on Behind the Scenes here in Chisana right now at Pioneer Outfitters. Some of it is a surprise to be announced and some I will share with you here.

This Summer, we will be partnering with one of Alaska’s Universities to take part in an epic filmmaking survival and horsemanship Wilderness Adventure! And the best part of it all is YOU are invited!! This is going to be happening all around us as we work and adventure throughout the Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve.

Do you want to spend 14 days studying natural history, horsemanship, survival, guiding, leadership, and adventure filmmaking in the backcountry of Alaska? Course starting mid-June (depending on workshop choice) and running until July 2nd.

Our summer epic is picking up attention. Have you heard? Check out our latest offering on our page: Adventure Film School Alaska and check out our partner, Pioneer Outfitters, who are celebrating their 90th year of guiding in the remote Alaskan backcountry.

I’m honored to be part of the story, and to do my part to keep telling the story of the wilderness.

Details are still being finalized, but here are the basics:
-6 college credit hours taking two courses (Natural History Interpretation & Leadership in Outdoor Recreation Activities),
-14 days with Pioneer Outfitters in rugged backcountry of the Wrangell St. Elias NP,
-Optional workshops* include:
a. Preproduction & Visual Story-telling for Adventure Film
b. Writing for the Adventure Film Genre
c. Attendance at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference

And all for $2400 (tuition, travel, food, guiding, and lodging*).
Note: Lodging not included for optional workshop times, BUT is available. Subject to minimum enrollment of 9.

The article, below, is a write-up from Amber-Lee Dibble of Pioneer Outfitters and will give you a bit more details about our guides, location, and the 2014 Summer Epic!”

~ DB Palmer, Professor

I explain it better in this post:

January ~ February Spotlight!
Horseback Fitness Adventure ~

More and more people these days are looking for ways to “reset” their lives. To find a way to feel healthier, happier and they are not looking for magic. They are looking for a way to reclaim their own lives, today. They have the brass balls to believe that they really are worth it and they want to have a blast while they are at it. They are all looking for a fitness adventure.

The Horseback Fitness Adventure is exactly what people are looking for. Instead of the typical vacation that without fail you return from, just as tired and most often even more unhealthy than when you left, the Horseback Fitness Adventure was created to offer you the Adventure of a lifetime as well as a solid start to reclaiming your own health and happiness.

The Horseback Fitness Adventure is a 21 Day Adventure, exploring the wilderness with professional guides and horseback in the majestic Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve. It is truly the adventure of a lifetime in addition to being the vacation that will change your life.


Chisana News Wire

December 2013, Chisana News Wire

We wish for you, A Very Merry, Happy and Blessed Christmas and New Year!

Christmas Wish

God give you blessings at Christmas time;

Stars for your darkness, sun for your day,

Light on the path as you search for the Way,

And a mountain to climb.

God grant you courage this coming year,

Fruit for your striving, friends if you roam,

Joy in your labor, love in your home,

And a summit to clear

~ Myra Scovel

“Our hearts grow tender with childhood memories and love of kindred, and we are better throughout the year for having, in spirit, become a child again at Christmas-time.” 

~Laura Ingalls Wilder 

“I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month.”  ~Harlan Miller

May the spirit of Christmas bring you peace,

The gladness of Christmas give you hope,

The warmth of Christmas grant you love.

~Author Unknown

“Mankind is a great, an immense family.  This is proved by what we feel in our hearts at Christmas.”  ~Pope John XXIII

“The universal joy of Christmas is certainly wonderful.  We ring the bells when princes are born, or toll a mournful dirge when great men pass away.  Nations have their red-letter days, their carnivals and festivals, but once in the year and only once, the whole world stands still to celebrate the advent of a life.”  ~Author Unknown

“Christmas is not a time or a season but a state of mind.  To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”  ~Calvin Coolidge, 1927

“Christmas in Bethlehem.  The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love.”  ~Lucinda Franks

2014 The Year of the Horse

We are looking towards 2014 as a year to make many dreams come true! Please be safe and have many wonderful adventures in the coming year. Stay in touch! We are going to have some amazing Adventures to share with you as well!


October ~ November ~ Bright Moons and Spooky Winds

Campfire Chat

Bright Moons and Spooky Winds

Happy Halloween! (If you celebrated it.) ~ We do, did and it is a favorite with not only my little Alaska Chick-let (as some of you may already know!) but also the Pioneer Outfitters Team.

October is a busy month for us in Chisana. Closing down and putting away camps as the Fall Big Game Hunting Season comes to a close. Pulling shoes and sorting out which of the range horse herd will be taken across the river for Winter Graze. Celebrating LOTS of birthdays! We said Happy Birthday to Daddy Judd, little Rozlynn, Mike Johnson, our very own Nancy and Kaleb in October, and the Chisana Boy (My own Zach) this November.

As clichéd as I consider it, I must admit that I do not remember an October so warm in my years here (+23) in the Wrangell Mountains as the one we just had. The last couple of hunts of our Fall Big Game Hunting Season had us all hunching our shoulders for yet another one of Mother Nature’s twisted weather blows and we were certain winter had already arrived. For the most part, beautiful, changing cloudy days, high and spooky winds and chilly nights and a gorgeous moon has made this October a calm and sweet relief after our weather-tormented Summer and Fall.

November means winter. Here and now. November is holiday plans, marking the most likely Christmas trees before too much snow falls on them and lots of firewood and wood-trails being cut for later.

November is also the deadline for scheduling any Adventure, Excursion or Big Game Hunt at 2013 prices. Any of these booked with a deposit before November 15th, the 2013 prices will be honored.

Alaska Guide Training

Pioneer Outfitters Survival & Guide Training continues to evolve as needs become known, situations arise and society continues to change.

2013 Alaska Guide Training has been an incredible learning experience for us all. I believe it is safe to say that we learn every bit as much, sharing and teaching what we do, as the Trainees that come to Chisana to learn it.

Pioneer Outfitters Alaska Guide Training isn’t easy and it certainly isn’t for everybody. It requires a level of dedication and strength of character that sets some people apart. It isn’t a summer vacation camp and it isn’t a hiding place, those who mistake it as such are very quickly set straight.

The Alaska Guide Trainees that live, work and train with us are part of Pioneer Outfitters Team, part of the family.

Alaska Guide, Are You Good Enough?

(New Video over on YouTube!)

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Alaska Chick’s Blog

As Alaska’s winter approaches and with it the insanity of celebrations, meetings and holidays, Alaska Chick’s Blog isn’t slowing down at all.

The dramas, issues and unforeseen and unprecedented problems that have been such a force to be reckoned with in so much of 2013, would have most people and businesses on their knees begging for mercy.

Not Pioneer Outfitters.

Alaska Chick, Pioneer Outfitters and Master Guide Terry Overly’s right hand says “…it is only a test of purpose.”

The Mission, The Purpose and Our Preference

There have been some incredible posts this month! The International Horseback Adventure (IHA) series has continued on with FIVE more pieces shared and soon the published photo journal of this historic journey will be available to you!

Monday Motivation is keeping us all sure and strong and The Six Reasons Why is only the beginning.

Special VIP List: Monday (and every other day of the week) Motivation

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” -Henry Ford

A motive is an impulse that causes a person to act. Motivation is an internal process that makes a person move toward a goal.

The key to motivation is the understanding that you have the power to change both your expectations of yourself and the value placed on a task.

I offer you this, as a reminder: You are not alone.

Over on Pioneer Outfitters’ website, there is a page where all of Pioneer Outfitters Lists have been organized into “Easily Accessed Lists” just for YOU!

And remember, Gallivanting With Alaska Chick is a click away so that you know exactly what is being said and done, where!

BONUS!! Pioneer Outfitters Alaska Guide Trainee Teioahkwathe Rob Lahache. Originally from Kahnawake, Quebec and most recently from Calgary, Alberta, “Rob” has also agreed to share the gifts of insight and wisdom he is creating a book from on Alaska Chick’s Blog!

From the Back of a Horse in Alaska, Gift 1


Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick! (New Video Series!)

Yes, we finally jumped in with both feet! Our new weekly video series is a huge hit! Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick! Is Alaska Chick’s weekly wintertime fireside chat, discussing what ever YOU ask. Chatting about everything from life in the bush, range horses, Guide Training, the Guide Trainees, horseback adventures, the silly and the life changing events and revelations that come so often in the wilderness to the critters we live with and Big Game Hunting.

Join us!

Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick

Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick, Winter Horses

Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick, Winter Comfort

Campfire Chat with Alaska Chick, Guide Graduation

~ We also have a new page on the website! Campfire Chat Videos, with lots of inspiration to get your curious juices flowing! (Ask YOUR question!!) It is also an easy way to share the videos with friends or family ~ all in one spot.


Summer Horseback Adventures

“If there is any one single gift to be had, in becoming and being a Professional Guide, it is the utter amazement and joy that radiates from the guests riding behind me on their own Alaskan Horseback Adventure.” ~ Alaska Chick

So many high hopes and dreams were thoroughly bruised by seemingly random events this year, 2013 Summer Horseback Adventures.

That said, the guests that were not daunted by the fallout from forest fires, floods and delays enjoyed every minute they had in the Alaska Wilderness.

The lush beauty of the Chisana Valley, the impressive glaciers, abundant wildlife, Grizzly sightings that easily could be taken as encounters, fishing for lake trout in the high mountain lakes and riding the strong and sure footed range horses; these are just a few of the experiences that were had.

The new additions to our range horse herd (The International Horseback Adventure) have settled into their positions in the herd’s hierarchy and are beautifully free until next spring at winter graze. Strong and sure, these horses will become stars in future guest’s dreams.

Big Game Hunting on Horseback

As our Fall Hunting Season has ended, I find myself bereft. Missing so much of what is such a huge part of who I am, who we are together, has left a hole in my heart. The International Horseback Adventure (IHA) kept me away from home for over 7 weeks and although it was absolutely an Adventure that must be had, I missed what made me who I am.

The bright side, as November is at hand, is that the Winter Predator Hunts are coming up and the conversations and plans being made for Spring Grizzly & Black Bear Hunts are keeping us all busy.

Winter Excursions

Well, as we are still driving the 4-wheeler around and there isn’t any snow as yet to speak of for the snow-machines, we are content for now to allow our own (and yours, we hope) excitement for the coming Winter Excursions to build.

We are looking forward to the Adventures that this winter will certainly bring and you with it.

(NEW!) Winter ~ Spring Excursions of Alaska

Behind the Scenes

The Behind the Scenes series of posts written by the Pioneer Outfitters Team are an ongoing effort to allow people to get to know us all as individuals.

October’s post, Behind the Scenes, Guide Training Questions was written by Makinzi Rutledge. In this post Makinzi speaks to the power of questions, the courage it takes to ask them and how important it is to not only answer them, but to answer them again and again.

Behind the Scenes: One Last Gift for Kaleb Kiper

Behind the Scenes with Coso in Alaska

Behind the Scenes at Pioneer Outfitters

Behind the Scenes: Alaska Chick on Growing Up

Behind the Scenes

October – November Spotlight! Spring Grizzly Bear & Black Bear Hunts:

You may have heard our very last minute announcement for a Late Grizzly Bear Hunt. Well, it was extremely last minute and issued out of pure necessity from the sheer number of Grizzly Bears we were surrounded by!

It was slightly spooky, and more than a little eerie having that many different bears appearing each day. With that exact thought in mind, we are really looking forward to our Spring Grizzly & Black Bear Hunts.

By the number of Grizzly Bears that were congregating in and around Chisana this last Summer and Fall, we fully expect Pioneer Outfitters 2014 Spring Grizzly & Black Bear Hunts to be phenomenal! Be sure you schedule your hunt soon as our Late Season announcement spurred interest and bookings, thus the spots available are limited.

August – September ~ The Chisana News Wire ~ Bittersweet Success
Happy Disaster
Bittersweet Success

So, I am sure you all have been wondering where in the world we have been and what in the galaxy we have been up to! (Hey! Don’t spoil my happy thought, if you hadn’t noticed us MIA!)

We, a good portion of the Pioneer Outfitters Team, have been tied up (no, no, not literally!) and working to bring in the new horses to add to our range horse herd that our very own Nancy (my children’s “Gammy Nancy”) found and rounded up for us.

7 Weeks later, we are home and rocking the world here in Chisana with 17 new horses, Big Game Hunters departing and arriving, aches and pains and Dall Sheep, Alaska-Yukon Moose and Grizzly Bears to skin, pack, flesh, salt and grind! (There really is no rest for the wicked!)

After the last few months we have experienced, if there is anyone remaining, who even occasionally wonders if there is really a Higher Power, well, they must just be silly. Since 1924, Pioneer Outfitters has been bringing in horses to accommodate the people who come to Chisana to experience the amazing gifts of Alaska. We are indeed, blessed.

The failed blood tests, trucks breaking down, forest fires, flooding and the terrible heat; all directly effecting and contributing to the challenges we had to face and overcome.

There was so very much more.

With that, I can say to you that although Alaska Chick’s Blog was eerily silent for all of August, you were all and each on my mind and I have so much to share with you!

Alaska Guide Training
Alaska Guide Training

You may already know that two of Pioneer Outfitters Alaska Guide Trainees were chosen to accompany the Team that departed over 7 weeks ago on the 2013 International Horseback Adventure, to bring in the new horses we are adding to the range horse herd here in Chisana. Both Wesley and Kaleb are in their second year of training with Pioneer Outfitters.

The Alaska Guide Trainees that remained in Chisana were not neglected however! Under the guidance and care of Senior Guide and Trainer Mike Johnson, with help from Professional Guide Steve Runyan and new Professional Guide Ted Goth as well as the much relied upon guidance of Nancy Williams, training and evaluations continued for the three remaining trainees.

The International Horseback Adventure is a rite of passage that changes everything in the life of anyone who experiences it and this is especially true for a Professional Guide Trainee. The enormous impact that this 7 week journey had on the eight riders, including the two trainees is undeniable.

During the coming weeks, and most likely for years to come, Alaska Chick’s Blog will share with you lessons and revelations learned on the epic Adventure that was the 2013 International Horseback Adventure.

Monday Motivation: Hear Me Roar

Alaska Chick’s Blog

Alaska Chick's Blog

We have returned! Yay, I am so content to be home! 7 Weeks absence was certainly multiple times longer than anyone could have anticipated that we would be away and out of contact, but the job is completed. All 17 horses and 8 riders arrived home safely, if a bit bruised, thoroughly soaked and utterly exhausted.

There was of course, a price to pay, for being gone so long. I have not been as vital a part of 2013’s Fall Big Game Hunting Season as I am accustomed to, which leads to the lack of first-hand reports and information that so many of you enjoy reading about.

I do however, have a multitude of stories, information, ideas, photos and yes, even videos, to share with you about the 2013 International Horseback Adventure over the coming weeks. (I am even considering publishing a photo journal book of this incredible trip!)

The first six installments of the 2013 International Horseback Adventure (IHA) story are already live, for your enjoyment and look for more to come in the coming weeks.

The International Horseback Adventure

The International Horseback Adventure, Part 1

The 2013 International Horseback Adventure, Home At Last

The International Horseback Adventure, New Horses

The 2013 International Horseback Adventure, The Yukon

The 2013 IHA, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

(New! – Before we departed, over 7 weeks ago.) Alaska, Horses and Horse-Y Words


Gallivanting with Alaska Chick

Gallivanting with Alaska Chick

Most of my own “Gallivanting” is going to be in the physical sense and closer to home, for the next couple of months. Our Fall Big Game Hunting Season has begun and will continue until the first week of October.

