For more than a decade, the Alpenglow Winter Speaker Series has been a staple of the season in Squaw Valley, packing the historic Olympic Village Lodge with over 600 guests on a monthly basis. With past appearances by outdoor legends Jeremy Jones, Alex Honnold, Michelle Parker, and Emily Harrington, to name a few, events have attracted scores of attendees from around the region.
The tradition continues Feb. 7, when Salt Lake City-based ski mountaineer and adventurer Caroline Gleich visits Squaw to discuss how adventure and activism are intertwined. A familiar face from the covers of Powder, Backcountry, and Ski magazines, Gleich spends her time running trails, alpine climbing, ridge scrambling, biking, and “dreaming about her next human-powered adventure” when she’s not out playing in the snow.
In her installment of the Winter Speaker Series, Gleich will share personal stories about mountaineering and activism, highlighting the parallels with advocacy and sharing ideas about what people can do to really make a difference in the world.
“As skiers and snowboarders, we are all intimately connected to snowpack and landscapes, and becoming an activist is a natural extension of the time we spend in wild places,” Gleich told Moonshine Ink. “Just like you have to be brave to drop into a steep line, you have to be brave to speak up for social and environmental issues. If you’re not an ally, you’re a bystander; and if you don’t speak up, then who will?”
While this lauded series is free to the public, it has managed to raise more than $170,000 over time for various nonprofit groups throughout the Lake Tahoe region. Alpenglow Sports, located in Tahoe City, regularly secures an assortment of products donated by the speakers’ sponsors and raffles them off during the night of the presentation. One hundred percent of the proceeds are donated to causes like Achieve Tahoe, Sierra Avalanche Center, Adventure Risk Challenge, and the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe, among others. In November 2018, skiing icon Glenn Plake’s appearance, which Alpenglow called an “inspiring and somewhat raucous event” with the legend’s “energy and passion radiating through the ecstatic crowd,” raised nearly $10,000 for Sierra Avalanche Center. A silent donor for that evening’s presentation had pledged to triple the amount raised, resulting in a whopping near $30,000, ensuring avalanche programs continue to thrive.
Funds raised from Gleich’s February appearance will benefit Protect Our Winters (POW).