Caroline Gleich enjoying the colors and textures in a small art shop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Leslie Hittmeier photo.
Caroline Gleich has been a fixture in the backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering world for the last five years (at least). She started out shooting epic powder shots with legendary photographers Lee Cohen and Jay Beyer at Alta and eventually found that she was interested in bigger mountains and bigger lines. Gleich is notoriously goal-oriented and she managed to show the outdoor community, through her actions alone, that a Utah pow skier could become an accomplished ski mountaineer.
She has traveled the world—Chamonix, Slovenia, Ecuador, Alaska and beyond—in pursuit of human powered adventure and just last week she completed her long term project of skiing all the lines in The Chuting Gallery (a 90-page steep skiing guidebook to the Wasatch by Andrew McLean). She was the fourth person and first woman to complete all the lines.
Gleich has always shared her journey with the mountains and skiing on her social channels and has gathered quite the following for it. But when you have 120,000 followers, some of them are bound to be assholes. Last week, Gleich took to Facebook to ask her followers to help her find one of these assholes, who has been harassing her for three years.
Gleich finding a sneaker line in the Santa Fe backcountry. Leslie Hittmeier photo.
Gleich wrote on her Facebook:
"For the past three years, I've been dealing with a series of abusive and harassing comments from one particular user on Instagram. On Thanksgiving, it crossed the line when he found my phone number and left me a voice message. After the last bout of attacks, I decided I'd had enough. The current methods for reporting and combating cyber harassment are inadequate, so I decided to speak publicly about my situation, to be an example for other people who are dealing with this."
Gleich in her natural habitat. Leslie Hittmeier photo.
"I will no longer continue to be silent. I will no longer ignore the internet harassment happening to me and many others. I can tolerate the occasional naysayer, but I will not continue to endure years of systematic harassment and bullying from one individual. I have to stand up for myself. I've removed most of the profanity from these posts, but here's a taste of what I've been dealing with:
'how many d*&ks did you have to suck to get those cover shots? I know it wasn't based on the merit of your skiing!'
'who triggers an avy intentionally besides patrol? answer gumbies that don't belong in the mountains... that's why you are going to end up like Liz. Egotistical stupid little girl. and when someone tells you like it is you block them bc you can't handle the truth or criticism! that's why you suck!'
'you're unintelligent misinformed jerk and when you end up like Liz we are going to have a huge party! Just go away @carolinegleich!'
This person even went to the extent of finding my phone number and leaving me this in a voice message...
'I know I don't have the same big mountain dreams you do, but may you can highlight some ideas I haven't noticed and teach me how to be a silver spooned spoiled bitch with an awesome Instagram feed because that's what I really want.'
'So stoked for our girl! because she enjoys a large trust fund and isn't burdened with a silly job she decided to follow her #bigmtndreams and ski all the chutes listed in the "chuting gallery"!'
I'm tired of dealing with this, brushing it under the rug and pretending it's ok. It is not ok. I have a police report filed and the case is being monitored. The current procedures for reporting harassment through the social networks are inadequate. I want to find and expose this person. And show other people that are dealing with similar harassment that they don't need to hide how it makes them feel. That there are other people going through the same thing. And we're working to find solutions.
If this is you, stop harassing me (and consider seeking professional help).
If you have any information about this person's identity, please pass that on to me.
If you know them, ask them to stop and assist them in seeking professional help."
Through this Facebook post Caroline was able to identify the person behind these messages and is currently pursuing her legal options.
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