For many of us a life outdoors is the ultimate ambition. For sports nutritionist Alex Borsuk this is reality. Borsuk crams her free time full with skiing, running and mountaineering around the Pacific North West and the astounding photographs she takes along the way are fast earning her a reputation on social media. We spoke to Alex life in the fast lane…
Tell us a bit about yourself
“My name is Alex and I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio. I am a sports dietitian, a ‘Weekend Warrior’ and a dog mom to my pup Peanut. After graduate school, I was given an opportunity to move to Bellingham, Washington for my career and I knew that it was the right choice for me. I haven’t left the Pacific Northwest since!
“I work with athletes of all types to help bring their performance to the next level through the use of nutrition. Living in Portland allows me to balance my career with my passion for mountain sports such as trail running, skiing, alpine climbing, and mountaineering. It’s such a great city for “Weekend Warriors” like myself, with the mountains, trails, and ocean all within an hour drive.”
Where did your adventures start?
“Ever since I was a little girl, I travelled west with my family for every vacation and immediately fell in love with the Western United States. Our idea of “vacation” was soaking up the great outdoors by hiking, biking, backpacking and rafting so I became passionate about these activities at a young age. In college, I started to get more serious about backpacking, thru-hiking, trail running and rock climbing. And when I say “serious,” I mean I became addicted.
“Every weekend, I would leave after work on Friday, drive 5- 7 hours to the nearest National Forest or Park, hike and climb all day Saturday and Sunday, and then drive through the night on Sunday to be back home in time for work or class. I couldn’t get enough! However, it wasn’t until I moved out to the Pacific Northwest that I started ultrarunning, alpine climbing, and ski mountaineering. I dived in the deep end and have been pursuing these activities at full force ever since. To say I’m obsessed with being outside is an understatement. Most all of my free time is spent running, hiking, climbing and skiing in the forests and mountains and I’ve never been happier!”
What is your favourite place to run and ski?
“One favorite place? That’s hard! I love the North Cascades. I swear, there’s magic in those mountains. I find myself gravitating there on the weekends because of the rugged trails, the steep peaks, and the most beautiful mountains, alpine lakes, and giant trees that I’ve ever seen. I also love Mt Hood and the Columbia River Gorge. These two areas have a special place in my heart because it’s where I spend most of my time. I find myself up on Mt Hood for dawn patrol summits and skiing a few times a week, and it seemingly never gets old to me.
In the summer and fall, I love running the trails on Mt Hood, whether it be circumnavigating the gorgeous volcano on the Timberline Trail, or connecting some trails to create a run that’s full of dense trees, waterfalls, and high alpine meadows. During the winter, I find myself spending most of my time running the trails in the Columbia River Gorge. There’s nothing better than running on technical singletrack trails through lush, green forests, encountering one waterfall after another.”
Your gorgeous dog appears in many of your photos, do you take him on all your trips?
“I try to! I’m a huge proponent of never leaving the dog behind. Peanut is a part of my family, so I like to include him in our adventures whenever it’s possible. And sometimes, that might involve me carrying him in a backpack on an especially long trip, or when it gets icy and steep. He’s become quite the adventure pup and has some notable achievements under his collar such as climbing some volcanoes, running a trail marathon, and peak bagging a number of mountains in the North Cascades.”
You take some astounding photographs who takes most of them?
“Thank you! The photos on my account are mostly taken by myself, or my fiancé Matt because we do most of our adventuring together. Most are taken with an iPhone because we’re usually out and about on some adventure and that’s quite honestly the easiest and most accessible way. We do have a GoPro and a Sony a6000 camera, but we only bring those out with us on occasion.”
What have you got planned next?
“As a weekend warrior, I typically plan my adventures on a whim, basing them off the weekend weather forecast. But I do know that my summer will be filled with lots of running, climbing and skiing, if I can find some snow! My tick list includes a few special alpine climbs in the North Cascades and Canada, a couple of Cascadian volcanoes, peakbagging some of Washington’s highest peaks, and a lot of multiday adventure running. I also have some 50k and 50 mile ultramarathon races lined up for this summer and fall in both the US and Canada.”
To see more photos from Alex see her Instagram