What about the 10k Project excites you the most?

I’m really excited about getting more women out on the trails! Many of my friends say, “You do the coolest hikes,” but when I invite them along, they’re initially skeptical about joining me because they’re “not a hiker.” But after they go on one hike, they’re totally hooked! I love hiking with new people so this project has been really fun so far.

What role does hiking and the outdoors play in your life? How has it shaped who you are?

Hiking is a huge part of my life. Going outdoors magically makes my bad days get a lot better and always seems to put me in a good mood. I have loved hiking for most of my life, but ever since moving to Alaska, it has become a seriously huge part of how I keep myself happy, healthy and sane. I try to hike at least once a week all year long, which keeps me motivated in the coldest and darkest months of the year. I think without hiking, I’d be a lot more miserable and bored!

Do you have a hiking story you want to share with us?

One of my favorite hiking moments was my first winter mountain summit. I’m still a newbie when it comes to hiking, and I’ve always been afraid of hiking in the snow on steep trails. I thought for sure that I’d start an avalanche or injure myself in some way. But with the guidance of another awesome female hiker, I did my first winter summit – and we did it in the dark underneath the northern lights! The hike was on a Tuesday evening and I couldn’t believe that I’d made it to the top of a mountain in the snow on a weeknight when I usually would have been sitting around watching Netflix. It was a big moment because I realized that I’m capable of doing some really awesome things and pushing through my fears with the support of other outdoorsy women! And I don’t think I’ll ever forget how amazing it was to hike under the northern lights.

We are so excited to welcome Kristen and the 99 other Trailblazers who have signed on to help lead us in inspiring women all year! Read about our Trailblazers here.

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