Park City is the bedrock of Shaun Deutschlander’s vision for growing a business, raising a family and enriching the community. The New York native landed in Park City shortly after graduating from the University of Colorado in Boulder. She accepted a job at the Norwegian Outdoor Exploration Center and started to build her career as a professional telemark freeride athlete.
Shaun started working at White Pine Touring in the summer to complement her freeride career — a move that eventually led to a full-time guiding position. “It was very much like kismet,” Shaun explains. “I was 26 at the time. I started realizing that I wanted to do more. I wanted to give back more.”
She shifted her focus to avalanche education and began teaching 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.
During an interview for a program manager position back at her previous employer, White Pine Touring, she faced a crossroads and was inspired to finally start her own guide company, 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.
The decision to start Inspired Summit Adventures fulfilled one of Shaun’s longtime dreams. “It’s been part of my DNA since I was a kid. I always knew I was going to have a guide service,” she says.
Her approach in founding Inspired Summit Adventures mirrors her perspective on relationships. “I’m a big proponent of community, and I really feel a lot of allegiance to organizations that have helped me,” she explains. 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,” she states.
Inspired Summit Adventures has achieved its mission of helping clients thrive through mindful mountain adventures with offerings like guided expeditions at the Castle Peak Yurt, a mentorship program, backcountry skiing and avalanche education, and plenty of mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing and overnight camping experiences.
This summer, Shaun and the Inspired Summit Adventures team is focusing on family-friendly camping excursions. “We’re running backpacking trips and family adventure camping trips where we porter all the gear in for you,” she explains, noting that these trips often include perks like paddle boarding to gourmet meals.
The company’s focus on family-friendly offerings is partly inspired by Shaun’s 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 6-year- old, start showing signs of the effort that Weston [Shaun’s husband] and I have taken to raise a child in a fashion that’s very true to us.”
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.”
Shaun’s big-picture vision continues to open doors for Inspired Summit Adventures. The business purchased a storefront in Jeremy Ranch a couple years ago and she sees the space as a place of infinite possibility. “The vision for it grows in my life because I am a dreamer forever and always,” she says. This fall, she plans to evolve the storefront into a space where community members can tell a story, share a skill or educate the public.
Over the last 18 years, Shaun has stitched herself into the fabric of Park City, fulfilling her desire to give back and create a life in the mountains. “The beauty of being in this community is that it fosters creative energy, and it fosters an ability for us to chase our dreams,” she states.