In a vintage travel trailer on a warm February day, with Shelma Jun.
Shelma Jun is a first-generation Korean immigrant, entrepreneur, feminist, and climber. Her advocacy and love for the sport led her to found the Women’s Climbing Festival and Flash Foxy, an online, multimedia, and real-world community for women climbers.
The knowledge or skill you would most like to acquire.
Drawing. I’ve never been very good, and the idea of being able to capture an experience through a medium different than photos or writing when out in the backcountry sounds wonderful.
A book that changed your life.
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde.
Someone who gives you hope.
My dear friend and mentor Damaris Reyes is the executive director of a public housing tenant rights organizing group in NYC called Good Old Lower East Side, and the work they are able to accomplish through the power of community always brings awe and hope for me.
A project you are currently working on.
A three-episode series that investigates what the hunting and climbing communities can learn from one another about conservation, impact, and inclusivity.
A key ingredient for building a sustainable future.
Intersectionality. Sustainability must incorporate justice and equity for marginalized communities including but not limited to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), LGBTQIA+, disabled folks, and low-income workers.
What do you weirdly know a lot about?
Taxes and finances. My first career after college was a corporate tax consultant and CPA for one of the largest public accounting firms in America.
How do you disconnect?
By being present in the activities, conversations, and community off the digital plane. And soaking in various forms of hot water.
Your next DIY project.
My 1980 Automate trailer is a forever DIY project of repair.
Your best anti-distraction strategy?
Phone on airplane mode and wifi off!
What is your most revolutionary conviction?
What outdoor skill are you working on?
I just tried skiing for the first time this season after being a snowboarder for most of my life. I’m hoping to add a skill that will help me have more options for terrain. This and outdoor napping.
What small habit makes you feel grounded?
Making coffee and reading the news in the morning.
What was your last encounter with the sublime?
Spending my winters in Payahuunadu (also known as the Eastern Sierra) out in the desert, I am able to experience moments of sublime almost daily, something I don’t take for granted.
What non-digital activity can you happily do all day and never get bored?
Rock climbing with good friends.
What experience in nature reminded you of your mortality?
The close calls up in the mountains that I have had and the tragic accidents that others have had.