Here's a shot from the @greensportsalliance panel I spoke on with fellow athletes @brendanbrazier and @gerglong, moderated by @sarahspain. It was such an honor to speak on this panel and share our insights into how athletes can engage fans to create more sustainable communities. I spoke about some of the work I've done with @protectourwinters and other non-profits. I hope our discussion inspired others at the Summit to want to step outside their comfort zone and take a stand for climate change and environmental responsibility. #greensports
The reality of ski mountaineering in Peru is that it’s a long way to get to snow. That, and it rains a lot, or at least it did on our trip. So often, the photos we pick to post on social media show only the glory moments, the best light, the best smile and the best snow. I know I’m guilty of that. But with this post, I wanted to show the truth, hiking in the rain with an awkward, heavy pack with many miles left to go. @LifeProof #LiveLifeProof #sponsor #PeruSki15 photo: @rob.lea
A little summit selfie taken at almost 19,000'. Tomorrow, I am going to #Chicago to share my stories of environmental activism with other athletes and industry professionals at the 2015 @greensportsalliance Summit. I would love to hear your recommendations for fun things to do and good places to eat in Chicago! I'm looking forward to exploring the city in between conference sessions. #ActOnClimate #livelikeliz #PeruSki15
Today, I'm dreaming of colder places. I am grateful to have stood here- one those special places on earth where snow, ice and rock collide. I'm back home now in Salt Lake City, Utah, adjusting to the heat and long days, feeling a little bit like a polar bear running out of sea ice. #PeruSki15 #bigmtndreams #saveourseaice
The reality of ski mountaineering in Peru. Snow line is really far away. And it's only getting farther away as climate change accelerates melting. According to one study, over 22% of the surface area of Peru's glaciers has vanished in the last 30 years alone. I can't help feel a little sad to see these beautiful tropical glaciers vanish before our eyes. Maybe we can turn it around. #ActOnClimate @protectourwinters #PeruSki15 photo: @rob.lea
I’m not afraid to dream big and shoot for the stars, but I’m a big fan of proper preparation to give myself the best chance of success. Only you can decide what you are capable of. @LifeProof #LiveLifeProof #sponsor Photo: Taking a moment to get inspired by the Cordillera Blanca on our #PeruSki15 trip. Credit: @rob.lea
I spend a lot of my time at home dreaming about being in the mountains, but a lot of the time in Peru I was dreaming about being home. It was the kind of trip where I had to remind myself that I wanted – I chose -to be there. When I'm home, I look at pictures of big mountains and think, I can climb and ski that. And sometimes the stars align for a smooth summit day. But it's good to know when to back off. Skiing Urus Este, pictured here, was our Plan B. We decided that conditions weren't quite right for us to ski the bigger dream lines. It was too early in the season and snow was still transitioning. But luckily, as you can see here, Plan B wasn't so bad. #PeruSki15 #bigmtndreams photo @rob.lea @jaybirdsport #poweryourpassion
I did my first "alpine start" with my dad in the Wind River Range on a backpack trip when I was 10 or 11. We left our camp at 3 to make the hike out in one day. I'll never forget the satisfaction I felt once we finally made it back to town. Thanks dad for taking me backpacking, skiing, hiking and being an all around rockstar. Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there and don't forget to take your girls to play sports and do adventurous things! Photo: ascending Urus Este in the Cordillera Blanca @rob.lea
Thinking back to #PeruSki15, prepping for a summit bid on Ishinca. I love waking up when it's dark out and hiking through the night to see sunrise from the summit of a mountain. What fun adventures do you have planned for the weekend? I'm looking forward to some rest and relaxation, maybe a mellow wildflower hike or a swim. Photo: @rob.lea
Peru was such a dream! I'll continue to share photos from the trip, but I'm home safe and sound, currently taking a Wilderness First Responder course all week. How many of you avid outdoorspeople have wilderness medicine training? Summer is a great time to consider taking a course! Wilderness First Aid (WFA) is a good place to start. #PeruSki15 photo: @rob.lea
On the summit of Pisco with @rob.lea! I have to admit, I was scared to go ski mountaineering in Peru. I understand how quickly the mountains can sweep someone off the face of the earth, especially a skier who chooses to descend, untethered to the mountain. Not a day goes by that I don't think about @liz_daley. This trip was so important for me, not to overcome my fears, because I have those fears for a reason, but to stand with them, bravely and accept all the emotions that come with them. #livelikeliz #PeruSki15 #bigmtndreams
