Julia	Niles

Ambassador

Hometown

Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

Hometown

Squamish, British Columbia, Canada

Ambassador

GUIDE

One of the first female mountain guides ever to attain the US IFMGA qualification, Niles is now based out of Squamish, where she’s raising two elementary school aged children, heli-guiding, leading women’s expeditions around the world and undertaking a Masters degree in psychology. A mountain guide for over 20 years with a host of first ascents and ski descents to her credit, Julia’s biggest achievements of late are in the personal landscape of peaks and valleys, navigating working motherhood, the dissolution of a marriage, tending friendships, study, and work, with grace and humour and care, and still making time to get on rock to replenish her soul. Pride in tending her children, or extracting an injured client from a remote location, trump her earlier resume highlights, although they’re accomplishments she suspects her younger self would scoff at. Ever the woman pro skier Lynsey Dyer has proclaimed to be the person “every girl in the world needs to know exists”, Julia is steadfast in her belief that the mountains are an amazing vehicle for growth and self-discovery - be they actual or metaphorical challenges, the same rules apply.

Achievements

  • The fifth American woman to attain the International Federation of Mountain Guides Association (IFMGA) certification
  • First female to solo the Grand Traverse in a day (less than six months after losing half her left lung)
  • First female ski descent of the Grand Teton
  • First descents of couloirs in the Rockies and Waddington Range
  • Guided expeditions on Denali, Aconcagua
  • Climbed El Capitan six times
  • First ascents in South Africa, Wyoming, Canada
  • Mother of two
  • Student of psychology