Growing up, Phil DeRiemer (pronounced "d-reemer") spent time backpacking in the Sierras with his family. Summers during High School were spent in Central and South America, as a volunteer for a program that carried out vaccinations in remote villages. It was during these early beginnings that Phil picked up Spanish as his second language. He also developed a love for travel, adventure, and experiencing different cultures.
After attending Humbolt State University an interest in the design of outdoor apparel and equipment took him to Boulder, Co. a hub for many outdoor companies and climbing. Working from the sewing machine to the design table he worked for a handful of outdoor equipment manufacturers. Eventually he moved back to Arcata to design for Moonstone Mountaineering and Kokatat, and discovered he could roll a kayak after his share of false starts. Climbing, school and designing were left at the put-in as Phil paddled into a lifestyle he never predicted.
"Phil and Mary DeRiemer individually have a long and
well deserved reputation as world class kayakers, but they may even be
better kayak instructors. Their passion for teaching, attention to detail
and communication skills are simply unsurpassed. As an extra added bonus,
they are both just wonderful folks to hang with."
- Chuck Dalgren, NV
Phil quickly became a lead instructor at Sundance Kayak School on Oregon’s Rogue River and for ten years he was the head instructor at Otter Bar Kayak School. Time off found him seeking out unexplored rivers in the US, Peru, Chile, Nepal, Honduras and Ecuador. He participated in early descents of the Grand Canyon of the Stikine and Middle Fork of the San Joaquin -- considered test pieces even today -- and was part of the team of four to do the first descent of Chile's Futaleufu.
During his travels Phil picked up his camera, and began shooting images of these exotic destinations. One of his images graced the cover of TIME. He has also done assignments for Outside, Bicycling, Kokatat, GQ and Patagonia.
Since visiting Ecuador Phil's interest in climbing has been rekindled. If you are interested in climbing while in Ecuador, we recommend Sierra Nevada Expeditions, an excellent Ecuadorian mountaineering service.
As a teacher Phil is known for his fun, patient and knowledgeable approach to kayaking. He has a playful sense of humor that brings laughter to whatever he's doing.