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Inspiring Conversations with Kate Foley of Wild Sage Mountain Guides

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kate Foley.

Hi Kate, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
The three of us who started this business (Marla, Kate, and Devin) discovered throughout our teens and twenties a passion for the outdoors.

Each of us found community, challenge, growth, friendship, and fulfillment in our outdoor pursuits, whether that was through jobs or personal passions.

Our paths merged serendipitously three and a half years ago when we all found ourselves working at Park City Mountain Resort as Ski Patrollers.

We bonded over our love of skiing, the challenge of backcountry objectives, and a zeal for sharing our experiences with other like-minded people. The outdoor community had given each of us so much, that we wanted to start giving back. We felt especially fervent about getting more women into the backcountry.

Each of us realized that some of our most transformative and joyful memories in the outdoors were with other women who had invited us along, challenged us, taught us new skills, laughed with us, and became some of our closest friends.

In deciding to start Wild Sage we hoped to offer that experience to other women and facilitate not only the learning of new skills but the creation of lasting friendships.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way? Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
This has been the most challenging undertaking any of us has experienced! We all come from various backgrounds of guiding, facilitating, and leading in the outdoors; at the beginning, none of us had any idea how to start and run a business.

While we knew it would be demanding in ways we couldn’t foresee, there have certainly been curveballs we never could have imagined. The fact that we are all so passionate about our objective has kept us going, but the learning curve has been steep!

We are proud of how much we’ve taken on to teach ourselves about marketing, financing, website creation, social media, and everything that gets you to the fun part of being outside.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
We are a women-owned and operated small business offering multi-day backpacking trips in the Uinta Mountains of Utah for women of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels. We focus on teaching basic backcountry skills such as gear planning for overnight trips, map reading, route selection, and camp set-up.

We want more women to feel confident and comfortable in the backcountry and we want to help them find other women to adventure with. Our trips are designed to challenge, but also to show just how enjoyable and transformative a wilderness experience can be.

While we want to push some comfort zones, we also want our clients to be well-fed and to experience just how amazing backcountry food can be, so our guides make all the meals with locally sourced, in-season ingredients when possible. In the future, we hope to offer more wilderness retreats, including yoga-centered retreats and writing-focused workshops in the backcountry.

In terms of your work and the industry, what are some of the changes you are expecting to see over the next five to ten years?
The outdoors is for everyone and we want to be part of proving that. All ways of experiencing nature are valid, and we want more women to have the skills and confidence to go outside and plan any adventure.

The future is dependent on a strong community and on respecting and caring for our wild spaces; the more women we can bring in on that vision, the better.

Pricing:

  • 2-day, 1-night trip: $450 per person.
  • 3-day, 2-night trip: $915 per person.
  • Custom trips available, 3 person minimum.

Contact Info:

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