There are couple of places, however, that are near and dear to my heart, and these places and people are a huge part of my own life as a Professional Guide in Alaska.

As the Lead Guide Trainer of the Alaska Guide Trainees of Pioneer Outfitters, I am continually mindful of my own lack and weaknesses. (Shush, we all have them!) Always, #bealeader .

Which Face of Leadership Do You Wear?

Change Your Game … #bealeader Resident Writer Amber-Lee Dibble (aka Alaska Chick)


Summer Horseback Adventures
Horseback Adventures

Bittersweet. A word that means both pleasant and painful or regretful or another meaning is pleasure mingled with pain or regret.

This is both the feeling I have regarding our 2013 Summer Horseback Adventures, that I missed and for the 2013 International Horseback Adventure that I was part of.

The 2013 Summer Horseback Adventure that took place in Chisana while I was away was, by all accounts told to me, a very special one for a very sweet and loved by all present, Lady. (My own Alaska Chick-let still hasn’t stopped sharing stories about the time she got to spend with her!) The flooding Chisana River prevented the much planned for and looked forward to journey, but the Team at Pioneer Outfitters took great pleasure and pride in fulfilling this wonderful Lady’s Alaska dream list to the best of their ability.

We had a chance to fly home to Chisana from the Yukon at the end of this Summer Horseback Adventure, for two nights, and I was honored and saddened to meet this lovely Lady myself. After months of getting to know one another by emails, she was as immediately recognizable to me as my own life long friends. We (Master Guide Terry Overly and myself) intend to do everything in our power to ensure her return to Chisana again to share with her all the gifts of Chisana that she was prevented in experiencing on this Adventure.

(New) Alaska Summer Vacations Guide

(New) Summer, Family and Alaska

Big Game Hunting on Horseback
Big Game Hunting

(Sigh.) Sometimes, it seems, life conspires to see just what you are willing to give, to keep moving forward.

Our 2013 Fall Big Game Hunting Season was scheduled and planned to go off without a hitch for our best season yet.


Then life got busy throwing obstacles, issues, problems and natural disasters in our path.

All in all, the good still far outweighed the bad. The first Hunt of the season was a complete fiasco. (Truth.) Why? Simply said, it didn’t happen. We were not there. The horses were not there. The clients were offered a new and bigger hunt for their patience and understanding (they sincerely did try to understand), as well as for giving us another chance to provide them with the Big Game Hunt that Pioneer Outfitters is known for and that they each had dreamed of for so long.

Then? That little creep, Murphy (Yes, Murphy’s Law), just kept giggling…

So when Master Guide Terry Overly and I were offered a way to fly into Chisana from the Yukon to launch the second Hunt, we gratefully took it. A close encounter with a gorgeous Toklat Grizzly Bear (Toklat: a color phase of a Grizzly Bear that is beautifully bright blond with a dark chocolate face and legs.), one client after the previous days of climbing and glassing for Dall Sheep declared himself well satisfied and wrapped up his hunt to return to his most current mega-deal with hopes to return again for Dall Sheep and the mighty Alaska-Yukon Moose.

The other clients on this Hunt were on our longer, 20-Day Big Game Hunts and harvested another beautiful Interior Alaska Grizzly Bear and another harvested a very nice and classic 34″ Dall Sheep as well as a 57″ Alaska-Yukon Moose.

Stuck on Stupid, in the Alaska Wilderness

Horseback Hunting in Alaska

Monday Motivation: About Rams and Plans

Alaska Big Game Hunter Gear List

August – September Spotlight: Winter Excursions

Winter Excursions

Our Winter and Spring Excursions are a true Alaskan experience for anyone to enjoy. Pristine in the beautiful white cloak of winter in the most magnificent setting anywhere, you can experience the essence of Alaska with Pioneer Outfitters, safely and completely on snowmobiles as we travel throughout the Wrangell St. Elias National Park & Preserve.

A photographer’s dream come true, the landscape is a magical wonderland, and the wildlife is amazing. The Northern Lights (the Aurora Borealis) are spectacular and will awe and inspire you as they fill your heart and soul with hope and astonishment. Bring your tri-pod and we will show you how to capture this for your own!

Hot chocolate, hot toddies and home cooked meals await you at the end of each day of riding. Bon fires and s’mores, snowshoeing and sledding, ice-sailing, ice-fishing and playing in the unmarred snow as far as the eye can see on snowmachines (as we call them, here in Alaska) is an unlimited thrill and freedom for all ages.

Don’t stay home and dream of summer! Come enjoy winter with us, here in Chisana this year!

Behind the Scenes
Big Game Hunting

Our Behind the Scenes series continues, although our absence and the responsibilities of filling-in fell to the shoulders supporting Pioneer Outfitters. August’s Behind the Scenes was written by Kaleb Kiper and the link is below, if you missed it. August’s post is by Alaska Guide Trainee Makinzi Rutledge and September’s will be offered by Senior Guide and Guide Trainer Mike Johnson; both will be coming soon! (Stay tuned!)

Behind the Scenes: One Last Gift for Kaleb Kiper

Behind the Scenes with Coso in Alaska

Behind the Scenes at Pioneer Outfitters

Behind the Scenes: Alaska Chick on Growing Up

July, 2013 ~ The Chisana News Wire ~ Saddle Up and Line Them Out!
July Chisana News Wire

Saddle Up and Line Them Out!

Alaska Summer is full swing and setting heat records all over the state. Wildfires are burning and being fought by brave men and women from all over Alaska, and more are flying into Alaska to help.

As we have been following the fires and floods of Alaska this year and sharing them with you, via posts published on Alaska Chick’s Blog as well as the other Social Networks (Twitter, Face Book and LinkedIn), we have received many inquiries from expected and scheduled guests and clients.

“How will this affect my Adventure?” “How will this affect my Big Game Hunt?”

I wish I could calm all your worries. The fact and truth is, we have no way of knowing. Weather Permitting is a way of life for Alaskans and visitors to this great land.

As always, we also want you to really know who we are, how we live and why. In a recent post, Driving, Flying and Horseback Riding, I set out to answer a friend’s question about how we get around, day to day and otherwise.

(MESSAGE! I don’t know what is preventing me from hooking up the links inside this newsletter properly, but I am working on it! I apologize sincerely for the inconvenience. I have put the links beneath each title to each post that is included in this Chisana News Wire. Again, I apologize for the inconvenience.)

Weather Permitting

Summer Forecast: Weather Permitting

Asking Which Way the Wind Blows

(New post) Alaska is Heating Up

A Message from The Man in Black

The weather in Alaska has always been unpredictable and at times, downright vicious. Our Spring this year was a brief 4 week obligation to Winter with it’s setting all-time-depth-records for snow fall and cold all over the state.

It is July, and there is still 4-6′ (Feet) of ice still on the Chisana River. At one mile wide, five miles long and six feet deep; that is one huge chunk of ice that shouldn’t be there.

We have been breaking record high temperatures in Chisana this year as are many other places Alaska. The temperatures have been between the high eighties to mid nineties (85*-95* Fahrenheit) with wind gusting to 40 MPH (miles per hour).

Our glaciers are melting at every elevation, every mountaintop and in every drainage. The Chisana River has been at flood levels all summer and we are still waiting for a break to come. Every day, the heat builds new thunderstorms with lightning and the torrential downpours last up to three hours at a time.

~ On the positive side of life today in Chisana, our hillsides and the valley floors are covered with thick green new growth of all of the wild grasses, willows and a tremendous variety of wild flowers. We have missed seeing the beautiful green lushness the last few years of drought like summers.

The Bear-berries haven’t grow and ripen yet, but I have seen a few very respectable Alaska-Yukon Moose with much larger antlers than is normal for this time of year. We have a few young and small Grizzlies making a nuisance of themselves during their first year on their own. Bigger Grizzlies roam high and wide, digging squirrels and roots. The Dall Sheep are on the mountainsides, majestic white.

Our Chisana Valley of mountains, rivers and glaciers is as wild and untamed as those of us that live in it. Come be wild and untamed with us, in the beautiful Chisana Valley.  ~Master Guide Terry Overly

Alaska Guide Training:

As every other critter in Alaska today, the whole gang is sweating in the heat. The Alaska Guide Trainees here at Pioneer Outfitters are more than ready to hit the trail on the International Horseback Adventure.

They have been clearing trees from the big winds we have been fighting in the Chisana Valley, using them to peel and rebuild the old horse corral to be ready for the new horses to arrive.

Dealing with the local Grizzly Bears breaking into various buildings in the community, cleaning up after the curious critters and repairing damages as well as having close encounters is an intense part of the “hands-on” training they signed up for.

Daily flights, watching for flood damage and keeping abreast of the Chisana River Fire progress, clearing and repairing trails from the flooding and preparing for more guests to arrive is keeping us all on our toes.


Alaska Guide Trainees, Leading the Walk

(New post!) Alaska Leadership Starts with the Leader


Alaska Chick’s Blog:

We listen to a lot of music in the evenings, courtesy of SiriusXM, out here in the remote Alaska wilderness. We tend to be very eclectic in our choices of music and passionate about a sound, beat or lyric that captures our attention.

All over the world, with all genres included; music is universal. The language of the words don’t seem to matter, we hum along and over what we can’t pronounce. It is inside of us all,  to rejoice, celebrate, mourn, repent and heal to the sounds, the beat of music.

What is the one thing that ties all of the music together?


Connections. Hope. Love.

The World is Changing, and we have such opportunities appearing to us all. To truly connect with one another, to learn and to sincerely begin to understand that it is that connection, with each other that inspires and motivates us to grow stronger, smarter, safer and happier.


The World is Changing

Walking the Walk with Alaska Chick


Summer Horseback Adventures:

Considering the strangeness and trouble making of Mother Nature, this year with the fires, floods and record making high temps, this has to be the most beautiful Summer we have had in years.  We are barely three weeks into our Summer and everything is suddenly so richly green and lush. The wildflowers are a rainbow you can touch. The critters are roaming, some right through the yard!

As the first of our Adventurers begin to arrive, my heart is pounding with excitement and anticipation. It is! I always seem to get so excited that I cannot even sleep for days before we begin.

The wonder of what the day may bring, what I might learn or be the one to share and teach someone else. Gaining insight through another person, we all have something to share.

The Wrangell St. Elias National Park, our nation’s largest at 13.2 million acres, most unexplored national park, is what I am blessed with to be able to share with others.

If you are scheduled to arrive soon, know that we are genuinely excitedly awaiting your arrival! If you are NOT scheduled for your Summer Horseback Adventure yet, well, shoo! Go! We want to show you our amazing world too! LOL.

Here are a few recent posts to dream on:

(NEW!)Alaska Summer Vacations Guide

International Horseback Adventure

The Chisana Gold Rush Adventure

Family Trail Rides in Alaska for Everyone

Family Friendly Summer Vacation in Alaska

Women in the Outdoors: Alaska Horseback Adventure


Big Game Hunting on Horseback

We are tuning up for our Fall Big Game Hunts, in anticipation for a busy, successful year! There is:


The second hunt, arriving in Chisana on 19th August, 2013 for a Dall Sheep Hunt, departing on 30th of August. 10 Days, 1 on 1 ~ Big Game Hunt in the largest concentrations of Dall Sheep in North America. This hunt may also be combined with Grizzly Bear for an incredible Alaska Big Game Hunt.

Here are most recent posts about regarding our Big Game Hunting:

(NEW!) Stuck on Stupid, in the Alaska Wilderness

(NEW!) Horseback Hunting in Alaska

Winter to Summer, Grizzly Bears Now
The Horseback Hunt, That Wasn’t (by Master Guide Terry Overly)

Alaska, Hunting and a Plan

Hunter Tensions, Reality Check!

** Let’s Talk About Dall Sheep


Behind the Scenes:

Pioneer Outfitters Alaska Guide Trainee Costen “Coso” Smith was June’s contributor for our Behind the Scenes series on Alaska Chick’s Blog, designed to offer a different approach to getting to know the Team at Pioneer Outfitters.

Costen’s post, Behind the Scenes with Coso in Alaska, gives us a good look at the inner strength and self confidence that will not only fuel but strengthen his leadership as a Professional Guide.

This month, Alaska Guide Trainee Kaleb “KK” Kiper will be putting together a post for Behind the Scenes. Don’t miss this one! He has the whole month to choose, contemplate and write his post. It will post on Alaska Chick’s Blog during the month of July.

Behind the Scenes with Coso in Alaska

Behind the Scenes at Pioneer Outfitters (May, 2013) 

Behind the Scenes: Alaska Chick on Growing Up (May, 2013)

July Spotlight! :  Summer Mini (5- Day) Horseback Adventure

July Spotlight:  Summer Mini (5- Day) Horseback Adventure
The Chisana Glacier Adventure

The beautiful and historic Chisana Glacier is the centerpiece of this Adventure. We have 2 glaciers to explore, photograph and hike, the incredible glacial bars with the wildlife that loves them and an incredible ridge walk planned for you here.

 A short afternoon ride from the Lodge in Chisana puts you easily and immediately deep inside the Alaska wilderness and settled into your camp. Set just inside the tree line, you will wake and step outside of your tent to the beautiful scenery provided by the Chisana Glacier a short 3 miles away.

The Chisana Glacier Adventure

Have a WONDERFUL July!
May, 2013 ~ The Chisana News Wire ~ Experience Alaska with Pioneer Outfitters
Happy Summer! Winter finally let go and Spring came sweeping up the Chisana Valley to stay for about a week before leaving us with Summer. We are all excited about the Summer Adventures and Adventurers arriving. We sure hope you will be among them!
May Chisana News Wire
A Message from The Man in Black:
“Spring in Alaska is awesome, no matter how you look at it. It is kinda like life. A little Hell, a little paradise. It is our life.Here in Chisana, we see and experience all the shades of Arctic spring. From the sudden snow storms, thunder storms and piercing blue sky days of hot.Along with it’s beauty, is it’s dangers and sorrows. The awareness that tingles through your entire body. That cycle of life that has begun again in the remote far north of Alaska and our Chisana Valley.”
Alaska Chick’s Blog:

In each of us, we have what we need to do more than just get through each day. We have what we need to touch lives around us and make a difference. We have inside us, what we need to reach our goals and dreams.It’s true! LOL, yes, even you!I know this to be true, because I also know that not one of us, is doing this thing called living, alone. There are people just waiting for you to let them know that you could use and or need their help. They are just waiting… because like you, they don’t want to be hurt, rebuffed, laughed at, blown off or seen in a bad light.Asking for help is hard. It is something we are conditioned against from the time our Mommies encourage us to tie our shoes alone.Have you ever been able to help someone, in a real way? Do you remember how good it felt inside, to know that you did something to make another person’s day, load or worry, just a little lighter?Give someone else the chance to feel that good feeling inside. Give yourself the credit for knowing you can’t do it alone. Give someone else the chance to grow and share with you their own experience. Give yourself the chance to learn something new, that someday you may be able to pass on.These are the lessons I have learned and had refreshers on over the last month. Have you stayed in the loop?

