Yesterday, we had the opportunity to interview Kit DesLauriers, two-time women’s world freeskiing champ as well as the first women to climb and ski the Seven Summits. After interviewing, we sat in awe watching photos, videos, and hearing stories during The North Face Speaker Series at the Bug Theater here in Denver. Kit’s accomplishments as well as her love of life is phenomenal, and she is a role model to women and men around the world. Her compelling stories and contagious spirit were enough to make me feel as though I was exploring the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge alongside her, hearing the dead silence of the wilderness. Kit has been generous enough to give some of her time for an interview with WinterWomen.com, and we are excited to share it with you!
Tell us a little bit about your childhood:
I didn’t grow up downhill skiing—I think it’s important for people to know that when I was a little kid, we didn’t live where we could ski. We would walk in the words Nordic Skiing in New England. I moved out west as a teenager, and couldn’t be happier: I’m really a Rocky Mountain girl.
How old were you when you started downhill skiing?:
What made you say, “I want to be the first person to ski down the Seven Summits?”
I have always been respectful of my skill set. I loved skiing and climbing mountains. Eventually, I competed in the world freesking championships in 2004 and 2005. I met Dick Bass, who was the first person to climb the Seven Summits. I read his book, and got thinking about skiing those mountains.
What thoughts were running through your head when you were climbing Mt. Everest?
Things like “this is beautiful,” and “I am so fortunate to give it a try.” I practiced a bit of mental awareness and control. I wasn’t thinking “this is crazy,” or “can I do this?” To me, that’s a recipe for disaster.
What has been your biggest challenge throughout your life and career?
Balancing the changes between finding a blend of being myself in the mountains and also being a hands-on mother to my two kids (one-and-a-half and three years old).
Are your kids skiing? If so, do they love it or would they like to try out snowboarding?
Yes! They love it. They don’t know anything yet about snowboarding.
What is one thing you can pass on to young women about achieving your dreams?
Don’t get caught up in doing what you think you’re supposed to be doing. Do what you want to do.