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Introducing GLCR Advocate - Jen Callahan

From competitive Freeride skiing to leading rock climbing adventures, 25 year old from Virginia City, Nevada ,Jen Callahan, lives a diverse life that puts her in conditions. We are excited to make Jen a part of 686 and the GLCR Project. 

How long have you been skiing and climbing?

I've been skiing for 20 years and climbing for 8 years.

What got you into the activities?

I started skiing under instruction from my dad who is a retired ski racer. He would build jumps in the front yard that I would hit while wearing a bathing suit in the spring after all the resorts would close. The neighbors complained about that. Started skiing more seriously in 2010 due to an amazing winter in Tahoe and have been a bum ever since. I started climbing in 2009 and have worked as a competitive coach and route setter in climbing gyms. I got into climbing because I really enjoy the puzzle and challenge of sport climbing and bouldering. I love the exposure and endurance of trad and big wall climbing. For both skiing and climbing it’s also the community that keeps me coming back. Everyone is so welcoming and fun.


Are you working on any interesting projects or have any trips coming up?

Currently I'm trying my luck at a few regional Freeride World Qualifier stops. I already did one at Targhee and the next one is at Sierra-At-Tahoe and I am really looking forward to that. Hopefully I'll be able to save enough money to head to Iceland and do some Fjord skiing in April. Then in May is the Summer Shredfest Freeride World Qualifier Stop in Montana. This year I am going to try and ski every month near Lake Tahoe. I want to accomplish a Sierra Trifecta this year, where you ski, climb, surf in the same day (or ski, mountain bike, surf) This summer I want to lead War Paint, 5.11, which is this great climb around Lake Tahoe. Going to head to Bishop for bouldering this spring. I also plan on a few multi day river trips this summer that will hopefully include climbing. Also last month marks a year since I moved into a school bus and am living at a ski resort in it.


What are some of your favorite past projects or trips?

Last summer I spent 20 days on a river trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Two summers ago I was living in a truck road tripping around the United States. I took a surf trip to Baja and lived off of fresh seafood and Pacificos a few years ago, which was really neat. I drove the Al-Can highway a few years ago and saw the most beautiful places I've ever seen.


When you think of a tough adventure is there a past trip that comes to mind?

The Grand Canyon trip was tough because of 20 days in the Arizona desert and huge rapids. We had a boat flip in a rapid and spoiled a lot of our produce with river water about 5 days into the trip. That sucked. I also got lost once on the way to a hut during a backcountry skiing mission. It was dark before we found the hut.


I hope to bring a little awareness to environmental responsibility through Leave No Trace adventures. I also am keen provide feedback for gear that makes back country skiing, big wall/bouldering/sport climbing, and competitive big mountain skiing more comfortable and functional.

- I think that if we can all drink more Tequila, reduce our carbon footprint, and hit bigger cliffs that the world will be a better place.


Follow Jen's adventures @jen_violet_callahan