Alaska Guide Training:

Sigh. These Trainees are wearing me out! LOL! Written tests are being studied for (they better be!) and as the temperature rises and the daylight lengthens, work and play are easily combined.After a hard Spring on all of our Alaska Guide Trainees, our gentle beginning to Summer is a welcome break.Have you been keeping up with Pioneer Outfitters Survival & Guide Training? Have you been watching them along side with me, learn and grow? Have you been cheering them on with us? Or cringing in memory of your own mis-steps? LOL!It’s all an Adventure…if you live through it… and the bonus is, that’s when you get your own bragging rights.

Summer Horseback Adventures:

Woo-Hoo! The sun, the sun! The river is flooding and the green is spreading, up, out and across the Chisana Valley. Grizzly Bears and Alaska-Yukon Moose with little ones are being spotted and photographed.Horses being trimmed and outfitted with shiny new shoes, shedding out their winter coats finally and kicking up their heels (duck!) running strong and doing their best to avoid the wranglers (and failing, yea Team!).We have been and are plotting and planning around the Summer Adventures scheduled to find the block of time needed to make the cross country trip to bring in new and young horses to add to the herd.As more folks are finding us, online, it is important to both us and them to be very clear on how to get here, to Chisana so that we can begin the Adventure that brought us together.Another very important piece of this puzzle is what to expect and what to bring! No worries, I have lists! LOL, Lists, posts, links… and the all time favorite, a direct line straight to the Boss!Or, go ahead and give us a call! (Early morning or later evening are the best times to catch us inside!! Oh! Alaska Standard Time)

Big Game Hunting on Horseback:

If it’s not one thing a person can’t control, it’s another! Well, am I wrong?! Pshaw.Winter finally let go of us and Spring smacked us with about a week to prepare. Now, Summer is here in the mountains and we have begun our Grizzly & Black Bear Hunts. Sorting out the Grizzlies with cubs and searching for the one that will make the dream come true is the job at hand.We will be hunting the mighty Grizzly Bear until the end of June. If you want in on all the fun and Adventure, call now! Don’t miss your chance!

Behind the Scenes:

Behind the Scenes:Behind the Scenes, our new series and my own bright idea is off to a rockin’ start with Alaska Chick up first.

We created Behind the Scenes to dig deeper in what makes each of us at Pioneer Outfitters part of a Team.

Behind the Scenes at Pioneer Outfitters introduces the new series and the May ~ 2013 Chisana News Wire laid out the plan and rules.

June Spotlight:

Shushanna: The Last Historic Gold Rush

Shushanna: The Last Historic Gold RushJoin us for some real life living history. Horseback riding into the wilderness, following the path of the prospectors  did in 1913.Gold panning, exploring and experiencing the Last Frontier with Professional Guides who live their lives and living year round in this perfect wild place is an Adventure you do not want to miss.

Walk your Talk, every day.
Walk your Talk

The Chisana News Wire ~ May, 2013

Behind the Scenes

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear,
but around in awareness.”

 ~James Thurber

A Special Story from Master Guide Terry Overly

Image Instead of offering you just a few short words, Master Guide Terry Overly offered to share one of his most memorable Spring Grizzly Bear Hunts with us.

The Horseback Hunt, That Wasn’t

One of the most memorable Spring Grizzly hunts I have ever had was one Spring long ago almost in another land and it seems, at times, in another galaxy far, far away. (Read more!)

Keepin’ Up With the Boys ~ Alaska Guide Training

Image It may still look like Winter here in Chisana, but Spring has definitely kicked into high gear as far as what the Team has been up to. Keeping Up With the Boys: Meet the Team really brought the Team to life for people, as individuals.

There is a ton of action going on right now, but what I am announcing to you today, is the upcoming Behind the Scenes posts that will be assigned to each Alaska Guide Trainee over the next months.

Don’t miss this one! (Click here)

Alaska Chick’s Blog

Image Things get hectic at times, and as much as I want to share every moment with you all, I forget things. So! Knowing that, and knowing that I will continue to do my best with keeping you in the loop, I also created Gallivanting with Alaska Chick. Gallivanting (one of my favorite words!) is where Guest posts or interviews done with Pioneer Outfitters Team, or anything else that might spring up, can be found, all in one place.

Our Women in the Outdoors Series continues on, answering questions and providing tips as well as the extra nudge some of you ladies may be waiting for to get outdoors! Enjoy it and share it!

The Monday Motivation Series has been a blessing. Not only does it allow me to help you Stay the Path, whichever Path you may be on, but it also gives so much back to us. It allows us to share our leadership lessons as well as our own struggles to keep on-keeping on. I truly hope you have enjoyed this one.

From the Lodge

Image We’ve almost had our fill of Winter. LOL! Yes, even Alaska-lovin’-Alaskans get fed up! So we are planning a terrific birthday party for the littlest of our Team, my own Alaska Chick-let and pretending that all the snow will be gone for her 6th Birthday, mid-May.

We also, along with Alaska Direct Bus Lines, 40-Mile Air, the Snowshoe Motel and lots of extended and close family help, surprised Alaska Guide Trainee Wesley Koch on Tuesday, April 30th’s mail plane with his new little brother, Max, a puppy rescued by an Anchorage Fire Fighter from a fire in progress. It was a great day.

 May~ Behind The Scenes

Behind the Scenes

ACTION! Our new series, connecting Meet the Team, Keepin’ Up With the Boys and the Chisana News Wire is my own way of fighting back all the casting calls and wanna be reality shows. (Yes, that means we will be stepping up the video production! Sheesh.)

The Team, answering questions for you. A look into people, just like you. People with hopes and dreams, strengths and weaknesses. People with fears and heartaches. People with hearts and souls. People with triumphs and passion.

What is it we are really thinking about, what these things mean to us, as individuals. How thinking about them, because we are asked to think about them, mean to us, what they mean to us as Professional Guides, what they mean to us as individuals of all humanity and what they mean to us as leaders of our own lives.

Behind the Scenes at Pioneer Outfitters introduces the new series and will provide you with what it means to us, as people, as a team and as Pioneer Outfitters

In that post, I promised I would provide you with the details! Well, here they are!

First, the order of Behind the Scenes:
(May) Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick
(June) Costen Smith
(July) Kaleb Kirkpatrick
(August) Makinzi Rutledge
(September) Master Guide Terry Overly
(October) Wesley Koch
…and more to come!

Next, The Rules:

Choose the Question from the three questions offered. (In a blind drawing, 3 people, who have never been to Chisana chose the numbers that are actually questions from three different books!)

First. What does this question say to YOU? What does it make you think about, how does it make you feel. What are your thoughts, inside, about where this question leads your mind?

Next. What does this question mean to YOU as a Professional Guide (or Alaska Guide Trainee)? Where does it lead your mind, as a Guide? Why do you need to think about this and in what way? Is it something you need to work on within yourself, or do you need to understand this point to use it, and how would you use the understanding that comes from your question?

Choose ONE:   Alaska Guide Training
Big Game Hunting
Horseback Pack Trips
Winter & Spring Excursions
Pioneer Outfitters, Home/Family

Base your next section using ONE category above as your focus. Tell us why this question pertains to this part of Pioneer Outfitters life. Tell us how this question ties in / brought this category to mind.

Last Section: Tell us why this question matters to YOU as a Guide, yes, but ALSO as a Leader. A member of humanity. Part of the entire world. As a leader, of your own life, but part of something much bigger too.

May Spotlight ~ Keeping You in the Loop

Behind the Scenes, May, 2013 Alaska Chick! I’m up first. Sigh. Well, I suppose it makes sense for me to go first, so stay tuned, I am on it!

Don’t miss this important post! Pay close attention to how easy it is for us all to help the children of the United States.

Hey! Carrie Zylka of The Wild World of CarrieZ podcast has invited me, Alaska Chick, to her show and we are going to give you all the low-down on Grizzly Bears. Specifically hunting for Grizzly Bears in the Spring! Check her out, listen in and be ready to be wowed. Carrie and I have so much in common that it will not surprise you to know and hear, she has no problem asking the tough questions. ! My new favorite extra. is a great way to create and share lists. I started using because I keep loosing the lists (gear lists, safety lists, post lists) that I want to share with you, at a “click”, anytime you ask. My first list for Alaska Chick’s Blog is my Alaska Adventurers MUST have Lists. Be sure you check it out.

The Chisana News Wire, March ~ 2013

Chisana News Wire

March! How did it get to be March already?! Wow!! Is is only me or is 2013 on “fast forward”?

There is so much to tell you and share with you…. umm, you may want to save this for a quiet cup of coffee, just sayin!

From The Lodge and Master Guide Terry Overly

As Spring approaches, earlier than ever, we are gathering horses across Canada and arranging trucking and Coggins tests to bring home new additions to our herd of range horses.

Prices will change April 1st, 2013. Any 2013 or 2014 Excursion, Adventure or Big Game Hunt booked before April 1st, 2013 will be booked at the current prices.

We are preparing for a busy Summer and Fall and looking forward to meeting all the Adventurers heading our way. We sincerely hope you will be among them. Our Spring Grizzly Bear and Black Bear Hunts are next up and I am anticipating that this will be an exciting Spring.

Take Care and remember that with Pioneer Outfitters at your side, the wilderness of Alaska is waiting.~ Master Guide Terry Overly

Keeping Up with the Boys ~ Alaska Guide Training

…Has been a lesson in patience, I must admit. Winter Survival and Trap Lines aside, feeding horses and getting ready to move to our Summer camps to stock pile fire wood and make sure all the camps and cabins are secure from early rising Grizzly Bears has the whole gang pushing forward.

We had a good time bringing Lonesome home (Did you see the video?) and playing around on the ice. But! They are also rebuilding the ice-sail to do some wicked-fun skiing from the base of the Chisana Glacier down the Chisana River soon.

We will be updating our Meet the Team page on the website and Alaska Chick’s Blog will soon be sharing an “insider’s look” at each one with you in the coming posts.

Alaska Chick’s Blog

Alaska Chick’s Blog has been busy these last few months. Our Women in the Outdoors series, by far, my greatest pleasure. Monday Motivation has been awesome as well and as a friend asked me recently, yes, writing them to motivate you, motivates us!

The gifts and blessings of being online writing this blog, getting to know you and allowing you to know who we are, have changed my life.

I hope you’ll stop in and say hi next time you are on the website!

You all know that I have been adjusting and tweaking the website again, right? Updating and shifting things around, taking your suggestions to heart and attempting to be sure that everything is easy to find. (And that the information you seek is there to find!)

If there is anything you have looked for, and NOT found, let me know! I can fix that!


These are the two Adventures that we are putting into the Spotlight this month.

Both our Spring Grizzly & Black Bear Hunts and our Spiritual Retreats share the history of Alaska and her ancient and mystical power.

Located deep inside the Wrangell St. Elias National Park, Chisana remains untouched by tourism, very much as it has been since it’s beginning when the Native Athabaskan Indians were first drawn to the mighty mountains and all of the gifts this wilderness has to offer.

Spring Grizzly & Black Bear Hunts
Pioneer Outfitters has one of the areas in Alaska that a Grizzly Bear may be harvested every year, instead of one every four years. The population of the Grizzly Bears in Master Guide Terry Overly’s immense area, more than supports this harvest.

When: April through June
Ratio: 1 x 1
12 Days (extra days available)
Wolves may be taken at no extra cost. No tags required.
Limit 5 Wolves per Hunter.

Spiritual Retreat
At certain times, getting off your path, taking a breath, a break is all someone needs to recharge.
As you explore your strengths, challenges and potential through experiences with horses, with nature and with people, encouraging conversations. The healing and well being discovered through compassion, courage and new friendships can be found.

When: May through July
10 Days (extra days available)
$4,500.00 per person

Pioneer Outfitters YouTube Channel (Click here to view the video from this trip!)

Bringing home Lonesome, a Chisana born range horse. At 24 years old, this winter has been hard on him. We are working hard and hardly working as we love it.

What you may have missed!
Women in the Outdoors (series)
Monday Motivation! (series)
#bealeader The Official Blog (guest post) Luck & Leadership by Alaska Chick
#bealeader The Official Blog (guest post) Walkin’ the Walk by Alaska Chick
The Happy Friday Series (guest post) Smiles From Alaska by Alaska Chick

and two very special posts…
Book Review: Written by the fabulous Marjorie Clayman, Eight Lessons I learned from @AlaskaChickblog’s book, My Identity Crisis 

#Follow Friday: Amber-Lee Dibble written by the amazing Gini Dietrich of SpinSucks

Alaska Chick












December, 2012
It’s Been a Dandy, What’s Next?

2012 has been an incredible experience. It brought with it, as most do, valuable learning experiences, heartbreaking loss, wonderful blessings and accomplishments to be proud of and build on in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.

When asked if I met the goals that I set for 2012, I will smile and happily report, “Yes!”

Our online presence is varied, mostly consistent and solid. The website, itself, is a work of art and is in a constant state of growth and is improved with every question I am asked, every conversation that takes place.

It tells the real story. It doesn’t highlight the nifty unicorns and plentiful rainbows any more than discussing our own faults, struggles, confusions, hurts, loss and failures. It tells the real life story of real lives.

More, the website is fulfilling it’s purpose. It is making Pioneer Outfitters easier to find and book a Horseback Adventure, Alaska Big Game Hunt and Winter Excursion. It is helping people understand fully what it takes and what it means to become and be a professional Alaska Guide.

The website tells the story of a lifetime dedicated to making a living while making a life.

There have been major additions and adjustments and updates done on the website. Be sure to browse around when you visit.

For each of you, that had an encounter with Pioneer Outfitters in 2012, I can only say, thank you.

Thank you for sharing Chisana with us (me), in person or online.

Thank you for all you have taught us (me).

Thank you for sharing your knowledge, stories and self with us (me).

Thank you for being who you are.

On Sunday, I posted 2012 Recap, Questions Answered & Bonus on Alaska Chick’s Blog. Don’t miss it! It took an incredible amount of time, but it was worth every hour.

It will bring you up to date with what is happening, what has happened and what we are planning for.

Mother Nature has chilled us into icicles, these last few weeks. With our low, here at the cabin in Chisana, of -56*  F and the average temperature being -45* F.

Stay safe, where ever you are. Have wonderful and inspiring adventures. Have blessed days and know you are thought of.

~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick


Survival State of Mind

Awards and Honors for 2012

There is something happening right now, in our corner of the world I would like to share with you all…The 2012 Prois Hunting Award 12 Finalists were chosen last night. Can you imagine how I felt receiving the email saying that I was one of them?! (I hope so, I am still in shock, truth!)I am writing to you to ask you to visit the Prois Hunting Award site and to consider voting for me. (You can click right here!)Why? (You may ask…)Because I want nothing more strongly than to bring and guide more people into the wilds and wilderness of Alaska, safely. If I cannot, I want to ensure those that DO guide are the best of the best, and fit and able to guide you and (or) yours into the wilderness so that you may reap all the gifts that the Last Frontier has to offer, safely, always safely.That’s the point, I think. The point of becoming a Professional Guide. To be able to share the blessings of nature and the untouched beauty of the wilderness …with anyone. To keep folks safe as they explore and discover their own dreams. To be confident that the answers are there, the direction is clear and the path leads to the dreams that led them to us, or simply into the wild.I first became aware of the Prois Hunting Award for hardcore women a couple of years ago. I didn’t apply, because really… I am nothing special… I am simply a Mom and Big Game Guide. I didn’t grow up hunting as so many of these women I would see there have… I simply did what I did (and do) and did the best I could, always.This year was different. This year, when I was asked to apply, the first thought that went through my mind was “women”. There have been quite a few articles that have come across my computer’s screen these last months, all speaking of women hunting…. and why they don’t.It isn’t a dirty secret! Women love to hunt too! But why don’t we see very many? Why in over 20 years with Pioneer Outfitters have I only met a few women hunters? Why in all those years, have there been ZERO women, single or in groups, take a Horseback Adventure?There is a truth that we do know, all of us. It is a scary world, for a woman to travel and hunt or go out into the wilderness on an Adventure (such as we offer) with a “Guide” and possibly a wrangler and camp helper… who are probably going to be men. Strangers.This is the thought that I keep coming back to…Since getting Pioneer up and running online, I have met many, many women who love to hunt and about 100 times that many amazing and wonderful women who love horses. Since getting to know some of these women, and learning so much from so many of them, I still find myself questioning, “Why?”As one of Master Guide Terry Overly’s trainers for the Guide Training Program and the creator of the Professional Guide Ethics Class for Alaska, I have had four female trainees in our program. It is as hard as we can possibly make it, because really we can’t compete with what nature, herself, will and does throw at us in the field. Two dropped out, one bumped out and one…One very special young lady is kickin’ some serious butt!

