Leighan Falley isn’t an ordinary mom. She wasn’t an ordinary kid or young woman, either. The Fairbanks native grew up among the stunning landscapes of the Alaska range, taking rambling adventures with her parents, an ex-mountain guide and a glacier scientist. She made her first attempt on Denali at 17 and went on to become a guide on Denali, a heli-ski guide in Valdez, and an avalanche safety course instructor. When she got pregnant, she decided the best way to keep the remote mountains a part of her life as a mom was to become a commercial bush pilot.
Now the proud owner of her own plane, a Piper Pacer, Falley spends her workdays glacier flying and her evenings at home with her family. The plane has become the ultimate family camping vehicle, and she and her husband Tucker Chenoweth and daughter Skye regularly fly deep into the wilderness, introducing Skye to the same wildlands that have shaped Falley’s remarkable life.