The North Face, REI to support NOLS’ Expedition Denali

19 Jan The North Face, REI to support NOLS’ Expedition Denali

The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) announced this week that The North Face and REI are joining the school’s Expedition Denali team as technical gear sponsor and retail sponsor, respectively.

Expedition Denali
Expedition Denali is a historical undertaking by the first predominantly African American team to attempt to summit Alaska’s Denali, North America’s tallest mountain, in June 2013—the 100th anniversary of the peak’s first ascent.

“The dedication shown by the NOLS’ Expedition Denali team will serve as a motivation to others to lead active lifestyles and to find their own version of Denali,” said Laura Swapp, REI’s director of Diversity and Inclusion. “Their journey perfectly aligns with our commitment to inspire others and to be inspired by them.”

Through the expedition, the grassroots events during the expedition, and the two-year outreach initiative to follow, Expedition Denali will give these role models a platform from which to inspire youth of color, particularly African American youth, to get outside and active and connect with nature.

“This diverse team of inspiring individuals has the opportunity to ignite a passion for the outdoors in the next generation of outdoor explorers,” said Ann Krcik, director of Outdoor Exploration at The North Face. “We’re are proud to be able to offer the team the best outdoor gear and equipment from The North Face to help make this expedition a success.”

REI and The North Face join partners such as the Foundation for Youth Investment, The Sierra Club, and The White House’s Let’s Move Outside! Campaign to help NOLS, a nonprofit school, launch the expedition. As retail sponsor, REI will provide funding to help underwrite the costs of Expedition Denali. The North Face will outfit the team for the climb as technical gear sponsor.

“The North Face is the premier supplier of innovative equipment and apparel, and REI is one of outdoor recreation’s best known brands, said NOLS Diversity and Inclusion Manager Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin. “We are delighted to have both of them backing this historic project, which will help narrow the gap between people of color and the world of adventure and inspire more Americans to connect with our outdoor spaces.”

NOLS is still seeking partners to make Expedition Denali possible. To learn more about Expedition Denali or become a partner, contact Rajagopal-Durbin at (800) 710-6657 extension 2328, visit, or e-mail

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