Our story

The origin of Elevation Outdoors

Elevation Outdoors was founded in 2006 by, Nels Peter Jensen, who was working at a small Liberal Arts college. Pete was sitting at his desk, under fluorescents, looking out the window at the mountains, and feeling way too comfortable in his man-made box of an office. That’s when a bolt of lightening hit his brain, and he decided to plan a backpacking expedition and invite college students. They would take Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience, excerpts from Plato’s Republic, and trail journals. Armed with words from the great minds, they would go packing deep into the back country of Utah’s Uinta range, to catch trout, chat around the campfire, and summit a 13,000 foot peak.

Pete wasn’t sure whether anyone would actually go with him, but–inspired by the confidence of his outdoor mentor–he committed to the trip, even if he had to go alone. Thankfully, several companions joined, and together they created a life-changing adventure in the mountains. Encouraged by this success, Pete continued to offer outdoor programs for students.

In 2008 James Ure was teaching gifted high school students, searching for ways to vigorously challenge them and develop their leadership. James and Pete joined forces and continued to enhance and refine their work in the outdoors.

Soon, James and Pete realized their work was as profound for educators as it was for students and the program for educators was born.

Now Pete, James and their team of guides spend part of their summers (and sometimes winter too) guiding adventures for high school and college students, and educators. We are passionate about nature, education, people and leadership. We love to see the inner victories that are won and networks of support that develop as individuals and groups push past their fears and challenge themselves.

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