Once labeled a ski model, Caroline Gleich is open and honest about all she has done to become a respected ski mountaineer.

“I always had this greater vision for myself, and along the way everyone told me I couldn’t do it—I was too small, I wasn’t strong enough—but eventually you kind of have to decide what you’re capable of and not listen to anyone else,” says Gleich, in this episode of the “Sponsored” podcast.

Gleich and host Mike Powell also discuss gender biases in snowsports.

“There’s still so much implicit bias about what a small woman can do,” says Gleich. “In snowsports, we still have a really long way to go as far as gender equality. At the end of the day, I think my actions will speak louder than any of my words. I do want validation and would love more recognition about my accomplishments, but at the end of the day, I’d rather just do the thing and let my actions speak for me.”

In addition to being a ski mountaineer, Gleich is known for her perpetual high energy.

“I’m just so grateful in my adult life to keep my body in motion. Growing up, sitting through school was always really hard for me,” says Gleich. “When I’m in the mountains, I’m just so overjoyed to be there. So I think just having the energy and the stoke, it was really helpful to have that burning desire.”

Listen to the full, candid podcast here.

Show Notes
1:11: Busy early season
2:00: Getting into skiing in MN
3:40: Small in stature
7:12: Moving to Utah
9:15: Ulmer hired to mentor
10:15: How did you get your first sponsor
12:00: The face of skiing in Utah
14:00: How did she get into climbing?
15:00: 2013: The year of Caroline
15:47: Andrew McLean
16:45: Getting back into climbing with Liz
18:00: Challenges of being small
19:30: The gender issue in skiing
20:30: A non-traditional path to finding success
22:44: Who pays the bills?
25:00: What's on tap for 2017

“Sponsored” is a weekly show hosted by Mike Powell that goes deep into the lives and stories of professional skiers. For more Powder Radio, check out “The Storytellers” podcast, which goes behind the scenes with POWDER.

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PHOTO: Caroline Gleich ascending the south couloir of the Aiguille de Chardonnay in the French Alps, by KT Miller.