In honor of Women’s Month, we’ve decided to highlight some of the most badass women in adventure. These women are mountaineers, climbers, divers, explorers, activists, photographers, scientists and entrepreneurs (to name a few). Their journeys have inspired me to be a more fearless adventurer and proud woman in the industry. They have inspired me to try new activities, travel to new places, push my limits and make this world a better place than I found it. Read on to see some of our female inspirations in adventure, and make sure to follow their journeys through social media.
CAROLINE GLEICH: Ski Mountaineer and Environmental Activist, Utah @carolinegleich
You’ve most likely seen this outdoor adventure powerhouse on social media and magazines such as Powder and Backcountry. Caroline Gleich, a ski mountaineer, activist and outdoor adventure enthusiast, is famous for her epic shots conquering some of the hardest ski lines on the planet. She has endured online bullying from people who doubted her abilities, and managed to prove them very wrong each time. Not only does she stand up against harassment, she is an advocate for conserving our environment and inspiring others to follow their dreams. Her goal is to get more people outside, inspiring them to live an active lifestyle and respect and protect our lands in the process.
JESSI-LYNN GLORIA: Mountain Hiker and Climber, Alberta @gloria.outdoors
What would your advice be for someone who wants to live fearlessly and pursue their wildest dreams?
Don’t compare your journey to anyone else’s. Do what makes YOU feel alive, and if you aren’t quite sure what that is, then wake up with an intention everyday to keep trying something new. I can’t say it enough, we literally have one life to live (unless I’m wrong, then next life I choose a mountain goat!). I have a thing where if I’m struggling with a decision, I picture myself as an elderly lady reflecting on my life. If I think that I would say “I wished I had tried that” or “I wish I gave that a chance”, then I do everything in my power to make it happen. My goal is to live with intention, live without regret, and don’t let your dreams pass by. Your timeline is YOUR timeline, it doesn’t have to line up with the books. Look back only at the good moments or the lessons that got you where you are. Now point every bit of your energy to making the present so positive that your future memories line up with your dreams. Now go get it!
SASHA DIGIULIAN: World Champion Pro Climber, Writer and Speaker, Colorado @sashadigiulian
Sasha began rock climbing at the age of six, began competing at age seven, and has been unstoppable ever since. She is a three-time U.S. National Champion, World Champion for Female Overall, and the first female to ascend the North Face of Eiger. To this date, she has logged in over 30 First Female Ascents and 8 First Ascents. In addition to climbing, she is also a public speaker and writer for Outside Magazine, and has been featured in the likes of National Geographic, SELF and Rock and Ice. She is also on the Board of the Women’s Sports Foundation and serves as an athlete ambassador for many organizations.She writes about body acceptance, and her journey to self-acceptance. Her powerful words: “From my crooked, callused fingers to my bunion toes, my body is my own. I do not owe this look to anyone else. We as women need to have this type of correspondence with ourselves. We need to recognize what we appreciate about our bodies, highlight what we are proud of, what we’re good at, and feel inspired by, and face what we do not like. Self-esteem is the prerequisite to gender equality.” (See the full article here: outsideonline.com/2171566/sasha-digiulian-female-athlete-body-image)
CANDACE CRESPI: Biologist, Conservationist and Scuba Diver, Colorado @candace.crespi
An avid scuba diver, Candace aims to give a voice to endangered oceanic species by working with communities and organizations to raise awareness and inspire change. She has seen first-hand the effects of global warming and human impact on our oceans and environment, such as the destruction of coral reefs and the declining population of sharks. She has worked on projects such asRacing Extinction and organizations such as the Oceanic Preservation Society and Blue Sphere Foundation. She hopes to inspire change to preserve our oceans by sharing her adventures and the wonders seen in the ocean.
JEANNE STAWIECKI: Mountaineer and World Record Holder, Massachusetts @jeannestawiecki
How do you want to inspire other women to get out and follow their dreams?
