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tyler knibbe in scotland and on the Middle Fork of the Salmon

Offbeat Interview Series with Tyler

Tyler ‘Ty’ Knibbe


Born in Iowa but raised in Utah, Tyler grew up in the outdoors, fostering his love for all things natural from a young age. As 1 of 4 kids, his parents regularly exposed him to various outdoor activities. At the age of 5, he was introduced to skiing near Salt Lake City. His mom would dress him up in ski gear and they would catch the bus up Little Cottonwood Canyon to go skiing at either Alta or Snowbird. Years later during the Olympics of 2002 at a late-night party, Tyler was offered a position as a ski coach for kids at Snowbird. Making the circle complete, he still coaches kids in ski racing at Snowbird to this day.

August through early June Tyler teaches fifth grade in Salt Lake City at the Madeleine Choir School. Annually he travels internationally with his class to a different church abroad, so that the kids can perform in their choir. So far he has traveled to Italy, France and the UK. Next year they will travel to Portugal.

Tyler attended the University of Utah and received a degree in commercial recreation management. During the summers he worked as a commercial raft guide in Moab. Later he went on to earn a Masters in Education. Tyler has now been teaching for 8 years and continues to river guide in the summer.

In his free time, Tyler has traveled to Southeast Asia, Thailand, Cambodia, Nepal, and Scotland. He has also explored the origins of Mole in Mexico, developing his own route called the Mole Trail. Tyler loves to hike and has been wandering in the Wasatch for quite some time and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

A few years ago Tyler met a lovely lady Erin who was finishing up her residency as a doctor. After frolicking about together and finding out how much they enjoy each others company, they have decided to get married someday. Who knows, maybe it will be on the banks of some river.

The Interview

If you could be a river superhero, what would you be?   A Dolly Vardon (endangered fish on the MF) with the ability to hide from Anglers and navigate the waters of the Middle Fork with freedom and ease.

What is your favorite dress up theme?   Anything Pink!

What is your ‘go-to’ crazy hat night creation?   A crown of thorns (Hawthorne bush). 

What brought you to Canyons?   Meeting Canyons at early season Middle Fork put-ins. Realizing some Utah friends were working there. A desire to join a company that felt like family.     

How many years have you worked here?   I joined Team Canyons in 2007   

What is your favorite thing about Canyons?   The way we flow into a Tribal organism easily and quickly, guests and guides alike.

If you could describe Canyons in 3 words?   Fabulous, Scrumptious, Comeraderie

When you hear the word Idaho, what comes to mind?   Good Times!

What are your top three favorite camps?   Little Soldier (MF), Survey (MF), Alder (MN)

Your favorite hike?   Yellow Pine Bar (MN)

Top three favorite rapids?   Tappan Falls (MF), Rubber (MF), Big Mallard (MN)  

Currently, what is your nemesis rapid?   Pistol (MF)

What river do you want to run that you haven’t yet?   The Rogue

What do you consider a ‘real’ job?   School Teaching

If you could only have one kayak in your quiver, what would it be and why?   A Pink Ducky.

What is your favorite thing to cook on the river?   Cooking Bacon at 6 am on the Fourth of July with a Bald Eagle flying over.

If you could take a musician or band down the river today, who would it be?   Billy Bragg (he can bring Wilco along if he wants)

What is your most memorable swim in a river?  Little Falls on the South Fork of the Payette River with Tim

What is one of your river rituals or superstitions?   Never put sunscreen on before a big rapid

What is the most valued non-river-related item that you bring with you on every trip?   Laser Pointer

What is your favorite groover spot?   Rabbit (MN)

About Greg McFadden

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