About Us > Instructors

Josh Jackson

Josh has fervor for both outdoor recreation and teaching, and he has spent almost two decades trying to marry his passions. Josh has worked as a climbing, river and mountain guide throughout the West and Alaska. He has his Bachelor’s degree in Adventure Education and Wilderness Leadership from Prescott College and a Master’s degree in Outdoor Experiential Higher Education from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Josh is a certified Wilderness EMT, Whitewater Rescue Technician and AMGA Rock instructor. In addition to working as an Outward Bound instructor, climbing gym manager, wilderness therapy facilitator, field program manager and the Outing Director for The University of California San Diego, he has served as adjunct faculty at colleges and universities, teaching such courses as expeditionary sea kayaking, white water rafting, rock climbing, back country skiing, ice climbing, surfing, winter camping, map & compass, adventure education and wilderness leadership. Josh currently works as the Executive Director of WLI teaching courses in all program areas as well as being a lead instructor for Wilderness Medical Associates and an SPI Provider for the American Mountain Guide Association.


Joe McLeod

Joe brings over a decade of outdoor education experience to the WLI instructional team. He has worked as a guide, logistics coordinator, curriculum specialist and director for a variety of outdoor and educational programs. His leadership expertise has been earned on the waters of the Chatooga River, the rocks of the Sierra Nevada, the canyons of Zion, and the snow and ice of Montana. Joe previously served as the Program Director of Outdoor Recreation at UCLA and is currently the Director of Operations for the non-profit Outdoor Outreach. It’s his blend of technical skills and passion for education that makes Joe a valuable member of the WLI team. He is certified Top Rope Climbing Instructor and Wilderness First Responder. When not instructing for WLI, Joe spends his time introducing his 2 daughters Hannah and Elliana to the wonders of our adventurous natural world.


Nate Bondi

Nate comes to us with over 15 years of instructing and guiding experience. Starting his outdoor pursuits with New Hampshire ice, rock, and mountains, Nate slowly moved West through Missoula, Montana, and Colorado until ending up directing a university outdoor leadership program in San Diego. His academic background includes an undergraduate degree in Outdoor Education from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership from Philadelphia Biblical University. Nate has also pursued AMGA certifications and courses, and currently has AMGA SPI Certification, is in the SPI Trainer Pool, and is planning to take the Rock instructor exam for multi-pitch rock guiding in the Fall, 2012, and is of course Wilderness First Responder certified. Other interests and hobbies include reading, playing guitar, road biking, trail running, and skiing deep powder. Nate’s favorite place to be is high in the mountains on an alpine ascent, with some his favorite climbs being the 5-pitch Central Pillar of Frenzy in Yosemite, 18-pitch 5.10a Sun Ribbon Arête in Temple Crag, and the alpine 14,200’ summit of Polemonium Peak in the Sierra Nevada.


Darren Stokes

Darren has been a professional outdoor guide and instructor for over 20 years and holds a Masters Degree in Outdoor Recreation. He lives in Buena Vista, Colorado at the base of the Collegiate Peaks and on the banks of the Arkansas River. Darren is a WEMT and volunteers for Chaffee County Search and Rescue where he serves as Training Officer and as a member of the Swiftwater Rescue Team. Darren shares his love for the outdoors with wife Tina, son Jesse and daughter Bailey. The kids have been skiing since they were two and rafting since they were three, keeping up with them is Darren’s foremost outdoor challenge.


Jered Cheery

Jered joins the WLI team with over 10 years of outdoor programming experience. His passion for teaching and developing future outdoor leaders started as a student at the University of New Hampshire where he received his Bachelors degree in Outdoor Education. Jered has had the opportunity to teach in a variety of settings including the rivers of Utah and New England, the snow and ice of Alaska, New Hampshire, Utah and Colorado, as well as the oceans of California, Maine and Oregon. However, his greatest passion lies in instructing rock climbing throughout the United States. His unique blend of outdoor education, adventurous spirit and professionalism are rich contributions to the WLI team. He is a certified AMGA Single Pitch Instructor, Swift Water Rescue Technician and Wilderness First Responder. His climbing exploits include El Capitan in Yosemite and the mountains of Alaska and Morocco.