"We all have a bright light inside of us to share!"
The American commits to a steep slope just like she commits to a cause: with passion. She wanted to be a mountaineer before she was a skier. In the end, she combined the two. Her dream job is to climb the most beautiful mountains in the world on foot before skiing back down. Once at the top, Caroline Gleich, who's also an occasional freerider, never sets off with her eyes closed but always with a degree of caution. Scarred by her own traumas, she's too attached to life. A life of sport and adventure that fills her with happiness today.
Attracted by verticality
Caroline Gleich grew up in Minnesota, surrounded by trees, lakes... and flat plains as far as the eye can see. Not a mountain on the horizon! These absent and unknown summits fascinated the young girl, who discovered rock climbing in a small gym in her hometown of Rochester. She then hit her first groomed trails with her family on a winter sports vacation in the backcountry of Utah. She still lives there today in the resort of Park City. It's also where her half-brother, who passed on his love of outdoor sports, lost his life in an avalanche. Caroline was 15 years old.
On behalf of women everywhere
It's therefore anything but a coincidence that it was here, in the middle of the enormous powder-covered Wasatch Mountains – a chain bordering the Rockies – that the professional ski mountaineer completed her greatest challenge: climbing and skiing the 90 couloirs of "The Chuting Gallery" listed in Andrew McLean's guidebook. A dangerous itinerary of ice waterfalls, abseiled descents, crevasses and extreme lines, that the instructor at the Utah Avalanche Center tackled with amazing control and a positive mind-set. Caroline Gleich was the first woman to complete this monumental feat in 2017. A victory for the ex-model, and for her commitment to gender equality.
In 2019, a year after climbing and then skiing down the world's sixth highest peak, Cho Oyu, Caroline climbed Everest via the northeast ridge, one of the hardest routes. She completed her "Climb for Equality" with her partner Rob, but without the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee, which she'd ruptured in a ski fall a few weeks earlier! A breathtaking performance and a lesson in courage.
Adventurer and activist
Caroline Gleich is very active on social media, posting accounts of her adventures with sublime images, and it's through her expeditions that she wants to leave a legacy. To be a role model, a source of inspiration, to encourage other athletes and her community to explore the mountains without damaging them, so that this world that captivates and amazes her can be preserved for the future. A graduate in anthropology and a climate activist, she works with several environmental NGOs. Her own way of giving back to nature what it has given her: happiness in its purest form.
With Julbo, Caroline collaborated on the Elara pro model. These goggles, from which a percentage of sales are donated to the non-profit POW (Protect Our Winters), are a perfect reflection of her vision of life: joyful and committed.