John Muir- Mountain Man & Inspiration To Lovers Of The Wild

adventure, mountains, nature, snowboarding, Travel, travel blog, Uncategorized

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I am often asked who is my idol, who pushes me, encourages me, to which I would be likely to answer-athletes like Kjersti Buaas, Aimee Fuller and the likes. However, if you were to ask me, who is my inspiration and why, I think can think of a seemingly unlikely character that, without falter, inspires me in every meaning of the word.

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They say, empowered women, empower women and I firmly believe that I look up to women to guide me to go bigger, ride harder and be a better version of myself. BUT, when it comes to inspiration, why I continue to pursue freeride, why I will not succumb to the societal pressures to fulfill the normal life of a 25yr old, and listen to the call of the mountains, it has to be John Muir.

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So, who is John Muir, well thanks to the wonder of the internet, here is a little description of this incredible environmental warrior:

“John Muir (April 21, 1838 – December 24, 1914) also known as “John of the Mountains”, was a Scottish-American naturalist, author, environmental philosopher, glaciologist and early advocate for the preservation of wilderness in the United States. His letters, essays, and books describing his adventures in nature, especially in the Sierra Nevada, have been read by millions. His activism has helped to preserve the Yosemite Valley, Sequoia National Park and many other wilderness areas. The Sierra Club, which he founded, is a prominent American conservation organization.”

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John felt most at home in the mountains, a man who famously was never able to sit still for long, felt the mountains call him. A call to action that he rightly understood as his duty to protect the environment, nature and all the grandeur of the landscape around him.

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Muir has been called the “patron saint of the American wilderness” and its “archetypal free spirit.” “As a dreamer and activist, his eloquent words changed the way Americans saw their mountains, forests, seashores, and deserts”,-Gretel Ehrlich. He not only led the efforts to protect forest areas and have some designated as national parks, but his writings presented “human culture and wild nature as one of humility and respect for all life.  

Muir seems to understand what nature is trying to communicate to us; in a time before civilization was able to fully grasp the importance of championing environmental protection measures.

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Above all what inspires me about Muir was his ethereal, magical and just damn right amazing use of the English language. Here are some of my favorite quotes from the mountain man himself.  These quotes can sooth an intrepid travelers soul, just what your inner nomad needs to hear:

 

  • Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.
  • The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.
  • In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.
  • When we contemplate the whole globe as one great dewdrop, striped and dotted with continents and islands, flying through space with other stars all singing and shining together as one, the whole universe appears as an infinite storm of beauty.
  • Rocks and waters, etc., are words of God, and so are men. We all flow from one fountain Soul. All are expressions of one Love.
  • Storms of every sort, torrents, earthquakes, cataclysms, ‘convulsions of nature,’ etc., however mysterious and lawless at first sight they may seem, are only harmonious notes in the song of creation, varied expressions of God’s love.
  • Oh, these vast, calm, measureless mountain days, days in whose light everything seems equally divine, opening a thousand windows to show us, God.
  • How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains!
  • Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.
  • The mountains are calling and I must go.

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Although John, who was raised deeply religious as was normal in his native Scotland, he grew to expand upon his beliefs about “God” and how the idea of a prime maker relates to nature. I understand how it may be hard for some to relate and many find it a little uncomfortable to mention God, or any names indeed that suggest a religious orientation. However, when thinking of all of nature’s awesome power, the mountains in all their glory, one can’t help but sit back and contemplate a little.

 

So, there you have it guys, I hope you found this short piece interesting and that you too can find some comfort in the immortal words of John Muir. I find whenever I am feeling a little melancholy for the mountains, his words match perfectly to any feelings of longing, he helps he slowly turn those feelings to a sense of belonging, we all are indeed, part of the grand picture. It is up to us to understand how we fit in and how we plan to use our influence to protect what we hold so dear. . . . . Nature and the mountains.

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#ThrowBackThursday To The International Freeski Film Festival London #if3London

adventure, backcountry, big mountain, freeride, freestyle, london, mountains, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, snowboard, snowboarding, Travel, Uncategorized, winter, winterseason, wintersport

#if3London last Thursday night was EPIC! Capital letters are an absolute must when describing this event as totally rocked my damn world.

You probably won’t be surprised when you hear me say, you literally couldn’t pay me to live in London, I enjoy stopping by for events and meetings but any longer than 3 days, I hate the place. Too crowded, no sense of community and it’s simply not like home in the Mountains. But last thursday, London felt like home- It felt like an Apres Ski bar at The Grand Clapham and every person in that building felt like a seasonnaire pal.

