what's your day job?
Brand Strategist, Public Relations and Marketing consultant for values driven brands.
highest level of avalanche education
AIARE Rec 2
what's your story on finding your way to snowboarding/skiing?
While I loved sports like hockey, growing up as a closeted trans kid, I struggled to really find my place in team sports. With snowboarding I found a freedom of expression that I could not find anywhere else in my life.
For me snowboarding was an escape. I headed out to the hill behind my house and hiked it for hours while I learned to link turns. I built janky jumps using materials I could find around the barn, and savored every line I was able to paint on the pastoral landscape once I was able to finally enjoy the feeling of effortless turns. It was in that field behind my house that I fell in love with snowboarding.
Those hours hiking in the pastoral hills of Vermont shaped me into the rider and person I am today.
Describe Your Best Powder Day in the Backcountry
Believe it or not, the annual March storm we get in Vermont. Every march we usually get one storm that dumps feet of snow on the green mountains. If you know where to look there is a magic aspect and elevation where the often tight forest opens up into old growth Birch stands that look more like Japan than Vermont. It makes the ice, and rain that we often have to deal with worth it.
Describe A Humbling Day in the Backcountry
I spent a month living out of a car and chasing couloirs in Iceland. Our third day there, we had gotten a little excited exploring for lines and wandered off from our tour plan in a big way. We wound up on a completely different aspect, but our eyes had sucked us into a pretty line that descended all the way down to the end of a fjord. It was magic.
The snow was strange but fun. Iceland had received a foot of snow a few days before we arrived, but because it was May, the sun never really set so it didn’t melt and didn’t freeze, it just kind of rotted. On low angle terrain it was still kind of fun to ride, but as we were in the middle of our descent, I came over a roller, where the slope fell away and got steep. I saw cracks shoot off on either side of me.
Instinctually, I pinned it as fast as I could off to the side, and just cleared, as the snow let go and shot off like a bullet train 1500 vert to the valley floor.
I remember standing there in the aftermath shaking from adrenaline, shock and fear, knowing that I narrowly missed catastrophe. Any sort of injury or rescue in that remote part of Iceland we were in would have been serious.
Once we got to the bottom, we realized that because we deviated so much from our tour plan, we actually wound up on top of an aspect we had deemed off limits at the start of the day due to some obvious warning signs that we could not see from above. The lesson learned that day is always make a tour plan, and always make sure you stick to it.
When I came to accept I was trans, my biggest fear was that I would no longer be welcome in the snowboarding space. There were so many signals that said, you don’t belong. Women despite great progress over recent years still don’t have a large seat at the table in the industry, and it is an industry where cool is the currency. I thought, is there any way they could ever find a place for a transwoman? This question kept me in the closet for years.
Over my years working with Weston, I saw them consistently reject snowboarding's worst impulses and foster supportive and accepting community instead. I saw compassion, and empathy, I saw Weston riders who had never met connect at splitfests and open up about shared challenges with anxiety or depression or substance abuse, and offer a lending hand to each other. Weston created a space that was so welcoming and open that Leo (Weston’s owner) wound up being one of the first people I came out to. To this date, he offered one of the most forceful statements of support I have received. It changed my life.
Since coming out, the team has been incredible, especially the women. Long time team rider and pretty much founder of the women’s team, Carly Finke, instantly welcomed me to the crew, taking me out to local favorite, Rocky Mountain Tacos, where we bonded over our shared desire to eat burritos every meal of the day and connected on everything from growing up playing hockey to our shared personal struggles. Carly, Izzy, Dani, Sarah Mac and I have all dreamed up exciting adventures for the upcoming winter that are pushing me to pursue lines and zones I have always dreamed about. Their support is powerful.
What I thought was my biggest fear, turned out to be the opposite, with Weston, I wound up finding my place in snowboarding. To me, Weston represents everything that snowboarding has the potential to be, an incredible supportive community for those of us who maybe don’t feel like we quite fit in anywhere else.
What does your quiver look like?
The Eclipse Split 155 as my daily driver. Directional ATV. Surfy, playful, holds and edge. So damn fun. Ladies, get this board.
Japow 159 as my fun board. The best turning snowboard I have ever ridden. A must have for groomers and deep pow days.
Backwoods 160 Splitboard - Prior to the Eclipse the backwoods was my favorite board in the line. I still keep the 160 in the mix as a six foot tall woman, I like to have the stability it provides for bigger days. Also I adore the artwork from John Fellows.
Posi Posi and somewhat wide. I kind of free form it every time I set-up my board.
Picture Organic, Weston