S1.E21: How to Deliver Adventure to Yourself with Angela Hawse

How to Deliver Adventure to Yourself with Angela Hawse
What does it take to deliver adventure to ourselves? What are some of the key skills that great adventures possess? Angela Hawse joins Jordy and Chris to explore these questions and much more. Angela is an AMGA / IFMGA Mountain Guide who has travelled and guided extensively. Some of her many accomplishments include guiding trips in the Himalaya, Karakoram, the Caucasus, Andes, Alaska, Norway, and Antarctica. In this episode, Angela talks about her recent adventures and what it took to achieve them.

Key Takeaways
Navigation: To experience adventure, we have to be able to find our way both literally and figuratively. 
Prepare: Being prepared can mean spending more time practicing, developing skills, planning, and researching.
Adaptable: To become adaptable we need to be flexible, we need to be open to changing our expectations, we have to be creative and solution oriented. 
Adventure is for everyone: Adventure is something that anyone can experience. We can tell you that with the right instruction, coaching, encouragement, and mindset, anyone can push their limits and achieve adventure that they believe are beyond their abilities.

Guest Links & Resources
Angela’s Instagram @alpinist007
IRIS: https://irisalpine.com/about/guides/

Partner Podcast
The Avalanche Hour: https://www.theavalanchehour.com

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Cover Photo by: Fred Marmsater

Photo by: Shelly Mercer

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Angela Hawse: Skiing with a large rifle in kind of gray bird conditions where you can’t really see much was really unnerving. And it, it’s one of those elements of adventure that is the outcome’s uncertain. It really is like if you encounter a polar bear, you really don’t know what the outcome’s going to be and um, that.

Really an exciting part of that trip for me.

[00:00:30] Chris Kaipio: Welcome to Delivering Adventure. This is the podcast that explores what it really takes to share adventure like a pro with your friends, your family, and as a profession. My name is Chris Kaipio, and I’m coming to you from Whistler, British Columbia.

[00:00:48] Jordy Shepherd: And I’m Jordy Shepherd.

Recording from Canmore, Alberta. After a lifetime of working extensively in different parts of the adventure guiding industry, Chris and I have teamed up to launch this podcast. In each episode, you’ll hear top adventure guides, managers, marketers, and athletes share their best stories, advice, and trade secrets.

The goal of this podcast is to share how you can take yourself and others farther from the mountains to the office and. In this episode, we’re joined by Angela Hos to explore what it takes to deliver adventure to ourselves. Delivering adventure to ourselves requires a well-developed skillset. And today, Angela will share her passion for adventure, some insight into the skillset she has developed for making the most of her adventures, and how we can develop those skills ourselves.

[00:01:37] Chris Kaipio: Angela Haws is an AMGA / IFMGA Mountain Guide. Angela has enjoyed a successful and extensive career as a guide and instructor. Some of her many accomplishments include leading over 30 high altitude expeditions to Alaska, the Himalaya, Karakorum, the Caucuses, and the Andes. Leading seven ski cruise mountaineering expeditions to the Antarctic Peninsula. Organizing cleanup expeditions on Everest and else.

Completing a ski traverse from Sweden to Norway across Lapland being the deputy leader of the first successful disabled ascent of Mount Everest. Being the current president of the American Mountain Guides Association, also known as the AMGA and receiving her 2022 AMGA lifetime achievement.

[00:02:33] Jordy Shepherd: And Chris, these are just a snapshot of her many experiences and accomplishment.

She’s quite an amazing lady. In this episode, we ask Angela to share some of her latest global adventures and what it took to achieve them. Just a side note, Angela will be joining us for a follow-up episode where we talk to her about the role of professional associations when it comes to delivering adventure.

[00:02:55] Chris Kaipio: All right, Jordy, let’s bring Angela into the DA Studio.

[00:02:58] Jordy Shepherd: So. Setting up this interview with you, Angela, over the last few months, it’s taken a little bit, uh, partly our fault, partly probably yours, uh, because you’re busy and you are adventuring and you, you’ve delivered adventure for. Pretty much your whole adult life, uh, but you also still partake in a lot of your own adventures.

