What are your three most prized accomplishments?
The first would be this last semester, heading to Thailand for a semester abroad, struggling through the insanely difficult language which is Thai and learning how to not truly be comfortable for more than four months straight while backpacking, kayaking, and otherwise transporting ourselves through the mountains and islands of Thailand. I survived, even thrived you might say, and am still reeling from arriving home this morning!
The second would be undertaking and completing the daunting task of creating my own major at Colorado College: Ecological and Environmental Journalism.
The final prized accomplishment would probably be getting to play my violin at Harris Hall and the Wheeler Opera House in Aspen.
Describe yourself to a stranger so that they could find you on a crowded street...
That depends on the season! In the winter, you can usually find me in some sort of pre, -during-, or post-ski attire with a Carhartt beanie and in the summer you’ll see me heading to the crag with my black lab, border collie mix partner in crime or in equestrian breeches and boots. Either way, I’m the curly haired blond with ruddy red cheeks and a usual smile!
What are your three favorite things to do?
Getting outside anyway I can, spending time with my family (including all friends and animals), and reading a great adventurous novel.
Where are your favorite places to be?
I love being in proximity to people with good energy, going to beautiful places with some of said people, and going to these places in my loyal ’02 Outback, Charlie, who dutifully totes me and mine from A to B no matter how puttery his/her engine gets.
What is your greatest passion?
My passion is to help people’s souls smile by getting outside and adventuring! I want to be someone that people can rely on for inspiration, a good laugh, or an ear and the nudge to go adventure. My soul is happy when I'm outside and I want to help other people feel that however I can, because it's intoxicating.
What keeps your passion alive?
I am so lucky to have and have had family, friends, and schools that support me getting outside as much as I do, and through this support system, I am empowered to follow the paths that I set out for myself moving forward. It is an incredible feeling to have so many people watching me ‘Caleigh’ as a verb and supporting every step I take along the way. They keep my passion alive.
What is one thing that people don't know about you, but should?
I really want to learn how to paraglide. Like really, really badly! I like to say I have a crazy streak apart from my usually conservative self, I’ve just never acted on it.
What is your wildest adventure?
That was probably a time when I was backpacking in Canyonlands and everything you could imagine went wrong: we ran out of water, the topo maps were wrong, two students were incredibly sick, one had to be evacuated, we dropped into the wrong canyon twice, the bus got stuck on the way out, and to top it off, we ran out of gas on the way home, among other mishaps. Murphey’s law and Type II fun to a T (with some Type III sprinkled in unfortunately).
If you could go anywhere and do anything, what would it be?
I have always dreamt of going to Portillo, Chile to help coach at my high school telemark coach’s Portillo Big Mountain Telemark Camp there, working for a local NGO or journalism publication on the side and off seasons.
What is your personal definition of feminism?
Feminism to me is a woman’s ability to not only be equal to men on paper socially and economically and politically, but in practice as well. This dichotomy between the feminine and the masculine must be erased, however, because it is my hope for the future that all-gendered people can feel safe walking down the street at night without being catcalled or wolf whistled and victims will be valued for their voices and not blamed for their hemlines.
What do you find valuable in being a woman in the adventure/outdoor industry?
It is an amazing feeling to surpass people’s ill-placed expectations on you as a woman athletically: flashing a climb at a new crag, shredding first tracks in that new bowl, empowering other women to do the same. The adventure/outdoor community is an amazing society of interrelated connectivity that has both the potential to uplift and to build an athlete’s mentality and I feel that my role as a woman in that community is more valuable than any of the gear or the check marks or the elevation gains.
Who is another woman who inspires you?
Ugh WCW…absolutely Angel Collinson! I mean, have you seen “Paradise Waits?” No?! Do it now!
In the coming years, where would you like to see women in sports?
I would love to see women get out there and keep pushing the envelope of what they, male outdoor contingencies, and the general public think is possible for them to achieve. Times they are a-changin' and I am so excited to see where they take us as women!