WRANGELL-ST. ELIAS CREW
We are scheming again! This time we are headed to the Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. There will be eight of us endeavoring on our next wild adventure along with the support and help from a few others. Here's everyone and their stories:
Rebekah King started exploring the mountains as a child in Colorado. Her desire to find bigger peaks and more wild places lead her to Alaska in 2010. She graduated from Alaska Pacific University with a degree in Outdoor Education, concentrating on Snow Science. Rebekah has spent the past 4 years working as a mountaineering instructor for both NOLS and Alaska Mountaineering School. Her work and personal trips have taken her into of Patagonia. Rebekah has been a part of several all-female Expeditions in the the Alaskan, Chugach, and Wrangell ranges in Alaska; as well as to the ice fields past which highlighted the empowering, unique dynamic they provide. She is excited to continue to learn from and mentor other women in the outdoors.
Mary grew up in Juneau, Alaska where she found her love for snow, glaciers (and rain) at a young age playing in her vast beautiful backyard. Mary is currently a glacier mountaineering and backpacking instructor with NOLS in the summers and the Operations Manager for Alaska Avalanche School in the winters. In the past she has been the Program Coordinator of the Juneau Icefield Research Program. She has led and instructed day trips to eight-week glacier mountaineering, winter ski trips, and backpacking courses. Outside of the Stikine trip last spring, Mary has traversed the Juneau Icefield twice (2013, 2014). She attempted Mt. Jarvis but had to turn around because of a crevasse fall on her rope team. She planned a completely self-supported, 53 mile, 7 day ski mountaineering traverse to summit Emperor Peak on the Juneau Icefield. In 2016 she attempted to traverse the Juneau Icefield with an unsupported three person team. She has her Wilderness First Responder and taken Avalanche I and II courses. Mary has unconditional love for mountaineering and for the harsh but breathtaking landscape of Alaska. She is excited to share that love with this amazing group of women.
Auri Clark was born and raised in Juneau, AK. She has taken a 6-day mountaineering course in Washington (which included summiting Mount Baker), several classes in the Outdoor Studies Program at the University of Alaska Southeast, and has obtained both her Wilderness First Responder and AIARE I certifications. 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. In the summer of 2017, she climbed Colchuck Peak and Glacier Peak on personal mountaineering trips. She has also worked at Stevens Pass Ski Resort two winter seasons as a bootfitter and hard-goods specialist, and will be working as a ski patroller this winter. She is excited to return to the group after spending last year planning and preparing for the Stikine Icefield expedition. With the skills learned and connections made during last year's trip, she can't wait to be challenged even more with such an awesome group of adventurous women.
Katie McCaffrey grew up in Alaska between Nome and Fairbanks. She moved south to Juneau in 2015 for the University of Southeast Alaska's Geography, Environmental Studies, and Outdoor Studies program. Through the degree she has taken classes in both rock and ice climbing, backcountry navigation, sea kayaking, winter backpacking, glacier travel and crevasse rescue, and mountaineering. She also has her WFR and avalanche 1 certifications. Katie has returned the last two academic years as a teaching assistant with the Outdoor Studies program and has guided tourists on the Mendenhall glacier during the summer seasons. Both have been great opportunities to hone her skills. She has spent two non consecutive weeks in the Taku Range of the Juneau Icefield, both trips spoiled with sunny weather and good snow. Two years ago, she traveled to the Chugach Range outside of Anchorage for an attempt of Mount Marcus Baker (over 13,000'). The trip was shutdown by a storm that kept them in basecamp for two weeks, but she still loved the time spent with friends in extreme elements. Last spring she joined the Alaska Mountain Mountain crew for the Stikine Icefield traverse. She is excited to be part of this all-female crew and learn more of what it takes to plan a big trip in remote Alaska!
Beth Loudon moved to Juneau, Alaska in 2015, after graduating from Wheaton College in Chicago, IL. Originally from the East Coast, she felt that something was missing from her life, and decided to follow that call up north. After a few seasons of guiding for a zipline, working for local non-profit groups, and playing violin in the symphony, she has decided to turn to what called her to this beautiful place in the first place - the vast peaks of Alaska. Beth has taken an Avalanche I course and has her Wilderness First Responder. Outside of the Stikine trip last spring, Beth is an avid hiker, split boarder, and general outdoor enthusiast. She currently lives on a sailboat with her adorable dog Bentley. She can't be more excited to venture onto the remote Wrangell-St. Elias Park alongside other adventurous and nature-loving women.
Sophia Walling-Bell was born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska and while she grew up doing a lot of outdoor activities, it wasn’t until after high school that she began backcountry skiing, rock climbing, and mountaineering. She currently studies French and German at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks and has studied abroad in both France and Switzerland as a part of her degree. She has worked for the Outdoor Adventures program at UAF, as well as a glacier guide in Kennicott, AK and most recently as a Wilderness Trip Leader taking high school students backpacking in the Alps and Pyrenees. She has done a couple week long backcountry ski trips with basecamps in both Turnagain, AK and on the College Glacier in the Eastern Alaska Range, where she has also submitted Institute Peak. While she was living in Switzerland she did a couple overnight backcountry ski trips in the Swiss Alps, including submitting two peaks over 12 thousand feet, and skiing down from the summits. She has both WFR and Avalanche 1 certifications, as well as glacier travel, crevasse rescue, and winter camping skills. She is very excited to be planning a big trip into the Alaskan wilderness, learning all of what that entails, and to be doing it with a rad group of women!
