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In honor of Outside's 40th anniversary, we're selecting our all-time favorite gear, places, accomplishments, and people. This month, we rounded up 40 women who have made the biggest impacts on our world. This month, we're honoring the women who have advanced and challenged the outdoor world through their leadership, innovation, and athletic feats. The list that follows is far from comprehensive, and it is, of course, subjective: there are dozens of people who easily could have made the cut that we simply did not have room for here. We cover some of them in our May issue, on newsstands now. Our readers will recognize many of the names below.
Others, they will not. But don't expect this to be the last time they appear in Outside as they continue to shape our world. Tara Houska has been involved in a dizzying of efforts. The tribal-rights attorney is the national campaigns director for the indigenous-led environmental justice organization Honor the Earth. Houska has also served as adviser on Native American issues for Bernie Sanders' campaign, co-founded Not Your Mascots to fight the appropriation of indigenous culture, and protested the Dakota Access pipeline at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Kathrine Switzer made history in as the first woman An outside women run the Boston Marathon. Since then, she's dedicated her life to the sport and making it more accessible to women. Switzer's latest venture is a foundation called Fearlesswith a mission to bring running to groups of women around the world. The is a nod to Switzer's original Boston Marathon bib. It's always been my soul. It's given me back the day.
It helps me to sleep. It brings me back to myself. Want me to keep going? Camille Seaman masterfully blends the beautiful and the political in her famous iceberg photos. Hang them on your wall, and then launch into a conversation about climate An outside women and the rapidly melting ice cap. As a Native American, Seaman says the icebergs also hold spiritual value.
Recently, she has been working on a portrait project about Native Americans across the country called We Are Still Here. The project intends to demythologize native communities and let them represent themselves in front of the camera. During the Standing Rock protests, Seaman set up a portrait booth An outside women photograph the water protectors and videotaped many of them afterward, asking what message they'd like to send to their descendants years from now. Linsey Vonn is the best ski racer who's ever lived. If that sounds hyperbolic, look at the s: 77 World Cup wins, nine Olympic and world championship medals three of them goldpodium appearances, and four overall World Cup titles.
Her brand of skiing is Nascar driver meets BASE jumper—a combination of aggression, recklessness, and nuance that makes her a high-speed master of the downhill and super-G. If there were a Poet Laureate of the Outdoors, there is a good chance Mary Oliver would have held the title for the past 50 years. The natural world is the blood that courses through her body of work—32 collections and counting.
Oliver's poems are filled with owls and ponds and trees and birds and sunrises and fields and a great many dogs. You've probably heard of Eddy Merckxthe Belgian road and track racer who won 11 Grand Tours and almost every major one-day race. Vos has mastered more disciplines, with wins in road, cyclocross, mountain, and track, and she's earned 22 single-day events victories, not counting the three general classification wins at the women's Giro de Italia. Plus, unlike year-old Merckx, Vos is still racing. When Vanessa Dixon co-founded the Washington, D.
Now nearlywalkers strong, GirlTrek is a forceful national health campaign. As Garrison and Dixon point out, that's because they're too busy juggling work, family, and community. The native of Snowbird, Utah, is one of the world's best freeskiers : inat age 19, Collinson took home the overall women's title on the Freeride World Tour. Of course, she has ruled the game as Queen of the Court for far longer.
Before Williams, tennis matches were won with finesse, speed, and dance-like An outside women. Williams has all of those things, but she's added power, endurance, and tenacity into the mix. Her next opponent: discrimination—often in the form of unequal pay—toward women in all sports.
Need a little motivation? Remember that you have the same of hours in a day as Rue Mapp. She is first and foremost the founder and CEO of Outdoor Afroan organization that fosters community and leadership among African American nature lovers. What started as a blog back in is now a network of 65 leaders and countless outdoor meetup groups and has been recognized by the White House.
In other words: Mapp is one of the foremost leaders making the outdoors a more inclusive place. Now what's your excuse?
Abby Wambach 's preretirement soccer career wasn't half-bad : two Olympic gold medals, one long-awaited World Cup title, and goals—the most scored by any player, male or female, in international competition. Not to mention a series of vocal efforts for gender and pay equality in her sport and beyond. But shortly after hanging up her cleats, Wambach found herself in a dark place. She felt stuck in a corroding marriage.
She got divorced. She wrote a memoir, Forward. On her book tour, she met bestselling author Glennon Doyle Meltonand now the two are engaged. Wambach recently moved cross-country, to Naples, Florida, to live with Melton and her three children and plans to help coach Melton's year-old's girls' soccer team. We've gotten so used to Mikaela Shiffrin winning that we almost expect her to finish a slalom course with a two-second lead over the next-place finisher. Yeah, that's happened. She's a technical ski-racing expert, with a total of four Olympic and world championship gold medals to her name.
Just last month, Shiffrin cinched the overall World Cup title. Oh yeah, and she's only When Junko Tabei passed away in Novembermany in the outdoor world failed to notice. This is a severe oversight. The Japanese climber became the first woman to summit Everest in After Dick Bass thought up the Seven Summits inTabei decided to tick off the ones she hadn't climbed and became the first woman to claim that achievement as well. She reached the top of Carstensz Pyramid in to complete the seven. But even that wasn't enough. By the time Tabei diedshe had reached the highest peak in 56 countries.
