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2016

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MCKENNA PETERSON 

PROFESSIONAL SKIER / FISHERMAN / WRITER

McKenna is the quintessential ‘ski bum’. A former Freeskiing World Tour competitor, McKenna spends most of her winter backcountry skiing and chasing snow. She works on a fishing boat in Alaska during the summer months to continue to have winters off. McKenna has 12 years of backcountry skiing experience with extensive trips around the world. She has worked with world renowned mountain photographers and has been a part of multiple film projects including Warren Miller, Pretty Faces and Stellar Migrations. McKenna skied first descents in Iceland and Greenland while on an all female expedition, aiming to bring awareness to the effects of climate change on the Greenlandic ice sheet. She is a passionate ambassador for The Climate Reality Project. Somewhere between traveling the world and commercial fishing, McKenna has found time to complete a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Utah and is a certified Wilderness First Responder. She enjoys documenting her adventures and has had writing published in BombSnow Magazine, BigLife Magazine, National Geographic Adventure online, K2skis.com, among others.

mckenna's Projects

Shifting Ice

In March of 2014, former Freeskiing World Tour competitor, McKenna Peterson and five other women set out to lead a ski and sale expedition on the west coast of Greenland. They explored and skied first descents while limiting their environmental footprint by sailing and climbing. The expedition has served as a platform for raising awareness about climate change and environmental issues as well as inspiring and promoting female participation in snow sports adventures.

Photo by KT Miller

Mckenna's Partner Organizations

The Climate Reality Project

The Climate Reality Project – a diverse group of passionate individuals who have come together to solve the greatest challenge of our time. We are cultural leaders, organizers, scientists, and storytellers, and we are committed to building a better future together.

Rebecca Rusch 

PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE / BEST-SELLING AUTHOR / EMMY WINNER / ACTIVIST / KEYNOTE SPEAKER

Rebecca Rusch is the “Queen of Pain” with a heart of gold. Whether she is on a cycling expedition in a remote part of the world or teaching others at her namesake gravel bike academy in Idaho, she inspires people to be their best with energy, positivity and passion. 

A 7x-world champion and celebrity in the ultra adventure/endurance realm for nearly 3 decades, elected to the prestigious international Mountain Bike Hall Of Fame, her status as a fierce competitor and inclusive influencer motivates millions. Recognized by Outside Magazine among the Top 40 Women Who’ve Made the Biggest Impact, and by Men’s Journal with the 25 Most Adventurous Women, she’s a maverick characterized by her grit, determination, and perseverance. 

Known for seeking the toughest challenges imaginable, pushing herself into unknown territory has yielded Rebecca a first female ascent on Yosemite’s 3000-ft. El Capitan Bermuda Dunes route, a first descent river boarding 300 miles of the entire Grand Canyon in 18 winter days.

On two wheels, she is the only female competitor to win the iconic Leadville 100 four times and has won the renowned Unbound gravel grinder in 6 of 7 attempts (including the notoriously demanding 350-mile XL). She crossed the line as the first female finisher in her first attempt at the Iditarod Trail Invitational, pedaling 350 self-supported miles through the Alaskan wilderness, and was the first person to complete the newly developed  Arkansas High Country Route, completing 1,041 miles and 84,373’ combined elevation gain. She led a charitable cycling expedition up and down Mt. Kilimanjaro, and perhaps most notably, was the first person to ride the entire 1,200-mile length of the Ho Chi Minh Trail, documented in the Emmy-winning film, Blood Road.

Even with all of these accolades under her belt, her inimitable brand and redoubtable resumé continue to expand. Combining ongoing athletic pursuits with entrepreneurial endeavors as CEO of Rusch Ventures, she oversees an impactful network of events, products, and experiences designed to elevate possibilities for people and their bikes.  

Whether through print like in her best-selling autobiography Rusch to Glory, or on the trail, via her popular digital platforms or even as a highly requested keynote speaker, Rebecca inspires and emboldens countless fans. Her marquee event, Rebecca’s Private Idaho, is ranked a top 5 gravel event by Global Cycling Network, and one of the top 25 rides in the world by Outside magazine. Her Rusch Academy full-spectrum cycling retreats boost skills, confidence and performance and her MTB Lao adventure travel excursions expresses Rebecca’s desire to use the bike as a catalyst for healing, empowerment and evolution. 

