Category Archives: Sailing

First Public Slideshow on Shifting Ice and Changing Tides!

A week from today, I’ll be giving the first public slide show on the Shifting Ice and Changing Tides expedition from last April. In case you haven’t been an avid reader of this blog, the show will cover the expedition of an all-female team via sailboat to ski first descents in Iceland and Greenland! I was a member of the team and worked on the project for over a year before setting sail last April! The trip was amazing and I hope to bring you along with the slide show!

Just a teaser to get you excited! See more amazing photos like these next Friday!


Date: Friday, January 9th, 2015

Time: 7pm

Location: Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema, Tahoe City, CA

Cost: FREE!

More info here! 

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Sailing, Travel

Introducing the Tahoe Triplets

One of the reasons I have not been regularly blogging is because I found out in early September that I was pregnant with triplets and it has been a bit overwhelming. We went through many of the stages of grief I guess – not because we were sad, just because it was quite shocking news to receive. While we were trying to have a baby, we weren’t trying to have 3 at once! After the news was broken to us at the 10 week ultrasound, I mourned the loss of skiing through my 7th month of pregnancy and really, just being a normal pregnant person! We’ve totally accepted the triplets now and are even excited (terrified, but excited!). It is quite a unique and special thing to have “spontaneous triplets.” Look that up if you feel the need to ask “are they natural?” It’s like being part of a special club? I think! Anyway, because I miss the old days of adventuring, I thought I’d make a list of all the cool things the triplets have done in utero:

1st Trimester

  • Rode Mr. Toads Wild Ride, Van Sickle, and the Bench
  • Downhill mountain biking at Northstar

I opted not to hit this jump at Northstar, but this girl styled it! I started practicing turning down unnecessary risk pretty early since that has never been easy for me!

  • 3rd Place at the 4th Annual Angora Lakes Triathlon

The start of this years Angora Lakes Triathlon

  • A lot of sailing on Lake Tahoe
  • Learned to be a pretty good waterskier!

I got to waterski about 8 times this summer/fall and really started to improve!

  • Wakesurfed

Surfing Lake Tahoe is always fun!

  • Whitewater kayaked a few Class 3 runs

This is my pal Amanda hitting up Hospital Bar on the South Fork American… I had hit the same line 30 seconds earlier.

  • Rode the Downieville Downhill

Riding the technical section of the Downieville Downhill the day before I found out about the triplets.

  • 3 day backpacking trip in the Hoover Wilderness

2nd Trimester

  • Ran 4 miles in the Chicago Marathon

I’m all smiles here, but a few hours later I realized I wouldn’t be running a lot during this pregnancy!

  • Surfed in Santa Cruz

Surfing at the hook on a mellow wave day. Best part was the sea otters swimming nearby!

  • Sailed in the SF Bay

Rachael Burks and I sailing in the San Francisco Bay. Photo by my buddy Greg Marsden!

  • Road bike ride in the Oakland Hills
  • Skied at Mammoth, Heavenly, and Kirkwood (7 resort days)

We hit Mammoth on opening day so I could ski as early in the pregnancy as possible! My jacket still fits in this photo!

  • Backcountry skis at Carson Pass and Echo Lakes
  • Swam a lot of yards – still doing this!
  • Mountain biked Corral loop, Tahoe Mountain, and Powerlines

Evening ride with preggo partner in crime Nira on Tahoe Mountain.

I still have a few weeks till my 3rd trimester as technically I’m 25 weeks pregnant, but things happen a lot faster with triplets. They say add anywhere from 10-14 weeks so if that is true, I look and feel like someone due in about a week! The goal is to make it as close to 36 weeks as possible. Most pregnancies are 40 weeks. I’m slowing down quite a bit and walking and swimming seem to feel the best at this point. But at this point, the triplets have been exposed to quite the variety of outdoor sports and should be pretty well rounded athletes! I’ve been debating whether or not to start a triplet specific blog or just momentarily cover this journey here. I think the most interesting thing will be the comeback so I’m leaning towards business as usual on If you have an opinion, let me know!

