MICHAELA PRECOURt- Founder
Michaela grew up in New England, exploring snow-capped mountains, rocky ledges and beautiful shorelines. Teaching has been part of her life, even at a young age, teaching swimming, life guarding, and various outdoor activities. Michaela continued to pursue a passion in teaching through the outdoors she went on to study and then graduate with honors from Prescott College with a Bachelor of Arts in Adventure Education, and a minor in Snow Science.
She has traveled the world, leading various expeditions in the wilderness. From backcountry snowboard guiding in Alaska, to outdoor educating in Australia, the U.S and China, Michaela is comfortable with the unknown. She saw a missing link in many of her students; a disconnect with the world around them, themselves, and how to work with other people. She decided going back to school and studying children would give her insight on where these disconnects may be happening. She yearned to be a part of instilling hope back into education. Michaela attended Antioch University in Keene, NH, and graduated with a Masters in Elementary Education. She then earned her Waldorf Teacher certification. In her eyes each child comes into this world with many gifts and it is about helping guide and instruct that child to their full individual potential.
When she is not teaching, she is planning big expeditions to remote parts of the world. She also enjoys going to yoga, backcountry snowboarding, painting , and climbing trees and rocks. Michaela is excited to build an authentic connection between the outdoors and children across the world. Being able to embark on this journey that will test her, encourage her, and inspire her is just what she needs to continue to give those students a love for learning.
Chapter I - Iceland Crew
Lexi duPont is a professional skier, adventurer and outdoor enthusiast. The Sun Valley native dawned her first skis at the age of two, focusing initially on ski racing before catapulting into the world of big-mountain skiing. A former Junior Olympics competitor and Freeskiing World Tour contender, Lexi is a member of Eddie Bauer’s First Ascent team and the Global K2 Ski Team who tackles mountains with a rare balance of grit, grace and effervescent determination. Her career has been marked with notable first descents in the Arctic Circle’s Northernmost Tip of Svalbard Norway and across Southeast Alaska, as well as starring roles in ski films, including Warren Miller’s Wintervention and the all-female documentary Pretty Faces. An advocate for Mother Earth and the role of women and girls in sports, she has taken part in humanitarian missions in Kyrgyzstan, Tanzania and Cambodia.
When she’s not chasing powder, Lexi can be found sailing, surfing, climbing, practicing yoga or relaxing in her 500-square-foot geodesic tiny home. She recently earned her pilot’s license, citing the sky as her next area of exploration.
Born and raised in the suburbs of Detroit, MI, I grew up embraced by diversity and limitless opportunities into experiencing unique cultures and traditions unlike my own. Unable to shake feeling out of place while surrounded by sprawl, my spirit escaped to the swamps, farmlands, and dense deciduous forests hidden throughout the concrete jungle. Learning to navigate life’s successes and epic failures a feverish LOVE for adventure and spiritual growth became a lifestyle. Guided by a deeply instilled sense of duty as custodian to this planet and its residents large and small, I lost myself in North America’s distinct landscapes. I have spent the last 14 years exploring every nook by wooden boat, hand-me-down telemark skis, dumpstered bikes, and haggard bare feet. While pursuing studies in Adventure Education and Snow Science at Prescott College I found myself making a home in Jackson, WY. I’ve rabidly feed my obsession with avalanche education and ski mountaineering throughout the Tetons and Greater Yellowstone ecosystem for over a decade now. Fueled by curiosity and giggles. I am a seeker of bottomless spirit turns and the unspoken messages revealed on the wind when you pause in nature’s stillness.
Today I am the product of inspiring mentors and incredible dirtbag friends who have shown me what it truly means to let your Soul shine. Michaela’s dream mirrors the mission my heart has hunted, and I live in pure gratitude as a member of this expedition in advocacy and education, forever humbled by all of your support.
