A NOLS Expedition

The Team

The Expedition Denali team includes not only the mountaineers who will be making the summit bid in 2013, but individuals who are passionate about diversity in the outdoors and want to support this endeavor by fundraising, blogging, writing, and spreading the word to their own networks. Team Denali members are role models in their own right and include diversity champions, change leaders in the youth and outdoors movement, educational reformers, writers, photographers, business leaders, and mountaineers who have made historical ascents.


Robby Rechord: An Inspiration and Rolemodel

With Expedition Denali right around the corner, the suspense and anticipation is building every day. There’s no doubt the nine climbers who make up the team are focused and are preparing themselves mentally and physically. Although these spirited and courageous individuals are the nucleus for the entire expedition, have you stopped and asked yourself who […]

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Erica Wynn: From the Concrete Jungle to the Top of the World

Anyone who thinks a born-and-raised city girl wouldn’t have what it takes to hack it in the backcountry needs to take a step back and have a gander at Erica Wynn. A native of Queens, New York, Wynn herself never would have thought she would end up a part of one of the biggest climbs […]

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Scott Briscoe 4

Scott Briscoe

NOLS résumé: Wilderness First Responder, 23-and-over Alaska Mountaineering, Mount Baker Expedition Denali Training Trip Scott Briscoe has had the great fortune to be exposed to the outdoors since he was 11.  He has been involved in outdoor adventure sports for nearly two decades. He has taken multi-week winter trips on the Pacific Crest Trail in […]

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Mashawn Butler

NOLS résumé: Wilderness First Responder Recertification, 23-and-over Alaska Mountaineering Mashawn hails from the beautiful city of Tallahassee, Fla. Being an Army brat gave her a positive outlook for different cultures and viewpoints. She didn’t realize that this would develop in her adult life into an open mind for all the possibilities obtainable. After graduating from Florida State University with a Bachelors degree in […]

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Sophia Danenberg

Sophia grew up in a family that can be described as “indoorsy.” She wasn’t introduced to hiking or camping until college when she signed up for a backpacking trip across New Hampshire’s Presidential Range with the Harvard Freshman Outdoor Program. Since then, she has continued to explore the outdoors. Her introduction to glaciers came in […]

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Stephen Deberry

NOLS résumé: 23-and-over Alaska Mountaineering, Mount Baker Expedition Denali Training Trip When Stephen, a member of the Pioneer Climbing Expedition (PCE), climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, in 1997, it was his first organized hike and his first of the Seven Summits. He is the newest member to PCE. Despite his lack of climbing experience, he is known […]

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Cliff DeBride

During the summer of 1995, fresh out of New York City, Cliff had his first outdoor experience on a 30-day hiking course in the hills of the northern Appalachian Mountains. While working as a junior instructor at Great Hollow Wilderness School, Cliff ’s love for the outdoors grew exponentially. Working with his older sister Monica, […]

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T. Morgan Dixon

NOLS résumé: Pacific Northwest Trip Leader Pushing boundaries means a lot to Morgan in the context of her family history. The granddaughter of sharecroppers, and the daughter of a woman who desegregated an Oklahoma high school in 1955, Morgan was the first in her family to graduate college. She earned bachelor’s degrees in political science […]

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Chelsea Griffie

NOLS résumé: Wilderness First Responder, Southwest Outdoor Educator, Rocky Mountain Instructor Course, 23-and-over Alaska Mountaineering As a young woman, Chelsea dreamed of the mountains and going camping. Unfortunately, she lived in suburban Chicago and her family just did not do that sort of thing. Chelsea eventually found her way to the outdoor world through rock […]

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Phil Henderson

Phil Henderson, senior NOLS field instructor, has worked for the school for the past 18 years. He has been in his current position as NOLS Rocky Mountain River Program Manager for 11 years. Phil has worked most his adult life in the recreation industry, and his career stops have included 16 months at NOLS East […]

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Shelton Johnson

Author Shelton Johnson dreamed of mountains as a boy, living in Detroit. He had never been to a mountain range in the United States, and his only experiences with nature or wildlife came through screens. Enrolled in an MFA program at the University of Michigan, Shelton applied to be a seasonal worker at Yellowstone, thinking […]

