Episode 96: Trust the Timing – Ski Mountaineer Caroline Gleich

Episode 96 – Trust the Timing

Interview with Ski Mountaineer Caroline Gleich

+ Update with Karen Wang

This episode sponsored by ThirdLove

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Caroline Gleich is a ski mountaineer who knows the meaning of scary but rewarding: whether she’s climbing 8,000 meter mountains in the Himalayas or anticipating her future as an adventure-seeking wife and mom. Years of hard work have brought her here and while she’s a self described late bloomer, Caroline’s learned to trust the timing in her life.

Looking back on 2018, Caroline shared on her Instagram that she summited 72 peaks and climbed 489,704 human powered vertical feet of uphill. Included in these peaks and vertical feet was the 6th highest mountain in the world, Cho Oyu. We talked with Caroline about that climb and the family she sees in her future. Even though she’s ski mountaineered some of the tallest mountains in the world, her thoughts on fear, self-trust, and creating the life she wants for herself hit close to home.

Plus, we catch up with Karen Wang two years after we interviewed her for Episode 9, After the Pacific Crest Trail.  We hear about her finishing what she started on the trail and the strength she found after a chronic health issue.

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Featured in this episode: Caroline Gleich and Karen Wang

Hosted by Gale Straub

In this episode, you’ll hear:

  • What surprised Caroline about her climb of Cho Oyu, the sixth highest mountain in the world
  • Why she continues to ski mountaineer despite the inherent risks
  • How altitude sickness almost cost her the summit
  • Why she proposed to her fiancé and not the other way around
  • How what she learned on Cho Oyu will help her on her spring climb of Everest
  • How Caroline copes with pre-trip anxiety and post-trip depression
  • Why getting married and planning to have kids feels scarier than a big mountaineering trip
  • Our update with Karen Wang two years after her “After the Pacific Crest Trail” interview

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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photos courtesy of Caroline Gleich

Caroline proposing to now-fiancé Rob Lea on summit of Cho Oyu

Caroline in Nepal


Photos by Karen Wang from her 2017 completion of the PCT

Karen Wang PCT

Karen crossing border to Washington in 2017

PCT trail marker

PCT trail marker

Forest fire on the PCT

Forest fire on the PCT

Karen Wang PCT Terminus

Karen at the PCT Terminus

Karen Wang Washington

Karen in October 2018, in recovery from TSW

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