Cool Mom of Southwest Colorado
Coalition Snow Ambassador Ryan Michelle is living proof that you can be mom and still have time to kindle your passion for the outdoors.
Name: Ryan Michelle
Home Mountain: Wolf Creek Ski Area, CO
Favorite Coalition Snow Goods: Leggings!
With a three-year-old son Forrest and seven-month-old daughter Abby attached at the hip, you’d think it would be a challenge for Ryan Michelle to find time to get outdoors. Instead, she made it a priority. Without forgoing her passion for the outdoors the cool mom is able to create a balance between her family, passions and work - often intermingling all three. Now, Ryan is encouraging all moms to do the same in her local group of gals as well as through her freelance work.
Do you mostly backcountry ski?
I love backcountry skiing more than anything. Resort skiing is nice because it’s easy, but I really like working to earn those turns. We mostly tour in the San Juan Mountains and try to do a hut trip every year. It’s really mellow - we don’t do chutes or bumps. I just like to cruise.
Are you excited to take your kids out backcountry skiing when they’re old enough?
Absolutely. Forrest, my son, has been on three backcountry trips already! One when I was pregnant, one we did a seven-mile into a backcountry lodge and the other one was an eight-mile hike into the Blue Lakes hut. He was small enough that he would go in either the backpack or the chariot-type chair that we have a ski attachment for. We’ll put his little downhill skis on when we get out there which is really cool, it’s fun. This was my son’s first season with a pass and he’s a little ripper - we’re hoping Abby is too.
Do you get behind Coalition’s message of women empowerment?
100%. I focus on the mom-side. For me, I used to never think about being a mom because it was not my goal. I just wanted to be a woman, in the outdoors, doing my thing - but then we decided to have kids and it was a game changer.
I’m hoping to inspire women after having kids to get after it still because they can! And they should. I’ve talked to a lot of women who say that they’re busy, they have kids, that they can’t. But I don’t want to hear ‘I can’t.’ Let’s get after it. We’re going to bring the kids, or not, and get outside. I know after seven months, my latest baby has been on my hip the whole time. I need to start taking my own advice and get after it on my own for a day!
I have this core group of gals here. A lot of us have kids. We make it a point to go fishing or go mountain biking at least once a week. It’s good to have that sort of support system - I want to be there for them and they want to be there for me.
What about their phrase, ‘Shred the Patriarchy?’
Yes! We’re women and we’re strong. I have lots of stickers and koozies with that. I love it when a friend picks that koozie, I’m like heck yes! I totally get behind it. I’m not anti-dude but at the same time, I’m pro-women and pro-women running things. We need to break down barriers and make things happen and we can and we have.