Bill Westerhoff

BillWBorn and raised in New England, I was brought up enjoying the outdoors. Hiking, camping, fishing were normal, almost daily, experiences for me. As I got older I grew to enjoy rock climbing (mostly in the Shawangunk "Gunks" Mountains), which finally led me to my first desert vacation experience. A friend and I traveled all over the Southwest for climbing and backpacking. We went to places like Canyonlands, Arches, The Grand Canyon, and a little place called Zion. We arrived in Springdale during the rainy summer season and were not able to climb any of our goals, but we did go for some fantastic hikes and I knew I would be back. We even stopped in the only outdoor store that we could find... Zion Adventure Company, in their first season! It seemed like a cute little shop with friendly people that looked like they were more into helping people out than actually selling things. Back to New England I returned, but I vacationed to Utah at least once a year until 1999, when I finally decided to pack up and leave the East Coast for the desert Southwest. I stopped and lived many places along the way, but made a home for myself outside of Phoenix, AZ, where I dove head-first into all the area had to offer. After climbing many of the AZ crags, I fell into a small group of like-minded people and discovered technical canyoneering. I had done very similar things in the past, but didn't realize it was a sport all it's own. The canyon bug bit me hard, and I explored several of Arizona's finest canyons. Knowing Zion had world-class canyons, I made my first return in 2004 and just kept coming back.  

I again had enough of the "rat race" in 2009, when I left my job in Phoenix and moved to the East Side of Zion to begin building a cabin in what I refer as my second "temporary retirement". Over the years of canyoneering in and around Zion, I met a few people who worked at Zion Adventure Company and always found them to be knowledgeable, fun, and caring. It wasn't until the 2010 season that I thought, "Why not try to work with them"?!? That's just what I did. I spent 2010 helping customers enjoy tubing down the Virgin River and giving others Overland Tours around the area in our Mercedes Benz Unimog. This season I will be adding guiding to my abilities and look forward to a long and fulfilling relationship with Zion Adventure Company and all those that make such a special place.