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Best Skis for Women of 2019

Have you ever found yourself growing tired of the winter season? Do you dread the colder weather? Do you sit inside and bemoan the fact that you’ve already seen all the good holiday movies three times? Well then, it sounds like you need a new winter hobby, and we think that new hobby might just be skiing! When you first dive into the world of snowsports, it can be a bit overwhelming to figure it all out. But you don’t need to fear! We’ve compiled a list of the best skis for women right here to help you sift through a handful of our very favorite skis.

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She Explores Episode 110: Grit, Guts, and the Right Amount of Gall

She Explores Episode 110: Grit, Guts, and the Right Amount of Gall

Our CEO Jen Gurecki was recently featured on the She Explores podcast. In this episode, Jen talks about how from the outside, each company is quite different – hardwood skis and snowboards vs. editorial print vs. a micro lending venture, but each contains a common thread: Jen’s unwavering devotion to putting women in front.

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BEER & GEAR GUIDE

Come fall, when thoughts begin to drift toward sliding on snow, purchasing a new pair of skis or a snowboard is perhaps the surest way to shift the stoke level into high gear. But selecting the right planks for your ability is never an easy task. To help with this difficult decision, Tahoe Quarterly and Homewood Mountain Resort teamed up to provide an insider’s peek at some of the best 2020 gear with our Beer & Gear Guide. The effort began in March, when Homewood gathered a handful of locals to answer an important question: Which new gear performed the best, and—a bonus—how well does it pair with a craft brew? It was a task that required getting in touch with one’s inner ski bum, but luckily, we had just the team for the challenge.

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Roz Groenewoud Joins Coalition Snow

Canadian halfpipe skier Roz Groenewoud joins the Coalition Snow professional athlete team and will compete on the Roz G Pro Model that she designed with the company this season. Committed to finding a company that would work with her to design the perfect halfpipe ski, Groenewoud began following the development of Coalition Snow in 2015.

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“I was really impressed with Coalition’s bold philosophy as a ski company so I started following their development. In the summer, I decided to approach them to see if they would be interested in helping me create my ski,” said Groenewoud.

“I wanted a ski that was stiff enough to withstand the G-force of going through the transition at fast speeds. It needed to be stiffer than a typical park ski but not as stiff as a GS ski. I wanted them to be strong but with relatively light construction. It wanted dimensions that I believe are ideal for pipe skiing.” The result is the Roz G Pro Model, a traditional full camber ski that is 176 cm in length, 83 mm under foot, with a 20-meter turn radius.

“My skis are very strong and stiff enough, while still being agile. Plus they are an exceptional carving ski,” said Groenewoud.

Often referred to as Roz G, Groenewoud has competed in freeskiing events internationally since she was 15-years-old. She has developed as a halfpipe specialist. Her results include seven X Games medals including two Gold. She won FIS World Championships and has ranked first in the world on the Association of Freeski Professionals ranking system. Roz has medals from every major event for female pipe skiers including Dew Tour, European Open, World Cups, Grand Prix, World Ski International, US Open, and others. Roz received an early nomination to the Canadian Olympic Team to compete in the 2014 Sochi Olympics.

“From the very beginning, Roz impressed us with her drive, acumen, and her passion for skiing. She knew exactly what it would take to build a pro model that would deliver, and we’re proud to have helped make her vision come to fruition. Working with her has been an absolute pleasure, and we welcome her to the team,” said Jen Gurecki, CEO of Coalition Snow.

See Groenewoud compete on the Roz G. on Jan. 29 at the 2016 X Games in Aspen, Colo.

 

http://sbcskier.com/rozg-joins-coalitionsnow/

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The 6 Pieces of Winter Gear Outside Editors Use the Most

Every day, UPS and FedEx dump a mountain of gear packages in our lobby that we get to open and play with. A lot of what we see is plenty nice, but occasionally a piece stands above the rest and becomes a daily go-to, or something we’re more excited about than usual. What follows is a list of these pieces from this winter. From hats to skis to bikes, here’s what we’ve been using the most as the snow flies and temps stay cold.

Coalition Snow SOS Skis ($699)

<strong?photo:< strong="">I've tested plenty of women-specific skis that worked about as well as overcooked noodles on the steeps. That's why I'm so excited for the 15/16 line from Coalition Snow, a company making skis and snowboards for women that, in their words, "don't suck." (Sorry, boys, there are no options for you.) The SOS 173 all-mountain ski, with its full birch wood core and 105-millimeter waist, is a hard-charging quiver killer. And it's pretty to boot. —Axie Navas, senior editor, Editor Buyer’s Guides

Photo: Jakob Schiller
Winters in Santa Fe are unpredictable. It’s entirely normal to go from skinning up in a blizzard on Saturday to mountain biking under sunny skies in 50-degree weather on Sunday. That’s why I’m so psyched to spend the season on my Surly Krampus. Sure, it was a riot to ride all summer—confident on loose terrain, surprisingly snappy on the uphill, and a constant challenge to my bike-handling skills—but I’m expecting it to be even more fun this winter. With 29+ wheels that float over snow, no fancy front or rear suspension to get ruined by the mud, and stable geometry, Krampus is guaranteed to keep me off the trainer—no matter what Godzilla El Niño sends my way. —Scott Rosenfield, online editor
Photo: Jakob Schiller
I’ll often lust over a piece of gear for a day, or maybe a week, then forget about it. Not so with my buddy Nick’s jacket. Nick was a helicopter crew chief in the Marines, and the Corps issued him a leather bomber jacket that I tried on once and never forgot because it was so sharp and, well, bomber. For years I tried to find something that gave a similar feel, but failed. Then I stumbled on the Schott NYC A-2 Naked Cowhide Leather Flight. Weighing in at least a couple pounds thanks to the high-grade leather and stout build, it finally gave me that same indestructible sensation, and look. I’ve worn it every day this winter expect to do the same for many winters to come—Jon Gugala, assistant gear editor
Photo: Jakob Schiller
I learned to ski on the East Coast (in North Carolina, of all places), so I didn't really get the whole "powder day" thing when I first moved to Santa Fe in 2014. That didn't last long. Now I check weather reports constantly and plan my weekends around how to chase snow. In preparation for this year's Godzilla El Niño, I also got a pair of Volkl Ones because I knew it could get deep. At 116mm under-foot, these fully-rockered skis are effortless to turn in knee-deep powder, pivot quickly in the trees, and still handle nasty crud with ease. They're the most confidence-inspiring planks I've ever strapped to my feet, and I have a sneaking suspicion my other skis are going to get very lonely this season.—Bryan Rogala, video production manager
Photo: Jakob Schiller
During the deep freeze of the winter months, I prefer to take the figurative approach when it comes to "warming my bones." Campfires are great and all, but sneaking a sip of bourbon is more to my taste. Bulleit specifically. Its high rye content gives it a bit of a kick on the front end without compromising the long, smooth finish. When the rest of the world is off taking advantage of powder days, me and my lack of skiing skills will be at home enjoying views of the snow-covered landscape and a couple of fingers of this batch. Neat, of course.—Will Egensteiner, assistant editor
Photo: Jakob Schiller
For the past couple of weeks it’s been hovering around 20 degrees when I leave my house in the morning on my bike (I commute from Albuquerque to Santa Fe via bike, then train). Add the wind chill at 20mph and it’s downright brutal. At these temps, the only thing I’ve found that keeps my noggin warm is Rapha’s Deep Winter hat. A windproof front panel cuts the ice-y air, merino ear panels keep my ears from turning deep red, and a merino lining wicks moisture once I start pedaling. It also fits well under a helmet.—Jakob Schiller, associate editor
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EYE TO EYE WITH COALITION SNOW

