Sisu Magazine Issue One: Objects in the Mirror

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issue 1


Objects in the mirror

SISU Pronounced see’-soo. A Finnish term embodying the spirit of grit, guts, and perseverance. Sisu represents a human being’s ability to face any adventure riddled with hardship, hopelessness, and impossibility, yet they still choose to stay the course. It’s not a temporary state of courage, it’s a way of life. SISU MAGAZINE A collection of uninterrupted stories, brilliant photographs, and stunning art that evokes the indomitable human spirit that exists in all of us. An exploration into the experiences and perspectives about the outdoors, told by our contributing writers, photographers, and artists who represent a collective voice that has been silenced for far too long.






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“And be better. Don’t be

lazy. Be so damn good in your skill set they can’t ignore you. Just be the best.” WHO’S IN CHARGE?, PAGE 48 1



STAFF follow us @sisumagazine #gritandguts

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Jennifer Gurecki CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lauren Bello Okerman

CONTRIBUTORS Vanessa Barajas Devan Bridson Melanie Briggs Julie Brown Jenny Bruso Lala Drew Lynsey Dyer Rachael Friedman Jaylyn Gough Jen Hudak Madeline Kelty Genevieve Parker Andrew Pridgen Justyne Zella Rayne Rachel Ricketts Taylor Roades Samantha Romanowski Kate Sage Erica Zazo

letters to the editor Send your letters to and snail mail or gifts to 3983 S. Mccarran Blvd. #481 Reno, Nevada 89502

©2018 Sisu Magazine, All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the editor, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical reviews and certain other noncommercial uess permitted by copyright





FROM THE EDITOR It’s not every day that you receive a cease and desist from the Girl Scouts of America. In launching a print magazine, we anticipated bumping up against a handful of challenges. A lawsuit wasn’t one of them. You see, Sisu Magazine’s first name was actually “Scout,” and within weeks of filing the trademark, the Girl Scouts of America sent us a letter demanding that we abandon the name. They said the public would confuse our publication with their Brownie Girl Scout Handbook—obviously. I don’t like to fight with little girls, nor do I have any time to waste, so it was back to the drawing board to find a new name for our magazine. One anxiety-riddled late night in Colorado, I came across an article about non-English words to describe the outdoors. As I scrolled down the page, I came across “sisu,” a Finnish term that embodies the spirit of grit, guts, and perseverance. I spent the next hour exploring that rabbit hole, learning about the origins of this word, jaw-dropped and awestruck about how much it encapsulated not only the experience of launching this magazine, but our entire existence in the outdoors. Reading through the stories on these pages, I am reminded of my journey in the outdoors. I was told I was only qualified to sell women’s clothing at a ski shop in Lake Tahoe. I gasped for air in a sea of dude soup at industry events. I watched friends and peers, who fall outside of the whiteness and gender constructs, exist in the margins. The more years you spend on this planet, the more you realize that for all of the gains we have made, we’ve got so far to go. It’s like looking in the rear view mirror—what’s behind us is actually closer than it appears. Despite this unfortunate reality, we persevere with an unwavering courage, moving beyond the barriers created by others, by harnessing a fire that burns deep inside. Sisu Magazine embodies this experience. This first issue is a timestamp, encapsulating the tenor of our society in the fall of 2018. The majority of the articles and columns you will read in the first issue of Sisu Magazine were written during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. You’ll notice from the tone of the pieces that it took every ounce of restraint on behalf of our contributors to not run into the streets and scream. While I could have asked everyone to lighten up to make for an easier read, I was compelled to leave the pieces as is. This is a reminder of what it felt like to be erased, an act of rebellion to demonstrate that we will not be silenced. We will not be agnostic to the serious social, political, and environmental issues that we face. To remain silent is to be complicit. At Sisu Magazine, we will strive to uncover the untold stories of the outdoors, even if those stories make people uncomfortable. Are we going to make mistakes and piss people off? It’s highly likely. But we want you to know that we’re coming from a place of transparency and a burning desire to tell the stories that don’t get told enough. We want to make this world a more inclusive and equitable space. We want to celebrate our love of the outdoors. We’re excited to be on this journey with you and we can’t wait to hear what you think about the ride. Welcome to Sisu Magazine. Jennifer Gurecki Editor-In-Chief


FROM THE creative director Making art is more than simple mark making. Art is the miraculous product of the treaty between eye, brain, and hand, made up of brilliant flashes. It is conscious, unconscious, and occasionally accidental. All of these flashes, ideas, and thoughts, expressed together and over time, produce a lens through which we perceive the world, and through which we express ourselves back into it. This lens focuses our passions, our priorities, our past, and our future, and allows us make our mark, a mark like no one else makes, as unique as a fingerprint. This becomes art, art bearing the imprint of a lifetime of perspective, carrying with it the secret, surreptitious message of another human, meant to delight or distract, provoke or inspire, or maybe none of those. What moves us to make and make marks, also moves others, perhaps to make their own marks. And before long, we are all making, making marks, all different from one another, making art. The universal art, of course, is storytelling. Telling stories is the way we have passed on the secrets of survival, existence, joy, loss, war, and triumph, since human time began. It’s the ultimate collection of our human “marks,” but it’s an invisible one, requiring humans to be close enough to hear one another’s voice. Sisu Magazine is rooted in sharing our unique marks, our stories, through writing and art. Our collective voice has inspired the first marks of this issue, as you will see in the following pages. The mouth is a symbol of our voice, which I define as our power to communicate. The mouth is the gateway for our breath, our life force we share with each inhale and exhale. For this inaugural issue of Sisu Magazine, my inspiration came from this symbol of voice. An open mouth: loudness, spilling forth, opinions, truth, presence. A closed mouth: patience, stoicism, permanence. The art you’ll see in these pages is a collection my marks, showing the power of voice and its presence in our outdoors, our outside home, where we recreate, meditate, and congregate. Through these marks, I share my voice with you. I look forward to hearing yours.

Lauren Bello Okerman Creative Director






Andrea Katzeff hates more than a crap cup of coffee. It’s the old boy’s club that has dominated the sport of skating for far too long. This 25-year-old from Cape Town, South Africa is out to change the way women are perceived in the sport, and she’s not alone. Katzeff enlisted a diverse group of other up-and-coming skaters—Alicia Fillback, Carla Javier, Carmen Shaffer, Marina Emily Pross, Marina Alyssa, and Giulia Alfeo—to rally around intersectionality and make the first feminist longboarding film. It is inspired not only by their love of the sport, but their passion about tackling homophobia, racism, and sexism in skating. They’re calling the film Kingpin, for a good reason. “Like the kingpin of a board, women play a vital role in skating and society yet they are often overlooked. We wanted a name that would pay tribute to every women in


"Like the kingpin of a board, women play a vital role in skating and society yet are often overlooked." our lives—to their importance, courage, and strength. Along with that, with an all female cast and the common gender association with a ‘king,” we felt it was an appropriate name that would, from the outset, start a conversation of equality,” said Katzeff. These heavy hitting issues are not normally associated with skating but they have been brewing inside of Katzeff for the past 20 years. As a 6-year-old girl, she saw a bunch of boys with old school skateboards and she was drawn to the idea of going down a hill. She was overwhelmed by it, actually. “I borrowed a board and held onto it and never let go. Skating consumed me,”she said. From that point on, she knew she wanted to be a professional skater. But at the time, skating in Cape Town was very much a new, rebellious, and dangerous sport. And these rebels were all men.

"You'd think that because you are put in the community of outsiders and rebels that you'd be accepted but often you're not. You experience homophobia from all ends of the spectrum. and it's highly discouraging." Even as a ‘90’s kid, she was still the only girl at the skate park, and the images of women in the media were less than encouraging. “When I was growing up you would open up a magazine and there would be no women or only images of hyper sexualized images. But it was like a knock on the chin. You just have to move on.” She wanted to see more women skating, and she felt like she had something to prove. So she pushed herself harder to make a point that women can skate. But at age 10, a devastating accident almost put an end to the sport she knew she was destined for. Katzeff’s hair was caught in the axle of a go-kart. Her scalp was almost completely ripped out, and she lost just over half of the blood in her body. After spending a month in the hospital, she only had 15 percent of her of scalp remaining; she had to accept that she would never grow hair again. “You either brew in the depths of your own sadness or you move on,” she said. The former was not an option for me.”

Thanks to skating icons like Lacey Baker, we now know that not everyone who skates is straight, but this is a relatively new narrative for the sport. “You would think that because you are put in the community of outsiders and rebels that you’d be accepted but often you’re not. You experience homophobia from all ends of the spectrum and it’s highly discouraging.” The Longboard Girls Crew has brought an incredible amount of awareness about sexism and homophobia in the skating community, she said, and opened up Katzeff to so many new friends who have an understanding and share similar struggles. Despite her focus on women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people of color, Katzeff hasn’t forgotten about men. She has a clear message for them: Just sit back and listen. “Everyone is entitled to their own position but just listen and hear us out…Don’t solve my fucking problem for me. It’s not that I’m incapable…I just need to you listen.”

Her parents were skeptical of allowing her to get back on a board, but she did. After watching the longboarding film Endless Roads, she knew that she wanted to create something that supported women in pursuing and overcome obstacles that have been set in place by societal norms. Katzeff is part of a new generation in Cape Town that is woke as fuck and not afraid to openly discuss the trauma of apartheid, their white privilege, and their vision for a more equitable world. “Growing up in South Africa has pushed me into incorporating this into the film. I am very aware of my privilege. If I can make other people aware and create an intersectionality that applies to all, then I am happy. I don’t want marginalize anyone.”

Get to know Andrea Katzeff at @andreakatzeff and back Kingpin at @kingpin_the_documentary and support their Kickstarter if you want to see more intersectionality in skating.

One element of intersectionality that is very personal to Katzeff is the representation of LGBTQ+ in skating.





Feminism is not

simply a matter of getting a smattering of individual women into positions of power within existing social hierarchies. It is rather about overcoming those hierarchies, and challenging the structures of gender domination in capitalist society. “ Nancy Fraser AMERICAN CRITICAL THEORIST AND FEMINST 71-YEARS-OLD 8





ALL IN, THE LATEST SKI FLICK from Matchstick Productions, made headlines this

fall, but not in the traditional sense. Starring a stellar line-up of athletes from Michelle Parker to Cody Townsend, this was the first major production to showcase the skills of more women than men. The catch? Even though women garnered more screen time than men, it wasn’t billed as a women’s film; rather it was promoted as a film for everyone, from mountain dwellers to city slickers who all coalesce around their love of the mountains and skiing. At Sisu Magazine, we can get on board with that. But what sends flames and daggers flying through our Slack channels are the ways in which this film has been positioned as not a “chick flick” because it features an equal number of men and women. This narrative erases the significance of this film. For the first time, women have more screen time; it’s not equal, and that’s refreshing. It begs the question: Is there something inherently wrong or uninteresting about watching women on screen? If we actively acknowledge the substantial role women play will men be turned off, and then tune out? Our take on All In? This film has everything to do about women who are pushing their limits as athletes and progressing a sport that so many of us love. By choosing to include men in the film they literally flipped a script that requires women to beg for screen time and hope that a sponsor will pony up a fraction of the dollars they often hand to men on silver platters. They created an opportunity for us to explore what is possible when individuals of different gender identities come together to understand each other’s diverse perspectives while we celebrate our existence in the mountains. But enough from us. We asked professional skier and overall amazing human being Michelle Parker to chime in about her experience filming All In.



WHAT WAS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THIS FILM? The year before last, I had the pleasure of spending some time with Elyse [Saugstad] in the mountains filming for MSP’s Drop Everything. We have always been close friends, but never had the opportunity to film together. It was pretty apparent when we were out there that skiing together brought out the best in each of us. We were extra motivated and for me, seeing Elyse hit massive airs and chargewas super inspiring. It made me want to go bigger, ski faster, and ultimately elevated my personal experience in the mountains as well as ours together. It ruled and we were both psyched. We started to chat about making a women’s movie, we spoke with Ingrid [Backstrom] (who was really keen), and we got the ball rolling. We brought in Tatum [Monod] and Angel [Collinson], as these ladies are incredibly hard charging and have been personal heroes of ours. We wanted more time in the mountains together, I think that’s really it. We felt as though it would be a really fun time, but also that we could create something special. All of us agreed that we didn’t want this to be a women’s only movie. We wanted to ski with our guy friends too, like we always do. The balance is something that is impor-



tant for all of us. Equality is important to all of us. So yeah, we wanted to get together and make something that we were super proud of, including the guys that have always been supportive. On a personal note, I am always motivated by other women. Motivated to create something that might inspire other women and also motivated by all the talented and courageous female athletes out there. WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE A PART OF IT? When I was younger, I had posters of female athletes on my wall. I wanted to be Mia Hamm. I read her book, went to her games, and it got me fired up to play soccer. It was like a guiding light to have a hero that I could relate to and that I felt, if I worked hard enough, maybe I could be like that too one day. I’m certainly no Mia Hamm, but that has stuck with me. Having a healthy role model probably had more of an impact than I know growing up. To think that I could have some sort of an impact like Mia had on me is quite the torch to carry, and a very important one. I suppose in the same way Mia motivated me in my youth, she still does knowing what that meant to me and what it might mean to young girls to watch a bunch of ripping female skiers on the big screen. Ultimately, that’s a huge reason that I wanted to be a part of this movie. There are a lot more reasons, including getting the opportunity to spend time with other women in the mountains, making a movie with an equal balance of cast between male and female athletes, and getting to see these girls rip in real life!



