Friday, August 22, 2014

Noted ski mountaineer to visit UAF Sept. 3

The first ski mountaineer to ski off the highest point of all seven continents will be at UAF Wednesday, Sept. 3 for a 5-K fun run and a lecture.

Kit DesLauriers
Kit DesLauriers will be in Alaska to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1964 Wilderness Act. To commemorate the landmark conservation law that ensured protection of pristine wildlands for future generations, DesLauriers will lead a 5-K fun run and present a lecture.

The run starts at 2 p.m. Sept. 3 at the climbing tower near the Student Recreation Center. The lecture, "Finding Adventure in Wild Places," is at 7 p.m. in the Davis Concert Hall. All activities are free.

At the lecture, there will be door prizes and the first 200 attendees get a commemorative poster. The events are sponsored by UAF, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service and the Alaska Alpine Club.

DesLauriers 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, she is an experienced rock climber and road and mountain bike racer.

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

DesLauriers is raising her two young daughters to appreciate the natural world and is teaching 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 parents.

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