Scrambling up and down the glacier moraines and endless talus fields of the #cordillerablanca was an exercise in mind control. Instead of thinking about how much I hated it and how hard it was, I decided to think, this is fun! I love the challenge! I let myself forget the bad memories of rockfall and painful falls on talus. It was a good exercise in letting go of the thoughts that hold you back. As you can see in this pic, it was a long walk to snowline. #PeruSki15 photo @rob.lea
One of the first stops on our journey, just past the entrance gates at Huscaran National Park. One of the wildest parts about ski mountaineering in the #cordillerablanca is the vast diversity of ecosystems you travel through, starting around 10,000' in Huaraz and ending up two days later at almost 19,000' on the summit of Pisco! A flexible layering system is essential. Grateful for all my @Patagonia gear. #PeruSki15 #bigmtndreams photo: @rob.lea
Sunset in the Cordillera Blanca on our first night at Pisco base camp. We just returned to Huaraz after five nights in the mountains. Weather continued to give us challenges, at Ishinca it was warm and rainy, on Pisco, lots of wind and bitter cold. So goes high mountain travel. We made the most of our time… More photos and stories to come, but for now, I can't wait to sleep! Buenos noches and sweet #bigmtndreams everyone! #PeruSki15 photo: @rob.lea
Peru- ski it while you can. The tropical glaciers here are melting at unprecedented rates. Despite high snow lines, I'm stoked we were able to summit and ski both Ishinca (18,143'/5530m- pictured here) and Urus Este during our stay in the Ishinca Valley. #PeruSki15 #bigmtndreams #ActOnClimate photo: @rob.lea
Back in Huaraz after 5 days/4 nights at Ishinca basecamp (14,270'/4350m). We had lots of rain and unstable weather, it seems the rainy season doesn't want to end, but this night, we saw a small glimpse of the stars. The mountains here are huge, on a scale like the French Alps, but without the cable cars. Just your feet (and maybe a burro to help lighten the load part of the way). #PeruSki15 #bigmtndreams
Packing to head into Ishinca base camp tomorrow… And then this happened! Here are the tools of the trade. My kit includes:@msr_gear shovel, probe, pickets and snow stakes, @delormegps inreach SE, @goalzero venture30, @petzl Sum'tec, Summit and laser speed light ice screws and v-thresher, @lifeproof case and @julbousa Vermont Mythic glacier glasses. #PeruSki15 #bigmtndreams photo: @rob.lea
The Cordillera Blanca is the world's highest tropical mountain range, so proper acclimatization is crucial to success. The good news is – Acclimatization is fun! Today, @rob.lea and I hiked up to almost 15,000' to check out the most beautiful turquoise, alpine lake I've ever seen! We are feeling happy and healthy so far. #PeruSki15 #bigmtndreams
Sunset on the road to Huaraz. After an all day flight and an all day bus ride, we made it, at least to the city where @rob.lea and I will spend the next few days acclimatizing. Today, we visited Los Banos de Los Chancos for some much needed r&r. Tomorrow, we head into the mountains for an acclimatization hike. I am so excited. One step closer. #PeruSki15
I didn't have time to set up a pre-packing shot, but I did have a sec to snap this- all packed up and ready to go to #PeruSki15! I've spent 2 years dreaming of this trip and the past 2 months planning our logistics and itinerary! I'm so grateful and excited to have @rob.lea as my partner to explore the ski mountaineering in the Cordillera Blanca with me. And incredibly grateful for the support of my sponsors/partners – @jaybirdsport @patagonia @nordicausa @clifbarcompany @goalzero @lekiusa @prethelmets @lifeproof @julbousa @petzl_official @bigagnes_ @delormegps @msr_gear @lasportivana. Let the fun (aka sufferfest) begin! #bigmtndreams
"The mountains that I'm inspired to ski around the world, they don't have chairlifts or helicopters to take me to the top. My legs are my chairlift, so I want them to be as strong and dependable as possible." See how I train for #PeruSki15 in this video by @chris_twosherpas – be sure to watch the long cut, link in profile. #trainingforthenewalpinism #bigmtndreams
Over the past year or two, I’ve written a lot about my “training”” on Instagram. There are a few types of training I do, some based on technical skills, but I spend most of my time focusing on a fitness training plan. When I first started coaching myself, I had no idea what I was doing. I thought, more was better, and kept adding on the mileage and vertical. My days were long and punishing. I pushed myself to the limit, again and again and again. I was on the verge of falling apart.
Then I stumbled across “Training for the New Alpinism” by Steve House and Scott Johnston. I would see Steve at different events and ask him questions. “Steve,” I’d say, “How do I know if I’m over-training?” “I’m training for a lot of climbs and I just want to get faster and stronger overall.” Steve was really nice and answered my questions, but eventually, he said he thought his coach Scott could take on another athlete for private coaching. I contacted Scott, and we started working together.
