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Beyond the Trail: Chris and Krista’s Inspiring Journey of Courage, Love, and Adventure

The best part of our job is the people! Our awesome coworkers definitely make it worthwhile, but it’s the folks we meet from all corners of the world that really make it special.


a person riding on the back of a canyon with Vermilion Cliffs National Monument in the background Last week, we had Chris and Krista join us for an epic hike to the Wave. These two came all the way from Los Angeles, bringing along their adorable pups, just to tick off a big item on their bucket list. Our excellent guide Cash and our office staff quickly learned that they were a blast to hang out with. You could totally see the love they share and their mutual passion for the great outdoors. Here’s a cool tidbit: they actually met while rock climbing! Chris is so into nature that he ditched his full-time job at Ace Hardware about two years back to fully commit to his side hustle of guiding outdoor adventures. And man, did he love every moment of it!


Because hiking to the Wave is an experience reserved for a few dozen lottery winners each day,  Chris and Krista truly felt lucky. Well, in the case of this couple’s story, we were the lucky ones.


About a year ago, Chris was in the middle of an epic river trip and something just felt off. Krista, the daughter of a physician, saw signs of an emergency and rushed him to the hospital. They were heartbroken to learn that Chris had Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  While being treated for this serious blood cancer, Chris experienced an aneurysm in the left hemisphere of his brain, resulting in total lack of function on the right side of his body. At 49, and in great shape, his life took a wild turn. Suddenly, the fact that he left his 9-5 wasn’t just a random choice, it was a total blessing. He got to live out all those adventure dreams before things got real.


With over 20 years under his belt as a river and rock climbing guide, Chris was all about living that adventure and nature life. But then everything he knew and loved came to a screeching halt. Between cancer and the stroke, the doctors were positive he would never recover. It’d take a straight-up miracle for him to live a semi-normal life again. Chris’s awesome girlfriend, Krista, wasn’t having any of that. She was on a mission to make sure Chris not only recovered but got back to doing what he loves.a man and a woman taking a selfie in a room


Krista went all out to lift Chris’s spirits in that hospital room. She plastered the walls with photos from their adventures, keeping those good times front and center to give him motivation to bounce back. She wasn’t about to let the doctors throw in the towel. Nope, she pushed them to pull out all the stops. Krista’s the definition of humble; never bragging about all she did for her guy, but we all know she’s a hero.


While Chris was in the hospital recovering from his stroke, he got some good news – his cancer was in remission! Talk about a silver lining, right? But they weren’t about to leave anything to chance, so they kept the ball rolling with some chemo sessions. Can you even imagine handling cancer, chemo, and recovering from a stroke all at once? Crazy stuff! (Later down the line, they discovered Chris’s brother was a perfect match for a bone marrow transplant. Chris is now officially cancer-free with the help of both the chemo & transplant operation!) 


Three months post-stroke, Chris was itching to go. And you won’t believe what he pulled off—he got into a kayak in the physical therapy pool! How cool is that? He had a blast splashing around, doing flips, the works. But here’s the real kicker: despite being under 100 lbs & not feeling his best, Chris was already moving his legs straight out of rehab! The doctors said it couldn’t be done, but Chris proved them dead wrong!


a man standing on a rocky hillChris is pretty much back in action, almost hitting that 100% mark when it comes to adventuring. He and Krista seize every opportunity to get out there and explore. Sure, it’s not always smooth sailing, but hey, that’s never stopped him before!


“I’m here, now, doing the stuff I love to do.” Chris grinned, radiating hope and inspiration. When we asked him for advice to share with others facing similar challenges, he didn’t skip a beat. “Keep fighting,” he said, his determination shining through. “Fight as hard and as long as you can to reach where you want to be.” And for anyone willing to listen, he added, “Don’t wait too long to make memories.” 


Life’s too unpredictable, so make as many memories as you can. Live your best life, focus on what you can change for the better, and always find reasons to smile. Don’t forget to laugh with your family and friends, and don’t ever hold back your love.


We’re incredibly grateful to have shared this once-in-a-lifetime adventure with these amazing folks and to have heard their story. Thanks a bunch, you two!


If you want to keep up with their adventures, you can find them on Instagram: @chrispyclimber and @goodsittdogs.