Alaskan Native = Alaskan Bad Ass

We are convinced that the most amazing women in the world live in Alaska, and Danielle is no exception. As we enter Danielle’s Anchorage home, the feel is as warm & inviting as herself.

This Alaskan woman was born in St Mary’s, Alaska, located in the bush along the Yukon River. In her adolescence, she moved to Talkeetna, where she helped build and maintain her family cabin.

Danielle attributes her hard work and resilience to her grandmother and her parents. Some of Danelle’s fondest memories is living at fish camp every summer with her grandmother. While the men were out fishing, she was at camp, helping to harvest the fish.

This is where Danielle learned to live feral in the wilderness. She was free to live in harmony in the outdoors and enjoy endless frolicking with her cousins.

Growing up, her parents would take impromptu winter camp trips regularly. This is where Danielle learned, at an early age, to be “comfortable” in the “uncomfortable”, which has served her well on her epic adventures….And she has certainly had many!

Danielle skied 50 miles round trip to Mt. Sanford with welting blisters and describes the experience as “ridiculous and her friends made fun of her endlessly for it.” While participating in the Alaska Winter Wilderness Classic, Danielle fell into a crevasse, dislocated her shoulder, and with help from a friend, still managed to ski out.

On Mt. Marcus Baker, Danielle made history, with two other friends, as they survived a snow storm that buried their tent, and left them living in a snow cave for multiple days. They had to take turns digging snow out of the cave so they could breath, rationing food, and energy to survive until they were able to get out.

This is an experience Danielle will always remember as “fighting for their lives.” (Listen to her tell the story on the Firn Line Podcast here!) Oh, and she climbed Denali, more than once. Danielle loves that her adventures push her to her mental and physical capacity and helps her build long lasting friendships.

For the last year, raising a family has been her priority. Danielle knows that her love of the outdoors has made her who she is today and wants to diffuse this to her son and daughter.

She is known for her big adventures and is currently excited about the idea of getting back to them. This summer you can find Danielle with her family boating, spending time at their cabin in Talkeetna, or anywhere in the outdoors.

This is Danielle. #IAMALASKA

What are you excited about right now?

I am excited about the return of the light!! Goggle tans, corn skiing, running outside, puddle jumping, and… SUMMER!

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

Strength. Celebrating the strength and tenacity required to live in and love Alaska! And all of the tough and inspiring women that call this place home. 

What keeps you in Alaska?

I'm Yupik Eskimo and Alaska has always been my home. My family is from St. Mary’s, a village on the Andreafsky River on the Yukon Delta. I spent my early years out there and in junior high moved to Talkeetna. I’ve spent some time in other parts of the US, but I’ve always come back.

Best Alaskan adventure?

Attempting Mt. Drum. We parked along the highway and skied in. It was cold as hell. It was in early March, so the temperatures were still hitting -30 to -40. Things like stoves and warm clothes stopped working.

But we laughed our asses off up and down that mountain. We didn’t summit, but holy smokes - beautiful weather and great friends. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard on a trip with all the trappings of a miserable time. 

What is your favorite SWOOP product?

The OG bra. A friend of mine bought me a bra a couple of years ago when I was pregnant and it was sooooo comfortable. I just bought another one! 

What do you do to be your best self/what is your self care routine?

Getting outside makes me feel human. When things feel out of control and the kids are going crazy - get outside. Get dirty, out of breath, and reset. Also, painting my nails. Love it. 

What advice would you give your 25yr old self?

It’s going to be okay. I went through some shit in my 20’s (didn’t we all???). Just give that 25 y/o me a hug and tell her it’ll be okay and I’m going to come out of it stronger.

Surprise skill: Table tennis. 

Favorite superhero: Captain Marvel.

Favorite/current song on repeat: Listen to the Music - Doobie Brothers (in an oldies kick).

Who inspires you: My mom.

Favorite space in your home: Living room.

What is your favorite month in AK: March!! Any month but November.

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