Staff Profile: Holly Blanchard, Backcountry Skiing Machine

Name: Holly Blanchard

Age: 30

From: Philadelphia, PA

OGE: How did you end up in Vermont?

HB: I left a career as a commercial litigation attorney to move to the mountains.

OGE: Where’s your favorite place to recreate?

HB: The Adirondack High Peaks are my favorite for skiing, climbing, and mountain solitude.

OGE: What’s a typical outing for you?

HB: I park at Adirondack Lodge, skin to a remote high peak, and ski a land slide scar on the side of a mountain, usually in poor snow conditions but sometimes great snow conditions, and then I skin several miles back out all with a smile.

OGE: How’d you get into backcountry skiing?

HB: It was a natural progression for me. I didn’t start skiing until I was out of college, and wanted to explore—it progressed from there.

OGE: Tell us about the most magical day you had in the woods recently.

HB: Last spring, I was going into ski Mount skylight and Mount Marcy with a group of friends. It was one of those warm, sunny days with clear blue skies, when everyone in the group got along great. It was a 12-hour day. One of the people we were with finished his winter 46ers that day He brough whiskey and we sipped it with homemade brownies. It was a long ski out, with high fives all around. It’s the ski trip all ski trips should be compared to for general awesomeness. It was a a combo of weather, the group, no wind, it being warm enough to skin in a baselayer, with the sun reflecting off white snow.

OGE: How important is who you head into the woods with?

HB: It’s as important or more important than where you go. Having a good partner with a good attitude who you trust who you like to be with for long periods of time is what makes a 12-hour day a good experience.

OGE: What’s your favorite piece of gear?

HB: Climbing skins because they get me where I need to go and I couldn’t do my favorite sport without them. I have Black Diamond Ascensions. They’re the best for steep climbs. 

OGE: How long have you worked at OGE?

HB: Five months. I love it because of the people here. The staff has really diverse backgorunds and interests and a super positive attitude. Everyone is super friendly and welcoming. That’s why I look forward to coming to work every day.

OGE: Do you have a backcountry tip gleaned from your extensive skin and ski experience?

HB: Don’t wear too many clothes. You will overheat. And bring glob stopper and scraper.


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Published:April 11, 2012

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