Cairn Connection

Providing a positive outlet for Women,
who are navigating grief and loss

One Foot in Front of the Other


My Why......

Hello, my name is Beth. On May 15, 2018, I came home from work to learn the most devastating news any mother could hear. My 21 year old son, Shamar, was in a fatal accident. I took 2.5 months away from work, planned his Celebration of Life, and tried to comprehend what happened. I was in a fog, my memory was gone to protect my heart, and I showed signs of PTSD. I continued to put one foot in front of the other. After returning to work, I was sad to move forward with life without my son. They say you shouldn't make any rash decisions the first year of a major loss, so I continued to go through the motions of this thing called life. I went to counseling, read books, and continued to hike.  I knew there was something out there bigger for me, and I needed to go find it. I always dreamed of teaching women backpacking skills and guiding trips on trips, but I was too afraid to step out of my comfort zone. June 2019, I faced my fears, I gave my notice to a career I spent the past 20+ years building. August 2019, I took my Wilderness First Responders class and September I started my business, Cairn Connection. 


Meet Your Guide

In 2014, I trained for 90 days to climb the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States. After completing the original SoCal Six Pack of Peaks and Mt Whitney in a day, I transitioned into backpacking.
Below are a list of my adventures:

2014 - 30 hikes and 300 miles
SoCal Six Pack of Peaks and Whitney in a Day (14,508 ft).

2015 - 59 hikes and 500 miles
SoCal Six Pack of Peaks, Angel's Landing and Narrows in Zion, 7 day Yosemite loop backpacking trip, Clouds Rest, 30 mile section of the John Muir Trail from Reds to Tuolumne. 

2016 - 100 hikes and 782 miles
180 miles of the John Muir Trail from Reds to Whitney,  100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from Barrel Springs to Fuller Ridge, Havasupai, and the Six Pack of Peaks. 

2017 - 110 hikes and 856 miles
Mt Shasta 14,179 ft), the High Sierra Trail to Cottonwood Pass, Mt Whitney, Havasupai, and the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks. 

2018 - 52 hikes and 469 miles
Mt Langley (14,026 ft), White Mountain (14,252 ft), 150 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from Tahoe to Tuolumne, Trans Catalina Trail, Whitney x2, and the SoCal Six Pack of Peaks. 

2019 - 45 hikes and 650 miles
Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa (19340 ft), Salkantay Pass (15,090 ft) and Machu Picchu in Peru, Mt Whitney 3x, High Sierra Trail to Kearsarge Pass, North Lake to South Lake Loop, 55 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from Kennedy Meadows to Cottonwood Pass, 5 Peak Mission Trails Challenge in a day, Mt Humphreys, and SoCal Six Pack of Peaks.

2020 - 270 miles of the John Muir Trail, R2R2R, and joined Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit.

2021 - Mt Hood, John Muir Trail, Mt Langley, Ice Climbing Ouray, Canyoneering Zion, Wonderland Trail, Half Dome. 

2022 - Mt Rainer, Mt Whitney MR, Colorado Trail, Everest Base Camp.

Training:
Snow Basics Class - Mountain Education 2016
Mountaineering - Shasta Mountain Guides 2017
CPR, AED, First Aid - Save a Life Educators 2018
Wilderness First Responder and CPR - NOLS 2019
AIARE Avalanche 1 certification 2021
Mountaineering - Timberline Mountain Guides Mt Hood 2021
Leave No Trace Trainer Training 2021
Wilderness First Responders Recertification 2021

Past Trips

Beginner Backpacking trips, canoe trips, and Sierra Trips.

Check Cairn Connection Facebook Group for Events!!

Cairn connection store

Other Services

need a speaker on grief?

I can come tell my story about losing my son and how I used my time in the mountains to navigate my grief journey. Contact me for a booking. 

Looking for a training for your group?

I am a Wilderness First Responder, Snow Basics trained, Avalanche 1 certified, and Leave No Trace Trainer. I can teach backcountry basics. Let's chat on a class you want me to teach. 

Need someone to help plan your next backpacking trip?

I can coordinate your dream trip. I can help with permits, gear selection, resupply, food preparation, and itinerary. Contact me for more details. 

Need a guide for a trip?

I would love to accompany you on your next backpacking trip. I can obtain permits, plan the itinerary, help you train, and be there on the trail with you to add confidence on your trip. Contact me for details. 

Check out My Features!!

Blogs, Magazines, and Podcasts

52 Hike Challenge Blog Interview

Mt Whitney

Hike It Off Magazine

Beginning Cairn Connection

Almost There Adventure Podcast

Coming Soon!!

Reviews

Catherine peterson

11-9-2021


For those of you trying to decide if Cairn Connection Group is for you, I write this review: (First off, It doesn't cost anything to join. Most activities are totally free. The group leader, Beth, truly cares about our wellbeing and is definitely not doing this to get rich.) Also, Beth will help at all ability levels, from those who are just leaving the couch from sedentary lifestyles to those who already hike mountains. She is very patient, and kind. She equally helps each person at whatever level they are at and with equal respect, no judgement. Her goal is to help you soar as far as you are wanting to go and safely. Beth is an active member of the Riverside County Sheriff's Dept.'s Mountain Search and Rescue Team. She will teach you how to be safe. I joined over a year ago, but it seems like it's been much longer because I have done and learned so many things...I've learned of many hiking trails and places I didn't know existed, learned of gear that I didn't know about, best clothing choices for all situations, how to use microspikes, Snowshoes, ice axes, cross country skis, backpacking gear, rock climbing, even canoed the Colorado River, and more. I've lost count of how many mountain peaks I've climbed with her, including Mt Whitney. I've met so many wonderful people/now my friends of all ages with her group. There is absolutely no age-ism here. Beth has nurtured a warm, inclusive, inviting community here. I'm so very thankful for what Beth has created. I learned about Cairn Connection Group at a time when I needed it most, having lost my husband due to cancer, the same year she lost her only child, her son Shamar, to which this group is dedicated. Beth understands the challenges we face with grief, and anxiety about finding our new world without our much loved family member(s.) As one of the many caring group members, if this sounds like it's for you, I urge you to give it a try. You will not regret it at all.

More

Tami
Schulte

02-22-2021


This group is amazing! Beth is patient and helpful and a great listener while helping you hike up those hard mountains, reminding you it isn’t a race to be first, just to slow down and keep going. I have done a lot of hikes with her since last February and she has helped me do some hard hikes and reminds me how strong I am 😍. All the other women are so helpful, fun and kind too. Come out and hike and heal, you won’t regret it!

More