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Compass Illustration

Michelle, It was fantastic to see you. I know you have hiked with and met hundreds of hikers over the years, but you made TMB special. Your energy and upbeat enthusiasm really made the trip for us so when you walked into the breakfast room at the Hotel Regina, it just brought so many fantastic memories of our first trip with Alpine Hikers.

Michelle Willix

Support Staff + Guide

Michelle Willix knows the meaning of perseverance. A mental health therapist for children and adults with histories of trauma and abuse, Michelle sees the power of finding and fostering a can-do attitude toward life. Her personal experience hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada in 1997 (before cell phones or extensive internet!) was the jumping off point for her parallel career in adventure travel.

In 1997 she traveled to Costa Rica for a short trip and ended up staying for nine months, learning Spanish, and working as a waitress and an off-shore bookie to pay the bills. Volunteering has brought her many more adventures, from teaching snow sports to people with physical and mental disabilities, to giving sea kayaking lessons and working with traumatized kids at an orphanage in Peru.

Since 2003, Michelle has migrated from her home in Boulder, CO to the Alps to recharge her batteries guiding and supporting our self-guided hikers. “I walk through the Alps taking a zillion pictures… Even though I’ve been there so often, I find new joy each time I’m in Switzerland.” A highly dedicated guide with Wilderness First Aid certification and experience in a wide variety of outdoor sports, it is Michelle’s achievements in personal growth through wilderness challenge that make her most valuable to her guests. She says her ‘aha’ moment on the Pacific Crest Trail was a recognition that “I can do a whole lot more than maybe I had given myself credit for.” Michelle brings that positivity everywhere she goes and it lights up her trips with contagious energy and excitement.

Swiss Alps Flower Primer Part 2

If you missed Part 1 of our Alps wildflower primer, be sure to check it out too.  Summer in the Swiss Alps seems to burst forth daily with new flowers.  Here are some of the most recent gems. Koch's Gentian: Gentiana acaulis is endemic to Europe and found in mountain areas in Central and southern Europe.  It is an herb that grows...

Swiss Flower Primer Part 1

The flowers in the Alps are beyond compare.  It seems that every few days new varieties pop up.  Early June is a great time to visit to see full meadows of color. After that, the cows start to eat them, and farmers start to cut the lower fields for hay.  But there are tons of different wildflowers to be found...