Ontario summers are hot and humid and the best place to be is in the lake. Sasha lived in her bathing suit, working as a lifeguard and swimming instructor. On weekends, She would drive her little Toyota Echo full of friends to Calabogie in search of rock to climb. It was a typical locals’ spot where the access was easy, the bugs were plenty, and the routes no longer than 15 meters. Later she would venture further to Quebec, and then into the states where she would read and dream about climbing routes like Pure Imagination in the Red River Gorge.
She fell in love with the lifestyle and dirtbag culture. Whether she wanted to identify as a climber or not, she experienced the visible transformations we all do: calloused skin and bunions on your toes giving your feet a permanently crumpled appearance. Overdeveloped back muscles, hands the texture of sandpaper and knuckles permanently scraped and scarred.
After university Sasha decided to move to the Rockies. She began working as a seasonal wildland firefighter, fulfilling her passion for working hard, being outside, and playing with fire. Sasha was in her comfort zone while rappelling from rope out of a helicopter. Between her first two fire seasons, she made a 6-month trip to Morocco and Spain with her best friend. The goal was to drink wine, eat olives, and climb as much as possible. This momentous adventure defined her transition from mostly single-pitch sport cragging to multi-pitching and trad climbing. When Sasha returned to Canmore, she invested in the gear and began her journey into alpine climbing. She has come to appreciate the Rockies “choss”, even after experiencing the granite monoliths in Squamish and the Bugaboos.
Sasha has lived in Canmore for 7 years. She works as a full-time wildland firefighter for Banff National Park. She is grateful to work and play in the same place, allowing her to intimately explore her backyard. Her local goals for the summer include the Rundle Traverse, the Canmore technical quad, and any or all of the routes on Mt. Louis. During the winter, she chooses to spend her time exploring the backcountry as the lone splitboarder who shuffles behind her ski touring friends. Although she has dabbled in ice climbing for several years, she has only recently developed a stronger obsession for climbing ice and (mostly) rock with sharp things attached to her hands and feet.
Sasha’s motivation extends into all other areas of her life including her shared passion project, the Dirtbabe Collective. Her role as co-founder is about promoting the initiative through engagement with the climbing community. She has always had an entrepreneurial drive and enjoys the creative process of collaborating with people who share this passion. It is her goal to empower and be empowered by all the badass women who have committed to continuously challenging themselves in the mountains and learning everyday. She believes that all women are fully capable of achieving their dreams. She believes that passion is contagious and fear is fuel for success. The second we step out of our comfort zone, we begin to step into our power.