Kelsey Rex

While Kelsey wishes that she had grown up a climber, the sport wasn’t on her radar as a youth. Her childhood and teenage years in Southern Maine were filled with fond memories of being a competitive Irish step dancer and distance runner. She attended Colorado State University as a Division 1 track and cross country student-athlete, and graduated in 2014 with a degree in Natural Resource Recreation & Tourism.

Kelsey fell in love with the therapeutic aspects of climbing in early 2017, shortly after returning home from service in the US Peace Corps in Malawi. She became a regular at Salt Pump Climbing Co. in Scarborough, Maine, where she went from lapping the auto-belays alone to growing invaluable partnerships and mentorships on the lead wall. Since then, she’s done all that she can to make climbing as much a part of her life as possible, which included moving from a “9-5” lifestyle in Portland, Maine to working in a climbing shop in North Conway, New Hampshire. She excitedly accumulated multiple years worth of mileage climbing outside, in all seasons, nearly every day, and became especially fond of winter climbing. She quickly realized that she wanted to be able to share this love of climbing and the mountains with others. 

In 2019, Kelsey became an AMGA Certified Single Pitch Instructor. In 2022, with a scholarship from The North Face to an affinity AMGA Women’s Rock Guide Course, she became an AMGA Apprentice Rock Guide. Kelsey is also a Wilderness First Responder with AIARE Level 1 Certification. 

When she’s not climbing or guiding, Kelsey enjoys spending time with friends, big days trail running in the White Mountains, making necklaces and crafts from old climbing gear and snuggling with her black cat, Taco.