Caroline was born in a small ski village in the Swiss Alps. She was introduced to climbing at a young age by her parents. Despite graduating with a law degree from university and speaking four languages, Caroline decided to pursue climbing professionally. She competed for three years in the ice climbing world cup and has worked as a sponsored athlete since 2000. Some of her accomplishments include: first ascents of difficult ice and mixed routes in the Canadian Rockies, ascents of El Cap and Half Dome in Yosemite Valley, the North Face of the Eiger, Grands Jorasses and Matterhorn, the Freney Pillar on Mont Blanc, first ascents rock climbing in Ethiopia and first ice climbing ascents in Iceland, Canada, Norway and Antarctica. Caroline has worked for a variety of guide services including: Utah Moutain Adventures, Exum Mountain Guides, Alpine Ascents International, Chicks with Picks, Dream Guides, Atypeak, Mountain Tracks and ISM. Outside of guiding, Caroline works as a freelance writer, yoga instructor, social media consultant, translator, speaker and professional athlete for her sponsors.
Eli is a seeker of balance, simplicity, and adventure. He is a lover of animals, growing food, music and family. Eli is most comfortable while moving in nature.
Born and raised on the coast of Maine Eli began skiing and sailing soon after he began to walk. These passions led him to expeditions large and small in 30 countries and onto the deep seas. When Eli was 14 years old he sailed across the Atlantic and since then he has accumulated over 15 thousand miles at sea including a wild attempt to sail the North West Passage.
Eli discovered climbing in 1999 in his hometown hills and since then has climbed and guided on every continent except Antarctica. His accomplishments include 10 big wall routes on Yosemite’s famed El Capitan, all of the peaks in the Fitzroy massif, including first accents in Patagonia, and many first ascents in Mexico, and Newfoundland.
Eli is head guide and owner of the Atlantic Climbing School located in Bar Harbor, Maine. He graduated from Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where he studied Outdoor Education and basket weaving. Professionally, Eli has worked as a nationally registered emergency medical technician and a sail boat captain, holding a U.S Coast Guard 50 ton captain license. Recently Eli has deepened his love for yoga, bow hunting and surfing.
Alex Duane grew up on the New England coast and at a young age started sailing with his family and deepening his connection with how boats move within the waves. He went on to design and make his own 10ft sailboat in high school. The rhythm of the ocean ignited many other aspects of Alex's life. He sought out the ice and snow in the winter and in the shoulder seasons hiking and climbing throughout the northeast.
Communicating environmental problems and ideas through art defined much of his time as an art student at St. Lawrence University. Alex views the Down to Earth mission as a harmonious integration of his backgrounds in art and environmental education and can't wait to do so by skiing the fjords of Iceland .
After biking across North America in 2012, he has worked as a passionate outdoor educator, traveling throughout the American west teaching trail building in Alaska, winter ecology in the Tetons, natural history in California and various pursuits in between. He most recently, has led climbing, sea kayaking, and backpacking courses for Northwest Outward Bound in the North Cascades of Washington and considers this mythical neck of the forest his home.
Alex holds a BA in Environmental Studies and Art & Art History and minored in Outdoor Studies. He is a Wilderness First Responder and holds an Avalanche II certification.
GABE ROGEL - PhotOGRAPHER
For more than fifteen years, Gabe has been shooting adventure sports, packing camera gear up steep couloirs with skis, photographing climbing while dangling from foreign cliffs, eating canned chili on portaledges and zipping up in a sub-zero sleeping bag, dark at four p.m., putting himself in harm's way of a skier, mountain biker, snowmobiler, in perpetual search of light and focus, horizons and spray of snow, the blur of the ordinary behind the crisp punctuality of an athlete in motion, searching to distill action; the residue of vigorous motion photography. Moving forward, Gabe is excited to be working on projects with conservation values in mind.
Without trying, as much as Gabe is an artist, he is a bright and goofy nut, that ends up entertaining the crews he travels with and the sometimes strangers he happens upon. His photos are often successful because his subjects are laughing at him... or with him, no one is ever sure.
Gabe has an associate's degree in photography from Colorado Mountain College and has shot assignments for companies and publications such as The North Face, Patagonia, Marmot, Nat Geo Adventure and Outside Magazine.