Kit Cunningham was born in Juneau, Alaska and her love of Alaskan mountains began at a young age. She obtained a degree in Conservation Biology and Ecology from Montana State University-Bozeman in 2017, allowing her to work a variety of wildlife jobs outdoors. She has guided glacier, kayak, and bear viewing trips in Alaska, worked a variety of rural field technician positions and is currently working on a wildlife project with Weddell Seals in Erabus Bay, Antarctica. She loves learning about and being in the outdoors, both in a recreational and scientific setting. In 2016, she participated in the Juneau Icefield Research program, which is an 8-week scientific course traversing the Juneau Icefield. In 2017, she enrolled in the University of Alaska mountaineering class, which summitted Emperor and Snowdrift Peak. In the summer of 2017, she executed her first 3-week unsupported ski-mountaineering trip on the Juneau Icefield. In 2018, she spent 3 months backcountry skiing in Nagano, Japan, and successfully climbed Mt. Yakiyama and Mt.Asama. She is a certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT), Swift water Rescue technician, and Wilderness First Responder technician. She also has taken a technical self-rescue rock climbing class, crevasse rescue training, Sea kayak rescue training, and Sea Ice safety training. She has been backcountry skiing for the past 5 years and has her Level 1 from American Avalanche Institute. She will be taking her Level 2 this upcoming spring. Outside of school, you will find her sport and trad climbing multi-pitch routes in the summer and backcountry skiing in the winter in Montana, Idaho, and Alaska. She is ecstatic about the opportunity to learn new outdoor skills and the planning process of a big trip with a group of awesome women.
Originally a young farm girl in Kansas, Ashley has found her niche among the San Juan mountains in Telluride, CO where she helps manage and service a full service backcountry ski hut in the area. Living part time at almost 12,000 feet in a place accessed only by traversing backcountry terrain has truly expedited her learning of all things avy terrain and mountain living. Ashley is certified with both her Avalanche Level 1 & 2, Rigging For Rescue, as well as NOLS/WMI Wilderness First Responder. She will be furthering her education in Canada this January, learning glacier travel and rescue skills as well as becoming CAA AST Level 2 certified. She has also been a member of the local Search and Rescue team for the last 2 years. She is an avid trail running and mountain bike racer as well as avid split border, spending 4-6 days in the backcountry over the winter. This will be her first opportunity to dive into the much dreamed of world of expedition mountaineering and she feels privileged to take that leap with an incredible crew
of skilled women.
Casey Patten completed her Outdoor Studies certificate at the University of Southeast Alaska, 2015-2016 and later, became a wilderness guide with Above and Beyond AK for two summers. She currently lives in Utah and drawn to the desert. She loves mountain biking, trail running, skiing, the stars and the sun. She is about to graduate from the University of Utah this summer. She became an EMT-B this past summer and has enjoyed the medical, as well as the outdoor field.
Supoort/Alternate for Wrangells and Expedition Member of Stikine Expedition
Hannah Rosenkrans is a born and raised Alaskan. Her outdoor adventures began before she could even walk. Her geoscience degree and GIS (Geographical Information System) certificate allowed for unique opportunities in the mountains through research and map making. She is currently Wilderness First Responder and AED/CPR and AVY I certified. She was part of group attempting to traverse across the Juneau Icefield from Atlin, British Columbia to Juneau, Alaska two years ago and a member of the Stikine Expedition in 2018. Hannah currently lives in Anchorage and is busy exploring the coastal mountains climbing and skiing. The stoke is real high.
Support/Alternate for Wrangells
Originally from California, Emma fell in love with mountains while backpacking through the Sierra Nevadas. Drawn to the outdoors, Emma moved to Alaska to pursue a degree in Environmental Studies, Geography and Outdoor Studies at University of Alaska, Southeast. Emma spent 3 years as a student and assistant teacher on numerous mountaineering, ice/rock climbing, sea kayaking and backcountry navigation courses. She has her Wilderness First Responder and both Avalanche 1 & 2 certifications. Throughout her degree, Emma participated in 3 capstone expeditions in Alaska and Japan. She is a mountaineering guide for Alaska Mountaineering School, Above and Beyond Alaska and Bigfoot Patagonia. Emma is currently living her dream and working on glaciers in Torres del Paine National Park in southern Patagonia. Emma is passionate about engaging people in the outdoors and is overjoyed to be involved in an all woman’s expedition.
Support/Alternate for Wrangells
Born and raised in New York City, Nadine has spent the past 10+ years making up for lost time in the mountains. After graduating from Harvard College, she moved to Chilean Patagonia to work for conservationists Doug and Kris Tompkins on the creation of new national parks. In 2017, she started a new environmental education and wilderness travel company based in these new national parks, called Chulengo Expeditions, which has proved a great channel for spending more time in the Patagonian backcountry. As a field instructor for NOLS, she's led wilderness backpacking expeditions in Alaska, Patagonia and Wyoming. The past two summers have taken her to Alaska, where's she's loved exploring the similar-but-different wild landscapes via packrafting expeditions in the Brooks Range and Wrangells. She's thrilled to learn alongside this dynamic and intrepid group of women, and continue to develop her mountaineering and expedition-planning skills!
Support/Outreach for Wrangells Expedition
Maddie is a student and an artist that focuses on the intersection between science, environment, and people as well as the female experience and empowerment in the backcountry. Maddie was born and raised in Juneau Alaska where she spent most of her time cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and trail running on Juneau’s various ridges. She moved to and currently resides in Idaho where she ran for Boise State Cross Country and Track for two years. She now works with the Boise State Outdoor Program as a student manager of the trips sector which is focused on building community, leadership, and educating students that have a wide variety of experience and backgrounds. Here she helps to set up and lead a range of student led trips including white-water rafting on the Payette River and backpacking a section of the Lost Coast in California. She has her WFR certification and is planning on taking AIARE Avalanche I by spring of 2019. Maddie is enthusiastic about supporting an all women’s team that will reach far, challenge herself, and inspire others.