WHAT’S IT LIKE TO RELIVE THE EXPERIENCES WITH ONE ANOTHER ON THE BIG SCREEN? There is constant laughter, supportive hoots and hollers, more laughter, and just really good times in general. The premieres are always special. You’ve worked really hard on something for a while and when you finally get to see it on the big screen, it is just really satisfying. The most amazing part is connecting with the fans too. Hearing heartfelt thank you’s and comments on what the movie means to them is a really special experience. You get to connect with someone through something that you love, to share a passion, and that is simply just a beautiful thing. It also totally rules to watch your girlfriends rip it up and get to sit next to them and get mega fired up...they all rule as people and as skiers. ONE ELEMENT OF THE FILM THAT SETS IT APART FROM OTHER SKI MOVIES IS THE AMOUNT OF VULNERABILITY AMONG THE ATHLETES. HOW DID THAT EMERGE BOTH IN THE FILMING AND IN THE FINAL PRODUCTION OF THE FILM?


“WE WANTED MORE TIME IN THE MOUNTAINS TOGETHER, I THINK THAT’S REALLY IT. WE FELT AS THOUGH IT WOULD BE A REALLY FUN TIME, BUT ALSO THAT WE COULD CREATE SOMETHING SPECIAL. “ Yeah, the movie hits on some pretty personal stories between relationships, injuries, and a bit more personality than your typical ski flick maybe. I think that just came out super naturally while we were all together. Of course ski movies are all about getting people excited to ski and have fun. That’s certainly what happened last year, we had endless amounts of fun and it shows. The vibe is different in the mountains with these women. We’re supportive, encouraging, and we push each other, but it’s always been really lighthearted and goofy too. We definitely didn’t take ourselves too seriously. WOMEN DIDN’T HAVE EQUAL SCREEN TIME, THEY HAD MORE. AND THEY WORE PAPER CUT OUT MASKS OF MEN. WHAT IMPACT DO YOU HOPE THIS FILM WILL

HAVE ON OTHER ATHLETES, THE SNOW SPORTS INDUSTRY, AND WOMEN WHO LOVE TO SKI? I hope that it will open up more doors for women in sport, in movies, and in their own minds. I hope it will inspire more women to get out in the mountains and to spend time in nature. I want this film to show ladies that they are totally more than capable. I also want this film to reflect that we are all in this together, men and women. Give some love to the athletes who were the visionaries and stars of this film by obsessing over them on Instagram at @myshelleparker, @elysesaugstad, @tatummonod, @angelcollinson. Watch the trailer and get pumped for winter at @mspfilms. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.





HOW DO YOU KNOW when you really don’t like something, or your brain is getting in your way? Where I live outdoor sports are very common and popular. My coworkers and friends are always talking about them. I just smile and say I’d do [that] if I was in shape. I feel ashamed of being inactive and fat, so I pretend to be interested. Every time I’ve hiked, I’ve hated it. Either my hiking buddy sucked all the fun out of it (thanks, jerkface ex) or I’m so slow/sweaty/uncomfortable and feel bad for anyone nice enough to hang back with me. Perfectly flat trail in the woods? Totally fine, almost meditative. But when I ask friends to go on those walks they don’t seem interested. So I stay home and feel bad for myself for being fat and lazy. I wish I could just decide outdoor sports aren’t for me, so I could find some form of activity I do like. -The Girl Who Cried Fitness Dear Cried Fitness, I thought I hated exercising. As I came into my feminist awakening, I actually decided I Do Not Exercise. The fitness and weightloss industry rakes in $66 million a year from our self-loathing and has expertly turned exercise into a joyless means of distracting and controlling people, especially women, from our own power and self-possession. It’s become a barometer of morality. Fat people are blamed for rising insurance rates as if it’s not actually the insurance and health care systems themselves to be blamed. Of course you feel pressured to appear as though you’re interested in being active! Guess what? Being fat and inactive doesn’t actually make anyone a bad person and you actually can decide you don’t like outdoor activities. You don’t owe anyone exercise or good health. It could be argued you owe it to yourself, but even then, not really. Your body, your choice.


A flat trail in the woods is totally hiking, honey, and it sounds like something you enjoy, but it’s all messed up in your head by bullshit. Valid bullshit. When I started hiking six years ago, I was surprised to find I actually liked exercising despite how oppressive the narrative around it is. It made me sleep better, improved my mental health (drinking less, for example), and helped me make better choices so I’d feel energized about getting out. Hiking alone kept me from projecting my performance on others. Becoming stronger from exercise has me feeling more empowered, and yes, healthier, but I get to decide what value judgement I put on that. Have you given your friends a real chance to show up for you where you’re at? Are you able to state your needs to them? What sort of personal judgment is keeping you from making friends with other people more like yourself? You deserve friends who affirm your experience, if not a whole community. I encourage you to let go of ideas about how exercise should look, and how your body should look doing it. Think about what your body does for you, not what it doesn’t do for you. I understand outdoor

activities are a big part of the culture where you’re from, but take the emphasis off of them. Find activities that involve moving your body in joyous ways. Whether it’s strolling those flat trails in the woods, beginner yoga, dancing for fifteen minutes in your bedroom, developing a daily stretching routine, anything. If you can find someone to share one or more of these things with, even better, but don’t wait. Doing these things alone may even keep some of those mind demons that come out when you exercise with others at bay. And if you’re ever in Portland, hit me up. I know a lot of someones who’d love to move with you in beautiful places. Do you have questions for Jenny? Hit her up on Instagram at @jennybruso for a chance to have your questions answered.




an indoor girl on the outdoors MELANIE BRIGGS

why are there so many damn doors? WE MUST BE THREATENING when we’re out-of-doors.

There’s nothing to close and lock. No key to throw away. Nothing to keep us bound. We’re Out-of-Doors. How threatening that must be for them. I mean, look what happened when they taught us how to read. Out-of-Doors is kind of a weird place for me. It’s not climate-controlled. It doesn’t have couches. You have to do a lot of cardio to get places. I’ve been in the Out-of-Doors; It’s not like it’s totally foreign to me. It’s between my house and my office. Also between my house and my gym, where I do indoor mountain biking. We have pictures of the mountains on the wall; that’s what makes it mountain biking. Our bikes don’t move, but don’t be elitist about your mountain biking. I’ve never had sex in the Out-ofDoors. Wait. I take that back. There was that one time. I got a splinter in my ass. And, okay, there was also that time before that, so technically,


Splinter Time was the second time. Shit. That was actually the second time with Splinter Time Guy—the first time was after a wedding in the soccer field of an elementary school—so bring that up to three. There was also another time that may have taken place at a national monument, so bring that up to four. And does my porch count? Ohhhh snap. Does the porch at church camp count? Hmm. I might need to reassess this. In addition to reassessing my own self-worth now that I have realized that I am an enemy of the state, a menace to public education, and a heretic of mighty proportions. Surely my parents are proud. The last time I had sex on either side of any door was with a man 13 years my junior. No need to hold your applause. I’ll go ahead and take a bow. In lieu of that particular gift of mine, you could make an argument that I actually belong out-of-doors, as part of a Hot Shot crew or something. I generally prefer the Indoors. There are bathrooms in the Indoors. I ate a bunch of mac and cheese at a wedding a couple of months

ago, right before we got into the car and drove through the woods of Kentucky. Those woods know the wrath of my mac and cheese. I was graceful as hell under the circumstances; nothing got on my shoes. And it rained the next day, so the situation was taken care of. I’m just saying it would be more convenient if the Out-of-Doors had bathrooms. But now I’m going out of the doors, on purpose, regardless of the bathroom situation, because that seems to be the only thing they can hear. They can hear their heart rates pick up when we are out here, unsupervised, in this place they make seem so threatening—on top of a mountain, riding the ocean, messing around in a tree. So many things that could hurt us. So many places to hide. So much space with no doors to lock us behind. And that’s the fear, isn’t it? Don’t let them out of your sight. Don’t let them outside, especially at night. Keep them in a dress so they can’t ride a bike, keep them in a corset so they can’t breathe, keep them in heels so they can’t walk fast enough to get away from you. You don’t know what they’re capable of. They burned another one of us at the stake in 2016. They dismissed us so shamelessly, without a shred of remorse, in the name of a new Justice. It’s a scare tactic. To keep us on the inside of Doors. But I’m an Out-of-Doors girl now. I actually took the Door off its hinges, so don’t bother looking for the key. I’m shitting in your woods, I’m taking up space on your sidewalk, I’m fucking on your forest floor and getting splinters.





A ' WOMAN S PLACE working in the outdoor industry is harder for women than for men. after experiencing gender bias, a writer navigates the outdoor industry’s attempts to bring more women into the ranks. Words:


JULIE BROWN | @downtownjb

LAUREN BELLO OKERMAN | @folklaurstudio

WHEN TERESA BAKER WALKED THE FLOOR at Outdoor Retailer, the industry tradeshow, she was beside herself.

“That was a slap in the face, how white it is and how male dominated it is,” said Baker. “It’s shocking. I had to pause for a while just to take it all in. It’s amazing to see how much power there is in this outdoor industry, but it is white and it is male dominated, and we must do something to change the physical look of the outdoor industry. We must find a way to bring more women and people of color in.” The outdoor recreation economy is worth $887 billion in consumer spending. It is responsible for 7.6 million jobs. But Baker is right—this industry skews white and male, and straight and cis -gendered. “The demographics in this country are changing,” said Baker. “They’re shifting and if this industry does not change with the demographics, some will fall by the wayside.” Baker is a black woman who lives in California’s Bay Area. She is an advocate for diversity and inclusion across all outdoor spaces, organizations, and brands. Specifically, her work has focused on the National Parks. She grew up in Richmond and spent her childhood in the outdoors, playing sports, and visiting parks. Those early exposures to the outdoors led to her lifelong passion for natural places. But in 2013, after a trip to Yosemite and not seeing another person in five days that looked like her, she decided she needed to do something to bring more diversity to the outdoors. So she started the African American National Parks Day, which this year, encouraged thousands of people of color to visit the National Parks over the first weekend in June. 16

" be bold. I say that to all women be bold " Baker’s primary focus is diversity but she pivots to talk about gender. At Outdoor Retailer, she noticed the smattering of independent, small companies led by women to answer the demand for women. “Be bold. I say that to all women—be bold,” says Baker. “I wish I had the ability to instill in some of these women who feel intimidated the promise of a better tomorrow if they act today. We have to galvanize ourselves and send a clear message that we belong in these spaces, too. We are capable, too, and until we force that message on the industry as a whole, things will never change.” I pressed her on this. I am all for inspirational messages about getting involved and pushing for change. But after working in the outdoor industry for five years, this topic of gender and bias has become personal. And my own experience led me to believe that the more I pushed, the more I encountered resistance. 17



At my job, I was often told I was “trying to do too much.” One of my male supervisors also told me to say “please” and “thank you” more often. When I asked for a raise, I had to be persistent for over a year, and even then, when I eventually did get my raise, it was $10,000 less than a male colleague with the same job title as mine who worked for a different department. Often, ideas I voiced would go ignored. Then, when a male colleague introduced the same idea, they would receive praise. This happened so frequently, it became an inside joke and I had to change my tactic, “suggesting” my ideas in a way that my male colleagues would think were their own.

feedback. And honestly, I just wanted to keep my job. So I put my head down, did my best to smile a lot, and worked hard. But Baker retorted to my resistance: “Then just accept the position you’re in. Don’t cry about it. If you’re not willing to do anything about it, then move out of the way and let those of us who are prepared to lead, lead. Because if you are being silent, you are part of the problem. What the hell are we scared of? That bothers me. You see a problem. You’re mad. You’re in tears, but you don’t want to do anything. Be your own savior, or be a part of the movement that can help move you into action.”

