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From the Archives: Inspiring Mountain Women

FROM THE ARCHIVES:
INSPIRING MOUNTAIN WOMEN

By Lydia Nutbrown

Need a bit of a push to keep you moving during the winter season? We’ve rounded up some of the most inspirational stories our site has seen, and they happen to have one thing in common: they feature strong female protagonists who embody mountain culture all year round. 

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inspiring-women2Christine Feleki and the Path to Splitboard Mountain Guiding

Why is Christine Feleki adamant about blazing the splitboarding trail? Because, in her words, “turning on a snowboard is more fun.” Banff-born and Canmore-raised, Christine is en route to certification as an ACMG ski guide and will be one of Canada’s first women to do so on transforming planks. Be inspired by Christine’s perseverance, her diverse backcountry resume and her contribution to making the sport more accessible in the Canadian Rockies.

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Photo by Abby Cooper

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inspiring-womenOne Run, One Change: Q+A with Freeride Snowboarder, Audrey Hebert

Audrey Hebert was born for the snow. The granddaughter of ski-school owners and the daughter of a World Cup racer has been skiing since the age of two, but fell for snowboarding at eight and hasn’t looked back. Now, Audrey has embraced freeriding and is set to represent her chosen home of Banff this winter on the Swatch Freeride World Tour. Her unique approaches to competition and her mountain playgrounds are the things dreams are made of, and will have you itching to give her growing sport a try.

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Photo courtesy Audrey Hebert

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inspiring-women6Understanding, Underneath: An Avalanche Survival Story (feat. Abby Cooper)

Prepare your spine for the inevitable chills that come with reading Abby Cooper’s personal account of surviving an avalanche. An avid backcountry enthusiast (and regular contributor to Crowfoot Media), she had over 10 years of avalanche training before she endeavoured out on a cat-skiing day that she will never forget. Abby’s ordeal reminds us not only of the necessity of mountain awareness and preparation, but most importantly, that acknowledging our intuition is a lifesaving skill.

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Photo by Jesse Millen

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inspiring-women5Nancy Hansen: Fear, Motivation
and Mt. Everest

In late 2014, Canmore-based mountaineer Nancy Hansen received a once-in-a-lifetime invitation to climb Mount Everest. The 46-year-old couldn’t say no to the opportunity to attempt the expedition, especially since it came from one of the world’s top alpinists, Ralf Dujmovits. She did, however, say no to artificial oxygen, despite her struggles with acclimatization, which took her to the Alps for training. Read on to find out more about how Nancy overcomes struggles, as well as an update on her Everest attempt.

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Photo by Renée Lavergne

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inspiring-women3Higher Love and the Quest to Ski Everest (Feat. Maegan Carney and Kit Deslauriers)

This is the story of two of women who shared one goal: to be the first to ski Everest. Facing the world’s most daunting pitches on separate expeditions three years apart, Kit Deslauriers and Maegan Carney recall the harrowing, near-death moments they each experienced, and the monumental support they received from Wally Berg. Their journeys represent the peak of mental and physical stamina, and as such are worth remembering on your next mountain expedition, no matter the size.

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Photo courtesy Kit Deslauriers

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Lydia Nutbrown is a freelance writer/marketer currently pursuing an MA in Communication. Originally from Ontario, she now calls Calgary home, but stretches out to neighbouring (and not so neighbouring) regions to explore mountain and urban culture as often as possible.