And so, over the last few months, just that time period, uh, you were unable to do interview, an interview with us because of, I believe, as being in Mongolia on an activity there and, uh, and also in Svalbard, in Norway. Uh, can you speak about those? adventures there and how they, how they differed in terms of experiencing adventure yourself and then delivering adventure

[00:03:50] Angela Hawse: Yeah, you bet. Yeah. I was in Mongolia having an adventure just for myself. I’ve, I’ve realized when 2020 slammed me down that, um, I’d spent well over three decades, providing immeasurable experiences to a lot of different people, and what a great gift that has been. But I really needed something for myself. I needed an adventure that was completely different, that wasn’t climbing a mountain, that wasn’t skiing down, one that I didn’t have, like, you know, a goal.

Aside from being fun, and so I stepped out of my comfort zone big time and signed up in 2020 for the Monkey Run Mongolia, which is in a crazy adventure race that’s put on by a group of Brits who know how to have fun and who know how to create an adventure of a whole. , what do they call it? A whole new level of adventuring, stupidity,

And these guys put together this trip, um, that’s a race. It was an 11-day race on children’s motorcycles. There were 49 cc motorcycles that, uh, had never been done in Mongolia. They’ve done these races in Morocco and Peru, Romania, uh, they do other crazy, silly adventures around the world as well, but had never been done in Mongolia.

So, we were the pioneers to, to make that happen. And the, the great thing about it is, as a guide, I’m always like, spend so much time planning and. Putting together the tour plan and all the details, exactly where we’re going to go and we’re going to spend each night working our water, all that kind of stuff.

They didn’t give us any details until we got over there as to where we were going to start or where we were going to end. And we knew we had 11 days to get there. And the Maps of Mongolia, I mean, it’s a, it’s a brilliant design. The maps of Mongolia are absolute crap, as are the roads and. We’re when we got there, you know, digital tour planning was out because, didn’t have the high level of, um, resolution that you needed to do that.

So, we’re working off paper maps, which were inconsistent from one map to the next. And it was, it was beautiful because then it, it was just such a release of control and, and letting go of that, that f. Factor that as the guide that I always need to know what’s going to happen next and where we’re going to go.

And I was just so refreshing to just live in the moment every day, figure it out, problem solve on my feet and travel in a really. Absurd fashion across Mongolia on these children’s motorcycles that none of the locals had ever even seen. I mean, they, you know, that was also part of the beauty of the design of this is like you show up and you’re just immediately, you’re endearing because you’re on this ridiculously small motorcycle that’s ill-equipped.

Where you’re going and what you’re doing, and it’s loaded full of gear. You’re limited to 22 pounds is what you can carry. And you, you’re just kind of absurd. You know, you show up in a village and they all just flock around you and they’re laughing and they all want to get on it and take a picture of it.

And so, it’s just a really neat way to experience, uh, a different culture. Nobody speaks English in the step of Mongolia, and I certainly didn’t speak any Mongolian and my partner and I just had a uh, just a wild. Adventure of a time traveling through, I mean, the, the weather was crap. The roads were awful.

The food was terrible. Everything about it was just really required. A lot of, um, wherewithal, but also, uh, an element of fun that. Sometimes we lack in our adventures because we could be so serious about what we’re doing. And that was what I just loved about that trip. It’s like it was just, everything about it was so absurd that we would just find ourselves just riding five miles an hour down the road, just laughing at ourselves and each other, and it was just so refreshing to step out of my normal mode of.

Adventuring and, and my, the, the vehicles of adventuring that I use typically, and to experience something in a whole new way. And, and that was really refreshing and I, and I really needed that. So, it was great.

[00:08:43] Jordy Shepherd: And are you a motorcyclist by training? Have, have you, do you have a motorcycle experience?

[00:08:49] Angela Hawse: No, I, uh, actually my first vehicle when I graduated from Presley College was a motorcycle because I couldn’t afford a car.

So, yes, I did have a motorcycle for a couple years. Um, but that’s been three decades since I’ve ridden a motorcycle, and fortunately, these things are very low to the grounds, and you’re, I think our top speed was 33 miles an hour or. Average 12 miles an hour. So, you’re not going very fast. You really don’t need to be that skilled.

And people, I mean, there were some very large individuals on these tiny little motorcycles. It’s really quite remarkable. The wherewithal. I mean, of course my partner and I were, we were really prepared, you know, we’re, we were both climbers. We had lightweight tents, freeze dried food, you know, super light kit.

