Ambassador Spotlight: Kelley Wren
We sat down with Kelley Wren, 1/2 of the VNTRbirds to learn more about who she is, and you're going to want to know what we know!
What name do you go by?
Kelley Wren - "little bird"
Describe yourself in 3 words:
Quick-witted, High-spirited, Motivated
Ski, or snowboard / split board?
A snowboarder for 25 years and splitboarder for 8
Food / drink of choice?
Margarita with salt no straw
More about this goddess:
Kelley Wren has always been inspired by seeing more women in the outdoors which led to the creation of VNTRbirds in 2011. She wanted to bring more opportunities to women in her community and beyond to enjoy the same passions she discovered as a young girl. Snowboarding has always held her heart, and brought her to many incredible new mountains and countries, but she’s finding new passions, like mountain biking, that give her the same adrenaline rush that she craves. Kelley believes in leaving spaces better than she's found them and will always give you a lesson in LNT (aka: Leave No Trace).
"My favorite color is yellow, because it's bright and bubbly like me and I am more of a sunshine lady. My favorite mountain bike partner is my dog, Mango (also yellow). When it comes to backcountry exploration, my two partners are my sister Leanne and my husband Scott. We have similar risk tolerance and I know I can use my voice and be heard with them. I truly trust my partners with my life. And they take great pictures while we're out there!" - Kelley
What do you do for a living, or what do you wish you did?
I am the co-owner of VNTRbirds (venture birds) a women's outdoor education and adventure company. I have the thrill and pleasure of bringing more people into the outdoors as they gain experience, confidence and make new friends to adventure with. It is my absolute dream job, because, well I dreamed it up one day. I'm proud to be a mountain bike coach and backcountry instructor with my Wilderness First Responder certification. It keeps me outside, using my body in ways that still surprises me as I gain the summit of a mountain, or make it through a technical rock garden on my bike and introducing new ways to love the outdoors to my community.
Where do you call home / live?
Summit County, Colorado - forever and always
My favorite sport, or activity is?
Anything that drives me further into the mountains
In the Summer, you can find me...
Fighting gravity on my mountain bike
In the Winter you can find me...
Going beyond the boundaries on my splitboard
Summer, or Winter?
Damn, this is the toughest question. They are both so incredible for completely different reasons. In the winter everything looks large and glorious and you feel stronger because you're not just outside, but outside in freezing weather. But the summers, ohhhh the summers. You can fit in so many activities in one day because the sun is out forever!
Mountains, or beach?
Mountains always, but I will always be the first one in when you bring me to a lake.
What does the outdoors mean to you?
The outdoors is life. It's nurturing, but also where you learn hard lessons. It has raised me to be the strong and independent woman I am. I've acquired self-reliance and confidence because I was allowed and had the privilege of growing up in a space where being outside and barefoot and using the landscape as our toys and playgrounds was encouraged. I couldn't imagine not having access to open space. mountains or running water and from this I support more people gaining access to the outdoors in the same way I've always had.
I can do that extra loud "ranch whistle".
Favorite story, or experience in the outdoors & who you shared it with
I have a lot of these. Here we go, one time while on a three week backpacking trip in Iceland: We had just rented a vehicle to get out there faster so we could spend a few more days in the area of the West Fjords. There were 4 of us tent camping and it was one of the first real glorious sunshine days (it rains a lot in Iceland in October). We find the perfect spot to set up camp, on the softest moss I've ever encountered. I barely needed a sleeping pad!
The views were unmatched as we starred over the Arctic Ocean, noticing whales in the distance and the Northern Lights beginning to dance above us as the nightfall took over in the afternoon. We finally settled into our tents and began to doze off slightly chilled in our sleeping bags, that's when things went south. We were so exposed out on the cliffs of the West Fjords that when the wind picked up it was with vengeance and no breaks. At one point I was laying flat and my tent was pushed down to my face! It was either be blown off the cliff into the black ocean or figure out a quick escape. Though, if we were to get out of our tent, I don't believe it would last with the pitiful stakes for us to pack it up in time.
One person ran from the tent to the car while the other kept it weighted down. Then we ran the tent over at the corner to hold it in place as we packed our gear and spent the rest of the night in the car. We noted to enjoy these beautiful vistas during the day, and then find better shelter for the evenings, you don't always have to unzip the tent in the morning to the best views, a good nights sleep is usually better.
Anything else you want share with the people? You're so interesting and cool, come on, give it to us.
Support your people when it comes to the outdoors! If you see someone struggling ask if they want help or advice (if they say no, please move on, unsolicited advice is sometimes worse than no advice at all). You want the outdoors to be a welcoming space FOR EVERYONE. Each person needs to learn the same lessons you now know. Give them the space and encouragement to build that knowledge.
Thanks Kelley, we love you!
You can follow Kelley on IG at: