what

others say

testimonials

"An inspiring and endearing companion."

"Want to build the perfect trail partner? Don¹t bother. Call Shelli instead. I've tackled two grueling, 50-mile, one-day hikes with her, and I can't wait for the next one. She brings an unflinchingly positive spirit, incredible physical toughness, entertaining stories and conversation, and – most importantly to me – an eagerness to wring every last drop of adventure out of our time together in the wilds. Those qualities – plus her well-stocked snack bag – make Shelli an inspiring and endearing companion."

JON DORN

Editor-in-Chief, Backpacker Magazine, and "trail comrade"

"An incredibly positive influence in my life."

"Shelli inspires us to do things we never would have dreamed of doing. She supplies the confidence in us to complete goals. This is great for daily living and with life coaching in particular. Shelli has a very understanding and compassionate side to her, but at the same time she comprehends what people are capable of, which helps her assist them in setting high expectations and goals. I am a better person when I am around Shelli, and she has been an incredibly positive influence in my life."

KATHY SWANSON

Attorney, "trail comrade," and client

"Shelli is just plain 'real;' there is not an ounce of phony or exaggeration in her."

"Hiking with Shelli Johnson is like taking a bath in pure inspiration. She is full of energy, warm support, and love for the outdoors. Shelli also clearly loves people who challenge themselves in the outdoors – your challenges don’t have to be like hers, she simply revels in and channels the focus and growth that comes from pushing one’s personal boundaries. Shelli is an accomplished outdoorswoman with skills to match the toughest terrain; she also sincerely cares for those she is with. This mix of competence and compassion build an almost instant bond of trust with everyone she encounters. Best of all, Shelli is just plain “real”; there’s not an ounce of phony or exaggeration in her.

Fair warning: your woes, personal demons, and lack of confidence are powerless against Shelli's boundless enthusiasm – so, if you want to remain in your own personal rut, I wouldn’t recommend working with her. But, if you actually want to change your mindset and physical capacity so that you can live the life of your dreams (and beyond), then Shelli is the perfect kick-start and handrail for your personal adventure."

JON ROSENFIELD

PhD conservation biologist, WFR, NOLS alum and "trail comrade"

"She has taught me the power of setting goals and taking risks."

"Because of Shelli's confidence and spirit of adventure, she also inspires those around her to take risks. Through our hiking adventures together, and through watching her re-create herself in her own life, she has taught me the power of setting goals and taking risks to create a much richer, meaningful, and fun life. Shelli is a truly joyous person. She is one of those people whose inner joy can’t help but spread outward to those who are open and receptive to soaking it up. Her love of life and desire to share it with others, her willingness to take more risks and inspire others to do so, makes her truly one of the most positive, inspiring people that I’ve ever known."

HOLLY COPELAND

Spatial ecologist, "trail comrade," and client

"She makes me want to achieve more."

"Shelli is inspirational in her actions and words without coming across as pushy or boastful.  She has a playful spirit that makes every adventure exciting and fun. I LOVE her CAN DO attitude... She makes everyone/me feel as though we/I can do things, too.  Shelli is down to earth and knowledgeable. Being around her makes me want to achieve more and be better at what I'm doing."

KATHY KLOEWER

Chiropractor, "trail comrade," and client

"Such limitless energy and so much experience and wisdom to channel that energy into."

"I met Shelli this summer during our NOLS course backpacking in the Brooks Range in Alaska, and I cannot (or rather: do not want to) imagine what the course would have been like without her... I am not exaggerating when I say that I have never met anyone with a combination of such limitless energy and so much experience and wisdom to channel that energy into. She knew how to keep the group happy even when the day had been long and camp was still a ways away; when it was raining; when we were tired and hungry. During our hiking hours, during our breaks, you would often find her deep in conversation with various members of our group, and when you listened in, you'd learn a lot more about these people in half an hour than you had in the previous days: Shelli is interested in meeting, in truly getting to know the people around her, and the questions she asks show how closely she's been listening to what the other person has just said.

Shelli's energy and positive, curious and open attitude are infectious and stay with you even after you've said good-bye."

ANTONIA RUPPEL

Senior Cornell University lecturer, "trail comrade" and friend

"She demonstrated an authentic interest in my life and my next steps, constantly encouraging me to pursue the things I love."

"When I first met Shelli before our NOLS Brooks Range course I was immediately greeted by her ebullient personality and genuine zeal for life outdoors as we discussed our backgrounds and our motivations for participating in the course... Over the course of our trip, I would come to appreciate just how great of a coach, outdoorswoman, and friend Shelli is. During our time in the Brooks Range, I spent many days conversing with her while we hiked the Arctic tundra, ascended mountain passes, and prepared our daily meals.  On a personal level, she demonstrated an authentic interest in my life and my next steps, constantly encouraging me to challenge myself and pursue the things I love and enjoy.

...In the field, her wealth of outdoor and hiking experience was evident.  As we traversed more difficult terrain, Shelli struck a balance between blazing the trail for our hiking group and encouraging along less comfortable hikers.  When it was her turn to lead, Shelli was confident, composed, and unendingly positive.  Shelli was the glue of whatever group she was in, constantly fostering relationships and motivating her team. She is one of the most encouraging, caring, and inspiring individuals I've encountered."

CHRIS SCOVIL

Tax manager, "trail comrade"

"I have great respect and admiration for her, and look forward to many adventures together."

"Shelli was the lone woman among our group of seven friends who made a one-day, 50-mile hike across Zion National Park. For such an extreme adventure, you have to make sure everyone involved is not only very fit, skilled, and self-reliant, but capable of handling the physical and mental exhaustion that's inevitable--and very importantly, be someone you'd want to spend 18 straight very difficult hours with. Shelli is all of those things. She and I first met in person on that odyssey, and in perhaps the ultimate test of friendship, we became instant, close friends. I have great respect and admiration for her and look forward to many adventures together."

MICHAEL LANZA

Northwest editor of Backpacker Magazine, creator of TheBigOutside.com, author, and "trail comrade"

"Shelli knows that you can do anything. When you're not sure, don't worry, she is."

"As a coach, Shelli is compassionate. She "gets" the reasons you are struggling; she just doesn't allow them to stay around. She holds you to your original, as well as morphing, goals/desires/dreams, especially when you have let yourself off the hook. Shelli is kind. Who couldn't use a little kindness when working through the stuff that can hurt? Shelli knows that you can do anything. When you're not sure, don't worry, she is."

SHARON TERHUNE

Educator, life coach, and client

"Shelli holds me accountable."

"Shelli has held me accountable in achieving some personal and business goals that were important to me, yet I previously did not get done since no one was holding me accountable.  I am thrilled with my new successes and what they hold for me in the New Year. This year, we are embarking on an “epic adventure" that will surely stretch my mind and body. I can hardly wait!"

LESLIE CALKINS

Business owner and client

"One of the most visionary individuals I have met."

"Shelli is one of the most visionary individuals I have met in my life. Her deep passion in the outdoors and travel, and dedication to business, life goals and family orientation have inspired me since our first contact.

She uses personal achievements of health, travel and outdoors for lifestyle business practices that will completely change the way you think."

FLORIAN HERRMANN

Tourism Research Analyst, and "trail comrade"

"She is one of the greatest inspirational heroes of all time to me."

"I have known Shelli Johnson for nearly 10 years, after getting to know her parents first. She attends our church with her family, she frequently posts activities and shares motivational tidbits on Facebook, and she is one of the greatest inspirational heroes of all time to me.

I was approaching 50 when I met Shelli... Shelli encouraged me to try “trail running." I was not interested at first...Finally, my close friend and I joined Shelli for a “trail run” up our local canyon, off up a fairly steep loose, pebbled trail uphill. She smiled the entire time, her brain must have been clicking so fast as each step was chosen, executed, and firmly planted. My friend and I slowly descended, rolling on the loose pebbles, similar to ball-bearings, while Shelli was coaching and encouraging us down. We weren’t moving very fast at all, but she continued to shout uphill how great we were doing...

She is an inspiration to me, as well as to her other many friends, including of course her own family."

BARBARA CARTWRIGHT

Teacher and "trail comrade"

"She inspires me to go beyond the everyday routine to enrich my life."

"Because of Shelli, I have a found a new passion for pushing myself into new adventures and opportunities.  Her caring leadership and positive attitude make me feel like I can tackle any new challenges that may come my way…

She continues to inspire others and model in our community what it means to care about people. She inspires me to go beyond the everyday routine to enrich my life!"

LEANN SEBADE

Teacher and "trail comrade"

"I am envious of her vigor."

"Shelli was a student of mine many years ago, but it has only been in the past few that I have come to appreciate what she is doing with her life. She set some very high goals for herself (fitness, weight loss, adventure, professional growth and change), and watching her achieve those goals has been fascinating. As an old woman I am envious of her vigor; I admire her success and unique humor while juggling her family life with her many pursuits. Shelli has passion for her Wyoming “frontier” and her favorite National Parks in Wyoming, and her media and journalistic skills allow her to express that ardor."

LINDA SERDUIK

Retired teacher

"One of the most motivated, driven, determined & optimistic persons that I know."