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Subzero events did an incredible job of organising the night, it went off like clock work. The atmosphere was electric, literally winter vibes left right and centre.

I was of course running the social media for @Fatmap, the sponsors of the evening which meant I got to chat to all the athletes and filmers, so as you can imagine, I was beaming from ear to ear!

Who did we have and what did I think?

“Backyards” by PVS Company

Presented on stage by athletes Sam Favret, Fabian Bodet, Julien Herry and film makers Alex Blaise, Maxime Moulin, Niels St Viteux, Theo Delarche, Fred Rousseau, Mat Bourgeois, Jr Ceron, David Lacote & Pauline Beauchamps

  • Amazing. The scenery was incredible, seeing everything that France has to offer. Big sends and even bigger lines! Backyards was inspiring too, a really strong movie showing the trials and tribulations of offpiste life. It was sooooo good.
  • Check it out here

 

“Enjoy the Ride” by Perspective Studios

Presented on stage by Director Ross Welch and athletes Callum Welch & Elia Mitalas

  • This edit was brilliant as it showcased some British talent. The lads are crazy and had a fun and outgoing attitude to match. This was the first edit shown and was an excellent way to kick off the evening! I loved meeting them after and having a little chat. They have some big things in store this winter too.
  • Check it out here

“Liberarsi” by Every Damn Weekend

Presented on stage by athletes Luca Zattoni & Francesco Salamone

  • Every Damn Weekend was awesome. Luca and Franci represented for Fatmap in a big way. Showing how effectively the app works and how it helped shape their lines. Plus everyone in the room absolutely loved the switch from Italian city life to extreme backcountry antics! They filmed in Cervinia/Zermatt too which obviously make me nearly faint with excitement.
  • Check it out here

 

 “Characters on Skis’ by Midiafilm

Presented on stage by Neil David Williman & Felix Wiemers

  • OH Sweet Lord! Characters on Skis was a powder overload. If you didn’t already feel like the mountains were calling then this edit will surely have thrown you over the edge. Felix and Neil took up deep into the backcountry here in Europe and Japan, chasing the snow wherever they could find it. This was winter goals for sure!
  • Check it out here

 

“Domestic Playground” by Next Generation Media

Presented on stage by Ola Kjos Sollie Emil Skjeslien Larsen Jens Erik Stokke Herman Ørstenvik Fjøss & Steffen Rosén Olsen

  • The Norwegian lads were a massive hit in the hall. The lads were clearly over the moon to showcase their film in London and it’s easy to see why. No one does urban riding like the scandi’s and this edit was a perfect example of how to turn an area into a sick ride. Filmed in Norway, by Norwegians, I think everyone was checking prices to Oslo for this season. They did some crazy ass stuff and I loved it. Plus they were hella cute! 😉 You guys know I am a sucker for a viking.
  • Check it out here

I have included the hyperlinks to all their websites and to the trailers so be sure to check them out!

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#IF3London- International Freeski Film Festival Countdown

activity, adventure, app, avalanche safety, backcountry, mountains, news, snowboarding, Travel, Uncategorized, winter, winterseason, wintersport

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I am so excited for this event. It’s literally going to be amazing. It’s pretty much the only thing that is going to help us get our pre-season stoke on. No matter where you are in the UK, get your cheeky off-peak train booked and let’s make this an unforgettable night.

So what am I banging on about I hear you say? Well, it’s only the best freeski film event ever! Imagine it: beer, popcorn, snowsports athletes, the big screen and ridiculously cool vibes all in one room- well then there you have the Internation Freeski Film Festival!

Offically- Fatmap Presents The International Freeski Film Festival; Fatmap will for sure be putting on a show! They invited me along to run their Instagram so I will be going utterly snap mad; interviewing the athletes, catching a glimpse at some of the best freeski releases and getting up close and personal we the good people of Landan town!Be the first to see the movies on the big screen, meet the athletes, check out our sponsors stalls, win prizes in the raffle & even get snowed on!

