Ambassadors

Occupation: 
Freelance writer/photographer; Professional skier
Hometown: 
Saranac Lake, NY
Current: 
Red Lodge, MT

I'm a mountain gal. I've skied down them, climbed up them and lived among them my whole life, first in the northeastern U.S. and now in the northern Rockies. I'm the author of 12 books, including 8 hiking guidebooks. I've trekked throughout many parts of the world. Through my media work, I encourage people to get outdoors. I currently contribute to 30+ magazines and web sites, such as Appalachia, Adirondack Explorer, Wyoming Wildlife and Colorado Outdoors, on various outdoor activities, adventure travel destinations and conservation topics.

Highlights:

  • Watching my son grow into a competent hiker, backpacker, skier and outdoorsman.
  • Marrying my husband, Jack!
  • Standing on top of big mountains like Kilimanjaro, the Grand Teton and Mount Rainier
  • Harvesting my first bull elk (2017)
  • Skiing champagne powder up to my waist anywhere, any time!
  • Catching, tagging and releasing an 800-pound tuna
  • 3 Emmy's for Wildlife Journal (PBS)
  • Surpassed 100 U.S Alpine Masters Skiing Championships in 2018!
  • 2017 and 202 International masters overall champion in super-G (that's all women, ages 30+)

Fun Fact:
My favorite movies are The Lord of the Rings series. Talk about an epic trek!

What are you looking forward to?
Climbing a couple of 14,000-footers in Colorado this summer

Exploring Wadi Rum region of Jordan next spring. I've never trekked in the Middle East.

What’s an interesting trip/climb/expedition where you’ve taken your LOWAs?
Last fall, I climbed to the top of Mount Winnikunka (17,000 feet) in Peru's Rainbow Mountains. The technicolor view made up for the lack of oxygen. What a privilege to see this fleeting landscape, which was only revealed by melting glaciers about 15 years ago and will soon be covered again as lichens and sedges spread higher and higher due to climate change.

My favorite LOWAs:
My hands down favorite is Lowa's Innox Pro GTX Lo for women. I LOVE this hiking shoe. Here's why, in no particular order:

  • It's comfortable right out of the box, even with my well-used feet with all of their bunions and bumps from many years in very small ski boots and many miles on hiking trails. I have a skinny ankle area but a wide forefoot. Lowa's seem to fit me the best of any hiking shoe I've ever tried, and believe me, I've tried a lot of them.
  • It's got Gore-tex! I hike a lot in the northeast. The trails are often muddy and wet even if it's not raining. That said, this shoe is really breathable, so when I'm up high in the northern Rockies (where I actually live now), my feet are still comfortable when it's hot and dry. --The sole is grippy on slick rocks, but durable. Sometimes the rubber in grippy soles is too soft and wears out quickly. I put about 300 miles on a pair of hiking shoes per summer. Lowa's soles always hold up.
  • They look great! Maybe that's a girl thing, but I think they are really attractive. I wear these shoes around town and walking my dog, too. They look good with my jeans and shorts. Outdoorsy and "in".
  • In a pinch, I can use them for trailrunners, usually when I'm limited for luggage.
Connect with Lisa Ballard