Scaling Mountains

by Caitlyn D’Agati ’15

by John Martin

Director of the Wellness Department at St. John’s Medical Center in Jackson, Wyoming during the week days, Julia Heemstra ’96 transforms into a ‘Weekend Warrior,’ scaling mountains ranging from 11,000 to 14,000 feet on weekends.

“It is what really makes me feel alive,” she says. “There are times when I’m not sure I can do something, but the only option is to do it and to do it safely.”

Heemstra, who oversees wellness programs for 1,100 Teton County employees, climbs or skis between 100 and 200 peaks per year. She’s climbed or skied more than 1,500 peaks over her life time.

“Overcoming a perceived barrier with my own abilities is what I live for – this happens countless times on just a single climb” she says.


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