The Snow Report
Why did you launch SheJumps?
We created SheJumps in 2008 to build a supportive community to encourage more girls and women to challenge themselves outside. We started it for a few reasons: To make a team out of an individual sport where girls could feel a sense of belonging to a mountain community and create a platform to use the metaphor of the mountains to challenge oneself to her highest potential.
You're helping pave the way for young, up-and-coming female skiers. Who helped pave the way for you?
My mom and cousin AJ Cargill were always pushing boundaries and still are, but this movement has been coming for a long time ... like centuries. Even men are starting to appreciate their inner “girl” and it’s serving our planet as a whole. It’s not easy to break old molds but if we have the courage to tap into our grace, intuition, and genuine love for what we are doing, that raw desire to make a mark will manifest itself in a beautiful way. It’s never been a better time to be a girl.
Can you talk about the differences in skiing with a group of women versus skiing with a group of men?
I have to admit, I’ve been afraid of groups of women. We learn early about mean girls, so I’ve always been wary. That’s part of what we are trying to combat with SheJumps. Girls can be mean, especially when they are young, but I believe if they had better role models, they could learn that the worst thing they can do for themselves is to be mean to other girls. We are easily threatened by each other. However, I think we’re starting to see ourselves as a force that can move mountains if we work side-by-side to get real sheroes in the spotlight. Those athletes pushing boundaries, moms keeping our families intact against all odds, conservationists fighting for the trees, and do-gooders empowering the less-fortunate, will be what we aspire to.
Are things different now for female skiers now, than from when you first got into the business? If so, how?
Yes, definitely. There is more room than ever for female skiers. Something shifted this year and people are excited and open to women skiers more than before. It’s like we hit a tipping point.
Who have been/are your mentors in the mountains?
Shroder Baker, Rob Kingwill, Kina Pickett, Jimmy Chin, Rob Deslauriers, Kent McBride, AJ Cargill, Ian Mackintosh.
What do you consider to be the biggest accomplishment of your career?
My greatest accomplishment thus far has been recognizing my own capacity to follow my intuition and finally seeing the value in it versus looking outside for answers or affirmation. SheJumps is the thing I’m most proud of because it keeps me accountable to the person I most want to be, for my team, and the kids and women we serve.
I think others might find my biggest accomplishment to be asked to give a TED talk, being Powder magazine’s skier of the year in 2010 or the two-page spread that was published in National Geographic that I shot as the photographer. Those have been dreams and goals for a long time that I never imagined would be on my path.
What are your goals for your career? What's next?
I want to inspire people and kids on a large scale to reach their highest potential through having fun outside and sharing a sense of belonging to nature. I want to share this experience through film, television, design, art, and speaking to schools, and workshops. We have this amazing metaphor for learning life skills and pushing personal limits in the mountains and all I want to do is share the gifts they’ve offered me.