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Krishnan Kutty

Krishnan Kutty

Position at NOLS: Director of NOLS India

NOLS grad: 1987 Semester in the Rockies, 1988 Instructor Course

Krishnan Kutty, Program Director of NOLS India, describes himself as a “one man department” in the off season for marketing, admissions, outfitting, finance and anything else related to the “in-country” courses in India. But in the spring and fall when the U.S. students arrive, Kutty is busy providing logistical support, helping to prepare the meals and taking care of gear details.

Kutty first arrived at NOLS as a student on a Fall Semester in the Rockies course in 1987, which he says inspired him to become an instructor. Before that, he lived in Bombay (now known as Mumbai) and Bangalore where he farmed and worked as a Mercedez Benz car salesman in Oman.

Following his 1988 instructor course, Kutty started instructing courses full time and has worked for NOLS ever since. He says he enjoys working for NOLS because of the people the school draws. “NOLS attracts very sincere, talented and committed individuals,” Kutty explains. And he believes NOLS’ emphasis on its core curriculum makes it a very special organization. “Each component of the core curriculum is dynamic enough that it is easy to translate the lessons into our daily lives,” he says. “These reasons also make it easy to adapt the NOLS mission, curriculum and outcomes into each country where NOLS operates.”

Kutty believes the Himalaya Mountaineering and Backpacking courses make NOLS India unique because of the cultural interaction that is part of the courses’ planned format. In addition, the high-altitude travel makes the courses in India the highest of all NOLS classrooms, where mountaineering courses can camp as high as 17,600 ft, and average travel for the backpacking courses is around 10,000 ft.

When Kutty is not working he enjoys taking long mountain walks with his two children Zain, 9 and Sara, 6. He also enjoys reading and listening to music whenever he has time off.


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A glimpse of the Kumaon Himalaya. The twin peaks of Nanda Devi are on the far right, while Trishul is the peak just left of center.
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