Summiting Peaks with Confidence
Learn how Alexandra is creating an impressive mountaineering resume and bringing up the women around her to tick off the same objectives
Name: Alexandra Lev
Home Mountain: Mt. Hood, OR
Gear: La Nieve 168 cm
With parents that based their lives around skiing, climbing and hiking it seems only fitting that their only daughter would become an avid outdoor adventurer and trip leader, helping plan women’s events across her area. Alexandra Lev, who currently resides in the Pacific Northwest, is slowly creating an impressive mountaineering resume of her own and bringing up the women around her to tick off the same objectives.
For starters, Alex has several ski descents of Mt. Hood under her belt, frequently skis Mt St. Helens with her two huskies, has skied Mt Rainier, and even lead an all-women’s trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of what she has done, and what she plans to do.
Where are you most likely found skiing?
I mostly ski anywhere there’s dog friendly! A big motivation for me to get back into backcountry skiing was to be with my dogs. A lot of people that aren’t familiar with backcountry skiing are like, ‘Wait are they allowed at the resort? How do they get down? Do you put them in a backpack?’ My first step is to make sure I’m going somewhere where dogs are allowed. (And since I have huskies, getting used to them not listening when you call them….) I had one dog that passed away in November and she was skiing with me till thirteen!
Are you often able to ski with other women?
I would say 99% of my ski partners are women, except for my husband. Beside the Coalition Snow Sisterhood of Shred, I’m also an ambassador for Pacific Northwest Outdoor Women. I’ve taken a lot of friends up to the Palmer Lift at Timberline who are interested in getting into the backcountry but are maybe a little hesitant, doubt themselves or they don’t want to go with a male guide. I guess you can say that for some people I’ve been a mentor. Not everyone can afford to take a class, it’s not realistic for a lot of people. If you’re in a position to be a mentor for someone and be a positive role model in their life I don’t know why you wouldn’t.
Have you found it’s different when it’s a woman mentoring a woman?
Yes, absolutely. I wrote an article about it for Sisu Magazine - it was basically an opinion piece about women’s only spaces and why I think we need them.
A lot of women can be intimidated by going out with groups of men and feel judged. A lot of times men and women too will look down and think you’re not capable or strong enough. I think when you go out with other women a lot of times it kind of creates a safe space - especially if you share your struggles, which I tend to do. When you share those things people are like, ‘Oh that’s how I feel too,’ and it reassures them that they’re not alone in that struggle.
I don’t know anyone that when they’re out on a huge mountain endeavor doesn’t doubt themselves at some point. A lot of times people just don’t talk about it. I think it’s really important we create safe spaces for women to go out with other women and I will always encourage that.