New Q&A up on @shejumps site! Find out more about my background and progression into ski mountaineering. Link in profile. Photo: climbing up the NE couloir of the Petit Mont Blanc in Italy. #bigmtndreams #exploremore #find_away #chamonixoxo

Good morning from Colorado! This morning, I climbed my first Colorado #14er, Torrey's Peak. It was so fun, we decided to tag Gray's too! Two 14ers before 9 am. Thanks @fmarmsaterphoto and @drjonkedski for taking me on the adventure. #exploremore #bigmtndreams

Top of the first Flatiron. One of the things I love most about @instagram and social media in general is the way it brings like-minded people together. Yesterday, I met up with one of my Instagram followers, @arareko, to climb. Now, we are real life friends. If you're in Boulder tonight, come join me and the rest of the @zealoptics team at Sanitas Brewing at 6 pm for the world premiere of "The River's Divide." Hope to see you there!

Topping out on the first flatiron in Boulder, hours after landing at Denver airport, pitch #35 in the past 12 days. Such an amazing way to kick off my first Boulder visit and a week with the @zealoptics crew! special thanks to @arareko for taking me on this adventure! #bigmtndreams #exploremore

Thinking back on the last 3 weeks of travel: Montana, California and tomorrow I'm off to Colorado to meet up with the @zealoptics crew! Always grateful for the opportunity to #exploremore and inspired by the friends, new and old, that I interact with along the way. Mahalo @ktmillerphoto @lydlovesmud @bfredlund @jeffbeckstrand @shannbenntt

We Heart Trees

 

 

 

 

 

August 16, 2014

 

My friend, Hannah Whitney, invited me to plant trees at Solitude with TreeUtah. Many years ago, I volunteered with TreeUtah and did a tree planting at Alta Ski Area. I was excited to have an opportunity to get out with them again.

Part of what makes the Wasatch so great for skiing (besides the abundance and quality of snow) is the spacing of trees. Some of the most alpine-feeling areas of the Wasatch are treeless due to avalanches. However, what people don’t realize when they look at the Wasatch, especially in Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, is that most of the ancient trees were removed for limber, to build homes in the Salt Lake Valley and underground mines.

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Riding chairlifts in the summer, always an interesting experience. You don’t realize how much snow we get, until you have to jump to get off on a platform!

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Volunteers gathering at the top of the lift, ready to divide and conquer.

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The lovely Hannah Whitney from Tree Utah giving us a demonstration.

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Me, stoked and ready to plant!

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Teamwork makes the planting easier, and more fun! I invited my lovely friend Megan Suszynski to come with me, and we had a blast.

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Dave Richards aka “Grom” of Alta Ski Patrol, ready to dig!

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One of the limber pines we planted…

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Hannah Whitney of Tree Utah going what she does best. I met her through the big mountain ski scene, and I’ve been stoked to see her transition to environmental activism, through her work at Patagonia, Tree Utah and SheJumps.

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While we were hiking around, we found several skis, poles, empty beer battles and even a full, unopened can of beer!

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Overall, the group planted 1,000 new trees at Solitude! Thanks so much to Tree Utah and Solitude for hosting this awesome event.

To find out about future volunteer opportunities with TreeUtah, be sure to “Like” their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/TreeUtah?ref=br_tf

And check out their website:

http://treeutah.org/

 

 

Setting up camp at 12,500'- there were some prime bivy spots at the base of Mt. Whitney. Last weekend's adventure has me dreaming about what's next… @bigagnes_ #highsierra #bigmtndreams

In the winter, I start my day by eating breakfast and reading the @utavy forecast. The @utavy center is an indispensable resource for Utah backcountry users. A quick reminder that their annual fundraiser is tonight at @blackdiamondequipment. Hope to see you there! @tmacphee

With each passing hour after a big adventure, I find myself less likely to remember the physical discomfort and more likely to remember the views, good feelings and fun. Scrapes and bruises fade quickly, but the feelings of accomplishment linger. Already dreaming of my next trip…

Ascending the East Buttress on Mt. Whitney. Alpine climbing requires you to put all your skills to the test. After spending the summer learning how to trad climb, it was awesome to swing leads on this eleven pitch route. #bigmtndreams #exploremore

Supermoon in the Sierras! The moonlight was so luxurious- no headlamp necessary. It was so incredible to be at the base of Mt. Whitney at night surrounded by granite towers reflecting the moonlight. I had to wear an eye mask to sleep! #bigmtndreams

Back to civilization after a fantastic journey to the top of Mt. Whitney, the highest peak in the lower 48, via the East Buttress. Dramatic weather today- stoked we were able to climb before the storm rolled in! #bigmtndreams