There is a mystical quality in the realization that dreams are more than flights of fancy. They are essential to what we achieve and who we become. I had neglected my dreams for so long. My first travel abroad wasn’t until I was fifty years old. That first trip to the Himalayas transformed my life in every way—the people I met, the vistas I saw, the perspectives I gained—all expanded my understanding of what a beautiful planet we share, and how richly life can be experienced. Dreams aren’t an extra, and they aren’t optional.I’d like to share with you a moment when I realized I had entered the world of the dreamer. It was during my trek in the Himalayas at one of the lodges…Breakfast, lunch, and dinner were served in this common room. Along the perimeter stood benches with long wooden tables, and small tables with chairs sat in the middle. Trekkers, climbers, guides, and adventurers of all sorts, from all over the world and all walks of life, congregated to read, play cards, map strategies, and write in journals. While busily writing in my journal, I caught snippets of fascinating tales, past and present, including rafting trips on raging rivers, hot air balloon rides over the Serengeti, treks through the volcanic regions of Iceland.With each tale, I grew more enthralled, and more grateful. As a little girl, I had looked in wonder and excitement at a world I could only dream of. Their talk stirred emotions of the passion, bliss, and fullness of a life lived beyond the realm of the dreamer. A world to which I now belonged.
SAMANTHA MAHER: Travel Nurse and Explorer, Oahu @sammiefuggindude
What does outdoor adventure mean to you?
To me, outdoor adventure means planning, prepping and watching the clock waiting for work to be done. It’s getting up early and singing/screaming our favorite songs and driving on empty roads to places that fewer people know. It’s hiking boots and gravel crunching under my shoes. It’s earning every view I make it to. It’s my fondest memories and my greatest fantasies. It’s the only time I feel truly free.
How would you like to inspire other women to get outside and explore?
I hope that I can inspire women by example. I never felt at home anywhere, so I chose to make my home everywhere. I want my sisters and my friends and friends of friends and girls everywhere to know that it’s completely okay to NOT do what everyone else is doing. You don’t have to live the life you see on Instagram or the one your parents told you that you should. You don’t have to follow social norms and you don’t have to feel weird about that. You don’t have to settle down or settle, ever. You have to do what serves you. You have to sit down with yourself and figure out what you want and then you have to do that. If you can’t figure it out, then I think you have to get outside. If only for the silence, if only to feel the ground under your feet and know that it’s there. The internet isn’t going to tell you what to do with your life; books can help, people can help, but ultimately it’s up to you. What do you want to be surrounded by? If you aren’t sure, the mountains (and the deserts, and the beaches) are all great places to start. Get amongst them. Take their wisdom. Write it down. Seek it out.
Where are your favorite spots for adventure?
I’ve been lucky enough to spend a year in Hawaii so it goes without saying that a LOT of my favorite adventure spots reside here. I cannot get enough of the Ko’olau mountain range, the ridges along the mountainside are one of the most beautiful sights in the world to me. Outside of Hawaii, the deserts of Utah and Arizona have my heart. And of course, all of our incredible national parks. Northern Washington is wonderful and also every inch of Idaho! There really isn’t anywhere that I don’t want to explore, but those are my favorites for sure.
BREEZE TURNER: Paddleboarding Enthusiast and Explorer, Lake Tahoe @breezeturner
Chances are, if you have an Instagram account, you’ve come across a photo of Breeze Turner and her dog Marley on a paddleboard, almost effortlessly floating on the clear turquoise waters of Lake Tahoe, the snow-capped Sierras in the background. Starting out just taking GoPro photos of their adventures, she has quickly amassed a following of over 55 thousand people. This Reno, Nevada-based real estate agent has become an adventure inspiration to many women as she documents her journey paddling Lake Tahoe (she recently completed circumnavigating the lake) and beyond on social media.
KIEREN BRITTON: Explorer and Founder of The Lady Alliance, Saskatchewan @theladyalliance
What makes you proud to be a woman in adventure?
Family. My family makes me proud. For me, it’s not about the next photo op, or the next adventure high. It’s about getting outdoors with the people you love, and creating new memories. Funny memories. Pushing your limits and building yourselves together. For my family, adventure is a part of who we are. I grew up tenting at 6 weeks old, riding along on multi-day cycling trips as early as one to two years old, and I was strapped into a mini harness and climbing at 4. My parents, and my family made me who I am today, and how can you not be proud of who you are when such amazing people helped shape you?