This article was originally published in 2015 and written by Andrew Pridgen 

You know those really good ideas? The wake-you-up-in-the-middle-of-the-night kind? The notions that make you want to start keeping a dream journal? The million-dollar missives that fade away sometime between first light and that second sip of Starbucks?

Tahoe-based entrepreneurs Jen Gurecki and Danielle Rees woke up, got up and wrote it up. They made time—juggling family and full-time careers with business plans and balance sheets. During the last 18 months, the pair baked up from scratch a company manufacturing skis and snowboards made for women, by women—an industry first. Coalition Snow in 2015 raised enough capital from a Kickstarter campaign for its first full line of gear and apparel. They’ve got a quiver of up-and-coming locally sourced skiers and riders and the buzz behind gear designed and engineered by and for the fairer gender is growing.

CEO Jen Gurecki resides in Truckee where she is “waiting for the snow to fall” this season. She is pursuing a PhD in sustainability and “when not tackling the ‘shrink it and pink it’ problem in the ski industry,” Gurecki is working on climate adaptation and financial inclusions for women in East Africa with the organization Zawadisha.

CFO Danielle Rees moved to Lake Tahoe to teach snowboarding for “just one winter” in 1999. The Carnelian Bay resident blends her “passion for empowering women and girls with being active outdoors at my day jobs at Girls on the Run and Coalition Snow.”

 

THIRTEEN COMPANIES, MOST OF THEM BASED IN EUROPE, DOMINATE THE SKI BIZ AND THEY MANUFACTURE HUGE NUMBERS OF SKIS IN CHINA OR AUSTRIA WITH R&D AND DESIGN DEPARTMENTS RIVALING BIG AUTO MANUFACTURERS. BUT, THEY’RE OFTEN SEEN AS OUT OF STEP WITH WHAT’S HAPPENING ON THE MOUNTAIN, ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO WOMEN. IS THIS OVER-SIMPLIFYING OR IS THIS THE PROBLEM YOU WANT COALITION TO SOLVE?

Jen Gurecki: This is definitely one aspect of it, but it extends beyond R&D. There need to be more women in executive positions in these companies. Without more opportunities for women to hold leadership positions in the industry, you have to wonder if their increased focus on women is another case of girl-washing or if they are truly committed to eliminating the insulting ‘shrink it and pink it’ mentality that permeates the industry.

 

YOUR COMPANY’S MOTTO: ‘PUTTING AN END TO SHRINK IT AND PINK IT ONCE AND FOR ALL’ IS PART OF THE ZEITGEIST. OUTSIDE RECENTLY WROTE AN EDITORIAL ENTITLED “NO MORE BARBIE GEAR” SAYING, “GIVING US PRODUCTS WITH CUTESY NAMES AND DRENCHING ADS IN MY LITTLE PONY COLORS ISN’T THE WAY TO INSPIRE TODAY’S WOMEN.” IS THIS A REFLECTION OF COALITION’S ETHOS?

Jen Gurecki: Absolutely. They nailed it with their critique of the gender stereotyping that happens across industries—it’s not just in skiing. We know that there are some women who may be drawn to this type of aesthetic design, but it’s not representative of all women. And that’s the problem—you can’t put us all in one box. Women are diverse and should have more options available to them.

 

FEMALE ATHLETES, IF THEY’RE GOING TO GARNER MASS APPEAL, STILL HAVE TO SELL THEMSELVES AS HARD BODIES AND HAIR WHIPS. WHAT’S YOUR COMPANY’S ROLE IN CHANGING THIS?

Jen Gurecki: Women should have more of a say in how they are represented in the industry. There are going to be women who want to show off their hot bods, and it’s not for us to judge them or say that they shouldn’t. Other women are going to want to have their skill showcased. Our role is to support women in having a voice and making decisions that are best for them.

 

DANIELLE, YOU’VE BEEN AN INTEGRAL PART OF GROWING GIRLS ON THE RUN SIERRAS, WHICH BASICALLY EXPOSES GIRLS TO WOMEN WHO TAKE THEMSELVES AND THEIR FITNESS SERIOUSLY. THEY’RE PART COACH/TRAINER, PART MENTOR. IS THIS PHILOSOPHY CROSSING OVER TO COALITION?

Danielle Rees: Yes, Girls on the Run is about discovering girls’ authentic selves and celebrating their strengths. Our volunteer coaches serve as role models of collaborative leadership and instill confidence and competence in the girls while training for a 5K run. We named our ski company Coalition Snow because it builds on the strengths of a team of women. At Coalition Snow our goal is to design gear that will give women confidence to rip. I know it has for me.

 

THE AFOREMENTIONED BIG 13 HAVE (ACTUAL) ROCKET SCIENTISTS ENGINEERING THEIR SKIS. SOME OF THE BETTER INDEPENDENT MANUFACTURERS ARE SPENDING MORE MONEY ON R&D THAN ON THE DESIGN OF THEIR TOP SHEETS THESE DAYS. YOU’RE A STARTUP STAKING ITS CLAIM ON ENGINEERING SKIS SPECIFICALLY FOR WOMEN’S BODIES. JEN, HOW MUCH ARE YOU INVESTING IN THIS TECHNOLOGY AND WHO’S DOING IT FOR YOU?