MOVIES & ATHLETES

 

  • “Backyards” by PVS Company
    Presented on stage by athletes Sam Favret, Fabian Bodet, Julien Herry and film makers Alex Blaise, Maxime Moulin, Niels St Viteux, Theo Delarche, Fred Rousseau, Mat Bourgeois, Jr Ceron, David Lacote & Pauline Beauchamps
  • “Enjoy the Ride” by Perspective studios
    Presented on stage by Director Ross Welch and athletes Callum Welch & Elia Mitalas

  • Exclusive edit from “Characters on skis’ by Midiafilm
    Presented on stage by Neil David Williman, Felix Wiemers & Julia Neumann

  • “Domestic Playground” by Next Generation Media
    Presented on stage by Ola Kjos Sollie Emil Skjeslien Larsen Jens Erik Stokke Herman Ørstenvik Fjøss & Steffen Rosén Olsen

 

After all of that, we have the apres ski! Courtesy of Snowboxx, you just know the after party is going to go off!
Tickets include access to our onsite after party hosted by Snowboxx festival with a host of alpine drinks, Dogtown hot dogs, magician, apres ski DJs, live sax player, shot skis & beer pong

Tickets from £12 available from www.subzeroevents.com

FATMAP l Telegraph Ski & Board l Ellis Brigham l K2 l Mute Collective l Snowboxx Festival l Snow-camp

Follow Fatmap on Instagram Fatmap on Instagram to follow the evening if you can’t make it.

Otherwise, see ya there. . . .

 

Fatmap Introduce Their Summer Map Program.

activity, adventure, app, backcountry, big mountain, mobile app, mountains, MTB, offpiste, running, ski, Ski Mountaineering, snowboarding, social media, sport, strength, Summer, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, workout

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Hey All,

Good news for all you mountain lovers out there. You don’t need to wait until winter to get your adrenaline filled mountain adventures.

Fatmap has now introduced it’s “Summer Maps”! It’s really exciting for hikers and MTBers alike. Providing you with the same bespoke, detailed and easy to use interactive maps but with a much more green back drop!

This is what Fatmap had to say about it:

FATMAP SUMMER: WHAT’S NEW?

Download BETA versions of our new summer maps before our major release in 2017, here’s what you can experience on the hill…

Info Icon - 3D Outdoor Map - FATMAP Summer

STUNNING 3D MAPS WITH SUMMER IMAGERY

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HIKING, BIKING AND MOUNTAINEERING ROUTES CONTRIBUTED BY OUR COMMUNITY OF MOUNTAIN PROFESSIONALS

Info Icon - 3D Outdoor Map - FATMAP Summer

ACCESS DETAILED TERRAIN INTELLIGENCE FOR EVERY INCH OF THE MOUNTAIN

ON FOOT

GO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK  WITH 3D HIKING MAPS

  • Access detailed information on hiking routes in each area
  • Check altitude and gradient to plan new and challenging routes
  • BETA: Track and share your progress to get feedback on your adventures

ON BIKE

FIND THE PERFECT DOWNHILL OR CROSS-COUNTRY TRAIL WITH 3D MOUNTAIN BIKE MAPS

  • Discover the major downhill and cross-country tracks with detailed route descriptions
  • Identify risks along the trail with terrain intelligence
  • BETA: Record your sessions to check top speed, max gradient and total vertical

 

Check out this edit as a little preview of how it works!

#LOVEVDA The Magical Aosta Valley

activity, adventure, cervinia, Italy, mountains, nature, outdoors, ski, skiing, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, sport, Summer, Travel, Uncategorized, winterseason

The Valle d’Aosta,

 

This valley used to be somewhere I just visited with my family while growing up. Every year without fail, heading to my favorite destinations, Champoluc, Courmayer and beyond. My parents certainly fell in love, thus why we continued to go back. My affair began to spark too! I just can’t get enough of the culture, the food, the atmosphere and above all the breathtaking mountain back drop. This is why, no matter where my career as a Pro Snowboarder takes me, I will ALWAYS have a base here, IT IS HOME. Whenever I leave, I leave a part of myself and a part of my history on how i came to me the athlete I am today. If anyone ever asks, why the Aosta Valley, I can refer them to these links.

Love Valle d’Aosta, LOVE V D A!

Follow them:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AostaValley

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/visitdaosta

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjpShJWHyJaktBYEUyJ4HLw

 

 

 

Vaude- The Spirit of Mountain Sports

activity, adventure, avalanche safety, big mountain, cardio, chamonix, determination, europe, fitness, fitspo, freeride, good vibes, health and fitness, motivation, mountains, nature, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, strength, Switzerland, Training, zermatt

I have made a massive error. There is no going back from it.. . .

That mistake was heading to YouTube and thinking to myself, I will just head to my sponsors page- VAUDE. Then I came across “Freeride Haute Route: Freeskiing Extreme Vaude.” It was a mistake because NOW ALL I CAN THINK ABOUT IT WINTER.

My focus now, more so than ever is on the “All Girls Freeride edit” and how I can keep the fun, practical and extreme aspects of this particular edit from VAUDE, then carry it through to my project. This edit is incredibly beautiful, it’s magical in fact; showing the bond of a freeride team/group of friends and the struggle/euphoria for the best descent!

