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From Tahoe South to Greenland – one local’s adventure


Meghan Kelly finds her line over Lake Tahoe | Photo by Lauren Lindley
Photo by Lauren Lindley 

One of the great things about living here is seeing how people draw inspiration from the surroundings.  Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or a renowned artist, Lake Tahoe can fuel creativity and ambitions.  For me, this might mean hiking Mt. Tallac.  For others, like my friend and Tahoe South local Meghan Kelly, that means organizing a ski and sail expedition from Iceland to Greenland.

Meghan is a skier, adventurer, engineer, and scientist who will be heading north later this month to tackle new ski lines as well as raise awareness about climate change and collect scientific data.

This is clearly not your average ski vacation, but one that requires quite a bit of work and preparation.  I was curious - how has living in Tahoe South helped inspire and prepare her for her upcoming expedition?

Jenn Gleckman: Tell us about your upcoming expedition, Shifting Ice and Changing Tides.
Meghan Kelly: A team of 4 other women and me, along with our photographer and our French captain will be sailing from Iceland to Greenland in pursuit of new ski descents. We hope to bring back captivating imagery and powerful stories about the state of the climate in the region. We’ll also be collecting data for various scientific conservation studies in the region, many related to Greenland’s changing climate.

Meghan Kelly at Kirkwood Mountain Resort
Meghan skiing the powder at Kirkwood

JG: How has living in Tahoe South helped you prepared for an expedition like this?
MK: The minute I saw Lake Tahoe (in the winter of 2002), it became the place where I wanted to live. I was drawn to the both the winter and summer possibilities. When I finally moved here in 2006, I took up backcountry skiing right away. The backcountry options in Tahoe South are ideal, as they allow you to start with somewhat limited knowledge and work your way up to higher consequence terrain as you gain experience. The first year, I skied zones that were considered very safe and each year, with new knowledge and skills, I was able to ski new mountains and ski lines. There are still many challenging lines here that I haven’t yet skied.  I continue to learn every season.

Meghan Kelly at the helm on Lake Tahoe
Meghan at the helm 

JG: What about the sailing?
MK: When we dreamed up this trip, Martha Hunt, a team member and master yachtsman, was integral to our plan. But we all wanted to chip in and be able deckhands.  So I spent the past summer sailing at least once a week with a local captain named Steve Katzman, who happens to be the rear commodore of the Tahoe Windjammers Yacht Club. Steve is an incredibly passionate skier and sailor who has called Lake Tahoe home for more than 30 years.  He literally showed me the ropes and passed along some of his passion to me. Sailing is a beautiful and fun way to see the lake.

JG: Have you sailed to any ski lines in Lake Tahoe?
MK: Not yet! But, maybe next year! I have already dreamed up a few shorter stand up paddleboard and ski adventures.

JG: How can people follow your expedition?
MK: We will be posting updates on our website, www.shiftingice.org, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

JG: Anything else?
MK: We currently have a crowdfunding campaign running through March 12th. Please visit the Shifting Ice and Changing Tides campaign to pitch in!

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Jenn Gleckman

Jenn, who moved to Lake Tahoe in 1999, is in tourism marketing for MarketingProfs. She admits to spending as much time as possible playing outside, ideally on her skis or mountain bike.


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