Kirsten "Bear Patrol" Anderson
Kirsten grew up in Oregon, has family/college ties to the Midwest, has lived and held driver’s licenses in India and Japan, and has traveled to over 30 countries and counting. As a young child, she started exploring the outdoors from her dad’s shoulders, but like many young kids was primarily motivated by M&Ms. And while her family dabbled in an occasional outdoor adventure like camping or cross-country skiing, they weren’t big outdoor enthusiasts.
It wasn't until college, during a summer internship in Namibia that Kirsten honed her outdoor and camping skills. From waking up to elephant footprints outside her tent to a 48-hour game count from a treehouse, she learned to navigate wildlife and ration food supplies, to name a few. Several years later, while living and working in South India, Kirsten ventured to Nepal and was infected with the trekking bug, returning in 2007 to complete the Annapurna Circuit. Now, she and her husband are planning another Nepal trek in 2025 and are accepting route recommendations.
Officially obsessed with the mountains, while living at the base of the Japanese Alps, Kirsten learned to snowboard on a board she found in her apartment complex’s garbage pile. She also hiked the three most sacred peaks: Mt Fuji, Mt Tateyama, and Mt Haku. Only managed to summit Mt Haku minutes before being evacuated by the Japanese Coast Guard for a quickly approaching typhoon. And she learned what not to bring on a backpacking trip (a cast iron pan and a bottle of wine!) along the way.
Since returning to the US, she has married a fellow outdoor enthusiast, settled into a career at a humanitarian organization, and is helping to raise her stepchildren. While her 40-hour work week, kids, and a mortgage don’t permit her to do all the adventures on her bucket list right now, she still manages to find time to play outside. Her recent pursuits are a 6-week sabbatical to hike the Washington section of the PCT in 2022 and to continue section hiking the PCT southbound. After snowboarding for 15 years, she is learning to ski and hoping to start exploring the backcountry soon. In between those two pursuits, you can find Kirsten doing yoga, training hikes, kayaking, SUPing, joining her husband on climbing trips, and at the end of a long day outside - sitting in the hot tub!