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Pro skier Kim Havell mixes activism with adventure

It’s always risky to pigeonhole extremely successful people—they’ve got more than one trick up their sleeve. In the case of professional skier Kim Havell, those tricks also happen to include: professional climber with more than 200 peaks in the U.S. alone, social and environmental activist, martial artist, swimmer, rower, horse jumper, writer, photographer and more.

“I definitely get pulled in a lot of directions. But I try to give back to the experiences in which I participate and to the areas or the suffering to which I’m exposed,” she says.

She’s the only woman (and one of less than five people) to ski all the direct couloirs of the Little Wasatch Ridge in Telluride. She has skied in 50 countries on all seven continents, with first descents on four. But, not only is Havell an excellent person to have a backcountry epic with, but over the years she’s dedicated much of her personal time to others. During her 16-year tenure in Telluride she served on the advisory boards for the San Miguel County Search and Rescue team and the Institute for Altitude Medicine, as well as working as a Senior Program volunteer and AIDS benefit volunteer. She’s been an inspiration to many, both men and women, but for Havell, it’s not about gender.

“Mostly I think it’s important for me as a human to do this. I’m living my dreams and have had generous opportunities and think it’s important to constantly give back, be aware of your environment, change the fate of those less fortunate, and to save the planet any way we can,” she said.

“As for female adventure sport athletes, perhaps because we have had to surmount some serious obstacles to survive and thrive in a male dominated arena, this strength gives us the power and the voice to try to help others,” Havell said. “We owe it to those that have supported us to in turn support whatever we can.” Havell also works as an Ambassador to Combat Apathy with fellow female activist and mountain biker Shannon Galpin.

Last year, Havell joined up with Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. “They’re affiliated with one of my sponsors, Osprey Packs, and I’m looking forward to helping the scientists with field observations from my time in the mountains across the globe,” she says.

As for this season: “I have some routes I’d really like to ski in the Tetons, I’m working on some writing projects/stories, and going out with local photographers a bunch at the moment too,” Havell says.

She’s also been putting on slideshows and camps; planning expeditions to China and Nepal; and working on film projects with Salomon Freeski TV, Outside Television, JH Mountain Resort, and working with filmmaker Tristan Greszko.

“The outdoor industry is fortunate to engage in the best parts of our world. We owe it to the consumer to minimize waste and off-set our imprints,” she said. “I think it’s important to do something daily that helps someone or something and that grows into larger commitments. Find the things that speak to you and fix what you can.”

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