A bit of mixed ridge climbing today en route to the American Fork Twin Peaks from @snowbird. 4" or so up high. So happy to be in the snow! Photo: @matthewturley

There are these moments, when I get to the top of a peak…I think about how much I love climbing. Then, I remember what I'm really training for. Climbing is part of it but for me, it's all about skiing the lines of my dreams. I cannot wait for the mountains to be covered in snow!!! Not long now… #bigmtndreams #winterlove

There's nothing quite like waking up in a sea of mountains, cloaked in shimmering golden light. Sometimes the most challenging thing is not to run away to the mountains everyday but to sit and do the work that allows me to get there. #exploremore #bigmtndreams

Today's training included some weighted hill climbs. I was stoked to spend some time on the trail with my nephew, Peter. Sunday funday with the family. #bigmtndreams #exploremore

Buenas noches from the top of Mount Nebo, 11,929'. Happy Weekend adventuring! #exploremore #find_away #bigmtndreams

Sunrise from the summit of Mt. Nebo, the highest peak in the Wasatch, my backyard mountain range. I was inspired by @drjonkedski and his book, Sleeping on Summits, so I decided to give it a try. Sleeping on such an exposed, rocky and windy ridge was challenging, but great training for future endeavors. #bigmtndreams #exploremore

The descent portion of ski mountaineering requires one to make a series of highly controlled, technical turns on steep, exposed terrain with little room for error. The best unofficial ski coach I ever had was photographer @leecohen_pics who helped me hone my technique on the slopes of Alta and Snowbird. By critiquing the photos frame by frame, I learned how to make a nearly perfect turn. Lee is the man- be sure to check out his profile for inspiration! @leecohen_pics @altaskiarea #bigmtndreams

It's #IcePhoto Wednesday and I'm reminiscing snow camping on the glacier in Alaska, earning my ski turns (and enjoying a pedicure, pictured here). One of the things I love most about ski mountaineering is the amazing glaciated terrain I get to travel through. But glaciers, worldwide, are melting at an unprecedented rate and it's making many mountains more difficult or dangerous to climb. Climate change is a complicated issue, but advancing clean energy will also help clean up the air quality in my home, Salt Lake City, UT. Those are some of my reasons to #ActOnClimate. What are yours? #saveoursea #protectourwinters #find_away #akgirls_way

@altaskiarea is for families. Spotted this mother moose and her calf this morning. There were two bulls around as well. Check out my facebook page (link in profile) for more photos. Remember to give moose plenty of space. Last fall, I had a close encounter with a ornery bull while trail running in the dark! Thankfully, it ended without conflict, but it sure gave me a scare. Photo: @olloclip lens on iPhone

Happy Fall Equinox! I love fall because it means winter is right around the corner. There's a chance of snow this weekend in the Wasatch! Photo: topping out on the summit of Hahn's Peak, CO @robaseltine #bigmtndreams

Cold and breezy on the summit of Mt. Raymond in the rain yesterday! CG tech tip: cold weather training- working out in the cold presents a different set of challenges for your body to adapt to. Continue outdoor exercise through the fall and early winter to ease your body into it. I promise, you can learn to enjoy it! Bring an extra layer (I like to have a few light layer options rather than one big one) and plan to keep moving at a fast pace. #bigmtndreams

I was marching in spirit with the 300,000+ citizens in yesterday's #PeoplesClimateMarch. As much as I wanted to fly to NYC to join this historic effort, I decided to stay home and voice my support via other channels. We have to be open and honest with the behaviors we have. There are no perfect solutions. As an individual, I'm doing my best to lead a simpler, more examined life. But we have to speak up for the environment to protect the places we play and create the future we envision. As David Brower said, "There is no business to be done on a dead planet." March on, yesterday, today and tomorrow. #votetheenvironment #actonclimate #protectourwinters

Good morning from Big Cottonwood! Glad to be back in Gore-Tex season. Instead of letting the rain cancel our parade, we brought our rain jackets and marched on. It was good to be out in the elements! #find_away #exploremore #bigmtndreams

Sunset on Hahn's Peak was the perfect way to finish my Colorado trip. Stoked to be home after a month of travel! Huge thanks the @zealoptics family for an amazing week! Photo: @robaseltine #exploremore #throughourlenses

I'm inspired by those who have the fearlessness to chase after their wildest dreams- like all the @zealoptics athletes I've had the chance to connect and catch up with this week. @leilahurst and I en route to a beautiful waterfall in the CO mountains. #exploremore #throughourlenses photo @robaseltine

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.