Born in Fresno, CA, Don Lester started boating, hiking and climbing at a very young age. His dad started some of the first programs in CA that took rival gang members into the Wilderness in an attempt to show them an alternative lifestyle to being in a gang. He spent much of his younger years with his dad around Yosemite and the Kings River.
During his summers in High School Don went to camps in Canada and Colorado which started him backpacking and climbing many of the 14000 ft mountains in Colorado. Don spent the last 15 years guiding rivers in CA, OR, West Virginia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, Chile, and the South West. For a several years, he was logging 150+ days on river! In addition to his time on the water, he spent 2 years working as a full time firefighter/EMT with Rocklin Fire Department. Don took an 81 Day Multi Environment Outward Bound Course and a Wilderness EMT in Yosemite with WMI of NOLS.
When asked why he became a rescue instructor Lester responded, “I love teaching rescue courses because I want people to learn from the mistakes I have made without having to make them themselves. I enjoy trying to bring the word and actions of a professional back to the boating world. When not teaching rope & water rescue classes, you can find Don guiding on California rivers with H2O Adventures!