Explorer Jan Reynolds raised the bar for skiers worldwide when she completed the highest ski descent from a summit nearly 25,000’ in the Pamirs, sponsored by National Geographic in 1980, and set the high altitude skiing record for women for almost a decade. Esquire Magazine honored Jan as athlete of the decade; as top biathlete, in the first women’s World Cup Championships 1984, and for skiing on the grueling Everest Grand Circle expedition, in winter in the Himalaya. Jan was the only woman on these expeditions, chronicled in her book, The Glass Summit: One Woman’s Epic Journey Breaking Through. Beyond setting world records, Jan’s expeditions were first to garner corporate sponsorship, elevating and expanding the sport internationally. Jan was also one of the first 2 athletes ever hired by The North Face, creating a new professional occupation for climbers and skiers in the U.S.
Finishing among the top men in the arduous ski triathlon “Mountain Man”, and leading imaginative expeditions using all forms of equipment from skate, telemark, rondonee skis, even snowboards, landed Jan on the cover of Outside, Ultra Sport, and Women’s Sports and Fitness magazines with headlines, “Is There Anything She Can’t Do” and “This is Jan Reynolds who loves doing things no woman has ever done.” As journalist/photojournalist Jan took skis worldwide; solo over Himalayan Nangpa La for National Geographic and pushed equipment limits using skating skis on 23,000’ Mera peak, writing for Ski, Powder, Outside, Backcountry, Snow Country and creating 20 award winning books, including Vanishing Cultures series.