Inclusion and Intersectionality with the Ladies of Trail Talks
Coalition Snow Ambassador Evin Harris along with friend and journalist Monica Nigon walk us through their acknowledgement of privilege in the outdoor space and how they want to make it more inclusive through their cheeky blog, Trail Talks.
Name: Evin Harris
Home Mountain: Crested Butte, CO
Gear: Myth All Mountain Board
Hiding from the snowy weather in their rafting company’s office in Buena Vista are Coalition Snow Ambassador Evin Harris along with friend and journalist Monica Nigon. The duo is passionate about not only climbing, skiing and whitewater but also the inclusion of different minority groups in these outdoor activities. Together, they began a cheeky blog called Trail Talks, which is self-described as a ‘revolutionary adventure-fueled feminist multimedia experience.’
How was your winter?
Evin: I was in Crested Butte for the winter and taught snowboarding there part-time. It’s my fourth year teaching but I used to be at Breckenridge. We got pounded with snow there - it was amazing. I also did the Helly Hansen big mountain freeride challenge at Breckenridge and-
Monica: She won!
Evin: I won first.
Do you use a Coalition board?
Evin: I use the all mountain Myth. I love it, it’s pretty sturdy for the things that you do for big mountain. So on steep lines it definitely charges pretty well. I have it set to pretty much the full width because I like a wide stance and even in powder it was great. Well, it wasn’t powdery when I competed...it was pretty shitty conditions. But the board did great!
What is the purpose of the Trail Talks blog?
Evin: We’re still trying to narrow in on what is it….
Monica: Just us doing dumb shit. We’ll go backcountry skiing but be really silly. Or us climbing but wearing ridiculous apparel. It’s really fun to have fun with what we’re doing, but as women in this realm of the outdoors we always want to talk about our privilege in it as two white women. So just trying to acknowledge that as we go on about it.
Evin: The wide range of faces that in the outdoor industry are not always recognized or given the same accessibility, so we definitely want to be very aware of how lucky we are to be outside. When Monica and I have both been frustrated in any backcountry excursion or climbing route we have to remind ourselves that it’s a privilege that we can be out there. We have a saying, ‘Make climbing fun again, making rafting fun again, make skiing fun again.’ We just want to keep it fun because that’s why we’re doing it.
How do you get behind the mission of Coalition Snow?
Evin: Coalition is not just one thing or one face, it’s trying to push this whole movement and not pleading ignorance or anything like that, which is refreshing.
Either Evin/Monica: It’s not just one perspective of writing, especially with Sisu Magazine. Their instagram is not just one view of a women in the outdoors. You know.. Like a skinny white woman who’s crushing everything she does. You have a variety of faces and it’s a bad-ass lady company that makes dope gear.
Evin: We already know how much space we can take up and that our voice is pretty much heard, so we want to give space to other people and just show other people how there are others who are fighting to have accessibility, equal opportunity or even being taken seriously in the outdoors. There’s so many badass climbers and backcountry enthusiasts and whatnot who are of color, trans, queer - but nobody pays attention to them or knows they are there.
What is the goal of Trail Talks?
Monica: Hopefully….Our goal is to lift other people’s faces up and not taking anything too seriously. We hope to make an image that the outdoors can be a really accessible place for everyone.
List of other accounts Evin and Monica recommend to give a follow:
@melaninbaasecamp @black.guys.travel.too @brownfolksfishing @indigenouswomenhike @outdoorafro @browngirlsclimb @joytripproject @nativewomenswilderness @latinxhikers @unlikelyhikers @colorthecrag @outdoorasian @outthereadv @lgbtqoutdoorsummit @latinxoptoutside