Pretty Faces - an interview with Lynsey Dyer

Lynsey Dyer is a professional adventurer. Many of you know her as a professional skier, but she’s also a photographer, artist, and now, feature filmmaker. In 2007 she co-founded SheJumps, a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing women’s participation in the outdoors.
Kristina Ciari Tursi Kristina Ciari Tursi
November 24, 2015
Pretty Faces - an interview with Lynsey Dyer
by Kristina Ciari, Mountaineers Membership and Marketing Manager

My parents met in Steamboat, CO, where my dad was a ski instructor. They moved to Whitefish, MT, where I was born. A Montanan with a ski-instructor father, I like to joke I basically came out of the womb with ski boots on my feet.

I grew up on ski films. I spent my childhood going to Warren Miller movies at a time when Warren would travel and narrate the films in person. I looked forward to these events every year with great anticipation. One year I even won a pair of gloves. I had never won anything before in my life! They didn’t fit, but they were mine. I was seven.

Warren Miller was one of the only ski-film makers around when I was young. Today the industry has many more contributors, but in some ways not much has changed in 30 years. While women always have appeared in ski moves, female features are the exception, not the norm. The majority of professional opportunities are given to men. That is, until Lynsey Dyer decided to challenge the quid pro quo with her new all-female film Pretty Faces. We hosted her Seattle premier in October, and before the show I sat down with Lynsey to talk about her film and her future ambitions to get more women outside.

Breaking Ground

Lynsey Dyer is a professional adventurer. Many of you know her as a professional skier, but she’s also a photographer, artist, and now, feature filmmaker. She grew up racing in Sun Valley, Idaho, and won gold in Downhill at the Junior Olympics. In 2007 she co-founded SheJumps, a nonprofit organization devoted to increasing women’s participation in the outdoors. 

Then, she set out on an ambitious project to create an all-women’s ski film. Filmed, produced, directed by, and starring a cast of 100% women, Pretty Faces is blazing a trail for the future of ski films. Here’s why Pretty Faces is so revolutionary: last year women had a record amount of screen time, with features consisting of 13% of the screen time in all ski films, up from 9% the prior year. A huge percentage increase no doubt, but when roughly 43% of the consumer market for outdoor ski & snow products/services is female, it’s easy to see the huge disconnect between how many women are represented and how many women are actually using the product. 

But rather than focus on the disparity, Lynsey is looking to change the conversation. Where others see inequality, she sees opportunity. She wants to focus on female ambitions, and really show how much females can influence the future outdoor marketplace. Two years ago everyone told her there was no market for an all-female film, but with each consecutive sold-out show, and requests for more viewings overflowing her inbox, she’s proven the naysayers wrong. She’s changing the face of the industry. She’s a groundbreaker. 

At The Mountaineers, we love groundbreaking. We were founded in 1906 by 151 charter members, 77 of whom were women. More than half of our founders were female. In 1906! Can you imagine what that must have been like at the time? The scandal it must have caused! We then went on to pioneer outdoor exploration in the Pacific Northwest for women and men alike. Which is why we were thrilled to host Pretty Faces. It’s not just a superb ski film, but Lynsey’s goal — and the mission of her nonprofit SheJumps, to motivate more women to enjoy the outdoors — is something The Mountaineers are incredibly excited to support.


Lynsey co-founded SheJumps in 2007 to create a positive community for women. The mission of SheJumps is to increase participation of females in outdoor activities. Everything they do is designed to create opportunities to Jump In, Jump Up, and Jump Out. 

SheJumps is building community to remove the “intimidation factor”: to make a team out of an individual activity, to encourage more girls to push themselves, and ask dumb questions, and feel vulnerable. “When you’re challenging yourself, sometimes you’re going to look dumb, and we’re all afraid of that,” Lynsey said. “It’s hard to be bad at something. We want to create an atmosphere where it’s okay to fail and its okay to mess up. We almost encourage it.” 

