JOHANNES C. APON (owner + arctic nature guide)
Founded Outdoorlife Norway in 2014. Johannes has a Masters degree in Nature-based Tourism (NMBU) and is a certified Arctic Nature Guide (UiT). Johannes is responsible for product development, marketing, customer service, personal guiding, as well as tourism development and consultancy projects.
ERLEND BERNE (nature guide)
If you have ever had the pleasure of browsing through our Trip Advisor reviews, you’ll likely have read about our guide Erlend. Outdoorlife Norway’s first nature guide (apart from Johannes, our founder), Erlend has been a part of the company’s journey since early-on.
Born just outside of Stavanger on the island of Hundvåg, Erlend is a true native to our beautiful region. Since he was a little boy, he has been fascinated by anything that moves and grows in nature. “As a child I was happy if you gave me a bucket at the beach and let me be off on my own to explore. I would temporarily catch crabs, fish, prawns, you name it.”
Erlend’s fascination with living things grew with time, and eventually lead him to study the natural world at university. Between 2006 and 2011, he attended NTNU – The Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. There, he earned a Bachelor’s degree in biology and Master’s degree in ethology, the study of behavior in an evolutionary perspective.
After graduating, Erlend worked as a substitute teacher for a few years before becoming a photographer at Jotunheimen national park, north-east of the city of Bergen. “This galvanised my desire for a job where I could be out in nature.” Late in 2015, after running a one-man guiding business since early 2014, our fearless leader, Johannes, was ready to start growing his company. Erlend jumped at the chance to become a nature guide, a job that would allow him to actively work with both of his passions: photography the natural world.
Today, besides guiding guests from all over the world, Erlend’s main areas of responsibility are photo editing, media management, and the training of new/seasonal guides. The tour Erlend most enjoys guiding is our Preikestolen Sunrise Hike. “Hiking in the quiet of night is magic. Twilight gives way to dawn as you arrive at Preikestolen, and you’re left standing there: at the edge of a new day, and at the edge of the world.”
ANDREA F. RØED (sales & marketing manager)
Andrea was born and raised an hour north of the Mexican border, in Tucson, Arizona (USA). Located in the Sonoran Desert amongst forests of cacti, Tucson has an average of 360 days of sun per year. Enjoying time outside has therefore always been a natural part of Andrea’s life. Over the years, she has spent a lot of time swimming, hiking, and horseback riding. Having always had a fascination with flora and fauna, she enjoys activities that allow her to catch glimpses of wildlife as they go about their business.
In Tucson, Andrea attended the University of Arizona’s Eller College of Management. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration with a specialization in marketing. While at university, Andrea studied a wide variety of other subjects including native American studies, business ethics, and gender/women’s studies. “I decided that, in addition to the courses that were required for my degree, I wanted to take extra time to learn about subjects that were fascinating to me on a personal level.”
Before moving to Norway in January of 2007, Andrea worked as a salesperson in a large home appliance retailer. As an extrovert who loves personal interaction, sales and customer service have always come natural to her. Once in Norway, Andrea took a position as a sales manager at The Body Shop, where she was also responsible for merchandising and customer service coaching. Working in a retail environment in Norway helped her become fluent in the local language and an integrated member of Norwegian society.
Since January 2016, Andrea has been in cooperation with Outdoorlife Norway. She officially joined the team in May 2017 as the sales and marketing manager. Her main areas of responsibility include managing our communications strategy, maintenance and design of our website, social media management, and customer support. Andrea enjoys that her position allows her to be creativity and ‘wear many hats at one time’. “Because Outdoorlife Norway is a small company, I’m able to work with many different aspects of the business, which keeps things interesting.”
HILDE GRANNES (nature guide)
Hilde, a Stavanger native, was born into an outdoorsy family. Growing up, she spent much of her free time exploring nature with her friends and family. Over time, her relationship with nature has become a large part of her identity. “My life’s greatest fascination has always been nature, but it’s also become my anchor. Some people experience a so-called need for speed. My strongest need is simply to be close to nature.”
Hilde attended the University of South-East Norway and, in 2015, graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nature, environment, and outdoor life. While at university, she studied biology, geology, and humans’ role in the natural world. Her studies also incorporated wilderness activity training such as cross-country skiing, mountain climbing, and canoeing.
