Summary of expedition expertise

Personal traits

  • People-oriented, excellent oral and written skills, strong public speaker, excellent interpersonal and cross-cultural skills.
  • High initiative, self-starter and motivator, multi-tasker.

Biology and natural history



  • Extensive backcountry travel throughout Jasper National Park (2010-present)
  • Spent two years in remote mountains of SW Yukon and NW British Columbia (Chilkat Pass) to conduct fieldwork on willow ptarmigan (Lagopus lagopus) for MSc thesis (1987-1990).
  • Participated in Canadian Wildlife Service expedition to Devon Ellesmere and Prince Leopold Islands, Nunavut Territory (1984).
  • Participated in caribou winter research in SE Manitoba (1985).
  • Participated in groundsquirrel research in foothills of Alberta Rockies (1983).
  • Numerous shorter treks throughout western Canada.

USA (Alaska)

  • Ten-day 150km off-trail trek and packrafting trip from western border of Denali NP through foothills of Mt. Foraker and Denali to Wonder Lake (2012).

Bhutan (1999-2001)

  • Extensive mountain trekking throughout northern Bhutan;
  • Extensive hiking trail research
  • Publication of hiking guide.

Mongolia (1996-1999)

  • Participated in United Nations-sponsored expeditions: SW Gobi desert, winter expedition to NW Mongolia, NE steppes.
  • Ascent of Tavan Bogd, highest mountain in Mongolia.
  • Jeep expedition across Gobi desert, using computer-linked GPS navigation.
  • Research expedition to Hovsgol National Park.
  • Publication of visitor guide to Hovsgol National Park.
  • Eastern Steppe gazelle research project.
  • Mt. Otgontenger reconnaissance trek.

Irian Jaya, Indonesia (1992-1995)

  • Organised and participated in expedition to Koropun (central highlands); first western party in unnamed valley N of Koropun.
  • Bowerbird research expeditions to Wandamen mountains, and Fak-Fak; third western party to climb Wandamen Range.
  • Reconnaissance expedition for Sir David Attenborough's Attenborough in Paradise in Arfak mountains.
  • Research expedition to Enarotali (western Highlands).
  • Numerous shorter expeditions in Afrak Mountains and Central Highlands.

Tour guiding

Karakorum Expeditions, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. Led rafting, hiking and mountain biking day trips, explored new hiking and trekking routes, provided office assistance for Karakorum expeditions (1999).

Fiskarheimen Youth Hostel, Røst, Norway. Guided tourists on nature hikes, translated for hostel staff (1986).

Peter Pond River Tours, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada. Assisted in boat maintenance; acted as tour guide, natural history interpreter, and translator (1980, 1981).


Dutch (mother tongue), English: Fluent
Indonesian, German, French: Working knowledge
Swedish: conversational
Norwegian, Danish, Malaysian: reading
Mongolian: Some conversation


  • Excellent backcountry navigation skills, using maps, compass and GPS.
  • Radio Telephone Operator's Restricted Certificate (land, air, marine comp.).


  • Trekking, wilderness camping, trail running, bicycling, packrafting, kayaking, canoeing, horseback riding, back-country skiing, snowshoeing.

Selected publications

Expat Brit lures X-C skiers to fairy tale BC winterland. Gruys, Rogier 2008. Canadian Tourism Commission travel essay.

Northern Labrador: the next Alaska. Gruys, Rogier 2007. Canadian Tourism Commission Media Centre story idea.

Mild and Mad Day Hikes around Thimphu. Poel, P. van der, and Rogier Gruys 2006. Royal Society for the Protection of Nature, Thimphu, Bhutan. 112pp. Text available online at

Lake Hovsgol National Park. A Visitor’s Guide. Harper, Martin, Rogier Gruys and Nigel Brown (eds.) 1998. Discovery Initiatives, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia. 75pp.

Range extensions of the Snow Mountain Quail
(Anurophasis monorthonyx) to the Oranje Mountains (Star Mountains, Irian Jaya). Betz, William W. and Rogier Gruys 1995. Science in New Guinea 21(2):69 72. Abstract.

Autumn and winter movements of willow ptarmigan at Chilkat Pass, B.C. Gruys, Rogier C. 1993. Arctic 46(3):228-239. Abstract. Full article (PDF).

Full bibliography