THIS is why I entered. For her. For all the women and young ladies I have met and learned so much from and for all the young ladies and women I have yet to meet. For men and young men thinking of becoming Professional Guides, for all the Big Game Hunters, Horseback Adventurists and Alaska’s Wintertime Adventurers who want to experience all Alaska has to offer, show and teach them.

So. There you have it! Please go, visit and read about the 2012 Prois Hunting Award as well as my own and the other 11 fantastic women’s entries and cast your vote! (Please?! LOL)

Yes, I want you to vote for me! Why? Especially, you may ask, after you have read the entries of the absolutely amazing and talented 11 other women chosen as finalists.

I ask for your vote for my children, for your children and for all the men and women who dream of experiencing the wild, whether they choose to ride through it, photograph it, be healed by it or to hunt it, safely.

I am asking for YOUR vote so that I may spread the word even further… I still remember something from one of the first articles I came across in my research to find others like myself… “When you teach a woman to experience and enjoy the wilderness, you teach the entire family.”

That is the point. Family.

Thank you, with all my gratitude and happiness.
~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick

 Suddenly Sunday: Finding my Why

November 27, 2012

Excitement and Holidays at Pioneer Outfitters

ThanksgivingChisana News Wire, November 2012

The holiday season is upon us all, around the world. Pioneer Outfitters wishes for peace and family to surround each one of us. We hope that, deep in my heart, that the blessings that life brings, with a promise of tomorrow stays with us all as we remember the meaning of these holidays, next weeks.

Let’s see! There is and has been a lot going on here in Chisana since the end of our Fall Hunting Season.

There is nothing, of course, that compares to riding (be it on horseback or by snow machine!) through the untouched, unspoiled wilderness and all the wild has to offer. Except for leading others to the same. Seeing the land, rivers, glaciers and majestic mountains inspire others is a wonderful feeling.

On the Trail in AlaskaWatching the people you lead, watch the incredible wildlife Alaska offers, and being witness to the pure joy and amazement on their faces, fills me with such satisfaction and contentment as well as their own joy and amazement, each time.

The Survival & Guide Training was a huge topic all month, with the Fall Season closing and Trainee Kaleb Kiper heading home for the holidays and Justin Grimes joining us. We also did a lot of adjusting of the Guide Training packing lists on the Guide Training FAQ’s page.
Guide Trainees, Pack For Camp!

Guide Training Questions Answered

Halloween was spent in the small town of Tok with the Grandparents and Trick or Treat Street at the local school. That is when hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast and our weather in Alaska turned for the worse.

Thanksgiving in Chisana with Pioneer Outfitters was served by candle light. Bad weather, then c-c-cold weather (-45* F) mixed with jelling fuel shut our power down on Alaska Chick’s 14 year old son, Zachariah’s, birthday on November 21. We celebrated ChisanaBoy’s birthday by candle light that night too!

ThanksgivingThe real Thanksgiving was simply wonderful. Our traditionally huge dinner was made on the big wood stove in the Lodge by Terry and Nancy. It was simply, divine. It was amazing. We each had so much to be thankful for that evening.

Thanksgiving Thanks

Alaska Chick’s Blog is written by Amber-Lee Dibble, Pioneer Outfitters Manager and Guide. As a Mom, a guide, a boss and a student.

Now? Now, I am also the author of my very first book, My Identity Crisis.

My Identity CrisisMy Identity Crisis
is a book that combines Alaska Chick’s blog with the growth and lessons learned in the Alaska wilderness and the struggle to be more and better in all the different roles one person has.

It is me, as Mommy, as the lead guide and trainer, as the manager and the webmaster of Pioneer Outfitters. All my passions, worries, strengths and weaknesses; the struggle to Stay the Path and to be more.

My Identity Crisis, Alaska Chick’s Journey
is a post I wrote to explain how it feels to know that I wrote a book.

My Identity Crisis is available as a gorgeous coffee table sized book as well as an e-book.

2012 Prois Hunting AwardIf you have been to swamped with the holiday season and life, you may have missed the awesome excitement of Amber-Lee’s nomination and the seriously humbled post that came shortly after. Being named as one of the 2012 Prois Hunting Award finalists also brought some serious conversations about hunting and guiding and what there is in them to be shared.

Awards and Honors, Guiding and Teaching

The 2012 Prois Hunting Award

Career Choice, Professional Guide

The First and Last Hunt

Chisana News Wire, NovemberOne final deeply felt request, please pass this on. The 2012 Prois Hunting Award means so much more to me than a hunting trip. It is all about finding more ways to connect with more people, to find ways to share our  lives and blessings with the young, the able and the old.

The voting continues (Until December 16th, 2012 at midnight!) for the2012 Prois Hunting Award that Pioneer Outfitters own, Amber-Lee Dibble (aka, Alaska Chick) was nominated as one of the 12 finalists.

Please vote (if you haven’t already!) for Amber-Lee Dibble on the 2012 Prois Hunting Award website. The passion that lives inside, was meant to be shared and that is my goal. To share Pioneer Outfitters with as many people as many ways as I can, to share as many of the lessons and blessings Chisana has to offer.

Alaska Chick & Alaska Chick-let on ThunderWow! That’s a busy month! I didn’t even mention that I have a guest post
this week (tomorrow, I think!) at Writing Horseback.

Or! The fact that I will be chatting with Chris Bates, radio host of Outdoor Secrets Unwrapped on November 29th. We’ll be chatting about women in the outdoors, myself and a few other experts on the discussion (women, that is) will chat with Chris and maybe shed some light on a really big deal in our lives.

You can listen live by clicking the button “Listen Live” on the 1370 AM ~WBTN Radio Station website.

There is so much happening, I’ll make a point to keep you up to date! Remember to feel free to email us, FaceBook us, Tweet me or simply pick up the phone if you would like to comment or chat.

Stay in Touch & Safe Adventures!
Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick

The Chisana News Wire, Past Issues Here!

Happy thoughts aimed right at you!

Motivation Monday

Awards and Honors, Stay the Path

It strikes me as funny, the twists and turns that living leads us…

I’ve spoken to you in the past, of the frustration that I feel in the realization, now, that it took (myself, at least) so very long to find my direction and to finally understand the Path to follow.

You have heard (read) my determination to Stay the Path and I have admitted freely to my own dream, of bringing Pioneer Outfitters to your own as well as the whole world’s attention.

Pioneer Outfitters, a family owned and operated outdoor recreational business of horse-outfitters and guides have lived here, in Chisana, Alaska since 1924. Remote and only accessible by small bush plane, deep inside the magnificent Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, Chisana was the site of the last historic gold rush.

All the photographs, all the words from all the feelings, from sharing Chisana and Pioneer Outfitters with you, simply cannot portray the greatness to someone who hasn’t been there, seen and felt it. This is my own failure. My own lack. (So, I will continue to try!)

Being selected as one of 12 Finalists for the 2012 Prois Hunting Award, is a wondrous honor.
After reading the other 11 entries, of these fantastic women (April Mack, Brenda Valentine, Candace Crick, Janice Loudermilk, Jennifer Brockton, Joella Bates, Kathleen Lynch, Marlene Hinz, Michelle Bodenheimer, Ruth Cusak and Tia Shoemaker), I was even more humbled by being included as “one of the most dedicated female hunters around.”

Here is my thought, some days now after being named one of the women chosen to represent the Finalists of the 2012 Prois Hunting Award. I want to spread the word.

I want to spread the word!

There are so many people, today, who have never experienced the thrill and wonder of any great wilderness. There are so many people, today, who have no wilderness to experience.

We, us here in Chisana at Pioneer Outfitters, are blessed by living in one of the great wild places left in the world. It is up to each of us that are equally as blessed to share this life with as many people as we can.

It is up to me, as the Manager of Pioneer Outfitters and as a lead trainer for the Alaska Guide Training Program to share the possibilities and lessons I, personally have learned, with the world.

The question, remains, even now after almost two years spent devoted to being online and learning how to be heard, is how to be HEARD.

The answer? You. Please, feel free to dig and read and ask any questions that come to mind that I may answer for you. To share with you, our lives here and the gifts we receive living here, yes, but the gifts we have received by having YOU, in our lives.

YOU are my answer. You. Sharing us, in person or online, with other people. Your friends, your family. We are all connected, and I for one am so glad for it. The truth of it, is that my life has brightened and made so much more by having you in it. That is what I want to do for you, in return. THAT is what I want to do for others too.

To share our lives and the blessings in our lives, the triumphs and struggles that connect us and make us stronger for learning from each of them, with you.

Please visit Prois Hunting and cast your vote (for me!!) for the 2012 Prois Hunting Award. Please spread the word and my words too, to your friends and family. I wont let you down. I will not quit. I will not give up.

Thank You & Safe Adventures!
~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick!

Women in the Outdoors

September 4, 2012~
The Trees Turned Yellow and the
First Snow has Fallen.

Chisana News WireThe third Big Game Hunt is about to begin and we are all really excited. A family of four, here to experience Alaska as it was meant to be, on horseback.

To pursue and harvest the three most magnificent of Alaska’s animals. Dall Sheep, Grizzly Bear and the Alaska-Yukon Moose. The family, together along with Pioneer Outfitters Guides, will explore and discover the secrets and draw of Alaska on their Adventure with Pioneer Outfitters.

The first Guide Training Evaluations have been submitted to the State of Alaska. We began the first Big Game Hunt of the 2012 Fall Season with four trainees, we will begin the third with three Alaska Guide Trainees.

Becoming an Alaska Professional Guide isn’t easy. Being an Alaska Professional Guide is even tougher. The thing about what we do, as Professional Guides, is that rarely will you ever be rich. Even rarer is the famous Outfitter (it would simply have to be in-famous!).

Being a Professional Guide is a deep love and respect for the outdoors. It is a great passion that lives inside us, to be shared with others. To keep those people, whom we share this great wilderness with, safe and able to experience all Alaska has to offer.

I shared with you all how I felt about Nat-Geo’s Alaska Expedition not long ago. I would like to also share with you also that  the Interview, Alaska Chick video is finally finished.

The Pioneer Outfitters Guide Trainees had a tough start this Fall Season. I suppose one could say that life had been all rainbows and unicorns, but some valuable lessons were learned and observed in the field. You may be interested in what is happening and these three posts will bring you up to speed.

Guide Training Report #1-2012, Fall Season

Alaska Guide, Big Game Hunter and a …Female
Alaska Guide Training

For future Alaska Guide Trainees as well as Alaska Big Game Hunters, a tough reminder.

Alaska Wins, You Loose

And for those of you that would just like to ride along with me and see what Alaska has to show us today…

The Heart of Alaska, Found on a Big Game Hunt

I hope you enjoy these posts and really hope you are one of the folks we are so excited to meet over the next year! (If not…. why not?!)

Safe Adventures!
~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick


August 21, 2012~

Getting the Groove Back, For You and With You

Pioneer Outfitters 2012 Hunting Season Has begun & the Alaska Chick is shaking things up…

I know many folks are waiting to hear all about our first Fall Big Game Hunt that we just returned from.

I hate to disappoint anyone, but I am simply not ready to share all… However! I do have many other thoughts from that last time frame to share with you that I believe you will appreciate.

First, as soon as I finished editing it, I hit publish Monday morning on Confessions of an Alaska Guide, Online. I hope you read it, if nothing else, it is written for you.

Nat.-Geo’s interest in Alaska Chick was a HUGE surprise and quite the honor. I posted a piece of the interview on Face Book on August 10th to share my excitement. (Go see!!) After being in camp and having the time to think about it, I decided to share with you my thoughts in Nat – Geo’s Alaska Expedition.

This note is going to be a bit shorter because I want to get as many of the pictures up and on the new posts as I can before heading back out into the field.

Remember! If there is something special you’d like me to look for, just for you (!) let me know! I will…

I think of you all as I ride through the wilderness and I think of you as I am sitting in camp watching the flames of the camp fire with the Northern Lights dancing above and horse bells dinging in the background.

Take Care and Safe Adventures.
~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick


August 14, 2012~

Alaska Fireweed, Dall Sheep and Fall Photo Safaris
Alaska Fall & What’s Going On!

Good Morning!

We are out and about in the big and wondrous wilderness!

Our Fall Photo Safaris have begun and hunting for critters with cameras and on horseback is a terrific way to experience the Alaska Fall.

The Dall Sheep numbers have surpassed all of our hopes from last Fall, seeing all those “almost there” rams! We’ve been counting lambs and rams for Alaska’s biologists and everyone is pleased (especially our hunters!).

The Grizzly Bears must have had a huge party last year as this year, every time we turn around we have sows with cubs. We are getting lots of pictures and keeping clear of the predictably unpredictable Mommas.

I set up Hootsuite for this Fall’s Hunting Season, like I did last year, to keep you in the loop and hopefully, on your minds!

I am sending out reminders on our different Social Networks to pass these newsletters as well as the posts and Special Offers onto your friends and family, so nobody is left out.

Oh! Did you receive the Special Announcement of Special Offers that Master Guide Terry Overly put on my desk a few weeks ago? They are some fantastic offers, check them out and make sure to pass them along to folks who may be looking … for us!

So, here are a few posts I have been working on this last little while and remember, feel free to ask me anything! I love to share our lives with other people, even if I can’t do it in person. (C’mon, don’t be shy!)

Take Care & Safe Adventures!
Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick

OH! P.S.

Our Professional Guide Ethics Class has been approved by the State of Alaska Guide Board!! (Yipee!)

It is available right now as a PDF download and the test will be taken online (soon!).

The cost of the class is $250.00


August 7, 2012~

Summer into Fall, Nobody’s Home! ~ Someone’s ALWAYS Home!

Between the Fall Photo Safaris and the Big Game Hunters heading to the field and the rest of the guides as well as the last of the trainees leading and balancing each different group and camp, nobody’s home!

Seriously, back at the ranch in Chisana, life continues to rush forward, Nancy, some of you know as CZN Gammy, continues to keep the home fires burning. Cabins are being cleaned and or spruced, baking and cooking treats to send to the camps that have birthdays and personal celebrations approaching as well as caring for all the critters at home.

I mention the home fires because sometimes we forget about all the people “behind the scenes” that make everything work so smoothly and seem so effortless.

Nancy has been with Pioneer Outfitters for seven years now and is an important part of each of the different aspects of Master Guide Terry Overly’s business.

Teamwork has been the topic of each guide meeting lately as without it, the quality of service, in any company and in any field, suffers.

If you have felt the rewards of solid teamwork, you may enjoy sharing in ours as well.
(New!) The Hard Part & Real Job of a Professional Guide
Experience This, Cheechako
Keeping Up With the Boys, In the Bush of Alaska
The 4 Points to Pioneer Outfitters Survival & Guide Training

Teamwork is a major ingredient for a Professional Guide. Would you like to be part of a first class team? (Contact Us)

Announcement! We will be sending you a newsletter (this!) every two weeks (starting now) until at least mid-October. After that, we’ll see if that was more ideal for you or if we should go back to every week.

I’ll be in the field when you open this. I’ll be recording  our Adventures to share with you when I return.

Take Care & Safe Adventures!

~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick


July 31, 2012~

Heads Up! Alaska is Adventure!

Big Shanooks, Grizzlies and the hustle-bustle of what marks the end of any outdoor improvements here in Chisana.

Our Fall Hunting Season is about to begin. All other work comes to a halt towards the end of July as every spare moment is used to ready the gear our hunter-clients will desire to have available.

At a huge difference to the guests and clients has been made to those that have finally found an Adventure to remember for a lifetime.

The site has inspired folks to new heights of Adventure led by experienced horseback guides and the heartfelt pleasure of Pioneer Outfitters in each and every guest.

Guest posts have been featured by Equitrekking and the Equestrian Travel Guide of Pioneer Outfitters recently that you may enjoy reading. We are also working with folks at My Campmate.

Believe it or not, we are already planning the Winter Season’s Excursions and Winter Predator Hunts. Sno-gos are being pulled back into the shop and parts, new sleds and gasoline is being ordered and stockpiled.

Here is what this last week brought out in me!
(New!) Symptoms of Hypothermia in the Alaska Wilderness
Expect the Unexpected
Let’s Go Hunting in Alaska… Are You Tough Enough?
My First Sheep Hunt

Have you booked your Fall Photo Safari or Winter Excursion yet? We would love to welcome you to Chisana. (Contact Us)

Book It! Button




July 24, 2012~

Outfitters, Guides and You in Alaska

How are you, this fine morning? ☺

Good grief, the days are going by as if someone has their finger on the fast-forward button!

The Dall Sheep counts have begun and the National Park Service hand in hand with the area biologists are zooming and zipping around with their Super-cub and helicopter. The rumors we are hearing (by way of a well timed bbq!) is the sheep are looking good.

The first family group, of our Family Hunts for this Fall, are arriving soon and I am looking forward to meeting this family, finally. After spending the last year chatting with them, I feel like old friends, long separated, are coming to visit.

Eighth Grade has also begun. (sigh) Both of Pioneer Outfitters own 8th graders, with approval from their correspondence teacher as well as the Super of the School, will continue their second year in the field as Jr. Trainees.

The full-grown Trainees are edgy with the start of our Fall Season and the arguing over field spots has begun to lose its hilarity.

Our Summer Horse Pack Trips have brought so many joys and discoveries to Pioneer Outfitters over the last three and a half months. Only a few more weeks left of the best idea anyone ever had.

Have you scheduled and booked the Adventure of your dreams, yet? We would be thrilled to have you experience Chisana with us.

Here are a few posts for you to review for the planning of your Adventures :

Take Care Now.

~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick


July 18, 2012~

VIP Special News! (For our Hunting friends)

We have a special announcement for all of our hunting friends and contacts.

Deadline: December 31st, 2012
These SPECIAL OFFERS will be offered to the rest of the world next Tuesday, July 24th, 2012. This is your   SPECIAL VIP announcement.

A short while ago, we opened bookings and reservations for 2014. (Of course 2013 was already open!)

Now, Master Guide Terry Overly of Pioneer Outfitters has given me the honor and thrill of doing something  we have never done before.

Where is the thrill? …I’ll tell you!

We have scattered spots that are still available.

I have been told to go ahead and do what I want with them!

Pioneer Outfitters Fall Hunting Season
is just around the corner, as some of you know. I would like to head out into the Alaska Wilderness knowing YOU were given this opportunity to have a dream come true.

These special offers are ONLY good if booked with a deposit before December 31, 2012!

When they are taken, they will be gone.

Spring Grizzly & Black Bear is listed at $13,900.00

This hunt is being supercharged!
Available NOW! Only 2 Lucky hunters will receive:
14 Days Spring Grizzly & Black Bear Hunt for $10,900.00 in 2013.

Dall Sheep Hunts are currently listed at $13,900.00.

SLAM! (The last 3 mild Winters have given us this to share!)
Available NOW! Only 2 Lucky hunters will receive:

The first Dall Sheep Hunt, with you arriving in Chisana, at Pioneer Outfitters August 8th and departing Chisana August 19th.

Dall Sheep Hunt Special $10,900.00
…with the option of adding Grizzly Bear for $2,500.00.
Another option is to add Grizzly and Black Bear for a Trophy Fee of $4,000.00


1 (ONE) 20 Day Alaska-Yukon Moose and Alaska Predator Hunt.

This Hunt includes the giant Alaska-Yukon Moose, the big Alaskan Mountain Grizzly Bear, black bear, Timber wolves (you may take 5), wolverine and anything else we can find that eats meat!

Our Moose tend to be large and heavy horned, please, take a look at the moose on our website.

This Hunt will start September 20th, totally prime-timed for the Alaska-Yukon Moose rutt.

We are ONLY offering one of these hunts as there has been an overwhelming response and booking of the Predator Hunts.

This Hunt is normally offered at $29,000.00.

YOUR SPECIAL PRICE is $22,900.00, 20 Days, only if booked with a deposit before December 31st, 2012.

(There is only one available today.)

I am so pleased to be the one to offer these fantastic Alaska Hunts to you.

Contact Us NOW to claim YOUR Alaska Hunt with Pioneer Outfitters.

Check out our Hunter’s FAQs for tons of extra information about how Pioneer Outfitters can help make your dreams come true.

If you are interested in a selection of Pioneer Outfitters’ own Alaska Chick’s posts on our Hunting Seasons and the hows and whys of Pioneer Outfitters, here are a few you may enjoy.

Deadline: December 31st, 2012
These SPECIAL OFFERS will be offered to the rest of the world next Tuesday, July 24th, 2012. This is your SPECIAL VIP announcement.

Contact us NOW!!
Safe Hunting & Happy Summer!
~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick

p.s. Please pass this along to anyone whom you may think would like to know about this amazing opportunity to experience the Last Frontier.

Hunts Book It Button





July 18, 2012~

VIP Special News! (For our Adventurous friends)

Deadline: December 31st, 2012
These SECIAL OFFERS will be offered to the rest of the world next Tuesday, July 24th, 2012. This is your   SPECIAL VIP announcement.

A short while ago, we opened bookings and reservations for 2014. (Of course 2013 was already open!)

Now, Master Guide Terry Overly of Pioneer Outfitters has given me the honor and thrill of doing something  we have never done before.

We are ready to CLOSE 2013 bookings and reservations!

Where is the thrill? …I’ll tell you!

We have scattered spots that are still available.

I have been told to go ahead and do what I want with them!

Pioneer Outfitters Fall Hunting Season is just around the corner, as some of you know. I would like to head out into the Alaska Wilderness knowing YOU were given this opportunity to have a dream come true.

10 Day Horseback Riding Wilderness Pack Trip Adventures

May 31 – June 11 (10 Day Adventure)
June 14 – June 25 (10 Day Adventure)
July 12 – July 23 (10 Day Adventure)
July 26 – August 6 (10 Day Adventure)
August 22 – September 2 (10 Day Adventure)

…are YOUR available timeframes at this amazing chance!

This is the normal rate for these outstanding Adventures:
10 Day Adventure … Price Per Person:  $4,500.00
Additional days to stay / *per day:  $600.00
Children are ALWAYS welcome!
Age 5 and younger……..FREE**

Your opportunity!!
If your party has more than 2 people in it, the 3rd person comes for HALF price! (That is $2,250.00!)

(Don’t worry!!)

If your party has only 1 to 2 people in it, you may be like “Boo!” but no worries, you may take 10% (Your cost would be $4,050.00 each, that’s right, 10% off you and your partner’s cost!) off the normal price! That is $450.00 off your most treasured memories to be made!

We are absolutely STOKED over the people we have been able to meet this year and really, much of that thanks goes to you. This is our gift to those of you that have yet to reserve your Alaska Horseback Adventure with Pioneer Outfitters.

Would you like to know more about what you need to know? Our Adventurers FAQs will fill in all the blanks for you.

Would you like a closer look? Here are a few of Alaska Chick’s posts that will bring you a little closer to knowing who and what we are, and how important we consider YOU.

And, just in case you want more of the same, just more information, more stories, more answers…
You may like to go straight to the source, by contacting us.

Or, you may just like to keep reading and work it out for yourself! Horseback Adventures (archives).


July 17, 2012~

Gearing Up for Alaska Adventures

How are you? Are you still enjoying your Summer or have things gotten busy again with school starting soon?

Our Horseback Adventures have hit their half way mark and they are still as exciting as the first one that went out earlier this year.

Now, though, we are also putting our hunting camps out into the field and checking gear.

The rest of the range horses have been brought in for their trimming and shoes and the shooting range just received a fresh coat of paint.

I thought I would share a few of the posts that have come together over the last few weeks. As a reminder for those of you that will be with us soon and those of you wondering what you will need, to have a safe and comfortable Alaska Adventure or any kind. (I also included another story/memory to share with you!)

Book and reserve YOUR Alaska Adventure, now!

Take Care and have a Terrific day!

~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick


July 10, 2012~

Summertime Fun in Alaska


How is your Summer moving along? I cannot remember a Summer, here in Chisana, when we have been busier.

Guests have been greeted and Adventures shared. Memories made, heartfelt goodbye hugs exchanged.

Between the trainees, part of the Survival & Guide Training, our guests for the Summer Horseback Adventure and Big Game Hunting clients for this Fall as well as the bookings for 2013 and 2014, I have an overwhelming amount of new memories to share and questions answered for you.

Pioneer Outfitters Survival & Guide Training trainees are checking off and against the skills list in their new Log Books, that we just received. Training has intensified and the focus is narrowing with our Fall Hunts just around the corner.

Here are a few articles I wrote and published covering more of what and who Pioneer Outfitters is:

And this one is important (and NEW!) for any Alaska Adventurer:

I would love to hear your thoughts on the posts, your Adventures or even questions you may have that I haven’t answered yet!

We, here at Pioneer Outfitters wish you a wonderful day and shiny Summer.

Take Care and Stay Safe

~Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick


July 3rd, 2012~

Get Outta That Rut!

What are you doing this Summer?

Are you taking a family vacation? Maybe you are taking a solo-break. Perhaps you and your college frat house brothers and sisters are looking to have a wild-one-of-a-kind adventure.

Are you looking to combine the love of the outdoors with a spiritual retreat?

There are many ways of searching for the Adventure, vacation, get-away, sabbatical, tour, time off or holiday.The question is; Will you find it?

What about what your mind, body and soul need?

The wide-open freedom of the untouched wilderness and the protective shadow of the majestic mountains that surrounds Chisana could be exactly what you hoped to find.

Certainly, Pioneer Outfitters, located in a remote, fly-in area of Alaska, is not for everyone. The love of the outdoors, is a must. A desire for an Adventure is another. To do something not already done by every 7th person you meet.

Pioneer Outfitters has an Adventure for each dream. With Family or friends, a reunion, a retreat, a discovery of self, a private and secluded spot for the Adventure you may never have dreamed of.

An Adventure created for YOU.

Here are some thoughts and tips I would like to share with you.

Vacation Too Busy To Fit It All In? We Have New Adventures!
Dall Sheep are Not out of Your Reach
Range Horses, Where, How and Why for Pioneer Outfitters
23 Questions You Want Answered About Pioneer Outfitters

…and here is my newest one, that I think may be a good one for YOU!

A Walk in the Park, An Alaska Adventure

Alrighty! Now! Schedule YOUR Adventure, soon!

Take Care and Happy Days,
Amber-Lee, aka Alaska Chick


The Chisana News Wire  
May, 2012
Issue #5
Written in Chisana, Alaska
It’s Springtime in Alaska!


I have been using Alaska Chick’s Blog has been narrowing the focus on what I believe you would ask me, if you were here or planning to join us shortly.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve shared tips with you about getting in shape for your Alaskan Horseback Adventure and choosing your gear and how to make sure it is here before you are!

The unthinkable has happened, here in our neck of the woods. As I was squatted down zipping a duffle bag, I put my lower back out of place.

All’s well that ends well, so they say. After a visit to a Danish Chiropractor in Juneau in the middle of the REACH Academy’s annual field trip, our correspondence school, I was a much happier tourist.

Days later, as I was stretching into Big Toe Pose from Upward Salute, I pulled and sprained my abdominal oblique and the connecting latissimus dorsi.

What? Oh. Those would be my abs and back. It feels like a hungry grizzly bear took a bite out of me.

My first thought, deepest fear? Would I be able to ride? To do my job.

After chiropractors, doctors and techs all took their turns poking at me, ex-raying me, poking me full of holes and scanning everything else, I am finally able to sit here at my desk.

Huge sigh of relief that the State tests are done for the year. 7th Grade has certainly not been my favorite Home School year. Come to think of it, I didn’t think much of 7th grade when I went through it either!

Zach says he feels as if he did pretty well. He feels that he did better than last year (WOW!) and at least he feels much better than he did right after taking last year’s tests. (Fingers crossed)

In only a few more days, folks, the baby of Chisana will be 5 years old! Good grief. One of the first little nick-names she immediately acquired as a itty-bitty baby was “Bella-Rules” and that hasn’t changed one bit.

Every single day, I am thankful for both of my healthy, scary-smart, beautiful children. They have both made me and are constantly helping me to become a better person and to come closer to God.

Oh, by the way… can someone help me please with a birthday wish? Isabella requested a baby zebra for her birthday. She truly believes Kantu (her horse) would love it as a Momma should. (So Bella says…)

We have two new members to add to our already crowded cabin. Jewel and Nagatier are the kiddo’s new guinea pigs. Both Zach and Bella are loving their littles while keeping a close eye on Dora.


Are you ready?! Ok. Here goes everything…. My application for and to take my Registered Guide test has been notarized and mailed. Yes. I will take the Registered Guide Exam in December at the Commercial Services Guide Board Meeting. (oh, Lord.)

After putting it off for one reason or another which were all bologna anyhow, (because the truth is, I was afraid) I am going to take the test.

This group of Pioneer Outfitters trainees are going to be more knowledgable than any Alaska Big Game Assistant Guides before them because they are studying right along with me!

Jeffrey Harris joins Wesley and Kaleb in Chisana with Pioneer Outfitters Survival & Guide Training this week. Jeffrey comes to Pioneer Outfitters and Chisana with a lifetime of hard and focused experiences to his credit and we are all happy to have him be part of our team.

Nancy’s Say-So …  (CZN GAMMY)

May 28th 2007: Meeting Bella for the first time.

I heard Master Guide Terry Overly’s Cessna 206 circle overhead and my heart started racing and I started running. I reached the airstrip just as the plane taxied to a stop. It took FOREVER for the propeller to stop spinning, and for humans to emerge from that machine!

Smiling inside and out. I waved a greeting to Amber-Lee and Zach, as Master Guide Terry Overly, aka Papa,  reached inside the plane, turned and handed me a gift that was and still is, Isabella Rose.

