Life at sea
For most of our lives, we would pack our bags in May and ship out to the farthest most isolated regions of Alaska where we would spend the next 3 months on a fishing boat.
This video captures a piece of this lifestyle and a bit of our family.
Hello! My name is Sierra, and I come from a family of fishermen stemming four generations.
Sierra Gale means mountain and wind. It is also the name of one of my dad’s first fishing boats that he named after me when I was born.
I started my fishing career at the young age of diapers. By the time I was 14 years old, I was running the skiff for my dad’s commercial fishing operation based out of Chignik, Alaska.
I grew up with my sisters, Whitney and Memry, and my brother Shelby. We split the year between the mountains and the sea for most of my life. My parents raised us to be strong and adventurous, taking advantage of all that life had to offer us.
We moved to Breckenridge, Colorado in 1996 where we currently reside during the winter months and enjoy introducing our friends and neighbors to Alaska’s fresh and wild bounty of seafood.
We purse seine with our 58′ delta purse seiner boat, the F/V Memry Anne, named after my youngest sister. From March to April my dad will fish Pots, also known as traps, for Alaskan cod.
Chignik rests on the western Gulf of the Pacific on the Aleutian Peninsula, west of Kodiak, east of Dutch Harbor.
One can only get in by boat or small plane.
Just shy of 100 residents, this place comes alive in the summer with veteran captains eager to set out their nets again, seasoned crew returning to their respective boats, and greenhorns just joining.
Press – A Family Portrait
A look back on our family’s fishing history through the nostalgic lens of my other sister, Whitney, who wrote a beautiful tribute to our father and family’s Alaskan fishing legacy in National Fisherman’s, North Pacific Focus magazine.
Click the arrows to scroll to the full story.
Skimo, short for “ski mountaineering,” is a ski race discipline that combines endurance (skinning uphill), technical skills (boot packing, technical climbing, and transitions) and downhill skiing.
The discipline is extremely popular in Europe, with Tour de France-sized crowds cheering competitors atop a 14er. It is gaining huge popularity here in the United States and is progressing towards the Olympics.
I have had the great fortune to be a part of the US National Skimo Team. During both the 2018 and 2019 seasons, I traveled throughout Europe and China for an intense 4 months of competition.
I am proud to fuel my body on over 200 pounds of Alaskan Seafood a year. It is a perfect protein to keep me strong and healthy.
Check out the documentary Sisters of Skimo to learn more about our sport.WATCH THE FILM
SISTERS OF SKIMO
This is a film I worked on in conjunction with Howard Head Sports Medicine about skimo and my journey in it. It’s also a film about women supporting women and the sisterhood that grows with in that mindset. During these crazy times we live in, it’s important that we come together and work to build one another up. Whether your community is family, sport, school, or at work, I hope this film serves to foster inclusivity in all areas of life. Never give up on your goals, and never make those goals, more important than the people and the relationships around you.