Natalie Afonina


Natalie grew up competitively ballroom dancing but secretly wishing she was an arctic explorer. Inspired by stories from her Soviet mountaineering dad, she hitchhiked from Seattle to Bozeman with a pair of donated ice tools and crampons. Since then has been honing her skills climbing rock and alpine routes which has taken her on expeditions to some of the most beautiful and remote places in the world including Bolivia, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Patagonia and Morocco. She has a fondness for longer, aesthetic ice routes, alpine mixed climbs and using her materials engineering background to provide product feedback on outdoor gear development. When she’s not chasing ice conditions and alpine adventures, she supports several citizen science projects, works on increasing the safety of autonomous robots and mentors new climbers at ice climbing festivals.