Sunrises and sunsets enjoyed high up in the alpine; the fantastic views are one of the reasons I appreciate wilderness areas. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act signing. Why do you appreciate wilderness areas? #wearethewild #find_away

One of the things I love most about alpine climbing is the creative problem solving and critical thinking involved. It is not only a physical challenge but a mental one. : figuring out route finding and gear placements on the way up Bear Creek Spire. #bigmtndreams

Taking in the views on the way up the North Arête of 13,720' Bear Creek Spire. So excited to tick this High Sierra classic alpine climb! #bigmtndreams #exploremore

There's something so gratifying about foraging for wild huckleberries. And @ktmillerphoto knew right where to go… #somewhereinmontana #landofdreams @ktmillerphoto

Montana reflections. Photogenic from every angle. Such a rejuvenating trip- now, onto the next adventure! #bigmtndreams

Mountain gals are like rare birds, and when we get together, we like to sing, dance and fly. I feel so grateful for my time in Montana with @lydlovesmud and @ktmillerphoto. Can't wait for our future adventures!

At the end of a hot day, there's nothing quite like a polar plunge! @ktmillerphoto taking a dip in a chilly, alpine stream. Montana, you are lovely from all angles.

Off the beaten path. Many times, there is no trail to take us to our desired destination. We have to find our own way. In the case of our Montana adventure, it involved fording raging rivers, boulder hopping for miles and bushwhacking through dense, thorny brush. Eventually, we reunited with the trail, with the perfect amount of daylight and stoke left.

Went out for a casual dayhike with @ktmillerphoto and @lydlovesmud. 18 miles later… #sandbagged and loving it. Montana #sufferfest

Oh Montana. How happy I am to visit you. #exploremore #find_away

From the archives: lost in a slurry of pink and purple light. Alaska, April 2014. Photo: @liz_daley #akgirls_way #find_away @patagonia

Choss boss. As we neared the end of the Kessler-Superior linkup, the rock quality started to deteoriate, quickly. For those considering this traverse, I recommend bypassing Cardiac Ridge. In this photo, I'm practicing a technique @brodyleven taught me for dealing with tired legs! Press your hands onto your thighs to engage core. #bigmtndreams #find_away

Yesterday, I completed a ridge traverse I've been dreaming about for a year- Kessler peak to Superior! Lots of exposed scrambling forced me to focus on footwork. Which leads me to my tech tip of the day: precise footwork will save energy on a big day. Look down at where you are stepping, take soft, small steps, and don't forget to breathe! It gets easier every time- I can't wait to figure out my next ridge link up. #bigmtndreams #exploremore #find_away

We all have fears. One of my fears is lightning. Today, I almost cancelled my planned adventure because of the weather forecast. But we decided to go, always monitoring the weather and considering a bail plan. I ended up completing a ridge traverse I've been dreaming about for a year- Kessler Peak to Superior! There were a lot of unknowns when we started this adventure, but we navigated our way to a successful finish, with only a few raindrops falling on our heads. Sometimes you have to face your deepest fear to accomplish your goals. #bigmtndreams

Winter is coming. You can feel the chill in the air. #tbt to this windy, magical sunrise on top of Hidden Peak at @snowbird. Photo: @alexaphoto #bigmtndreams

Watching the storm roll in from the top of Hidden Peak at @snowbird. Stoked I timed my afternoon cardio in between monsoonal surges. #bigmtndreams #embracetheelements

I can't wait for all these chutes to be filled with snow. It's great to visit my favorite ski terrain in the summer – it gives me a deeper appreciation of the beauty of moving on skis in the winter. #bigmtndreams #exploremore

Getting down and dirty, planting trees. This weekend, I volunteered with TreeUtah and together, we planted 2,000 native trees at @skisolitude. There are very few ancient trees in Big Cottonwood Canyon due to widespread logging for mining activities in the late 1800s. In addition to all their other benefits, trees tend to anchor the snowpack, which can prevent destructive avalanche activity. I had so much fun digging around in the dirt with @megansuszynski and @hbdub, giving these little trees a new home in the Wasatch mountains.