This statement resonates with me especially. I know many strong women who possess driving ambition to reach their highest potential, yet suffer a keen sense of “imposter syndrome”: feeling like they’re the weakest link in a group, that they don’t quite measure up to the rest, and that they’re somehow involved by chance instead of having earned the spot. With so many of us out there, it’s really nice to finally have an avenue to start a conversation around female empowerment and recognition.

Only seven years old, SheJumps hosts Get the Girls Out events in 18 states, including Washington, engaging thousands of ladies who might have otherwise been too intimidated to Jump In. I attended the event last year at Crystal Mountain and enjoyed a day high-fiving and racing along other gals in tutus. SheJumps also supports youth initiatives, has outdoor education programs, and takes women to the next-level of ski-mountaineering in their Alpine Finishing School. Supporters can connect to other Jumpers at the SheJumps Clubhouse, an online portal to share inspirational stories, plan adventures, and create opportunities to get involved and give back.

Today, most of Lynsey’s best friends have come from SheJumps. That’s just what happens when you bring like-minded people together. Even if you’re cold and miserable and your boots are wet, the shared experiences bring people closer. That’s what community is all about.

Pretty Faces

The ultimate sense of community comes at every stop on her film-tour. Lynsey has been completely blown away by the outpouring of support. “The crowds are amazing. I’ve never signed so many posters for little girls.” She said. Lynsey didn’t fully realize many women and girls were out there looking for something like this. “I always knew we had an audience of really good dads and coaches, but I had no idea the extent to which women would show up,” she said.

I asked her why her ability to reach so many women came as such a surprise, and she quickly responded, “Because I honestly didn’t know how to find them!” She went on to explain: “Traditionally, the viewership for ski films is 60-70% male. If you look at any statistics on ski magazines or websites, their viewership is men. I knew women were out there, and that they wanted to be represented, but how I would get to them, I didn’t know. I’m still trying to figure out how we reach reach the little city girl who goes to the mall and has no exposure to action sports or the outdoor world. That’s what keeps me up at night — how are we going to get to her to know she has other options?”

This is a question the outdoor community has been trying to answer for decades. Outdoor recreation is a luxury. Time and access are privileges not available to everyone. We don’t have answers, but we’re all doing our part to bring the outside closer and make it available to all — particularly with our youth education programs, such as Mountain Workshops.

Ultimately, Lynsey is trying to make outdoor recreation more attainable by inspiring others with Pretty Faces, and hopefully more feature-length films in the future. “We can make the outdoors “sexy” by selling peaks in these films and in photographs, and if that’s what it takes to start a dialogue and introduce someone to the idea of spending time outside that’s great,” she said. “It’s not about climbing Denali. It’s about raising your heart rate every day and seeing what the environment really looks like. It’s about how time outside can raise test scores and can improve relationships at home and lower the incidence of fighting in schools.” The idea you don’t have to scale the mountains to feel the benefits of the outdoors and the feeling she’s doing all that she can to pave the way for future adventurers — female and male — that’s what motivates Lynsey.

What’s next for Lynsey? She would love to do another film, and she’s looking for the resources to put it together. She’s clearly proven there’s a market for this type of thing — that women aren’t a ‘charity’ but a viable business decision. She’s also going to continue her work with SheJumps to empower our community of outdoor women, and continue to be a role model for young girls by sharing her own outdoor pursuits with others.

“You really are expanding someone’s mind by being in power as a female.” She said. “You’re doing your greatest service in being your greatest self. It’s hard when you don’t have role models. Very few have seen what females really are capable of, and therefore they don’t really know what to aspire to.” Now we all have a new bar of aspiration. The seven-year-olds girls of today are lucky to have such great role models to help them be tomorrow’s groundbreakers. 

Support Lynsey’s next film project:

Visit to buy a copy of the film, pick up merchandise, or make a donation. Or you can support SheJumps at

This article originally appeared in our January/February 2015 issue of Mountaineer magazine. To view the original article in magazine form and read more stories from our publication, click here.

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