But some of these. individuals were huge. I mean, there were people that were well over 200, 250 pounds on these tiny little machines, and they somehow made, they somehow carried them across Mongolia for 11 days, which was a testament to, uh, these little mechanical marvels.

[00:09:55] Jordy Shepherd: We’re finding through doing these interviews on the podcast show here that uh, people are often when they’re experiencing adventure, they are also experiencing some sort of discomfort.

uh, which is not all that normal in today’s society. Everybody’s pretty comfortable. We don’t go hungry, you know, in, in our first world society, unfortunately, a lot of people do go hungry, uh, around the world, not experiencing adventure at all. But when we are experiencing adventure in, you know, the North American culture that we live in, uh, we are not.

We, we, we often get some discomfort in order to be experiencing adventure. And, uh, it sounds like being on that little motorcycle couldn’t have been comfortable. Like, you know, not to mention the inclement weather in the bad roads, but just like I, I’m a motorcyclist myself and I’ve got a, a real sport touring, uh, dual sport ma uh, motorcycle and.

Yeah, I find even on that I’m, I’m riding in, in beautiful, clear weather on good roads, and after an hour or two I need to get off and stretch and, you know, one of those little, tiny bikes must have been crazy uncomfortable.

[00:11:06] Angela Hawse: Well, I w it actually was fairly comfortable for me. I think I was just the perfect size.

Some of my clients call me their pocket guide because I’m tiny. But this bike, for me, was a good fit. Uh, you know, someone who’s six foot tall would’ve been extremely uncomfortable. I can only imagine. But I’m five five and pretty small, so it actually wasn’t that uncomfortable. But you know, it is a single.

Cylinder, little tiny machine that has a lot of vibrations. So there definitely were a lot of rest stops where we just like splayed out on the ground and you just like, oh my gosh, am I still moving or am I stopped? like, yeah, shaking.

[00:11:45] Jordy Shepherd: Shaking the hands out. Yeah,

[00:11:48] Angela Hawse: exactly. And there was times when it was really cold and um, you know, we, my partner.

Dishwashing gloves. We carried dishwash gloves with this because we had to change the spark plug and the oil and that kind of stuff. She put her dishwashing gloves underneath of her other gloves, uh, to provide some warmth. Then if you could see some of the pictures of what some of the other folks, some of the other.

Participants did to shield them from the weather. One guy wrapped himself in Saran Wrap. You know how you go to an airport and you see like the luggage that’s been wrapped by the Maran wrap machine? This guy wrapped himself in Saran Wrap and it’s just like the ingenuity that people put together under duress to try to make themselves com comfortable is, is remark.

[00:12:39] Jordy Shepherd: Speaking about the dishwashing gloves, uh, another mountain guide in Canada here, just, I was on a mountain rescue week with him recently and he turned me onto these, uh, they’re Japanese fishing glove. And so, you can think about being, you know, the sea, Sea of Japan where they’re fishing and, and you know, it’s cold and it’s wet and, uh, yeah, just unpleasant environment probably to, to work in with your hands for dexterity.

So, they’re called Shoah, S H O W A, Tamez, T E M R E S, winter gloves. They’re fishing glove. and you can order them online. And, uh, I, so I just got a set just a heads up that they fit a little snug, so you might want to go a size up off, uh, than, than what you normally would do. And they have, they have a bit of a liner to them, but they’re, they’re like a dish glove, but a very robust one that’s, that’s waterproof but also has a bit of a liner.

So, they’ve got a bit of warmth to them too. And uh, they just seem like they’re going to be great for a lot of alpine activity.

[00:13:38] Angela Hawse: Yeah. What a great tip. That sounds excellent. Good for ice climbing and summer glacial extravaganzas and,

[00:13:47] Jordy Shepherd: and just those wet kind of ugly days. Ugh. Like even, even, you know, you’re hiking, right?

And yeah, yeah. You just, you just want to be away from the elements. It creates that barrier. So, let’s talk about, uh, your experience in Svalbard Norway recently.

[00:14:02] Angela Hawse: Oh, yeah, that Fbar was remarkable. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to go. However, I’ve had a lot of trepidation about two things going there. One is the polar bears and two is living on a sailboat.

Um, I’m a land lover, so you know, spending, um, two trips. I guided two trips that were nine days each on a, on a small sailboat was I, I thought that would be really challenging, but it was actually phenomenal and it was just such a cool way to experience that place. Um. As for the polar bears, we didn’t see any.

