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About us

Kathi Bill
Kathi & Bill Merchant ---image Gottfried Esch Katmai NP 2009
race organizers, racers and wilderness guides.

Private guided trips for a very unique experience of Alaska.In the summertime we offer guided wilderness hiking and boating trips in Alaska's National Parks, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Gates of the Arctic National Park, the National Petroleum Reserve and Katmai National Park.

Alaska Ultra Sport was born out of passion for the Iditarod Trail and the 350 mile ultra marathon on the Iditarod Trail in 2001.
Bill has been a wilderness rafting,kayaking,backpacking, skiing, mushing guide since 1979.
Kathi moved to Alaska from Bavaria, Germany in 2002 and has guided with Bill since then.

We offer winter training camps for racers with little or no experience with winter ultra races and winter cycling.This human powered race follows the Iditarod Trail for 350 miles in the short race by bicycle, ski and foot and crosses the Alaska Range in the middle of winter from Knik Lake to Skwentna, Rainy Pass, Nikolai and then to McGrath and all the way to Nome!
The roots of this race can be traced back to Iditaski, Iditabike and Iditasport.

Join us mountain biking, river rafting, sea kayaking or backpacking. We are a husband and wife team and love to share our passion and knowledge about Alaska with visitors from all over the world. We are an Alaskan owner-operated business, we don't hire any guides.
Every trip is custom designed and is guided by Bill and Kathi Merchant.We are a husband and wife team with a lifetime of experience in the outdoors who specialize in our guest's safety, comfort and satisfaction.

Since 2009 are our guided MTB trips in Utah and Arizona in the spring and fall.

Choose from a variety of trips we have listed on the website or contact us about any part of Alaska you would like to explore on a multi day wilderness trip.

Article in E-Magazine.

muchbetter adventures 

What sets us apart from other company's in Alaska?

  • We can arrange trips with just 2 people and no more than 6 people.
  • We offer private guided trips, we don't add other people to your trip.
  • We don't hire any guides, we guide all of our trips ourselves.
  • We are not a corporation, but a family business, a husband and wife team with a passion for the outdoors.
  • Every trip with us is special, customized and unique to suit our clients fitness, interest and time schedule.

Phone: (907)-715-5336




Bill began his professional guiding career in 1979 working Bill for an outfitter in Pinedale, Wyoming.
With the Wind River Range as his backyard he enjoyed exploring and sharing this piece of Rocky Mountain wilderness with his guests. Moving to Alaska in 1989, the size of his backyard and opportunities for exploration and guiding multiplied. He owned his sled dog business in Fairbanks for many years before moving to the South Central area. Multi day river floats and wilderness expeditions became highlights of the summer season. With a passion for winter Bill began skiing and skijoring on the hundreds of miles of trails north of Fairbanks. Days spent out on the trail with temperatures below -50 gave him the opportunity to learn not only how to survive these extremes but to be comfortable and enjoy the experience. In 1998 he competed in the 350 mile human powered ( bike, ski or foot) race on the Iditarod Trail and finished to McGrath. Bill has completed the race eight times to McGrath and once to Nome in 2008 with Kathi.
He has organized the Iditarod Trail Invitaional with Kathi since 2002.



KathiKathi grew up in the foothills of the Alps in Germany. She first came to Alaska in 1996 on a backpacking trip. She came back several times falling deeper in love with Alaska's great wilderness every visit.
In 2002 she received her resident alien status and moved to Alaska.
She has been exploring and guiding with Bill since she arrived. Kathi has finished the 350 mile and 1000 mile human powered race on the Iditarod Trail.
She speaks English and German fluently.
All of our leisure time is spent biking, hiking, rafting, kayaking, skiing or snowshoeing in Alaska, Yukon and Northwest Territories in Canada and the Rocky Mountains and Deserts of the Southwestern USA in spring and fall, always looking for new places to share with guests. We bring our experience and love of the wilderness to share with guests on every guided trip and students of our winter schools.



By guiding people to Alaska's wild places we hope to ensure protection of the last great wilderness and preserve it for future generations.


Affiliations & Memberships:

National Parks Conservation Association

Valley Mountain Biking and Hiking

Rails to Trails Conservancy


Abenteuerurlaub und Erlebnisreisen - das Portal für Abenteuer und Erlebnis im Urlaub.
Angebote für Entdecker von Alaska bis in die Wüste. 

Mat Su Convention and Visitor Bureau

Anchorage Convention and Visitor Bureau




Alaska Ultra Sport PO BOX 1125,Chickaloon Alaska 99674 (907) 715 5336

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