This April, Caroline Gleich became the fourth person and first woman ever to complete all 90 ski descents in the iconic Utah guidebook The Chuting Gallery. Andrew Mclean’s guidebook, first released in the late 90’s, is a list of the gnarliest ski mountaineering objectives in Utah’s Wasatch Range, and has gained notoriety among the backcountry skiing crowd as a definitive resource for the area.
Throughout her career, Gleich has been thrown into a controversial light. Many doubted her ability in the mountains, calling her a mere “ski model” with too many Instagram followers, and laughed when she set out to complete her goal of skiing every line in the guidebook. This didn’t stop her from trying.
Most of the lines involved technical climbing to reach the top. Adam Clark photo.
I talked to her following her final descent of Ciochetti’s Ribbon back in April, when she was elated to have completed her long-time goal. Gleich spent nearly two years diligently checking lines off the list with a numerous partners, including Mclean, Brody Leven, Emilie Drinkwater and her boyfriend Rob Lea. The project was without a doubt one of the hardest things she has ever done, requiring much more than just technical skiing ability. She had to deal with the emotions around the loss of her half-brother Martin and her good friend and mentor Liz Daley, who both died in avalanche accidents. As she started her project, she was forced to face the issue of online harassment, including dealing with an internet stalker who plagued her everyday life.
Gleich rips down a pow-laden face deep in the Wasatch. Adam Clark photo.
REI and Duct Tape Then Beer present Follow Through, a film chronicling her attempt to ski all 90 lines in the book and deal with the issues of harassment. For one thing, it delves into the struggles she faced to complete her project, but for another it’s got some of the best cinematography of Wasatch steep skiing we’ve ever seen!