Ray Courtney heading into
the back country
Imagine yourself on top of a mountain, your legs are tired but the breeze tousles your hair and sunshine warms your skin. Before your eyes is a spectacular scene of snow capped peaks, forested mountains dotted with alpine lakes and puffy clouds in a sapphire sky. The mountains of the North Cascades do not disappoint in their grandeur or beauty and with the horses of Stehekin Outfitters carrying your gear they are easier to access than ever. This Outfitting business has been passed through three generations of the Courtney family; each outfitter hosting trips displays an adventurous spirit mixed with a desire to share the high country.
The original business started in 1946 when Ray Courtney and Virgil Fellows, friends from WWII, teamed up to create Alpine Packers. This Outfitting and guided horseback business worked in conjunction to several other packers in the area like Guy Imus and Dan Devore. Virgil was instrumental in financing the startup of the business; together he and Ray offered rates starting as low as ten dollars a day. Ray was a
|Cragg and Robbie Courtney|
Tragedy struck in 1982 when Ray was fatally injured in an accident during a trip. In the coming years, his sons filled in to keep the business alive and eventually Cragg and his wife Robbie took over breeding and maintaining the Fjords, taking hiking trips with the help of the family and offering guided rides from the corrals at Stehekin Valley Ranch. This valued service continued for over thirty years until Cragg passed the reins over to his nephew Colter and his business partner Nancy Davis who was currently employed in their Outfitting program. Colter and Nancy will continue to provide quality trips to places like Hidden Meadows, Walker Park, Cottonwood, Park Creek and Rainbow Meadows. Nancy grew up in a small Vermont town and spent her childhood riding horses, camping, hiking, swimming and exploring the Green Mountains before she trekked across the country with an Equine Studies degree from Centenary College. Colter was raised in Stehekin and to avoid mischief at his parent’s Ranch he would often be out gallivanting through the mountains, fishing, hunting, hiking and camping, driven by an unquenchable thirst to explore new territory.
|Colter Courtney heading out with a string|