Hi! I’m Chelsea. I am a daughter, sister, friend, mentor, mentee, climber, baker, ultrarunner, backcountry skier, mountaineer, WFR, dog mom, coach, educator, and generally-stoked human.
I hated shoes when I was a small child (frankly, still do) and my earliest memories of the outdoors are me returning to my home with black feet from running around in the forest all day. These were the moments I was most free.I was a Girl Scout and was begrudgingly brought along on hikes and camping trips with family and friends. I threw myself into team sports, desperate to fit in – to be good enough for validation from coaches – but nothing quite felt like home until I returned to the trails outside my small town when I was in high school. The trees wrapped their arms around me and I took a breath of fresh air – this was where I belonged.
My early 20’s led me to city life and ultimately, powerlifting. I hiked occasionally with friends in Seattle, but my life was confined to the walls of the gym. It wasn’t until I was diagnosed with SIBO in 2018 and wasn’t able to lift that I started running. The goal of a half-marathon quickly turned into a full-marathon, which then turned into a 50K as soon as I was introduced to trail running. The trails don’t care about your pace, about what you’re wearing, or who you are. In the forest, I am home.
I moved to Boulder, CO in 2019 to attend graduate school and quickly added climbing to the list of things “I never thought I’d do but am now here doing”. I’m afraid of heights and climbing hasn’t come easily, but running didn’t either. I love learning new skills and doing things that challenge me – both physically and mentally. I’ve since learned to lead multi-pitch trad (yes, I still cry) and I’ve climbed all around Colorado, Washington, California, and Nevada. Additionally, I’ve decided to pursue guiding in the climbing industry to support other women on the quest to become proficient and confident on rock.
After graduating with my MBA and completing my Wilderness First Responder certification, I decided to solo hike the Colorado Trail. I learned how to be entirely self-sufficient in the backcountry for days at a time. I’ve since hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail and done several ultramarathons, including Run Rabbit Run 100. In 2023, I’m planning to tackle the Mount Hood Infinity Loop and Mogollon Monster 100. I’ve become a certified UESCA ultrarunning coach and am excited about helping others achieve their endurance goals.
Skiing has been the final piece of the puzzle (for now), and after taking two decades away from the sport, I began skiing again in 2020. It’s been difficult to re-learn the sport (read, NOT like riding a bike), but with a few lessons and now 30 days this season, things are beginning to come around. I’ve completed my Companion Rescue and AAIRE 1 courses, with AAIRE 2 and PRO 1 on the horizon for the coming years. Skiing is fun, because even on the days you don’t summit, you still get to go skiing!
I returned to the Pacific Northwest in the Summer of 2022 to take an Intro to Mountaineering course and didn’t know it would change my life in the way that it did. However, being the only female on my rope team was the most empowering experience I’ve had. When we practiced crevasse rescue and I felt the weight of one of my rope team members entirely on my harness, I knew that this is what I was built for. Mountaineering is where endurance, technical proficiency, and a general stoke about suffering are combined.I’m currently training to climb and ski several 14ers this year, with my eyes set on Denali in 2024.I’ve learned to be comfortable by myself and with groups of men in the outdoors, but nothing will compare to the feeling of climbing, backpacking, or skiing with a group of women. I am stoked to be able to provide knowledge, resources, and community to a generation of people who love sending. I can’t wait to see y’all get after it!