This is me just 10 days ago and just under 24 weeks along. Yep, super pregnant!


Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Biking, Random rambling, Sailing, Skiing, Tahoe, Whitewater

We made it!

The Shifting Ice and Changing Tides crew is home safe after a very successful expedition to Iceland and Greenland. I cannot thank everyone enough for their support. It sure helped pull us through the tough days and make us extremely grateful for the great days!

The crew in Nuuk after a successful journey!

Special thanks to my newest sponsor Moonlight Skis for providing me the most lightweight setup that still performed well in a huge variety of conditions! Check them out!

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Halfway There!

We’ll be watching for these in 2 hour shifts!

Despite support from our sponsors. partners and awarded grants we are still a short of fully funding our expedition. Instead of giving up, we decided to launch an independent crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo, which allows the online public to fund projects that they are interested in.

We believe that our expedition is worth funding- We want to showcase that with hard work and determination,a team of women can pursue a dream toward success. We want to encourage everyone else to do this! We want to grow our knowledge base about the climate, oceans, and glaciers and share our experiences with the public. We don’t have one sponsor that unites us, just a single mission, and we hope you will help us by giving what you can.

Last night we tipped our online fundraiser for $20,000 over the halfway mark. We have $10,000 left to raise and we need your help! Watch our campaign movie, donate if you can and most importantly, please help us share this project online!

Thanks for your support from the whole Shifting Ice team!

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Help Fund Shifting Ice + Changing Tides!

When we won the Polartec Challenge Grant last year for our All-Female Sail and Ski from Iceland to Greenland, we thought the rest of the funding would fall in line with some hard work. We’ve applied for 10 grants, sent sponsorship proposals to a lot of companies, and experienced about a 15% success rate. Getting told “No” that often can be discouraging, but we really had no choice but to keep on asking and plugging along. After all, we were dedicated to doing the trip. We already had some great partners on board and we already put our deposit on the boat!

Now we are asking you! Our friends, family, supporters, blog readers, etc, to help us fund the remainder of the trip cost. If we can reach our goal of $20,000, we can actually pay our photographer and produce an amazing final product! We can also pay off the credit card we took out to pay for the sailboat charter! So help us! Even if 85% of you say no, we can reach our goal! But say yes, and I’ll be this happy!
Shifting Ice + Changing Tides donors are #1

Shifting Ice + Changing Tides donors are #1

So visit this site and chip in if you can!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Fundraising, Sailing, Skiing

Dream + WORK = Go

Since we launched Shifting Ice + Changing Tides, the response has been overwhelming. We get requests almost daily to join the trip or to be added to the waiting list. We have to admit, the trip sounds amazing – that is how we came up with it! Dream big and go for it has been our motto from the start, but between dreaming and going, there has been more than a year of hard work.

Chipping away at big goals (photo by Greg Marsden)

As you know, the spark started with our application for the Polartec Challenge Award, 40 hours of research, writing, and rewriting, that seemed like a lot of work at the time… but we were just getting started. Once the fire was started, we had to find a boat that was in Iceland, available for charter, and could fit six of us. This took us quite a bit of time, but we eventually partnered with Thierry Dubois and the La Louise. More on Thierry later!

The La Louise off the coast of Greenland.

Next we had to find accessible and skiable terrain and objectives. Our constraint was time. The longer our trip, the more expensive it would be. So we restricted the trip to 3 weeks which restricted the terrain we’d be able to access. Thierry has done this sail quite a few times and has good information on where the coast is accessible at that time of year, so Martha obtained some maps and we started planning using the combination of maps and Google Earth. We’ll then put this information into a GPS unit to access the sites when we are on the boat or dinghy.

Maps and Google Earth for hours!

