It’s never easy to get up in the dark, but the pink light makes it all worth it! What motivates you?This photo, taken by @jaybeyerimaging, is from my first (and only) ski trip to Alaska in 2014 where we snow camped on the glacier, and hiked up all the lines we skied down. I learned a lot on that trip about risk management and decision making in remote big mountains. It’s fun to look back and see how far I’ve come! #bigmtndreams
Happy Mother’s Day to my lovely Mom! Thanks for taking me outside and teaching me how to ski (and how to pee outside). As one of few women in your graduating class from medical school, you showed me that there were no limits on what I could become. Love you! Photo: a road trip to the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument last fall. @keen #keenambassador
It was an honor and a delight to #climbthehill with over sixty other athletes and advocates from @americanalpine and @accessfund. This was my sixth trip to D.C. and every time, it gets better as we build rapport with our elected officials. As people who love to be outside, we have a duty to be good stewards of the land and to create a more inclusive and diverse community. My call to action to you is to get outside, see what’s there, and keep showing up and speaking up! Huge thanks to @patagonia for supporting this event and to all the elected officials and government agencies who met with us. #AnswerWithAction
Stoked to be on Capitol Hill with the @americanalpine and @accessfund for the third annual #climbthehill! Team Utah has had a busy morning so far meeting with @repmialove, @curtisut and @senatororrinhatch about protecting the wild places in Utah that we love so much! Want to learn more? Check out the link to the toolkit below and in my profile: https://www.climbthehill.org/toolkit/
Protecting public lands is so important to me, I’m trading in my skis for a dress this week and heading to D.C. with the @americanalpine and @accessfund to #ClimbTheHill. I’m excited to meet with our elected officials to discuss the merits of the Antiquities Act, the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Recreation Not Red-tape and share stories about outdoor adventures! Stay tuned for more updates.
Springtime is really the best time of year for ski mountaineering. Long days and stable snowpack mean you cover lots of ground. I’m torn between feeling satiated with what I accomplished this ski season (and being ok moving on to trail running) or wanting one more big adventure on the snow… It’s a good kind of indecision. #bigmtndreams Photo: @rob.lea
For too long, we have ignored men’s role in the quest to create a more inclusive society. We need men, especially those in positions of power, as allies and supporters. This isn’t a battle of the sexes. It’s about making society more free so people can be the best versions of themselves. Men can help by holding themselves accountable for their actions and calling out injustice or systems of exclusion when they see it. Bystander intervention can be as simple as saying, hey that’s inappropriate. Or telling someone to stop when they say stop and respecting a persons boundaries. On a broader level, it can be pointing out when a situation is dominated by men and suggesting to add more diversity to the mix. Diversity is the spice of life. Just like soil dies in a monoculture, diversity in society offers a more sustainable future. The reality is, I don’t want to exist in a women’s only, gender segregated world. I love the men in my life and I know how supportive and encouraging they can be. To all the guys out there, don’t ever hesitate to ask how you can support women or people from other marginalized groups. We will love you even more for it. ️️️Photo: @acpictures
From a young age, my parents instilled in me a sense of helping and serving others, especially with my job. I’ve always found a way to join my passion for athletics and environmental activism. Read more about the evolving role of the professional outdoor athlete on the @rei blog via the link below or in my profile. I’m honored to be mentioned in this story by @running_bum_ alongside @alexhonnold and @clare_gallagher_runs.Photo: @mikumerikantohttps://www.rei.com/blog/news/the-evolving-role-of-the-professional-outdoor-athlete
I believe the modern professional mountain athlete has a duty that goes beyond excelling in sport: to speak up and take a stand on issues that matter and use their influence to make the world a better place. I’m excited to join the @americanalpine and @accessfund next week in Washington DC for the second annual #climbthehill. I’ll be joining a diverse group of athletes to advocate for public lands, outdoor recreation and improved management. Photo: @rob.lea
There was a time when I used skiing as a way to escape my problems, to run away from things. Now, I use ski mountaineering as a way to work through difficult emotions and find healing. On a long day out, you can end up in a dark place. But when you come out, the light is much brighter. I go to ski now out of a place of deep love and joy. I show you this picture from the @patrouilledesglaciers_official because I want to show the truth. It’s not all smiling selfies. Sometimes there are tears under my sunglasses. I’m so grateful for I am able to do what I do.#bigmtndreams
We did it! We crossed the finish line of the @patrouilledesglaciers_official, arriving in Verbier 12 hours and 9 minutes after leaving Zermatt. The whole experience pushed me far out of my comfort zone. The international travel logistics, the language barrier, the altitude, the distance, the Swiss military organization. It was unlike anything I’ve ever done before. At the end, I had to dig deep. It was an experience I will always cherish, the biggest reason being the people I got to share it with. @eric.gachet and @aurelienducroz thank you for teaming up with me for the challenge! I’m grateful to @movementskis for inviting me to participate! Pdg 2020 training starts now that I’m back home in Utah.
