It's a magical world, let's go exploring.
Natalie grew up competitively ballroom dancing but secretly wishing she was an arctic explorer. Inspired by stories of her Soviet mountaineer dad, she booked a one way ticket to the Himalayas when she was 18, where she saw her first ice climbers scaling the frozen waterfalls of the Khumbu Valley. Inspired, she hitchhiked from Seattle to Bozeman with a pair of donated ice tools and crampons she found in her dad's old gear. Since then she's been chasing ice and alpine adventures around the world while working on autonomous robots and engaging in citizen science projects. She believes it's all about the journey, surrounded by friends, and loves the feelings of discomfort that come with exploring a place she's never been before. Long approaches, distant lands, pushing personal boundaries, learning new skills (big walling and backcountry skiing have been the latest additions), and adventuring with a purpose are all things she looks for when planning her next trip, whether it's a quick trip to Cody to run up Broken Hearts, tagging sharks in South Africa, riding camels in the Sahara or a larger expedition to Kamchatka, Russia. She has a fondness for longer, aesthetic ice routes, singing along to Beyonce playlists and sharing behind-the-scene stories to inspire all the weekend warriors out there. She believes everyone is human and aims to show both the highs and the lows, the challenges and the rewards that come with balancing an engineering job with exploration.
Her three rules are:
#1 Don't forget to laugh
#2 We are all beginners once, be nice
#3 Getting down is often the hardest part
Natalie believes every climb has a memory attached to it. The below are her all-time favorite climbs. Some are aesthetically beautiful, some required an adventure to get to, and others forged lifetime partnerships.
All-Time Favorite Ice Climbs:
- Polar Circus - V, WI5 - Alberta, Canada
- Omega - IV, WI5+ - New Hampshire, USA
- Mindbender - WI5+ - Vermont, USA
- Drop, Swim, or Die - WI5- - Adirondacks, New York, USA
- Repentance & Remission - WI5+, M5 - New Hampshire, USA
- Broken Hearts - WI5+ - Cody, Wyoming, USA
Most Memorable Climbs:
- Goldfinger - Trad, Alpine 5.11a Grade IV, 2000' - Ruth Gorge, AK
- Leaning Tower - Big Wall Grade V, 1000' - Yosemite, CA
- Qui L'eut Cru - Adventure Climb, 1800' - Todra Gorge, Morocco
- Unnamed Climb - Chossiest/Scariest - Yemen
- Mt. Rainier with her father - Washington