Landscape artist Rachel Pohl explores big-sky spaces, trekking, mountain biking, and skiing with sketch pad in tow to share her love of adventuring deep in nature.

By Mary Anderson
Instagram @rachel.pohl

Landscape artist Rachel Pohl, 26, explores big-sky spaces, trekking, mountain biking, and skiing with sketch pad in tow to share her love of adventuring deep in nature.

“I’ve toured hundreds of days, maybe thousands, in the mountains, and each time is unique,” says Pohl, who grew up in Montana and goes backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, ice climbing, and bowhunting. “There’s a heightened awareness you get in nature. It takes you back to that childlike sense of wonder.” (Related: All the Amazing Health Benefits of Hiking)

When it’s woman versus nature, there’s no easy out, like hopping off a Spin bike—and that’s magic. “What I’ve learned most about being an outdoor athlete is that you have to quiet your fears, take a deep breath, and commit to act even if it may be really hard,” Pohl says. And proving yourself capable out there makes for powerful confidence. (Feeling inspired? These Adventure Books Written By Badass Female Authors will convince you to get out there.)

“Whether or not your trek or climb turns out the way you hope, the experience itself is a reward,” she says. “You might walk miles to reach a specific amazing spot, so hopefully you realize how special it is—noticing the details, how the trees look, how your body feels.”

Those hilltop selfies can pay it forward for the land you’re standing on. “Even if you have just 40 Instagram followers, you can raise awareness by saying, ‘Hey, leave no trace,’” says Pohl, who captions her landscape shots with sentiments like this.

Shape Magazine, June 2019 issue
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