Shortly after I started working with Scott, I came across Chris Morgan and his amazing video work after a mutual friend suggested we collaborate. We had a short planning meeting, and I told him I wanted to show this side of my athletic career. At first, it felt like we had a lot of shots to get, but we managed to pull this off in just two easy days of shooting! Chris has a great eye, he was able to keep track of all the shots we needed and he put them together in a creative way. I love working on these types of collaborations! Huge thanks to Chris for putting this together! Check out his site and Instagram account for more inspiring photos and videos.
I learned that effective training isn’t about adding on more mileage and vertical, it’s about building power and muscular endurance in focused sessions that are shorter than I ever imagined. I started loading up my backpack for weighted uphill hikes, doing 3,000’-7,000’ vertical at a time with 20-30% of my body weight. I got a gym membership and hit the weight room. I sprinted up hills. I trail ran for recovery. I started saying no to a lot of adventures, because I knew they would exhaust me and keep me from my training. Every week was a little different, and Scott and I communicated often to check in and make sure we were on track. It’s a fine line between pushing yourself to the limit but still being able to absorb the effects of the training and breaking yourself down. One session that’s too hard, one night that’s too late, or too many obligations and you risk illness or injury. I learned to be very self-aware, to check in with my body and my mind, and make judgment calls to do what was best for my bigger goals.
Do I feel stronger? After a few months, I started feeling stronger. I noticed big ski touring days didn’t phase me as much as they used to.
But now, I’m excited to go put it all to the test. I’ve been dreaming about skiing in Peru for years. Ever since I first saw a photo of the Cordillera Blanca, I knew I wanted to explore those high mountains on skis. Because the lines of my dreams don’t have chairlifts or helicopters to take me to the top. My legs are my chairlift, and I want them to be as sturdy as possible. In less than a week, I depart for #PeruSki15. Follow along on our adventure!
Huge thanks to Scott Johnston for all the coaching and advice and to Steve House for connecting us and writing the book.
Flashback Friday: Taking a moment to enjoy the view from the summit of King's Peak on our 29-mile round trip ski tour to visit Utah's highest point. This day was perfect training for my upcoming trip, a ski mountaineering expedition to Peru! I'm happy to share that I'll be working with @LifeProof this year to go on more amazing adventures like this one. #PeruSki15 #LiveLifeProof
A snapshot from the 2014-15 season, the worst Utah winter in recorded history. Ski mountaineering in the Wasatch was more challenging than usual as many commonly used approaches were devoid of snow. Core shots were abundant and steep couloirs were extra narrow and technical. Seeing the decline of winter as we know it is one of the reasons I speak up about climate change. This morning I attended a breakfast fundraiser with @healutah – and was reminded of all the great work they are doing on climate change, clean air and renewable energy. If you love Utah, I urge you to check them out (link in profile) and consider donating now! Funds raised today will be matched by a donor. #ActOnClimate @protectourwinters
I've always been a dreamer. Pictures, videos and stories of mountain climbers have always captured my imagination and pushed me to make that my reality. One of my biggest dreams is to climb and ski in the Himalayas, which is why my heart aches for the people there.It's been nearly two weeks since the devastating earthquake hit Nepal, and stories of the devastation in remote villages are just trickling in. If you've ever been moved by stories of harrowing Himalayan climbing, touched by photos of grandiose mountains or the smile of a beautiful Nepali child, if you have a love of wild places, NOW is the time to give. Nepal is the backbone of our collective inspiration-let's raise it back up. Join athletes, photographers, mountain guides and writers from across the globe in rallying much needed support for the remote mountain villages of Nepal. The organizations involved with this fundraiser WILL make a difference. Check out my profile and follow the link to donate.
Happy Cinco de Mayo! This picture is from Orizaba, the highest peak in Mexico, which I had the great pleasure of climbing and skiing last fall with @brodyleven and @graysonschaffer! I loved traveling to Mexico-excellent food, scenery, and people! Can't wait to go back to this fabulous, vibrant country! If you want to check out the @outsidemagazine video from our trip- see link in profile. #bigmtndreams
Feel the wind in your hair! And keep your eyes on the goal. The past few weeks I've started up a mini cycle of training in preparation for an upcoming expedition. It's always a bit difficult to get settled into a training schedule. Many things get in the way. My CG training tip of the day is that sometimes quitting is a good thing. Organize your life in a way to support training for your goals. In order to train for my #bigmtndreams, I have to make sacrifices. I've given up friendships, certain jobs, I've had to learn how to say no. Ski mountaineering requires the strength and endurance of superwoman. Training is different than exercising or having a fun adventure with friends. It takes focus and discipline. It's often not fun. But there are already enough factors that will challenge me on the way to the summit. I don't want my personal fitness to be one of them. #poweryourpassion @jaybeyerimaging photo: @goldsteinproductions