There’s something special about being a part of a team and working towards a big objective. Today, I went out on the glacier with my @patrouilledesglaciers_official @movementskis team. @aurelienducroz and @eric.gachet are both incredible skiers and together, we practiced skiing on the rope, which is a big challenge for the race. As an American woman, I’m filled with gratitude for the opportunity to be a part of this international team! I’m confident now about our ability to finish the long course. The countdown continues… stay tuned.
When @movementskis asked me at the start of the season if I wanted to compete in the famous @patrouilledesglaciers_official ski mountaineering race, I instantly said yes. I spent a lot of time this season training, learning how to go faster in technical terrain. Last night was the first time meeting my teammates, @aurelienducroz and @eric.gachet. I’m a bit intimidated to race such a big course for my first time, but I’m also stoked to try something new and continue progressing my skill set in the mountains. And as an American, I’m embracing a new cultural experience! Stay tuned for more this week as we learn to work as a team and prepare to race Friday night.
It’s been an emotional journey to return to Chamonix four years after I first came here. Four years have gone and many of my heroes are dead. I’m still grieving the loss of my dear friend @liz_daley who first told me of the wonder of the mountains of Chamonix and invited me to come experience it with her. I’m grieving the loss of my youthful exuberance for ski alpinism. I’ve lost the carefree joy I could once walk through these mountains with, and instead, approach them with a different kind of humility, fully aware of the fragility of life. It’s been a heavy burden on my shoulders this week, and I’ve been in a weird day dream, thinking about what could have been. I find solace in the spirit of the community as I reconnect with old and new friends. And in walking amongst these giant mountains, feeling the wind in my face.
The past two weeks in Europe have been a dream! From Lofoten to Amsterdam to Chamonix, I’ve been loving my time in the mountains and also, the opportunity to meet with some of my European brand partners. I just finished two days of meetings at @julbo_eyewear headquarters where I learned all about the process of making high performance mountain eyewear. It’s crazy that Julbo has been in business for 130 years! And I’m so excited about a special project we are collaborating on (with @simon.charriere) that you will be hearing more about next season! Stoked! Now, back to the mountains where I will focus on preparations for the @patrouilledesglaciers_official. Photo: @rob.lea
Happy Easter everyone! Easter is a big holiday here in Norway, and many people have the week off work and go on vacation. I was surprised to hear that Easter is a longer holiday here than Christmas! (The locals tell me it’s because the skiing is better in April- and I agree.) I hope you had a joyous day! Photo: @rob.lea
My great-grandmother came from Norway. When I was growing up in southeastern Minnesota, I enjoyed eating lefse around the holidays and skiing was always a part of my family’s culture. This is my first trip to Norway and it’s already captured my heart! Three days in and I have so much love for Lofoten! #bigmtndreams Huge thanks to @patagoniaeurope for inviting me here and sharing the skintrack and fresh turns! I can’t wait to continue exploring these mountains.
