Inside the Adventure features the inside stories of the struggles and victories of building an unconventional lifestyle in the world of adventure and travel. From record-breaking adventure athletes, to innovative outdoor entrepreneurs, to everyday people who took a chance on the things they love, these are the stories that will inspire you to face your fears and make life into the adventure it’s meant to be.
Isaac Levinson - Professional Kayaker and Multi-Sport Athlete
Isaac is a professional kayaker who got his start in whitewater kayaking as a member of the national slalom team and then went on to be a 2x Green Race Champion, 2012 Canoe & Kayak magazine paddler of the year, and a Go-Pro Games Steep Creek champion. As a 32 year-old from John’s Creek, GA, Isaac now lives in White Salmon, Washington, where he’s been for the last 9 years. Now he spends most of his time kayaking or in flying sports.
Ari Delashmutt - Actions Sports Pro, Podcast Host
Ari Delashmutt is a professional action sports athlete, particularly skilled in skiing, paragliding, and highlining, where he’s set multiple distance records. He hosts a podcast, Ari in the Air, that features leading-edge thinkers on psychology, philosophy, and spirituality, as well as other athletes who have gleaned deep insights from their sports. He is a filmmaker, specializing in both educational paragliding videos and adventure travel films.
Pete Valles - VP Product and Brand Creative at Mountain Hardwear
As a New Jersey native, Pete graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) and started his career at Fila before joining the team at Nike. At Nike, Pete worked primarily on the ACG brand and Nike Advanced Design team. After Nike, he worked for Spyder, then eventually opened his own design and creative agency where he spent over a decade. He was eventually recruited to work for The North Face where he served as Vice President of Global Creative for over six years. During his time with TNF he worked on some of the streetwear's biggest lifestyle collabs. He left TNF to join the ranks of Mountain Hardwear where he serves as the VP of Product and Creative for the core climbing brand. Pete is also an avid mountain biker when he's not brainstorming the next creative move for MHW.
Bill Gamber - Co-Founder of Big Agnes
Bill Gamber might be the most influential person in the outdoor industry that you’ve never heard of. Over the past 20 years, he’s helped to build two of the best known and fastest growing brands in the outdoor retail category. His innovations in outdoor gear have become mainstays for people who love to camp as well as creating a whole new category of race nutrition. He’s been massively influential in building Colorado’s outdoor economy and shaping the state’s recreational future, but Bill fundamentally believes that actions speak louder than words, so he rarely touts his successes.
He’s a product pioneer, a born leader and hard charging when it comes to running a growing company in a competitive market. Bill started his first business in a Pennsylvania college dorm room at Lock Haven University in 1985. Needing money to pay for triathlon race entry fees, Bill began selling homemade bike and triathlon shorts out of the back of his Jetta. This side hustle would become Bwear Action Products, otherwise known as BAP! Eventually, Bill would graduate and move to Steamboat Springs, Colo., where he found a permanent home for BAP!
In 2000, Bill co-founded Big Agnes and launched with a simple, but revolutionary idea: save weight and space with a unique, integrated sleeping bag and pad system. This would be the first in a long line of products “firsts” that would revolutionize the outdoor industry.
In 2001, Bill co-founded Honey Stinger, which specializes in honey-based nutrition. You could say honey runs in Bill’s blood – his family has been in the honey business for more than 60 years and his grandfather invented the original plastic honey bear. Today, Honey Stinger is known throughout the endurance sports world, and products like Honey Stinger chews and waffle are favorites for runners, cyclists, skiers, hikers, climbers and more. In 2019 Bill transitioned away from Honey Stinger after a significant third-party investment and now focuses on Big Agnes and BAP!. Bill is competitive, but not just when it comes to camping and nutrition. He holds the 12-hour solo record for the 24 Hours of Steamboat mountain bike race. He’s completed more than 100 triathlons, including 16 Ironmans.
For the past 28 years, Bill has been living off the grid in Steamboat with his family, in a solar and wind-powered home and spends most of his free time camping, fishing, cycling and skiing.
Spencer Sutlive - Founder & CEO of Rugged Road Outdoors
Spencer Sutlive originally started Rugged Road Outdoors as a UGA student dedicated to changing the cooler game, making the world’s lightest high-performance cooler. Spencer spent years developing an ultralight high-performance cooler that would be the perfect addition to any outdoor adventure.
His newest cooler release, the Rugged Road 65 weighs in at just under 10 pounds, but remains tough as nails due to its Rigorite coating, originally developed to make the walls of the Pentagon blast-proof after the attacks on 9/11. It also holds ice for up to ten days, and floats upright, even when fully loaded.
Spencer’s biggest motivator to grow Rugged Road has been his goal of providing clean drinking water to communities in need. At the end of each year, Rugged Road donates 10% of its profits to build wells and bring clean, reliable water to underdeveloped communities. We aim to use our platform for good and to provide others with the opportunity to help make the world a better place.
Adrian Ballinger - Founder of Alpenglow Expeditions
Adrian Ballinger is a world class mountaineer, skier, business leader, and professional speaker. As founder and head guide of the internationally acclaimed Alpenglow Expeditions, Adrian envisioned a more holistic climbing experience for his clients than the status quo.
This vision, with a focus on small groups and client education, continues to change the way big mountains are climbed. What started in 2004 with three trips on one continent with one lead guide has grown into a thriving company running 30 trips annually on 5 continents with six lead guides. In 10 years, Alpenglow has helped more than 100 clients successfully summit Everest, Lhotse (the 4th tallest mountain in the world), Manaslu (8th tallest), and Cho Oyu (6th tallest).
How was Alpenglow able to expand to 10 times its size in 10 years all while setting new industry standards and expectations? Adrian believes running a business is a lot like climbing a mountain and attributes his extensive mountaineering experiences to his company’s success. In his forthcoming book, “Why Everest Matters – Lessons Learned from the Roof of the World,” Adrian explains essential business concepts such as leadership, teamwork, and risk management from a climber’s perspective. Adrian’s inspiring stories from the amazing places he’s traveled embolden audiences to integrate these important concepts into their own lives and businesses.
As a professional athlete first and foremost, Adrian is the only American who has skied two 8,000 meter peaks, was the first person to ski Manaslu, the 8th tallest mountain in the world, and in 2011 became the first person to summit three 8,000 meter peaks in only 3 weeks (Everest twice and Lhotse once). He is the only American guide to have both AMGA/IFMGA guide’s certifications and has achieved more than 10 summits of 8,000 meter peaks (including 6 summits of Mt. Everest). Adrian is a sponsored athlete for Eddie Bauer, La Sportiva, Kaenon, Goal Zero, Hypoxico and Alpenglow Sports and welcomes new sponsors who are committed to aligning with high altitude achievement.
This was awesome!
Christ I hope to never listen to that Dan Pierson guy talk again. I would jump out of a plane rather than sit next to him for a 6 hour flight.
This is so cool. I love the outdoors and this podcast has been so helpful!! 10/10 recommend.