Trail Break Radio – Episode 6: Athlete Advocacy: Powder and Purpose

Athletes Caroline Gleich and Connor Ryan demystify the advocacy process with Nicole Brown.

Photo Credit: Dally Hue @dallyhue

How can athletes support local and national advocacy efforts, contribute to advocacy outside of social media influencer-ship, and more? What are the challenges and opportunities of working with brand names and big-name advocacy orgs?

We have Connor Ryan back again for this weeks episode! Joining him are Caroline Gleich and Nicole Brown. In this episode, you’ll hear Connor’s and Caroline’s triumphs, challenges, and practical tips for becoming more effective advocates for wild winters. 

Nicole Brown is currently Outdoor Alliance’s Communications and Marketing Associate. She has been exploring and advocating for the outdoors most of her life. She grew up racing BMX, but it was quiet hiking trails and long backpacking trips that brought her back to outdoor recreation as an adult. Nicole founded Women Who Hike and has worked with American Hiking Society, Hydro Flask, Merrell, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance.

Caroline Gleich is an American skier, mountaineer, and environmental activist. She is notable for her advocacy for environmental justice and climate reform. She is an Ambassador for Winter Wildlands Alliance and Protect Our Winters. She has submitted Everest and is the first women to ever complete all 90 lines in “The Chuting Gallery” of the Wasatch.

Proud Hunkpapa Lakota and passionate skier—in 2022 named one of the “20 Most Influential People in the Outdoor Industry” by Outside Magazine—Connor Ryan was born and raised in the homelands of the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Ute peoples, who have become some of his biggest inspirations and closest relatives, at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. Skiing is his dance and prayer, a ceremony of its own, one that offers a chance to center himself within nature and the Great Mystery of the universe surrounding him. Connor works to inspire others to deepen their connection to the places they live and play in order for us all to be better relatives to our planet, our communities, and ourselves.

Tune in to “Athlete Advocacy: Powder and Purpose” to discuss “slacktivism,” agism, cultural divides, leadership, the power of positive messaging and reciprocity, and more. You will not want to miss Episode 6, sponsored by generous Backcountry Partner, Alaska Guide Collective.  

If you’re interested in sponsoring an Episode of Trail Break Radio. Email Emily Scott at to become a Backcountry Partner.