Bella and I have had many adventures together, stalking squirrels, picking flowers, having tea parties, chasing fairies, singing silly songs, making up rhymes, baking bread and cookies, petting horses and wrangling Grayling, sometimes we just snuggle (with chocolate) and watch Barbie movies.

We have had our share of disagreements and clashes and differences of opinions, only to be forgotten about in a blink. (I am really looking forward to not being out-smarted by a 4-year old!)

Not a day has gone by that I haven’t realized we were and are meant to be connected  I can’t believe how time flies. It sure does not seem like five years has gone by since a tiny person wrapped in pink was placed in my outstretched arms.

On May 18th 2007 Isabella Rose was born… so was a Grandma.

Happy Birthday Bella
I love you

Till next time

The Chisana News Wire  
April, 2012
Issue #4
Written in Chisana, Alaska
Hibernation is Coming To An End.
One the 10th of April, this News Wire will magically appear before you without me we will be at the annual NPS (National Park Service) – Guide Concession Meeting at Copper Center.

This is (obviously) the 4th issue of the Chisana News Wire and it is the first (and please, Lord, not the last!) time I am actually writing this more than a week ahead of the deadline. Sadly, that deadline bit me in the butt last month!

You all know, because I never fail to mention my opinion, how I feel about Spring. (Yeah, those feelings are right up there with climbing mountains without some serious motivation.)

Have I told you how I feel about Winter? About Wintertime in Alaska? I haven’t? How remiss of me…

The beauty of the pristine white. The soft and pure, the endless blanket that covers everything.

That extra dimension of quiet, you can feel, that surrounds you as the flakes fall from the first lightening of the day.

Watching as it first softens evidence of yesterday’s living and then erasing it, giving a visual as well as the knowledge of a brand new day.

Alaska Chick’s Blog

You are still wondering, I am sure, if I have “quit” the blog here at Pioneer Outfitters. No. I. Have. Not. Nope, not a chance. Still working on the big surprise and getting ready for all the amazing things to come. (and still trying not to be so sick!)

I do have a special interview to share with you, in this issue of the Chisana News Wire. I hope you enjoy it.

I would like to introduce to you, some folks I met through a very good friend. We have never met in person, yet, but this couple are doing something pretty incredible and maybe someday will be doing something just as special with Pioneer Outfitters.

My interview with Brian and Sheila West was done via a couple of phone calls and of course, by email. I think it turned out well enough to give you a glimpse of the kind of folks this couple are.

Sheila, can you share a little bit about yourself with us?

I was born and raised in Lakeview Long Island, NY. I graduated from Syracuse with a degree in Art Education and attended Grad School at Buffalo State. I then moved to Maryland and began teaching Art in the Prince George’s County School System. I’ve taught Visual Arts to all levels K-12 over the past 20 years.

One of my passions that has developed over the years is Photography. It’s not uncommon for me to shoot over a 1,000 pictures during a week long trip. Macro closeups of details from nature are a favorite theme of mine. I serve as Tech support for Treks West Tours and most of the pictures you see on our website were taken by me.

My other artistic passion is Makeup design for Theatre, which I’ve been doing for over 25 years. I’ve been nominated for and won multiple awards for this in the Washington D.C. area with several different community theatre groups.

Brian, how about you? Please tell us who you are.

I was born and raised in Mechanicsville, MD. I was always active in sports, chiefly Football and Weightlifting. I competed for several years in Powerlifting in my 30’s.

My other interest has always been History. Interest in the History of the West was the first step into forming Treks West Tours as it lead to our first trip to Arizona after that we were hooked on it.

I worked many years in the construction industry and later at the Catholic University of America in D.C. as a Melter Operator.

At every opportunity Sheila and I escape to the West to explore, visiting the following states to hike in: Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

What can you tell us, in short to begin with, about Treks West Tours?

Treks West was born out of my desire to spend most of my time in the environment that I loved most, the western U.S. The idea behind Treks West was to expose people to the same things that made us fall in love with the West: Natural beauty, wildlife, Native culture, history.

We try to combine all these things in our tours. The center piece of each tour is the magnificent landscape of a particular area which is the augmented by the wildlife, the native culture, and all the various history. We try to mesh all these things together to make an unforgettable experience that will make our clients want to come back again and again to explore.

What are people really looking for, when they contact you?

I think they’re looking for an adventure and need help getting started on it. They see all these amazing images on our website and want to be able to see these beautiful places, up close and personal.

What do you folks do, when you are not Trekking?

Sheila teaches school full time and when I’m not doing Treks West stuff I do Home Improvement work with a friend of mine.

What are (3) characteristics that, the best of the absolute best Treks West Tours share, from an “Outfitter” point of view?

I think they have the things I highlighted earlier; awesome scenery, native culture and history.

A great example is our Circle of the Ancients Tour which travels to Indian archeological sites in the Four Corners states of AZ, CO, NM, and UT. It combines the ancient ruins and rock art of the Anasazi Indians set amongst stunning red sandstone, as well as rafting through the steep canyons of the San Juan River and horseback riding with Navajo guides in Monument Valley, UT.

What typical problems arise that clients are unprepared for?

We try to stress what type of environment we’ll be hiking in and how to prepare for it so we can minimize problems, but I would say altitude is the biggest shock for people.

Most trips range between 5,000-8,000 feet above sea level and some people from the East or Midwest are surprised how much harder a hike becomes when you add a little elevation gain.

Have you found your travelogue (on your website) an advantage for prospective clients?

I absolutely think so! It personalizes the places we’ve gone too and introduces some of the people we’ve met along the way. I also open it up to travelers so they can tell about the experiences they’ve had touring with us.

What inspired you to start Treks West Tours?

(Brian) I was bitten by the bug, and couldn’t get the wide open spaces out of my head. I was unhappy with the status quo, no passion for my job and a wonderful wife who knows all about chasing a dream.

Do you fell that Outdoor Recreation has a promising future, finding clients, on line?

Absolutely, there is nothing that we can make that can outdo what mother nature has created and people are going to want to experience this. The internet makes success much more possible because it gives you the ability to reach more people than you ever could before.

What is your “Bucket List” Trek, you have yet to take, that you would like to make part of Treks West schedule? (Or not!!)

I would love to raft the length of the Grand Canyon, it’s 277 miles long and would be an awesome experience. I’ve hiked the canyon several times but to be able to spend a couple of weeks below the rim is definitely something I have to do. I don’t think this would become one of our tours though, it takes a really experienced hand to run the Colorado River.

The other one would be Alaska of course, to really get out into the wild and be totally away from civilization. Hopefully, with your help, we’ll make this a part of Treks West Tours.

Brian and Sheila West of Treks West Tours based in ??? are the kind of people that we here, at Pioneer Outfitters, get to meet, one way or another (!), and make me so grateful to be part of this world we live in.

Maybe you will be part of the tour Brian and Sheila lead to Alaska and share all that we are blessed to be surrounded by here in this historic part of our country.

Mother Nature is fickle! We have gained just over 3.5 hours of Daylight in the last month and our average temperature turns our to be about +4*F…. with lows being -30* below to +46* above zero.


Today is a nice Spring day, April 6th. Warm by our standards and the snow is melting fast. I am in a Super Cub flying down the Chisana River and the view is breathtaking. 7 to 9 thousand foot mountains rising up on each side of the river. The snow still entirely covering the ground, probably 12” to 16” deep in most places.

As I fly down river, I see many moose tracks winding around and through the Willows and Alders that are growing in abundance along both sides of the river that twists and winds through the valley, always reminding me of a giant snake that consumes anything in it’s path.

I now, bank the small aircraft slightly to the North and heading out across a wide open delta of a thousand lakes, mostly small ones but some, not so small. This is where the Northway Airport is located.

Northway is the closest airport in Alaska I can fly to. 65 air miles away from Chisana. The Chisana River runs directly into Northway.

As I fly over lake after lake after lake, I can look down and see hundreds of Caribou migrating back into Alaska from Canada. Once in awhile, as I look, I can see a pack of Timber Wolves chasing a small group of Caribou in hopes of scoring a warm meal.

This is a big country and this is a wild country.

I landed at Northway, tied the Cub down, digging through the 18” to 20” deep snow drifts that still cover the ground here, as well.

As I walk to the Excursion to get it started and warm, I see that I have a flat tire on the right front. Well as luck (not to mention experience) would have it, I have a 12 volt air compressor in the back of the Excursion.

Luckily (and yes, somedays it seems like simple luck) the battery was still up and charged and the truck started right up. Hooking up the cables of the air compressor to the Excursion’s battery and pumped 75 pounds of air into the flat-flat tire.
Ready to go, I got in and drove the 50 miles to Tok (the nearest town), and went straight through town to pick up my 13 year old Grandson, Zach, from his Dad’s house.

A quick stop at Three Bears (a grocery store) and in less than 30 minutes with a shopping cart no where near full, spent over $400.00 of “stuff.”

We hoped back into the Excursion and hauled ass back to Northway. Zach and I loaded 4 bags of horse feed, all the groceries and took off for home in the mountains.

The sky is fully overcast a deep grey and the sun is setting. This is an assume flight and as I come up on the Chisana River, I can look to the East and see Canada, 20 miles away.

This is truly God’s country. I only wish you all could see it the way I am seeing it right now.
Terry Overly
Master Guide

From the Cabin
The kiddos have decided they want guinea pigs. Two of them, mind me, one for each. Well, now I am pondering where in the world the critter condo will fit, what will the little fuzz-balls need and how will the cats react.


As a Professional Guide of Alaska I am charged with creating and working on an online course to offer the Commercial Services Guide Board in December.

I have spoken at length to many of Alaska’s Registered and Master Guides as well as quite a few Assistant Guides over the last month about the real issues that happen in a Professional Guide’s career.

Kaleb and Wes, Pioneer Outfitters Guide Trainees are benefiting from the great conversations as well and have added their own thoughts and concerns that come with being fresh and untried.

Speaking of trainees and the Pioneer Outfitters Team, we will be welcoming another addition soon and will introduce him to you all in May’s Chisana News Wire.

Nancy’s Say-So …  (CZN GAMMY)

I have been thinking about the young men I have met since becoming part of Pioneer Outfitters. The young men that come to Chisana to train and learn from Master Guide Terry Overly and his team what they need to know to become an Alaska Big Game Guide.

The trainees we have with us are as diverse and different as the places they call home. Getting to know, understand, and appreciate each individual as an integral part of our lives, routine and family,  my point of view is polar opposite  from what is done in and with their training to become qualified, certified real life guides.

One may arrive at the Lodge for a hot breakfast, may be bright and early, eager to set forth on another adventure grasping every opportunity each day has to offer. Another helping stoke fires, hauling in wood carrying into the kitchen jugs of water as the morning meal is dished up and set on the table.

Another may slide in with a shy smile sits himself down and chatters happily about how one of the dogs opened his door and “nosed ” him awake just in time to make it in time for breakfast, joking and laughing while buttering and syrup-ing another pancake.

Then there is the polite one who comes in quietly interjecting every sentence with sir or ma’m, bowing his head for a private prayer of thanks before eating his meal.

Here there comes, two hours after everyone has gone about their daily chores and training, wondering where every body is and having excuse number 419, ( I  remember them) about how the alarm didn’t go off, sitting down in the most comfortable chair, sipping coffee, for what seems like hours and hours (with me thinking and sometimes saying, “Hey! I have to sweep where you are planted, go! Go do something, anything!”).

There is always the one that knows deep inside that guiding is all they ever wanted…until they realize there is real work involved in becoming a guide and they with some humbleness admit that they aren’t quite ready and pack up for home.

Some of these trainees will go on to become great guides. Maybe even stay here with us at Pioneer  Outfitters, adding their own uniqueness or their own quirkiness to the team.

Till next Time





The Chisana News Wire         March, 2012, Issue 3 (late, but here!)            Chisana, Alaska
“The snow-birds are here!”
Springtime in Alaska
I’ll bet a few of you are wondering “What on earth is going on out there?”

I am here to tell you! Being introduced to the world over the last 15 months has not only changed, even defined, so much of who I am, it has thrown open the doors to Pioneer Outfitters.

The snow-birds (Snow Buntings) are here! To me, that spells Spring. I was sitting on the back porch yesterday, taking a break, I was looking at the big corral when a rush of 30 or so tiny white birds swooped in to pick at the left over grain. Ahh. Spring has come into the mountain valley.

Opened? How? These last months have thrown open the doors of Pioneer Outfitters to endless and incredible possibilities.

There are some outstanding changes coming to the Survival & Guide Training program. Interested? There is some intense work happening right this minute. I expect, Alaska Chick’s Blog will be announcing what’s what this Summer of 2012.

In 2011, Pioneer Outfitters took the opportunity to make some changes that had been pipe-dreams for a long time, to both Pioneer Outfitters Horseback Adventures and Pioneer Outfitters Big Game Hunting. Changes by creating longer time frames and sharing the amazing Alaskan experience of The Last Frontier with family groups, are a HUGE hit.

{Folks, by “HUGE hit” what I mean is the simply amazing people, families, and I am saying entire families, that have come into our lives, have been a blessing and oh-so-much-FUN!}


Well, I believe Winter is over for us here in Chisana at Pioneer Outfitters. They say about March, “in like a lion and out like a lamb” seems to be holding true. We still have at least another month or so of snow to contend with, but that is a good thing.

We are cutting a lot of firewood right now, from a mile or so away, hauling it in to be spit and stacked for next Winter. This has been what I would call a “normal” Winter, compared to the last three or four Winters.

Our horses live on the open range and have for decades. All of the horses look good so far and with only 40 more days of snow, till bare ground will show itself.
Range HorsesWe are now rounding up the horses to come into Chisana this Spring. Amber-Lee has been nagging me non-stop about finding a good “keeper” stud for our mostly female herd.
Range Horses
Plotting out the work that still needs to be done on the Castle, Amber-Lee and her family’s house up on my airstrip so that the endless refrain of “I don’t know where it is, it is probably packed” will finally come to an end.

Our Spring Grizzly & Black Bear Hunt season is coming together for us with only a few openings left. And we are already looking towards, forward to and working on the Fall Season. 2012 is going to be a momentous year, one way or another.

Is there something in your life you have always wanted to do? Don’t wait. Time slips away in a blink of an eye.

Take Care and enjoy the News Wire.

Mother Nature’s Twisted Sense of Humor

Since the last News Wire, we have gained over 4 hours of Daylight! (Pretty amazing, isn’t it?) Waking to another -30 below zero morning and having the thermometers hit +30 above by noon tells us all here in the wooly North that Spring is coming.

Life in the Bush

Everything here in Chisana kicks into some sort of an intangible high gear as the daylight increases and Spring arrives. Trap lines are checked more frequently as the critters like the longer and warmer days too, the range horses are watched more intently for signs of weight loss. They tend to forget about eating as they stand and soak up the sun’s heat.
Commercial ServicesGuide Board The Alaska Board of Game, the Commercial Services Guide Board and the NPS (National Park Service) -Guide Concessionaires Meetings all take place within a few weeks time frame.

This is what we have been up to and where we have been the last little bit.

Dealing with freaky-crazy-unethical trappers, cutting firewood, hauling water, checking on the range horses, pulling capes left behind by last year’s hunters to be check and dry to send off when we finally head to the “big town,” training, home schooling and getting ready for state testing… yeah, it is just another day living in the bush! ☺
Ethical Trapping

Non-Resident Sheep Hunting is still in pretty dire straits, folks. The pressure is on, to put Dall Sheep on the Subsistence list for Alaska Residents and to give Residents the preferential season opening 2-3 days earlier than for non-residents.

