I was raised skiing, camping, hiking and playing in the woods that surrounded my childhood home near the Canadian boarder in the foothills of the Cascades. But as soon as I was given the option to just stay home I did. I hadn’t ridden a bike in years, slept outside since I was a preteen, or skied in over a decade until I started working at Crystal Mountain in 2008. This began a whole new chapter to my life. Due to years of struggle with alcoholism, I’m happy and proud to be 11 years sober and am living proof that people can go from the gutter to the top of Rainier.
It wasn’t until July 2010 that I discovered a person could truly snowboard/ski year round here in Washington State. I got a splitboard and began my journey into the backcountry. Like most others, I accompanied people that knew more than I did and spent a lot of time researching on the internet. The sport of splitboarding is about as new to the world as I am to the snow-sport industry. I am so stoked to see the innovation and dedication of the people in that community.
Once the accessible snow melts away I’m a huge fan of mountain biking and rock climbing. While I don’t share the same dedication to them as I have for snow sports, I stay at a comfortable plateau, skill-wise. I enjoy climbing at the 5.fun level, riding bikes on both pavement and trails, and tricking myself into running long distances by getting conveniently lost, or by getting dropped off where I can’t cheat by turning around.
I love moving through nature, whether on the same trail for the 33rd time or in a mountain range I’d only read about. I like to consider myself very “all mountain.” I’m just “ok” at everything, not really excelling anywhere in particular. But I make sure to have fun no matter what! You can have the most amazing adventures on a mediocre goal. It’s all in what you make of it.
When I can get away from Crystal Mountain I love spending time in Mt. Rainier National Park. The sheer amount of variety in the terrain of the park could easily take a lifetime to explore and experience. My next favorite of the many volcanoes in the Cascade Range is Mt. Baker. It holds a special place for me as I was raised in its shadow. The routes to the summit, all with their own special characters, are a great places to get as rad as anyone might desire. I also love going to Red Rocks in Nevada to rock climb! The difference between the lush Cascadian forest and the harsh sharp flora of the desert is an awesome contrasting perspective to have.
Since I was a late bloomer in the outdoors I became obsessed with gear guides and reviews. This hasn’t faded over the years, I still follow all the highlights from the OR and ISPO shows and have pile of Gear Guides from Backcountry Magazine thats probably due for a cleansing. While injured I’d written reviews for every piece of gear I used on various platforms and ended being hand picked to test equipment from Backcountry. This has grown to prototype testing for companies such as Karakoram, Arbor snowboards and Cascade Designs.