"If you're not willing to do anything about it, then move out of the way and let those of us who are prepared to lead, lead. Because if you are being silent, you are part of the problem." When I surveyed the company, unofficially, I was not encouraged. Roughly 30 to 40 percent were women, but we all held jobs at the lowest levels. With a couple of exceptions of women who held upper or middle management positions—and they embodied more masculine characteristics that were aggressive, dominant, and competitive—the leadership in this massive media company was men. When we hired another woman on our small team—doubling the female representation from one to two—I had high hopes that things would get better. In some ways, they did. Yet, I also realized that having two women on staff added an element of competition. Suddenly, I was held to her standard, and she naturally embodied the lighthearted and easy-going qualities that men prefer in women. Us two women were also assigned desks in a separate corner of the office from the men on staff and we were constantly referred to as one unit: “the girls.” These were all elements that I learned to tolerate, because deep down, I was afraid that if I pushed back, I would receive negative 18


After five years, I quit my job and started freelancing, which led me to write this story.



in the outdoor industry is harder if you are a woman than if you are a man. Those challenges compound and become even more pronounced if you are a woman of color or don’t idenity in bianary gender constructs. Like Baker notes, there is an upswell of movement among women who are starting their own companies and are vocal about gender equality. They each profess their own brand of feminism—and they do not all get along. Yet, beyond the uprising, I’ve started to wonder how much that noise will make a difference. How does all the talk manifest to real changes in the workplace for women?

what happens after they sign the pledge? That's where the real work begins. This work takes time. It's not easily solved with a company-wide conference call. Friend to friend, we are honest and transparent about the biases we encounter, the double standards, the pay gaps. But when I asked some friends to go on the record, many of them declined because the risk was too high. On the one hand, I agree with Baker. We need to speak loudly and boldly about these issues. On the other hand, when your proposal to launch a women’s initiative in your company gets killed by a board full of men who live in Europe, it becomes clear that there’s only so much us women who occupy the lower to middle ranks can do. The outdoor industry, at large, is quick to wave the feminist flag and proclaim their support of the women. It often comes in the form of huge marketing campaigns designed to “empower” women to spend their hardearned dollars on outdoor gear. The mechanism at play is usually flowery language that assumes if you have a vagina you also have special powers to “move mountains” or become “forces of nature.” And those are the good campaigns.

But talking to women is different than hiring and promoting women from within. There is change and movement on this front, too, as many companies, especially larger ones like Burton, REI, and Patagonia, focus on closing the gender gap within their ranks. More than 75 CEOs in the outdoor industry have signed the Camber Outdoors pledge committing their companies to gender equality. But what happens after they sign the pledge? That’s where the real work begins. This work takes time. It’s not easily solved with a company-wide conference call. It requires taking God-honest looks at your own biases and establishing new systems and processes and quotas to measure success. Broad-stroke issues like gender equity, inclusivity, and diversity demand leadership. And if you don’t have leadership that recognizes—or worse, ignores—the gap and biases that are limiting women, then there’s really not much a girl can do. This is the part of the story where I’m supposed to insert numbers to prove to you just




how male dominated the outdoor industry is. But those numbers are hard to find, especially when it comes to the workplace in the outdoor industry. Participation numbers, on the other hand, are more readily available.

You may think that participation numbers would reflect the workplace, but that’s the missing link that I couldn’t quantify with data, only observation.

more than 40 percent of men and 70 percent of white people do not think they are being represented in ski media. Which is ridiculous. Women represent slightly less than half of all outdoor recreationalists. The 2018 Outdoor Recreation Participation Report notes 46 percent of participants are female. In snowsports, 45 percent of participants are women. The cycling world is even further behind, with less available information about participation. In a 2015 report about how to engage more women in bicycling, the League of American Cyclists pointed to a figure from the National Household Travel Survey, in 2009, which said that women made up just 24 percent of all bicycle trips in the United States. 20

“We just have to look to the leadership teams at Outdoor Retailer to know that 50 or 60 percent of the workforce at the entry level is women, and at the leadership team, it’s 10 to 15 percent—if we’re lucky,” said Deanne Buck, the executive director of Camber Outdoors, a nonprofit started by women to empower other women in the outdoor industry. Camber Outdoors has done some of their own research internally by surveying the companies who have signed their CEO pledge, but these companies have not released substantial

data to the public. And Buck says the surveys are not thorough enough to be statistically viable because not enough time has passed to actually collect real data. Still, Camber Outdoors published a report this year titled “Women in Leadership: From Backcountry to Boardroom.” The report interviews a handful of CEOs and leaders in the outdoor industry about their tactics to hire and promote more women. But it never provides legitimate numbers that reveal how many women are actually working in the outdoor industry. “The lack of women in leadership positions is top of mind across all industries,” states the opening line in the report. “That’s particularly the case in the outdoor industry, an $800-billion-a-year sector where, for decades, men have dominated the employee ranks. In recent years, however, the outdoor industry has begun to understand its future depends on reversing this trend. Spurred initially by the potential growth of the women’s market, industry leaders now recognize that attracting, developing, and promoting women is essential to long-term business sustainability.” Jen Gurecki, the Editor-In-Chief of this magazine, forwarded me an email with another bit of research. She wrote in the subject line: “Am I the only one not getting this?” The attachment was a PDF showing the results of a survey conducted by the ski industry trade group, Snowsports Industry of America. Their findings were puzzling. In the survey, responding to a statement that said “I feel that snow sports manufacturing and retailers are inclusive of my gender and/or ethnicity/culture with their branding, marketing, and communications,” 57.4 percent of men and 63.9 percent of women responded affirmatively. And 28.8 percent of white people said that yes, they feel included in snow sports marketing. Take a second look. Are we the only ones not getting this? So, more than 40 percent of men and 70

percent of white people do not think they are being represented in ski media. Which is ridiculous, because if you flip through a ski magazine, it’s entirely white men. (I would know. I worked as an editor at a ski magazine for five years.) “It is striking that 30 percent of white people would say they’re represented,” said Maria McNulty, the COO for SIA. “Diversity is a conversation that, as an industry, we should work harder to elevate—and whether that’s gender diversity or ethnic diversity, we could be doing a better job of elevating the conversation.”

we're not going to hear about gender in the workplace except for those instances when it's favorable to the company and their, ahem, marketing. The lack of definitive, reliable data on gender—and race—in the workplace for the outdoor industry is telling, in itself, that no one actually cares enough about this issue to spend the money that will yield the research. It’s likely that many companies are keeping track of this data internally. But they are private companies, which means they’re under no obligation to disclose information unless they want to. So we’re not going to hear about gender in the workplace except for those instances when it’s favorable to the company and their, ahem, marketing. Searching for data, Buck pointed me to the well known “Women in the Workplace” studies on corporate America by the consulting firm McKinsey & Company and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s group, When it comes to women in the outdoor workplace, Buck says it’s a mirror to corporate America. 21



So, let’s dig into those Women in the Workplace numbers, which clearly show that women are “significantly underrepresented” at every step in corporate America. Women make up 47 percent of entry-level hires. At every promotion thereafter, the representation of women declines. When you reach the C-Suite, the highest level on the corporate chain, one out of five are women. Only three percent of C-Suite positions are held by women of color. The study goes on to outline some disheartening conclusions. Men are more likely to think their companies are addressing the gender gap. Almost half of men said they truly believe that women are well represented in leadership in their companies. Yet, at the first step of opportunity, women are 18 percent less likely to be promoted to a management position than men.

HERE’S A STORY about a girl who dreamed of working in the ski industry.

Anna (not her real name) was working at an REI in her hometown in Connecticut. She had always wanted to live in a place that would be a launch pad to the outdoors, to nature and remote places. So when one of her coworker’s friends announced he was going to work at Alta Ski Area in Utah for a winter, she decided to come along for the adventure. Like generations of ski bums before her, “one winter” led to permanent residency. “I love skiing so much,” she said. “But honestly, I never experienced gender bias until I moved to Utah.” Anna’s dreams of working in the ski industry immediately clashed against gender bias in her first job out West.

ally had just started skiing this season.” Anna wanted to be a ski tech. She had the experience, too. She grew up skiing and was more than capable of turning screws on rental bindings and asking customers what they’d like their DIN to be set at. But the shop’s managers—one of whom was the daughter of the shop’s owner—were adamant that she stay on the retail side, selling soft goods. Despite her persistence, Anna realized that there was only so much she could do. Without any indication that leadership was going to address the gender bias and discrimination at the ski shop, Anna quit and found another job. This time, she got an internship at a small company that makes skis. Starting a new job, Anna was excited. She was also vocal from the

"It's an exclusive club that we're not a part of, and in order to get into it, we have to send it harder and bigger and better than the boys." Forty-seven percent of men said they think “the best opportunities go to the most deserving employees.” Meanwhile, 37 percent of women said their “gender has played a role in missing out on a raise, promotion, or chance to get ahead.”



She was working at a ski shop that had two departments, retail and rentals. There was a clear distinction between who got to work in which department. “It wasn’t even a discussion,” said Anna. “I was put in retail. I saw them put guys on the rental side who liter-

beginning about female roles and gender equity. At first, she said her male colleagues empathized with her and extended their support to help her fulfill her goals. Yet, the symptoms of gender bias were plain to see. Of the ski company’s 30-40 employees in the United States, only three were women.

The workplace sexism Anna experienced was never overt in the way a scene from Mad Men is. Instead, it was a lot of subtle things like inherent biases and micro aggressions that added up. At the same time that she was hired, the ski company also hired a man. Opportunities that were given to him were denied to her. For example, they took him to the ski industry tradeshow in Denver, but told Anna she couldn’t go because she couldn’t sleep in the same hotel room as the men and they didn’t want to pay for another hotel room just for her. “I just saw him be taken more seriously,” she said. There were other things, too. Like how this male colleague would use inappropriate and unprofessional language, calling women “bitches” and referring to his exploits at the bar as getting “pussy.” Anna said she reported this to her boss, but she says it was never addressed in a way that changed her colleague’s language and attitude.

“These guys were, like, too cool and I had to prove myself to fit in,” she said. “It definitely felt like a boy’s club. It’s an exclusive club that we’re not a part of, and in order to get into it, we have to send it harder and bigger and better than the boys. Our level of respect is based on how cool we are, how well I can ski, how badass I am.” Her first day of skiing with her new co-workers was at Snowbird, on a day of spring skiing when everyone was wearing jorts—which, of course, means short cut-offs for women and baggy, dirty, stringy shorts for men. While they were tailgating, Anna got an idea to ski down a hill of rocks—to show these guys just how fun and daring she really was. She’s plain that her motivation was, in part, for skiing, but mostly because she wanted to prove herself with the popular kids, the boy’s club. “I nailed it. I didn’t get hurt. I crushed it,” she said.

Anna worked for the ski company for a year and a half. Her role was always part time and ended when she realized they were never going to offer her a full-time job. The man who said pussy all the time still works there, full time. “I needed a full time job,” she said. “Another thing was that co-worker and just feeling his gross energy. I also wanted to work for a real marketing team and get more professional experience, because at that point, I was just making it up as I was going. And also, I ended up not really liking working and skiing. I felt like I kept having to prove myself and prove my image. Like, if I wasn’t getting up to go ski touring in the morning then I wasn’t taken as seriously in the meeting room. I love skiing, I love touring, but I am an extremely moderate person. I love skiing in the resort. I love being able to go up the chairlift.” Girl, I like chairlifts, too.

... 23




AVA HOLLIDAY and Aparna Rajagopal-Durbin walked the aisles of Outdoor Retailer last summer, they saw what Baker saw: a lot of white men and a lot of posters and media documenting white men climbing, skiing, rafting, biking, etc. But the two consultants, who work in the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, also saw progress. “There were a lot more people with marginalized identities and more women with marginalized identities attending,” said Rajagopal-Durbin. “There were also more panel discussions about difficult topics. Panels used to be just about women, but they would be homogenous—white, able-bodied women. Now they are more intersectional.” One panel was about disability and adaptive climbing and Rajagopal-Durbin said there were three women who were speaking, including the facilitator who was a woman of color. Another panel focused on indigenous connections to outdoor spaces and panelists included two Navajo people, one of whom is a woman.

“We want it to be a part of the DNA of an organization,” said Rajagopal-Durbin. “So we will help clients where diversity, equity, and inclusion are part of everything. Part of the marketing and their fundraising and their product development and their design, human resources, everything.”

“There also seems to be a burgeoning industry of small, specialty companies started by women who are seeing the need to serve women, specifically,” said Rajagopal-Durbin. “It definitely still continues to be within the binary—which is a big picture challenge that Ava and I often grapple with.”

Listening to Rajagopal-Durbin and Holliday talk, I realized my own gap of knowledge in these topics. Rajagopal-Durbin is a woman of color and a lawyer. Holliday is a white woman with a masters in anthropology. Holliday’s research investigates diversity and inclusion efforts in environmentalism. I am a white cis woman. This reporting pulled the curtain back for me on my own biases and privileges. I’m not alone in this reckoning. Camber Outdoors, the women’s advocacy nonprofit in the outdoor industry, just changed their mission statement, removing all references to femininity to focus on diversity.

Three years ago, Rajagopal-Durbin and Holliday founded the Avarna Group, a consulting firm that has worked with 90 clients in the outdoor and conservation industries. Their work focuses on issues that lie a beat ahead of gender—diversity, equity, and inclusion are broader topics, more encompassing in scope, and speak to race, too.

“When a company or organization focuses or prioritizes gender, they actually start to leave women of color, particularly black women, behind,” said Buck about Camber Outdoor’s change in mission statement. “As an organization, it was our obligation to bring all of our understanding and bring that to the industry.”

“There is clearly a lot of energy behind all this work,” said Holliday. “That is a bright spot and something we can celebrate.”


