Alison Fountain - Climb/MTB/Skier (OR)

 

Your Age: 30

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): Bend, Oregon

Weapon(s) of choice: Ski, mountain bike, mountaineer, rock climb and just got a snowboard to try my hand at this season!

What’s an average day for you like? When I am not working as a flight nurse, you can find me in the mountains with my dogs. The weather and conditions dictate what activity I do for the day. Most days after a quick breakfast, I load the car up with gear and my two favorite trail buddies and we hit the road. Stopping for coffee and dog treats on the way, of course! Now that winter has hit, we go for snowy trail runs, find a butte to skin up and ski down, or hit the resort for some runs! Then it's back to the house to clean gear and get ready to do it all over again!

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? Since I do a lot of backcountry activities, I think the hardest part for a beginner is acquiring all of the necessary gear and finding a partner that you can literally trust with your life. The easiest part about backcountry skiing or mountaineering is you can go anywhere and you have the opportunity to really enjoy the moment.

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? The best and worst part about being a female in mountaineering is that I have the opportunity to represent for all other women. What I mean is that, as women, we are frequently looked at as if we are weaker than men but in mountaineering, you have to pull your own weight. In winter, I am carrying upwards of a 60 pound pack in some of the harshest conditions...oftentimes out lasting some of the men on my team. We can do anything!

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? My personal style is one that can be described as a chill, vagabond, techie, yogi. I can usually be found in leggings with some sort of yogi tee, sandals of some sort but always with my Smith glasses and North Face or Mountain Hardware jackets.

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? Love Mountain Hardware and Smith for a lot of my sports. La Sportiva treats my feet well for both AT skiing and for mountaineering.

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? My flight partner and I always say, "90% of being good at something is how good you look doing it!" Obviously a joke but it does help boost your confidence when out there if you know you look the part. You got all the right gear, all the right layers and you got the skill....Shred on!

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? Danger is everywhere. People are seriously hurt every day doing regular day to day activities. I don't think climbing mountains or skiing or mountain biking are necessarily dangerous. They can be...you can make a bad judgment call, weather can turn, mistakes can occur but you can also get in a car accident on your way to work. The choice is yours. I say lets live, explore and make memories!

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? I think it is the personal challenge that gets people hooked on backcountry skiing and mountaineering. Especially in mountaineering, you begin with thinking that it is you against the mountain and that you fail if you do not reach the summit. You quickly and humbly learn that it is not a fight against the mountain but yourself. Every time you are out there, you are pushing yourself a little bit more both physically and mentally. It's a strange form of moving meditation. You must be in the present. I think that is what really gets people hooked.

What gets you pumped up for the day? Nothing better than a decent weather forecast and a grand adventure to get me pumped for the day!

What are three things you could not live without? I could never live without my dogs, coffee, or mountains.

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? My husband has always been my biggest supporter in mountaineering. He unfortunately passed away last year in a mountaineering accident but his love for life and charismatic ways continue to push me on in my sports and my love of adventure and the outdoors.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? I do a fair amount of trail running and rock climbing when not skiing or out in the mountains. Other than that I fill my downtime enjoying my dogs, cooking, and curling up with a good book to get lost in.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? My biggest goal is to bag a handful of ski ascents in the PNW. I have a few on the list but when it comes down to it, which one I go for will be completely weather dependent. I also have a climbing goal of competing in some bouldering competitions this coming year and a running goal of finishing my first ultra-marathon this year.

What competitions and other awards have you won? I have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa. Took first place in my division in the ABS Bouldering Competition a few years back. Other than that, I have finished many half marathons and smaller races.

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? I would absolutely love to ski in the Alps. Not only was it a dream for my husband and I to climb and play in the Alps but one of my idols, Ueli Steck, calls the Alps home. The Swiss and French Alps will always be an inspiring and breathtakingly beautiful place...can't wait to make my way there one of these days!

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? I would get lost in the mountains even without extreme sports. Pack up and be out there for days to weeks at a time. Nothing like a good backpacking trip with some exploration of new territory to consume your time.

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding? If I have been out in the snow all day, there is no better pick me up than a Dirty Chai Latte!

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? tapfountain.blogspot.com