Hometown: Canmore, Alberta, Canada
NOLS Instructor since: 1999
Courses taught: Rock Climbing, Backpacking, Sea Kayaking
NOLS Instructor Sarah Hueniken not only has a keen sense of rock climbing; according to one of her favorite stories from a NOLS course she also has a sharp sense of humor—even when the joke is on her.
“The instructors left to do evaluations at Devils Tower,” Sarah says. “When we came back our students had taken our gear, priced everything, laid it out on a table, and were having a garage sale. As we drove in, people from the campground were looking at our stuff for cheap! It was a great practical joke and one we laughed over for some time.”
Sarah, an instructor since 1999, graduated from Lakehead University in Ontario, Canada with a double bachelor’s degree in outdoor recreation parks and tourism and natural science. In addition to working at NOLS, Sarah worked for Outward Bound for four years doing lots of paddling and working with at-risk youth. She started a climbing program for St. Lawrence University where she worked as the associate director of the outdoor program. She is a Canadian assistant rock guide and has worked as a dogsled guide. As a NOLS Instructor, she has led courses in Baja, the Southwest, Teton Valley, and the Rocky Mountains. She says that she works at NOLS because of the “rewards of working hard, with great people, in great places.”
When Sarah isn’t working, she enjoys lots of personal climbing and mountaineering trips—including treks to Bolivia, Ecuador, and Mexico, snowboarding, painting, and drinking coffee. She says she believes that one of the greatest lessons a student learns on a NOLS course is the “ability to live in the present moment.”