Fortunately, um, I would’ve loved to see one while I was on the boat, but it was, um, definitely very edgy. And the climbing that I’ve done up in Canada, I would also describe as edgy. When you have grizzly bears in close proximity and polar bear, I mean, you as a guide, you have to carry a large firearm. With you to protect yourself.

Obviously, it’s illegal to kill a polar bear and God forbid anyone ever has to, to protect themselves, but you do have to know how to shoot a large firearm. So that was a whole different skillset and element of guiding that. Uh, I had to develop. Um, my father was a hunter, so I grew up around guns, but I never really became a hunter or desired to hunt myself.

But a good friend of mine has firearms and she took me out and we did some training and, and then I had the opportunity in small bar to do a little firearm practice. But, um, skiing with a large rifle in kind of gray bird conditions where you can’t really see much was really unnerving. And it, it’s one of those elements of adventure that is, um, the, the outcome’s uncertain.

It really is like if you encounter a polar bear, you really don’t know what the outcome’s going to be. And, um, that was, really an exciting part of that trip for me and almost a little too edgy. I mean, it really just makes you realize how the adventures that we have, I mean, I don’t want to downplay adventures, but like compared to back in the day, the old adventures, Shackleton and all the things that, that they had to deal with and all the uncertainty.

Not even having maps of some regions and knowing what to expect. Um, it’s pretty soft these days and when you get into an adventure where you’re not at the top of the food chain, it really reminds you that, um, we really don’t have as much control as we think we do. And the skiing on that trip was absolutely phenomenal.

It was, you know, there’s nothing like skiing, you know, taken off from the sailboat on a little zodiac and landing on shore and clicking into your bindings to skin up a mountain and, look all around and just see nothing but vast landscapes of the Arctic Ocean and all these fjords and, um, just feeling so out there.

I mean, literally you’re 10 degrees from the North Pole. Um, and with that also came a, a large sense of. Sadness of the state of the climate and climate change that we’re, see, we should have seen ice up there. One of the reasons we didn’t see polar bears was there was no sea ice, uh, at that time of the year.

And there should have been. Um, so there, there’s definitely, when you go to these polar regions and you experience and witness those types of changes, it, it really, um, is, is, it’s shocking as it should be.

[00:18:05] Jordy Shepherd: Yeah, it’s, uh, it’s very stark reality when you go to these places, and that’s, I think that’s part of it when we’re adventuring, uh, whether it’s for guiding and delivering adventure to others or when it’s delivering adventure to ourselves.

Through your experience in Mongolia there, uh, it, it really. Gets us out there to realize what’s happening in the world. And it’s so easy to be insular and kind of in our own, our little zone where unfortunately we are, if we don’t pay attention, we’re also seeing that things are changing. I can tell you here in the Rockies, Canadian Rockies, it’s, it’s crazy the acceleration of, of change that we’re seeing.

So, this is a skill, uh, delivering adventure to yourself. is, is a skill we feel. Uh, tell us about that. How have you, you know, you’ve delivered adventure and, and practiced and refined that as a guide and teacher for your whole life, it sounds like, but, uh, you know, for, for keeping it going for yourself, what, what are some, any tips, tricks, things that, that keep that fresh for you and keep you wanting to experience that?

[00:19:12] Angela Hawse: Yeah, that’s a great question and I. My expectations, um, have lowered over the years and that I can find adventure and many more things that I ever really, um, used to seek out in the past. I, you know, I think adventure, it’s always in the past. Been something for me where I had to go far or I had to like, have something that was going to be really, really challenging.

But more so it’s become, um, an attitude for me. It’s like, wow, there’s, there’s adventure to be had in just about everything. If I open my eyes to the possibilities and, and the curiosity that. Opens my mind in ways that I don’t always think, um, to seeing things in different ways. And I just, um, I don’t have to go as far as I used to.

Not that I don’t want to, I, I love our planet. We live in an incredible, incredible earth. Um, but I really can find that adventures can be small and just as rewarding if. If that’s my attitude.

[00:20:28] Chris Kaipio: We’re going to pause here for a moment so that we can ask you, our listener. An important question, are you enjoying this episode so far?

If you are, then please take a moment to follow the show in your favorite podcast app or service. Jordy and I have a lot of great content coming your way, including more episodes on how to manage risk and avoid misadventure, what to do in the moment of crisis. How to manage conflict and adventure, how to coach people through fear, how to make better decisions.

