A trek is not simply a walk or hike in nature. A trek is a journey... a pilgrimage that is undertaken with intentionality. Its destination isn’t simply the physical location of a peak, vista, lake, or mountain summit. Backpacking treks include a search for something deeper within and without. Through the donning of boots and a backpack, a trekker chooses to optimize their own physical, mental, social-emotional, and spiritual health.
Come and join Optimize Trek (OT) for the journey of a lifetime into the wilderness and beyond.
Treks are curated for 3-12 adults looking to engage with nature and explore the backcountry. Whether climbing Half Dome or backpacking in the Tuolumne area, all Treks include moderate to strenuous backpacking of between 5-12 miles per day. OT provides all the food while in the backcountry and coordinates gear rentals as needed.
Each day will include a component of silence/meditation as we hike, as well as on-trail mid-day and evening community conversations.
Optimize Trek is as individualized in its approach as each unique person and group it takes into the backcountry. No one person or group has the same needs and goals. Each trekker must have a desire to expand their EQ (emotional intelligence) and a willingness to grow and share honestly with themselves and fellow tripmates.
Each applicant will be vetted to determine trip and group "fit." This will include health/fitness clearance and personal goal identification.
After losing her Mom to cancer in 2016, Ruth embarked on a 16-day solo backpacking trip to Glacier, Banff and Jasper. On that trek, she discovered the healing solace of nature in a new way. One of her deepest desires is to curate and guide treks into nature which allow individuals, in the context of community, to practice physical, mental, social-emotional and spiritual health.
Ruth has been backpacking for the past 40+ years and has taken many groups into the wilderness. From the Canadian Rockies to The Appalachian Trail to Half Dome to Mt Whitney, she brings years of backcountry experience to every trek. She is also a certified NOLS Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace Trainer, and Behavioral Health First Responder.
Each one of us has a unique circle of influence. The key question is, "How are you leveraging and expanding your impact?" Ruth has spent more than 25 years mentoring, training and raising up influencers. She brings to the trail her substantive experience coaching individuals and teams in the non-profit, medical management, and health/fitness industries.
Alex grew up in the northwest in the state of Washington where he cultivated a love of the backcountry on PCT treks with his Dad. Alex trained at Peak Performance Project under Dr. Marcus Elliott. He was the lead Performance Specialist for USA Water Polo and the Chinese Basketball Association (Fujian Sturgeons) before becoming the Director of Training at THE LAB.
Our guides serve a very important role during our treks. They ensure we have a maximum ratio of 3 clients : 1 guide when climbing Half Dome (a highly personalized ratio compared to other outfits). They bring a love of the outdoors, genuine care for our clients, and the courage to help you climb! Please tip our volunteer guides generously for all they do and bring during each trek! :)
Zach was born and raised in Boston where he played soccer competitively and developed a love for rock climbing, hiking, running and the backcountry. Zach is a Licensed Physical Therapist with a bachelors in Clinical Health Studies and a doctorate in Physical Therapy from Ithaca College. Zach works as a Physical Therapist at Elite and THE LAB in Santa Barbara, CA.
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