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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Conscious Caucasus – Europe’s Last Wilderness | VAUDE

activity, adventure, Cross Trail Biking, europe, fitness, fitspiration, fitspo, girlpower, girls, health and fitness, instagram, MTB, nature, outdoors, snowboarding, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, women, women in sport

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Another absolutely incredible demonstration of Vaude’s deep and meaningful connection with the environment. This video features some really amazing females outdoor enthusiasts and all round athletes, but also helps us remember to be respectful of wherever we choose to ride and indeed whatever discipline that be in- whether it is Skiing/Snowboarding or MTB and hiking. This respect encompasses our literal environment foot print but also our impact on local wild life and and eco-system of the area.

I very often head to their YouTube page to watch their array of edits and promos as they all have a clear message. I am really loving how strongly they feature empowered females on the channel and this video is a top example.

Whats more you will learn a thing or two about Armenia, I think I speak for all of us when I say we could stand to gather a few more valuable factoids about this clearly beautiful and naturally ore inspiring country.

This is what Vaude had to say:

The Caucasus is perhaps Europe’s last wilderness. The mountain range between Europe and Asia is home to the Caucasus leopard, Europe’s last big cat, and many other endangered species. For over twenty years, the WWF has been helping to protect as much as possible of the Caucasus’ natural regions under threat from people and has been helping to make these areas available to the public for sustainable tourism. A great opportunity for bikers Sylvia Leimgruber and Susanne Huth. Together they set off to see learn about the WWF project and to personally experience the unique hospitality & culture of Armenia.

Production: Third Pole
Riders: Susanne Huth, Sylvia Leimgruber

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Just Because it #FeelGoodFriday And You Need Some Mountain Love.

activity, adventure, europe, freeride, ski, skiing, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, sport, Travel, Uncategorized, winter, winterseason, wintersport

Hey everyone,

I thought that you may need some mountain love from Vaude this week so here it is. Dreamlines is yet another beautifully shot, happy and upbeat edit to show how the finest quality products make your mountain experience. It’s just a minute, one short minute, come on click, you know you want too . . . . and after you will find yourself drifting to either Google or Instagram to start planning your next trip; that or, like me, you will start thinking to your winter season and all the incredible adventure ahead.

Enjoy and be good to each other. . . ..

Experience the Spirit of Mountain Sports – with VAUDE & the “Dreamlines” Preview. Enjoy the beauty of nature, the freedom at the top of the mountain & the excitement of the descent in the freeski adventures 2015. “Dreamlines” preview for the freeski adventures!”

“Explore the beauty of nature, no matter what weather, temperature & countryside. VAUDE is Europe’s most environmentally friendly outdoor brand, to let sportsmen & women enjoy nature & to support their outdoor adventures like free skiing, climbing, hiking & mountain biking. Mountain sports are our roots & mountains our foundation & brand symbol. They stand for the high expectations in our work at VAUDE. Witness the fascination of outdoor adventures on our channel.”

Dreamlines: Freeski Preview 2015 I VAUDE

FATMAP- Make The Switch

activity, adventure, Alaska, America, app, avalanche safety, backcountry, cervinia, chamonix, courmayeur, europe, Italy, mobile app, nature, offpiste, powder, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, Switzerland, tech, technology, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, winter, winterseason, wintersport, zermatt

FATMAP- Make The Switch. Have you made it yet?

This little edit shows you are easy and fast it is to use FATMAP. Available to download via smart phone and android, you can start exploring as soon as you are ready, the app will be there for your journey.

Let’s face it, you are going to look sooo much cooler showing your mates all the information available on the app instead of faffing around with a paper map. You don’t even have to tell them that you found the weather and avalanche info from FATMAP, or that you know the best shortcut to get to the apres spot, let them think you have a head full of info!

Check out this edit, It’s going to tell you everything you need to know and why you should “Make The Switch”.

#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

 

 

 

#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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Fatmap Edit is Out! My Blog is Popular?

activity, adventure, avalanche safety, backcountry, big mountain, bigmountain, cervinia, europe, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, freerideworldtour, freestyle, girlpower, good vibes, Italy, lifestyle, Meditation, mountains, nature, offpiste, outdoors, peace of mind, pila, positivity, powder, rehabilitation, relax, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, snowboard, snowboarding, snowsport, sport, Switzerland, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, verbier, wellbeing, winter, winterseason, wintersport, workout

Hey Team,

 

So I few things, it kinda all seems to be kicking off a little bit lately, without sounding too “Leeds”, I don’ know whether I’m coming or going.

3 Wonderful things I have to report on: 1, Verbier Freeride week- done and dusted, I want to say #nailedit but I did’nt quite, I shall write a small review tomorrow so hang tight for that. 2, My blog has been ranked top 5 snowsports blogs in the UK, what’s that about man, is anyone actually reading this, actually reading this, I cant quite believe it as it leads me to believe either you guys are a sucker for an abomination of a contribution to the written word or I am okay at writing my thoughts. Its in the running at the moment to be Numero uno! Follow this link and head for the “Snow-Sports” tag and click on me!