Given that we are all owners of our public lands, it is really important that we go and speak up so that we shape how we are able to access these lands. In order for this to work, we all have to be active and engaged participants. See the entire video via the link in my profile and below!https://www.yourforestsyourfuture.org/yourwintersneedyou@yourforestsyourfuture @winterwildlandsalliance
Backcountry skiing in my home mountain range, the Wasatch, has added so much to my quality of life in Utah. The long walks uphill and exhilarating descents connect me to nature and offer much needed quiet time to sort through my thoughts. I feel an obligation to make sure we preserve the experience for future generations, which is why I’ve joined the @wasatchbackcountryalliance board of directors! And we want to hear from you. We’re collecting stories from people who utilize the Grizzly Gulch trailhead! Share your favorite stories using the #KeepGrizzlyWild for a chance to be featured on the Wasatch Backcountry Alliance instagram! Photo: @stasia_art
I’m excited to announce one of my big 2018 goals – competing in the famous @patrouilledesglaciers_official ski mountaineering race from Zermatt to Verbier! I leave for Europe in less than two weeks, first to Norway, then France and Switzerland! I’ve been training hard and I can’t wait to put it all together. @movementskis @julboeyewearna Photo: @mikumerikanto
Happy international women’s day. My dream for the future of this day is that we will grow it to celebrate individual women who have shaped history on individual days. For example, we could have Susan B Anthony day and Harriet Tubman day, just like we celebrate Martin Luther King Jr day and Washington and Lincoln at Presidents’ Day. Women, (especially mothers) deserve more than one day. I also think we should celebrate international men’s day. #stillshegoes #IWD2018 #pressforprogress
I love how skiing teaches you to be fierce, aggressive, and charge forward. I’m going to take that same energy into our meetings about protecting public lands tomorrow with Senators and Representatives from UT, ID, MT and CO in Washington DC and business leaders from the @conservationalliance. Wish us luck! #WeKeepItWild Photo: @acpictures
It snowed 24” in 24 hours in Utah. And I am on a flight to Washington DC today to do some political advocacy work with @conservationalliance. This photo is not my reality. And I only feel a tiny tinge of FOMO, knowing all my friends are skiing overhead, blower powder. Preparing for this trip, I’ve been studying economic data that quantifies the value of protected public lands and how they benefit communities and contribute to quality of life. The outdoor experience means so much to me, I’ve devoted my entire life to it. So going to DC to communicate that to elected officials is one small thing I can do to give back for all that I have received from my time in wild places. And I’ll be focusing on that mission in my mind today as I try not to see all the good photos and videos of Utah pow on social media. Photo: @libbe_ellis
It’s ok to be terrified about something and do it anyway. When I first picked up a copy of “The Chuting Gallery,” it terrified me, yet I was drawn to it in ways I cannot explain. Whether it’s skiing a scary line or speaking up about climate change, public lands, gender bias or #blacklivesmatter, I believe it’s important to look fear in the face and take a stand for the things that matter in life. As Socrates said, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” If you’re interested in reading more about my progression as a ski mountaineer, check out the link below and in profile to a story by @meganmichelson for @Freeskier. https://t.co/yKwwoDTNSpPhoto: @acpictures @julboeyewearna
100,000 human-powered vertical climbed so far in 2018 (mostly on skis). Inspired by @airandrice. In today’s world, there is a lot of noise, especially on social media. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the pressure of it all. At the end of the day, it’s not about the numbers. It’s about the simple act of putting one foot in front of another and climbing up a mountain, whether it’s on snow or dirt or rock or ice. It’s following my heart and pursuing my passion, and trying to protect the experience for future generations. And I’m grateful to share the journey with you. Thanks for following along. #bigmtndreams photo: @acpictures
Watching the Olympics makes me remember when I was a child, I always wanted to be a ski racer. I never did ski competitively (although I still dream of wearing a speed suit). The good news is, it’s never too late to be what you might have been. This quote was introduced to me by my dear friend @jessamunion, who also happens to be my massage therapist, yoga teacher and healer. Jessa nudges me to let go of the parts of my story that no longer serve me (that I am broken and unloveable) and to go forward as a whole person. I find each step a little lighter today and I wish everyone in the world could have a Jessa in their life. Photo by the talented outdoor sports photographer @libbe_ellis
25 Miles (40 km) of distance, 10,800 ft (3291 m) of climbing, 4 laps up and down Grandeur Peak. This weekend, I participated in my first ever (and the 8th annual) Run Up for Air (RUFA), started by @derajslc. I’ve been a clean air activist in Utah for almost a decade. Usually, we’re protesting at the Capitol or meeting with legislators. It was a breath of fresh air (pun intended) to merge the passion for the mountains with a strong environmental message. The people of Utah want action on air quality now. It was inspiring to see everyone out there pushing themselves for a good cause!
