Rachel Colenso

Speaker - Author - Mountain Guide

Rachel hit world headlines when she was stranded on a sheer face at 3000m during an extreme blizzard in the Swiss Alps. After two nights on a tiny ledge with 1000 metre drops each side she was evacuated by helicopter.

Rachel is one of a small group of women to endure the rigorous British SAS Special Forces 21 selection process. This experience has enabled her to become adept at inspiring groups to go beyond their limits and realise possibilities in areas they would not have believed they could. Rachel was also a ‘Super Human’ finalist in the UK Channel 4 television series.

Rachel is a popular conference and inspirational speaker, has appeared on a number of films and TV and one of just a few female mountain guides in the world. The TV film of her survival on a sheer cliff, broadcast in numerous countries has earned Rachel an international reputation, and her dramatic account has people on the edges of their seats, and thinking for a long time afterwards about strategies that they can translate into their own work environments, or in their own lives. It also makes people aware of what can be accomplished despite unforeseen events or plans that don’t run smoothly. (Film and TV engagements include: FreeFall – US feature staring Julia Roberts brother Eric, an Australian Soap, Stunts for ‘Home and Away’, German and South African commercials and presenting on a BBC childrens’ defence and martial art program with Major Phil Ashby, BBC challenge docu in Belize, Channel 4, and Animal Planet.)

Over the last ten years Rachel has engaged with an impressive list of corporate clients who have endorsed her speaking. Over 80% of her events result from repeat bookings and referrals from previous clients. Having additionally worked for three years in the pharmaceutical industry and run her own company, Rachel naturally makes the connections between leading teams up difficult and demanding mountain faces; or competing as an effective team member in adventure racing events, and the hurdles and challenges one faces in a business context.

Rachel is well informed, articulate, and confident at communicating her message to senior level management at international conferences as well as delivering highly personalised addresses to smaller teams within the confines of their own office space. Whether a large auditorium or small office space, the ability to reach out and touch people’s minds in a positive way is at the heart of Rachel’s success as an inspiring speaker.

Rachel’s adventurous expeditions to promote eco tourism and sustainable development have also raised funds and awareness for charities such as the British Red Cross, and her book, ‘In a High and Desperate provides useful information for business or life on how to survive and succeed in times of extreme adversity.

Public Speaking:

  • Lombard Odier Asset Management Geneva and London

  • Taylor Wimpey plc

  • The Institute for Family Business

  • Momentum Wealth

  • JWT International

  • Fairburn Capital

  • PWC (Price Waterhouse Coopers)

  • Office of Fair Trading, UK Government

  • (FDA)Finance and Discounters Association

  • Avon-Justine

  • FNB (First National Bank)

  • Cape Town Routes Unlimited

  • Old Mutual

  • CPA (Chartered Institute for Personnel Development)

  • GAM (Global Asset Management)

  • Chartered Management Institute, UK

  • BP

  • AMRE

  • Northgate PLC

  • Chartered Institute for Personnel Development

  • National Association of Estate Agents, U.K

  • Scottish Federation of Housing Associations

  • Focus Solution Group

  • Northern Kentucky University of Psychology Dept

  • Russian Embassy, Guyana

  • Southern Tyneside MBC, Meadlands School

Woman's Portrait