Jesse Michael Li

Professional River Guide
Where did you grow up?

Salt Lake City, Utah

Where do you call home now?

Salt Lake City, Utah

Year started at OARS?


What’s the best part of your job?

Being on the river everyday and interacting with a broad variety of people.

Tell us about your favorite rapid, hike, or camp and what makes it special.

My favorite rapid is on the River Kali in India called Doh Chuka. It’s my favorite rapid because as we were dropping in we watched a Leopard chase down its prey on the bank across from us.

Do you have a lucky charm or special river tradition?

Splash the face before every big rapid to wake myself up and allow my body to get used to the temperature of the water.

What can you not live without while at work or on a trip?

A small sketch book to draw the amazing places I go to.

Fun fact, special talent or favorite guiding/trip memory.

I can impersonate Mort and King Julian from Madagascar and Carl Wheezer from Jimmy Neutron.

About me…

I play soccer at my University as well as ski, climb, canyoneer, and mountaineer in the offseason.