@kayak has featured Salt Lake City as a wallet-friendly destination on their 2018 Travel Hacker Guide, one of my favorite places to race down a mountain in snow so soft it doesn’t even make a sound when it falls. When you’re there make sure to visit Big Cottonwood Canyon, the perfect place to find that wintry euphoria. Check out Salt Lake City along with other destinations via the link in my profile. #ad #KAYAKTravelHacker
Many of you have asked me, how can I get involved? What can I do to help the environment? I’m so stoked to announce the launch of @patagonia action works. It’s like a dating site to connect people with local grassroots non profits working to save the planet. Sign up. Show up. Take action. Visit the link below and in my profile to get involved. #AnswerWithAction http://pat.ag/PAWnow
Leaving New Mexico energized and inspired after thoughtful discussions with @bcorporation leaders about how business can make the world a better place. The coolest part of B Corps is that they pursue a triple bottom line, measuring success not just by monetary profit but by social and environmental impact as well. It’s a radical notion, and one I can fully get behind! I’m thinking about making my business, Big Mountain Dreams LLC, a B Corp as well. Thank you @skitaos for hosting and @patagonia for the invitation.
@kayak has helped me realize that travel doesn’t always have to be expensive. Whether it’s a day trip to explore a mountain in my backyard or an extended international expedition, I always get excited to travel someplace new. To make it more attainable (especially if you’re traveling to SLC), check out the new 2018 #KAYAKTravelHacker guide via the link in my profile. Find wallet-friendly trips and learn when to find the best price on a flight. #ad
Today, I’m headed to Taos, New Mexico for a B-Corp leadership summit. A B-Corp is a business certification for companies that meet rigorous standards for social and environmental responsibility, accountability and transparency. I’m excited to meet and ski with leaders of companies (like @patagonia) who are committed to using their business as a way to do good for the world, who walk the walk and have certification to prove it. Photo: exploring the snowy ridgelines in Santa Fe, New Mexico by @lesliehittmeier
I #TakeAKnee to support @nfl players who are bringing awareness to policy brutality, racism and power inequality. Those things that we want to ignore and sweep under the rug are actually what we need to be talking about most. It’s never comfortable. But to see injustice and say nothing only perpetuates it further. We can not afford to be silent. To those who say the movement is anti-American, I would argue that non-violence acts of protest are one of the best ways we can celebrate our freedom as Americans. There’s a difference between patriotism and nationalism. We can love our country with a feeling of responsibility for shaping the future of it. #blacklivesmatter
Back in Utah after the @outdoorretailer trade show with a renewed sense of purpose as an athlete and spokesperson in the outdoor business. Moving the tradeshow out of SLC was a powerful move and a wake up call and a realization that its not enough for us to do our sport and business as usual. We have to be willing to put our necks on the line and take a stand for protected public lands and in the fight against climate change. We have a duty to protect our way of life for future generations. We have to make the outdoors more inclusive and use our privilege to be allies and supporters to people of color and other marginalized groups. We’re not perfect, but it’s refreshing to know what we stand for. As outdoors people, we move forward in unity, mobilized and organized for the challenges ahead. My favorite part of the show was hearing all the strong female voices. My call to action (for all of you who are still reading) is to begin to explore how you can be an advocate for women in your day to day life, and call out injustice even if it doesn’t affect you. Thanks for getting to the end of this long-winded post. 🏽 There’s so much on my mind. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Photo: @justinlfricke
