South African born Rachel Colenso believes wholeheartedly that people can achieve the seemingly impossible if they put their mind to it. Although now predominantly London based, Rachel is South Africa’s first and currently only certified, female Mountain Guide, and is one of a handful of women to go through the rigorous and specialist training process with the British Army’s 21 SAS.
She was a ‘SuperHhuman’ finalist in the UK Channel 4 series and has fronted advertising campaigns and acted as a stunt woman for film and TV.
Other projects have included a 2003 Everest Expedition, where Rachel was part of a support team that helped Glen Shaw set a new altitude record for a paraplegic climber. Glen suffered from birth with Brittle Bone Disease and a simple fall could severely injure or kill him outright. The aim of the expedition was to assist Glen Shaw in achieving his ambition of climbing to Base Camp situated at 5500m on the North Face of Mount Everest in Tibet.
Only a few weeks earlier that year, in October 2003, Rachel hit world headlines when she was stranded on a sheer, frozen ice face in the Swiss Alps, at 3000m, during and extreme blizzard. After two nights on a tiny ledge with 1000m drops each side she was evacuated by helicopter.
Her inspiring book, “In a High and Desperate Place” provides not only the story, but also useful advice on how to survive and succeed in times of adversity. Rachel Colenso’s account of this ordeal has people on the edge of their seats throughout.
In August 2004 Rachel was at Yosemite National Park. She climbed one of the highest granite rock faces in the world, the North Face of Half Dome. During the multi-day ascent Rachel and her team slept like bats, hanging from their harnesses on the sheer rock wall. The rock face is 1000m of vertical desert which meant the team had to haul days worth of water and food up the face with them.
Other expeditions have included a BBC expedition, climbing with Khoi San in Namibia, an ascent of the South Face of the Marmolada in the Dolomites, Borneo Eco Challenge Team member, Belize Challenge team member, and mapping a new jungle route leading a team of women through part of Guyana’s Amazon rainforest, Mt Kinabalu in Borneo, opening new ice routes on frozen waterfalls in Norway, multiple Alpine ascents, new routes in Africa. Calculating risk, and working through demanding situations as a team are popular themes that Rachel illustrates well with beautiful images, and exciting TV/ film footage.
Rachel has a natural talent for communicating and has addressed audiences in various countries around the globe as a motivational speaker. She links her adventurous experiences from over 20 years climbing, international adventure racing and organising expeditions to jungle, desert and snowy regions seamlessly into a business context