Jen Gurecki: We aren’t making gear for women’s bodies, we’re making gear that women want. There’s a difference in that statement. The former opens itself up to all sorts of bulls*** pseudoscience, which is in part responsible for the copious amount of short and soft skis on the market. The latter is inclusive and responsive, and it’s filling a huge gap in the industry. We’re not investing all of our resources into technology; we’re investing in women by actively engaging with them to understand what it is that the advanced/expert skier/rider wants in her gear. We pair their feedback with what we know as women who’ve been skiing and riding for decades. It’s not rocket science. It’s authentic listening and action.

 

REGARDLESS OF YOUR COMPANY’S SIZE IN THE SKI BIZ, ONE BAD/OFF YEAR AND YOU’RE STUCK WITH A WAREHOUSE FULL OF OBSOLETE PRODUCT, YET YOU’RE STILL EXPECTED TO COME OUT WITH THE NEWEST AND MOST INNOVATIVE GEAR EVERY FALL. HOW ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO SIDESTEP THE INDUSTRY’S BIG SUPPLY-AND-DEMAND ELEPHANT?

Jen Gurecki: Our vision would be to move far, far away from the annual production schedule. It’s expensive for both the company and the consumer, and it’s not an environmentally sound practice, either. At the stage we’re in as a company, not producing a new line every season could be disastrous because at some level you have to play the game or else you’re not taken seriously. But, ideally, in the next few years we’ll have a strong enough brand and a strong enough following that we’ll be able to take those risks and we will be rewarded for being part of changing a broken system.

 

AFTER A DECADE OF GETTING FATTER, WIDER AND MORE ROCKER, THE SKI BIZ SEEMS TO BE SHRINKING ITS PRODUCT A BIT, OR MAYBE JUST NOT OVER-ENGINEERING IT AS MUCH. WHERE DOES COALITION COME DOWN ON ITS SHAPES AND CAMBER ESPECIALLY IN THE CONTEXT OF HOW IT RELATES TO WOMEN’S BODIES?

Jen Gurecki: We’re just going to keep doing our best to make what the advanced/expert female skier and rider wants. As I mentioned earlier, it’s not about dissecting women’s bodies, it’s about listening to them and acknowledging that they are experts when it comes to what they want. We have introduced one new shape into next season’s lineup that responds to different tastes (and changing conditions) around width underfoot and rocker profile.

 

DANIELLE, WHO ARE SOME OF THE ATHLETES AND AMBASSADORS YOU WORK WITH?


COALITION TEAM SKIER SISI SAWYER, PHOTO BY MASON STREHL

 

Danielle Rees: We have some great team riders: Sierra “Sisi” Sawyer, who took first in the Crested Butte Freeride World Tour qualifier event; Sandra Dejin of Mammoth; and new team rider 17-year-old Tatum Whatford from South Lake Tahoe. Our ambassadors played a key role in developing our new line of skis: Tahoe locals include Jillian Raymond of Tahoma, Brit White of Truckee, Justeen Ferguson of South Lake Tahoe and Jen Callahan of Reno. We also have ambassadors on the East Coast, Colorado, Washington and Whistler. We’ve also grown our executive team, adding a creative director and chief operating officer. Graphic designer of Folklore Studio and graduate of the Rhode Island School Design, Lauren Bello Okerman stepped into the creative director position after two seasons of designing amazing graphics for our skis, catalogs and soft goods. Former brand ambassador Jenn Sheridan, who is a freelance writer and associate editor for Tahoe Powder and Tahoe Weeklymagazines, is now managing day-to-day operations. She is growing the ambassador team, which includes skiers and riders in France, New Zealand and Australia.

 

DANIELLE, GETTING TO TRAVEL AND SKI WITH SOME OF YOUR ATHLETES, AMBASSADORS AND CUSTOMERS MAY SEEM GLAMOROUS AND A PERK OF THE JOB, BUT IT’S ALSO WORK. TELL US ABOUT HOW YOU GET INSPIRED BY SEEING YOUR PRODUCT ON THE SLOPES.

Danielle Rees: This year I had the opportunity to go back to Chamonix where my husband Zach and I skied the winter before we got married. As a pre-wedding gift, he bought me the “women’s model” of his favorite big mountain ski. I could ignore the pink graphics but could not imagine the women’s 100 underfoot ski would be suitable for all conditions as it was just too soft. Going back to Cham with my Coalition Snow SOS skis was priceless. Trusting my skis to hold an edge in variable snow conditions gave me the confidence to embrace my fear of heights and push myself beyond my wildest dreams.

 

AS FULL-TIME RESIDENTS OF THE TAHOE BASIN, YOU’RE SEEING FIRST-HAND WHAT GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE CAN BRING. IT’S NOT PRETTY. A LOT OF FOLKS ARE STRESSING NOT ONLY ABOUT THE UPCOMING SEASONS, BUT THEIR LIVELIHOODS AND VIABILITY IN THE MOUNTAINS IN GENERAL. AND, PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANTLY, WHAT THE FUTURE OF MAKING A HOME AT ELEVATION LOOKS LIKE. WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT WHAT WINTER AND THE SKI BIZ LOOK LIKE AS MOTHER NATURE CONTINUES TO REVOLT?

Jen Gurecki: We should actually all be talking about what we’re going to do to protect the environment. It’s a big deal, and part of the problem is the lack of accountability about how our actions are significantly impacting the environment and contributing to climate change. We don’t need to feel guilty about this, we should feel emboldened and empowered to challenge outdated business-as-usual practices. Not only do we need to do things differently—like maybe not produce every year, produce with environmentally friendly materials, offset our entire carbon footprint—we need to adapt and embrace change. We’re starting immediately with an amazing new line of unique soft goods that don’t require any snow to operate and a new freestyle ski that I have jokingly called our “climate change ski.” It kills it and is so much fun on the conditions we’ve experienced the last four years in Tahoe. Granted, the more it snows the more skis we sell, but we’re committed to finding other ways to live and love in these challenging times. We want to celebrate our vibrant mountain communities that have so much more to offer than just powder days. It’s going to take some creative thinking and business acumen, but we know that we’re not in this alone.

 

YOUR SPRING KICKSTARTER FUNDRAISING CAMPAIGN WAS A BIG SUCCESS. TELL US ABOUT THAT AND ABOUT HOW TO FIND YOUR FALL LINEUP AND FOLLOW YOU AS WE GET READY FOR THE SNOW TO FLY.

Danielle Rees: We exceeded our Kickstarter goal, raising $31,000 in 31 days, which allowed us to expand our second line of skis and boards. We wanted to give women more choices so we added a longer and shorter length for our all-mountain SOS and powder Abyss ski (adding a 166 and 180 to the 173 cm length). We also added length (155 cm) to our 147 and 151 Myth all-mountain snowboards. [The campaign] helped us meet future demand, support our ambassadors and team riders, and allows us to innovate around sustainable manufacturing.

