Kit first realized she wanted to ski the big stuff while standing atop a mountain in Sikkim, India, in 1998. Looking around at the majestic Himalayan peaks where so many others had come in search of life-changing moments, Kit had her own epiphany when she couldn’t shake one thought: Why didn’t she bring her skis?
It was then she decided to focus on ski mountaineering and began refining her skills so that she could ski anything, anywhere in the world. And focus she did: she now 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, Kit is an experienced rock climber and has added road and mountain bike racing to her summertime endeavors.
During a 2010 ski expedition to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, Kit skied the highest mountain in the Brooks Range/Arctic Refuge and then 60 miles north to the Beaufort Sea. Of this journey Kit says, “It is the one place in the world that I have been that I know I will go back to. The Arctic Refuge has the wildest silence of anyplace I’ve visited and I believe strongly in protecting the entire ecosystem with a wilderness designation.”
When she’s not skiing, climbing or biking, Kit is busy raising her two young daughters in a way that encourages their appreciation for the natural world and gives 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 Mom and Dad.
Favorite Destination for Your Sport: Tetons
Favorite The North Face Product: Women’s Catalyst Jacket but I call it a down sweater. Indispensable and ultra compressible.
Proudest Moment in Your Career: First person to ski the 7 Summits
Causes: Protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and Keep Yellowstone Nuclear Free
Words to Live By: Think Big
Favorite Movie: Revolutionary Road (how not to live!)
Favorite Magazine: National Geographic
Favorite Book: Thinking Body, Dancing Mind
Favorite Piece of Your Sport’s History: First ski descent of Grand Teton by Bill Briggs, 1971
Most Recent Epic: Skiing from the summit of Mt. Everest.
Ambition: Be a Great Mom and a Mountain Mama
Inspiration Within the Sport: Watching other people push their limits
How do you prepare for a day in the backcountry?: With 2 cups of coffee and a huge breakfast even if it’s before 5 am while making a thermos of tea for the summit.
What advice do you have for staying safe out there? Always carry a headlamp.
Favorite Place to Travel: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, it is super quiet and wildly beautiful Otherwise Nepal and Hawaii
Web Site: kitdski.com
- 2011 Intermountain Ski Hall of Fame Inductee
- First ski descents in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, AK including Mt. Isto, the highest in the Brooks Range, April 2010
- First Person to Ski From All Seven Summits and First Woman to Ski From Summit of Everest, October 2006
- Polish Glacier, Aconcagua, Argentina (22,834 ft.): first complete descent direct from the summit, December 2005
- Vinson Massif, Antarctica (16,067 ft.): first female ski descent, December 2005
- Mt. Elbrus, Russia (18,540 ft., highest mountain in Europe): first female ski descent down the North Face, June 2005
- Mt. McKinley, Alaska (20,320 ft., highest mountain in North America): first American female ski descent (2nd woman ever), May 2004
- Mt. Aspiring, New Zealand (3,033 m.): first female ski descent and first descent of Therma Glacier, November 2003
- Ford Couloir, Grand Teton, Wyoming (13,770 ft.), multiple descents
- 2005 Freeskiing World Tour Women’s Champion
- 2005 U.S. Freeskiing Women’s Champion
- 2004 Freeskiing World Tour Women’s Champion
- Kit’s accomplishment and the Everest expedition was also featured in USA Today article, “Everest Crowning Glory of Seven Peak Dream” and CBS Online/The Early Show, “First Woman Skis Mount Everest”
- Outside magazine: named one of the “Top 25 Athletes of the Year,”
- Skiing magazine: awarded Kit the “Female Golden Crampon award”