But being a woman in adventure has a special meaning to me. It all stems back to something my grandfather had once said. A friend of his doubted my ability in adventure, unconsciously implying that I couldn’t do something due to me being a young 17 year old girl. Though I can’t remember in what capacity, I’ll always remember what my grandfather immediately declared. He said “Kieren can do things that most others can’t.” He didn’t say “Kieren can do things that most other girls can’t”. He knew my gender didn’t determine my outcome. He compared me to the general public. And though I believe that anyone can do anything they set their mind to, his unwavering confidence in my ability also helped shape who I am today. And I’m damn proud to say I am a Britton.
How do you want to inspire other women to get into adventure?
The Lady Alliance builds confidence and community through adventure. Whether that means helping an adventurer summit her first mountain, surf her first wave, learn adventure photography, or become avalanche savvy, we want to help women build confidence in themselves, and inspire them to break down any barriers of self doubt so that we can all enjoy the outdoors. For The Lady Alliance women specific adventures are not about excluding men. They’re about creating a space where we can grow together. For some it’s about opening up and exposing vulnerabilities to show how strong and determined we truly are. For others, they’re about having a weekend of laughs with kindred spirits. It’s about finding out exactly what makes us capable. This trip helped remind us that there are other ladies out there that enjoy the activities that we do. It reminds us that we as women are not easily categorized. It allows women to come together to encourage each other, and build their adventure crews.
EMILY PENNINGTON: Hiker, Explorer and Blogger at Brazen Backpacker, Los Angeles @brazenbackpacker
How do you want to inspire other women to get out and explore?
I want to empower women to get out and explore by exposing the process. I’m a fledgling mountaineer and far from an expert climber. I still make mistakes all the time. By documenting my growth and my journey, hopefully I can help to bridge the gap in the narrative between beginner and gnarled mountain dude on the cover of Outside Magazine.
CYNTHIA CURRIE: Skydiver, BASE Jumper and Paragliding Instructor, Monterey @cyncurriebird
Cyn Currie is recognizable for pushing the limits through her beautiful, death-defying stunts: performing aerial silks in the sky under canopy, BASE jumping in Switzerland, Moab and Southeast Asia and paragliding above some of the most beautiful landscapes. She has shown that “flying like a girl” means living your craziest dreams and inspiring other women to become the badass adventurer they were meant to be through aerial sports. She aspires to introduce more fearless women to the skies through her paragliding school, Monterey Sky Sports.
Katie Jane Purdy: Snowboarder, Mountain Biker and Outdoor Enthusiast , Colorado @theoutdoorswoman
Katie is a British outdoor enthusiast currently living in Colorado. Her Instagram is filled with images of her snowboarding, mountain biking, snowmobiling and exploring the stunning landscapes of Colorado and the American Southwest.
MIKAELA RULAND: Hiker, Explorer and Blogger at Subaru Life, Denver @airundermyheels
What is your advice to people who want to pursue their dream life?
Just do it. Seriously, it sounds cliche, but if you want it, go for it. The universe has a way of working itself out. If you really want it, you’ll find the money, you’ll find the opportunities. Get creative; we didn’t have the classic #vanlife rig, we squeezed ourselves into a Subaru Legacy and made it work. Plan your route around National Forests to take advantage of free camping. Get a membership to a chain gym, or take advantage of free passes at local gyms to get a clean shower. That was a huge learning!
BRE MIRYNECH: Hiker, Climber, Mountaineer and Explorer, Banff @bremirynech
What is your advice to people who want to pursue their dream life?
Find exactly what it is that makes you come alive; body, mind, and spirit, and don’t stop chasing it. Don’t be scared of living life in the fullest way possible. For some reason, society has conditioned us to be scared of this, to fear straying from the path. This is exactly what you should do. Knees wobbling, hands shaking, get up and do it. Don’t hesitate for a second. Be fearless.
To live fearlessly, be complete on your own. Find love within yourself. Find happiness with your dreams and plans, and do it for you. Even if it seems outrageous and massive, do it. Don’t stop to think or care about what other people think. There will always be people who think you aren’t living life properly. If you are happy, true heart-smiling happiness, and chasing your dreams and being the best version of yourself, that is the best gift you can give to this world. The best thing you can do is inspire people to be themselves, live life whole-heartedly, and believe they can achieve anything, no matter how crazy it seems. The world needs more people like this. So decide what it is that makes you feel alive, what your wildest dreams are, take a breath, and do it and don’t look back.
At This Adventure Life we celebrate the lives and stories of the people who live life fearlessly. #livefearlessly