Lexi duPont can’t remember a time when skiing wasn’t part of her life. Having been introduced to the sport at age two by her two professional skier parents, duPont soon began competing on the Sun Valley ski team, eventually qualifying for the Junior Olympics two years in a row. She continued skiing at the University of Colorado, and went on to place in the top 10 in the 2009 and 2010 Freeskiing World Tour.
“It’s always been a part of my life,” she explains. “Because it’s what we do as a family.”
Skiing has allowed duPont the opportunity to travel—she makes regular trips to Alaska and Iceland, at one point even venturing as far as Svalbard, Norway, 600 miles south of the North Pole, where the temperature consistently hovers below freezing and the sun shines for 24 hours every day.
But the experience that stands out to her the most? A volunteer trip to Kyrgyzstan.
“In most places, you’ll see Snickers, or Coca Cola, or something that reminds you of the Western world, but there was nothing,” she says. “We were there to teach the local community how to ski as this common, non-verbal language about fear and what your body is capable of.”
Travel by way of volunteering is something that duPont’s parents instilled in her and her sisters from a young age, always encouraging them to pursue service as a meaningful way to see the world. And over time, as she’s witnessed firsthand the devastating effects of climate change on landmark ski destinations, duPont has developed an appreciation for sustainable, environmentally conscious tourism.
But as someone who also happens to have her pilot’s license, duPont weathers her fair share of backlash about the carbon offsets for her plane travel—something, she says, that “weighs on my conscience.” And yet, she remains adamant about the fact that it’s not contradictory to enjoy travel and to be a steward for the Mother Earth. “It’s about doing more, not less,” she argues, “which is why I always try to share these places and stories with people who don’t know they exist.”
On the rare occasions when duPont isn’t traveling or hitting the slopes, she’s likely hiding out in the 500-square-foot geodesic dome that she calls home. Snug between the Idaho National Forest and Warm Springs River in Sun Valley, the dome—which she affectionately refers to as her “nest”—is an ode to her minimalistic, low-waste lifestyle. The perfect antidote to the sense of displacement that comes with such extensive travel.
“It’s this classical, funky thing with so much personality, decorated with a hodge-podge of reminders from all my travels—a 100-year-old table from Bali, a pair of wooden skis from Kyrgyzstan. Really just a testament to all the places I’ve been,” she tells us.
Soon enough, duPont’s Sun Valley hideout won’t be the only place she calls home, as she’s currently in the process of building a fully passive, off-the-grid house in what she tells us is “the next big hotspot within the ski world:” Revelstoke, British Columbia.
With the most vertical feet in North America (5620, to be exact), Revelstoke has developed somewhat of a reputation amongst extreme athletes since its opening in 2007. But with the construction of a new lift underway to allow more access to the green, entry-level slopes, duPont argues that it’s the perfect destination for anyone who likes to ski, regardless of level.
“I’ve been spending a lot of time in Canada, and it’s really been pulling on my heartstrings,” she says. “It’s incredible.”
For more outdoor adventure inspiration, check out these five epic trekking destinations around the world.
Feature image credit: @hironakasan