From peak to peak, crossing my favourite mountain zone, from Zermatt to Chamonix, this edit is well worth a watch to see, not only how amazing this area of the alps is but also how Vaude products are you back county best friend.

” The goal is finding yourself. . . . . ”

 

#ThrowBackThursday-FATMAP Launch Edit

adventure, app, avalanche safety, backcountry, big mountain, cervinia, chamonix, courmayeur, europe, France, freeride, freeride world tour, freestyle, lifestyle, mobile app, mountains, offpiste, outdoors, powder, ski, skiing, snowboard, snowboarding, Switzerland, tech, technology, Training, Uncategorized, verbier, winter, winterseason, wintersport, zermatt

It’s time for  “Throw Back Thursday”! I am thinking back to the awesome time I spent in Verbier, filming with the FATMAP squad. Not only is everyone who works for that company- the nicest group of people but the app has revolutionized the way I ride. The app allows you to plot your progress, check your lines and discover the mountain through new eyes. Chilling on the mountain with this guys was a real pleasure.

Check out the final edit here. . . .

 

Follow them on social media and find out how Fatmap can make your next day on the mountain simply amazing, regardless of your level!

https://www.facebook.com/fatmapski

https://twitter.com/fatmapski

https://www.instagram.com/fatmapski/

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVLMQjeeN5S1nZuTWLtZjlg

 

#winterisback #allgirlsfreerideedit Back on the Filming

activity, adventure, avalanche safety, backcountry, big mountain, body image, bodypositive, cervinia, chamonix, courmayeur, europe, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, freestyle, girlpower, good vibes, health and fitness, healthy, inspiration, Italy, lifestyle, mountains, nature, nutrition, offpiste, outdoors, peace of mind, positivity, powder, relax, running, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, snowboaridng, snowsport, sport, strength, Summer, Switzerland, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, verbier, wellbeing, winter, winterseason

Finally, it seems winter has returned to us and I couldn’t be happier. Every thing seems to be falling into place which means its time to get my focus back onto filming and making this all girls edit happen. The lovely Tijn is bringing her Dutch Freeriding butt back to me so we can have a few days getting as much done as we can. I am so looking forward to a fun packed schedule, which I am just refining as we speak. The weather seems to be on our side for the most part, giving us 2 weather windows on Monday and Tuesday- giving us a chance to do some helidrops, ski all my favourite lines and do some very much deserved eating and drinking. With the help of the locals and some of my favourite spots in town and on the mountain, we should be able to get some much needed material, to showcase this incredible town. Tijn will be back in the end of March and then we can continue filming and perhaps expand our efforts to my other top spots of Courmayeur, Champoluc and Gressoney. Until then, check out our schedule and if you are around come and join us!

Sunday (Bad Vis Day, Snow and unstable conditions)

– Sun Rise Yoga session

-Early Morning Tour up to Cielo Alto  then descend to the Cielo Alto Lift

– Cielo Alto to shred the forrest

-Sunday Dinner up at Alpage  http://www.alpage-cervinia.com/

Monday (Blue Bird Day, Sun More stable Conditions)

-Heli Ski with the Heliski Cervinia Office guided by Nicola Himself!  http://www.heliskicervinia.com/content_e.asp?ID=4

-Apres Ski At Principe http://www.principedellenevi.com/

Tuesday (Slightly Overcast More stable Conditions)

– Hike and Ski tour to the Bontadini Couloir

-The Plateau Rosa Old life pass station Line

-Lunch at Chalet Etoile http://www.chaletetoile.it/

-The Cimme Bianchi line

-Theodlo Pass

-Dinner at Lo Copa Pan http://www.locopapan.eu/

Wednesday (Rest Day- Editing Day)

-Tijn Departs today so we will spend the morning ensuring we have all the material we needed and planning her next visit at the end of the month.

 

Another adventure and Another Day in Paradise

activity, adventure, avalanche safety, backcountry, big mountain, bodypositive, cardio, cervinia, courmayeur, europe, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, girlpower, good vibes, gym, lifestyle, mountains, nature, offpiste, outdoors, peace of mind, positivity, powder, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, sport, strength, Training, Travel, verbier, wellbeing, winter, winterseason, wintersport, workout, zermatt

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Today was such a great day I simply had to share it with you guys. We have been waiting with baited breath for almost 3 months for the winter to truly arrive and it seems, finally, it has.

The snow is falling in big generous flakes that have covered the ground with a magical, ethereal white blanket and this meant but one thing- it was time to ride!