There is so much more we have to physically do to prepare for the trip – prepping a first aid kits, physical conditioning, mental conditioning, reviewing essential skills like crevasse rescue and rappelling, calling and emailing every skier and sailor that has been to that region. But by far the hardest part has been raising the funds for the trip. We are lucky to have 2 great partners in Polartec and Climate Reality Project, but we are looking and applying for grants and sponsorship weekly and discussing how we might fill the funding gap. (We’ve even put our own funds towards the trip). We’ve had multiple hour-long Skype calls, a team meeting in Jackson were some team members traveled over 11 hours to get there, over 1,000 emails, and 5 working Google documents. We’re obviously not skiing or sailing during those hours! With the trip just over 2 months away, the amount or work we still have to do seems daunting, but the messages we receive from our supporters fuel our fire. So keep them coming and if you have any ideas on possible partnerships, we’d love to hear them because we’re still chipping away at the “work” part of the equation! Also, keep an eye out for our crowdfunding campaign starting next month or make a donation here NOW!

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Filed under Sailing, Skiing, Travel

Shifting Ice and Changing Tides Update

Our website for Shifting Ice and Changing Tides is live! Also, consider liking us on Facebook or following us on Instagram or Twitter! Thanks – less than 3 months until we depart for this epic sail and ski adventure.

The team in Jackson Hole at the end of November 2013.

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Kenya Trip: South Coast

Diani Beach was recommended to us by some residents of Wildlife Works, so Dan and I hired Mama Mercy’s nephew Dennis to drive us down there the next morning. It was Friday and Dan had to depart for a safari on Sunday, so we wanted to make the most of his time there. The road trip was hilarious in that Dennis had a collection of songs on his MP3 player ranging from hip hop to country with the last set being all Pink songs. Awesome. We passed sisal plantations (the plant used to make roofs) and entered the Mombasa city limits. Americans were to be on alert in Mombasa since the Muslim population is high and it is somewhat close to Somalia. We cruised through the city center and had to catch a ferry across an inlet and then drive another hour south to Diani Beach.

Sisal plantations on the way to the coast – “green” roofing!

By the time we got there and settled into our lodging, we were ready to jump into the ocean. I can count on one had the times I’ve been to a warm coastal ocean – twice, so I was eager to test the Indian Ocean out. As we headed towards the water, we were approached by “Captain Banana” trying to sell us wooden carvings and a boat trip. We explained that we were going for a swim and headed out into the ocean. The waves were minimal since a reef protected the shore about ¼ mile out and the temperature was perfect so we attempted to swim to the reef and stayed out for about an hour. The salt concentration seemed higher too since it was really easy to float. When we returned to the beach, we were sure Captain Banana would be gone, but he was right there asking us to buy stuff again. Dan caved and bought something, but that just seemed to egg on other beach vendors who practically followed us to our hotel and then yelled at us from the beach. We were the new tourists in town and therefore the newest targets.

People selling stuff, including camel rides, on the beach.

Despite the infamous Diani “beach boys,” the beach itself was beautiful. White sand, turquoise water, perfectly compacted sand for running or football, and the hotels were set back quite a way. But there were quite a few hotels and we couldn’t help but walk through some of the more ridiculous looking ones. We entered the Baobob, a known Italian resort, and saw a beautiful infinity pool overlooking the ocean, as well as a poolside step aerobics class, and cheesy euro discotheque music playing somewhat loudly. Just an overall hilarious sight that is hard to describe and I unfortunately did not have my camera.
The next morning we took out SUPs and headed out to the reef to see if we could catch some waves. I surprised myself by catching and surfing the first wave I went for and it was awesome! Dan and I proceeded to catch and surf a bunch of waves and then headed in after about 2 hours. I’ve never had a surf break completely to myself and so it was quite fun for a beginner such as myself.
When we returned, Dan had to leave and I decided to take a kitesurfing lesson – a sport I’ve always admired. The first lesson is a trainer kite, but we moved through that quickly and were able to start with the big kite for the last hour. The wind was a bit sporadic and so we decided to finish the lesson if the wind picked up, which it didn’t for the next few days. So, I still have a lot to learn before I’m kiting on my own, but it was a nice start and a perfect learning beach.

