Ambassador - Michelle Zhang
Basecamp: San Francisco, California
Trail Resume: I'm an ultra runner—with my most recent ultras being the Whistler Alpine Meadows 110K, which runs up and down Whistler and Blackcomb mountain. And my latest objective, running the Wonderland Trail in a single push. Unfortunately, my first attempt involved an injury, which made me stop at mile 60, after 15,000 feet of climbing in just 20 hours! I'll be back...
What It Means to Me to #takelessdomore: Because a lot of my objectives are long, endurance adventures (whether it's a hike or a run), taking less really does equate to doing more. It means only packing the essentials, and leaving the unnecessary things behind. It allows you to enjoy the experience more, without distractions.
How I Got Into Ultralight Hiking: My dad always took us to national parks when we were younger for fun car camping trips. I'd always tell him that I wanted to come back and hike more of the trails and camp in the wilderness. Since then, I've spent all my spare time exploring trails and being in the mountains. I've really found that's where I feel most alive. Whether it's hiking, climbing, or trail running, as long as I'm in the mountains, I'm happy.
Favorite Gossamer Gear Product: The Silverback 50 is my favorite piece of Gossamer Gear. It's my go-to for backpacking trips. Other than it being light as a feather, it has just the right amount of compartments that are easily accessible, and holds everything I'd need on a quick weekend trip to the mountains. It was my first UL backpack that changed my life completely. I also love the Shoulder Strap pocket. You can literally attach it anywhere. I've even strung it through the laces on my boots before when I didn't want to carry a pack and just needed something to hold my phone and essentials.
Favorite Trail (so far!): The Enchantments. There's a reason why they call it the Enchantments. I have never seen a more beautiful, jaw dropping place. It's got a mix of forest, alpine lakes, boulder friends, snow, and jagged peaks that are just magical.
Dream Trip: I still want to run a 100-miler. Since COVID cancelled a lot of race objectives, I've been hoping to lock down my own trail run of that distance.