Ski Denali Crew
We have exciting news! In spring of 2020 we will have two all women expedition teams in the Alaska Range. We have one going up the West-Buttress of Denali and the other up Sultana (also known as Mt. Foraker). Meet the six wonderful women who are part of the Ski-Denali crew:
Ski Denali Expedition Trip Lead. Wrangell-St. Elias and Stikine Expedition Member
Auri Clark was born and raised in Juneau, AK. She now spends her summers in Juneau as a sea kayak guide and her winters working at Stevens Pass ski area in Washington state. She has worked at the ski area for three consecutive years, two as a boot-fitter and one as a ski patroller. She has taken several classes in the Outdoor Studies Program at the University of Alaska Southeast, obtained bother her Wilderness First Responder and AIARE 1 certifications, and completed a 6-day mountaineering course in Washington (which included a summit of Mount Baker). In the summer of 2016, she spent two months on the Juneau Icefield during the Juneau Icefield Research Program where she practiced knots, glacier travel, and crevasse rescue while traversing the icefield. On personal trips, she has climbed both Colchuck Peak and Glacier Peak in Washington, and this will be her third AK Mountain Women trip (she was a part of both the Stikine Icefield and Wrangell-St. Elias Range expeditions). She is excited to not only continue advancing her technical skills on this year's trip, but also develop her skills as a leader during the planning process and in the mountains. She is most excited to be further inspired by the AK Mountain Women crew and to explore a new part of Alaska.
Ski Denali and Wrangell-St. Elias Expedition Member
Ashley grew up in Kansas but at 18 managed to find her way to her true love--the mountains. She lives in a tiny rural mountain town called Ophir, CO at 9,695'. The area features several 13,000 and 14,000 foot peaks on which she can practice her splitboard mountaineering. She spends the majority of her days and nights at a backcountry ski hut located at 11,765' where she works as a hutkeeper. Morning and night she works to feed and care for the guests who stay at this full service hut, and the day she spends exploring this high alpine terrain. In the winter she skins 4 miles to work climbing 2,200' with the week's groceries on her back for up to 20 guests, often breaking trail and dealing with adverse conditions. After splitboarding all day she spends the evening in the kitchen whipping up amazing home cooked meals. She bakes her high altitude breads in an amish wood fired stove, cleans & maintains the hut, and gets her upper body workout in by shoveling snow. In the summer the job is easier on the legs, instead she 4-wheel drives up the high mountain pass to the hut and performs the same duties. In the fall she tries her hand at some carpentry and helps stock the hut with ~13,000lbs of winter supplies--all by pack from the summer parking area. In the summer she explores the area in her running shoes or--her favorite way--by mountain bike where she finds her thrills on the alpine singletrack for as many hours as possible with normally 3x as much uphill as down. The past two summers she has tried her hand at endurance bike racing through Telluride's 100 mile mountain bike race and looks forward to her third attempt. Ashley has her Wilderness First Responder Technician certificate through NOLS/WMI. She is also certified by AIARE in Avalanche Safety Level I and II. As well as by the Canada Avalanche Association in her Avalanche Operations Level II and ski mountaineering. She has been a volunteer on the local Search and Rescue team for 3 years. She aspires to get her EMT certification and to take an AIARE Professional Level 1 course. She was a member of the Wrangell-St. Elias 2019 expedition and is excited to come back for the 2020 Ski Denali expedition!