 

DOES THAT MEANS NEW SKIS/BOARDS FOR THE UPCOMING SEASON?


COALITION’S ABYSS MODEL

 

Danielle Rees: We added the Bliss freestyle ski, which was a favorite among our gear testers. It’s perfect for someone looking for a narrower ski—it has an 87 mm waist compared to the 105 mm SOS and 114 mm Abyss. A birch core gives this ski the stiffness and stability to stomp that landing and a true twin design means you’ll be just as comfortable dropping in switch. We’re offering this in three lengths: 168, 175 and 182. Based on feedback from women riders, we added a new rocker board to our lineup. The Queen Bee is a true twin tip with traditional camber, which means it handles no matter which direction you send it. A bit of rocker in the tip and tail keeps you afloat when you need it. With a 288 mm waist, this whip stick can surf those bottomless powder days but doesn’t lose power when it transitions to crud and hard park. A full birch core makes this board a stiff yet playful ride. This board comes in a 147, 151 and 155 length.

 

This article was originally published in 2015 and written by Andrew Pridgen 

https://tahoequarterly.com/outdoors/eye-to-eye-coalition-snow

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Choosing The Right Ski – Take The Ski Selector Quiz

Now that  we finally have some good snow conditions after last week’s storm and there is more on the way next week, so now is a good time to purchase a new pair of skis.  Buying skis is a big decision so we’ve gone to the experts at Chillfactor ski magazine to give you some direction on finding the best ski for you.

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What Were the Biggest Gear Trends In Skiing this Winter?

This article was originally published May 8th, 2019 and written by Lil Krass.

Sizzling parking lot bacon, spilled PBR, a high turnout of faded denim–NASCAR races and spring skiing have a lot more in common than their respective participants might care to admit. After a historically deep winter across North America, let’s take a look back at some of the gear that dominated the hill this winter.

We spoke with evo’s ski buyer Laura Holman about some of the biggest trends the Seattle-based retailer saw this winter.

Uphill Ambitions
Backcountry skiing is the hot thing to do right now, there’s no getting around that. As new skiers pour into the backcountry at an exponential rate, it’s no surprise that alpine touring gear has become the focus of many brands and retailers.

“A lot of skiers really want to have just one setup, and brands are responding to that, with boots, bindings, and skis that are designed to be skied in and out of bounds,” says Holman.

Salomon and Atomic’s new Shift Binding, which features the step-in and security of a burly alpine binding as well as pin-tech touring capabilities, is a key example of the desire for a midweight, high-performing option that offers ultimate versatility between the resort and backcountry. Holman says they expected the Shift to do well when it launched last fall, but they had no idea how well; “We literally can’t keep enough in stock,” she says.

Atomic’s Hawx Ultra Xtd 130 Alpine Touring Boot was evo’s best-selling overall boot this year, not just for the backcountry category.

“Brands are taking the technology they used to make lightweight touring boots, like thinner plastic, and applying that to their downhill line,” Holman explains, adding that while Titanal (the most common metal used in ski construction) still holds a strong presence, it’s not necessarily tip to tail– instead, brands are incorporating shaped metal constructions, like Volkl’s M5 Mantra, to create a more optimal balance of strength to weight.

Interestingly enough, while touring bindings and boots are at an all-time high, climbing skin sales haven’t seen the same uptake. “Touring is really aspirational,” says Holman. “Whether or not they’re actually skiing in the backcountry, a lot of customers want a boot or binding that has the option.”

For The Ladies
Women now make up half of all participants in skiing, and brands are focusing more than ever on customizing products specifically for women. Holman says women’s ski and snowboard sales have increased 7 percent from 2009 to 2017.

“We see brands like Blizzard/Tecnica really looking to gain a deeper understanding of the female market and what women really want and need in equipment,” she says. “They’re actually changing tech specs and construction of the ski, instead of the classic ‘shrink it and pink it’ protocol.”

Blizzard’s Women to Women initiative, which began in 2015, works with women of all ski levels, backgrounds, and body types to develop skis and boots that meet their needs.

Blizzard’s Black Pearl and Sheeva skis, which use Blizzard’s women’s-specific Carbon Flipcore construction, were some of evo’s top sellers this year, alongside the Black Crows Atris Birdie and Coalition Snow’s SOS skis. “There are more women at the table on the back end of production now,” Holman says. “The female voice is louder than ever and it’s really cool to see the industry moving in that direction.”

 

Slimming Down
Mid-fat skis have been slowly edging their way back to center stage in the last few years. “There’s far less demand for ultra-fat powder skis like there was maybe five years ago,” says Holman. The Volkl M5 Mantra and Armada ARV skis were evo’s top two sellers on the men’s side, both with a 96-millimeter waist.

“The industry is circling back to right around to that standard, versatile, 100 underfoot ski,” she explains. “Skiers are looking for versatility now, instead of investing in two or three different setups. There will always be a place for a 130 ski, but the drawbacks outweigh the benefits on 99 percent of the days you’re actually skiing.”

Holman also added that developing ski technology allows a slimmer ski to perform better in deeper conditions, like with Atomic’s Horizon Tech. The tip convexity in Horizon Tech, seen in the Bent Chetler 100 and the Backland series, creates more surface area in the tip of the ski, allowing more float and stability like a wider ski, without the dimensions of one.

Holman says that evo’s also seen a solid uptake in carving skis, especially on the east coast. The Atomic Redster X9 and Blizzard Firebird WRC were popular styles this winter. “We’ve seen a lot of skiers looking for narrow, low 70mm underfoot carving skis. again,” she says.

“I think skiers are remembering that in the right conditions—which happens more often than pow days—a narrow ski is the right fit.”

 

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Women continue to scale outdoor-industry mountains. And they’re giving others a hand on their way up

Originally published in the Colorado Sun on February 7th, 2019 | Written by by Jason Blevins 

In what is now at least the second year of what many call the “Year of the Woman,” Colorado has emerged as a national leader in the outdoor industry movement to make a leader’s gender unremarkable.

Not that long ago, a female president of the board, a female CEO or a female entrepreneur was noteworthy. Now, it’s normal — especially in Colorado.

Women are in the corner offices with mountain views: see Jennifer McLaren, at SmartWool; Annelise Loevlie, at Icelantic Skis; and Pat Campbell, at Vail Resorts.

They are in the boardrooms: see Angela Hawse, at American Mountain Guides Association; and Deanne Buck, at American Alpine Club.

