Founder - Sharp End Podcast + Gypsy Queen

Known as the Gypsy Queen, this born and bred Alaskan thrives on the unknown. Ashley has lived a true dirtbag lifestyle and her adventures have taken her all over the world.

She has lived in a snow cave, camped under bridges, more nights in the wilderness than indoors, under a tarp in Valdez’s harbor parking lot, various couches, staff housing, a yacht in Juneau, a van, and a bus.  The van brought her to numerous mountaineering spots, which inspired her idea to start her podcast, The Sharp End.

The podcast helps minimize future outdoor accidents by having individuals sharing their stories of a traumatic outdoor experience. The outcome is to help others from making the same mistakes and to learn from one another. (Check out her podcast HERE!)

While Ashley was living out of her bus in Haines, she stumbled upon her last job, safety management for the entertainment business. One of her projects The Race to Survive Alaska premiers in April.

She describes it as “hands down the most badass competition on television.” Which is setting the bar quite high coming from this humble badass herself.

Ashley just finished a 3-month tour in Peru on a motorbike and has just become a proud new homeowner. Ashley’s carefree attitude allows her the freedom to go where she wants, when she wants.

She could be anywhere in the world, but Ashley is grateful to “come back to the place that made her.” She finds Alaska to be an endless playground of abundance and the community is what keeps her here. Ashley is as unique as the Alaskan topography and we are thankful it has called her back. 

This is Ashley. #IAMALASKA

What are you excited about right now?

I severed my ACL and got a pretty bad bucket handle tear on my meniscus in June. I had to go into surgery right in the middle of a big work contract as Safety Manager for a tv production.

After surgery I went into a dark postoperative depression while dealing with some extensive nerve damage in my lower leg. I’m excited about the idea of walking normal again and being back to my athletic self. Everyday I dream about my first time back on top of a mountain looking around at a 360 view! :)

After reading the email we sent describing this project, how does the phrase “I AM ALASKA” resonate/mean to you?

“I AM ALASKA” means living a wild, untamed life full of adventure, curiosity and wonder. It means leaning in to the hardships that life offers you and to be open to vulnerability and love from all the beings in it.

It means to give everything you can to the people around you who need it with an open door and an open heart.

Why Alaska?

I was born and raised in Alaska. My dad was born and raised in Alaska when it was still a territory, not even a state yet! My Grandma Bernice and Grandpa Owen came here in their 20s seeking adventure. My love for Alaska runs deep. It completes me.

It makes me feel whole and I am my absolute best self here in this state. I’ve been all over the world and whenever I fly back into Anchorage and see the Chugach Front Range mountains cradle the city, I feel at peace and think how grateful I am to be born in such an incredibly beautiful place. This place is raw and abundant.

Describe a typical day in Alaska?

A typical day in Alaska (depending on the season) would be running up mountain sides eating blueberries the entire way up and down. Connecting glaciers upon glaciers with my snowmachine to access the unlimited, untouched powder that hosts the most beautiful ski lines one can only dream about. 

Getting towed on water skis behind my dad’s drag boat on Big Lake in the summer sun. Flying out in my partner’s Super Cub to go catch our share of Alaska’s fresh seafood or wild game to stock our freezer. Picking fresh raspberries in my swoop wear in the big back yard of my own home that I purchased with my own money in Government Hill.

What is your favorite SWOOP product?

I adore my Mountain Tunic but I’m obsessed with the Flow Pants. It’s a good thing I don’t own any (yet) because I would never take them off and it would become an issue. 

How did you discover SWOOP?

I try my hardest to only shop local. It’s a little game I play with myself.  The game is called: “Can I get this thing at a local store instead of a box store?” I discovered SWOOP while shopping at a local store in Anchorage called Dos Manos. I purchased one and haven’t worn a different brand bra since!  (Follow Dos Manos on instagram @dosmanosgallery)

What is your proudest accomplishment?  

Mentally and Emotionally? Completely a 10 day Vipassana Meditation Retreat in Peru including 10 days of noble silence. Physically? Making the summit of Cotopaxi in Ecuador (19,347ft)

Words to live by/favorite motivational saying/quote/advice? 

“Don’t believe everything you think.”

What gives you inner strength?

The Outward Bound Values: Compassion. Readiness for sensible self denial. Indefatigable spirit. Tenacity in pursuit. Enterprising curiosity

What is your next challenge?

Biking the Denali Highway.

Words to live by/favorite motivational saying/quote/advice?

Always give what you can. 

Always try your best. 

Always take the scenic route. 

Treat everyone like they’re famous. 

“Take care of your body, it’s the only place you have to live.”

Favorite morning ritual?

Chai tea 

What do you love to do when no one is around?

Dance around the house singing punk rock songs 

What makes you feel strong/confident?

Myself when I’m on a workout streak 

What advice would you give your 25yr old self?

Find your edge. Explore a lot. Stay curious. Ask for more money.

(We LOVE this answer!!!)

Surprise skill: Putting lipstick on pigs.

Favorite superhero: All single mothers.

Favorite/current song on repeat: Right now it’s “Better Days” by Dermot Kennedy, which has really helped me get through this rough time in recovery.

Who inspires you? My Grandma B

Favorite space in your home? My 2 car detached “gear”age / adventure shop OR  my raspberry patch!

What is your favorite month in AK? April.

Check out the Sharp End Podcast HERE!!!

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