What can you do to help protect your rights to hunt Dall Sheep in Alaska?  Join and support the APHA. The Alaska Professional Hunter’s Association is doing everything in it’s substantial power to protect your rights and to stop the Alaska Dall Sheep from being taken from non-residents as an option for Big Game Hunting.

Join and support the APHA.

Keeping Up With The Boys

Wes and his side-kick Leo have been dealing with many firsts in their lives together and in their lives in Chisana. Separated from each other for the first time, while we attended meetings in town, Wes found himself adrift and Leo expressed his opinion of these happenings by destroying anything he could get a hold of.Guide Training
Guide Training

Kaleb, Pioneer Outfitters’ newest trainee and Wes accompanied Master Guide Terry Overly and Pioneer’s Alaska Chick to attend the Commercial Services Guide Board meetings recently.

As most do, Wes and Kaleb share some of the common and more obvious characteristics found in all Professional Guides. Such as pride in what and who they are, an arrogance that comes, at least partly from the same, an energy, strength and interest in the wilderness, it’s critters and the people that make their livings and lives as the “real life legends” of Alaska’s past and future.

Guide TrainingGuide Training

As we attended the meetings and keeping an eye out for snoozing in the front row, I also wondered about the how the realities of a Professional Guide verses the romantic (if you will) dream of which mainly comes from the popular hunting shows on TV portrayal of a guide “hunting for a living and livelihood.”
Guide Training
I asked both young men a few questions that I thought I would share here with you.

How long have you been in the Pioneer Outfitters Survival & Guide Training program?

(Wes) I arrived in Chisana on October 24th, 2011.
(Kaleb) I got here on February 21st, 2012.

Do you have any thoughts you want to share with others that may be thinking of a life in the Professional Guiding Industry?

(Wes) Yes. Be sure this is really what you want to do. It’s harder than you think. You have to have your head in the game.
(Kaleb) Be prepared to work hard and be open minded about what each day brings.

So, guys, what did you think about the meetings we attended last week for the Commercial Services Guide Board?

(Wes) There is way more to the Guiding Industry than I thought.
(Kaleb) It was very informational. It helped me to better understand the business of guiding is so much more than harvesting an animal.

Did attending these meetings change anything for you, regarding your decision to become an Alaska Big Game Guide?

(Wes) It enforced my decision to become a Guide. There are a lot of people ready and willing to help you become a trained and proficient Alaska Assistant Guide. There is a real need and help waiting, to be well trained in everything I need to know as a Professional Guide.
(Kaleb) No, if anything it drove me more towards becoming a Professional Guide because there is so much to be done and even improved in the industry and the public’s ignorance in it’s perception of what it really means to be a Professional Guide.

Spring Excursions are happening!

This is the perfect-perfect ideal weather and time of year for the Spring Excursions! -30 below in the mornings makes nice hard ice, warming up to +30 above by noon with bright beautiful Alaska-Blue skies making the backdrop for each day’s fun and play.
Northern Lights over the Lodge
Blue skies, warm sun and lots of ice! Critters are easy to spot as they begin to enjoy the light and warmth too. The frozen North has to be one of the most amazing wild places to experience.
Aurora Borealis over Chisana, Alaska
The Aurora Borealis, our Northern Lights are both a humbling and inspiring display to witness and the photos I have managed to capture simply do not do them justice.
Aurora Borealis over Chisana, Alaska
The pulse and flash of the green and pinks streaking and leaping across the endless skies, the dogs barking and chasing the air suddenly visible and alive. These are the Northern Lights.
Northern Lights over Chisana, Alaska
Alaska Chick’s Blog!

Things here in the North country and “behind the scenes” here at Pioneer Outfitters has been keeping me away, but haven’t kept me from thinking of you all.

You may or may not have noticed a definite absence of Alaska Chick’s Blog posts lately, but I assure you, it is all for the greater good!

I have picked out a few posts that you may not have seen, that will put you here, in Chisana, for Spring. I hope you enjoy them.Pioneer Outfitters Alaska Chick-let

  • Horses and Ice Caves equals an Alaska Adventure!
  • Alaska Chick and the Night Rainbow
  • More Than Fur, Claws and Teeth, Pioneer Outfitters Wintertime
  • Winter Excursions with Alaska Chick
  • Range Horses, Where, How and Why for Pioneer Outfitters

Nancy’s Say-So… (CZN Gammy)

Thoughts on lengthening daylight:

Just weeks ago I was excited and delighted about the prospect of the days getting longer. As the sun reacquaints itself and is welcomed as a long lost friend, I can put away my head lamps and shed one layer of outer gear. ( I wear at least four) Pioneer Outfitters Crew, CZN Gammy (Nancy) and Dar

It is now March and the warmth of the strengthening rays from old Sol not only rejuvenate my spirit but wakes up slumbering ambition and puts on the middle burner projects put away for the cold dark of winter.

For some reason negative 40 degrees does not seem as cold with 9 hours of light as it does with only four and a half hours.

I feel like an excited child waiting for the first signs of life budding from the pussy willows or a hint of green sprigs pushing their way through the melting snow.

The picnic table is about to be set out so “outside” tea parties can be planned and held as we ( Bella and I) gather gifts of moss and twigs for Rianepo and her diaphanous fairy winged return to our forest wonderland.

As my mind wanders in the warm thoughts of upcoming days, I hear a loud CRASH from the eaves if my little house in the big big woods, GIANT icicles are falling, no, calving, off the roof and reforming as the evening chill sets in.


Till next time,


The Chisana News Wire         Issue 2, February 2012           Freezing Our Butts Off

Chisana Alaska, Springtime temperatures!

(Just in case you didn’t recieve it, here it is!)
Wow! It has been over a year now, since PioneerOutfitters (dot) com was created.  One month gone already of the new year!

The second issue of The Chisana News Wire brings you news of Mother Nature’s twisted sense of direction she’s blowing up. From +20* above to -54* below zero, there is just no predicting what she’ll throw at us next. We have gained over 4 hours (and yes, I just counted!) of daylight. We are averaging a gain of over 6 minutes a day.

C-C-cold!Phone calls and emails are flying between Alaska and Canada as we are putting feelers out for more range horses. We hope to bring into Chisana this year a stud. Master Guide Terry Overly had hoped that we would find him last year, but none of the studs Terry looked at made much of an impression. (Fingers crossed! We want to start breeding our own range horses again.)

Chisana Alaska, Checking the range horses.

On Alaska Chick’s Blog a while back, we talked about range horses and what we look for in a horse to live and work with us, in the interior of Alaska. Range Horses, Where, How and Why for Pioneer Outfitters.

Well, as Amber-Lee has decided I must have input to the Chisana News Wire, I asked her what she wanted me to talk about with you.  “The old days, the horses and the way things were.” That is the answer I received. So that is what I will share.

In the hay days of the Chisana Gold Rush, men walked into Chisana carrying big and heavy packs on their backs.

Dog teams were used and the mushers traded goods for the labors of their teams and themselves. This was the way of life.

Horses were used extensively to carry great packs and heavy loads of supplies for the mining fields as well as riding and to pull wagons and sleds in the winter.

These, the dog teams, the horses, riding and packing, these were the life line of the Chisana Gold Strike.

Dog Team, Chisana Alaska

I really do not know and never did hear about how many horses wintered here in the Chisana Valley, but I do remember seeing many small fenced in areas, maybe 12’ x 12’ or 16’ x 16,’ on the islands out in the middle of the Chisana River as well as on the East side of the river, back in the open grassy areas.

When I asked Bud Hickethier (my step-Dad) and Ivan Thorall what those little fenced in areas were for, I was told to keep grass in for the horses. We never used those penned in grass areas, we had no need in those days.

Range Horses, Chisana AlaskaIt seemed, that the old prospectors would cut the wild grasses with sickles and scythes and stack it up, inside the fenced in areas to have hay to supplement the horses if it was needed, I was told.
I do know, that when I first came to Chisana, in 1960, one of my jobs was to grind by hand, using an old coffee grinder, the whole barley and oats we fed our horses here in Chisana. I still have that old grinder.

If needed, we would supplement our horse’s diet of the natural grasses like pee-vine, willows and a few other things I see the horses eat but do not know what they are.

Range Horses, Chisana AlaskaOur horses, back then, seemed to do fine for the most part. Once in awhile, there would be one or two that needed supplemented. Sure, there were always some horses that always seemed to get a little thinner than some of the others over the course of the winter months.

Range Horses, Chisana Alaska

We never fed them hay. No one I knew of ever fed their horses hay. Larry Folger, Ray McNutt, Doug Vaden, Urban Rahoi or Lee Hancock. Our horses did fine on the range in those days without us feeding them for the most part, with only a few of them needing the supplement grains.

Range Horses, Chisana Alaska

So what has changed? (Read More!)

Alaska Chick and Alaska Chick’s Blog!

Hi there, everyone! As you have probably noticed, if you have visited Pioneer Outfitters (dot) com recently, changes and shuffling is taking place everywhere.

Alaska Chick's Inspiration

Alaska Chick’s Blog had it’s first “blogoversary” on January 31st, with 129 posts published and blessings too numerous to count. So, I will say here, Thank You.

There is a HUGE surprise coming, FYI, and I hope you will love it… you’ll just have to keep watching!

Here are a few posts that I would like to share with you, just in case you might have missed them.

  • Medicine Man, a Summer Horseback Adventure
  • Alaska Chick’s First Interview with Youngest Old Timer in Alaska
  • A Story Without Love Is Not Worth Telling, Alaska Chick

Training continues and adjustments are being made as there are three new trainees arriving in Alaska within the next 30 days.

Wes is currently my new hero (along with Gammy Nancy, of course, and NOT just for coming home and helping me with the boys and EVERYTHING else!) for making sure that I am up and online early enough to reach out to connections on the other side of this great big world! (Hey. We are talking about folks 10 and 11 hours ahead of us here in Alaska!)

Seriously though, the Survival & Guide Training continues, as it is how we live and care for what we are. More than that is the very real observation that today’s people between the ages of 16 and 25 years are at a disadvantage. A disadvantage, mind you, that come from the advantages and advancements made in our own society and world.

If you or someone you know is looking for or talking about becoming a professional big game guide, there are some important points to remember… I have been adding them madly to the Survival & Guide Training Page… so, shoo! Go read up!

Nancy’s Say-So …  (CZN GAMMY)

While anxiously awaiting a Christmas visit to family and friends in Tok, my suitcases were packed and sitting by the door. I was just waiting to hear the sound of the incoming mail plane and wondering if the snow machine would start in time to get all of this paraphernalia to the air strip in time to get loaded along with bags and boxes of outgoing mail, not to mention ME!

After the rundown on where the emergency exit and ELT (emergency location transmitter) are, my question to the pilot, whom I’ve never met before, let alone flown anywhere with is, “Why do I need to know THIS?”

An hour of flying over some of the most ruggedly beautiful landscape that God ever created. It would have been a delightful flight except for the fact that there was a bit of turbulence. The “hang onto the door strap to keep myself in my seat and my head from banging the roof kind of turbulence”… NO KIDDING HERE.

Made it to terra firma and my fun began. My sons and their families all live in Tok. Last minute Christmas gifts to wrap and a round trip to Fairbanks with a pal, a couple more gotta get this for….

Christmas day arrived and as I watched one of my four year old granddaughters thoughtfully peal the tape from the corner of her brightly wrapped gift; I wonder does she always do this? Then without any warning ribbons and paper go flying, eyes shining with excitement and a smile as big as Alaska itself, I hear “thank you Gramma”. Merry Christmas!

Hugs, great food, more hugs, more food, what a great day. I can’t believe how fast my week away is going. Then as a favor to help out dear friends I was asked to stay for another three weeks. Inside toilets thermostats running water no wood stoves to feed, this is GREAT.

Spending time with special people and loved ones every day, phone calls home to check on family there, knowing there was a lot of stuff I could be doing if I was home and being reassured everything is ok.

Chatting with my other four year old granddaughter and listening to her accounts of one of the dogs being a FEITH and what Santa brought her made me wish I could be both places at once.

Yep, I was starting to get homesick. Not mopey homesick, but enough to start rearranging things in my suitcases in the event that I can go home before the next available seat on the mail plane. Then I got a call from Master Guide Terry Overly, “I’m going to fly into Northway to get horse feed and I can bring you back, if you can get a ride down.”


My daughter in law and granddaughter in law and granddaughter drove me the 72 miles to the airstrip in Northway and we wait for the black plane that Master Guide Terry Overly will be flying. There it was! Circling the sky above.

CZN Gammy (Nancy) and her Boys.

As we bid our farewells, a small hand wrapped my scarf around my neck, her eyes glistening with tears and our special goodbye of “You live in my heart and I live in your heart,” hugs all around, and I’m sitting in the plane on my way back to my mountain home, family and life in Chisana.

There is a lot to the old saying “Home is where the heart is”. I am a very, very lucky woman. I have homes and I CAN be two places at once.
Till next time,


The Chisana News Wire         Issue 1, January 2012           One Winter’s Day.

We would like to thank each one of you for your patience waiting for the first newsletter to finally begin! I present to you, the first issue… The Chisana News Wire.

Now, onto the NEW!!, Issue 1 of the Chisana News Wire!

The Alaska…”Northern Mother” (Mother Nature!)
Ok, I wasn’t going to call her that, but it is more politically correct than my first thought!

Who / what am I talking about?! The weather! It seems to be really interesting to folks that aren’t dealing with it, so I wanted Mother Nature of the North to have it’s own little title here!

Our crazy, slightly psycho Northern Mother (Mother Nature) has been really gentle with us this year on our weather. During the beginning weeks of winter, we hit -49* below zero, then the first of two shanooks (warm winds) landed and gave us two days of +45* above with 50 mph winds.

The airplanes were all tied down and there were no casualties from the 4 trees being knocked over by the high winds. Well, except for the fence around the yard to keep the horses out.. it would certainly count as a casualty!


First, Hey Ruger! The horses are here!

Wes and Leo have been with us now for almost 3 months. Observations? Wes is tireless. A hard worker and is easy natured and ready to listen and learn. Opinion? You know I have one! Wes is a little shy, I’m counting on as he expands his knowledge and adds to his experiences, he’ll be more confident. He has the desire to learn and is more than willing to do anything, if you ask. (That confidence issue.)

As for the romance brewing between Leo and Dora, they have both been out-voted, over-ridden and restricted for any lasting relationship!

Trainer Comments –
(Amber-Lee) My interactions and observations thus far are that Wes has a TON of potential. Self – Starting seems to be a difficult concept, as yet and he and I have spoken about this and how it translates to confidence.

Our weather, here in the Wrangell and the Nutzotin Mountains this winter has been … ideal! We have an accumulation of 8-10 inches of snow in most areas a little more in others. The temperatures have been pretty sweet as well with an average this winter (so far) being -20* to 0* F. That is incredibly mild! For even the most grizzled old-timer trappers, it is a relief. The ice is thick and hard waiting for the first Winter Excursion takers to bust out and have some fun!

The wolves, as do most other predators use rivers and the long icy creeks as a road system. We, here in Chisana are visited by three different wolf packs.

There are only 2 openings left for 2012 Spring Bear Hunts.Here are some important little tid-bits!