"It's hard to think about equity when you're not values driven, and you're more bottom-line driven. It's this feedback loop that keeps happening."

bias and equity is through leadership. At Burton, CEO Donna Carpenter, who is the wife of the founder, has been able to make changes because she had the authority to do so. In an interview published in the Camber Outdoors report this year, Carpenter said she started a mentoring company and after two years, 50 percent of the women who participated were promoted. She also told hiring managers that they have to have at least one woman in for a job of director level and above. As a result, about 40 percent of the leaders are women, up from 10 percent, but still below Carpenter’s ultimate goal of 51 percent.


“You really can’t do any of this work if you don’t have buy-in from leadership,” said Holliday.

“Usually, the companies that [are working on] representation are looking at recruitment and hiring and internship programs and partnerships, things like that,” said RajagopalDurbin. “But they’re not thinking about culture change. A lot of that unconscious bias comes in culture, within the company and the industry at large.”

For those of us who are still working in the guts of a company, who have a boss who is a man, or are trying to navigate this industry as a freelancer, the advice is less satisfying: do your research on your company’s demographics, look for mentoring programs. I asked Holliday and Rajagopal-Durbin what other advice they would have for someone who is working in a place where they feel limited or unfairly treated. They were hesitant to give blanket advice, saying that different tactics work for different people.

look like, for a company and the employees, to bring equity, inclusion, and diversity to their daily workplace?

In order to grapple with bias, RajagopalDurbin says companies need to think about equity, which the Avarna Group defines as “an approach based in fairness to dismantle systems that privilege and disadvantage people based on their identities…Equity takes into account that people have different access to resources because of systems of oppression and privilege. Equity seeks to balance that disparity.” “It’s hard to think about equity when you’re not values driven,and you’re more bottom-line driven,” she said.“It’s this feedback loop that keeps happening.” Experts like the Avarna Group and CEOs of companies who have been successful in closing the gender gap often say that the best way for a company to deal with implicit

“There is a range in how to navigate these spaces,” said Rajagopal-Durbin. “The only piece of advice that I would have is to find other people with similar identities to process with, whether it’s a mentor or a buddy or someone to talk to. You’re not alone. There are a lot of people with marginalized identities, whether it’s related to gender or race. They are feeling the same pressures in the same way. You are not alone.”

... Do you have a story to share? Message us at and tell us about your experiences with bias and bigotry in the outdoors. 25



DON Feature





JUSTYNE ZELLA RAYE | @rayne_in_the_spokes


doors in ways that we have never seen, from marketing campaigns to athlete endorsements to pitch competitions and beyond. While their advancement is long overdue and is cause for celebration, there is a group of people who still remain in the shadows: The vast community of people who identify outside of the gender binary of cisgender male and cis female. Cisgender (or just cis) women are just beginning to enjoy all of the access to the outdoors that cis men always have had access to. One would think that because their newly found prestige is so fresh, and still so raw, that it would be obvious that those who are still marginalized are looking toward them to extend their power in an effort of radical inclusion and intersectionality. But there are women’s groups, companies, and media outlets that make zero reference to inclusivity beyond cis women. Cis women’s complicit dis-


KATE SAGE | @katethesage

crimination against transgender women, transgender folks as a whole, as well as non-binary and genderqueer folks, keeps us disconnected and weakens any opportunity to improve gender equity. For cis women who are frustrated by being left out or offered less, we ask you to realize that gender inclusion and equality goes beyond the gender binary and “men’s vs. women’s.” We can’t dismantle the patriarchal culture of the sports and outdoors community by reinforcing the same systems of discrimination that uphold it. Real parity occurs when we commit to oppose patriarchal gender expectations in all its forms. Our best option is to come together, over a shared love of being active outdoors, as a unified force that has the strength and cohesion to overcome gender-based issues in the outdoor community. Women’s groups that don’t outright specify inclusion for trans and non-binary folks provide a safe space for cis women, but they may not feel safe for everyone who want to participate. Trans and gender-

queer/non-binary folks, as well as people of color, frequently acknowledge that they don’t feel comfortable in groups that appear largely cisgender and white. Non-inclusive women’s groups aren’t a good way to bring the full spectrum of people with marginalized gender identities together. In a radically inclusive group, conversations and activities must happen in a way that acknowledges not all of the members may be cisgender. The easiest habit to change is to switch to gender-neutral language. Starting a conversation with “Hey ladies” or “Hi gals” can have detrimental effects because many genderqueer/non-binary folks do not identify as ladies or gals. Even if a group doesn’t have genderqueer/non-binary members yet, using genderneutral language will make your group more welcoming and attractive to prospective members. Instead of using gendered terms such as ladies, you can address the group as folks, people, peeps, lovelies, babes, humans, rad people, friends, y’all, etc.

More formally, you can adopt the term FTW/ GQ (Femme, Trans, Women & Genderqueer), which describes a radically inclusive space that is open and welcoming to outdoors enthusiasts who are marginalized based on gender. Simply stated: everyone except cis men. This includes women, which means both trans women and cis, transgender people as a whole (that is, including transmasculine people), and genderqueer/non-binary people (who identify outside of the male/female binary, and often use they/them pronouns). It isn’t enough for the sports and outdoors

D ON ’ T

community to extend inclusion to cisgender women; we must completely divorce ourselves from the gender discrimination inherent in the community’s terminology and culture. We need to prioritize reaching and including everyone who enjoys the outdoors, regardless of their gender or race. Now is the time to create radically inclusive spaces that are not cis-male centric and toxic to everyone else. We will only make meaningful progress toward parity if we address exclusion of any marginalized identity, even if that requires decentering our own identities to make room for others who need the space.






Use the term transgendered


Make assumptions about someone’s pronoun


Be afraid to ask questions


Be afraid to make mistakes


Make assumptions about your inclusivity


Ask inappropriate/intrusive questions





BY THE NUM 83R 5 SAMANTHA ROMANOWSKI | @smilingsamantha


THE LAST TIME women challenged the overwhelming gender imbalance among elected officials this forcefully was in 1992, then called The Year of the Woman. That year 298 women ran for the House and 36 ran for the Senate. Of those 298, 24 were elected; it was the largest group of women to enter the House in a single election—until our most recent. Here’s how things played out in 2018.



122 won


IN THE RACE FOR THE HOUSE 182 Democrats and 52 Republicans




2 45



13 won 9 won Source:






70% 35%



How did the last elections affect and engage you? Message us at and share your story. 28

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TQ+ B G L and s-old s s c tre 6 -year a n a 4

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Noso makes repair and embellishment patches for your gear GIVE US YOUR BEST ELEVATOR PITCH. You get an extra button when purchasing a new sweater, so why not offer a patch with a new garment such as a puffy jacket, sleeping bag, ski pants, backpack, or tent? By offering patches with their products, we help companies reduce their negative impact on the environment and strengthen the outdoor industry as a whole. In 2018 we launched our custom program and ArtFix patches. To extend the lifespan of your gear or express your individuality, check out our patches at our store


PATCHES SEEM…WELL, A BIT BOUGIE WHEN DUCT TAPE WORKS JUST FINE. HOW’D YOU COME UP WITH THE IDEA? I was hunting and hopped a barbed wire fence and ripped my brand new Patagonia Fitz Roy that I just received as a gift from my sister-inlaw Alyssa. I said to myself, that’s it. I’m not repairing another piece of gear with tape. I didn’t like how tape gummed up on the sides and thought there had to be a patch out there. But there wasn’t so I decided to make my own. I researched fabrics and manufacturing and then did drawdowns with various adhesives until I found the perfect combination.

WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT NOSO? Noso stands for no sewing. Noso patches have a patent-pending technology and are super easy to apply. Our patches are the most superior patches on the market and currently last up to 50 wash/dry cycles. Other tapes on the market fail anywhere between the second and fifth wash/dry cycle. Another fun fact about Noso: Many industry executives come to our booth at Outdoor Retailer (the largest outdoor trade show in North America) saying that this is the most innovative product they’ve seen in the industry in 20-plus years.

Shred the Patriarchy, Fix Your Gear

Get your Coalition Snow “Shred the P” Noso patch online at

WHAT’S BEEN THE GREATEST REWARD SO FAR? Offering a solution to people before a snag, rip, or tear occurs. I love seeing how people use our patches and sometimes I still freak out when I see a stranger wearing a Noso. Forgive me if I ever freak out on you, but it’s just so awesome to have people like the art you’ve created. WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR ASPIRING ENTREPRENEURS? Ask for help. As a self-starting ‘Jill of all Trades’ I expect so much of myself. But to reach my 2019 goals, I have to ask for help. Find out what you like doing best in your business and delegate the rest. Hire the most talented people you can find and then let them work their magic.

WHAT’S BEEN SURPRISINGLY DIFFICULT ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS? Scaling. We’ve quadrupled our revenue in the first three quarters of 2018 without adding resources. I joke sometimes when I tell people that we run this company on a busted shoe string. You know, like one of those dirt bag shoe strings that has a couple of knots in it? We’ve been in fifth gear this entire year, and I look forward to when we can set cruise control.

WHERE CAN PEOPLE FIND YOU? You can find me in the mountains. If you’re looking for Noso Patches, you can find them at and you can email us at ANYTHING ELSE YOU WANT TO TELL US? I love puns, riddles, and comic strips. If you ever come across a good one, please send it my way. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.




CRAFTED FIve Outdoor Brands You Probably Don't Know But Should ERICA ZAZO | @onecurioustrvlr

THERE’S A PROGRESSIVE group of outdoor

brands entering the market who are pushing the boundaries in the outdoor industry by breaking with traditional, stereotypical narratives that lack diversity and true innovation. These brands are making equipment that’s built to last and isn’t limited by outdated perceptions of what it means to play in the outdoors. Next time you’re buying outdoor gear and apparel, do yourself a favor and check out these lesser-known, mindfully-crafted brands. When you know where your gear comes from and what the founders’ beliefs are, you can make a decision to support brands that actually share the same values as you. Arm yourself with the knowledge to help build an inclusive outdoor community.

more than your typical workwear and are offered in four in-seams and 15 sizes, from triple zero (for youth or extreme petite) up to a size 24. “Oddly, even though there’s so much out there in apparel, women’s fit has been so lacking,” said Kyle Begley, co-founder of Dovetail Workwear. “It’s been so fascinating to provide workwear for women of every background—everyone deserves apparel that makes them feel empowered, excited, and thought about.”

Dovetail Workwear Bonding over their love of plants and design at a local volunteer day, Kyle Begley and Kate Day set out to turn their love of landscaping into a full-blown company. But after one too many busted-out knees and ripped seams after spending day-after-day in the dirt, the two quickly realized they probably weren’t the only women out there in desperate need of quality workwear. Not to mention, the workwear they could fit into was tailored for men’s bodies or were only offered in cliché colors and patterns (pink and purple flowers weren’t cutting it). With the help of a friend who doubled as an apparel expert, the team designed Dovetail Workwear. The durable denim and canvas apparel (work pants, overalls, etc.) is sported by badass women living active lifestyles—from mechanics and construction workers to artists and firefighters. The three made a science out of getting the fit right for women by talking to workers in creative trades and physical jobs. Their gear is three to four times stronger than similar apparel on the market. They stretch


Boulder Denim In 2014, avid climbers and adventure-buds Bradley Spence and Taz Barrett hit a gear roadblock. They were over bringing an extra pair of jeans to the climbing gym so they’d look presentable at the bar afterward. They were tired of searching for a technical pant that didn’t look technical. And they were sick of spending hundreds of dollars on fancy yoga pants that would wear out after a few months of climbing. To solve their problems, the two made it their mission to design an ultra-technical, high-performance denim pant that was not only stylish, but could stand up to their active lifestyle. One year later, Boulder Denim hit the market.

Unlike your traditional jean that’s hot, restrictive, and soaks in the sweat, Boulder Denim is lightweight, treated with Nanosphere® technology (it’s chalk, liquid, and odor resistant), and has a 360-degree diagonal stretch (which means they stretch like crazy, but don’t stretch out). They’re durable enough for skateboarding, water-resistant enough for snowboarding and snowshoeing, stretchy enough for hiking and biking, and stylish enough for a casual look. Boulder Denim has men’s and women’s sizing, athletic and slim fits, and styles from classic jean to chinos. DMOS

norms held up by the apparel industry. Their next-to-skin products span all skin-tones and sizes, and their focus lies on people that the traditional clothing market doesn’t give the time of day to: plus-size, transgender, trade workers, and of course, tomboys. “Over time, we’ve gained loyal customers who not only love our product but trust us to represent them with our mission to empower everyone to be their most authentic self,” said Fran Dunaway, CEO and co-founder of TomboyX.

