Charlotte Austin

Charlotte Austin

Charlotte is that girlfriend you want at your dinner party entertaining guests with crass jokes AND the woman you want guiding you across a glacier in Alaska. Both magnanimous and adept at traversing landscapes, her dynamism is the reason we chose her as a Wylder Ambassador. Oh, and she'd also an amazing writer who crafts stories that make you laugh, think deeply, and cry. We're thrilled to spotlight her this week!



What gets you out of bed in the morning these days?

My dog Huckleberry.

I want to give an inspiring and uplifting answer to this, but I am absolutely not a morning person. When I’m not in the mountains, I wake up to a huge fuzzy black nose. 


Current source of inspiration?

I’m currently loving David Stevenson’s Warnings Against Myself: Meditations on a Life in Climbing. It’s some of the best climbing writing I’ve read.



What are you a beginner at right now, or trying for the first time?

Honestly, I usually feel like a beginner at everything. The more I learn, the more humbled I am by how much I will never know.

But if you need a simple answer: coding. God, I hate it with such a passion. There are just so many plus signs and semi-colons and shit. But it’s worth knowing, so I’m trying.


What is helping you keep it together? Any saving routines?

My routine is all about coffee: I’m not a functioning human being before I have five minutes to wrap my hands around a mug, take a deep breath, and collect my thoughts for the day. Caffeine is absolutely my drug of choice.

I’ve also been trying to incorporate more stretch and physical therapy, especially with my insane travel schedule. I love my YOGO Mat, my Tiger Tail Roadster, and my 64-ounce HydroFlask. It’s actually supposed to be a growler, but I added a flip-up straw and use it as the biggest water bottle ever. When I’m hydrated and flexible, I find that I’m much better equipped to handle whatever each day brings.



If you had $300 to spend in the Wylder shop, what would you spend it on?

The Astir Tank Dress by Nau (because pockets!), the Tin Bush Hat by Filson (so I can stop stealing my dad’s), and everything Treehouse Chocolate (because chocolate.)


What is at the top of your spotify, ‘recently played?’ Or, favorite current music?

I listen to lots of different things, depending on where I am, what I’m doing, and the headspace I want to create. When I’m writing, my go-to is the Spotify “Deep Focus” playlist, which was great instrumentals. This summer I’ve been on the road a lot, and I’ve listening to the same playlist on repeat: “Oceans Away,” from ARIZONA, “Vanilla Pines” by Tow’rs, and “Till The Sun Comes Up” via Jack and The Weatherman. I’m also addicted to Audible — I read a lot of nonfiction for research for my writing, so my guilty pleasure is listening to novels like All the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr), The Signature of All Things (Elizabeth Gilbert), and The Shining (Stephen King). Red rum, baby.



Who is inspiring you right now? Why?

I’m inspired by badass outdoor/adventure photographer Kat Carney. We spent three weeks on the road together this spring, and I was blown away by how honest she is about how long and hard she’s worked to get where she is today. We all want to make it look effortless, but that’s bullshit: to gain traction in any industry, you’re going to work your ass off. And frankly, failure is part of the process. In an article I wrote for Verticulture earlier this year, I quoted Carol Dweck, professor of psychology at Stanford: “If you have little failures along the way and […] understand that’s part of learning, and that you can actually derive useful information about what to do next, that’s really useful.” I really respect that Kat’s crushing it — and being honest about the bumps along the way.


If you’ve ever been profoundly changed by a landscape, which one, and why?

I believe that we’re all affected by every landscape we visit, and I’ve been lucky to see some extraordinarily varied terrain in the last couple of years. But if I had to choose one landscape, it would be the high alpine. Nobody who visits a glacier leaves unchanged.


 Follow Charlotte: @charlotteaustin Photos by Kat Carney










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