Charlotte Austin splits her time between working as an adventure writer and an international mountain guide... she's busy. She has climbed all over the world: in the Himalaya, Denali, Elbrus (the tallest mountain in Europe, which is in Russia), Kilimanjaro, Mount Rainier, the list goes on! She recently had a cover story in Alpinist Magazine about women in alpinism, and frequently writes about travel, mountains, and gender. She is a Wilderness-EMT, extra class ham radio operator, holds a Level 2 certification from the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education, and has a 150-pound black dog named Huckleberry (he's super adorable). In 2016, she won first place in the Pacific Northwest’s Society of Professional Journalist’s “Excellence in Journalism Competition.” You can find some of her writing samples here, here, and here. Yeaaaaah, don't mind us - we're just woman crushing super hard over here (but also trying to play it super cool). Enjoy the interview!
JB: WHAT'S IN YOUR BACKPACK, PURSE, POCKET, FANNY PACK RIGHT NOW?
CA: This is ridiculous, but I carry a 64-ounce Hydroflask with me everywhere I go. It’s actually supposed to be a growler, but I replaced the growler lid with a flip-up straw and use it as the biggest water bottle ever. People laugh when they see it — but then they think about how awesome it is to be hydrated, and they often end up wanting one of their own. Ridiculous, right?
JB: WHAT DO YOU DREAM OF?
CA: Really good Mexican street tacos. Foot massages. Fresh blackberries. The way my dog smells when he sleeps.
JB: WHAT TIME DID YOU GET UP THIS MORNING?
CA: 6am. I’m not necessarily a morning person, but I’m absolutely the most productive during the first couple of hours of each day. I love to get up early, drink way too much coffee, and slay my inbox.
JB: WHO DO YOU ADMIRE?
CA: This year I’m actively looking for role models who are particularly good at balancing their lives: mothers who also get outside and play; working creative types who manage to maintain both a commercial and a personal practice; athletes who train in sustainable ways.
JB: WHAT IS YOUR SECRET SUPERPOWER?
CA: This isn’t a superpower, but I get high-altitude hiccups. It’s like clockwork: the second I step above 14,000’, I start hiccupping. It’s literally more accurate than my altimeter.
JB: WHAT ARE YOU LEARNING RIGHT NOW?
CA: How to foam roll. I’m dealing with plantar fasciitis, and I’m slowly learning that managing this injury is going to take a full-body commitment to stretching, fascia work, yoga, and physical therapy. I feel way healthier, stronger, and more flexible now than I did ten years ago, and I’m stoked about that — but holy smokes, foam rolling is BRUTAL.
JB: WHAT'S THE LAST PLACE YOU TRAVELLED TO? WHY?
CA: I just got back from Mongolia, where I was guiding IMG’s first-ever expedition to climb Mount Khuiten (14,350’), the country’s tallest mountain. It’s nestled in the border tripoint between China, Russia, and Mongolia, right in the Altai Mountains. I petted so many camels – I can’t even tell you how many.
JB: WHO'S YOUR PIC (PARTNER IN CRUSHING IT)?
CA: Well, I’m lucky to have lots of incredible people in my life, but my daily partner in crushing it is Huckleberry, my great dane/lab mix. I adopted him when he was five weeks old, and now He’s my running partner, my writing companion, and the best listener I know.
JB: WHAT'S THE NEXT THING ON YOUR CALENADR?
CA: I’m leading a Machu Picchu trek in Peru in September — and then I finally get a couple of weeks at home! I can’t wait.
Big thanks to Charlotte for crushing it. Check out her site here!