In honor of Women's History Month, we are shining our spotlight on a couple of the women ambassadors. First up: Shana Morda, who has been involved with the challenge since 2015.
Tell us a little bit about yourself. What do you do when you’re not hiking?
By day, I teach elementary school and after school, I'm outside: traveling, hiking, backpacking, running, walking, going to the gym. When I have to be inside, I like to read, cook, watch movies/TV, and sleep. I love reading about history and travel so the last thing I read that I liked was, “Clanlands,” which is about the history of and travel through Scotland. I love to bake and can make fancy cakes and desserts. I don't use recipes for cooking and just put together ingredients.
What has the Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge meant to you?
I'm honored to be a part of the Six-Pack of Peaks Ambassadors. I don't look like a normal person who hikes so being able to be a part of this shows myself and others I belong in the hiking community. Yes, you don't need to have a six pack of abs to hike a peak, but as a plus size, mixed race woman, I don't normally see myself represented in the outdoor industry products or advertisements. I have been judged by others on the trail by my size, my speed, and my gender, even though I have more hiking/backpacking experience than those passing judgement on me. So there is a generalization or a stereotype of a hiker that I don't fit into. Hikers are as diverse as the trails we hike on, the peaks we climb, and should be represented as such in the products we buy, the books we read, and the pictures we see.
What is your favorite hike in the Six-Pack of Peaks and why?
San Bernardino. It is long but gradual. The scenery is beautiful!
Share one of your most memorable adventures. What makes it so special?
My favorite adventure was hiking the High Sierra Trail because it was beautiful and I climbed Mt. Whitney!
What’s one piece of gear that you never hike without?
My Garmin inReach so I can call for help when needed and it tracks my hikes.
Share a quote, song, or another inspirational item that helps get you through the toughest hikes/life moments.
I love all types of music so each hike has its own theme song. My favorite quote from a song is from Luke Bryan, “Huntin', Fishin', Lovin' Everyday,”: “If I could make a living walking in the woods, you could bet I'd be sitting pretty good, high on a hill lookin' at a field downwind.”
What upcoming adventures are you looking forward to in the year ahead?
To travel and complete the Arizona Winter Six-Pack of Peaks Challenge.
Share a fun fact about you that most people wouldn’t know.
I collect Christmas ornaments from everywhere I travel to.
You can connect with Shana here on SocialHiker as @shdaisy16.