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James Kagambi (KG)

KG, 51, joined NOLS as a field instructor in 1987 after completing a Rock Climbing Course in 1984 and a Semester in Kenya in 1986. Prior to joining the NOLS team, KG taught in Kenyan grade schools for seven years, also instructing in traditional African music and coaching soccer and other sports on the side. […]

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Billy Long

NOLS résumé: 23-and-over Alaska Mountaineering, Mount Baker Expedition Denali Training Trip Billy Long was raised in Northern California. His interest in Mountaineering was sparked while reading Into Thin Air, when he was drawn to the strength and courage necessary to travel to high places. He has since climbed in the Presidential Range of the White Mountains […]

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Rue Mapp

Rue, founder of Outdoor Afro, participated in both President Obama’s conference on America’s Great Outdoors and the First Lady’s “Let’s Move” campaign. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the Children and Nature Network and is a fellow with the Center for Whole Communities. She was also distinguished as one of the Wilderness Society’s […]

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James Edward Mills

NOLS résumé: 23-and-over Alaska Mountaineering, Mount Baker Expedition Denali Training Trip James Edward Mills is a freelance journalist and an independent media producer. He specializes in telling stories about outdoor recreation, environmental conservation, acts of charitable giving, and practices of sustainable living. James has worked in the outdoor industry since 1989 as a guide, outfitter, […]

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Ryan Mitchell

46-year-old Philly native and science teacher Ryan Mitchell is an avid road bicyclist and mountaineer whose dual passions have taken him from the USA Cycling Masters Road National Championships to Denali. As a Penn State undergrad, Ryan felt compelled to explore the numerous caves in the Happy Valley, which led him to continue his outdoor […]

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Tyrhee Moore

NOLS résumé: Alaska Backpacking, Wilderness First Aid, Pacific Northwest Outdoor Educator, Mount Baker Expedition Denali Training Trip Tyrhee is attending the University of West Virginia working toward a bachelor’s degree in visual journalism and is currently in the top 5 percent of his class. He has graduated from two NOLS courses, including an Outdoor Educator […]

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Robby ReChord

Robby is a backcountry skier and whitewater boater. He is a senior field instructor with NOLS; he was inspired to take his Instructor Course after meeting Phil Henderson. Robby is now NOLS Teton Valley program supervisor. His NOLS field time has taken him to the wildest parts of Utah by raft, canoe, kayak, and foot; […]

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Nina Roberts

NOLS résumé: Southwest Outdoor Educator Dr. Nina Roberts is an associate professor at San Francisco State University and director of the Pacific Leadership Institute. An educator in the field of parks and recreation in varying capacities for nearly 30 years, Nina is nationally recognized for her research regarding race/ethnicity, culture, and visitation to national parks […]

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Rosemary Saal

NOLS résumé: Waddington Range Mountaineering One of the youngest members of the team, Rosemary was born in Seattle, Wash. in 1993. She is multiracial, her mother being of Caucasian descent and her father of African American descent. She has always loved the outdoors and being active; before climbing real rocks with Passages Northwest at the […]

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Adina Scott

NOLS résumé: Waddington Range Mountaineering, Mount Baker Expedition Denali Training Trip Adina Scott was raised in Tacoma, Wash. Her childhood interests included music, reading, science, and investigating her backyard and the dirt under her porch. Her parents introduced her and her brother to hiking and backpacking at a young age with the aid of chocolate […]

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Stephen Shobe

NOLS résumé: Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Mount Baker Expedition Denali Training Trip Stephen Shobe is the Managing Director of Pioneer Climbing Expedition (PCE), whose goal is to be the first African-American team to climb the Seven Summits: Aconcagua (Argentina), Elbrus (Russia), Everest (Nepal), Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Denali (Alaska), and the Vinson Massif (Antarctica). Stephen’s thirst for […]

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Erica Wynn

NOLS résumé: Alaska Backpacking, Patagonia Mountaineering Erica Wynn is a junior at American University working toward a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Communication Studies. She has recently graduated from a NOLS Alaska Backpacking course and is enrolled in a Patagonia Mountaineering course for this January. Erica was introduced to the NOLS community […]

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