Q&A with Ambassadr Laura Ippolito
Updated: Oct 21, 2020
Laura is an epic sendr based in Bozeman, Montana. She spends 150+ days a year backcountry skiing and the rest of the time scrambling and sprinting through the Tetons.
What are your outdoor activities?
Trail running, skiing, backcountry baking (I take that super seriously), climbing, and huckleberry picking. I'm trying to get into kayaking but that’s more aspirational.
What’s the piece of gear you’ve owned the longest?
My Boston Red Socks hat!
What’s your favorite memory with it?
I wore it on my first camping trip when I was backpacking in the Yukon. Since then it has come to every continent that I’ve been on, every country I’ve been to. It’s also an alert that I’m from Boston so I meet great people. I was in the Tobacco Root Mountains a few weeks ago and met a guy whose girlfriend I had gone to high school with!
When did you first fall in love with the outdoors?
I was in the Yukon on a NOLS trip. I was in charge of getting my group to camp and I messed up horribly. We went up the wrong mountain, it poured on us, my friend stepped on a wasp nest. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong. When we got to the top though it was like a movie: the sun came out, the weather cleared. I could see the clearing 5 miles away where all the other teams had made it to camp. I felt very at peace. We chilled there for a really long time. It was then that I became a really big fan of summit naps.
If you could change something about outdoor culture, what would it be?
There is this phenomenon in the outdoor industry where the more advanced people get, the more elitist they are towards newcomers. Instead of being welcoming, people have an attitude that others can’t accomplish what they can. Commonly thrown around terms like gumby and jerry just make beginners feel left out.
I got made fun of a ton because my parents weren’t super into the outdoors so I didn’t have equipment handed down to me. I ended up having to buy all my own gear and sometimes getting the wrong thing.