They are guiding policy for industry nonprofits: see Amy Roberts, at Outdoor Industry Association; and Meegan Moszynski, at National Ski Patrol.

 

Click here to read bios of each of the women featured in this collage (Photos by Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Female role models are captaining innovative new companies, experiences and events: see Jen Gurecki, at Coalition Snow; Niki Koubourlis, at Bold Betties; and the pro cyclists racing in the first-ever all-women Colorado Classic bike race in August.

“Really, it’s been the ‘Decade of the Woman,’ and we are nearing the end of the decade,” said Buck, who, as executive director of Camber Outdoors, has in the past several years enrolled more than 75 outdoor-industry executives in a mission to attract and retain more women to serve as leaders, including heavyweights such as Burton, W.L. Gore, Specialized, SRAM, Patagonia and REI.

The elevation of women in the outdoors has been successful. And while the mission for parity is hardly complete, women in the outdoor realm already are expanding the industry’s reach beyond gender.

Using the same diversity and inclusivity strategies that urged the industry’s boys clubs to welcome women, a vibrant generation of female leaders is working to invite overlooked and overshadowed people into the outdoor fold.

After looking across the industry and seeing a lot of white faces, Buck said Camber Outdoors is “broadening our mission.” The group started 23 years ago as the Outdoor Industry Women’s Coalition with a goal of getting women into executive jobs in the outdoor industry.

“Are we looking at race? Are we looking at culture and ethnicity and orientation and making sure we are equally focused on opportunities for everyone, not just women?” Buck said at last week’s Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. “We want to think about inclusion, where everyone can feel like they can be part of the solution to our challenges. We want to think about how we can create opportunities that are addressing everyone’s different barriers. That’s incumbent on us to do.”

At last week’s show — a downtown Denver rally of outdoor gearmakers and retailers that has evolved beyond wheeling and dealing into a social, cultural and political confab — Camber Outdoors unveiled its “CEO Outdoor Equity Pledge,” which included 50 CEOs of brands and nonprofits signing a promise to better engage underrepresented groups and focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

Women from the Outdoor Retailer show gathered at Ten Barrel Brewing on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019, at the start of the convention to celebrate Coalition Snow’s launch of Sisu magazine, which is a new quarterly magazine dedicated to the stories of women in the outdoors. (Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun)

The effort parallels the Diversify Outdoors coalition’s Diversity Pledge, which launched last summer and urges outdoor brands to include people of color on executive teams and in marketing efforts. It joins grassroots groups such as Brown Girls Climb, Outdoor Afro and dozens of others seeking to infuse a broader spectrum of color into the outdoor industry.

Last week, Camber Outdoors released the results of a 2017 survey of 1,364 professionals in the outdoor, bike, run and snow industries that explored perspectives on gender, opportunity, careers and work/life issues.

The study showed that men typically think their workplace is fair and diverse, while women see room for improvement, with 47 percent saying they have witnessed or heard comments that are discriminatory based on gender. Also, only 31 percent of women said their company correctly handles sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

“Leaders at all levels have the opportunity to set the tone by publicly modeling inclusive behavior,” the survey found. “Fostering an environment where all employees feel included and respected starts with making sure everyone feels safe.”

Diversity and inclusivity are the hottest topics in the outdoors industry as white bosses — male and female — of venerable brands grapple with how to be more welcoming to increasingly diverse and urban populations. It’s a critical issue for the industry as it stirs grassroots support for public lands, conservation and stewardship among younger people of color who don’t see themselves well represented in the outdoor world. Diversity and inclusivity have become the essential tools for expanding a community that aspires to become a social, economic, political and cultural force.

And who better to trumpet the diversity and inclusivity message than women, who have spent the last century fighting for equity in both opportunities and paychecks.

“Women are more poised to be successful and lead the way here because this a paradigm they have been dealing with in the professional realm forever,” said Luis Benitez, the head of Colorado’s Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, the second such state agency in the nation. “Women are best positioned to lead through this dialogue because they have had to find a way to say, ‘Hey, take the gender equation away. Am I the right person with the right skill set for this job, and if I am, then remove gender from the equation.’ ”

Moszynski is the first female executive director of the 81-year-old National Ski Patrol, based in Lakewood. But don’t think she’s captaining the 31,000-member association because of her gender.

“I do recognize it as a huge step for the organization to take, but they hired me for my education and my experience,” said Moszynski, a multilingual world traveler whose résumé includes work on clean-energy policy in China, training programs for women and children in Pakistan, and economic development projects in rural Cambodia.

Moszynski said challenges in creating equitable opportunities fall more along generational than gender lines, especially for a group founded in 1938.

Deanne Buck, executive director of Camber Outdoors, which after 23 years of working to get women into executive gigs in the outdoor industry, is expanding its mission to focus on other underrepresented groups. “Are we looking at culture and ethnicity and orientation and making sure we are equally focused on opportunities for everyone, not just women?” she said at the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. (Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun)

“A lot of my role is balancing that history with our opportunities going forward,” she said. “How can we leverage our legacy into being innovative and modernizing.”

Five years ago, Niki Koubourlis set out to build a modernized pathway for more women to explore the outdoors. Today, her Denver-based Bold Bettiesis in 39 North American cities, offering hundreds of outdoor opportunities to more than 50,000 women. There are quick meet-ups for yoga or a hike in the downtown park, multisport weekends in Moab and two-week international adventures in Morocco, all curated for women.

“There are a lot of outdoor-gear companies leading the charge and getting behind diversity and inclusion initiatives, but they are trying to sell products to women,” Koubourlis said. “If they really wanted to reach women, they would know it’s not about the stuff — it’s about the experiences and it’s about the connections. That’s where we are focused: on authenticity.”

By offering women their own events, Bold Betties is reaching a broader world than ads with in-shape women in sports bras or rad dudes doing rad things. Most males are introduced to the outdoors by the time they turn 6, Koubourlis said, while most females discover outdoor play much later in life, making it more intimidating for them to explore.

By handling the planning and cultivating, Koubourlis said Bold Betties has introduced more than 20,000 women — many of them of color — to the outdoors for the first time.

“I don’t know of any other organization that is doing that,” she said, outlining a plan to expand into 50 cities by the end of the year. “It’s all about making it easy, making it safe and making it nonjudgmental.”

Jen Gurecki hoped to work as a ski tuner in a ski shop when she moved to Lake Tahoe more than 20 years ago, but, despite having worked as a ski tech for many years in college, she was told “women sell clothing,” she said.