I want to challenge stereotypes about what a mountain athlete is and what they look like, to be an example to other women that mountaineering and backcountry skiing are for them, too. Usually, when you think of a mountaineer, you envision a large, broad-shouldered man capable of carrying heavy weight on his back. And brute strength is an important quality, but qualities typically associated with the feminine—compassion, patience, and empathy—are equally important in the mountains, the boardroom and other areas of life. Today, I stand with women everywhere who aim for equal opportunity and equal pay and for recognition and celebration of the feminine. You can be a badass and wear pink (or whatever color you’re drawn to). Today, I didn’t make it to the women’s march but I will bring the spirit with me, everyday and everywhere I go. Photo: marching on the skintrack with @stasia_art, getting some much needed time in nature to clear my mind.#womensmarch2018
Attention Denver folks! Want to come to the first @outdoorretailer event open to the public in over 20 Years? Mark your calendars for next Saturday, January 27, 6:30 pm at the Bellco theater to join us for a “Night of Stoke.” I’m excited to show “Follow Through” on the big screen. Other films/speakers include @stacyabare, @conrad_anker, @tommycaldwell, @greg_hill_ski, @chrisrubens and others! Check the link below or in my profile for tickets.https://goo.gl/NkakfF All tickets benefit@winterwildlandsalliance
Urgent request! I need your help submitting comments to the @epagov on why the Clean Power Plan should stay. Deadline is tomorrow! Go to the link in my profile or below to comment. This is an issue I’ve worked hard on, and we need to let the Administration know we won’t back down and we are demanding clean, renewable energy! In 2014 and 2015 I went to Washington DC with @protectourwinters and we fought hard to drum up support for the Clean Power Plan, having meetings with Senators, Representatives, the @epagov and the @whitehouse. Why? Because the Clean Power Plan sets the first ever limits on carbon emissions from power plants and was the biggest step our country has ever taken to address climate change. We need this, for public health and so future generations can enjoy a beautiful, snowy winter! Go to the link in my profile and submit a comment by tomorrow! http://bit.ly/powcleanpower
One of the biggest challenges in backcountry skiing is adjusting mindset to match conditions. We want to get rad and ski the steeps, and we are frothing after a powder deprived winter, but the snowpack structure does not match our desire. Today, with the avalanche danger rated as high, we made the decision to take advantage of Utah’s fine ski resorts and ride terrain that has already been controlled for avalanches. And the smiles lasted all day! Thanks for embracing the right mindset with me, @carolynstwertka and @louisarevalo.
Happy NYE everyone and happy birthday to me! Yesterday, I ran my 1000th mile for the year, finishing my last big goal of 2017! Running started out as a passion project to mentally cope with some of the emotional distress related to my cyberstalking case. There’s something very therapeutic and soothing about the repetitive nature of the movement. While I began running as a way to escape something negative in my life, it evolved and I found intense happiness in the freedom of movement. I no longer run to escape, but to confront life and it’s challenges. I plan to bring the same attitude of joyfulness and gratitude to my 2018 projects. Thanks to all of you for the ongoing love, support and encouragement. I’m excited to hear about your 2018 #bigmtndreams and how you plan to make those goals a reality. Let’s keep moving forward one step at a time! Photo: @rob.lea
You don’t have to hike up 15,000 vertical feet in a day to help save Bears Ears! You have 36 more hours donate to the Education Center Kickstarter. If you want to see what it’s like to do a 15,000’ day, @clifbar made a really nice video recap! Check out the link in my profile, watch the video and consider a year end donation to the Bears Ears Education Center. #feedyouradventure http://www.clifbar.com/article/bodies-on-the-line-for-bears-ears