Aug 19, 2022
Rachel James was born and raised in Palmer, Alaska. She started working at the NOLS Alaska branch at the age of 15, cleaning toilets and landscaping; this was also when she started ice climbing. Rachel took a NOLS Alaska Mountaineering course at 16 and started working as a mountaineering instructor after taking the first-ever NOLS Alaska Instructors Course in 2000 at 19.
During her time at NOLS from 2000 to 2013, she mainly worked mountaineering expeditions while leading a few horse packing and hiking courses in Alaska, Patagonia, Yukon, and Wyoming. Rachel has also worked as a program supervisor at NOLS Alaska. Currently, she lives in the Chugach Mountains just outside of Anchorage and is working hard to defend salmon habitat in Alaska.