"I have known Shelli Johnson 14 years. We have watched our kids grow up together and our families develop a close bond. In the years I have known her, our families have been fortunate to have gone on several llama backpacking trips into the Wind River mountain range, a goat packing trip into the Red Desert and day hikes around the Lander area. Shelli and I also went to Yosemite National Park and did some beautiful hikes and sightseeing. The friendship and memories that we formed on these adventures will last a lifetime.

Shelli is one of the most motivated, driven, determined and optimistic persons that I know. She always has a smile on her face. You can just feel her energy when you are around her. There is no challenge too great for her, or a simple task that she can’t find some adventure in. When we have been hiking together and I am about at the end of my rope, she is there (with a smile, of course) encouraging me and pushing me. Hiking and just being around her is always an adventure."

SABRINA THOREN

"Trail comrade"

"Shelli embodies the idea that you create your own reality."

"When Shelli told me she was thinking of becoming a life coach last summer, I thought "of course!" It seemed like the perfect career move for her. She is completely in her element when she is supporting others, finding solutions and setting goals.

Shelli embodies the idea that you create your own reality – that you are the architect and master of your life. She has inspired me to do things that I didn’t think I could do, then was just excited as I was when I did them, like learn to skate ski and complete in a 25k ski race – all in just 6 weeks.

Shelli is down-to-earth, compassionate, empathetic, fun to be around, has a great sense of humor, optimistic, and forward thinking. Shelli listens with her heart, holds her loved ones dear, and embraces life with a passion. . But one of the best things I like about Shelli, is although she’s serious about her pursuits in life, she doesn’t take herself too seriously. She is good at what she does because she loves her work, and puts her whole self into it. Her energy and enthusiasm for life are contagious. I am lucky to call Shelli one of my closest friends."

KATHY BROWNING

Conservation Project Coordinator, "trail comrade" and client

"Unwavering positive attitude."

"I spent 12 days with Shelli on an expedition in the Brooks Range of Alaska. Among other things, the thing that really sticks out about Shelli is her unwavering positive attitude. We were hiking with heavy packs in a mountain environment that could at times be very harsh. I could always count on Shelli for a smile and upbeat call of encouragement. I found this very motivating and as attitudes tend to do, hers spread like wildfire.

Shelli is clearly a great mother and wife to her husband and kids, which is apparent in the loving way that she speaks of them. This kindness and attentiveness absolutely carried over into her relationships with classmates on our trip. I truly felt like Shelli was a mother-figure. The safety of the entire group was definitely a concern of hers.  From frequent and exuberant bear calls to telling the person behind her about a loose boulder underfoot, Shelli frequently reminded us of safety concerns that we should all be looking out for.

Finally, Shelli's leadership shined in her flexibility and willingness to cater to the needs of the group. Shelli is in great shape, and was always up for the challenge of a strenuous mountain pass. However, she was perfectly happy to hike the low, flat route if that was the will of her classmates. Shelli is also very knowledgeable about the outdoors, but was always open to learning about our new and exciting environment."

PAT KIRBY

Investigator for Public Defender's office in Washington, D.C., and "trail comrade"

"An invaluable asset to our group."

"I first met Shelli during a trek in the northernmost mountains of Alaska, during which we and 8 other adventurous souls had to rely only on ourselves and our gear to make it through challenging terrain. These conditions tested our physical and mental resilience as well as our leadership and decision making skills everyday for 2 weeks during which Shelli was an incredible inspiration. Her persistent positive attitude never faltered, not once, and she would manage to reinforce it during the toughest of times. She displayed exceptional leadership and motivational skills that went far beyond what was expected, which was highly appreciated. Furthermore, Shelli's life experience, strong will and fun personality made her an invaluable asset to our group, and I can say she personally helped me grow both as an individual and as a leader."

MARC MORISSET

International Business Manager in Paris, France, and "trail comrade"

"She is humble and kind."

"I had the pleasure and privilege of spending twelve days with Shelli Johnson in the northern Alaskan wilderness of the Brooks Range. We were strangers on day one and hardly more than on day two, but by day twelve I was happy to call her a great friend.

Shelli is a remarkable woman in many facets of the word. Her thirst for adventure and knowledge of her surroundings as well as those who share with her the same surroundings, dictate a personality that is alarmingly unparalleled. She exhibits the most profound happiness I have ever seen in any one person that is absolutely and entirely absorbed by those in her presence, enriching their lives. She is humble and kind. She is helpful and wise. She is inquisitive and pensive. She is an inspiration. I hope you meet her some day."

CUTTER WILLIAMS

Writer in Portland, OR., and "trail comrade"