Image Copyright: © Rachel Colenso

Rachel Colenso

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.

In Person

£5000 - £8500

Price based on UK delivery

Virtual Event

£4500 - £6500

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

“Rachel was excellent and definately hit the mark on the day. She was very engaging and captured the audience entirely with her story and managed to link it in very effectively with the messages we were trying to get across as part of the overall conference. I would have no hesitation in recommending her as a guest speaker and she was also very good at networking with the audience at the dinner after the presentation. Very enjoyable company and an extremely interesting person.” – Pam Mayne, Taylor Wimpey plc
”It was a great pleasure to work with Rachel across South Africa with the launch of our “See No Boundaries” campaign.There is absolutely no question that you “struck the right cord” with our audience and left them inspired, motivated and reflective of their own life, where perhaps they remain in the ruts of life’s daily challenges that often drag them down. I spent a lot of time during your presentation looking at your audience where I could see that they were glued to your message of overcoming obstacles and your own personal journey of self development and growth. Seemingly in Cape Town, you even left some of our staff in tears of inspiration! A few of our managers at the launch have already asked if they could engage with you for further talks. Thank you for a few days of motivation and I look forward to working with you over the next few months to help us reach our business objectives in our “See No Boundaries” Challenge.” – Kevin Hinton, Head of Investment Distribution, Momentum Distribution Services
“Not only is Rachel a stunning person – she is also a fantastic guest speaker.  It will certainly be a very long time before she becomes a distant memory (if ever!). We were most impressed with Rachel’s ability to listen and hear and then incorporate the key messages into her presentation in such a natural and easy manner that one never got the impression of “…… and here comes the company’s key messages”. Rachel is a very impressive and extraordinary lady and she delivers 150%.  The way she tells and presents her story is an inspirational breath of fresh air.  She impresses you from the first moment of contact – and then of course once you have listened to her, then you’re just blown away and know you have just profited from this 1 hour with her. Anybody that does not book Rachel is seriously missing a wonderful opportunity – and a big WOW! Thanks to you for making it a very special event, you were great! I will call on you again.”  Servaas Cillie, Managing Director of Old Mutual Investment Distributers
”Rachel’s tales of survival in the most hostile environments, and her relentless pursuit of new heights to climb, literally and figuratively, have a lot of resonance in the business world. Whether the goal is to reach the peak of a mountain or the pinnacle of entrepreneurial accomplishment, the lessons Rachel puts forth apply just the same. The path to success in virtually any field comes down to a basic set of requirements: Determination, discipline, mental and physical fortitude and accepting nothing less than excellence. Rachel drives those points home from a very unique perspective. She is a powerful motivational speaker.” – Walter Gehl, CEO LSG Lufthansa Service Holding AG

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Rachel Colenso

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