Susan Pieper always dreamed of building a business that would be a force and change for good. She wanted to build a brand that emulated hard work, bashes stereotypes, and improves people’s lives. Her brand DMOS—a collection of tough and portable shovels for active and hardworking people—does just that. From building epic kickers in the powder to scooping debris after a forest fire, DMOS shovels are designed to move snow, ice, dirt, and sand, and fit in any car, anywhere. Not only are they light, but they’re built to last. The 2.5 millimeter thick, aircraft-grade aluminum shovels weigh between 3 to 5 pounds (extremely light compared to other shovels on the market) and are virtually indestructible. Tomboy TomboyX has a human agenda: helping people (regardless of their shape, size and color, or wherever they fall on the size or gender spectrum) feel comfortable in their own skin. Since co-founders Naomi Gonzalez and Fran Dunaway launched the first boxer briefs for women in 2014, they’ve built a brand that’s on a continuous mission to break antiquated stereotypes and gender

Wild Rye After spending years working with big outdoor brands and building an active life centered around skiing, biking, and outdoor adventure, Katy Hover-Smoot and Cassie Abel set out to create better soft goods and base layers for women, a typically overlooked piece of apparel by larger brands. Wild Rye’s products are inspired by mountains around the world, and are differentiated by highfashion design, their female-specific build, and their nylon blend and 100 percent merino wool fabrics. The brand thrives off its message that it’s not all about extreme sports and high-caliber athleticism. Instead, it’s helping women of all skill levels find the apparel that will help them get out and try new things, while also feeling comfortable and protected along the way. “If you go mountain biking around Tahoe and the Bay Area, you’ll see women in leggings, on a mountain bike, who’ve clearly never been out there before,” said Hover-Smoot. “That’s the woman we really want to bring into the fold—the woman who doesn’t feel totally comfortable in the sport she’s starting to do. It’s really important for us to have a message that helps women feel like they belong outdoors.” 35






FEAT, A FEMALE-FOUNDED SOCK COMPANY out of Cape Town, South Africa,

makes our toes curl with their killer designs and a SOCIAL CONSCIENCE to boot. We sat down with Chelsea Wilson, one of the founders and CEO, to find out how they started and what lies ahead for them. HOW DID FEAT SOCK CO. START? It started in 2012 with a friend. We always had a tradition to buy each other socks as gifts or for dance class. This little thread ran through our friendship. In 2012 we traveled in Europe and brought back a pair of socks and we thought it would be so cool if we designed socks together and had them made in Cape Town to support the local industry. It was a little project with four designs and it started working. In 2013, we exhibited at our first trade show and secured some stockists. We started with spots and stripes and then got into a groove with adventurous designs in 2014/15. WHAT IS THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE PRINTS? We enjoy travel and Cape Town, and it’s nice to be able to reflect aspects of that. I’ll design around a specific adventure I’ve been on, like 36

the Iceland collection. I wanted to go for three years and finally went last year in September and designed five socks. It’s such a limited canvas but you can tell such a cool story of adventure. And then you take the socks on an adventure with you! WHAT’S BEEN THE HARDEST PART OF THE SOCK BIZ? It is a challenge with being young and female for people to take you seriously. You’re going to meetings with potential suppliers and you’re telling them your ideas, and they think you are still a student and your business is not going to be anything. They stalemate you and you have to email them incessantly to show them you’re serous. And the people assume you’re a sales assistant when they come into the store. They ask me who runs the business, and they are shocked when I say it’s me.

As your business grows you need help finding people who you can trust. Being a boss is scary for me. I also want to be a generous boss, but I don’t want to take advantage of me. It’s hard to find trustworthy people who appreciate generosity but don’t take advantage of it. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO MANUFACTURE LOCALLY IN SOUTH AFRICA? In the past decade or two, manufacturing in South Africa has dwindled quite significantly because it’s cheaper in the East. As a result, many people have lost their jobs and affected certain regions of the Western Cape. In regions like Mitchel’s Plain and Grassy Park, the breadwinners were mothers and sisters who were in clothing manufacturing. When manufacturing moved East, that whole group of people lost their jobs and the bread and butter for their homes. For me, it’s important to support local for that reason—job creation. And when something is closer to home, you have more of an idea of people behind my product. You can see that they are happy and that the conditions of the factory are good, and you can maintain the quality control side of things. WHAT DO YOU THINK WORKS BEST IN BUSINESS? Businesses that work the best are the ones that are birthed out of a need, something that you can’t find. When we started there were no sock brands. The locally made ones were boring. There was nothing fun or exciting, noth-

ing that we wanted to wear. Internationally, there’s a trend for fun socks and we wanted to be the first people to start it here. WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE FOR NEW BUSINESS OWNERS? Business can be very difficult with the internet now because you can see everything. But not everyone can do something the way that you can do it, to put your handprint on it. There are other sock brands out there, but they don’t design socks the way that I design socks. You have to be smart and not do something that is saturating the market, but trust your style and ability to add something unique to the market. WHERE DO YOU SEE YOUR BUSINESS 10 YEARS FROM NOW? It’s not a separate entity, it’s a limb linked to my personal goals. Obviously I have a whole lot of other personal things that are outside of the sphere of Feat. If I look at it on it’s own, I plan on expanding into stationary and gift wrap—to reinterpret the designs into different canvases. There’s a lighthearted essence of the brand that I can apply to a range of products. It would be exciting to have more stories that encapsulate all of the playful fun designs onto a range of products that I love. Find a selection of Feat Co. socks on our website,, and get ready to become obsessed. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.





TAYLOR ROADES | @taylorroades

THE YUKON TERRITORY is bigger than Japan and Germany, and it is south only of the Arctic Ocean. It is filled with mountains, wildlife, forests, and snow-covered passes. Photographer Taylor Roades spent a week in the Yukon documenting the connection between the land And the people.





The Journey

DESTINATION #1: THE CAPITAL CITY OF THE YUKON Taylor used Whitehorse as her home base and flew roundtrip from Vancouver. It is the capital of the Yukon, and it’s the largest city in northern Canada with a whopping 25,000 residents. The original name of Whitehose is K’wan’dlIn, as named by the people of the Kwanlin Dün First Nation.


Here you can find the Miles Canyon Loop along the banks of the Yukon River. The Yukon River was one of the principle means of transportation during the Klondike Goldrush, and the remnants of times long gone are still visible. An old tramway to carry freight and small boats from the top of the canyon to the bottom has left its scar on the landscape reminding us how the people and the land have been intertwined for thousands of years. Don’t miss walking the Yukon Wildlife Preserve in the morning and soaking in the Takhini Hotsprings at night. DESTINATION #2: THE NORTHERN LIGHTS AS SEEN FROM FISH LAKE Fish Lake, known as Lu Zil Män in the Southern Tutchone language, is only 15 kilometers north of the Whitehorse. An old Tagish story tells of two giant fish, a male and a female, that live in Fish Lake and keep the lake supplied with fish all the time. These fish, they say, can still be seen on warm, calm summer days. Traditional camps—the same sites which the ancestors of the Kwanlin Dün elders used for over thousands of years—pepper the shores of the lake, and you can find hiking trails that historically were the fishing routes of the Kwanlin Dün. They made the short drive to Fish Lake to see the Northern Lights, which occur because particles from sun interact with the earth’s magnetic field. They look like fire, but they wouldn’t feel like one—the density of the air is so low that high up it would be freezing. It was hard to stay up late enough to catch these, after taking a nap at midnight they left the house at 2:30 a.m., only to fall asleep again in the car. They weren’t the only ones who knew that once you could no longer see the city lights the sky would open itself up. There were a few other cars parked at the edge of the lake to watch the show and it was simply incredible. 41




DESTINATION #3: THE EDGE OF KLUANE PARK They trekked out with their gear in sleds behind them through boreal forest and across two lakes. It was -15. They were lucky to be invited to spend the night at a cabin in the park, an opportunity that few get to experience. Wildlife sightings included two coyotes, one moose, and handful of few bald eagles, one lynx, and a magpie. “Things I want to remember about this morning: The pink sunrise. The cabin slowly turning cold as the wood stove burnt out. Steaming coffee. Salmon jerky sticks. And the thin piece of foam you put on the toilet seat so your butt doesn’t freeze to it.” DESTINATION #4: THE TINIEST DESERT IN THE WORLD The Carcross Desert is often considered the smallest desert in the world, measuring approximately one square mile. It is 74 kilometers south-southeast by the Alaska Highway and the Klondike Highway from Whitehorse. In addition to its size (or lack thereof), Carcross is mainly known for its world-class mountain biking on the near-by Montana Mountain. The village, comprised of approximately 300 people, has the Yukon’s oldest store. DESTINATION #5: YELLOWKNIFE Yellowknife is the capital and only city, as well as the largest community, in the Northwest Territories of Canada. It’s home to the Dene First Nation, and to the singer songwriter Leela Gilday, who has received numerous accolades including a Juno, two Western Canadian Music Awards, and Aboriginal Female Entertainer of the Year. While you hike along the ice roads along Great Slave Lake you can have a listen to her latest release, “Heart of the People.” This ice road is part of a expansive 5,400 kilometers of roads that are mostly used to resupply small communities and mining towns in the far north who would otherwise rely on fly in only access. Global warming is rapidly changing things, and the road wasn’t delayed last year, the record-warm temperatures are threatening this way of life.

Information for this article was sourced from the Fish Lake Archaeology Project, which was funded by the federal Department of Communications “Access to Archaeology Programme” with additional support from the Northern Research Institute of Yukon College, the Yukon Heritage Branch, and the Kwanlin Dün First Nation.




poetry in motion TELL ME ABOUT YOUR GOD LALA DREW | @talesofblackwingednight My god looks like the stars expanding



into ordered chaos

my god is ugly my god is infinity

raining havoc & beauty

my god is me

down from what we call space & sky

she is the curve of my lover’s hip

my god is the wind

the tremble of my lower lip

barely blowing stiff dark coils

telling me

as sun beats down upon brown blistered back I. am. the One. my god is Black like onyx like obsidian

And then the world exploded.

she rages like waves on the sea

Tell them it’s the end

flows as river from stream

next to come are ashes and smoke

my god is the soil I dig my toes into

tell them to breathe it into their lungs

the seed I plant & water

instruct them to draw deep full breaths

with my bitter blood and salted tears ask them what it tastes like my god is the decay feeding the carrion

when clouds coat their chest ask them

the slugs that dig the earth

to describe what it smells like

she is the seed which cracks


& shoot that grows

clasping their neck

blossoms & gives everlasting life

clutching their chest

watch them choke on soot now lining their throat

they dug their own grave Tiny meager mighty things

ask them if they can breathe How do we hear what speaks in echoes? when they tell you they can’t

can we hear the ancestors dance?

if we hush our breath

perhaps that’s my ancestor’s skirt

mock them

rustling in the wind watch them fall to their knees

who but the gods can tell? with their journals full of secrets

see the light in their eyes flicker

like Laplace and his demon

see it fade

chronicling memories of the past creating infinite space for future dreams

start a parade

make a T-shirt

with their face

& your finger

pulling a trigger

barrel to their brain

forget their name you’re never to blame

Isis sits scrawling lazily tiny meager mighty things Icarus spreads their wings and shoots directly into the sun

this is America

on earth we call it lightning as their wings fall from the clouds

land of the free

feathers scatter then burn

home of the Brave

before ever reaching ground






LYNSEY DYER | @lynseydyer

WE SAT DOWN WITH LYNSEY DYER, THE CO-FOUNDER OF SHEJUMPS AND CREATIVE POWERHOUSE BEHIND THE ALLWOMEN’S SKI FILM PRETTY FACES, TO FIND OUT WHAT’S CHANGED FOR ATHLETES SINCE SHE BEGAN HER CAREER AS A PROFESSIONAL BIG MOUNTAIN SKIER MORE THAN A DECADE AGO. IT SHOULD COME AS NO SURPRISE THAT THE ADVENT OF THE ACTION CAMERA, PAIRED WITH SOCIAL MEDIA, MEANS THAT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER LIFE, SHE IS IN CHARGE OF TELLING HER OWN STORY. WHAT’S CHANGED FOR ATHLETES SINCE THE INVENTION OF ACTION CAMERAS AND SELFIE STICKS? I got to own my narrative. And I got to begin seeding the mass market with the vision that girls belong in action sports and tech, too. This image that I shot of myself graced magazines and the television, reaching millions on YouTube. Through this means I could help show that women belonged here too, doing shit, not just looking pretty. We’re in the coldest temps and highest places with technical equipment and having a blast. Not just pretty and posing like we are so programmed. WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO YOU TO BE ABLE TO CREATE YOUR OWN NARRATIVE? Because for the first time in history I can. Women can. Our grandmothers did not have this luxury and I owe it to them to own the privilege they dreamed of and that they paved the way for us to tell a story that many never thought to imagine. There are important stories not being told that would help empower more humans to belong, find their community, and reach their highest potential. I want to help share them all.




