We love being contacted by new outfitters and retailers excited about working with Hiker's Hummus. Happily, that's the season we're in right now. Things slow down a little and people start planning ahead. Come May, we'll be shipping a lot of orders. However, that's not the case for "Doom" and Lizzy of Four Corners Guides—they needed their order right away. In the winter, they offer guided rafting trips in Chiapas, Mexico and Patagonia, Chile. We were impressed by their sense of adventure and their clear ethics, so we thought we'd feature them so we could learn more.
Q&A with Lizzy Scully of Four Corners Guides
Q: What's your name and what do you do?
My name is Lizzy Scully, and am the co-founder of Four Corners Guides with my husband, Steve “Doom” Fassbinder. Doom is head guide and route developer, and I run all the logistics and admin stuff. Doom is a long-time multi-sport adventurer and professional athlete and adventure photographer who was also an early adopter of packrafting, bikepacking and bikerafting (the combination of the two activities). He started riding bikes at a young age, and then turned it into a profession. He became well known through his 24-hour single speed races, and ended up in the Single Speed Hall of Fame for some of his wins. I rock climbed semi-professionally for 25 years, climbing big alpine rock walls and putting up first ascents in various parts of the world—Greenland, Canada and here in the US.
Q: How did you get started?
We decided together to start Four Corners Guides because both of us love sharing our experiences and our base camp with people. We built a big house on 35 acres in the middle of nowhere canyon lands on the Mancos River. We are at the tip of Weber Mountain’s south end, at the confluence of a river and creek and two different canyons. We border Mesa Verde National Park and the Ute Mountain Tribal Park. It’s a stunning and wild landscape. We see wild animals all the time. Plus it’s an incredible migratory bird corridor. And the Ancestral Puebloans (called the “ancient enemy,” aka “Anasazi” by the Navajo) have left tens of thousands of pottery sherds and other implements not to mention hundreds of cliff dwellings and other dwellings within a few minutes to a few hours walk of our property. We LOVE sharing our property with people, as it’s really special. And Doom built this gorgeous house during the pandemic. Plus we have glamping tents and a cabin.
And we also love sharing our adventures. Both of us are avid cyclists, though Doom goes much harder than I do. As we speak he is on his 8th or 9th self supported packrafting trip on the Grand Canyon. I’ve done it twice. But it’s hard! He’ll be rock climbing and canyoneering along the way, doing the whole 225 miles in about 12 days. He revels in taking new people on these adventures because they change peoples’ lives and show people what they are made of. Our mission is to provide people with additional skills in the backcountry so they can do bigger and better adventures on their own. Of course, we do have a lot of return clients, who we love (and take on harder, more exciting adventures). But we want people to feel empowered to do things on their own as well.
Q: What appeals to you about bikerafting and packrafting? What makes these experiences special?
Wow, well while it’s hard work, it’s a pretty unique way of seeing a landscape. You can cover a TON of ground, going from amphibious to terrestrial mode with ease (once you learn how to do it that is). And this just gives you a whole new way of looking at maps and looking at landscapes. Instead of being stopped by a lake or a river or having to spend a lot of time going around or across them, you can just blow up your boat and float. Likewise, once you get back to a road, trail, glacier or beach, you can hop back on your bike and take a break from the upper body paddling work and often cold, wet conditions and ride. There’s so much variety in bikerafting!
Q: What’s it like planning guided trips in foreign countries?
Wellllll, it’s just like planning trips in the US, except that you have more hoops to jump through in terms of insurance and permits. However, we have so far partnered with locals who either already run trips or who packraft and are dialed into their community so much that they can help us with things like local permits, finding taxi/shuttle drivers, good lodging, etc. For us it’s all about the partnerships. We are splitting the money we make with our Chilean partner. And in Mexico, we are teaching a local’s course for super cheap and also taking a couple employees of the Reserva that protects one of the rivers we are packrafting. So we are making money for sure, but also trying to give back to the people and communities with whom we work.
Q: How do you like to enjoy hummus?
On sandwiches! I pretty much use hummus every single time I make sandwiches for our clients, though they make their own in the field. It just has so much more flavor and is much healthier than mustard and mayonnaise. I like to go the extra mile for our clients, so I avoid standard unhealthy foods, like your typical square cheese, one slice of lettuce and a couple slices of meat sandwiches. I like sandwiches with hummus slathered on both sides, sprouts, avocados, multiple slices of different kinds of cheese, onions and meat or fake meat! YUM. Our clients always love our sandwiches. And for the backcountry we send people with cheese (depending on the temps), avocados, hummus and good locally-made bread. No one every complains about our backcountry food either :)
Q: Where can people follow you, find out more, etc?
Check us out at @fourcornersguides on Instagram or visit our website, www.fourcornersguides.com.
Thanks Lizzy! We appreciate your time. All photos by Steve "Doom" Fassbinder, check out his work on Instagram at @republicofdoom.