When Alex Honnold, was looking for a new executive director for his Honnold foundation, he tapped Dory Trimble. And with the massive success of the film, Free Solo, Dory has guided what started as Alex’s small, personal passion project into a rapidly growing nonprofit working on global solar energy initiatives. So in our latest Blister Speaker Series, we talk to Dory about what it’s like working with Alex; how she’s managed the explosive growth of the Honnold Foundation; and she offers great advice for anyone interested in getting involved with organizations committed to doing social good.
Dash Longe is a skier who’s been doing it — and going big — for a long time. So I spoke to Dash about his brand new film, Stone’s Throw, and about ski films in general; his coming up during the heyday of the freeskiing revolution in Tahoe; ski design and Dash’s work on the DPS Koala 119; and more. Check out this post for the whole conversation — and watch Dash’s film, Stone’s Throw.
Adventure photographer, Corey Rich, has spent a lot of time documenting some of the most interesting and amazing athletes in the world. So we talk to Corey about his time with the likes of Fred Beckey, Chris Sharma, Tommy Caldwell, Ashima Shiraishi; why making mistakes and being vulnerable makes for great storytelling; his excellent new book; what his dream assignment would be; and much, much more.
Last week, we kicked off season #2 of our monthly Blister Speaker Series at Western Colorado University, where we invite influential figures to come talk about how they are shaping the outdoor industry. Our first guest of the new season was Claudio Caluori, the announcer for the World Cup Downhill series, a former pro XC and DH racer, the founder of Velosolutions, and the initiator of #pumpforpeace. We touch on all of these things in our conversation, and get Claudio’s perspective on a wide range of topics and questions.
Pep Fujas has always been at the forefront of freeskiing, and he is now looking to move things forward once again. So we talk to Pep about growing up on his family farm in Oregon; his remarkable film career; his favorite Seth Morrison story; his long relationship with K2 and his favorite K2 skis; his decision to go back to school; and his even bigger decision to join the team at WNDR Alpine.
Aside from her unassuming disposition, everything about Ming Goetz is extraordinary — her name; her background; her favorite discipline; her competing recently in the Crankworx Whip Off Challenge; her participation this season in the 1st ever Women’s Slopestyle Tour; her plans for the future (competing in Red Bull Rampage) and, of course … her abilities on a bike. So ladies & gentlemen, get ready to meet Ming.
What does biotech have to do with backcountry skiing? And what does microalgae have to do with skis? And why did the founder of 4FRNT Skis, Matt Sterbenz, agree to get involved with a new startup ski brand, WNDR Alpine? We sat down in Blister HQ with Checkerspot co-founder and CEO, Charlie Dimmler, and WNDR Alpine founder, Matt Sterbenz, to talk about the creation of WNDR Alpine; its relation to and the mission of Checkerspot; and more.
For many of us, bikes are primarily fun. But for many others, bikes are major drivers of economic development, educational opportunity, health care, and equality. World Bicycle Relief was started by the founder of SRAM to provide bikes to developing countries, and we talk with WBR’s CEO, Dave Neiswander, about the origins of World Bicycle Relief; its trajectory and challenges; all the product design that goes into their bikes; and what each of us can do to support the WBR mission.
Today we’re launching our new Up & Coming series, where we’ll be highlighting some athletes who, if they aren’t already on your radar, they should be. And first up is Dylan Siggers, because few people out there are this good on skis and on a bike. Plus, Dylan is also involved in filmmaking and music, so we talk to him about skiing, biking, filming, music, and more.
You’re probably already convinced of the importance of physical exertion, going outside, and staying physically fit and healthy. But what about the fitness of your brain? We talk to the neuroscientist, Michael Merzenich, about the significant neurological benefits of going fast, going outside, and undertaking new activities; the more effective and less effective ways to exercise our brains; the changes to our brains caused by the time so many of us — and our kids — are spending in front of phone, computer, and TV screens; and more.
Last week, LJ Strenio, posted a photo of a letter from NASA congratulating him on being accepted as an intern to the Armstrong Flight Research Facility. But how does a park skier from Vermont, this star of the LINE Traveling Circus, this guy who once served as Vin Diesel’s stunt double, and this guy who has a 29-minute crash reel that is shot after shot of him destroying himself, get accepted to work for NASA? We talked to LJ to get the whole story — and it’s a great one.
Clare Gallagher just won the Western States 100, and she did so in spectacular fashion. But there is a whole lot more to this story. So we talk to Clare about the details of her epic win, why on earth she agreed to go on an expedition to Alaska with Tommy Caldwell right before her biggest race of the year, and more.
While more and more electric cars are hitting the streets, Taiga Motors is about to bring the world’s first commercial electric snowmobiles to the backcountry and ski areas. So we talked with Taiga Motors CEO & co-founder, Sam Bruneau, about taking the electric snowmobile from a college project to an actual business; and we get into the specifics of charging a Taiga, and how these electric sleds measure up against gas-powered ones in terms of power, torque, weight, range, and performance in harsh temperatures.
For a long time now, Mark Abma has stood right at the center of big-mountain skiing. So we talk to him about living with JP Auclair, Julien Regnier, and Anthony Boronowski; filming with Shane McConkey, Hugo Harrison, and Ingrid Backstrom; serving as a guide for a new generation of skiers; and the specific fitness, dietary, and health regimen that keeps Mark functioning at a high level on and off the mountain.
You may have seen last week some pretty mind-blowing (and terrifying) footage of a snowboarder negotiating the Ribbon on Devil’s Castle at Alta. So we talked to James Buehler about his apparent first descent with Alex Gavic of the Ribbon on a snowboard, and James walks us through the technical aspects of the route; his preparation for the line; the mental and physical demands it imposes; encountering multiple cruxes; the “Ronald McDonald Grin”; and what’s next on his list.
Travis Ganong might be the most well-rounded skier in the world (just listen to this conversation), and he is certainly one of the most passionate. He’s a Team U.S.A. downhiller and Super G racer, and he is also obsessed with backcountry touring and big-mtn skiing. So we talk about all of it: racing & training; catching the attention of Shane McConkey as a kid; backcountry skiing; and more.
In some circles, Dierdre Wolownick is best known as Alex Honnold’s mom. But she is also the oldest woman to climb El Cap, an author, teacher, linguist, musician, marathon runner, and someone who continues to push her comfort zone. We talk to Dierdre about her new book The Sharp End of Life: A Mother’s Story; what shaped her philosophy of parenting; how she’s become more courageous with age; and the importance of continuing to push past limits.
Ashley Korenblat is the former chair of IMBA, currently owns Western Spirit Cycling and Outerbike, is the founder and managing director of Public Land Solutions, is on the advisory board for the Outdoor Industry Association, and she is a member of the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. We talked to Ashley about her trajectory, and about the critical issues surrounding public lands policies and debates that we all need to understand and participate in.