Jon Mancuso- CINEMATOGRAPHER
Based in the outdoor playground of Sun Valley, ID, Jon specializes in adventure story-telling through video and still photography. He has worked on assignments across the globe, on expeditions across 5 continents, and throughout the US. He has served various roles such as Director of Photography, Cinematographer, Director, In- Field Editor, and Still Photographer.
While Jon enjoys the challenge and rewards of working with professional athletes in their environment, his real passion lies in projects that shed light on unique human stories and/or social issues. Jon has BAs in Digital Media from the Academy of Art University and Political Science from the University of Arizona. This background gives him a unique perspective in his work. His clients have included Conde Naste Entertainment, Microsoft, Eddie Bauer, ESPN, Nat Geo Adventure, Outside TV, Huffington Post, Conde Naste Travel, and Rolling Stone Online.
Behind the Scenes
gabe monroe - on call physician's assistant
Gabe Monroe, an Idaho native, began skiing not long after he could walk. His love for the outdoors has kept him pursuing time in the mountains, but his comfort and experience in glaciated terrain, his technical skiing skills, and his attention to detail landed him his first heli-ski guide job in Valdez, Alaska in 2003. He has worked with thousands of guests from all over the world, in multiple countries, guiding many of them up and down, named and unnamed peaks and couloirs, many of which were first descents.
Gabe Monroe has also organized and guided the some of the largest ski and snowboard film crews and companies in the world; most notably, Red Bull, Quicksilver, HEAD, Salomon, MSP, Brainfarm Productions (That’s it, that's all), Standard Films, and Transworld Snowboarding. He has worked with many athletes, helping them safely accomplish their big mountain film goals; such as Jeremy Jones, Travis Rice, Kaj Zackrisson, Hugo Harrison, Ingrid Backstrom, Dan Treadway, and Xavier De Le Rue just to name a few.
Gabe is also AIARE L3 certified, holds his outdoor emergency care technician certification through the NSP, high angle & crevasse rescue trained, American Mechanized Ski Guide certified in 2003, and is a practicing emergency room PA-C. Gabe’s love for people and the outdoors is apparent, as his clients soon call him their trusted friend.
Ashley Ryan - Marketing manager
Throughout her career leading, guiding, and teaching in the outdoors, Ashley saw the small businesses she worked for advocate for the environment and help communities flourish. She became passionate about helping people see business as a way of advocating for the things you love, thus turning to Marketing. Currently residing in Bend, Oregon, she has since done marketing for several start-ups and small businesses, leading her to Down to Earth. Her focus lies in helping develop businesses that focus on social, environmental, and philanthropic initiatives. Down to Earths style of education, adventure, and outreach provide a unique opportunity to spread ideals that resonate with her. When she’s not crushing it in the marketing realm you can find her rambling around the mountains, running rivers, playing in the snow, and exploring the natural world in perpetual amazement.
Graham Messe - Geologist, MS
Graham is a Geolo-Skier from New Hampshire. He grew up exploring the beautiful forests of NH and he attended the University of New Hampshire, obtaining a BS Geology. After leaving NH, Graham lived in Flagstaff, AZ before obtaining his MS Geology from Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. His passions include skiing, climbing, backpacking, exploring, science education, and playing guitar. Seasonally, Graham works as a science educator, professional ski instructor and field geologist researching effects of climate change. Though NH grown, he embraces the words of John Muir who wrote “going to the woods is going home”.
In the spirit of nature being home and Earth being the only source of Nature as we know it, he leaves you with the following; a quote from Carl Sagan as he viewed the “pale blue dot” of Earth as seen from the Voyager 1 space probe at a record distance of 6 billion km.
“That's home. That's us. On it, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever lived, lived out their lives. . . . To my mind, there is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with one another and to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known.”
— Carl Sagan, speech at Cornell University, October 13, 1994
Rhiannon Williams - Logo designer
Rhiannon is a van dwelling artist who aims to capture and express her adventures with pen and ink. When she’s not doodling, she’s running around on her hands, climbing, or making a pie. She’s spent the past four years pursuing outdoor adventure, working with kids in the wilderness and traveling the world. She hopes that she can continue to find ways to sustain a creative and passionate lifestyle.