She still remembers that — even after a winding career that has seen her teaching at a community college; working with Latino and Hmong youths at Yosemite National Park; helping launch a small-loan program for women in Kenya; owning a whitewater-rafting company; and, most recently, starting Coalition Snow, a ski-and-snowboard company making rides for women.

At last week’s snow show, Gurecki unveiled her latest project: Sisu Magazine, an adventure quarterly that shares the voices of women, people of color and the LGBTQIA community.

Sisu Magazine, an adventure quarterly, launched in January. (Nina Riggio, Special to The Colorado Sun)

Gurecki calls it a “feminist magazine for everyone.” The first issue features the role of women in skateboarding and big-mountain skiing; a story outlining efforts to grow the ranks of women in the outdoor industry; and profiles of women entrepreneurs. The issue also includes a collection of art, photographs and stories reflecting overlooked perspectives in the outdoors.  

“When you open Sisu, you have a magazine that is representative of all the humans in this industry,” Gurecki said. “We want to normalize, in our pages, some of these bigger issues. That’s the future of this industry. A place where all these difference voices can come together and just exist like it’s normal. What do we want this industry to look like in 10 years? Ideally, we would not be talking about these issues of inclusivity and diversity anymore.”

 

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15 Female Leaders You Need to Meet at Outdoor Retailer

This article was originally published January 29th, 2019 and written by Morgan Tilton.

From entrepreneurs to storytellers and strategists, women are helping steer and grow the outdoor industry. Here are 15 women leading the charge to make the outdoors more inclusive, representative, and fun.

It may not be well publicized, but women make up nearly half of all people who play outdoors. To date, 46 percent of outdoor participants ages 6 and up are female, according to the Outdoor Industry Association’s 2018 Outdoor Participation Report.

And the outdoor industry is ready to reflect that reality. More brands are making an effort to close internal gender gaps. Close to 80 companies have signed the Camber Outdoors CEO Pledge to strategically accelerate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Beyond business ethics, DEI is an economic imperative for the outdoor industry, which is growing at a rate faster than the entire country’s GDP.

Who Really Runs Outdoor Retailer? Increasingly, Women
Who Really Runs Outdoor Retailer? Increasingly, Women

Next week, thousands of people will descend on Denver for the Outdoor Retailer trade show. And at the helm of the major industry expo are four women. Read more…

 

 

If you’re a professional getting started in the outdoor industry, or want to prioritize the expansion of female roles in an existing business, this guide for the 2019 Outdoor Retailer Snow Show is for you.

Here are 15 women of the industry, from paradigm-shifters to steadfast entrepreneurs, you’ll see at this week’s Outdoor Retailer show.

1. Angela Hawse, 56

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Hawse is the sixth American woman to become certified as an International Federation of Mountain Guides Associations (IFMGA) Mountain Guide. She’s guided and instructed at a professional level for 35 years. This led to her accolade as the 2011 American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA) Guide of the Year.

Expertise: Beyond being a full-time IFMGA Mountain Guide, Hawse is an AMGA Instructor Team Lead. She trains and certifies guides across the disciplines of rock, alpine, and ski guiding. Hawse is a professional athlete sponsored by Marmot, Sterling Rope, Scarpa, and Metolius Climbing. She co-owns Chicks Climbing and Skiing and is also President of the Board for AMGA and a POW (Protect Our Winters) Riders Alliance Team Member.

Current projects: According to AMGA, only 8 percent of mountain rock climbing guides are women — and Hawse is eager to change that fact. This year, AMGA partnered with The North Face to launch the first Women’s Rock Guide Course. The professional rock guide training program is designed specifically for women and will debut in September.

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Show goals: “Build relationships with sponsors for Chicks Climbing and Skiing, and meet with personal sponsors to share my stoke.”

Connect with her: Hawse will speak on the POW panel (Jan. 30, 7-9 p.m., McNichols Building); and The North Face panel discussion (Jan. 31, 10-10:30 a.m., The North Face Booth #44005-UL). Email her at angela@chickswithpicks.net.

For Women, By Women: TNF, AMGA Collaborate on First All-Female Rock Guide Course
For Women, By Women: TNF, AMGA Collaborate on First All-Female Rock Guide Course

The North Face sponsored the American Mountain Guide Association's first guide course made specifically for women. Read more…

 

 

2. Jaylyn Gough, 38

Jaylyn-Gough

Gough is the Founder and Executive Director of Native Women’s Wilderness (NWW), an organization that provides access to the outdoors for Native women, nonbinary individuals, and girls. NWW also provides education regarding ancestral land history and seeks to bridge the diversity gap in the outdoor industry.

Expertise: Gough is a clinical therapist with a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree. She has worked in the outdoor industry for more than a decade.

Current projects: Gough told us she recently completed a fundraiser that collected more than $4,000 and brought in at-need items for women’s shelters and orphanages on the Rose Bud and Gila River reservations.

Show goals: “I’m currently working on a project with GreenLatinos regarding the Antiquities Act. At the show, I hope to connect with larger brand names in order to gain needed items for our gear vault as well as equipment and safety gear for my ambassadors.”

Connect with her: Gough will moderate Wild in Wellness (Feb. 1, 10-11 a.m., Ranger Station #V0119-SL). Email her at jaylyn@nativewomenswilderness.org.

3. Krista Dill, 36

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As Outdoor Retailer Sales Director, Dill plays a huge rolebehind the curtains of the show floor. She’s worked with Outdoor Retailer for 12 years.

Expertise: Dill is one of the masterminds behind “maximizing the Outdoor Retailer experience.” To that end, she helped revamp OR’s floorplan design after the show’s move to Denver. She also helps brands get creative with their marketing to stand out in a sea of booths.

Current projects: Now that Denver OR is in full swing with three shows annually, Dill is primed to tackle the six-to-eight-week planning process for Summer Market once Snow Show wraps up.

Show goals: “To connect with everybody! Our show is about gathering with your community and longtime friends, and attending a show is also about who you don’t know. It’s through coming to the show and participating in sessions, attending events, meeting with advocacy groups, and making new connections that you grow your business and your network.”

Connect with her: Find Dill at the Industry Party held in the Buell Theatre on Wednesday, January 30, 6-8 p.m. You can also email her at krista.dill@outdoorretailer.com.

4. Kristin Hostetter, 50

Hostetter

Hostetter is editor-in-chief of SNEWS and The Voice. She’s also been Backpacker Magazine’s gear editor for 20 years.

