Our Team

Backpack: Glacier National Park

Founders Alison Wright and Sarah Castle are headed to Montana for another long distance backpacking adventure, this time in Glacier National Park.

Instagram: @alison.m.wright | @sc_castle

130 Miles in 6 Days

This traverse of Glacier National Park connect trails between Polebridge and East Glacier, following the Continental Divide Trail along its northernmost section. Winding their way from lowland valleys up and along the route of the Continental Divide, Alison and Sarah will keep it light and fast, making the most of abundant northern light and covering 130 miles in 6 days on the trail. The Cairn Project has made two grants in Montana so far, and this adventure fundraiser will help us build our impact here and in other states!

Fundraising goal: $10,000


About This Landscape

Glacier National Park, known as the Crown of the Continent, was established as the nation’s 10th National Park in 1910. Spanning valleys on either side of the Continental Divide, the area was the traditional territory of several Native American Tribes: to the east of the mountains, the Blackfeet occupied the prairies, and west of the mountains, Salish and Kootenai tribal communities inhabited the mountain valleys.

Today, the park is a window into a changing landscape; photos at the Park headquarters evidence the rapid melt of the glaciers for which the park was named. In The Hour of Land, Terry Tempest Williams wrote of Glacier “Climate change is not an abstraction here, but real change in real time…To touch warm granite beds once blanketed by glaciers is both a hard fact and a perversion.”


Why Get Out, Give Back

“We launched The Cairn Project to help foster our future leaders and stewards. We both know from personal experience that outdoor exploration can be truly transformative for young women – seeding self-esteem, inner strength, and the tenacity to embrace the unexpected.”

Aw Cf Sup
Alison Wright
Founder - The Cairn Project | Read More Posts

A San Francisco native, Alison grew up in a family that enjoyed the privilege of outdoor access – many memories were made in California’s iconic mountain and coastal landscapes. Alison has spent her career in the philanthropic sector, advancing initiatives for justice and empowerment internationally and closer to home. In addition to her leadership at The Cairn Project, she directs the Environmental Defenders Collaborative at Global Greengrants Fund, channeling support to frontline environmental activists around the world.

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Sarah Castle
Founder - The Cairn Project | Read More Posts

Sarah Castle grew up in a small mountain town west of Denver, Colorado, and has spent most of her adult life a stone’s throw away from the Rocky Mountains. Though she held a fascination for wild places at a young age, it wasn’t until late high school that she became captivated by the high elevations and unbeaten paths of the mountains in her backyard. Merging her love for both exploration and grit, Sarah pursued a career in soil science, studying the effects of global change and land use on natural and managed ecosystems. Currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota, you’re likely to find her either trail running or logging one of many 70mi. weekend bike rides. Sarah holds B.A. and M.S. degrees from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. from the University of Montana.