Leanne Alison, a native Calgarian, will join Heuer for the remainder of the project this spring to ski, hike, canoe and talk their way to the Yukon.
Leanne and Karsten are no strangers. They met at age four in a Calgary kindergarten where they were best pals -- and again when they were eighteen. In the meantime, their interests and lives ran an uncanny parallel, reuniting when a mutual friend told Leanne, "come meet this guy, he's a male version of you." Leanne's Outdoor Pursuits study at the University of Calgary gave her a jump on Karsten in mountaineering and ski touring. Leanne took him on his first "off the beaten path" ski tour. Their most rooms adventures include a 10-day ski traverse of the southern Cariboo Mountains and an eight-day ski tour from Pemberton to Whistler in British Columbia.
Leanne is a highly accomplished mountaineer. In 1993 she was part of the first all-women's ascent of Mount Logan's east ridge. She has fulfilled personal goals to high altitude climb in Mexico and South America, and her skills have come in handy working for Environment Canada over the past decade on their glacier mass balance monitoring program, in the Rockies and Coast range, and as part of a glaciology research team stationed only 300 miles from the South Pole.
A six-month leave of absence from her job with the Mountain Equipment Co-op is allowing her to join Karsten to ski, hike and canoe along the northern portion of the Rocky Mountain corridor to Watson Lake. When asked what appeals to her most about the Y2Y journey and project, Leanne says: "Right now I have the came perspective of Y2Y as anyone would from media coverage, background information, and from understanding some of the issues."
"Now I get to travel the corridor myself. I have a chance to learn from the land and from the people along the corridor what the issues and possibilities really are."