REBECCA's Projects

The Be Good™ Foundation creates opportunities for outdoor exploration, personal discovery and humanitarian service at local, national and global levels. Priorities include removal of UXO, or unexploded ordnance, throughout Laos, protecting public lands for recreation and access to all, and partnering with other cycling related nonprofits to fund impactful change in their communities.

A gravel bike race for everyone- that does good. With four different events, RPI allows all different ability levels to experience the joy of riding the gravel of central Idaho; from a four-day stage race, to 100, 50 and 20 mile events. Every registration automatically benefits the Be Good Foundation- dedicated to using bicycles as a catalyst for healing, empowerment, and evolution. In 2020, RPI raised over $50,000 to support groups promoting diversity, equality and inclusion in the cycling industry. 

Another Be Good Fundraising event, The Giddy Up Challenge tests riders and runners on their ability to “Everest!”  The annual event takes place on Memorial Day weekend. Rebecca challenges herself and others to #GiddyUpForGood by climbing the equivalent elevation of Mount Everest (29,092’) in a single day. In 2020 she brought together 890 participants to motivate each other and pedal for purpose while raising over $130,000 for Covid-19 Relief funds. 

Climbing Kilimanjaro for the Power of bicycles – In March of 2016, seven-time world champion, author and volunteer firefighter, Rebecca Rusch, and adventurer, Patrick Sweeney, summited Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest peak, to raise funds and awareness for the nonprofit organization, World Bicycle Relief. Rusch and Sweeney rode, carried and pushed their bikes to the summit at 19,341 feet, then braved the journey back down, with the goal to ultimately raise one dollar for every foot of elevation, equaling 131 new bikes for students in Africa.

Epic Riding on the Ho Chi Minh Trail – This trip was time to use my bike for a purpose much bigger than winning championships or breaking records. Through my contacts from the first trip, I was able to assemble a small, but mighty crew with my trusted bike mechanic, motorcycle support friends, logistics team, guides like my husband and a local connection who knows the history of the trail like the back of his hand. I hand selected a group of 15 riders from the US that I knew could handle 8 days of jungle riding in unpredictable conditions. They all needed to have physical skill, mental tenacity, patience and appreciation for far away people and places. They also had to be sensitive enough for me to feel reassured while sharing this very personal journey..

REBECCA's Partner Organizations

World Bicycle Relief mobilizes people through The Power of Bicycles. They are committed to helping people conquer the challenge of distance, achieve independence and thrive.

The Mines Advisory Group is a non-governmental organization that assists people affected by landmines, unexploded ordnance, and small arms and light weapons. MAG takes a humanitarian approach to landmine action.

People for Bikes

PeopleForBikes supports US local, state and national initiatives to improve biking through programs like the Green Lane Project, which helps US cities build better bike lanes to create lower-stress streets. By helping to unite millions of voices across the country, PeopleForBikes empowers riders everywhere to work towards the dream of safe, bicycle-friendly environments for all cyclists, regardless of experience or fitness. PeopleForBikes works to enhance the efforts of cycling advocacy groups throughout the country by bringing reinforcements, money, inspiration and positive publicity to local organizations.

Wood River Trails Coalition

The Wood River Trails Coalition works closely with national and local groups and agencies to create, maintain, and sustain the trail network in the Wood River Valley, Rebecca’s home.

National Interscholastic Cycling Association

NICA promotes high school mountain biking programs in the United States. NICA provides governance, leadership, and program support to regional high school mountain biking organizations. NICA’s mission “develops high school mountain biking programs for student-athletes across the United States”.