Getting kite surfing instructions (and marriage proposals from my instructor – so weird).

I moved over to the South Coast Backpackers Hostel since Dan was gone. On TripAdvisor, it had quite the party reputation, but it was the least expensive option and close enough to the kiting center, so I gave it a go. Arriving, I selected a bunk and sat down with a friendly looking foursome who seemed to be around my age. I met Laura and Moses, Kenya locals and Masai Mara safari guides and their British friend Debs who was visiting. And also Simon, an eccentric but funny German firefighter, graffiti artist, skater, and retired hip hop DJ. Conversation was easy and an American named Nico joined our group. After dining and drinking together, Nico, Debs, Simon, and I hatched a plan to head out to the Kisite-Mpunguti Marine Reserve the next day to look for dolphins, sea turtles, and maybe even whale sharks.
The next morning we had a $1 breakfast of eggs and Kenyan donuts and met up with our boat, a modified Dhow, which is an ancient Swahili sail boat, though unfortunately we never used the sail. As we motored out we spotted a pod of dolphins and were able to follow them most of the way to the marine reserve. We jumped off the boat when we reached the reef to snorkel and saw colorful and large fish, lobster, and an octopus. Unfortunately, we didn’t see any sea turtles or whale sharks, but it was still a lovely time in the ocean. We headed to Wasini Island for lunch, which is a coral island where almost everything has to be imported. Seafood and sea grass were on the menu before we took a quick tour of the island and them headed back to Shimoni. Unfortunately, on the way back to the hostel, Simon had to be dropped at the hospital because he wasn’t feeling well. Rumor is that he recovered a few days later, but unfortunately, I did not get his contact information.

Dolphin spotting from a dhow

Nico and Debs on the way to Wasini Island

Our transportation to the coral island for lunch

That night, Nico and I met Lina and Lena – Swedish and German girls respectably who were living in Kenya for about 6 months and volunteering at an orphanage on the North Coast in Kilifi. They invited us to join them for a few days and we eagerly accepted the opportunity to help out and see a new place. Debs, Moses, and Laura headed out on safari the next morning and we had one last swim in the sea and hostel’s pool before catching a matatu with Lina and Lena towards Mombasa. While Diani Beach was beautiful, the incessant haggling from the “beach boys” was starting to wear on us and we were eager to head to a less touristy locale.

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Old Friends and Fast Boats

I just returned from a fabulous weekend in the Bay Area where I was able to catch up with old friends and new babies and catch 2 of the America’s Cup races whilst sailing on the San Francisco Bay.

Friday night, “Gourmet Tim” held a backyard BBQ and the food and company was perfect. The next morning, Tim, Max, Jeremy and I set off on a 30 mile bike ride in the Oakland Hills. We even saw Ohio State’s football team’s bus and were able to give them the double thumbs down.

Jeremy rides into the fog at the top of the 1st climb

After the bike ride, we headed to the park and I was finally able to give this beautiful couple their wedding gift, a custom cornhole set! We enjoyed a few rounds and sent the not so newlyweds off with their new backyard entertainment. Also, check out Jake’s new movie, Inequality for All, coming out in two weeks!

The Kornbluths with their new kornhole set. Ket’s best sport is yoga.

New and old friends

The next day, I was off to the city to meet up with Greg and Amanda to watch the America’s Cup from Greg’s sailboat. It was a perfect day on the bay – sunny, relatively light wind, and both races were able to run. USA and New Zealand split 1 to 1 and so USA kept the cup a few more days. Tuesday’s races were cancelled due to high winds and so the deciding races could be today!

Greg and Amanda looking for seals and enjoying a perfect day on the bay.

Team New Zealand showing us why the boats are so fast

Team USA in front of the San Francisco skyline. Say what you want about Larry Ellison, but he did single-handedly make this a spectator sport. GO USA!

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