HOW HAVE YOU DONE THAT OVER THE YEARS? Growing up I identified as a mountain girl. The problem was, girls didn’t do rad shit. According to magazines, movies, and social norms, beauty was the most valuable attribute, and the perfection on skis I’d found, as far as media showed me, was reserved mostly for guys. That was until a small camera and a new social platform gave us the power to own our own image, tell our own story, and begin to shift what it means to be a woman in the modern age on a global scale. I have straight up asked magazines and brands to publish imagery of women skiing—not posing—when they try to use us to sell more magazines or gear. And when the GoPro came along, I used it to become the photographer and capture the imagery I’d had in my head to inspire more women to feel they belonged outside and in action sports too. If I could do it, and they could see it, they would know that they could too. Women have been doing rad


shit for years but mass media was not promoting it. With social media and this little camera, I could share a different inspiring story through imagery. GoPro used the images I shot in action, on their box art and advertising, in magazines, on YouTube, commercials, and on morning television talk shows. It exposed my message to many different audiences and helped women work toward leveling the playing field in action sports. For the first time we were in a video game too. Though my name wasn’t used and I wasn’t paid for my images, it did give me leverage with other sponsors and a freedom to say no when opportunities came up for the wrong reasons. It was worth it because for the first time I was sharing the message that women were shredding too and through that I was helping to make it look fun to be outside in nature. When I grew up I was the weird one in the woods,




but now being outside was cool. I knew if the younger ones saw me in media doing it they would, too, recognizing they were invited to that space. HOW DO YOU THINK THAT THE NARRATIVE AROUND WOMEN ATHLETES WILL EVOLVE IN THE FUTURE? It is building all the time but the patriarchy is still very much in charge. We have to own it. We have to stop waiting for the invite and ask ourselves what we want to see created in the world and what young girls need to hear and see. WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TIPS FOR OTHER WOMEN WHO WANT TO USE ACTION CAMERAS TO CAPTURE FOOTAGE? Practice. They are not a gimme. Batteries, cards, light...half the battle is being prepared when all the things come together…light...snow. Sparkles!!! And you gotta actually get out there. I see so many going for the easy poses for the likes, and now brands are going for it too. There’s a lot of pretty girls out there, but not many can charge. Set yourself apart. Do the hard shit. The skiing is the pay off folks. And be better. Don’t be lazy. Be so damn good in your skill set they can’t ignore you. Don’t be the ‘female’ photographer or the ‘female’ writer. Just be the best.


Stop feeling unworthy for not fitting into the mold of ‘pretty enough’ and start doing shit. Stop complaining that you’re not invited and go outside. Nature kicks everyone asses the same and she sure don’t care what you’re wearing. The rules are different in nature. It’s the one place that truly rewards hard work and skill set above looks and wealth and status. And hopefully for a little while you loose yourself all together. That’s where the magic is. WHAT’S THE QUESTION YOU NEVER GET ASKED, AND ALWAYS WISH SOMEONE DID? NOW ANSWER IT. What’s the truth about being a pro skier? Share some of the stories behind the images. What has it taken really taken? And that’s gonna take a novel....

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.




JEN HUDAK | @jenhudak


, I signed my first contract as a professional athlete. I didn’t think much about why I was getting paid then. It seemed obvious: be good, do good, get paid. As a young athlete, getting involved in an emerging sport like freeskiing was a dream. My talents were aspirational and brands were standing behind them. There was opportunity, IF I was good enough, which really meant IF I could become the best. I believed the illusion that the world was a meritocracy. Spoiler alert, it’s not. When my first sponsor “replaced” me after three short years, I felt the sting. My talents were no longer enough. There was a new star on the rise and that’s where the money would go. At the ripe age of 20, I was old news. And then it dawned on me that these companies weren’t vested in my personal journey to reach my potential. I wasn’t sponsored because of a company’s altruism. They weren’t paying me to help me accomplish my dreams. They were paying me because they felt my talent and my celebrity clout would help them sell products.

I believed the illusion that the world was a meritocracy. Spoiler alert, it's not. “It’s a business decision, Jen,” they said, “don’t take it personally.” But of course I did. It was the entirety of my person (and talent) that no longer fit their business needs. I was still good, but not quite the best. Perhaps brands wanted more than talent. What else could I deliver? More importantly, what did they want? 54

These events transpired more than a decade ago, in a pre-social media era. Back then, having your own website was cutting-edge. With the shock of losing a sponsor, I began training my body and my mind for both skiing and the business of it. I had a well-kept website, I wrote an engaging blog, I honed my craft of speaking and networking. All the while I continued collecting medals. I may not have known it then, but I was always leveraging my influence.

of scarce resources, the emergence of influencers has felt especially threatening. These professional athletes worked their asses off to perfect the craft of their sport, to beat down the doors of sponsors and film crews to give them a chance. They left behind “safe” streams of income and revenue to follow their passion. They risked a lot. They sacrificed a lot. They put it all on the line.

It's easy to get swept up in this mentality of scarcity, when sponsorship dollars feel like the only way forward. But we can't look at this as a zero-sum game. Influence is the primary element for which athletes have ever been paid. Prior to social media, athletes built influence by showcasing their abilities in competition. In the “old days,” the way to catch media and sponsors’ attention was to perform better, to win a contest, to be exceptional, to be the best. When the competition results improved, attention of brands sponsorship dollars and traditional media exposure would follow. But as media evolved to include social outlets such as Instagram, the power to influence shifted into the hands of the people. Anyone can now create their own exposure. Enter social media influencers. Influencers are individuals who have an authoritative effect on others’ purchasing decisions. As social media has grown and Instagram has expanded to a billion monthly users, the process of leveraging one’s influence has evolved. Both professional and non-professional athletes now have access to build their very own media platform, to share their story, connect with an audience, and develop INFLUENCE. They no longer have to wait for the media entities to find them, nor convince anyone that their story is worth telling. They can simply tell it. And their effectiveness as a marketing tool has provable metrics: likes, engagement, clicks, conversions. Their effectiveness to help brands sell their products is transparent. For athletes, who already come from an industry

Making a living as a professional athlete is tough, especially as a woman. According to 2015 data from SIA, 41 percent of freeskiers were female, yet sponsored female freeskiers made up merely 18 percent of ski companies’ teams. There are limited spots and limited financial resources, and as females, we’ve never gotten our market share. It’s easy to get swept up in this mentality of scarcity, when sponsorship dollars feel like the only way forward. But we can’t look at this as a zero-sum game. To say that professional athletes should be paid over athlete-influencers is to deny the reality of what consumers and brands value on social media. Rewarding someone simply for their talents as a professional athlete ignores the fundamental truth that this still is and always has been about sales. The influencer with talent as an athlete, adventurer, story-teller, and/or content curator generates sales. If what you are offering up doesn’t connect back to people off the stage, if it doesn’t make an impact beyond personal gain, money will not follow. The reality is that using Instagram effectively as a business tool is a skill-set in itself. Influencers are meeting demand.





IONE GANGOITI PEREZ is a competitive athlete who originally hails from the Spanish Pyrenees and now calls Whistler, British Columbia home. Perez started skiing at the ripe old age of 2, shredding along side her grandpa, mum, aunties, and uncles, who were all ski instructors. She’s been competing her entire life in alpine racing, but a few years ago she took a break to pursue her European ISIA Level 3 (the maximum certification level in Europe). Why return to competitions? “I like to compete because I feel the adrenaline pushing my limits up, I love that feeling.” When she’s not competing in the Freeride World Qualifiers, she’s out in the backcountry staying safe, having fun, and posting pics to Instagram as a sponsored Coalition Snow athlete. Beyond fan girling her, we wanted to learn a thing or two, so we asked her what she keeps in her pack and how she got to where she is today.

WHAT’S IN YOUR PACK? My Scott airbag backpack (22 liters) and my Ortovox transceiver, probe, and shovel are mandatory if I am skiing in the backcountry. I always like to have some water, a lighter (to start a fire if necessary, obviously), hand warmers, an extra phone battery, and energy bars (just in case). I also like to bring extra neck warmers from Skida, extra lenses for my goggles, and sun glasses (so I can switch out from the hike up to the ski down). When I want to take photos and I’m not in the backcountry, I use my F-Stop Lotus pack from Spain. TALK TO US ABOUT SKIS. When I travel, I always bring two pairs of Coalition Snow skis (the Abyss and S.O.S) and skins. If I know that I’m going to ride hard that day, I take my 180 centimeter Abyss skis (my favorites), but I find them very demanding to use them every day. So sometimes I use my S.O.S. They are more playful than the Abyss. My competition ski depends on the type of venue, but usually I ride the Abyss. My S.O.S. are mounted with alpine bindings, but the Abyss are mounted with backcountry bindings to make sure I can go with them everywhere. And I always like to have extra poles on my car. WHAT CAN’T YOU LIVE WITHOUT? I never forget my helmet and mittens. I am always cold, so I wear electric feet warmers, even in the springtime. And I like to be warm, so I always wear good base layers under my Tobe Outerwear Fingo jacket. WHAT TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR US? Go step by step and have fun at your level. A ski instructor is always a good option if you can afford it. If you are a pro or doing competition, go big or go home! FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PEREZ AT @ionegangoitiperez 56

Enter to win a 3+ Beacon from Ortovox! Take a photo of Issue One and use the hashtag #GritAndGuts on Instagram. Make sure you follow and tag @SisuMagazine and @Ortovox.

Ortovox 3+ Beacon

Contest runs through January 15, 2019

Ortovox 24o Pro Alu Probe, Beast Shovel

Coalition Snow SOS & Abyss Skis

F-Stop Lotus Pack

Ione takes flight in competition.

Tobe Outerwear Fingo Jacket

Skida Headband & Alpine Hat





SURVIVED.” — AUDRE LORDE American writer and intersectional feminist 1934-1992


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soulful social justice Revisiting Your Reflection: The Inner Work Required for Radical Racial Justice RACHEL RICKETTS | @iamrachelricketts

Real Race Talk

THERE’S BEEN A MAJOR AWAKENING in the collective con-

sciousness as of late. For the first time in history white folks are truly leaning into and holding space for the impact of racism and the experiences of People of Color (POC). And it’s about damn time! Conversely POC, particularly black and indigenous womxn, are doing what we’ve done for centuries—rally, educate, voice our pain and triumphs, and caretake for our communities. The difference now is the increased appetite for hearing what we have to say and seeking to engage. But the question that undoubtedly still arises is: How?

The Lowdown What I see time and time again, are well intentioned hue-mans (usually the fair skinned folks) who seek to engage in racial justice by addressing the oppression they see “out there.” And this is where we fuck it up. Because real talk—creating racial justice starts as an inside job. It begins with you taking a long look in the mirror at all the parts of yourself and the ways you may be (and likely are) perpetuating the problem. No matter your race, shade, or origin, white supremacist patriarchy harms everyone. Not equally and no one more than black + indigenous womxn. Still, it is one of, if not the, greatest forms of social trauma be it historical or present day. This is why bringing about racial justice starts within.


To all my white folks—you belong to the construct of whiteness, benefit from white privilege and uphold white supremacy. That’s not a personal attack for the record, it is simply a fact. The status quo is white supremacist patriarchy. It’s a truth that most POC have had no choice but to contend with as we’ve been battling whiteness our entire lives. White supremacy is the air we all breathe and white folks are just beginning to notice its stench. Being anti-racist means acknowledging and owning the racism, intentional or otherwise, inherent in you and ALL white folks. Then, committing to the active, daily, lifelong work of causing the least amount of harm moving forward. You cannot BE an ally, but you can work your hardest to partake in allyship as often as possible. For my fellow folks of color—our racial justice work is to unearth and address our internalized oppression, meaning the ways in which we have bought into a corrupt system that works damn hard to keep us small and powerless. I, for one, spent much of my life believing I was unworthy. That I was too loud, too emotional or too extra. That my requests to be seen, heard, and supported as my bold Black self must be invalid. I was subjected to gaslighting, spiritual bypassing, daily micro-aggressions, and an onslaught of emotional violence; I was made to believe that I was the problem. Well, no more! We deserve to prioritize our needs and desires. To stand unapologetically in all that we are and refrain from constantly ensuring white people’s comfort to the detriment of our own.

No matter your race, shade or origin, white supremacist patriarchy harms everyone.

We need ALL hands on deck to achieve this mission. White folks need to lead the charge in doing the internal work to unplug from the matrix that is white supremacy, and POC need brave, sacred spaces to heal from the grief and trauma of oppression.

to inform us that something is wrong and needs changing, which is pretty helpful. Righteous anger has and continues to be at the forefront of many leading social justice revolutions so we need to learn how to embrace and channel it for good.

Some Tools for Reflection

#4 STAND IN INTEGRITY It can be easy to talk the talk, but are you walking the walk? Are you following, supporting, voting for, uplifting, checking in on, learning from/about, and paying BIPOCs? If not, there’s a disconnect. What we say AND do has all the value. Impact over intention every time.