connect with REBECCA

PIA SAENGSWANG MOFFATT 

STORY TELLER / PHILANTHROPIC CONSULTANT

Pia has over 25 years of diverse experience in strategic management and leadership positions within the non-profit and private sectors, with a special focus on venture philanthropy, education policy, social entrepreneurship, non- profit management and film. In the early 1990’s, Pia helped to launch the first social entrepreneur-focused venture philanthropy fund in the United States – The Echoing Green Foundation – with leading NYC-based venture capital firm General Atlantic Partners. EGF has funded over 300+ non-profit start-ups worldwide in the environment, education, public health, and youth service. Continuing her career as a Director at $1 billion Broad Foundation in Los Angeles, Pia developed and managed a portfolio of venture philanthropy initiatives focused on dramatically improving public education in the United States. Working closely with the US Department of Education, the White House, state education departments, Governors, Mayors and school district superintendents, Pia managed annual philanthropic commitments of up to $50m focused specifically on national school education data quality initiatives, supporting and scaling CMOs, and governor and mayoral initiatives to improve education. As an independent strategy consultant focusing on education, non-profit and social change initiatives, Pia’s long-term clients have included The Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, The College Board, Inc., and The Prudential Foundation. For these clients, Pia has spearheaded a diverse portfolio of strategic initiatives at the city, state, and national levels. In addition, Pia produced documentary films and public education campaigns for the J.Paul Getty Trust, the Getty Conservation and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art.


Pia studied Politics and Comparative Religion at Mount Holyoke College, Film Producing at The American Film Institute, and was a Public Interest Law Fellow at Harvard Law School.

pia's Projects

thunder dragon fund

With her husband Gerry Moffatt, Pia is most recently the co-founder of Thunder Dragon Fund, a non-profit focused on promoting and supporting the resilience of adventure-based communities through inspirational story-telling, education, and capacity-building pilot projects. Thunder Dragon works primarily in the Himalayas and the Western United States.

TERRY O’CONNOR, MD 

FOUNDER / DOCTOR / ADVENTURER / PODCAST HOST

Over the preceding decades Terry O’Connor’s passion for outside adventures has lead to a diverse set of roles: Ski Patroller. Rural Ambulance EMT. Bike guide. Expedition Manager. Emergency Physician. National Park Service Climbing Ranger. Expedition Doctor. High Altitude Researcher. His work has been featured with National Geographic and the Discovery Channel.

His athletic aspirations have led to ultra marathons, endurance bike adventures, ski mountaineering and high altitude expeditions. His notable accomplishments include circling the rigorous Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc, riding the Leadville 100 MTB, enduring the Silver King 50/50, and even setting foot upon the summit of Everest. He has run 100 miles across Idaho to raise money for earthquake reconstruction efforts in Nepal. He recently logged another top ten finish on the 6 day long traverse of the the TransRockies Run, while raising money for Sherpa families suffering the loss of loved ones working in the climbing industry.

“If there is a guiding principle as to the way O’Connor’s life has unfurled, it is that he has continually followed his passions…”
Read more about Terry in Sun Valley Magazine

Terry's Projects

University of Colorado - Consortium for Climate Change & Health

Terry is Faculty with the Colorado Consortium on Climate Change – whose mission is to address current and future health issues affected by climate variability and change by bringing together a multidisciplinary team of clinicians, biomedical scientists, public health practitioners, epidemiologists, and anthropologists, along with atmospheric scientists

MTB Lao

MTB Lao – In early 2015, Rebecca Rusch had the opportunity to mountain bike the entire length of the Hồ Chí Minh Trail. This historic route was the main supply chain for the North Vietnamese during the war. Terry joined Rebecca in 2016 to see the incredible beauty and history in this undeveloped part of the world. The second purpose for this trip was to raise awareness and funding for UXO (unexploded ordnance) mitigation.

Diploma in Mountain Medicine

Terry is one of the course directors for the Diploma in Mountain Medicine.  An exciting program designed to train the participant in the essentials of caring for patients in the technical mountain environment.  The DiMM has set the standard over the past 10 years in Europe and other parts of the world for education of doctors, mid-level providers, nurses, and medics in mountain medicine and rescue.    The DiMM is an internationally recognized course certifying that the participant has undergone rigorous training and testing. The medical commissions of the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (UIAA) and International Commission for Alpine Rescue (ICAR), together with the International Society for Mountain Medicine (ISMM), established minimal requirements for these courses in 1997.

Terry's Partner Organizations

The Climate Reality Project

The Climate Reality Project – catalyzing a global solution to the climate crisis by making urgent action a necessity across every level of society.

Assistant Clinical Professor - University of Colorado

Terry is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Emergency Medicine for the University of Colorado – The Section of Wilderness and Environmental Medicine is a university-based enterprise to promote research, clinical best practice, education, and outreach to advance health and wellness in extreme or austere environments.

The Juniper Fund

The Juniper Fund provides Assistance to Individuals, Families and Communities in Underserved Countries Adversely Impacted by their work for the Mountain-based Adventure Industry.

