Woolx scoured the globe searching for intrepid adventurers to test out Woolx gear in the most extreme conditions, we’ve assembled this group of globetrotting daredevils into the #WoolxinAction team! Every month Woolx Life will feature one of our amazing Woolx in Action team members – Meet October’s’s team member of the month Ilana Jesse!
The crux of P4, 12′ of unprotected 5.6 slab. Liberty Bell via ‘Beckey Route’ – North Cascades, WA.
Ilana is a native of Southern California, reaping the benefits of the locale – always to be found either surfing, climbing, snowboarding or managing all three in one day. She is an accomplished rock and ice climber and loves earning her turns in the backcountry splitboarding. Currently residing in Colorado, she is a full-time nursing student and spends every lick of free time in the outdoors exploring mountains and pursuing adventure in whatever form it takes. She recounts her adventures and shares some amazing photographs of herself in action on her website ThrillSeekersAnonymous.com.
This fall Ilana and some of her fellow Thrillseekerz tackled an adventure they’ve dubbed the Mt Evans ‘Triple Shot’. In her words they were “Inspired by the various hard man endeavors occurring throughout the climbing community: Sufferfest, the Longs Peak Triathlon, and Ueli Steck’s man powered European Alps summit smash to name a few”. Check out their 6 minute adventure film to feel the burn along side these hard charging daredevils while they down the now infamous ‘Triple Shot’.
Of course we also asked Ilana to fill out the official “WoolxinAction Questionnaire”, read on to delve deeper into the mind of an extreme brand ambassador.
Favorite Woolx product?
Ilana rocking her Base Camp Hoodie while kayaking in Grand Tetons NP
Basecamp hoody, hands down. This lightweight hoody is equally at home pulling crux moves off the deck, as it is at the pub, post cragging. I’m holding my breath for an alpine version of it.
Where would you live if it could be anywhere in the world?
This is a tough question. Being a California girl at heart, I would love to eventually return to the beach lined land of 70 degrees; however, I have a lot of unfinished business in the Alps and would like to return to Europe to take care of said business.
What’s on your bucket list, any big adventures that you dream of undertaking?
My bucket list rivals Russian novels in length. Amongst these list items are some first female ascents in Alaska and South America as well as completing my ongoing project in Europe, climbing the six classic alpine north faces.
What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep and why?
42 hours. A storm was forecasted to roll in the last day of our climb up the Eiger’s North Face, so it was planned and self-inflicted insomnia. The climbing push was 28 hours to summit and about 3 hours to descend, with an obligatory beer and cappuccino rest stop at the base for an hour before hopping in the car for a 6-hour drive home from Switzerland to Germany. By the time I finished gorging myself and scrubbing away the adventure in a much needed shower I had racked up 42 hours of awake time.
Enjoying the view on Mt. Rainier, Washington
What’s your favorite outdoor memory?
Every outdoor memory is my favorite. Picking my favorite of favorites depends on the day and what mood I am in. I would have to say that standing atop the infamous Eiger after having climbed its North Face is one of my most cherished outdoor memories. Since first learning to climb, the Eiger loomed as an unattainable dream. Conquering that dream was so rewarding and fulfilling.
What’s your favorite food, or the best meal you’ve ever had?
‘Road Warrior’ (5.10 III) on Mt. Evans, CO
I have a Francophilic belly that loves anything French.
Do you have a nickname?
CAMEL. Yup, that humped desert mammal. When my husband and I first met, we went on a climbing trip that involved a bit of a hump to get to. We set off for the approach with 4 liters of water and started the climb with less than 1 liter. My now husband was less than enthused about my thirst quenching and thus was born my nickname as his camel.
What’s the scariest moment you’ve had outdoors?
Being caught in a hurricane with wind gusts exceeding 100mph and zero visibility on the summit of Ben Nevis in Scotland. We navigated off of the summit, cliffed out on three sides, putting all faith and trust in an iphone compass. It was terrifying for a moment, until we accepted the risk involved and proceeded accordingly with safety measures in place. Breakfast in town tasted amazing that next morning.
If your life had a soundtrack what songs would be on it?
White Rabbit by Jefferson Airplane on repeat.
Do you have a favorite animal?
What motivates you to keep going when the going gets tough?
I always remind myself to keep an eye on the prize and that I usually put my self in that tough situation by choice.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Piña Coladas. I tend to entertain this once a year, max, but it happens.
Is there anything that you’ve never done but would like to try?
An expedition. Every alpine pursuit I have done has been of the fast-and-light mantra. I would like to see the organization of a Himalayan expedition and experience the organization of one from start to finish.
What is your favorite time of year and why?
I have different hobbies for different seasons. Alpine climbing season falls in the summer months and that’s a fun time to get on some rock routes at altitude. When it’s time for winter, I wax my splitboard and have at it in the backcountry. They all make me happy.
Do you have a personal hero, or heroes who inspire you?
Steve House, Mark Twight, Alex Lowe, Mugs Stump and hands down, my husband (for always entertaining my crazy climbing objectives/goals)
Thanks Ilana! Check in next month to find out more about another one of our awesome Woolx in Action team members! You can follow along with Ilana while she “navigates the fabric of epicness” with @Woolxwool on Twitter and Instagram and on her own website Thrillseekersanonymous.com.