Words by Amy David
Over the past few years, we’ve searched the Wasatch mountains for women who are hard chargers, courageous, and inspirational. What began as a search quickly unfolded as an opportunity to share the stories of a handful of brave babes representing an overflowing abundance of wild women ripping it up in the Wasatch. They’re true soul shredders who get after it in the mountains from dawn ‘till dark. This episode highlights top action from a variety of ladies of all ages and experiences. Stay tuned this season for upcoming episodes; Gnarly Nurses and Fearless in Flight.
The Wild Women of the Wasatch are the chicks who rip and the boarder babes, who replace “what if” with “hell yeah!” The women who find happiness through outdoor adventure in the Wasatch mountains. The gutsy gals with steep jobs from heli-ski guides to ski patrol, instructors, photographers, avalanche forecasters and nurses. The early birds and weekend warriors who prefer a hearty dose of adrenaline before breakfast. The ladies who adapt and do what it takes to get themselves and their families in the snow covered peaks. These wild women are beloved local pioneers, mothers, students, aspiring athletes, Olympians, and powder hounds. With grit and grace, the calculated daredevils come alive at high speeds and in the air, yet slow down to reflect on the magic of nature. The Wasatch range emits a magnetic pull to the adventurous souls. Once you’re here, you’ll know.
Photo Credit: Adam Clark
Insights from Wild Women of the Wasatch:
Photo Credit: Croshane Media
“I saw what the skiing did to me. As my physical recovery improved, my mental and emotional recovery improved. It’s like skiing gave my body a purpose again instead of just being this damaged thing wheeling around in a chair. It was like there’s power in me now. To be able to give that to other people, to see that in my students as they harness that power they didn’t know they had anymore, it’s amazing.” -Anna Beninati
“You can do anything that anyone else can do, so there’s no reason not to just go for it.” -Kendra Muller
Photo Credit: Croshane Media
"Everyday I go up I say to myself that this has to be a progressive day and most importantly have fun.” -Taylor Lundquist
"When I think of the Wasatch mountains I think about adventures and easy escapes. Skiing is my escape from reality. When I'm skiing I'm not thinking of my to do list back home. I get caught up thinking about each turn, my skis moving from edge to edge, being in the mountains and sharing that time with friends. Just thinking about skiing makes me smile!" -Kaytlin Hughes
“I’ve used biking (and skiing) as an outlet for life. Whenever I’m out, I’m just trying to help my friends, get other people excited, and basically pass on all the things I learned by trial and error.” -Christine Dern
“It’s very important to have opportunities for girls outside to learn new skills because it makes you feel better and it empowers you to feel confident to do things on your own. We love that SheJumps and many other women’s organizations can help give you that strength.” -Vanessa Pierce (co-founder of She Jumps)
Photo Credit: Adam Clark
“It’s great to see other women who value that same lifestyle and have those same hobbies. It’s great to see a growing community of these women who are not scared to go out there and hit it with the guys, charge big and kill it. Having a kid has made me focus on getting outdoors more. It’s a lifestyle I want to instill in my daughter.” -Annie Cutler Davis
“For women wanting to get outdoors, the best advice I could give them is choose your own adventure. Take control of your own trips, and say this is what I want to do and where I want to do it, and start exactly where you want.” -Evelyn Lees, Backcountry Avalanche Forecaster
“The singular piece of advice is to start understanding what makes you happy at an early age, and also trying to put that into the context of you do live in a real world and you kind of have to fit in a little bit. Find where the place that you fit in is, grow yourself and also understand and love those people that you’re around because it isn’t a singular journey.” -Connie Marshall, Alta Marketing
“You better like what you say you’re going to do for an occupation because if you don’t it’s not going to turn out as well. I love it! I have so many people say to me, why don’t you retire? My kids have a hard time getting me to take a day off because I love it so much and I feel such a part of it.” - Marge Seeholzer, Owner of Beaver Mountain
Photo Credit: Ryan Thompson
“Riding backcountry is more of an intrinsic motivation and making the best out of any given situation each day. You’re basically here to observe. Any sort of stress you have in your life gets left behind, and you focus on putting one foot in front of the other. I really enjoy riding pow. It’s the most freeing feeling you can experience.” -MacKenzie Ryan
Photo Credit: Louis Alvero
Turns out hot pink party pants and 70’s onesies catch a lot of stares at the top of spicey ski lines. . . even more so when the girls dressed in costume point ‘em straight down the chutes.
The best part about creating Wild Women of the Wasatch is uncovering how many talented, passionate, and competent women are crushing it in the mountains from weekend warriors to pro athlete and first timers. I’ve loved getting to spend time with a variety of ladies who all seek happiness through outdoor adventure in the mountains! Keep your tips up for new episodes dropping this season featuring Gnarly Nurses who slay sick lines and gals who are Fearless in Flight from helicopters to massive cliffs and jumps. Until then, join @SkiUtah and keep up with my personal travels on Instagram @AmyJaneDavid. Huge thank you to Ski Utah for sharing the stories of the Wild Women of the Wasatch and to @CroshaneMedia for the filming and editing prowess.
To get involved with other fired up shredder babes in the Wasatch read up about Chicks on Sticks! Women’s Ski Camps and Clinics.
Watch Ep01 Adaptive Sports
Watch Ep02 Chicks Who Rip
Watch Ep03 Dawn Till Dark
Watch Ep04 Escape the Heat
Watch Ep05 Mountain Canine Companions
Watch Ep06 Steep Jobs
Watch Ep07 Local Pioneers
Watch Ep08 Boarder Babes
Watch Ep09 Spring Fling
Watch Ep11 Gnarly Nurses