JRM Foundation

The JRM family foundation seeks to provide funding with no discrimination to race, color, culture, religion, nationality, and social or ethnic background. It pursues to improve lives of people in general, with special emphasis on improving the quality of women and children’s health and education.

EMILY WILLIAMS 

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR / ENVIRONMENTALIST / COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGIST

Emily grew up chasing her family as they were kayaking rivers, climbing peaks, and skiing powder in Central Idaho. Her passion for the environment grew as she did, deepening with every new adventure. When she discovered the rivers were being dammed for hydropower, snow forecasts were predicted to decrease due to climate change, and public lands were threatening to disappear to private interests, she knew she had to take action. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and Peace and Justice Studies from Tufts University in 2015. In her current position as Communications Associate with the Sun Valley Institute, she works to increase awareness and inspire action to protect our natural world through public advocacy campaigns. Emily aspires to continue growing an influential community to confront the critical environmental crises of our time, from climate change to water scarcity.

EMILY's Projects

STANDHOPE RUN FOR PUBLIC LANDS

As a runner and outdoor enthusiast, Emily relies on public lands not only to recreate, but for the clean air and water they provide, the inspirational moments found in natural beauty and solitude, and the habitat public lands offer for the other species we share this planet with. In 2017 Emily ran the Standhope Ultramarathon to raise money for the Idaho Conservation League (ICL), a non-profit that works to protect this unspoiled landscape for us and future generations.

Emily's Partner Organizations

Trail Sisters

Trail Sisters is a women’s trail running community and online journal. Trail Sisters mission is to increase women’s participation and opportunity in trail running through inspiration, education and empowerment.

BLAKE EVERSON 

ADVOCATE FOR CULTURAL PRESERVATION AND RESPONSIBLE TOURISM

After graduating with a degree in environmental literature, Blake Everson set forth with a plan to explore the world’s less-traveled regions in pursuit of adventure and understanding. It didn’t take long for his itinerary to include the island nation of Papua New Guinea, which, as it turns out was exactly where he had been meant to go. Over ten years has passed and Blake now leads custom, small-group cultural immersion expeditions into some of the most remote areas of Papua New Guinea. Working closely with tribes to develop itineraries that highlight the traditional knowledge of indigenous societies, he has witnessed a revival of cultural pride that has helped compel communities to resist the menacing advance of industry. When not out eating insects with the Kosua tribe of Mt. Bosavi, Blake works to educate tour companies and adventure seekers how culturally immersive collaborations with indigenous societies can help protect cultural diversity worldwide.

BLAKE's Projects

ORIGIN PAPUA NEW GUINEA

    • Origin Papua New Guinea brings tourists to the island to experience authentic cultural immersion. The promotion of tourism in such isolated areas is known to be controversial. The decision of Origin Papua New Guinea to bring travelers from the developed world to experience traditional tribal culture was a difficult one. Only after lengthy and repeat discussions with village elders, chiefs and village citizens of the three Upper Kosua villages, was a mutually agreed upon immersive tourist program developed. It was decided that conscientious tourists would actually galvanize the cultural identity, strengthen environmental stewardship of the surrounding jungle, and provide a sustainable income for communities who have, so far, resisted the vexing voice of modern development.

NATE GALPIN 

ARTIST / ENGINEER / ATHLETE

Nate is a conceptual artist; A person who devotes his energy to ideas rather than a single skill or material. He prides himself on the notion that quality is backbone of our lives. He’s a former multi-discipline member of the US Snowboard Team, X-Games alumni, a father, a mountaineer, and an Engineer/EMT for the Sun Valley Fire Department. He’s cast himself around the world for a variety of reasons and for a variety of disciplines, but calls Ketchum, Idaho home. Carrying a degree from the University of Puget Sound, he’s aiming for empowerment through knowledge and self-reliance.

NATE's Projects

“Galpin founded his studio seven years ago, it was predicated on the concept of human-as-isotope, the notion that we are all made of the same infrastructure, the same elements, the same connective tissue, but that even in repetition, there is variance. Here, where the only rules of the game are the laws that govern science, channeling what’s inherently given is vital. ‘A conceptual artist needs to pay attention to the idea, not the process,” he explained. “You have to learn to be an organism and grab at the best pieces. Extract what’s best and then step aside. Once you’ve done the work, you have to get out of the way.'” Read more about Nate in Sun Valley Magazine