My guess is by now many of you are thinking “Ok but, how the heck do I do this!? Below are some initial prompts for a deep dive within: #1 EMBRACE VULNERABILITY Embracing vulnerability means trying with the knowing that you may get it wrong. It means dropping your defenses and accepting things as they truly are. It means sitting in your discomfort so you can learn why it’s there and using that information to create deep and meaningful change. #2 GET HONEST The need to be good and right often trumps any chance at meaningful change. We need to lay down these patriarchal “needs” so we can create the groundwork for action. For my POCs, let’s get honest about the harms we’ve caused ourselves or other POC by internalizing white supremacy. For White folks, get honest by owning your racism + whatever harms you’ve undoubtedly caused people of colour. #3 ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ANGER Many of us were made to feel ashamed or guilty for expressing anger. Anger arrives

#5 ACCEPT AND ACT Feeling guilt, grief, or shame is part of the process of stepping into the truth. But if we get stuck there we won’t keep growing and flowing and engaging in this fight. Accept what needs accepting, and then get the eff to werrrrrk. Practice loving kindness towards ourselves for what we did not know AND do better. Each and every one of us is needed to bring about racial justice. Your best chance at making meaningful change and sticking up for social justice is by continuing to do the inner work and commit to leading from and with compassion.





Yá’át’ééh JAYLYN GOUGH | @jaylyn.gough


Jádí Bikoh

is the Navajo name for Antelope Wash. It consists of 30 miles of famed slot canyons, such as Lower Antelope Canyon, Canyon X, and many more.

K’aii Bii Toh

“Willows Within the Water,” White Mesa Arch, Kaibeto Arizona. Rarely heard of, this arch is a local favorite by the Navajo People, as its majestic heights are astounding.


“Many Pinnacles” in Shoshone instead is also known as the Grand Tetons, Wyoming. These sacred majestic mountains hold spiritual significance to the Wind River and Fort Hall Reservations.


“Red Painted Faces” in Paiute, Bryce Canyon in Arizona. The made of the hoodoos and red rocks is mind blowing and it’s no wonder why this place is sacred to the Paiutes. 62

Hiwoxuu hookuhu’ee

“Elks Head” in Arapaho, Mt Belford (14,203 feet) Many mountains in the Rocky Mountain Range are named after so many white men, but the original is name is beautiful.


“The place where water flows” in Paiute, Owens Valley, California. This valley is rich in history, with beautiful and majestic views. It also encompasses the the Buttermilk Fields where many climbers love to climb.


in Skwxwú7mesh, Porteau Cove Provincial Park, Canada. Within the Howe Sound, this place is known for the scuba diving, the waters to explore, and has been a water gateway for many tribes.

Ki-moo-e-nim / Yam- pah-pa, named after an herb that grew

along the river, in Shoshone, Snake River, Wyoming. Was a vital resource of salmon to the the early tribes, Shoshone and Nez Pierce.

Skwxwú7mesh, Howe Sounds,

Canada. “The Waters of the People.” Many tribes have used this as the water gateway to and from different lands and waters.

Babad Do’ag

, “Frog Mountain” in O’odham, Mount Lemmon, Tucson, Arizona. A place of refuge from the high temperatures of the summer for many traveling tribes and local tribes of the O’odham.

Nüümü Poyo, “Trail of the People” in

Paiute, aka John Muir Trail, California. This was the ancestral trading route for the Paiute People.

Tsékoo Hatsoh, Grand Canyon, Ar-

izona, home to several tribes, this land holds many areas of sacred places to the local tribes and to those who came before them.

E-chee-dick-karsh-ahshay, “Elk River” in Crow, Yellowstone

River, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. A major transportation for many Native peoples to and from various places up and down the rivers and the other rivers that bleed out of it.

Ahwahnee, “Big Mouth” in Ahwah-

nechee, Yosemite National Park, California. This was originally a major trading location for many tribes throughout the area, with many ancestral trading routes starting or ending in this valley.


, “Great Chief” in Black Foot, Chief Mountain, Glacier National Park, Montana. Sacred mountain to the Black Foot people and many more. It’s a landmark that can be seen for miles around.

Jaylyn Gough is from the Navajo Tribe and the founder of Native Women’s Wilderness, an organization created to increase the representation of Native women represented in the outdoors. They have launched a campaign called "Whose Land Are You Exploring On" to provide ancestral history of the lands we all love to wander and explore. Learn more at and follow them @nativewomenswilderness. 63



Entangled Photo Essay:

DEVAN BRIDSON | @don_and_doge

Devan Bridson is a fashion designer who grew up in a tiny farm town in Illinois. As a child, she remember camping and fishing with her father and papa. Those two wonderful men sparked the love for the wild world in her heart. That love for the outdoors has inspired her to backpack, rock climb, snowboard, and canoe. As she began to harness her creative spirit into fashion design, she became committed to protecting this wild world instead of harming it. She’s on a mission of balancing two opposing forces and hopes to use her craft to better this world.

The Inspiration Behind the Entangled DIY project The vines woven into the shirt represent that wild spirit that Mother Earth bestowed on us. They remind us of the bond we have with her. Whenever we need extra strength, we can rely on those vines to be there. They will embody Mother Earth’s spirit and she will let our wild loose. READ ON ABOUT DEVAN’S INSPIRATION AND TURN THE PAGE FOR THE PATTERN.


IF YOU TAKE THE TIME to look back at the history of myriad cultures and societies, you will see that women have long been associated with the natural world. Women are the nurturing mother nature, the ones who keeps balance, and the symbol for fertility, longevity, health, and life. They are caretakers and holders of natural wisdom. Are any of us surprised that just as our Mother Earth is being abused and destroyed, women, trans and genderqueer too are being oppressed and silenced? You cannot abuse one of us without consequently abusing the other. There is this subconscious connection in people’s minds. If people believe that it is acceptable to destroy the Earth, the universal mass that gives us life, then they will also believe that they can abuse us, those who give human life. EARTH is nurturing and the giver of life, but she’s also wild. The Earth sees the disrespect and harm that is being done to her. She is fighting back. The Earth is throwing her tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and floods to remind us that she will not be taken advantage of. She’s experienced the abuse and refuses to sit back without taking action. Just like the Earth, women have been fighting back. This past year has been monumental for women around the world. We aren’t being silenced and we are fighting the patriarchy, joining forces to march, speak, be vulnerable, and stand for what we know to be right. We are showing the world what it looks like when we embrace our wild stormy side to refute oppression. The Earth and women are walking hand in hand, side by side in our fight for equality and life. If our Earth is abused, we will be abused. Let’s remember our Mother in our daily lives, remember her struggle, and thank her for the wild nature that she’s bestowed upon us. Her wild vines run

through our souls and give us that intricate balance only found within a woman. We create life and harness the storms. Just as we help the Earth in her daily struggle the Earth will be there for ours. She gives us the strength to let our vines entangle our oppressors and bring on the storm. look back at the history of many cultures and societies you will see that women have long been associated with the natural world. Women are the nurturing mother nature, the one who keeps balance, and the symbol for fertility, longevity, health, and life. It’s a great thing to be associated with and paralleled to our Mother Earth. It’s gained us this reputation of being caretakers and holders of natural wisdom. We love it and feel connected to the natural world in ways people can’t deny. So, let me ask you. Are any of us surprised that as our Mother Earth is being abused and destroyed as we are being oppressed and silenced? You can’t abuse one of us without consequently abusing the other.

Thank you to Upcycle It Now for providing the recycled fabric used in this project. Upcycle It Now, is a mother/ daughter owned business, born out of a shared entrepreneurial spirit and steadfast determination to become sustainability change agents by partnering with textile companies to upcycle their textile waste into beautiful, high quality and functional products for the active lifestyle. Learn more about their work at





1. Choose a piece of clothing you want to weave into 2. Choose your weaving material: Examples: old t-shirts, scrap fabric, thread, ribbon, etc. 3. Prep material: Cut into long 1 - 1/2 inch wide strips, the length can vary 4. Prep clothing: Select area you wish to create the weave and start planning your pattern—you may draw out where you will cut with a marker or you can weave randomly as you go 5. Cut a hole 6. Feed material through 7. Tie knot on inside of garment 8. Cut a hole where you wish to feed the same piece of material though once more 9. Tie knot on inside of garment 10. Repeat steps 5- 9 until area is full **Please note that the type of fabric that you use to weave will affect the overall look. For example, if you use pieces of a tee shirt the design will be more bulky and may not lay as flat than if you’d used strips of linen. In our photographs we used pieces of linen.**





X 66












"The wilderness holds answers to questions man has not yet learned to ask." Nancy Newhall AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY CRITIC 1908-1974 67




LOST AND FOUND & found material is a bountiful and sustainable foundation for creation. The found art making process begins with the act of gathering, and moves through repurposing, and ends in rebirth. THis found material also possesses, as part of it’s character, traces of its former life. this residual energy imbues the new project with an additional dimension of meaning that becomes another element, or layer, of the creative piece. this requires the artist to choose carefully, and be aware of the power of purpose, meaning and the past life of what was left.

LAUREN BELLO OKERMAN | @folklaurstudio 69



the reliquary is a ornate vessel, or small shrine that contains fragments of bone, clothing, or objects associated with a saint or venerated figure. long in use by the catholic and eastern christian churches, reliquaries elevate the tiny object they contain into a touchstone of power, alluring enough to command the ultimate adulation from generations of pilgrims and believers.


the found object reliquary is a vessel created to house and subsequently, elevate, small objects of the earth, not unlike their religious counterparts do with their relics. the focused contemplation of these objects draws our attention inward, deep into the small scale, each nook and cranny. this allows us to invert our consideration of nature from the broad scale of landscape and sea to the granular detail of stem and seed.







WORKING AT OUTSIDE magazine gave

Madeline Kelty access to the latest, top-ofthe-line gear. As an avid skier and backpacker who prefers to sleep under the stars, she took every opportunity to upgrade her kit. While she’s traded out multiple pieces in her gear closet, these are the pieces she keeps coming back to, even when presented with a newer, shinier option. Temperatures have dropped, and while I’ll spend most of my days chasing friends on skis, there are always weekends when conditions aren’t optimal or your legs need some time off. Don’t let the cold weather keep you inside. With the right gear and a few tricks, you can still get the fresh air you’re craving during the colder months.

NEMO Kunai 2P ($500)

being the best at retaining heat. Some folks will increase the warmth of the pad by bringing along an additional closed-cell foam pad, an easy way to turn your existing sleeping pad into a four season option.

To maintain warmth throughout the night, you’ll need a quality sleeping system. Keep in mind R-value The most important piece you can buy is a on your sleeping pad and the good shelter. You’re going to want a four-seatemperature rating on the son tent with proper weatherproofing and sleeping bag. I always run ventilation—like the NEMO Kunai 2P ($500). cold, but my BROOKS It’s lightweight, at only 4 pounds., easy to set RANGE DRIFT -10 up, and will protect you from the elements. has never let me The vents provide the circulation you need to down. Yes, some keep condensation at bay and the tub-floor may consider it will keep you dry. excessive, but Thermarest NeoAir XTherm Max ($200) I would much rather be warm The sleeping pad is just as important. I’ve than cold! It’s 850 fill goose down, and only been happy using the THERMAREST NeoAir weighs 2.25 lbs. A -10 degree bag may be XTherm Max ($200) pad. It’s got a 5.7 R value overkill, but make sure the bag you pick is and provides the barrier I need between myrated to at least ten degrees colder than self and the cold ground. R value relates to whatever temperatures you think you expect the pad’s ability to retain body heat throughto encounter. out the night. Values go from 0 to 10, with 10 72

MSR Whisperlite ($90)

MSR Quick2 Cook System ($100)

Don’t forget: hot food and beverages are essential to keeping morale high. You’ll want to invest in a liquid gas stove like the MSR WHISPERLITE ($90). It functions better at altitude and lower temperatures than your traditional canister stove, which can lose pressure in cold weather. I’ve also seen the liquid gas used to help start a campfire under harsh conditions! The MSR Quick2 Cook System ($100) packs down efficiently, and provides you with two pots, meaning you can designate one for cooking and keep one clean for boiling water. Speaking of boiling, always take a 32 oz. NALGENE ($11) water bottle with you. Yes, a double-walled stainless steel water bottle will keep your drink warmer longer, but it will also keep the warmth from transferring to your hands. Holding a Nalgene full of hot tea at the end of the day brings my frequently-cold hands back to life. Not to mention there’s nothing cozier than tossing the water bottle, full of hot water, into your sleeping bag when you head off to bed. Put it by your toes or hug it to your middle to keep yourself nice and toasty as you drift off to sleep. If you’ve been out in the snow all day, whether hiking or skiing, you’re going to want to put on some clean, dry, shoes at camp. Pack a pair of down booties, like the WESTERN MOUNTAINEERING BOOTIES ($100), and you won’t be disappointed. They’ll provide a nice break from hiking or ski boots, and keep your feet warm and dry while hanging out around camp. Plus, the booties will add less than half a pound to your pack weight. You’ll thank yourself later if you bring them on the trip!

Lastly, you’ll want a couple of accessories. A snow shovel and saw will make customizing your basecamp significantly easier. The G3 Avitech Shovel ($69) and Bonesaw ($64) provide the utility you need without adding considerable weight to your pack. In the end, you’ll be happy with a level campsite, and if you choose to dig an additional cook tent, the snow shovel will make it quick. G3 Bonesaw ($64) G3 Avitech Shovel ($69)

32 oz. Nalgene Bottle ($11)

Western Mountaineering Booties ($100) 73



get it together

How to

I love winter !