"Training is not the same as exercising; training requires discipline, attention, and consistency. The challenge is to adhere to a schedule and gently coax your body into a regime, not bludgeon it into submission." Excerpt from Training for the New Alpinism by @stevehouse10. Tonight's training session involved hiking to the top of Hidden Peak at @snowbird. Thanks @brookegaynes and @johngaynes for being such stellar training partners! #bigmtndreams #trainingforthenewalpinism

Strong-legged girls climb many mountains. Stretching out the limbs after tagging the summit of Sunset Peak at @altaskiarea with @spicinguplife. A hike is the perfect way to catch up with friends! Photo: @alexaphoto

When trip planning, remember that the best adventures don't have to be the most expensive. We had so much fun snow camping on the glacier in Alaska and earning our turns instead of flying from a helicopter. What are your tips for adventure traveling on a budget? I'm curious to learn for future trip planning! #akgirls_way #bigmtndreams @bigagnes_

Dreaming of big mountains covered in snow and ice. Photo: @cavemancollective #bigmtndreams

Some of the best adventures are waiting in your own backyard. @lhittmeier topping out on the summit of Devil's Castle at @altaskiarea.

A lovely morning scramble across Devil's Castle with @andrewbydlon and @lhittmeier. Moving around in technical, exposed terrain like this is challenging- the movement is physically demanding and often, there are route finding issues and other unknowns. But, a wise mentor once told me, "familiarity breeds confidence," so I like to practice to keep skills sharp. Plus, there's nothing like a spicy ridge traverse to wake you up in the morning. #bigmtndreams #exploremore

With friends, even the longest, darkest hikes feel light and easy. Stoked on all my great adventure partners! Reminiscing this gorgeous sunrise last summer with @brookegaynes on the Broads Fork Twin Peaks. #bigmtndreams #exploremore

Grateful to be outdoors after a productive week at @outdoorretailer. Sunset hike to the apron of Devil's Castle with @brookegaynes and. @johngaynes at @altaskiarea.

The first time I saw Indian Paintbrush wildflowers was on a backpacking trip in the Winds when I was a little girl. They still bring back all the joyous memories of being free and wild in the outdoors. @altaskiarea #bigmtndreams #find_away

"We are all explorers." -Eric Larsen. I had the opportunity to listen to @elexplore speak today at the Outdoor Sustainability Insights Conference. His journey to the North Pole is super inspiring and is giving me new motivation as I plan my goals and trips for 14-15! Photo: ridge walking near Sunrise Peak taken by @tmacphee. #bigmtndreams

First light on top of a steep spine line that I climbed to ski – Alaska is a little different when you're snow camping and earning your turns. So stoked to take my first trip there this past winter.A reminder to #TakeAPowderDay and make your dream trip happen! #meetthemoment @clifbarcompany

How I love a good ridge traverse. There's something so energizing about moving quickly from summit to summit. This weekend's linkup took me from East Castle at @altaskiarea to Hidden Peak at @snowbird- such a fun little jaunt in the 'hood.

Sometimes, my motivation to train comes from a simple desire to see a meadow of alpine wildflowers. What motivates you? Partners? Fitness? An upcoming event or expedition? Excited to hear feedback and I hope everyone is enjoying a stellar weekend. #bigmtndreams #find_away #exploremore

Throwback to my first Ski magazine cover, November 2008, photo by Lee Cohen at @altaskiarea. #tbt #bigmtndreams

Solo ridge scramble in very Scottish conditions. Sometimes you have to make the best of marginal conditions, deal with wet feet and slippery rock, and plan to bail quickly at the first clap of thunder. Luckily the weather window held for my afternoon jaunt up the West Ridge of Toledo! #bigmtndreams #embracetheelements #exploremore

Happy bday to my friend, photographer, videographer and ski mountaineer extraordinaire @ktmillerphoto. This past winter, KT and I went to Chamonix where we climbed and skied some of the steepest, most technical terrain the world. KT not only held her own, but she managed to film and shoot photos too! Keep an eye for our video webisode this fall, #chamonixoxo and follow Kt's adventures on Instagram. #bigmtndreams #find_away #exploremore

Steep and deep, fluffy and sloughy, skiing the Hallway Couloir in primo conditions last winter. Photo: @tmacphee #bigmtndreams

Without challenge, we would never grow strong. Overcoming physical and mental barriers is the key is self discovery, and performance in the mountains. #latergram from a particularly character building walk out through Cascade Canyon after skiing the full SW Couloir in the Middle Teton last spring. Photo: @tetonsandwasatch #bigmtndreams

CG tech tip of the day: practice down climbing. For me, down climbing is mentally challengig because it forces me to look at all the exposure below (eek). But practice makes perfect. It's an essential skill for the aspiring alpinist- especially if you're interested in ridge traverses! Practice in the gym or on TR. Photo: navigating a small cruxy down climbing move on the Matthes Crest in the Sierras. #bigmtndreams

Wading through the first of many pools of water on yesterday's canyoneering adventure.