Pretty please with a cherry on top?

http://www.trespass.com/row/blog-awards-voting

 

3, The Fatmap edit I told you guys about, its finally out! I am over the moon. I don’t want to get all soppy and wishy washy on you, but I did blush and get VERY girly and giggerly indeed. Its awesome. The production, the setting and the advertisement of the app is incredible.However most personally to me I don’t look aweful, I am super stoked so you simply must check it out and get that app downloaded! It genuinely is the bets app I have ever seen, apart from the word press app of course! And Instagram maybe! If you are a seasonnaire or if you are heading on your jollies this winter, this is the one and only mountain companion you need, showing you routes, helping you track your friends and giving you all the info you could need to maximise your time on the mountain.

In the mean time, Im off to Pila for a few days to work, yes sometimes I work right, I will try my very best not to break a nail or pull a muscle as I’m a princess dont-cha-know, well at least thats what my male roomies and my daddy tell me. . . . . they may have been lying to me.

Cutting the Excess

activity, adventure, avalanche safety, backcountry, bigmountain, bodypositive, cardio, cervinia, europe, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, girlpower, good vibes, Meditation, mountains, nature, offpiste, peace of mind, positivity, powder, rehabilitation, relax, running, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, sport, strength, Switzerland, Training, Travel, Uncategorized, verbier, wellbeing, winter, winterseason, wintersport, workout

So Verbier Freeride week have been postponed due to the snow, that is the only reason that I’m actually so happy to accept. Again, I have to say what a blessing it is that we have seen the snow for the first time this winter, winter is truly here. On that note and seen as we have begun the New Year, there is that inevitable self reflection that is necessary. It’s good for the soul and especially good for someone like me who strives to improve and be a better person at every opportunity.

This is why, as of late I have been having some thoughts about cutting out the excess, streamlining my life as it were, to make my life how I want it. I have these visions and dreams that I will be treated exactly how I treat others, they will pay me with the generosity, love and warmth that I pay them, however the literal reality is that, this is hardly ever the case. Luckily, over the years and this season too, I have collected a group of true and pure individuals who I know, genuinely want to see me prosper. In a sport like freeride, when so much emphasis goes on trust and stability in a relationship on the mountain, you learn what values are important off the mountain. Just how I would be patient and calm to take in all variants in the backcountry with my buddies; in regular life I hope for the same. I am understanding now, that I am not the problem, I am a good person and I know my nature is intrinsically fair and just; so now, to save my soul, to focus on my career and my riding, I need to refine my life and like I say, cut the excess.

I see this blog as a way of writing down my feelings and thoughts, I can rationalise something by writing it down, I know people have been interested by other posts I put up, particularly “The F Word”, I hope like that post, people can see what is important to me. If you know me and you are reading this, I hope you understand, if you are a fan or someone who follows my work, I hope you find this enlightening.

Do with it what you will, right now I plan to shred a little with my buddies and get my head in the right space, this season and in Verbier Freeride Week in particular, if I come first or last, I plan to charge it anyhow. . . . Or maybe flounce around in a move I like to call “The Dead Fish” Tm, copyright me. I believe they judges give point for that?

It’s Snowing!

activity, adventure, avalanche safety, backcountry, big mountain, cervinia, europe, fitness, freeride, freeride world tour, freestyle, girlpower, good vibes, gym, Italy, mountains, nature, offpiste, outdoors, positivity, powder, ski, Ski Mountaineering, skiing, skitouring, snowboard, snowboarding, sport, strength, Switzerland, Training, Uncategorized, verbier, Vindsurf, wellbeing, winter, winterseason, wintersport, workout, zermatt

 

 

It’s only gone and blooming started snowing! What a miracle, I can’t believe what a blessing this is; how poetic it is that as soon as the new year arrives that the snow does too. Not that I haven’t been having a lovely time, as I have, like I keep saying, my roommates are the best riding buddies in town. However I can’t say that I wasn’t worried about training in preparation for the competition season, which begins next week! Also Tijn and I haven’t been able to do much in the way of filming for our freeride movie on account of the fact there simply is no freeride. Now, everything is coming together nicely, I am stoked to say the least.

Over the past few days nearly a half meter has fallen and it just continues to fall, the forecast makes for simply dreamy reading with the blessed snow falling for the next week at least. More over, this Friday we may just be in with our first true freeride day with sun and blue skies and a fresh coating of nearly a meter by then. This does mean I need to get my arse in gear as we say in Yorkshire, by maximising my mountain time and ensuring I make the most of every day.

I looked at the Edits from Verbier Freeride week of last year and I felt a bubbling of excitment rush through me, the kid of excitement I used to get as a child when my parents agreed to take an overly excitable child to a theme-park. I don’t care if I fall, I don’t care if the conditions are not perfect, I feel so ready to shred as best as my short legs with let me and hang out with some awesome peeps! The other competitors in Verbier Freeride week rock so I’m sure it will be a super fun week.

Any how, That’s where I’m at, so all that is left to say is Peace and Love and enjoy the shred this week people!