RACHEL FRIEDMAN | @rachshredgnar

I love when the first dusting of snow covers the ground. I love sitting by a warm fire with hot chocolate. I love dark, crisp nights where you are bundled up, walking through the snow as it crunches below your feet. I love snowboarding and the freedom that comes with being outside. I love the quiet of the mountains and the ever changing landscape as fresh blankets of snow appear. I love sticking my tongue out as the snow falls from the sky, lapping it up like flakes of sugar. If you’re just starting to fall in love with winter, or if you need to rekindle that spark, here's a few tips bound to make your heart beat stronger as we settle into these cold winter months.

Hit the Gym or the Trail THERE ARE 4 BUCKETS you should focus on when getting ready for winter activities: Strength Training, Flexibility, Impact Training, and Balance. Working on each of these will put you in a place to hit the snow “running”, and mitigate injury, soreness and disappointment.

Get Your Gear Dialed TAKE INVENTORY of your gear and what needs to be updated and replaced. PICK UP A GEAR GUIDE from your favorite ski and snowboard magazine for all the latest new gear hitting the market (especially Coalition Snow skis featured in Powder Magazine’s 2018 Guide). FOR BACKCOUNTRY CHARGERS Make sure you change out your beacon/transceiver batteries.


Follow best practices and remove the batteries at the end of the season so no unexpected corrosion or explosions happen. GET THOSE SNOW TIRES (and chains) ready. With almost any adventure in the mountains whether it’s Colorado blizzards or New England Nor’easters, you will most likely encounter snow. Either change your tires out to snow tires or get some All Season ones, which also perform well in most weather situations. MAKE MR. MIYAGI PROUD Wax and tune those skis and snowboards! Bring your skis and boards to your local shop and ask for a wax and tune—it’ll usually run you $20$50 depending on the work needed to be done on your gear.

Book a Getaway

Get Stoked!

PLAN AHEAD and explore new terrain near and far. After all , it’s always snowing somewhere!

THE MOST important tip on this list. When your stoke factor is high you feel that excitement, that energy, the pull of the mountains, and all the possibilities of the pure unadulterated fun you could will have this winter. I can already see the smile forming, that bounce in your step because the mountains are calling,

Netflix and Chill WATCH all the ski and snowboard movies, all day, everyday.

Rachel's Flick Picks New for 2018 FAR OUT FILM // Teton Gravity Research You are on the quest to be blown away.

ALL IN // Matchstick Productions This is a ski

flick for everyone—the cast includes Angel Collinson, Michelle Parker, Tatum Monod, Elyse Saugstaad, Mark Abma, Wiley Miller, Johnny Collinson, and Cody Townsend. This film embodies the spirit of past MSP films with high-action ski segments, visually stunning imagery and engaging humor.

FACE OF WINTER // Warren Miller The 69th

installment from Warren Miller Entertainment will bring new and veteran athletes alike together to pay tribute to the man who started it all.

ODE TO MUIR //Teton Gravity Research Pro-

fessional snowboarder, adventurer and founder of Protect Our Winters Jeremy Jones and twotime Olympian Elena Hight embark on a 40-mile foot-powered expedition deep into California’s Nüümü Poyo.

Favorites PRETTY FACES An all-female cast films chicks ripping badass lines in dreamy places, inspiring

women to live up to their true potential.

FULL MOON A two-year project documenting

the past, present and future women’s snowboarding with the top female backcountry snowboarders.

THAT’S IT THAT’S ALL AND ART OF FLIGHT Changed the game of snowboard movies using state of the art techniques and technologies that hadn’t been used before.

VALLHALLA A rare and wonderfully ambitious attempt to raise the artistic stakes of the ski movie genre.

The Classics

ASPEN EXTREME “Top Gun on the ski slopes.” HOT DOG: THE MOVIE Rated R for Radical. SKI SCHOOL As Dave Marshak says “Skiing is partying, partying is skiing.” SKI PATROL Classic good guys vs. bad guys. OUT COLD Zach Galifiankis playing an injury-ridden snowboard bum? Count me in.

G.N.A.R. Are you the best skier on the mountain? BLIZZARD OF AAHHH’S I mean...Glen Plake?





shred the p patch Coalition Snow has partnered up with Noso Patches to bring you a technical patch that solves all of those campfire and barbed wire misfortunes. Pick one up today and ditch the duct tape.


At Feat. Sock Co., their aim has always been to create socks that tell a story, taking wearers and viewers on a little adventure or at least giving you one reason to today. We’re proud to feature this female-founded business and offer their socks that are designed and manufactured in Cape Town, South Africa.

# boldturn s blend Making #boldturns is just something you do on the daily. Before you get to the mountain you’ve got shit to do. Take a conference call. Fall a tree. Keep your children alive. Maintain world domination. This sustainably sourced high altitude blend created for us by our friends at Drink Coffee Do Stuff is the magical fuel that keeps you making #boldturns morning, noon, and night.


extreme demo days You’re invited to the Extreme Demo Days with Coalition Snow, Rocky Mountain Underground, and Weston Snowboards at the RMU headquarters in Breckenridge, CO. Mark your calendars for January 18th, February 15th, and March 15th. Visit the Coalition Snow website and click

JA NUA RY 18T H • F E BR UA RY 15 T H • MA R CH 15 T H 76

on Demos for more details.

sisu apothecary

We teamed up with Pantry Products to to create the perfect skin care blend to soothe your tired skin this winter. Choose from our Windburn Balm, Snow on Cedar Soak, Apres Ski Spray, or Aches & Pain Soreness Soother. Feel good inside and out knowing that you are supporting a woman-owned business that specializes in all natural, luxurious, small batch skin care.

Coalition snow Coalition Snow knows that the real secret to designing women’s equipment is to start with women first. Perhaps that’s why they’ve won Skier’s Choice two years in a row from Powder Magazine and made it to their Top 10 list of Best Women’s Skis. Oh yeah, and then there’s that “The Beyonce of the Ski World” thing. Get yourself on the best damn women’s skis and snowboards and join the #sisterhoodofshred.



Join Coalition Snow and Evo for a weekend of inspiration and fun on the snow. They are gathering women to meet and ride with Coalition Snow’s CEO, Jen Gurecki, a pioneering entrepreneur in the ski industry for a weekend of learning, sharing and good times. Spring skiing never looked so fun.




eat, drink + be merry

peppermint mocha cupcakes VANESSA BARAJAS | @vanessabarajas

I don’t think there are enough peppermint mocha flavored things in life. So these happened. I love peppermint mochas around the holidays, and I also love cupcakes around the holidays, so, I mean really, what’s not to love here?

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes Ready In: 40 minutes Yield: 1 dozen


1 cup (2.8 oz./80 g) dark mint chocolate bar

1 cup (92 g) sifted fine grain blanched almond flour

¾ cup (150 g) chocolate chips

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder

½ cup (118 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk, room temperature

1 tablespoon coconut sugar

¼ cup (59 ml) palm shortening

½ teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

¼ teaspoon peppermint extract

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 large eggs



5. Fold the dry ingredients into the melted chocolate mixture and stir using a rubber spatula or whisk until completely combined.

1 cup (7 ounces/200 g) chocolate chips

½ cup (75 g) coconut sugar, sifted

6. Use a cookie dough scoop or a large spoon to transfer batter into the cupcake liners and fill about 2/3 full, they will rise slightly when baking. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before frosting and garnishing.

1 teaspoon vanilla


16 tablespoons (227 g) unsalted butter, softened

¼ teaspoon peppermint extract For Garnish 2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut


FOR CUPCAKES: 1. Adjust oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a cupcake pan with paper baking cups; set aside. 2. In a medium-sized bowl combine your dry ingredients: almond flour, espresso powder, coconut sugar, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, stir together using a fork until combined; set aside. 3. Melt chocolate chips and coconut milk together in the top pan of a double boiler over simmering water. Stir together until smooth and combined. Another method is to place the chocolate chips and coconut milk in a large glass or metal mixing bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir intermittently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and combined with the coconut milk. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. 4. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the palm shortening. Then stir the vanilla, peppermint extract, and eggs into the melted chocolate mixture.

1. Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler over low heat or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and let cool. 2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer set to medium-high until the butter is light and fluffy and the sugar is incorporated, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla and peppermint extract and continue to beat until mixed. Then add the melted chocolate to the butter mixture in three additions beating well after each. Make sure the chocolate has cooled enough so it doesn’t melt the butter when combined. Continue to beat until smooth. 3. Use an offset spatula to spread or transfer to a piping bag fitted with desired tip. 4. Garnish with the shredded coconut. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrapped well in plastic for up to 2 days. Notes 1. Be sure to sift the sugar for this recipe. Coconut sugar is very granular; sifting it will break down the grain and help the sugar to incorporate into the butter. If you skip this step the frosting may be slightly gritty. 2. My favorite brand of dark mint chocolate is Alter Eco brand, Dark Mint 60%. 3. Make Chocolate Cupcakes 1 day ahead.




that's what he said

ANDREW PRIDGEN | @andrew_pridgen

Oh hey , whats up... ...I didn’t see you there. Don’t worry, it’s not you, I just don’t see anyone unless 1) you’re hot or 2) you’re in front of me in line for coffee and it’s taking for-fucking-ever; so long that I get on my phone to make a big deal about the fact that I have been waiting long enough to BE on my phone. “Yeah, it’s me. Yeah, I’m STILL in line for coffee.” In case you’re still not 100-percent sure about how annoyed I am that I’m stuck here waiting like everyone else, just give it a second because I’m about to fill up all my space and most of yours and heave out a really big, quasi-threatening (but not on purpose, I swear) passive aggressive sigh. I learned it from my father. He learned it from his father and he learned it from his father’s father’s father. Once you’re out of my way or on your way to doing the stupid shit is you do after getting your coffee (hint: whatever it is, it’s way less important than whatever I’m doing today)… wait. WHAT am I doing today? Thought you’d never ask: After the not-super-hot barista hands me MY coffee with MY name misspelled (sorry, taking that out of your tip sweetheart) I’m going to take a sip and demand she do it again, not because it’s particularly wrong or because I was particularly clear with my coffee-making directions, just because she’s there and I’m 80

a PAYING CUSTOMER dammit and I want to see her manager before I go (to see if the manager’s hot.) If she is, I’ll act super calm to the point where she believes me over the worker. If she’s not, I’ll just yell. My yelling will be to better inform everyone in the entire coffee place that I deserve to be treated with respect! After that whole deal I’m gonna need to decompress. It’s been a stressful week (more on that in a minute.) I’ll probably go back to the house, change into another wicking golf shirt because someone made me spill my (second) coffee on my first golf shirt. Fortunately, I don’t like this shirt that much; it’s from last year’s corporate retreat and I shot like shit at Top Golf and the girl working there didn’t respond to any of my advances (including my joke about the three Illegals and the jar of peanuts—which kills) so I have a bad memory from that. So fuck that shirt, I’ll just throw it away when I get home. Once I change, I might go to the range or I may check in with my wife and see if I have time to play nine. I really don’t care what she says and I’m not going to listen. I’m going to play 18 either way but I’m not going to tell her that and so when I come in three hours later than I said I would, I’ll pretend it’s somehow her fault for not getting the text I didn’t send. “Maybe we should get you a new phone… one that receives my texts” I’ll say just before I start complaining that we’ve got nothing to eat.

Later on if I’m not totally fed up, I might grab a couple beers. I like beer. I LOVE beer. I drank beer in high school. I still drink beer. Beer appreciates me, and I appreciate beer. I drink IPAs now because someone told me that they’re better for you and they don’t hit you as fast so you can drive with a few of them. I’ll only have four or five. The girls who work at the brew pub are cool. Sometimes they’ll come have a beer or a shot with us. They’re easy to joke around with. They have good senses of humor. When I say something, they laugh. Most of them are in college or just graduated. I think about my daughters and how they’re going to be that age in like 10 years and I can’t believe it. Oh, I also have a call to get on this afternoon. Some client is pissed because the software we sold him to run his business works like shit and I’m like, yeah, what do you expect bro, it’s software. I actually like the guy. I was back in Chicago three weeks ago helping them get set up and we went out and got a steak at Gibsons (I wanted to go to Ditka’s because I wanted a polo from there but they were closed for remodel) and I drop like two grand at dinner with this guy there and he has the nerve to fucking call me on a Saturday and I’m like, “Hey bro, relax” and I remember he went to Michigan so I end the call with “Go Blue!” and then we start laughing about one of the servers we had at Gibsons falling and spilling wine all over her blouse, so he’s cool. Anyway, I HATE working on a Saturday so I’m gonna need some extra time tonight to unwind. I’ve got to fly out Monday, fucking Atlanta this time. There’s nothing in Atlanta but there’s good chicken. I’m busting my butt out here and if I don’t get some appreciation soon there’s going to be hell to pay.

- The White Guy in Line Behind You

"I believe that telling our stories first to ourselves and than one another and the world, is

a revolutionary act." - j

anet mock

American Writer, TV Host, and Transgender rights activist.

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