Outside Magazine called her the “Mother on the Mountain”. Back in November 2013, I had the chance to interview The North Face athlete, Hilaree O’Neill, about the ongoing balancing act between her career as a ski mountaineer and as a mother of two young boys. What’s it like to climb Everest with two young kids back at home? How does she manage risk? What lessons has she learned over the years?
I have deeply missed the peace and quiet of the harder-to-reach places, the joys of getting there, of spending the night out away from civilization and recharging my system. I know it’s all worth it, and I would never have wanted to endanger myself or the mini adventurer by venturing too far way, so here’s how I’ve coped with my backcountry-less winter.
This past weekend was beautiful, and my husband suggested we go for a ski. I was definitely game. All we own is alpine touring gear and because I’m not brave like Caroline George, skiing some considerable vertical the day she gave birth, we needed to find suitable terrain that wasn’t going to be too steep for this first ski of the season. We ended up heading down to the Cascade Fire Road and Lake Minnewanka Loop, just a quick drive from Banff.