Sadly the wind was not on our side today and so we began the day in my apartment with the guys,  talking over options.  As Freeriders, this is a massive part of our day and should be for any back country lovers.  Your group should discuss options and ideas openly well before you hit the mountain. We discussed heading to Courmayeur as they too have enjoyed the arrival of the snow but instead we thought we would go on a touring adventure.
I don’t have a split board at the moment so instead the guys convinced me they would go easy on me and I would follow with snowshoes. We chose a route that lead us around the forest and finally landing us in the sub area of Cervinia named Cielo Alto.

As soon as we began it became clear that the conditions were simply ideal. Steady temperature and no wind in the trees meant for a more reliable snowpack- suggesting that our run down would be just dreamy. The guys didn’t quite go as easy on me as I hoped, I was running off testosterone and my competitive nature to ensure I kept up with them as best I could.  I had sweat dripping down my face luckily the big fat smile I had meant it dripped straight onto the floor and away from my eyes and mouth!  It was hard work in parts so much so I did let out some exhausted sighs but the views were simply wonderful and kept me focused.

The lifts slowly began to open and the wind did die down so we changed our plan to head to the mean area after we reached our goal height. When we got there, with the matterhorn in our sights we enjoyed a short but rad run down.  I did a cliff  drop with a little too much speed meaning I had a knee to the face. There was blood and it was not pretty but I’m told that is referred to as a nature hit which made me feel super cool!

The rest of the day was spent shedding the lines that the tourists hasn’t ruined, until my legs could no longer carry me. Now I’m sat writing to you grinning at the weather forecast. It seems things are certainly looking up.

Peace and love

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Positive Body Image and Training Update

activity, adventure, backcountry, big mountain, bodypositive, cardio, cervinia, europe, fatshame, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, girlpower, good vibes, gym, Italy, Meditation, mountains, nature, offpiste, outdoors, peace of mind, positivity, powder, running, ski, skiing, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, sport, strength, Switzerland, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, wellbeing, winter, winterseason, wintersport, workout, Yoga, zermatt
So its that time of the weekly/semi regular posts. Things have been crazy busy lately between coming back from Verbier and going straight to Pila to work I am just now settling back into some semblance of a normal life. I am a lazy girl at heart so I have been craving for some me time, just sitting, no small talk no instgram, just either a book or a film and quiet time.
During all the fun days shredding around on the mountain and drinking beers with good friends and interacting with certain people, I have been thinking a lot about this positive body image. By that I don’t just mean me trying to be like my size 8 friends or trying to compete with people in town for who is the best on the mountain, I mean a sense of mental and physical comfort in myself. I have spent years never feeling truly right, truly comfortable.
People say that there comes a point in your twenties when you start to care less and not put so much importance on the opinion of others regarding who you are, but genuinely believing in yourself. That is slowly starting to happen, and my god its a long time coming. I am trying to nurture this part of me that sees me for how I want to be seen. Having the idea and the notion that athletes come in different variations of muscular form, different stature but none the less impressive.
Learning to believe that positive body images comes from mental strength and not just a physical. When that mental strength comes and so will the physical.
I used to think I had to hear someone say how slim I was or how I wasn’t fat or even have a boy acknowledge how pretty and sexy I was, but I don’t care. I just don’t, any more.
Success is coming to me in my career as I have begun to feel less inadequate. I now feel that if you don’t know; how hard I have worked, how ambitious I am, how driven I am, how impressive I am both physically and mentally,
then, well, you do you but you wont have me as a companion. I am awesome, I am strong and I am beautiful so that’s that really.
Training lately hasn’t been anything too exotic. It’s been my regular combination of trail running 2 or 3 times a week mixed with yoga sessions as much as I can cram them in, even if its a 20 minute apres ski session or an indulgent mediation session, I still feel it helps feed my soul.  In terms of on the mountain training, we are trying to ride as fast and as crazy as possible even if I do make rookie errors, like I did today- You can’t ride box on your toe edge. . . . . . I am trying to gather as much technique as I can to employ my #gobigorgohome mentality, readying myself for the comps in all conditions even if that means riding s***f*** which is what is on offer currently.
The next adventure will take me to Artesina Freeride Fest in just about 2 weeks. This will be the perfect laid back chilled environment for me to test some on my new tricks and put my new mentality to the test. Not only that but I am beyond excited to have my awesome roommates coming to compete with me. I know they are going to smash it, but together we can plan lines,talk cliffs and drops and take that mountain by storm.
For now, lovely people, have a great week
Peace and Love