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This Badass Mom Has a Car Seat in Her AK Bush Plane

Growing up in remote places like Fairbanks, AK in the early 80s can create some pretty unique individuals. Leighan Falley, badass climber and guide turned mountain pilot, is certainly one of those.

After joining an expedition to climb a remote face of Denali after high school, she decided to devote her life to the mountains. After leaving Alaska for years, Denali itself became such a draw that she could not resist moving back and becoming a guide. Her life was pretty much perfect, until the day she found out a daughter was on the way. Using her best judgment, she decided mountain guiding was no longer a viable future for herself and her new family.

Renan Ozturk photo

Deciding on the next best thing, flying, she used her pilot’s skills to obtain a commercial license, and began flying climbers and skiers into the remote glaciers around Denali. Now, with her daughter Skye old enough to begin venturing into the mountains herself, Falley's role as a mom and pilot have changed yet again. 

Renan Ozturk photo

After saving up enough money, Falley and her husband Tucker recently bought a plane of their own, a little Piper Pacer, and kitted it out as the ultimate family car camping rig. “We’ve flown Skye up onto glaciers, down to the coast where you can land on beaches and explore the ocean… It’s pretty awesome, and an incredible privilege,” says Falley. Alaska’s terrain is so unique in that roads only access 20 percent of its area, meaning a plane is much more useful.

Falley is stoked on her role as a mom and hopes to instill the same feelings and love for the mountains that she gained from growing up in Alaska in her daughter. 

That is amazing. Good gesture for a mom!

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About The Author

stash member Teton Gravity Research

It all began with a dream and a little cash scraped together from fishing in Alaska... Since 1995, we've been an action sports media company committed to fueling progression through our ground-breaking films (37 and counting) and online content.