Ski Denali and Wrangell-St. Elias Expedition Member
Casey Patten grew up in Durango, Colorado—a homely college and ski town mixed with jam bands and country music. As a young adult, she enjoyed escaping to the San Juan Mountains for skiing and hiking. She grew up skiing at Purgatory Mountain resort—a humble ski mountain—and loved having access to Wolf Creek, Red Mountain Pass and Telluride just a couple hours away. She has been chasing grander adventures since she moved away from her home town at the age of twenty. She moved to Juneau, AK during the year of 2015 to partake in an outdoor leadership program at the University of Southeast Alaska and graduated with a one year certificate focusing on rock climbing, rope skills, crevasse rescue, ice climbing, backcountry skiing—with a focus on split boarding, pack rafting and mountaineering skills. After the program, she worked at Above and Beyond AK as a glacier guide and sea kayak guide. Most of her trips were on the well-known Mendenhall glacier and inside passage in Juneau, AK. Here, she fell in love the diversity of the landscape, people and working in the outdoor field. After two summers of guiding, she moved to Park City, UT, where she is currently living. She moved here for the skiing, as well as mountain biking; and is currently a ski patroller at Deer Valley ski resort. She graduated at the University of Utah in Health, Society and Policy—an interdisciplinary degree that focuses on the multidimensional character of human health. After a year of being in Utah, she wanted to greatly reconnect with Alaska and the inspiring people she met up there. The connections she made in Juneau, led her to Alaska Mountain Women. Last year, she found herself buying a plane ticket to Anchorage, AK to meet these ladies for their next adventure in the Wrangell-St. Elias range. She made two first accents with this team and is looking forward to the future development of this group as an all-women ski mountaineering team!
Ski Denali Expedition Member and Sticker Artist for Alaska Range and Wrangell-St. Elias Expeditions
Maddie is an artist that focuses on the intersection of science, environment, and society, in addition to the female experiences and in the backcountry/expedition setting. She was born and raised in rainy/lovely Juneau Alaska where she spent most of her time cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and trail running on the various mountain ridges. After highschool, she attended Boise State University where she ran competitively for two years with the cross country and track team. She is currently completing a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies. She is heavily involved with the Boise State Outdoor Program where she has worked as a student trip leader, program manager, raft guide, and climbing gym attendant. Through these experiences she has gained valuable tools in outdoor leadership, risk management, facilitation, and community building. In January 2019, Maddie planned and executed a trip up the Mexican peak, Citlaltépetl (18,000ft) and has also participated as a student in the Juneau Icefield Research Program. Here she traversed the Juneau Icefield over 6 weeks while learning about glaciers, crevasse rescue, and science communication. She has her Wilderness First Responder certification and is taking her AIARE Avalanche 1 course this winter. Maddie is enthusiastic about supporting inclusive expedition environments. She is eager to learn as much as she can from teammates in the wonderfully challenging Alaskan environment.
Ski Denali Expedition Member
Eva was born and raised in South Central Alaska but currently spends the majority of her time in Juneau as she finishes her degree this spring from UAS in Geography and Environmental Resources. Along with her degree she is also apart of the Outdoor Studies certificate program. Through the program she has taken courses in mountaineering, glacier travel and crevasse rescue, backcountry navigation, sea kayaking, and ice climbing. She has her Avy 1 safety certification, and WFR. In May 2018 Eva completed a successful capstone project with her classmates, ski traversing 60+ miles of the Juneau Icefield from Skagway to Juneau. This past summer, Eva was a student with the Juneau Icefield Research Program (JIRP) where she traversed the Juneau Icefield a second time from Juneau to Atlin B.C. This spring Eva plans to be a teaching assistant for the Outdoor Studies mountaineering and glacier travel classes. From a young age she has loved Alaska and its breathtaking mountains. She is looking forward to spending time with an amazing group of women that she can learn and grow from.
Ski Denali Expedition Member
Rain Felkl is an Alaska Native who now resides in the Wasatch Mountains of Salt Lake City, Utah. After making the move, Rain was quickly absorbed into the freedom and adventure of human-powered splitboarding. She is currently working for Backcountry as a part of the Brand Marketing team. This position gives Rain the chance to work closely with the Salt Lake Climbers Alliance, Utah Avalanche Center, and Wasatch Splitters through various educational and community events. When she isn’t riding powder, Rain is a rock climber, which has naturally led her eye towards bigger splitboard mountaineering objectives. Currently riding Phantom Snow Industries (@phantomsnowidustries) bindings, a SplitTech binding system that equates to efficiencies, performance and reliability in the mountains. Rain is determined to further her exploration of the Wasatch Mountains, as well as her hometown mountains of Juneau, Alaska. She is excited to be a part of this all-female crew of motivated women advancing technical and leadership skills while continuing to explore new mountains throughout our beloved Alaska Ranges.