Kirsten grew up in Wanaka, New Zealand. She left for university to study violin, but she kept getting distracted and spending time in the mountains instead of practising. After university, she headed to Australia but soon returned to the mountains of New Zealand.
A desire to learn more about mountaineering and in the process of trying to fulfil that quest she discovered that tramping and climbing with people was her passion and she decided to pursue the path of guiding. She has spent time working at Fox Glacier and Mount Cook as a Glacier Guide and leading alpine treks and is a NZMGA Alpine Trekking Guide.
In her personal time, one of her favourite things to do is take her speedwing into the mountains and fly back down. She finds it the perfect amalgamation of playing and challenge, and for her being in the mountains is all about play and challenge.