Caroline Gleich's Winter Favorites

The pro skier and mountaineering badass shares her favorite winter destination and gear.

Nov 26, 2014
Outside Magazine
brody leven caroline gleich mexico mountaineering orizaba ski

Gleich has made an appearance in a Warren Miller ski film, designed gear, taught avalanche safety, and made her way onto many Ski magazine covers.    Photo: Grayson Schaffer

From carving perilous lines in films such as Warren Miller’s …Like There’s No Tomorrow to teaching avalanche safety, designing gear, and starring on more than a few Ski magazine covers, Caroline Gleich has left her mark on almost every corner of the ski industry. 

Since graduating from college with top scores last spring, the pro skier is 100 percent focused on her training. With her coach, Gleich designed a preseason regimen to develop explosive power, strength, and endurance. “One day I’ll do the gym, another I’ll do hill sprints, and another I’ll hike 3,000 or 4,000 vertical feet carrying 20 percent of my body weight in water in my pack,” she says.

brody leven caroline gleich mexico mountaineering orizaba ski
  Photo: Grayson Schaffer

Favorite Destination: Chamonix, France

“The mountains in Chamonix are Himalayan in scale. They rise up 10,000 feet from the valley floor with lift access to some of the steepest, most inspiring alpine terrain on the planet. The skiing is also more serious than most places. It’s a steep skiing mecca, and it’s really glaciated, adding another layer of risk. 

Below that terrain, you’ve got this great mountain-town vibe. You can be on the face of a rock climb on a huge 2,000-foot wall, and then later that night go out for drinks and dinner with friends. One of my first nights in Cham, we went out to a bunch of different clubs and found it was a great way to meet other skiers.” 

Favorite Gear: Nordica Wildfires

“They’re so lightweight, you can climb with them or carry them on your back. But they still perform really well on the downhill. They’re wide, they hold on fast runs downhill, don’t chatter, and feel solid underfoot. And, yes, they are definitely a lot lighter than 20 percent of my body weight in water! I like to ski the Wildfires a little shorter for ski mountaineering, so I can ski through a tight choke or a tight crest of a chute more easily. Nordica’s bases are all black, which holds wax better and means I can be really fast skiing off the glacier on the flats at the end of the day.”

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