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Our Team

Our personable and professional guides love to share their passion for seeking adventure in the outdoors.

We select our guides for their experience, attention to detail, safety consciousness, dedication to positive group experiences and in depth knowledge of the trip activities and destination.
They hold certification in Wilderness First Aid as well as appropriate certifications and/or awards in their area of expertise.

Our guides and instructors have honed their skills all over the world, and are passionate about sharing their knowledge and experience with you!

Zane Yanzick

Build and nurture strategic collaborations with brands, DMCs, tourism boards, tour operators, guides, and various stakeholders to expand our network and provide exceptional travel experiences for our customers.

Rick Sweitzer - Founder, Adventure Visionary, Guide

Rick makes adventure dreams a reality by making it a way of life not just a goal. After 35+ years of having left no corner of the globe untouched, and continuing to explore, Rick shares his love of adventure with an uncanny knack for “spinning the fun meter.”

The Northwest Passage grew out of Rick’s natural drive to find the most desirable and pristine adventure locations. Rick is skilled at crafting intimate, off-the-beaten path itineraries that consist of breath-taking sunset views.

Chris Paustian

I’ve enjoyed many moments of wonder and amazement at the natural world over the course of my guiding career. More valuable to me though are people I’ve met and relationships built in the wild and beautiful corners of our planet.

To share experiences with those who choose to explore and appreciate the wild, less-traveled and soul enriching places that The Northwest Passage ventures is a dearly held privilege of mine.

Anna Sweitzer

Social Media Marketing Manager

Taylor Sweitzer

I have been extremely fortunate to grow up in an adventurous family that exposed me to the wonders and beauty of the outdoor community since day 1. Throughout the years, my passion has blossomed to encompass several different outdoor disciplines and I have found myself guiding a variety of trips all around the world.

The Northwest Passage has provided me with the unique opportunity to pursue the important places, the moments in time that help to make life rich and to share the delicacy of it all with the world.

Keith Heger

Growing up on Lake Michigan, Keith continues to search the horizon for something that will help him define the unknown. Keith has explored North, South, and Central America, Western Europe, the Mediterranean, Antarctica, and the Arctic.

Always working hard Keith has gained skills in wilderness travel, group dynamics, and leadership. Skills such as sea kayaking, white water kayaking, rafting, and so much more. Fueling the passion is the reward of introducing people to the unknown.

Annie Aggens

As Director of Polar Expeditions for The Northwest Passage, Annie has led many expeditions throughout the US & Northern Canada including backpacking, canoeing, and sea kayaking adventures. Annie’s broad experience makes her a valuable resource.

Annie regularly lectures on organizing Polar expeditions, paddling expeditions, adventure travel, and the history of Arctic exploration. In 2003, Annie co-authored The Encyclopedia of Outdoor and Wilderness Skills (McGraw-Hill). Annie’s passion for the outdoors remains contagious.

Andrew Leary

As the Greece Kayaking Guide and Lead Climbing Guide for The Northwest Passage, Andrew has worked professionally in the outdoors since 2005. Doing everything from guiding urban youth in Chicago, ski patrol and avalanche mitigation in Utah, to working numerous collegiate outdoor programs. Andrew is a certified Wilderness EMT and ACCT Challenge Course Manager whose passion runs deep for rock climbing, backcountry skiing, and board games.

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