Meet Kristen Loftis. She wears many hats, and each one gets us a step closer to the perfect ski run. She’s a Lift Mechanic, Snow Groomer, and Revegetation Technician at Homewood Mountain Resort in Tahoe.
“There are so many things I love about my work, I can’t choose a best part! I love where I work. The mountain inspires me in so many ways, and I am so grateful that I have found a way to channel my passion back into the mountain. I love being a part of what makes it all work, and getting to be outside all day is awesome! When I’m operating a snow cat, the happiness I feel seeing people enjoy the terrain I build and groom is indescribable. Watching the chair lifts shuttle thousands of people to the top of the mountain, and knowing they are safe because we are inspecting and maintaining the lifts constantly, is extremely gratifying. My favorite smell is the smell of bar oil, two stroke and tree sap on my clothes after a full summer day of hiking and cutting the vegetation on the ski runs. I help take care of the forest our ski hill runs through, and it has taught me so much about power of nature. I love being alone on the mountain at night in a machine. I love watching the snow fall, how it mutes everything around you. I love the blistering heat of the sun when I’m working outside. I love out thunderstorms and double rainbows over the lake.” -Kristen Loftis
Grooming, lift maintenance and revegetation are all somewhat over looked for the most part. We’re the grungy, behind-the-scenes part of the whole operation. But we do so much, year round, to make everything perfect for the Winter.” -Kristen Loftis
“Slope maintenance is a full shift of operating heavy equipment. I spend all night in a snow cat reshaping and grooming out the snow on ski runs. It can be so much fun, but also dangerous. I’m operating usually with only one other person working on the mountain. Snow conditions are extremely variable, from hard packed ice to wet slushy snow to blizzards and feet of super soft powder, they all have their own specific way they need to be worked out. Sliding down a steep run faster than your tracks can move and even avalanches are real dangers every night, so I have to be constantly aware of the working conditions and how I’m using my machine. The sunrise over Lake Tahoe every morning is a wonderful perk of the job.” -Kristen Loftis
“Lake Tahoe offers so many opportunities to live a magical, adventurous life. I spend all of my free time outdoors, hiking through the forests to different peaks with my dogs, kayaking and swimming in all of the numerous lakes and rivers in the area, rock climbing and camping and stargazing and playing in the snow. It’s a wondrous place and moving here is the best thing I have ever done for myself.” -Kristen Loftis
When Molly was around 11 years old, she witnessed her first drag race. What else it like it? The roaring engines and flood of adrenaline are intoxicating, especially for a dauntless young girl who wanted to push the boundaries of adventure. To Molly there was nothing in the world more awesome than the race.
At 13, her brother bought her a street car. Molly poured her heart and soul into it for 5 years. She anxiously awaited the day she’d get her license, like most teenagers do. Perhaps her reasons were different. She wasn’t pining to drive herself to the mall. She longed to show her stuff on the track.
Molly is now a seasoned driver, living to compete and feel the rush that comes every time you let a rip off the line. There are times when guys underestimate her, but she always finds a way to prove she’s more than capable.
Her advice to other young women who also live for the race is to “do it! Just go for it, don’t even hold back. And don’t quit, because quitting lasts forever. If you want it bad enough, you’ll get it. It just takes time, everything good takes time.”
There has been a lot of talk lately concerning the typical gender codes for children’s toys. Boys usually play with water guns and model cars. Girls commonly play with dolls and tea sets. When kids deviate from the gender driven stereotypes, it can cause a bit of a stir. It’s about time we learn to let kids do what they love. Don’t stifle passions and interests. They can lead to great things.
For Diane Fallstone, that mentality rings true. She grew up tagging along with her brother: building forts, climbing trees, and playing with Hot Wheels. As time passed, her interests continued along the automotive path. She became the owner of her own mobile restoration company in the San Francisco area. Diane learned that in the automotive world, women have to work harder to prove they have what it takes. In the long run, that extra effort makes you more adept and skilled at your craft.
Now Diane and her family live in Portland. Her whole family is in love with the business and lends a hand. Her daughters Madi and Brooklyn are following in their mother’s footsteps. Working together draws them closer as a family and allows knowledge to pass down from one generation to the next. It’s encouraging to see the nurturing side of the mother-daughter relationship break down stereotypes.
Let those power tools roar!
Check out these featured looks:
Diane’s outfit: Carhartt Women’s El Paso Utility Vest, Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt, Kenmare Henley, & Women’s Series 1889 Slim Double-Front Denim Dungaree. Madi’s Outfit: Carhartt Women’s Tucker Jean Jacket, Clarksburg Zip-Front Sweatshirt, Calumet V-Neck Shirt, & Relaxed-Fit Weathered Duck Straughn Pant. Brooklyn’s Outfit: Carhartt Women’s Force Equator Jacket, Minto Shirt, Denim Bib Overall, & Osmore Conductor Hat.
Most people are proud that they can change a flat tire on their own, but what about those rare few who can take a car apart and put it back together again? Meet Edith. She works at Automotive Specialties in Longview, Texas. When it comes to Corvettes, they’ve got you covered. As I watched Edith go about her daily routine, I realized that being a mechanic is an art form. It takes knowledge, strength, creativity, and attention to detail. So many skill sets are required and your craft must be finely attuned. I have mad respect for anyone who is capable of fixing and restoring cars, but I’m even more impressed by Edith’s self-assured nature. She works in a man’s world, and yet she blows most of her contemporaries out of the water. She found what she loved and pushed herself to greatness.
Check out Edith’s work gear: Carhartt Women’s Jackson Shirt Jac II, Carhartt Women’s Norfolk Henley, Women’s Orignal-Fit Jasper Jean, & Carhartt Women’s Sandstone Active Jac Quilted Flannel