Expertise: Hostetter has worked in the outdoor industry for 25 years and specializes in outdoor industry trade journalism. Formerly Backpacker’s gear editor, she now sees herself as “guardian of the brand” at the helm of SNEWS. There she oversees the content and general direction of the publication and works with marketing, circulation, sales, and production to keep it on track. She was also named the Outdoor Media Summit’s 2018 Editor of the Year and received the 2012 National Outdoor Book Award.

Current projects: The big news is that SNEWS just launched a new print and digital magazine, The Voice. Hostetter called it “the mag we’ve always wanted to produce but couldn’t,” because for many years SNEWS ran The Daily at Outdoor Retailer.

“The Voice tackles big, important, sometimes uncomfortable outdoor industry issues — like sexual harassment and assault — in a fair, balanced, and head-on fashion,” she told us. And in 2019, SNEWS is launching the #CoolShop Award and a retailer-based gear testing program.

Show goals: “I’m looking forward to listening to our readers and hearing what they think of The Voice and what sort of issues are important to them and their businesses. After the show, we’ll dive into planning for our June issue of The Voice.”

Connect with her: Hostetter will be at The Voice booth #56131 (daily, 8:30-11 a.m.) and is hosting a launch party for the magazine (Jan. 30, 4-6 p.m.) Email her at khostetter@aimmedia.com.

5. Jennifer Pattee, 46

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Pattee is the CEO and co-founder of Public Recreation, a new type of gym that’s all outdoors and offers unlimited classes — including strength training, boxing, and yoga — for the competitive monthly price of $60. “Our mission is to have classes across cities across America that are a 10-minute walk from where people live and work,” Pattee said.

Expertise: Pattee has worked in the outdoor industry for 13 years. Her prior company, Basic Training, was one of the top 25 highest-rated boutique fitness studios in America in 2016, according to Yelp reviews.

Current projects: Day to day, Pattee works to find and hire the best instructors in America as well as grow her business.

Show goals: “I’d like to connect with women who want to start a company but aren’t sure how. This is a very Silicon Valley thing to say, but I believe that startups can change the world, and we need more female founders. I’d also love to talk to anyone passionate about working outdoors and lives in Denver, LA, San Diego, Austin, or San Francisco (or wants to move there) because I may have a really great job for them.”

Connect with her: “I will be walking around with a Public Recreation T-shirt on! Come talk to me.” You can also email Pattee at jenn@publicrecreation.com.

6. Sam Killgore, 39

Sam

Killgore is the communications manager at POW, a climate advocacy nonprofit focused on turning passionate outdoorspeople into effective climate advocates. She’s worked in the outdoor industry for 17 years.

Expertise: As a marketer and communicator, Killgore’s specialty is to build and integrate brands — like Outdoor Research and Scarpa — in the outdoor community. A year ago, she shifted into the nonprofit sector. Working with POW is a dream come true for her. “Jeremy Jones once told me, ‘Awesome job, Sam!’ If that doesn’t boost your ego, I don’t know what would,” she told us.

Current projects: For 2019, POW will focus its work in states where it sees an opportunity to move climate policy forward. In 2020, Killgore said, that policy focus will shift to electoral work to have a positive climate impact on elections.

Show goals: “Connecting with media to help empower the outdoor community to become climate advocates and connecting with brand partners.”

Connect with her: POW Party (Jan. 30, 7-9 p.m., McNichols Building, 2nd floor.) Email her at sam@protectourwinters.org.

7. Kristin Carpenter-Ogden, 48

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Carpenter-Ogden is the founder of Verde Brand Communications, which works with the active and outdoor lifestyle industries. The brand also produces a podcast called Channel Mastery, which has a mission to help level the playing field for specialty businesses competing with huge companies like Amazon. She was also a journalist for a decade before launching Verde.

Expertise: Outside Magazine chose Verde as one of its Best Places to Work. SNEWS honored Verde as the best PR agency of the year and also tapped Channel Mastery as the best Outdoor Podcast.

Current projects: Carpenter-Ogden has her eyes on “bridging the active outdoor lifestyle markets with vehicle-supported adventure markets/industries like overland and RV.”

Show goals: “I hope to meet more of the leaders behind the State Offices of Outdoor Recreation. I had the honor of serving Luis Benitez as he launched his Colorado office, galvanized a national movement of this office, and developed a voice around what we do in the outdoor industry.”

Connect with her: Carpenter-Ogden is hosting the panel “Managing the Gap: How Successful Retailers can Bridge the Digital Divide and Create Emotional Connection with Omnichannel Consumers” (Jan. 29, 2:15-3:15 p.m. Colorado Convention Center, Room 401.) Email her at kco@verdepr.com.

8. Jeanine Pesce, 37

JeaninePesce_RangerStation

Pesce is the founder of RANGE, an independent agency and magazine inspired by the culture of the modern outdoor movement. She’s worked in the outdoor industry for 13 years.

Expertise: Pesce’s specialization includes trend and color forecasting, strategy, consumer insights, and content production.

Current projects: “On the agency side, I just wrapped fall 2020 color and concept for a footwear client and a brand experience exercise for an iconic sportswear company. On the media side, we just went to print on RANGE Magazine Issue 10,” Pesce said.

Show goals: “To connect with movers and shakers, talented creatives, emerging voices, and big thinkers!”

Connect with her: She’ll be holding down The RANGER Station (Booth # VO119-SL), a central hub within Venture Out that focuses on education, art, and community. RANGE Magazine Issue 10 will launch, plus a lineup of panels, workshops, and activations. Check out the schedule here. Email Pesce at jeanine@thisisrange.com.

9. Mina Yoo, 44

Mina-Yoo

Yoo is the founder, inventor, and CEO of Heroclip, a company that makes hybrid gear clips.

Expertise: Yoo has worked to bring Heroclip — an adventure-ready tool to hang backpacks, hydration systems, and other gear — into mainstream retailers like REI. She fundraised more than $2 million to start the company and was a Camber Pitchfest 2018 finalist. She was also a professor at the University of Washington Foster School of Business.

Current projects: Heroclip recently launched to new sizes. And Yoo said she is hard at work on additional products.

Show goals: “I am preparing to pitch the Heroclip line to major retailers and to form high-value brand partnerships. I am also hoping to connect with other brands who want to collaborate!”

Connect with her: At the Camber Executive Roundtable (Jan. 30, 5 p.m.); GearJunkie Pitchfest (Jan. 31, 7 p.m.); Camber Breakfast (Feb. 1, 7 a.m.). Email Yoo at mina@myheroclip.com.

10. Emma Murray, 24

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Murray is a staff reporter for The Daily. She’ll be covering live industry news, gear, and advocacy efforts at OR. She’s worked in the outdoor industry for three years.

