Hilaree Nelson has climbed two 8,000 meter peaks in a single 24-hour period. She skied the Lhotse Couloir, a 7,000-meter descent just across the valley from Everest. Kimmy Fasani has competed on the highest levels in the snowboarding world. In 2016, she was recognized as the single-best film athlete in her sport by two separate magazines, winning Rider of the Year for her part in Absinthe Films’ AfterForever.
I’ve accomplished exactly zero of those things. But I have one very important commonality with these powerful women. We’re all raising children and encouraging them as much as we can to live a life of play in the outdoors, one where they might grow an appreciation of our natural world and all the joy in can provide us.
For Kimmy and Hilaree, having children wasn’t a decision that either took to lightly: as you’ll hear, both were inspired to have children after experiencing trauma or tragedy in their own lives. They’re also connected in another way – in how the industry perceived their becoming pregnant: Hilaree was cut from one sponsor and took pay cuts from others in an era when pregnancy was treated as an injury. Nearly 13 years later, Kimmy’s pregnancy was much more accepted in her industry, but still caused her trepidation. The arc of Hilaree and Kimmy’s stories shows a maturation of the outdoor industry, and perhaps of society at large.
These two women are experts in different aspects of snowsports. But they’re very much connected on a much higher level. They’re both working to give their children the same love of the mountains that they have. And more than any other expedition or film trip either of them has been on, I believe that’s their most noble mission yet.
I was humbled to host them during our panel on the Art of Radical Parenting presented by QALO during The Inertia’s 2019 EVOLVE Summit.
Special thanks, again, to our presenting partners who made this monumental gathering possible: OluKai, 4ocean, Zola, Caliva, Klean Kanteen. As well as our grassroots partners: Pau Maui Vodka, Qalo, Kindhumans, Rise Brewing Co., All Good Products, Travellers Autobarn, Travel with Meaning, and 805 Beer. Thank you also to STOKE for enabling us to host this event as sustainably as we possibly could.