On a Conservation Mission, Kit DesLauriers Skis Beyond the Summit

‘Beyond the Summit’ follows renowned skier Kit DesLauriers as she tours across the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, on a scientific mission to try and save it.

What is an athlete to do when they’ve accomplished one of the greatest achievements in the history of their sport? How do you continue to strive, when you’ve reached the top? Where do you go from there?

And how can the skills you’ve gathered along the way contribute to the greater good?

These were the questions The North Face athlete, Kit DesLauriers, found herself struggling with after she completed skiing all of the tallest peaks on all seven continents.

The Seven Summits took her years. But after coming down from Mount Everest, the peak she saved for last, she was awarded the snow sports medal of honor and was inducted into the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

“I thought that would be my sunset,” DesLauriers said in her new film, “Beyond the Summit.”

But it wasn’t. In fact, for DesLauriers, it was the beginning of a whole new adventure.

Kit DesLauriers: Beyond the Summit

“Beyond the Summit” follows DesLauriers as she embarks on a dangerous and thrilling trek across arctic Alaska, on skis. But it isn’t just her story. It’s also a story about protecting the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) from oil extraction.

“I realized I could take this high-level skillset I had built and contribute to some greater understanding of this place. Which is important to me,” DesLauriers said.

“On my 2010 trip as I was skiing across the coastal plain, I was struck with how fragile it feels. I made a personal vow, ‘I’m going to do whatever I can do, to protect this place.'”

So, the pro athlete put together a team and set out on a mission across the ANWR. Not just to traverse the refuge, but to document its diminishing snowpack along the way — to document how that frozen world is starting to thaw.

Run time: 33:15

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Will Brendza
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Will Brendza is a writer, journalist, and professional misfit based out of Boulder, Colorado. Will grew up on the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains, reenacting "Survivorman" episodes and studying books like "Hatchet," "The Monkey Wrench Gang" and "Into the Wild". He's written on topics ranging from cannabis to local news, the environment and, of course, outdoor gear and adventure. If he's not banging stories out on his computer, you’ll probably find Will skiing or mountain biking (depending on the season)—or drinking beer at some remote craft brewery.

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