Christy Mahon likes to make lists. But you won’t find ordinary to-dos on her work desk at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies in Aspen, Colorado.
“I’m the person on Monday morning that’s like, ‘what am I doing this weekend?’ It actually helps me work really hard and efficiently through the week in my profession, knowing that I’m planning what my next adventure is going to be,” she says.
As the first woman to ski all 54 of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks in 2010, Christy says she developed a kinship with the mountains and that natural world. She followed this accomplishment with the completion of skiing Colorado’s 100 highest peaks in 2015 with her husband Ted Mahon and partner Chris Davenport. They were the first people to ski the Centennial Peaks, and Christy has continued to set and achieve goals every year since.
“After we finished climbing and skiing the 100 highest peaks in 2015, I have a list of 25 peaks that are closer to home or closer to the valley,” shares Christy. “So it’s been really fun; I think I only have fewer than 15 left, and so the last year was staying closer to home and skiing those peaks.”
Photos by Ted Mahon
Mahon has also summited high peaks and skied all over the world. In addition to more international travel and adventure she says, she wants to climb and ski Colorado’s highest 200 peaks in the next 10 years.
“If I ski 10 peaks a year, give or take a few, and start with the cool ones and the ones I really want to go to, and then ones with good ski lines, and I’ll just see where it goes,” she says.
Christy is also an active ski mountaineering racer, and competes in 50 kilometer trail running races in the summer and fall months.
Gear Institute writer Kim Fuller chatted with Christy in fall of 2017 to to learn more about her favorite gear.
GEAR INSTITUTE: What pieces of gear do you take with you on every adventure? Any favorites?
CHRISTY MAHON: The Pinion Down Sweater from Stio. It’s an awesome layer and it’s lightweight. I do a lot of cold weather stuff, but I am like a cold weather weenie, and I just love having that additional warmth. It’s small and it packs into even a running pack. It’s ideal for when you’ve just gotten to the top of the peak and you’re skiing down, or you’re at the car and just got back from a run. I use it every single season, with every single sport.
The lightweight CAMP crampons are always in my bag. I just like to have them always. They are aluminum, and they are lightweight enough that if you aren’t doing ice climbing, they just come in the bad. And so I don’t have to worry about not having them. I will always bring a lightweight ice ax as well — those two kind of go together.
And the Dynafit TLT Speed Radical is my go-to binding.
GI: You are currently a Stio Athlete and Ambassador. What do you want to share about the company?
CM: I love everything about Stio. I love their ethos, I love their clothes, I love what they stand for, and that doesn’t happen often.
GI: Are there any tips or tricks for packing your gear that you’ve picked up along the way?
CM: I always like to have the handy things out first. There’s nothing worse than having to dig. I really always put my light stuff in the front, heavier crampon stuff always in the bottom.
And snacks in the top for easy access. Water needs to be accessible or I’m not going to drink it. So I am sure to take care of my Camelback and making sure that the tube doesn’t freeze. I even pack tea because it’s warm and I’ll drink more of that.
I love making sure that I have my maps and GPS and compass and my tools. I suggest making a little goodie bag to keep all of your accessories are all together in one place.
And making sure that sunscreen and chapstick is the most accessible thing. Always in my hip pack or I will forget about it. Want to reapply all the time.
And also having my camera in a place that is easily accessible, or I am not going to take any photos.
GI: Is there any one piece of gear that you’re super excited about right now?
CM: I’m most psyched about Kaestle’s new BMX105 powder ski because it’s supposed to be a “snappy” ski this year! Greater maneuverability with a healthy dose of rocker. Can’t wait to try it in all types of snow and terrain.
Learn more about Christy at stio.com/christy-mahon.