Kit Deslauriers

National Geographic Explorer, Ski Mountaineer

Kit Deslauriers first realized she wanted to ski the big stuff while standing atop a mountain in Sikkim, India, in 1998. Looking around at the majestic Himalayan peaks where so many others had come in search of life-changing moments, Deslauriers had her own epiphany: why didn’t she bring her skis? It was then she decided to focus on ski mountaineering and began refining her skills so that she could ski anything, anywhere in the world.

And focus she did: she now has several first descents to her name, including the first ski descent of the Polish Glacier on Aconcagua in Argentina, first female ski descent of Vinson Massif in Antarctica, and the first woman to ski from the summit of Mt. Everest, Nepal. In addition to being an accomplished skier and ski mountaineer, Deslauriers is an experienced rock climber and has added road and mountain bike racing to her summertime endeavors.

During a 2010 ski expedition to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, Deslauriers skied the highest mountain in the Brooks Range/Arctic Refuge and then 60 miles north to the Beaufort Sea. Of this journey Deslauriers says, “It is the one place in the world that I have been that I know I will go back to. The Arctic Refuge has the wildest silence of anyplace I’ve visited and I believe strongly in protecting the entire ecosystem with a wilderness designation.”

When she’s not skiing, climbing or biking, Deslauriers is busy raising her two young daughters in a way that encourages their appreciation for the natural world and gives them the skills to move around comfortably in the outdoors. Both Grace and Tia love to hike, ski, camp, climb, and grow vegetables with their Mom and Dad.

Podcast Guest Appearances

Weird Winters

Warmer, shorter winters may sound like a relief, especially on the heels of this year’s deep-freeze in Texas and record blizzards in Wyoming and Colorado. But rising temperatures and smaller snowpacks could disrupt more than just ski vacations.

“The snow sports industry contributes about $20 billion to the U.S. economy every year,” says Mario Molina, CEO of Protect Our Winters, “and in low snow years or shortened winters, that contribution goes down by about $1 billion.”