We have case studies and the list just goes on when you follow the podcast. You don’t have to worry about losing the show because new episodes will come directly to you when they’re released. If you’ve already followed the show, Jordy and I would like to thank you very much for your support. You are awesome.

Back to our interview with Angela Hawse. So, Angela, you’ve gone through a whole bunch of different types of adventure skills from, you know, the cultural, I couldn’t help but think, uh, when you’re talking about the food in Mongolia, in Whistler here, there’s a, there’s a restaurant called the Mongolian Grill, and it’s very popular, uh, because it’s very good.

But I had a client once who, who said he, he said, yeah, I, I went there and I spent a lot of time in Mongolia. And I’ll tell you what, if you came to Whistler or start a Mongolian restaurant and, and you actually serve what they eat there, you’d go out of business. So, you know, often, you know, the food in, in places can be an adventure on its own.

You talked about the, you know, the, the cultural, um, adventure of, of navigating. Through the different, uh, norms and, and that sort of thing on some of your climbing group dynamics. Uh, I noted that you had led a, a trip up Everest, um, with a, with a large group and, and didn’t quite make it, but having to deal with that and, and of course the environments, uh, that you’re in, you know, all of these require different skill sets to pull those adventures off and.

You become an expert at this, but I’m sure that there are some skills that you have that you’ve really had to, to work at that didn’t come as naturally to you a as others. What are some of those skills that you’ve really had to kind of focus on and, and how have you worked to develop those in yourself?

[00:22:50] Angela Hawse: Great question, Chris. One of the. Things that’s changed a lot since I’ve got into guiding and doing this all on my own is, um, navigation tools. And, uh, I’ve always loved working with paper maps and a compass and, uh, just really, you know, looking at the terrain and, and figuring out, you know, how to, how to match it all together.

And I’ve been quite challenged by the whole digital revolution of mapping and uh, you know, I think. really taken to that. And I guess I’ve never really, I didn’t come from a place of tech. Um, so for me, pulling out my phone and using it, the map, I just find it really clunky, not only to use in the field, uh, now that I have to wear reading glasses, especially.

So being out in a whiteout trying to put my reading glasses on and use my phone is, um, it’s been challenging and, and the, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s definitely been one of the skills I’ve had to put a lot of time in. And it seems like the platforms change regularly and, that’s, that’s something that is a continual work in progress, is becoming really good using all the navigation tech, and it’s great.

Uh, it, it certainly makes life easier, but I do find that it, it makes me pay a little bit less attention than I used to because it is so much easier out in the field to just, oh, here I am, the blue dot. Rather than really paying attention to exactly, you know, the drainages and the ridges and exactly where I am on the map.

And I miss that a little bit, but I almost always carry a paper map with me in the field, uh, because I, I, I really like that. So, the, the whole digital tech thing has been a challenge. Um, other things I’ve really, uh, had to work at are, um, weather forecasting. You know, I, I worked as an avalanche forecaster for a Heli ski outfit down here in Telluride for a number of years, and, um, becoming, um, Proficient with all the mapping tools and all the models and, and producing a forecast in a really short amount of time, uh, when I live at Altitude and, and we’re right on the edge of the Colorado Plateau.

So, it’s just a really interesting dynamic environment down here and, and having to, um, learn those weather. Reading skills and mapping skills and to be able to put out a forecast on short order, um, was definitely a, a big learning curve for me and, and I really enjoyed it. But it was, it was definitely a challenge putting all that together.

As is, um, avalanche forecasting and, um, as you all know, you all are the experts up there in Canada with avalanche, um, risk management and, uh, producing amazing. Risk management models, like the conceptual model of avalanche hazard that we all use as kind of the, the code of how we manage risk and how we, uh, work, um, as individuals and as operations to framework, uh, put a, put a framework around what’s acceptable, what’s not.

How do we manage. Our uncertainty and, and how do we, how do we learn from that to, to come back at the end of every day and go do it again. And, um, so that’s always, I mean, the whole avalanche forecasting thing and risk management is a constant work in progress that I, you know, I’m. I’m a so-called expert at it, but I really do approach it with a, a large degree of humility and respect that, um, it’s one of those things I can never, I never know at all.

So, to err on the side of being conservative is kind of my mode. Yeah, those are the kind of the main things that have been challenging that I have had to really step up my.