Before joining Outdoorlife Norway’s team, Hilde worked as a project manager for the municipality of Stavanger. Her duties included value mapping the city’s recreational/green areas as a means to preserve them for future generations. She also led a work-training program for people suffering from mental illnesses.
Hilde joined the Outdoorlife Norway team in March of 2018. The majority of her work days are spent guiding our guests into the Norwegian wilderness. Apart from being able to be outside all day, she enjoys having the opportunity to meet people from all over the world. “When meeting people from so many different cultures, I learn something new every day.” The tour Hilde is most fond of guiding is the Preikestolen ‘Off the Beaten Track’ Hike because it involves hiking in near solitude through wild, untouched nature.
During most tours, Hilde shares her responsibilities with her best friend and K-9 co-guide, Molli.
THERESA WILPERT (administration & logistics manager)
Theresa Was born in Leipzig and spent much of her childhood in the countryside of northern Germany. Living in such a rural location, her daily life was pretty simple: she spent a lot of time climbing trees, bicycling, and building treehouses. Working in her parents’ vegetable garden was also an important part of Theresa’s upbringing. “I joke that I had the same kind of childhood as someone twice my age.”
Theresa studied in both Germany and Sweden, where she chose subjects that she thought were fascinating on a personal level: Geography and Scandinavian Languages. During her time at the universities of Greifswald and Gothenburg, she worked as a part-time tour guide, positions that helped her further improve her language skills and introduced her to the international travel industry. After earning a Magister’s degree in 2007, Theresa moved to Norway.
In Norway, Theresa secured a position managing a small tourist information office. “I used most of my free time getting to know the Stavanger region, the Lysefjord, and its surrounding mountains.” Theresa then took a job as the head of reception for one of the Norwegian Trekking Association’s lodges, which is located at the base of the trail to Preikestolen. She enjoyed working in the lodge’s international environment so much that she remained there for nearly a decade.
Theresa joined the Outdoorlife Norway team in August of 2018. As the manager of administration and logistics, she has a lot of daily contact with our team members, business partners, and guests. She also offers internal support in other areas of the business, including marketing and business development. “I am happy to be part of a company in constant development and with great ambitions.”
In her spare time, Theresa enjoys spending time visiting new places, working in her garden, and making homemade juice and preserves.
FABRIZIO BIOLCHINI (nature guide)
Fabrizio was born and raised in in Modena, Italy. Having grown up in close proximity to the mountain ranges of northern Italy, he has always enjoyed a wide variety of outdoor activities. “I often went cycling and hiking during the summer, mushroom foraging in the autumn, and skiing during the winter months.” As an adult, Fabrizio’s favorite leisure time activities include reading and spending quality time outdoors with his partner and beloved dogs. In addition to the activities of his youth, he also enjoys kayaking and mountain climbing. Over the years, Fabrizio has also used his spare time to learn about Norway’s natural and cultural heritage.
Fabrizio attended the University of Modena & Reggio Emilia, and graduated with both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in business economics. Before moving to Norway, Fabrizio worked for several years as a cost-controller for a food manufacturing company. Once in Norway, he started his new life as an alpine ski instructor in Sirdal, located a few hours outside of Stavanger. Before joining the Outdoorlife Norway team, Fabrizio worked for three years as a tour guide, which involved leading visitors on both urban and nature tours. He is a certified guide for the Stavanger region and a certified tour leader for The Norwegian Trekking Association (Den Norske Turistforening).
Fabrizio joined the Outdoorlife Norway team in September of 2018. As a full-time nature guide, he spends most of his time in and around the Lysefjord, an area that he describes as being one of “Norway’s most amazing places.” Apart from spending a lot of time in nature, Fabrizio loves that his position allows him to interact with exciting, new people on a daily basis. Outdoorlife Norway’s guests come from all over the world. “There’s always so much to learn from our guests, which makes my job even more interesting.” He especially enjoys hearing about our guests’ personal stories and cultures.
Fabrizio is most excited about guiding our Preikestolen Sunrise Hike. Though guiding that specific tour means a very early morning wake-up, he feels that witnessing the amazing colors that dance over the mountains and fjord are well worth the effort. He also enjoys showing his guests how to paddle a canoe during our Preikestolen ‘off the Beaten Track’ hike.