Dave Anderson grew up in Maine, where he says he fell in love with climbing in high school and has been doing it ever since. His adventures on some of the world’s most challenging rock and ice include first ascents in Alaska, Newfoundland and Pakistan. And he says that one of his greatest accomplishments was an expedition in 2000 to a war-torn region of Pakistan, which had been closed to Westerners since 1982.
A NOLS Instructor since 1996, Anderson says that one of his favorite things about working for NOLS is getting to work with other amazing outdoor educators, some of whom have joined him on climbing trips. He also cherishes working with students. “I love teaching people when they are at a point in their life where they are psyched to learn what we teach at NOLS and to push themselves,” he says.
Anderson remembers a day from his first course as a NOLS Instructor. He says that it was a course with a lot of different people with varying abilities. “It was a perfect, sunny day in the Chugach Range of Alaska and you could see 200 miles, which is rare there,” he says. “From the top you could see the Pacific Ocean, the mountains, and everyone got there together.”
Anderson, who enjoys writing short stories, works as a recruiter for NOLS when not instructing, traveling the country and presenting slide shows. He is also a professional photographer and some of his photos have appeared in Climbing Magazine, Rock and Ice Magazine, The American Alpine Journal, National Geographic, and the Patagonia catalog.
During late winter of 2003 Dave Anderson along with fellow NOLS instructors, Andrew Chapman (www.acimagery.com) and Ant Chapin explored the amazing Zanskar Mountains located in the Kashmir region of India. They spent a month trekking up the partially frozen Zanskar, taking in the breath taking scenery, cultural wonders and ice climbing possibilities of this isolated part of the world. Dave has subsequently produced a film documenting the environment, the people and the changes taking place in the Zanskar region (see below).