[00:27:13] Chris Kaipio: It, it’s funny the, um, your comment about the, the mapping and, and how easy it is, but we can tune out. I ran into these guys the other day, uh, in behind where I live, and they’re driving up this gravel road and they’re clearly lost and we, you know, we stopped and asked them, well, where are you going?

And they said, well, we’re driving up to, to whistle village and we’re going to go up the, the, the gondola to go up the mountain. And you’re think. You were going to a world class village and North America’s biggest ski resort. and you were on a gravel road driving up this valley with nobody in it. At what point here did you think that maybe you were going the wrong way?

Like, and you know, and you stop and you’re like, well, how did you, like how did you get here? And oh well, Google Maps, you look at it and you’re like, you are like 10 kilometers away from where you need to be. Just turn around and go back down the hill. So, these things, they are amazing. Tools for us, but you still have to be able to use your, your common sense, and we have a lot of these modern things that make life so much easier for us, but we still need those skills to, to be able to navigate and problem solve and, and enjoy things.

What type of skill sets do you. Find yourself working with, with your guests to achieve adventure? Like what is the secret, you know, there, you, you sort of highlighted a couple of the technical skills, but you know, when it comes to actually delivering that adventure experience to yourself, what is that secret do you find?

[00:28:58] Angela Hawse: Really, it’s the progression. Getting the skillsets that you need to get to where you want to go, and that doesn’t happen overnight. And so really it. Taking it step by step. It’s just like climbing a mountain. You have to put one foot in front of the other before you can take a giant leap to get to the top.

And um, that can be anything from like familiarity with and comfort with using the equipment and, and just showing someone a more efficient way of, you know, striding out on the skin track to provide people with. A sense that they’re okay, that they’re actually comfortable in this and that compels them to want to do something more that enables them to step out of their comfort zone a little bit because they’ve overcome something that was a challenge and now, they’re comfortable doing it.

But then again, I kind of want to try something a little harder because they believe in their potential to do that. And so, for me as a guide, or even myself, deliver myself an adventure, it’s really making incremental steps to get there. And, uh, it wasn’t like, uh, for the monkey bike adventure that I like, went out and did a lot of motorcycle riding, but I did.

learn how to take a carburetor apart. You know, I did get some of these foundational tools that I knew would help me along the way, so I didn’t just show up and, and not have any skills to get there. So really, it’s just that progression of what you need to do to be comfortable. the next step and, and the ability to, to push yourself a little bit, to be uncomfortable, to, to embrace that uncertainty with the confidence that we’re pretty amazing when we can really apply ourselves and, and focus all of our energy in one direction.

[00:31:06] Jordy Shepherd: On that note there, Angela, do you think that we as guides, professional guides, could do a better job, uh, in the mountain industry? Creating progress levels for our guests, for our clients, so that they understand better how they can progress through their skillset building. Uh,

[00:31:26] Angela Hawse: there’s always room for improvement.

I think, think some guides are exceptional at that. And you know, a lot of, um, People have built their businesses around, uh, delivering a progression and taking clients from the beginning all the way through the end. But I think as a whole, as an industry, the way that we’ve approached, um, adventure and, and getting people to achieve some of their, their goals is it has been short-sighted.

And it doesn’t necessarily always serve them well because if you come. Something from, uh, building a relationship and building those skillsets as a progression with the same person, same relationship, maybe same mountain range, to get the skillsets that you need to build up to those bigger goals, it would provide a much.

Uh, you know, I think it would’ve just eliminated a lot of, um, un uncomfort, uh, discomfort. It would eliminate a lot of uncertainty and it would provide the, the guests with, uh, uh, a better holistic perspective of it all.

[00:32:43] Jordy Shepherd: So, before we finish off here, can you tell us about how you’re helping others to achieve adventure?

Now you’ve got some initiatives that you’re working on and. Well,

[00:32:52] Angela Hawse: there’s a lot of different initiatives I’ve, I’ve undertaken lately. Um, one of the things that I’ve done is stepped into the discomfort of climate change discussions. And, uh, as a mountain guide, I’m beginning to share my stories of the experiences that I’ve, I’ve had over three decades of seeing tremendous change in the places that I work and play, and.

