Lauren on Mt. Tyndall
Last summer I started the High Fashion Project. What began as an idea that merged the my fashion side with my outdoorsy side evolved into a statement of feminism and strength. I was overwhelmed with the support and attention each image received and completely blown away when the messages started to pour in. Both men and women wrote me to tell me that the images inspired them and that they saw strength, power, and beauty in this series of pictures.
I wanted to continue the project in some capacity this summer, but I knew I didn't want to be the subject any longer. It seemed appropriate that the women in the images should be the friends that have supported me and encouraged me throughout this project and all of my outdoor experiences.
Lauren was the first to come to me to share her thoughts on the High Fashion Project. I remember her telling me that she loved the imagery of a strong and confident woman looking beautiful while standing on top of a mountain that she had just conquered. So, it only seemed right that Lauren should be the first subject.
We climbed the North Rib of Mt. Tyndall with our friend Evan on June 21st, the summer solstice. Tyndall isn't an easy peak by any means. The approach is long with a lot of gain and requires a trip over the 12,000 ft Shepherds Pass. Once you make it to the bass of the actual route you are greeted by giant boulders. The climb itself is AWESOME! Lots of 3rd class scrambling with a few interesting slab moves here and there. It's challenging in all the right ways. Once at the top of the ridge you're greeted with a fun traverse to the summit. We each had such an enjoyable experience on the ascent, but the real treat was the summit. You have views for days, and it presented an amazing backdrop for Lauren's picture. While photographing her the Shakespeare quote, "and though she be but little, she is fierce" kept rolling through my mind. It's the perfect caption for the photo.
After our beautiful morning on the mountain we began our long hike back to the car and Lauren reflected on her experience. I really loved her thoughts on the project after photo shoot:
"I've always enjoyed the High Fashion Project but participating in it made me appreciate it in a whole different way. Mt. Tyndall was a challenging peak for me and so changing into a fancy dress and looking out into the windy vastness made it feel like an exhilarating celebration of that accomplishment---something more significant than just a woman posing in a pretty dress. It also felt like a unique celebration of feminine strength. Mountaineering and outdoor endeavors have been largely dominated by men in the past, and sometimes I feel pressured to shed or suppress my feminine side in the wilderness, but High Fashion Project felt like it acknowledged and honored my whole self for leading to this achievement."
This is why I've continued this project and this is what inspires me to create!
Keywords: The High Fashion Project, adventure, eastern sierra, explore, fashion, femenism, mountain, outdoor women, outdoors, photography, sierra, sierra nevada, summit, tyndall
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