With Arlette being on “vacation” for a bit (she’ll be back eventually), we’ve brought in new team member and experienced guide Jess Kowalski to help out (along with Deb) with some of the women’s-only stuff that we like to offer now and then. And we may expand our offerings on that front, if Jess wants to help. She may have a group or three she would probably like to help include. They have some big Crocs to fill, but we have faith. To learn more about Jess, please read on:
Introduction: Jess (they/them preferred, she/her okay) grew up on the Seacoast of NH and currently lives out of a lil van around the Whites! They began hiking around NH as a child and in AZ with their family as they got older. In college Jess conducted frog surveys in the backcountry of New Zealand, climbed with the UNH climbing team, and led hiking and backpacking trips for the UNH Outing Club. While thru-hiking the Long Trail in VT, Jess was dubbed two trail names: Adventure Time and Crazy Legs. After thru-hiking they moved out West in their Subaru Outback to work, hike, and climb around California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah. They then did a bike tour through the Pacific Northwest with Bike & Build to build affordable housing for a month and moved to Moab, UT until COVID hit. Jess loves hiking, long-distance backpacking, ice climbing, rock climbing, and exploring. Jess dreams of becoming a mountaineer and of creating inclusive spaces in the outdoor industry for the LGBTQIA+, chronic pain, and sober communities because we all belong here!
Résumé: Jess has cycled through the PNW (2019), thru-hiked The Long Trail (2016 northbound/NoBo), and hiked the Belknap Range (2021), 1/2 of the NH 48 4000-footers, 1/3 of NE 4000-footers, and throughout NH, ME, VT, HI, CA: Yosemite, Joshua Tree, Santa Cruz, Sierras, UT: Wasatch, Arches, La Sals, NV: Rubies, Red Rock, AZ: Santa Catalina, Tucson, Santa Rita, and Ricon Mountains, WA, CO, TX, and ID. While studying at UNH (2012-2016) they took a navigation course and led hiking, backpacking, and leadership training courses for the UNH student body. In 2017 they did a 6 month seasonal field work job that required navigating via map, compass, and GPS on BLM land via foot and truck.
Certifications: Adventure Med Wilderness First Responder (WFR), SOLO WFR, SOLO Wilderness First Aid (WFA), Adventure Med AED/CPR, Leave No Trace (LNT) Awareness.