I’m excited to take other mountain guides on this journey with me to, to help build tools that we can use to share our stories. Um, that, that’s something that’s, um, again, not comfortable, but like any adventure, it, uh, there’s a, an element of discomfort in that.

[00:33:38] Jordy Shepherd: Um, but how about chicks climbing and skiing?

Uh, which I believe now stands for Inclusive Rock Ice Ski. I R I S.

[00:33:47] Angela Hawse: Yeah. Great, great. Uh, a big part of, um, what I’ve focused my efforts on for years is, uh, getting women into the outdoors and getting women into the technical space of being self-reliant and, and going out and having adventures with each other and building community around that.

Um, I was a guide for. Picks for years and years. And, uh, we started out, uh, with ice climbing adventures down here in Ure and expanded all over the country. And that sense developed into chicks climbing and skiing, which I purchased with several other guides. And, and we expanded our areas of, uh, getting these gals out into the outdoors and continuing to build community.

Through, um, really empowering clinics where we weren’t just guiding gals, but we were teaching gals the skills and providing coaching and mentorship for them to go out and put the ropes up themselves and, uh, organize adventures and know all the things that they needed to do to be comfortable and self-reliant out there.

And that has recently sold that business to, uh, another. Company and they’ve since turned it into Iris, which is inclusive rock, ice, and ski. And, uh, they’ll take it to the next level. But it’s, um, it’s important work is developing these opportunities and providing opportunities for people. Um, who have affinity with others to get out and be in a space where they feel comfortable to learn and share and push themselves, um, in a space that’s supportive, that’s amazing.

[00:35:41] Jordy Shepherd: We know how it feels for us to have experienced what we’ve experienced and to be able to bring that to others in a very diverse setting is just absolutely incredible. Like there’s nothing better that you can do for. is to, to give this, you know, skills and joy and confidence and experience that what we have gained.

[00:36:02] Angela Hawse: Yeah. It’s a, it’s a true gift. It is a true gift to give back in that way it changes lives and it, it gives people the confidence that they can do things that were beyond their wildest dreams and, and that takes ’em to new places.

[00:36:18] Chris Kaipio: Okay, Angela, we’re going to let you go here for now. Thanks so much for, if you would like to find out more about Angela’s many adventures, you can check out her Instagram page at alpinist 007, which I think is a pretty fitting account name for her.

We will put this in the show notes for you. So, Jordy, what were some of your key takeaways from what Angela had to say about delivering adventure to ourselves?

[00:36:47] Jordy Shepherd: Chris, this was a great interview. Angela’s an amazing adventure. There were a number of takeaways for me from having the right gear, being open to learning new skills, and needing to be open to being uncomfortable.

However, there were a few that I really want to highlight. The first one is navigation. To experience adventure, we have to be able to find your way, literally and figuratively. This means knowing how to read maps, use digital navigation tools, which are constantly evolving and approving. They’re, they’re just amazing nowadays.

And also, being able to use our judgment to actually see what the train looks like when we get there in the terrain, and then move through it efficiently and safely. There’s a lot of lot going on to make that all. It also means having a good idea of what we’re getting ourselves into, and we do that through good pre-trip planning using all the navigation tools we can find.

This requires some imagination on our part and research. I was recently guiding mountaineering in an area where the most recent guidebook was published in 1974, but through talking with others, uh, that had been to the area doing some online research and using a variety of maps and navigation apps, it was a very successful trip.

Second one, Chris, was to prepare. I’ve heard it said that if you failed to plan, then plan to fail. One of the keys to succeeding at anything is to be prepared. And being prepared can mean spending more time practicing, developing skills, planning and researching. Examples of preparing that Angela shared was practicing her shooting and firearm skills in case she unfortunately didn’t, but in case she, uh, met a polar bear in Svalbard on a recent boat ski touring trip there and then learning some motorcycle mechanical skills ahead of time in case she had to fix her monkey bike in Mongolia

[00:38:36] Chris Kaipio: Those are great points Jordy. There were two takeaways that I’m going to add to this discussion. The first one is to be adapt. Even the most carefully planned adventure is full of surprises. This is why we have to be adaptable. Being adaptable requires us to be open to the unexpected along the way. Last year I did a hike with a man named James who shared a story that highlights this point.

Apparently, James had traversed Greenland and had made it to both the north and south poles on. On one of his trips to Antarctica, it was minus 55 when they arrived. What he said next will always stick with me and highlights the importance of being adaptable in his words. Everyone has a plan until the door of the plane opens to become adaptable, we need to be flexible.

