Neighbors Magazines

A professional telemark skier’s journey to mountain guide and community pillar

How Shaun Deutschlander built a life and legacy in Park City

By: Ashley Brown, Neighbors of Park City

Park City is the bedrock for Shaun Deutschlander’s vision of growing a business, raising a family, and enriching the community. The New York native landed in Park City fresh out of college while competing as a professional athlete in the Telemark Freeride Circuit. Over 18 years living in the area, she manifested her zest for outdoor explorations into a mountain guiding service, started a family, and stitched herself into the essential fabric of the Park City community. 

Shaun didn’t wind up in the area by chance. “I got introduced to Park City back in the 80s,” she explains. “I got to go out west a few times a year, and one of the places my grandparents liked to go was Deer Valley.”

After graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder, she accepted a job in Park City at the Norwegian Outdoor Exploration Center, intending to return to Colorado. However, the opportunities to bolster her career as a telemark freeride athlete convinced her to stay.  

She started working at White Pine Touring during the summer to complement professional telemark skiing, which eventually led to a full-time guiding career. “It was very much like kismet,” Shaun explains of the decision to alter her course from competitive big mountain skiing. I was 26 at the time… I started realizing that I wanted to do more. I wanted to give back more.”

Photo: Shaun Deutschlander

She shifted her focus to avalanche education and began teaching AIARE courses for White Pine. Around that time, she was offered a job at Park City Powder Cats and started a decade-long career as a snowcat guide. The decision to found her own guiding business was something she had long desired. “It’s been part of my DNA since I was a kid. I always knew I was going to have a guide service,” she exclaims. 

About a decade ago, an interview for the Programs Manager at White Pine Touring was the catalyst to launch Inspired Summit Adventures. “I sat at an interview, and they offered me the job. I suddenly realized that I could put all this energy into them. Or it could be my moment to start putting energy into myself,” she remembers.

Her approach to founding Inspired Summit Adventures summarizes her perspective on relationships. “I’m a big proponent of community, and I really feel a lot of allegiance to organizations that help have helped me.” In turn, Inspired Summit Adventures collaborates with local guiding companies. “I believe that a rising tide raises all ships. That a healthy community is a thriving community.” 

The focus on family offerings partly stems from her role as a mother. “I tend to thrive with multiple irons in the fire,” Shaun says. “It’s been really fun to watch River, now a six-year-old, start showing signs of the effort that Weston (her husband) and I have taken to raise a child in a fashion that’s very true to us.” 

Photo: Shaun Deutschlander

Shaun, who relishes being an integral part of the community, is grateful for how River has widened their family’s social sphere. “She has also built a community for us around her life,” she says. “That’s been a beautiful piece of the journey as well.”

Utilizing Inspired Summit Adventures and her role as a mother, Shaun fulfills her deep desire to give back because she sees her success as an offshoot of living in Park City. “The beauty of being in this community is it fosters creative energy, and it fosters an ability for us to chase our dreams.”

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