REI is well into their #ForceOfNature campaign. The goal is to “level the playing field” for women recreating outdoors. This week they launched a video featuring Utah’s own Caroline Gleich titled, Follow Through. The film documents Gleich’s successful attempt to be the first woman to ski all 90 routes in Andrew McLean’s classic steep-skiing guide book, The Chuting Gallery. But this story doesn’t shy away from the challenges Gleich has endured as a professional skier.
Gleich is a short, blonde, young woman and therefore struggles to be taken seriously as a skier. Negativity is heaped upon her in this age of social media. According to REI, when Gleich first said out loud that she wanted to ski all the lines in The Chuting Gallery, everyone laughed at her. So she spent a decade building her mountaineering skills. She set out to complete her vision. And she achieved her dream. Follow Through is proof to the world that she’s the real deal. In fact, Caroline Gleich rips.
Don’t believe it? Watch the video yourself.
Gleich will appear at the Ascent Backcountry Snow Journal Slide Show at Brewvies on October 18th. She will present stories, photos and videos about her milestone achievement and take questions from the audience. Tickets are on sale now.
More about REI’s Force of Nature Campaign
REI’s Force of Nature campaign is ongoing for 2017. It began when the company looked at the outdoor stories they told and the people they highlight, and realized they were not championing men and women equally. In order to fairly depict a woman’s place outside, REI commissioned a national study and the results showed something they’ve long believed: More than 85% of all women surveyed believe the outdoors positively affects mental health, physical health, and overall well-being.
But there are striking obstacles in the learnings as well:
• 63% of women said they could not think of an outdoor female role model
• 6 in 10 women say that men’s interests in outdoor activities are taken more seriously than women’s
Therefore, Force of Nature is a disruption of the status quo. It claims the outdoors as a place to opt out of cultural pressures for women to conform to outdated stereotypes. As a result, REI is putting women of all ages, races, sizes, gender expressions front and center in everything they do. To learn more, visit www.rei.com/h/force-of-nature
About Caroline Gleich
Caroline Gleich is a professional ski mountaineer and adventurer based in Salt Lake City, UT. She has appeared on the cover of Powder, Backcountry and Ski Magazines. Gleich uses her voice as an athlete to advocate for social and environmental justice. She works on issues such as climate change, clean air and cyber harassment with non-profits such as Protect Our Winters, HEAL Utah, Winter Wildlands Alliance, Wilderness Society, Tree Utah and Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation. Caroline’s goal is to inspire people to get outside, live an active lifestyle and protect the places we love to play.