Marissa grew up in Buffalo, New York and fell in love with climbing in New Hampshire while studying mechanical engineering at Northeastern University. Alaska's remote, rugged wilderness and tremendous scale awed and fascinated her during her NOLS Semester in 2012, sparking her desire to explore unknown terrain. After a brief design career in alternative energies and a stint as a café manager, Marissa began working as a NOLS mountaineering and hiking instructor in 2013. She is continually inspired to connect with wild places and build meaningful relationships in the backcountry. Marissa’s passion for climbing has taken her to Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Mexico, Bolivia, and Patagonia, and she is always happy to make it back to New England for ice season. She dreams of bringing Big Mountain Sledding to the mainstream, and when she’s not in the mountains she enjoys Ashtanga yoga, knitting, all forms of dance, and experimental baking.