Jess hails from Asheville, NC, in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. During her time at Emory & Henry College, Jess was the Outdoor Program intern, coordinating hiking and backpacking programs for students. She also led backpacking, whitewater kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, sea kayaking, canoeing, and rock climbing expeditions for underclassmen. She has worked on photo and video production for the non-profit organization Appalachian Sustainable Development, and she spent the past two winter seasons as a ski instructor at Steamboat Resort in CO. Jess is returning to Adventure Treks for her fourth season as a trip leader.
- Education: Emory & Henry College; bachelor’s degree in sociology and mass communications
- Medical certifications: Wilderness first responder, mental health first aid, PSIA alpine level 1 instructor
- Favorite outdoor memory: Snow school (aka “penguin practice”) on Mt. Shasta with a goofy group of Adventure Treks students who learned a lot about safety and also spent a lot of time laughing at and with each other.
- Biggest outdoor achievement: One of my biggest highlights was spending a week sea kayaking between Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge of Florida. I’ve never been so grimy, sandy, or happy! I baked a peach pie over a pit fire in the sand for my group, and the next morning we got in boats an hour before sunrise to stargaze as we floated.
- Countries visited: Canada, Costa Rica, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland
- Favorite hobbies: I am passionate about swimming as often as possible. The best swims are while backpacking, my other favorite outdoor hobby. I also enjoy reading, running, letter-writing, experimenting with watercolors, practicing my French, and learning to ski bumps.