Emilie Drinkwater is returning to guide at Ice Fest for 2019.  Don’t let her current digs in Salt Lake City, where she owns and operates Cloudsplitter Mountain Guides, fool you!  Emilie has the Northeast embedded deep in her psyche, which is one of many reasons we’re always so happy to have her at MWV Ice Fest!!
Since we saw her last, Emilie was involved in a really unique climb in Afghanistan.  She was a part of the first ascent by an Afghan woman, of the country’s highest peak, Mt Noshaq (7500m).  The expedition was a part of Ascend Athletics a NGO dedicated to empowering Afghan women.  Their goal is to create female role models via the arena of climbing, specifically with first ascents and/or on well known peaks.
Emilie spoke with Outdoor Research about her role in the expedition, and how it all turned out.
“I gained great perspective on how incredibly lucky and privileged I am…  I was definitely a curiosity, but nonetheless, I was treated well, welcomed into the homes of strangers—which is a risk for an Afghan family as westerners are still a target—and very much shown the famous Afghan hospitality.”
From an interview with the AMGA:
“Emilie Drinkwater: Ascend is an American NGO based in Kabul, Afghanistan working with young, Afghan women to develop leadership skills through mountain climbing….There are layers upon layers of complexity to a women’s climbing expedition in Afghanistan and if nothing else, I learned to look at risk and hazard in a whole new way…”
Welcome back, Emilie! We’re so psyched to have you back here in New England instructing at MWV Ice Fest!

From the expedition up Mt Noshaq that gained the FA for an Afghan woman.