"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
Photography is a powerful medium. Photos inspire and motivate us. They have the power to create change.In my career as a professional skier, I spent years working in front of the lens. This year, i bought a Sony a6000 camera because I want to self-document some of my #bigmtndreams to share the landscapes and the people I meet. I am pushing myself to learn how to use it. I've always respected great outdoor sports photographers but I have even more respect now after trying to take pictures myself!This week, @brookegaynes and @huckgaynes let me snap some shots during our hike- this is one of my favorite ones from the shoot! I'd love to hear any of your tips for capturing sharp, outdoor imagery! Thanks!
Fourteen years ago today, my half-brother Martin was killed in an avalanche in the mountains near my now home of Salt Lake City, Utah. Martin was my first mountain mentor, he taught me how to climb, how to ski steeps, backpack and fostered my love of the outdoors. He opened my mind to what was possible and believed in me, and I'm forever grateful for his influence. ##It took me a long time to overcome my fear of avalanches. It's part of the reason I spend so much time training my own technical skills while encouraging others to take the time to learn mountaineering and snow safety skills before heading out into the backcountry. ##I choose this picture to post because I think Martin and Liz and all my friends who have perished in the mountains would like it. They would be stoked that I carry on doing what I love and living life to the fullest. Life is precious, do what you love. Live like Liz, Martin, Andreas, JP, Jamie, Billy, A-Rob, Kipp and Sarah and the countless other inspiring friends who left us too soon. #livelikeliz @brodyleven
The stormy weather this weekend was fitting for the somber news coming out of Nepal. When a tragedy like this occurs, it makes me want to give the whole world a hug. It's a reminder to live each day to its fullest and tell everyone I know how I feel about them- live intensely and enjoy every moment. #prayfornepal #bigmtndreams photo: @rob.lea
Throwing it back to our ill-advised trip to ski the highest volcano in North America, #orizaba, in a day (which is currently featured in the May issue of @outsidemagazine). I wouldn't recommend foolishly going straight from sea level to 18,500', but if you must, make sure your partners are stoked and positive optimists and good communicators like @brodyleven and @graysonschaffer. What qualities do you look for in mountain partners? #mexisnowgetaway #bigmtndreams
Earth day everyday! "Living the examined life," says @patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, "is a pain in the ass." But it's time to use our human ingenuity and resourcefulness to "make economic life more socially just and environmentally responsible, and less destructive to nature and the commons that sustain us." -excerpt from The Responsible CompanyHappy Earth Year! Photo: @rob.lea
Friends who sweat together, stick together. Sunsets on the trail with @brookegaynes and @huckgaynes. Brooke is one of my favorite adventure partners. I connected with her through the wonderful network of rad outdoor chicas on @instagram. So grateful to this community! Check out her account and give her a follow for more awesome sunset shots!
I think I would have been a better student if I had a treadmill desk, because my mind doesn't start working until my body starts moving. Does anyone else find it hard to sit still and think? A nice long walk on skis or dirt is a great way to start the day! Another @jaybeyerimaging photo from our #akgirls_way trip to the Tordrillos last spring. #bigmtndreams
The mountains offer new challenge everyday. Snow, especially, is such a rapidly-changing element. Just a few degrees of temperature or slope angle can be the difference between enjoyable skiing or not. But that's the thrill, venturing into the unknown to try and figure it out. Photo: @jaybeyerimaging from our #akgirls_way trip last spring. #bigmtndreams Thank you to all my followers, new and old, for coming along on the adventure and sharing stories. Let me know if you have any questions!
As the winter winds down here in Utah, I'm reminiscing on some of my favorite memories from the 14/15 season, which include this day, skiing on Mt. Webster in New Hampshire after ice climbing the Green Chasm with fellow @patagonia ambassador @majkaburhardt on our #wintermixedchix trip. These are the moments I live for… #bigmtndreams
Calling all Uinta hikers, backpackers and trail runners interested in merging sport and conservation! @adventurescience is looking for volunteers to collect data about wolverine and lynx populations in the High Uinta Wilderness. After two training weekends, chosen applicants will maintain two baited camera trap stations once a month through Sept., hiking 12-18 miles on each mission. For more info, check out: adventurescience.org/Uinta-carnivore-surveyPhoto: @louisarevalo
I'm excited to be taking over the @snowbird Instagram account for the next two days. With 8" of fresh snow already and a few more forecasted overnight, tomorrow should be heavenly! Stay tuned for more updates from the mountain. #birdathlete photo: one of my favorite experiences while skiing is spotting a sundog, like this one, pictured here from a few seasons ago. @scottmarkewitz
Psyched for the sunrise. Flashing it back to this day in January, on set, shooting for a @goalzero video. The final edit is out- check out the link in my profile to learn more of the story behind my #bigmtndreams! Huge thanks to @wasatchandy, @crossroadstudios and @rob.lea for a fun day in the mountains and for all their hard work hauling heavy camera equipment up the mountain at a semi-unreasonable hour of the morning! #GetOutStayOut #solarlife
"On a long day moving in the mountains, I enjoy the peaceful serenity of just putting one foot in front of another." So honored to be featured in this week's National Geographic Adventure Extreme Photo of the Week! Check out http://adventure.nationalgeographic.com/adventure/extreme-photo-of-the-week/ to read more. Photo: @jaybeyerimaging #sloveniandreams
Last time I hiked King's Peak, I took three days . This time, it took a half day. Huge thanks to locally based online retailer @skimo_co for helping me lighten the load. Check out skimo.co for all your fast n light ski mountaineering needs. I'm still a freeride skier at heart, but I take inspiration from many mountain athletes, from rando racers to alpinists, ice climbers, boulderers, and trail runners. All you athletes on Instagram, Keep on inspiring! #bigmtndreams