  •  Pioneer Outfitters has one of the only areas in Alaska that a Grizzly (Brown) Bear may be harvested every year instead of, as in most areas, one every four years.

{Translation? We got lots of bears!}

  •  The Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve is your largest and most untouched National Park. Within its boundaries are enclosed the nations largest glacial system. Glaciers cover over 25 percent, or approximately 5,000 square miles, of the Park.

{Translation? All those glaciers and all that ice makes for lots of wind. The wind is cold. The cold wind keeps the Grizzly Bears hides thick and silky from Spring to hibernation.}

The 2012 Summer Pack Trips and Adventures reservations in Alaska with Pioneer Outfitters are filling, don’t be left out!

Alaska horseback wilderness adventures with Pioneer Outfitters have been a one of a kind, incredible horseback adventures since 1924.

Fly into the Interior Alaska Mountains and enjoy the inspiring and endless wilderness the way Alaska was meant to be seen, by horseback.

Individuals, families and groups are all welcome to join us, as we explore and travel across the rivers and tundra, climb the rugged mountains and glaciers, pan for gold in the same spot as the prospectors did during the last historic gold rush, stalk and photograph the amazing the Grizzly Bears, Alaska-Yukon Moose, the only true, non-migrating, Mountain Caribou, the magnificent Dall Sheep as well as and in addition to so much other wildlife. Enjoy visiting and watching the incredible migratory birds that might only ever be seen here, and so very much more!

With experienced horseback and wilderness guides at your side, experience The Last Frontier as it was meant to be experienced! Safely and freely.

Let us be part of showing you Alaska as it was meant to be seen.

(You are here!!)

Alaska Chick!
We began our online journey at the end of January of 2011 and what a ride it has been! I am still learning and taking classes from HubSpot as well gathering as much intel from knowledgeable mentors, successful business owners and new friends, met online in the massive community of our world.

There is still much to learn and apply to Pioneer Outfitters’s website as well as Alaska Chick’s Blog. I want to thank each one of you that visit the website and blog. Did you leave a message or a comment on the blog? Then, YOU get a thank you and a huge jumping – up – and – down – hug, too! (Big thrills for me!)

Here are some of the posts you may enjoy.

  • 2012 Summer Pack Trips and Adventures
  • Rants, Temper Tantrums, Passion and Alaska Chick
  • Tough Lessons of 2011 Hunting with Alaska Chick
  • Hell and Terror or an Adventure of a Lifetime with Alaska Chick
  • 23 Questions You Want Answered about Pioneer Outfitters


Well, we’ve begun. Here we are in 2012, and sometimes I find myself wondering, “Will it be the end of the world?”

My name is Terry Overly and I am known around these parts and beyond as the “Man in Black.”

I own and operate a full spectrum Outdoor Recreation and Big Game Hunting business in the Wrangell St. Elias National Park and Preserve, in Chisana, called Pioneer Outfitters.

2012 is purported to bring many new and possible unexpected evolutionary changes to be pondered and taken very seriously.

What does that mean for Pioneer Outfitters and our guests and clients?

Alaska Chick wanted me to say a few words for the Chisana News Wire, and as things have been throughout the ages, “If Momma aint happy, aint nobody happy,” so here it is.

We have a lot of plans, for us and for our guests and clients in 2012!

We are restructuring our entire Big Game Hunt schedule to accommodate longer, more enjoyable hunts with a bigger focus than in Pioneer Outfitters’s history, on family.

Our Winter Predator Hunts are now underway for Wolf, wolverine, lynx, coyote, fox and martin. Trapping and hunting in the Interior Alaska mountains, with winter survival techniques, using chainsaws in cold weather, ice fishing with set lines and just plain old freezing your butts off, is an Excursion that isn’t for the faint of heart.

Each year, we have college-age young men and women hike and cross country ski through during the winter months. (Kinda makes you wonder what kind of conditioning THAT would take!) It is an Adventure to remember the rest of your life.

The Survival & Guide Training is undergoing some changes as well. The on line course, including an Ethics Class, as requested by the State of Alaska’s Commercial Services Board and the Alaska Board of Game.

There will be more classes and training with chainsaws and centering around the “pioneer lifestyle.”

Building log cabins using axes, chainsaws, hand augers and pegs, using moss for insulation and chinking. You will learn to grow your own food in the harsh environment that Alaska has to offer.

Our trainees will learn skills that can and just may save lives one day. Could be, it could save yours as well. At the least, it will allow one to get in touch with where we all started.

The new Pioneer Outfitters website and Alaska Chick’s Blog is in Amber-Lee’s hands. I can tell you this, she’s working on it. From before I am awake in the mornings until long after everyone else is in bed asleep.

We are aware it is still too confusing to find exactly what you are looking for and I have been assured that it is being worked on, as we speak.

I hope each one of you will leave a comment, if there is a question or puzzle that is left unanswered. It will help us focus on the tricky-hide-and-seek information that seems to be cousin to the sock-eating washing machine.

Until next time, take care.
Master Guide Terry Overly

Nancy’s Say-So …  (CZN GAMMY)

Nancy Williams, Resident Gammy and friend to and of all Alaskan Fairies. Lodge Keeper and GCS (General Crisis Solver). Nancy has been part of the Pioneer Outfitters family for 6 years.

Thoughts on Wood Shopping…

As we enter into winter and the temperature continues to drop, I am sure that EVERYONE is quite tired of my mantra, “WOOD WOOD, WOOD, I need more wood, Amber needs more wood, Terry needs more wood at the Lodge and some really short pieces for the sauna. Oh, by the way, please drop some wood off at the guest cabin, enough to last at least a week.”

Yep, this time of year it’s all about the wood, six very hungry wood stoves to feed.”

Take it from the Chisana wood shopper, they eat a lot, and it’s just not that simple to get the right wood.

Pithy “Wolverine” wood  mixed in with dry split wood to start a morning fire, add some nice round wood to that and you have a fire! Wet or “green” wood loaded onto an established hot fire will keep us roasty – toasty for quite a while.

We all have our special requirements for the proper sized wood. Short rounds and splits for Amber’s stove. Longer sized pieces, to Nancy’s, Wes’ , and two of the three stoves at Terry’s.

His other stove is a biggun’. It can take big rounds and wetter wood than the rest of the stoves.  We use this big stove for a lot more than just keeping warm.  We cook on it, we heat water on it, we thaw things out on it.  It is a hard working stove and it eats more than the rest!

I mentioned that I am a wood shopper, well, all the wood that is brought in and stacked in neat piles looks like the aftermath of a  Black Firday sale at Walmart when I get done pitching, tossing, flinging, separating and sorting through a couple of sled loads of wood.

No wonder I get the “Hairy Eyeball” when the words  “We need wood” come out of my mouth!

Till next time

☺ ~ Want to read more of Nancy’s? … Here is where you can find some…

Alaska Chick’s Blog…in the side bar…
Under “About Us” Amber-Lee Dibble ….

Did I forget anything important? I sure hope not! I hope you enjoyed this Chisana News Wire and please feel free to share it with anyone you believe may enjoy it, as well!

‘Till next month, folks…Take Care

The Chisana News Wire ~ On-Going Updates from Alaska Chick
Posted by Amber-Lee Dibble on Wed, Oct 26, 2011

~ Good Morning Everyone!! It’s that time, time for Updates! The Chisana News Wire, sounds pretty interesting, don’t ya think?

First Things First

Two really important issues are going on in the bigger world right now that I want to make sure the word is spread about.

First! Margie Clayman’s Social Media, Marketing, & Musings post this morning, “A Blogging Hiatus Till We Get This Done” brought this remarkable (hat tip to Kaarina Dillabough) story to my attention.

Please read Margie’s post. Coach Luma, Fugees Family, all the children, make for an incredible blessing. A blessing for the children and a blessing for all of us that hear their story. I am not going to say much more about it because Margie says it so very well. Please read Margie’s post and then go read about Fugees Family and the soccer team in Georgia.

I read the comments on the giving stream on Fugees Family site, and the one that stays with me is “Pay it Forward”. These are our children now, folks. We can show them our love by teaching them to read, to dream, to write, to create and to become a team, because a team is like a family, right?

I am donating $12. You can donate here. Or visit the Fugees wish list for in-kind donations, including clothing and soccer equipment.

Second (and just as important!) A determined and blessed young lady, Nisha who is spreading hope and joy to all that read her posts on Adventures of Me, If God is Watching, I Plan on being Entertaining. Nisha tells you her plan and passion while giving us all a picture how just one of us can make an incredible difference.

Nisha and I are both blessed to be connected to each other through another beautiful example of humanity and love, our good friend Stan Faryna. Stan’s post Luxurious decorations for your castle or estate #free ~Beautiful Things For the Asking   shares more about Nisha, her project and how he, himself has come to this point in his life and purpose. I urge to read Stan’s moving post and get to know Nisha.

Donate if you can, pray if you will and please, pass these important issues along. If we spread the word we can make these dreams come true and help do such good in our world.

Chisana Communications

There have been quite a few questions and comments about our communication abilities here in Chisana with Pioneer Outfitters. Our phone system is just like yours, anywhere.

AT&T put an earth station on Pioneer Outfitters property in 1996. Alaska Power & Telephone (AP&T) put the phone system in a building we, here at Pioneer Outfitters, built them, they dug ditches across of of Chisana running phone lines underground all the way to the Oatfield Airstrip (3 miles away), crossing Johnson Creek and the people that have vacation cabins there. The generators we run 24 hours a day, here at Pioneer Outfitters, provides the power for the phone company.

We have NO cellular service here in Chisana or anywhere in the surrounding areas. (I use a satellite phone and the personal locating device, SPOT for any emergency needs in the field.)

Our internet connection is provided by Star Band. If I seem to be absent online, it’s not from lack of trying or desire! Our bandwidth is an on-going war for me sitting here, in my Inspiration Corner, wanting to share something special or just to chat with a pal.

Pioneer Outfitters Fall Big Game Hunting

All of the Post-Hunting Season Paperwork for 2011 is DONE!!

The NEW! Family Big Game Hunts are already a hit for next fall! The thanks go to the longer hunts (20-30 days) and the fact that the new website allows us to share more about who and what we are at the core of it all… a family.

ATTENTION! All 2011 Fall Hunting Season clients:  Your gear has been mailed! It’s all gone!!

EVERYONE I promised photo discs, they will be arriving SOON!  ~I needed the correct discs! (Unless of course you were a disrespectful cheap ass looser, in which case, I wouldn’t hold my breath!)

Pioneer Outfitters Survival & Guide Training

The first of the next group of 3 trainees will be arriving soon! The first Pioneer Outfitters Survival & Guide School trainee is getting a 3 month head start on his two classmates arriving in the Spring of 2012.

I am now, at the request of the State of Alaska Commercial Services Board, State of Alaska Ethics Committee, the State of Alaska Board of Game and (my favorite) Master Guide Terry Overly, working on the first draft of the online portion of the Pioneer Outfitters Survival & Guide Training course and the newly requested Ethics Class.

New Prices!! November 1st, 2011

The NEW Prices go into effect November 1st, 2011. Any Adventure, Excursion or Big Game Hunt booked with a deposit before November 1st will receive the current prices.

Alaska Chick, the Alaska Expat

The Lizard tried to talk, guilt and belittle me out of my Expat 30 Program New Habit, today. (Today was day two, 10-21-11.) After spitting wood for my Chisana Boy to deliver, I didn’t need to go for a walk. I had been outside, right? I wasn’t online, right? Right then I thought, “OOOOH, I recognize you…”

Winter Fun and Summer Anticipation!

We, here at Pioneer Outfitters, are really looking forward to the Winter Excursions to begin! It’s time to have some fun with the cold.

The snow-gos have been pulled into the shop for tune ups and to be gone over and prepped for when there is enough snow on the ground. We are also working on the old 70’s Arctic Cat – Kitty Cat for my little 4 year old Alaska Chicklet!

The 2012 Summer Horseback Adventures are my first love of all the trips Pioneer Outfitters offers. The Land of the Midnight Sun, camp fires, horse-bells, wildlife to be encountered and all the joys of showing new friends all that this land has to offer.

On The Home-Front

7th Grade has begun. Whoa. Pre-Algebra. (oh, yipee)

My soon to be teenager, the Chisana-Boy, is a conundrum. Where is the in-grained fear of GOD, Himself, striking him down for back-talking? I had it. Why doesn’t he have it? I wouldn’t have spoken to MY mother like that! (did I?!) Sheesh.

On the other hand, Zach sure has become quite the young man. He steps right up and deals with any of the day to day issues that come up with fuel, the generators, water pumps, the horses or having wood cut and delivered. (and when did he learn to do all that?!)

The Alaska Chicklet. My sweet (yeah.) little tiny baby girl is growing up already! She went out to Tok and had her first away from home and Mommy sleep over. A WEEK ago!! I am so very- very sad (an so very proud!), she loved every minute and was completely content. She was only a baby yesterday… it goes so very fast.


Horseback Adventures and Hunting Updates for Pioneer Outfitters
Posted by Amber-Lee Dibble on Sun, Jul 10, 2011

~Hi there, everyone! Wow, the year has gone by in a flash, so far! Holy-Smokes! We are stepping up from the normal, “We only have 8 weeks to get everything we want done for summer, move, move, move!” to “MOVE! BUSY, BUSY, BUSY!” stage of our year and really, it’s great. I can’t wait to meet those of you who we are already expecting and those of you who just love to be the surprise! Now, here are the updates for the business at hand today.

Pioneer Outfitters Updates

Master Guide Terry Overly of Pioneer Outfitters in Alaska has held strong and sure against the poor economy for years. After 7 years of holding back increasing the prices of all the Adventures, Excursions and Big Game Hunts, I was informed this weekend that the new prices will go into effect November 1st, 2011.

Any Adventure, Excursion or Big Game Hunt booked with a full deposit before November 1st, will be booked at (2004) current prices. Any trip booked after November 1st, will be booked at the new prices. (~I will be adding them to the prices pages on the website!)

Adventures Updates

We have new shorter vacation-fit Adventures! We have newly scheduled shorter trips for those that want to experience the Last Frontier and to get off the beaten path to do it.

Summer 5 Day Adventures!
Using the Chisana Mail Plane Schedule, of Monday and Thursday weekly, and a schedule of events instead of only a route and destination we were able to create 5 Day Horseback Adventures that will give you the taste of the wild freedom and immense area of the Wrangell St. Elias National Park.

Pioneer Outfitters Hunting

The Challenge has brought the excitement back into the hunting community. We are already setting up high mountain camps and keeping our eyes on those great white dots on the mountain sides.

The Park has the largest concentration of Dall Sheep in North America. With the constant threat of taking Dall Sheep off the non-resident big game hunting list, the APHA (Alaska Professional Hunters Association) is gearing up and gathering more information and support to protect the hunters, resident and non-residents, rights.

Last Minute Tid-Bit!

Two aircraft, a Beaver and a Cessna 185, were chartered into Chisana loaded with Alaska Native leaders, the National Park Service and Fish and Game Biologists to chat with the Chisana residents about the Chisana Caribou Herd. This is great news, folks. The Chisana Caribou Herd is the only known true Mountain Caribou Herd. It has been on a permit-basis-only since 1994 and since 1995 there have been NO permits issued.


May 1st, 2011 WINNER!

Robert Ashlock from Oklahoma is our WINNER for Pioneer Outfitters 2011 7-Day Guided Horseback Fishing Adventure!