When Kit DesLauriers was 15, she visited Telluride, Colorado, for the first time, and the mountains lit a path before her. Since then, she's skied and measured the highest points of Alaska's Brooks Range and An outside women a scientific paper about the region. Diana Nyad's mile swim from Cuba to Key West places her firmly in the pantheon of ultra-endurance athletes. Between her first attempt, at age 28, and the last four—all after the age of 60—Nyad suffered near fatal box jellyfish stingsthe crushing force of a Gulf Stream that blew her dozens of miles off course, hypothermia, third-degree burns from saltwater chafing, vomiting from ocean swells, and the threat of shark attack.
At the Rio Olympics last year, year-old An outside women Jorgensen took home gold in the triathlon.
But rather than An outside women back and enjoying her glory, Jorgensen immediately took on another enormous challenge—she ran her debut marathon, the New York City Marathon, less than three months after Rio. Jorgensen is constantly setting extremely high standards for everything she tackles.
I know I gave it my best, so that's all I can ask of myself, but I still wanted to be better. Lynsey Addario's photos are riveting. The year-old professional photojournalist turned her lens on war-torn regions and displaced peoples afterwhen she got the call to return to Afghanistan to capture American troops entering the country.
Arguably the best female big-wave surfer in the worldPaige Alms was born in British Columbia but moved to Maui with her family when she was nine years old. By 15, she was charging big days at the island's outer reef breaks. InPresident Barack Obama appointed Kate Brandt to downsize the federal government's carbon footprint as the country's first chief sustainability officer. InGoogle hired Brandt to lead the company's sustainability efforts. Some of her current goals include powering the tech giant on percent renewable energy and making water-sucking data centers more environmentally friendly.
In Marchmore than women gathered in Bishop, California, to boulder, climb, take clinics, and hang out. They were there for the second annual Women's Climbing Festival, launched by year-old climber and organizer Shelma Jun. The Southern California native grew up at the skate park and in the waves, but a shoulder surgery barred her from high-impact sports and led An outside women into the climbing gym.
Jun found the sport was not immune to sexism and sought out other women to create supportive environments in which to climb. An Instagram of Jun and her girlfriends climbing outside evolved into an online platform called Flash Foxy for connecting female climbers.
Through that was born the Women's Climbing Festival, which, after selling out in one minute this spring, is expanding to a second location in Chattanooga this fall. Yeah, folks in the outdoor world are just as much in love with her as everyone else. These efforts were part of her Let's Move! The initiative also included Let's Move! Outside, rolled out by the Department of the Interior, with the goal of encouraging kids to become active in the outdoors. The Obama family visited Yosemite and Grand Canyon, and Michelle's campaign provided free national park passes to every fourth grader in the country.
The year-old phenom is already one of the world's best rock climbershaving hoisted herself up what is widely considered one of the hardest sport routes on earth before she was old enough to get her driver's. Ashima Shiraishi is also the only female climber with a V15 boulder problem under her belt, and she recently nabbed a sponsorship from Coca-Cola. Melissa Arnot Reid has worked as a guide for RMI and other outfitters, as well as for her own guiding servicewhich she started in She takes clients up Rainier, Aconcagua, and Everest, among other peaks.
In the past decade, Arnot Reid has become one of the best in the world at what she does, which, if you ask her, is walking uphill slowly. She has summited Everest six times, An outside women than any other American woman. Her most recent ascent, last spring, was without the aid of supplemental oxygen—something that only people, seven of them women, have done. Arnot Reid is the first American woman to do so and survive the descent. Tammeca Rochester started Harlem Cycle in April with a distinction so simple it shocked a lot of people: it's the first spin studio in Harlem.
Anyone familiar with New York City's spin-crazed fitness scene might find that hard to believe. But Rochester saw the studio as a much-needed alternative to the ubiquitous classes that are often pricey and intimidating. Rochester is leading the charge to make the fitness studio more than just a club for the in-crowd—and creating a lot more healthy, happy people in the process.
American sprinter Allyson Felix's is resoundingly impressive : she's a nine-time Olympic medalist six gold and three silver, which ties her with Merlene Ottey as the most decorated track and field Olympian of all timesix-time U. National Champion in the meters, three-time U. But perhaps what's most impressive about the year-old L. Ahead of the Beijing Olympics, Felix became a member of U. Anti-Doping Agency's Project Believe, which meant frequent testing leading up to the games.
Inthe Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite Valley had never been climbed without the use of artificial aid, despite attempts by some of the world's best climbers. The first ascent was considered one of the Valley's last great prizes. Lynn Hill, then 32 years old and already an internationally famous competition climber, had attempted the route four years earlier with British climber Simon Nadine but failed to work through all 32 pitches. But that September, Hill tried again, this time with Brooke Sandahl. After dreaming that she freed the route, Hill went up and did just that, becoming the first person—man or woman—to do so.
It was a giant leap forward for female climbers and more than 20 years before Beth Rodden and her then-husband Tommy Caldwell made the second and third free ascents. The former secretary of the interior under President Obama is a dyed-in-the-wool outdoorswoman armed with corporate business savvy.
After turning REI into a multibillion-dollar company during her year tenure as its CEO and a three-year stint managing the country's million acres of federal lands, Jewell recharged by road-tripping with her husband across the lower 48 back to their home state of Washington.
Mira Rai's story is almost impossibly scripted. Raised in a rural village in eastern Nepal, the ultrarunner spent her childhood hiking barefoot along mountain trails with her mother, sometimes 14 hours a day, to buy rice at the market and bring it home to sell. When she was 14, Rai left her home in Nepal to the Maoist rebel army, where she trained in shooting, An outside women running, and karate. She saw no military action. Fast-forward towhen at age 25, Rai accidentally ran her first ultramarathon.An outside women
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The Future Is Female and These 40 Women Are Proof