Ski Mountaineer Kit DesLauriers headlines Alpenglow’s Winter Speaker Series Show
On Jan. 2, Alpenglow Sports welcomes professional ski mountaineer Kit DesLauriers as the third speaker in the five part Winter Speaker Series, presented by Peak Design.
DesLauriers’ show, “Skiing the Seven Summits,” outlines how she set out to ski the highest mountain on each of the seven continents – a feat never accomplished before, by man or woman. When she summited Mt. Everest in 2006, and skied back down, she became the first person to do so.
The event will take place at 7 p.m. at the Olympic Village Lodge at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Admission for the show is free, and all bar and raffle proceeds will go to the nonprofit beneficiary of the evening, Sierra Community House.
DesLauriers is a lifelong skier and adventurer; growing up in New England, she spent the early years of her life on cross country skis, enjoying the peace and solitude she could find in the woods. Upon moving to Arizona at age 14, she discovered downhill skiing, getting her first taste of it in Telluride, Colorado. A lifelong passion was kindled at the moment she experienced her first descent on skis. After spending nearly every weekend of college in the mountains, she moved to Colorado and became a ski patroller for the better part of ten years. Restless for a new adventure, DesLauriers then moved to Jackson, Wyoming, to start her freeskiing career. Though short lived, she had an incredibly successful run on the Freeride World Tour Circuit, and still holds the title of being the first woman to win back to back FWT Championships, in 2004 and 2005.
Despite her success in the freeskiing world, DesLauriers felt that she couldn’t fully commit to ski mountaineering if she was training for competitions, and so opted to solely focus on climbing up and skiing down more and more peaks. It was then that she got the idea to attempt the seven summits. By 2004 DesLauriers had already skied Mt. McKinley, located in Alaska, and in 2005 decided to throw herself into the effort. She summited and skied Mt. Elbrus in Russia, Mt. Kosciuszko in Australia, Vinson Massif in Antarctica, and Aconcagua in Argentina. As 2006 dawned she checked Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania off the list and set her sights on the final peak; Mt. Everest. On Oct. 18, 2006, at 11 a.m. she clicked into her skis and began her descent of the tallest mountain in the world.
With painstaking attention to detail and planning, in addition to braving treacherous conditions, DesLauriers worked her way through the seven summits methodically, a skill she had honed over years of expeditions. “When I’m scared, I make a plan,” DesLauriers stated in an interview with Teton Gravity Research in 2018.
“We dropped into the Rescue Gully on Denali really late on our summit day in 2004,” she said. “It was steep, bulletproof ice and the first time I’d ever skied down with an ice axe in my uphill hand. Visualizing an entire line can be daunting from the top, so I made a plan in small, achievable increments and worked my way down turn by turn. The beauty of something like that is that there’s really very little in my head — I’m so focused that I’m not focused at all.”
The 50-year-old mother of two is also the first female to solo the Grand Teton, ski the Polish Glacier on Aconcagua and make a complete ski descent of Vinson Massif, the highest mountain in Antarctica, among other feats. Beyond the Seven Summits, Kit has skied first descents in Alaska’s Brooks Range, has explored and helped preserve the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and was named a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year in 2015.
About the Alpenglow Sports Winter Speaker Series
Established in 2006, the Alpenglow Sports Winter Speaker Series is a free event designed to motivate, inspire and educate. Held in Squaw Valley, California, the Winter Speaker Series is a five-part series that showcases one show per month from November through February. Each show packs the house at Squaw Valley’s famous Olympic Village Lodge with over 600 attendees. Past speakers include Lynn Hill, Jeremy Jones, Tommy Caldwell, Chris Davenport, Alex Honnold, Emily Harrington, and more. Since its inception, the Winter Speaker Series has raised over $300,000 for various non-profit groups within the Lake Tahoe region. While each show is free, Alpenglow Sports uses product donated by the sponsors of each presenter in order to sell raffle tickets. 100% of proceeds are given to the associated non-profit to utilize in their community endeavors.
About Kit DesLauriers
Kit grew up skiing in New England (her grandfather built the first chairlift at Vermont’s Stowe Mountain Resort). She graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in environmental political science, where she took up trail running and rock climbing and earned a scholarship from the National Outdoor Leadership School to spend a semester in Alaska. After a decade in Telluride, Colorado, working on ski patrol at Telluride Ski Resort and with the elite San Miguel County Search and Rescue Team, she moved to the Tetons, where she lives today. While standing atop a peak in Sikkim, India in 1998, Kit decided she wanted to be a ski mountaineer and while competing on the freeskiing circuit, she formed the idea to climb and ski the highest peaks in the world. Kit remains at the forefront of ski mountaineering, leading expeditions, skiing high peaks, protecting wild spaces and raising two daughters to accomplish anything they set their minds to. Visit her website https://kitdeslauriers.com and follow her on Instagram @kitdski
About Sierra Community House
Their mission is to connect and empower the community through family strengthening, crisis intervention, hunger relief, and legal services. With locations in Kings Beach, Incline
Village, and Truckee, they offer a range of services that help individuals and families in the North Tahoe/Truckee community thrive. They provide hunger relief, legal aid, immigration assistance, and family-strengthening programs, as well as direct services to victims of intimate partner/domestic violence, sexual, and child abuse. Learn more at https://sierracommunityhouse.org
About the Donor Party
Established in 2018, the Donor Party is the philanthropic arm of the Alpenglow Winter Speaker Series. Each season, over 40 community-minded individuals make anonymous pledges between $1000 and $50,000. In its first year of existence, the Donor Party was responsible for raising nearly $300,000 for local non-profits in need. This is truly an incredible way of giving back to the mountain community that we all love and making sure it can continue to grow. If you and/or your company are interested in participating in the Donor Party, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Alpenglow Sports