The 2019 Therm-a-Rest Winter Dream Team is a ragtag crew of adventurers and explorers that, in our opinion, have some pretty incredible stories, objectives and pursuits. They share our draw to the great outdoors and also share our desire for a better night under the stars. We’re excited to share their stories over the next few months and hope their adventures inspire you like they inspired all of us here in Seattle.

Without further ado, we give you the 2019 Winter Dream Team.

Brooklyn Bell @badgal_brooky

 
Winter Dream Teal Brooklyn Bell
How did you find your passion?
I got into mountain biking during my first couple years of college. I was a trail runner at the time and I also worked a serving job in a bagel shop. I would work my shift every day and later go trail running at Galbraith Mountain. One of my regular customers would ride during the same time that I would get out for my daily run. One day in the bagel shop he asked me “why I wasn’t on a bike?” and things blossomed from there.

What sport do you really want to learn more about and why?
I really want to become a big mountain skier. That requires a vast knowledge of snow pack and years of experience on skis. I’ve always fantasized about skiing those big spines in ski movies.

What is your most embarrassing backcountry moment?
Honestly, I feel pretty useless sometimes trying to get my skins to work.

Rafa Godoi @rafamundando

 
Winter Dream Team Rafa Godio
What is your greatest triumph in the outdoors?
Could easily point out one of my amazing times summiting one of the biggest volcanoes but, one of my greatest triumphs on the outdoors was on a day adventure at Mount Saint Helens when some friends and I were able to help someone in need out on the trail. Helping someone in need to safely and successfully make it back home was a priceless triumph.

Where do you really want to go and why?
Thailand for sure is my dream destination! I want to spend some time out there exploring the culture, surroundings and gorgeous beaches.

Karen Ramos @naturechola

 
Winter Dream Team Karen Ramos
Tell us about your first trip in the great outdoors?
I was 16 when I went on my first backpacking trip, it was through Montana’s backcountry through a “hoods-to-the-woods” intercity youth program. I remember thinking to myself I AM NEVER DOING THIS S!@%& AGAIN.. EVER!! Fast forward ten years later, it is my favorite past time and I founded a nonprofit that gives youth the opportunity to also go backpacking and have type-3 fun, like I did.

Who inspires you?
My mom, I like to call her the OG Van Lifer/ Dirtbag. Before Instagram was a thing, she and my father used to pack up our 1960’s Honda and take off for weeks on the road with us. Stopping in little towns along the way, sleeping out on the beach no sleeping bag, tent, or fancy equipment required, just a cobija.

Laura Lisowski @lauralisowski

 
Winter Dream team Laura Lisowski
How did you find your passion?
Rather than me finding them, I would say that photography and mountaineering found me. I recently read the following quote in Women Who Run with Wolves, “Women used to beg for the instruments and the spaces needed for their arts, and if none were forthcoming, they made space in trees, caves, woods, and closets … Art is important for it commemorates the seasons of the soul, or a special or tragic event in the soul’s journey. Art is not just for oneself, not just a marker of one’s own understanding. It is also a map for those who follow after us … The craft of questions, the craft of stories, the craft of the hands – all these are the making of something and that something is soul. Anytime we feed soul, it guarantees increase.” For me, mountains allow me to create my own story, my own narrative, as well as tap into the stories and experiences of others. The accompanying photography and storytelling is merely an expression of that. These places and this craft allows me to tap into and express my soul and I love the idea of creating a map for others in the future – which can be used as a guide, and then hopefully made into their own.

What sport do you really want to learn more about and why?
I’ve done a lot of trekking and a fair amount of mountaineering, but have yet to deep dive into ice climbing or more technical rock climbing. I’m stoked to push my limits (and fears!) with some more technical training in the coming months, and I’m always looking for like-minded climbing buddies.

Jordan Ingmire @jordaningmire

 
Winter Dream Team Jordan Ingmire
What are your greatest triumphs in the outdoors?
My biggest test of discipline was cycling across the country towing my dog.

My biggest test of external fear was a trip sailing a 19ft Hobie-Cat from Port Townsend, Washington to Ketchikan, Alaska (with no motor). This was absolute insanity. Completely vulnerable to the elements. Not just wind, rain etc. We were at the mercy of the sea, with no shelter and no mechanized propulsion. We rolled the dice on this one… and the dice fell into the sea.

My biggest test of internal fear was cycling mainland Mexico. Testing my true beliefs in humanity while internally battling everything I am exposed to hear in the states

What sport do you really want to learn more about and why?
The physical aspects of my life are absolutely necessary, but after 22 years of dedication to playing hard, the voice in my heart calls for balance. I am most interested in learning about how to live a healthy life that enriches not only myself but also the planet and people close to me.

Sammy Spence @well_wandered

 
Winter Dream Team Sammy Spence
Where is your favorite place to spend a day?
In the mountains, on top of mountains, riding down mountains, flying on top of snow or riding dusty trails down on two wheels, sitting cross legged in an alpine meadow, identifying wildflowers, writing poetry or painting, letting the sun hit my face, or catching snowflakes on my tongue beneath jagged granite ice covered peaks, hiking till my legs are shaky and my lungs are filled to the brim with mountain-air, drinking hot coffee on top of mountains, steam rising with the sun, skinny dipping in alpine lakes nestled between the mountains, watching the sky turn into a bowl of stars while laying down in under the shadow of a mountain. Any day among the mountains is my new favorite day.

What is your greatest triumph in the outdoors?
The first time I went backcountry skiing…with snowshoes. I didn’t have any skins or touring skis so I strapped my powder skis to my back, along with my ski boots and toured up the mountain in feet of snow with my snowshoes strapped to my rubber winter boots. It was the best and hardest day of my life.

Meet the rest of the Winter Dream Team members in Part 2.