We need to be open to changing our expectations, and we need to be creative and solution. An example that Angela shared was the monkey race in Mongolia, where the starting and finishing points were known, but not the root. In fact, Angela knew very little about the root and the culture. Well, she knew where she was going.

She wasn’t entirely sure how she was going to get there. Listening to her story, we can hear that she was open to trying new things. She had a positive attitude going into the race, and she was prepared for any number of things to happen, including having to deal with her monkey bike breaking. The second key takeaway for me is that adventure is for every.

We have said this before, and I’ll say it again. Adventure is something that anyone can experience. While Angela shared a number of crazy adventures that might seem beyond the reach of many, we can tell you that with the right instruction, coaching, encouragement, and mindset, anyone can push their limits.

Maybe skiing with polar bears in Norway isn’t your thing, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t adventures out there right now that you might be thinking are beyond what you can do that are actually totally attainable for you. So, after listening to this episode, the question for me is What is your next adventure going to be, and what are you going to do to make it happen?

[00:41:06] Jordy Shepherd: That’s it for this episode.

Chris and I are just getting this podcast launched and we have a lot of great content coming soon, so make sure that if you haven’t already done so, take a moment to follow or subscribe to the show so that you don’t miss out on our upcoming episodes. Also, if you enjoy adventure in the winter backcountry, whether you snowshoe ski, snowboard, ice climb, alpine climb, or drive a snowmobile, check out our partner podcast The Avalanche Hour to hear some great avalanche stories and conversations from around the world.

You can even tune in to hear an episode where I share the latest avalanche search and rescue techniques with Caleb and his listen. The avalanche hour is found. Wherever you find your podcast, we think you’ll enjoy the show. Check the show notes for a link to this podcast as well as our contact info.

Before we go, we have one last funny story from Angela. Thanks for listening.

[00:41:58] Angela Hawse: One of the craziest experiences I ever had, which is so different than, um, my normal guiding experience. I’m pretty good at keeping track of all my clients and bringing ’em all home. Um, and this particular trip, let me preface it by saying all the clients did come home, but they didn’t come home.

With me, uh, it was a trip that I was guiding down to Carsten’s Pyramid, which is one of the seven summits, and this was a long time ago, back in the, the nineties, and it was unbelievable misadventure most of the way because we couldn’t get to the mountain because the helicopter operator had gone on strike because the company that they had the logging contract for.

Gone on strike as well. And so, the long or the short of it is I had two different groups that I was going to guide on the mountain and one was the first group of four and the second group was coming 12 days later. Well, it just so happened we never made it to the mountain with the first group. And so here I had 12 days with four clients who, you know, are very driven.

Ambitious. They really want to climb the mountain, but we just couldn’t get there. And by the time the second group arrived, three of the clients from the first trip decided they were just going to stay. So now I had a group size of seven that I was supposed to guide solo up Carson’s pyramid, which is a technical peak.

Um, it’s mostly fixed ropes, but it’s like real deal. And, uh, out there in the middle of New Guinea and or West Pap. and so. Here I am now with seven clients and the, and the, the whole time I’m thinking, okay, I’m going to have to climb the mountain at least twice because I can’t guide seven people on one go.

So, I’m just in my mind trying to figure the logistics of it all, and we continue to be plagued by awful weather, uh, travel difficulties. And in the end, out of all those seven clients, only one. Made it to the mountain with me on the helicopter because the weather closed in the pilot had never even been there before.

So, getting to the mountain was a true adventure itself, but the weather closed in, so I got dropped off at base camp with one client, and then I never saw the rest of the clients ever again. You know? To Mountain Madness’s credit who I was working with, they refunded everyone who didn’t make it to the mountain and everybody made it home.

I’m sure they had a huge adventure making, getting home themselves, but the irony of it all is like, it was just awesome guiding one client on this super technical peak and we summited and it was a huge success. But just wondering, in the back of my mind, the whole time, what’s happened to my other six clients and where are they?

And I had no, no control and I had no sat phone and there was no communication and I didn’t find out until, fortunately, the helicopter came back to get us when it was supposed to, and I learned that everybody went home safe. But it was just crazy, you know, going from thinking I’m going to guide seven people on this mountain and then coming with just one.

But it was, it was awesome.

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Further reading

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