Idaho Wild Soak Trek

This 2017 summer season, Kristen is planning her biggest conservation adventure yet. She, along with guest conservation athletes and scientists are heading to Idaho, a state boasting over 70% public lands, numerous rugged mountain ranges, crashing rivers and unequalled wildlife populations. Kristen and her team has sights on thru hiking, rafting, and photographing an 800 mile section of the proposed Hot Springs National Scenic Trail. This rough and relatively unknown route is known to be the next up and coming long distance trail (at 2,421.4 miles in entirety) and stands among the ranks of the Pacific Crest and Continental Divide Trails, only longer and more difficult to navigate. The route runs along the spine of one of the largest wild cores of public lands in the lower 48, passing through 7 Wildernesses, 6 Wild and Scenic Rivers including 160 miles rafting along the Middle Fork of the Salmon River and 79 miles along the Snake River in Hells Canyon, and 32 Hot Springs while staying entirely on Public Lands. This route is also prime habitat for wolves, bear, mountain lion, as well as many other wildlife species. Kristen intends to document the fun and adventure of this lengthy expedition on foot and by raft, through the pristine and rugged mountains and river valleys of Idaho all the while promoting the importance of intact and connected public and protected lands. She sees this adventure as a rare opportunity to show off how amazing and wild Idaho can be, a chance to offer a glimpse into the life of a thru hiker ground truthing a new route.
It is expected that a comprehensive photographic record of this expedition and all surrounding events and environs will be created. As with the rest of her photo library, all images created from this expedition will be available to support Conservation Efforts.  Kristen will also be making several video and photo social media posts, as well as journaling all along the route, to create trip reports and articles to accompany the photos, regarding several expedition and conservation topics.  
Kristen will do whatever it takes to get in deep, her extensive itinerary of expeditions in very remote places has proven her ambition and skills to go beyond just navigation, to creation within her journeys. Kristen's deep connection to truly wild places can be clearly seen in the photographs she creates, and often uses for current conservation efforts. Quality Photography is always her first and foremost mission during her explorations and adventure.  It is her unique skillset and intimate knowledge of the canyons and mountain ranges in the American West  that have made Kristen the choice of land managers and Non Profits both for remote journalism, wildland assessments, remote location logistics and production,  and route design based on wildlands connectivity, wildlife migration paths, and conservation topics.  Currently,  Kristen (with the help of her partners) is concentrating her projects on the protection of  Public Lands and Watersheds in the Western US, subjects whose endangerment poses large and immediate threats to the places which mean the most to her.  These projects include documenting many public Bureau of Land Management Areas posed for sale or development, US/Mexico Border issues, threatened National Parks and Monuments, and several river source to sea and mountain range documentation expeditions. 

Why Fund this Project?

~Because you enjoy photographs of Wild and Scenic Landscapes.
~Because like Kristen, you care for the Wildlands of America.
~Because you understand the draw of true Adventure, and discovery of the Unknown.
~Because you'd like to support a meaningful Conservation Project.
~Because your business' mission is tied with Idaho outdoors directly or indirectly. 
~Because you share Kristens passion to explore and use photographic art as a powerful tool to save these last wild places. 

 Kristen has built a large social media following of over 2,860 people, with satellite check ins from the field, a regular photo blog, trip reports and a very active Instagram and Facebook Page. Her audiences take great interest in her adventures and advocacy and supporters of her projects could gain a new platform and expand their audiences as well.


So many amazing adventures to be had, never enough time. Here are some highlights.

2016- First Woman and Fastest known time for solo traverse of 100 mile off trail Wind River High Route, WY
2016- Solo mountaineering ascent of Gannett Peak, WY 13,810ft
2016- 8,000ft off trail ascent of Telescope Peak via Badwater. Death Valley NP, CA
2015 – 160 mile trailless traverse of Wrangell St. Elias NP, AK including first traverse across the face of the Tana Glacier.
2015- 1st Place Winner of Boatercross racing event at McCarthy Whitewater Festival, McCarthy AK
2015- 86 mile  2 day descent of the Dirty Devil River, UT by packraft. 
2015- Designed and executed route through Grand Canyon based off wildlife migration patterns for Paseo Wild Project, Grand Canyon Wildlands Council
2015- Designed 60+mile route for National Geographic TV show "Live Free or Die"
2015- Was part of a team led by "Adventurer of the Year" Rich Rudow for several technical first descents of slot canyons within Grand Canyon.
2014- Became the 23rd person to complete the 600 mile trailless traverse of Grand Canyon under the North Rim.
2014- Completed the 240 mile off trail Sierra High Route, CA
2013- Designed and executed route through Grand Canyon based on current conservation topics, as well as rowed a boat through Desolation Grey Canyons, UT as part of Trekwest Project.
2013- 3 day Sea to Summit ascent of Moana Loa Volcano, Hawaii
2013- Spent 6 weeks photographing, exploring, and designing routes in backcountry Sequoia NP, CA  Including a first descent of the Big Arroyo and a 1 day mountaineering ascent of Black Kaweah (13,690 ft)
2011- Completed hiking entire 500 mile trail system within Grand Canyon NP, AZ
2010- Hiked  4 major desert tributaries to the Colorado River from source to Confluence; Paria River, Escalante River, Little Colorado River, and Dirty Devil River.
Also to be noted:

National Parks Expeditions: Kristen has hiked 23 US National Parks from end to end or circumnavigated on self designed routes, and has 10 more Park routes designed and ready to go.
·       A very experienced whitewater woman, Kristen has proficiently navigated over 50 rivers and streams across the US by means of canoe, packraft, kayak, and raft including over a dozen Grand Canyon river expeditions.


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Kristen ONeill 
Flagstaff, AZ
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