Rebecca Coles has a PhD in Glacial Morphology and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Alongside this, she has been working full time as an expedition leader since 2012, using her training as a Mountain Leader to take teams to Aconcagua and the Wakhan corridor of Afghanistan. Having travelled to all seven continents, and summited several 6000m+ peaks, her experience both professionally and personally is inspiring.
Rebecca – Becky – started as a hillwalker having always loved being outdoors, and this led to winter climbing and mountaineering. Exploring the mountains was a staple for life and saw her enjoying long, easy routes such as Tower Ridge on Ben Nevis, Commando Ridge, Bosigran, Cuillin Ridge, as well as various routes on the Idwal Slabs and Tryfan. Once she discovered she wanted to become a mountaineering instructor, she focused on improving her climbing, and through her MIA she’s had the opportunity to do amazing things called ‘work’. Guiding a team on the Old Man of Stoer with sea eagles flying past made Becky realise how much she loves her job!
Her personal climbing goals have seen her climb throughout Central Asia, Afghanistan, South Georgia and, most recently, an unnamed peak in Tajikistan. Splitting her time between Sheffield and North Wales, Becky is a member of MTA, BAIML, and AMI, and will be working with Womenclimb on our navigation and climbing courses. As if this wasn’t enough, she is also an enthusiastic skier, and an all-round amazing woman.
When asked what is the hardest thing she’s ever done, Becky describes her PhD being an incredible but difficult process. Combining this with training and being MIA has been a rewarding slog. But fundamentally, the greatest achievement in Becky’s climbing career, in her own words, is “introducing people to its pleasures, teaching them about how to look after the environment we spend time in and how to enjoy the mountains safely.”
By Tiffany Stoneman
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