Hi! This is Ski Utah guest blogger, Amy David. I’ve spent the summer pursuing sports that help me Escape the Heat. During the search for cooler temperatures, I’ve met a few women who take to the sky and water to stay cool and escape the heat of daily life in the city. Check out the latest episode of the Wild Women of the Wasatch series to meet a few inspiring ladies who skydive, sail and fish for fun while being positive influences in the community.
Summertime in portions of Utah has a tendency to showcase heat waves and scorching temperatures. The past few months have set record heat waves with continual streaks above 95 degrees. The hot weather is simultaneously daunting and motivating. While it’s excruciatingly hot to hang out in the paved city, it’s also less than an hour in any direction to cool waters, higher mountain elevation and endless outdoor recreation.
Luckily, the temperature decreases by about 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit for every 1,000 feet up you go in elevation. As you increase in elevation, air pressure decreases, air molecules spread out further and the temperature decreases. The fastest way to escape the heat? Hop in a plane and fly to 12,000 feet elevation with a skydiver!
As soon as I met Ashley Peterson, I knew we were kindred spirits, both hungry for freedom and adrenaline. Ashley grew up around skydiving with a family of air enthusiasts. As soon as she turned 18, the Sandy, UT, local took her first jump as if it were a family tradition. Ashley describes skydiving as the most free thing to do and told me when she shows up on her worst days she’ll always leave with the biggest smile on her face. She now works at Skydive Ogden and is progressing towards becoming a wingsuit BASE jumper while aspiring to be a nurse.
“It is just so inspiring seeing other ladies just killing it at life because it’s like, wow I could be that way or I could be like them and go do these things,” Ashley describes what’s inspiring to her about women in extreme sports.
One of the women Ashley speaks highly of is professional skydiver, BASE jumper and wingsuit flyer, Liz Freeman. The Park City local works full time as a skydiver which allows her to do fun projects like stunt work and filming. If you’d like to test your wings and try skydiving, visit Skydive Ogden or Skydive the Wasatch.
Flying is a concept many humans are mesmerized by. The elusive something that makes it possible is called lift. This occurs when air accelerates at different velocities around the curved wing which creates a higher pressure on one side and a lower pressure on the other side. Bernoulli’s law says the pressure forces and velocity are related. Similar to the physics of flying, turn the wing on its side and you get the same effect needed to propel a sailboat across the water.
Sailing is a wind-powered sport that involves many intricacies of physics to move the boat forward. While lift in sailing is a side force, the underwater keel experiences equal forces on each side and acts as a vector squeezing the boat forward like a watermelon seed between your fingers. Although it can get complicated comprehending the many details, there’s a common equation for us newbies to follow for success.
I simply hopped on the boat and let Jacky Hallett take the reins, or the rudder. Jacky is attending the University of Utah studying Geophysics and Atmospheric Science. She’s been racing sailboats from a young age and currently spends a majority of her time cruising around the Jordanelle Reservoir on a boat. Jacky explained, “I enjoy sailing because it’s a way to escape the normal grind of the day and it’s fun to be out on a boat that completely powered by the wind.” If you’re interested in learning to sail, sign up for a lesson at Park City Sailing, here.
Several miles above the Jordanelle Reservoir is a prime fishing location on the middle Provo river at about 6,000 feet elevation. Vanessa Pierce has been fly fishing for nearly two years and started learning as a challenge when she knew nothing about the sport. As a new fisherwoman, she says, “You just have to do it. Even if you know nothing, you have to go out there and start and practice a lot. Fly fishing is a sport that really makes you step back and appreciate the small things and be patient. It definitely helps cool me down in terms of my mentality.”
Vanessa is an experienced sports marketer in the outdoor industry and is a cofounder of the national nonprofit SheJumps. Their mission is to increase participation of girls and women in outdoor activities. “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.”
There are endless opportunities to connect with positive women active in the outdoors to learn new skills or to simply build more friendships.
Thank you to everyone who enjoys meeting the Wild Women of the Wasatch! Stay tuned for the next episode featuring women and their mountain dog companions. Thank you to Ski Utah for sharing the stories of gals getting after it! Until next time keep up with my adventures on Instagram @AmyJaneDavid.
Catch up on other Wild Women of the Wasatch stories here: <
Watch Ep01 Adaptive Sports
Watch Ep02 Chicks Who Rip
Watch Ep03 Dawn Till Dark
Watch Ep05 Mountain Canine Companions
Watch Ep06 Steep Jobs
Watch Ep07 Local Pioneers
Watch Ep08 Boarder Babes
Watch Ep09 Spring Fling
Watch Ep10 Who are the Wild Women of the Wasatch?
Watch Ep11 Gnarly Nurses
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