Avery Stonich

Avery Stonich is a freelance writer who lives in Boulder, Colo. Follow her on Twitter: @averystonich.

Mind Over Matter

“It takes a special person to think it’s a good idea to do what we do,” says 18-year-old freestyle aerialist Mac Bohonnon. Aerial skiing is inherently dangerous. Skiers bomb down a ramp at 40+ miles an hour, launch 50 feet into the air, and perform multiple flips and twists before landing on a steep slope. They…

There’s something undeniably special about being a pioneer—especially when the backdrop is a pristine, deserted bay in the northwestern Costa Rican jungle. I can’t tell you exactly where because then I’d have to kill you. But suffice to say that it’s the perfect canvas for combining the soothing strokes of stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) with the…

You know you’re on to something good when you’re willing to travel thousands of miles for a sport, practice for days, get absolutely pummeled in the ocean, and you still want more. Welcome to kiteboarding. It’s known to be addictive—even when you face plant. I couldn’t resist trying it after witnessing the beauty and grace…

The last time Dylan Taylor saw his climbing partner, Aiden, they were peering at each other from either side of a razor-wire fence between the border of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, having set out on a climbing expedition 36 days earlier. At the start, neither one of them imagined that the hardest challenge wouldn’t be a first…

We have a bit of a crisis on our hands at the moment, fellow adventurers. Unless you’ve got your head in the sand, you’re painfully aware that the federal government has shut down. Federal lands are closed for business. Adventure destinations across the country are off limits. Go knocking, and the sound of your pounding…

If you’ve ever volunteered, you know how good it feels to help an organization in need while making a visible impact on a local community. Now imagine if you had several hundred people working together on the same day. Picture how much you could accomplish. That’s what you get when you bring together the outdoor…

As any mountaineer will attest, it’s a tough pill to swallow when you set your sights on a goal and prepare for months, only to be denied. I just returned from an attempt to climb Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in western Europe. Bad weather thwarted my ascent, which is a bit of a letdown.…

The outdoor industry is laying the groundwork for something huge. And it’s all because we want to make sure you have great places to get outside, explore, and pursue adventure. Because that’s what makes our hearts sing. Let me explain. Picture a huge corporation that has an absolutely enormous portfolio of incredibly valuable assets, a…

Last weekend I decided to punish myself. By punish, I mean undertake some sort of brutally long hike to prepare myself for climbing Mont Blanc. I settled on tackling a 14er, since Colorado has quite a few—53, in fact, more than any other state in the nation. I guess you could say Colorado has tentacles…

Think back to how you started on your path to adventure. Do you remember someone who took you under his or her wing and showed you the way? The seeds of your most treasured outdoor experiences probably germinated with the help of some sort of mentor—perhaps an outfitter or guide. I’m fresh on the heels…

The other weekend, I climbed my first couloir. To be honest, I wasn’t even sure what a couloir was. I knew it was a mountain feature—but I figured it was somewhere in the realm of too extreme for me. I’ve always been intimated by technical mountaineering. So how did I find myself in the backcountry…

Last week, Sally Jewell—former CEO of REI—took the helm as the new Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. This is great news for everyone who likes to hike, bike, run, ski, fish, paddle, climb, or explore the outdoors in any way. Why you should care? I’ll tell you. The Department of the Interior,…

It’s that time of year—the eve of summer, when the earth starts to awaken from her long slumber and I get itchy for adventure. After all, it’s what feeds me. Sure, my weekends are packed with fun outdoor forays all year long. But nothing compares to setting your sights on a somewhat scary goal and…

Have you ever considered quitting your job and hitting the trail for something like, say, 3,100 miles? Sounds like a pretty extreme backpacking trip, huh? My coworker, Peter Sustr, just left Outdoor Industry Association to tackle the Continental Divide Trail, a fabled route that follows the spine of the United States from Canada to Mexico.…

You have to have a healthy respect for people who tackle ultra running races. Especially off-road races. It takes a special personality to grunt through the pain and suffering that comes with running dozens of miles through the woods—particularly if it involves rain. I have a coworker, Loraine, who’s crazy about running. She gets up…

Don’t you love it when you set out on an adventure knowing it’s going to be fun …  and then it blows your mind? This is what happened when I ventured into the Jackson Hole backcountry recently. We headed to Jackson to check out the ski resort. But when a friend said you can’t fully…

“You shouldn’t have to convince people to go to paradise, but if I could go to paradise without dying and see all that is there, sign me up.”  –Shelton Johnson, Yosemite park ranger, in The Way Home Sign me up, too! It sounds like an adventure. Paradise waits for us when we explore the unknown,…

What would you do if you had worked hard, were set for life, and could do whatever you wanted? Would you retire to a beach in Costa Rica? Gallivant around the world with a pack on your back? Or buy 200,000 acres of land in Chile to nurture into the country’s next national park? Did…

Support the Economy—Get Outside!

When you head out outdoors to play, do you ever consider how you’re fueling the economy? Think about it. Sure, there’s the gear you buy—jackets, shoes, gloves, base layers, water bottles, skis, bikes, kayaks, fishing rods, carabiners, crampons, binoculars, car racks or whatever it is you need to equip yourself for adventure. But that’s not…

What might you be reading if it includes quotes from Ronald Reagan, Jack Kerouac, Edward Abbey, Brigham Young, Thomas Jefferson, and Devon Williams (former basketball player)? Hmmmm, let’s think about it. Young and Williams might clue you into Utah. Toss in Kerouac and Abbey and you’ve got creative minds who care deeply about the landscape—and…

New Zealand—Land of Wild Adventure

Two of my great passions are outdoor adventure and travel. When I can combine the two, well, that’s heaven. I find it particularly entertaining when I’m in a foreign land and have to learn a new vocabulary and a different perspective on outdoor pursuits. Take New Zealand, for example. Kiwis are notorious outdoorspeople with a…

I’d put myself in the fairly adventurous category, but when it comes to backcountry skiing, I’ve never really given it a fair shake—despite having many “pinhead” friends who‘ve been trying to convert me for years. This perplexes me. Why the heck am I not ripping up untracked pow pow in the backcountry? By all measure,…

You know you work in the outdoor industry when your coworker announces that he’s spending eight days of vacation walking 82 miles alone through Utah canyon country, eating only quick boiled meals, salami, and Snickers. Then he knocks it out in six, charging 17 miles on the final day to retrieve the bike he stashed…

There’s something to be said for the outdoor industry: We have a lot of heart. Generally speaking, people are in this business because they love the outdoors and are passionate about creating products to enhance their adventures. And in my experience, it seems passionate people are caring people. So when Hurricane Sandy delivered a powerful…

Listen up, people: I need you to act on this by Dec. 14. The outdoor industry is looking for nominees for Outdoor Inspiration Awards, and we want to hear from you. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that if you’re reading this, you’re the outdoorsy type. You like to get outside…