Expertise: Murray was named second-place columnist for mountaineering and climbing news coverage by The Society of Professional Journalists. The Association of Alternative News awarded her third place for beat reporting on the outdoor industry. She’s also a featured writer in the published anthology “Alone Together” (2017).

Current projects: Murray told us she is working on a novel-memoir that will “trace my experiences as a woman navigating unknown landscapes, new philosophies on love, and internal reckonings with societal expectations.”

Show goals: “I’m excited to help people tell their stories, and to collaborate on innovative media strategies that can get these stories out and into the public.
I want to connect with forward-thinking people interested in developing creative ways to tell difficult stories, solutions-oriented folks invested in making the world a better place, and critical thinkers with the energy for fun, productive conversations.”

Connect with her: Email Murray at eathenamurray@gmail.com.

11. Justine Barone, 30

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Barone is co-founder and CEO of Gearo, the OpenTable for the outdoor gear industry. She bills the company as a “marketplace that automates gear rentals and sales and simplifies the booking process by connecting gear seekers to specialty retailers.” Gearo also includes software that retailers can use to manage inventory.

Expertise: Barone is a Camber Outdoors Pitchfest Finalist and Winner of the Tech Stars DSW Pitch Competition.

Current projects: Barone recently added hourly range functionality to Gearo’s booking platform. And in April 2019, the brand will relaunch in Denver with more than 50 retailers on board.

Show goals: “To connect with everybody and anybody.”

Connect with her: Barone will be pitching Gearo at The Pitch event at Wayfinder Co-op (Jan. 31, 7-9 p.m.). Email her at jb@outdoorgearo.com.

12. Jennifer Gurecki, 41

Gurecki_Headshot

Gurecki is the CEO of Coalition Snow and editor-in-chief of Sisu Magazine. Coalition Snow makes skis and snowboards designed by women, for women. Sisu Magazine is a new quarterly print publication whose mission is to uncover the untold stories of the outdoors.

Expertise: Gurecki is a founder and entrepreneur who focuses on building businesses that address social justice and gender equality in Africa and the U.S. She was listed among Entrepreneur Magazine’s Top 50 Most Daring Entrepreneurs and was the Pitch Competition Winner at the Nevada Governor’s Conference on Business.

Current projects: Gurecki helped launch Sisu Magazine in December. Sisu will be a quarterly publication with three more issues coming up in 2019. Even more exciting, Gurecki said Coalition Snow will introduce a new powder ski that “has women losing their shit!”

Show goals: “We are looking to connect with individuals who would like to collaborate on Sisu Magazine — contributors, artists, photographers, brands — and are always looking for retail partners to carry the magazine and our line of skis and snowboards.”

Connect with her: Gurecki is speaking on two panels: One Bold Idea, Five Minutes (Jan. 30, 1:30 p.m., The Camp) and When Womxn Lead: An Evolving Conversation (Jan. 31, 1:30 p.m., The Camp). She’s also co-hosting the Patch the Patriarchy Happy Hour (Jan. 30, 4 p.m., Noso Patches Booth 44103-UL). Otherwise, find her sitting at a picnic table at The Ranger Station or at jen@coalitionsnow.com.

13. Cassie Abel, 35

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Abel is the founder of White Cloud Communication, a marketing and PR consulting service, as well as Wild Rye, which creates beautiful, technical mountain apparel for women.

Expertise: “Leadership, strategy, and connecting (the right) people,” Abel said.

Current projects: Abel recently bought out her business partner to become the CEO (and co-founder) of Wild Rye. She also launched Women-Led Wednesday, a shopping holiday to “celebrate and support women-led businesses.”

Show goals: “I’m at the show first and foremost for White Cloud clients — Awayco, Skida, and gogglesoc — but also to build new relationships and to connect with suppliers and retail partners for Wild Rye.”

Connect with her: Abel will be jumping between a few booths (Jan. 30-Feb. 1): Awayco (44128-UL), (Skida #42020), and gogglesoc (VO417-SL). Email her at cassie@whitecloudcommunication.com or cassie@wild-rye.com.

14. Julia Stamps Mallon, 40

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Mallon is the creator of The Outbound Pursuit Series, a multiday adventure experience for outdoor brands and enthusiasts. It has also become known as a summer camp for grown-ups. In addition, Mallon started Outessa, a series of outdoor events designed by women, for women.

Expertise: Mallon’s goal is to create experiential outdoors opportunities and to connect brands with inspiring individuals and outdoor enthusiasts. “I am a community builder, strategist, revenue driver, and purveyor of fun,” she said.

Current projects: Mallon said she is hard at work securing brand partnerships and perfecting strategy to grow The Outbound Pursuit Series, now in its third year.

Show goals: “We want to bring brands that we love together in order to drive conversation, share ideas, make connections, and help inspire community.”

Connect with her: She’ll be roaming the floor! Email her at julia@theoutbound.com.

15. Marinel Malvar de Jesus, 42

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Marinel Malvar de Jesus founded Peak Explorations, a company that connects adventurers with local trek operators around the world while promoting the roles of women and indigenous communities within the tourism industry. She also founded Brown Gal Trekker, a social platform that highlights inclusivity and equity in travel and promotes two female-driven online columns: Outdoor Women’s Voices and Women Trail Leaders.

Expertise: Before de Jesus launched Peak Explorations and Brown Gal Trekker, in 2016, she organized global treks for 12 years and practiced law for 15 years. With bachelor of arts degrees in American Ethnic Studies and Social Work, her aim is to promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and allyship while creating systematic change in outdoor tourism. She’s also on the steering committee for the CEO Outdoor Pledge of Diversify Outdoors.

Current projects: This year, the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Social Impact House selected Peak Explorations as a fellowship recipient. Through its local partner in Peru, Evolution Treks, Peak Explorations has worked to promote the roles of the Quechua women as guides and porters on the classic Inca Trail. In 2018, two Quechua women officially became porters on the classic Inca Trail, a historic change in the trekking tourism industry, according to de Jesus.

And in summer 2019, de Jesus said she plans to study the roles of women as guides in Kyrgyzstan while scouting mountain trails there. That trip will be in partnership with the Kyrgyzstan tourism board and Lindsey Hagen, the executive producer for Stept Studios.

Show goals: “I am looking for partnerships with brands and outdoor companies that wish to support Peak Explorations in our upcoming research in Kyrgyzstan and a potential documentary film with Stept Studios. And our work with the Quechua women in Peru. Our female porters need uniquely designed backpacks and gear to help their work.”

Connect with her: Email de Jesus at bgtrekker@peakexplorations.com.

 

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