Meet the Match

Macedonian Mountaineer Reaches New Heights

Ilina Arsova is an adrenaline sports enthusiast. She is a professional mountain climber, ski instructor, paraglider, and artist. In her words, she loves “feeling connected to the altitude, to the fresh air, and to the purity of nature.” Ilina uses her experiences on the mountain to inspire her artistic creations. Through mixed media, paintings, drawings, video, and installations, Ilina promotes ecological respect, discouraging pollution and overconsumption. She often re-uses materials considered waste and turns them into creative works of art. Her work has been shown all over the world, including China, Malaysia, New York, and Europe.

In addition to her artistic accomplishments, she is also the most respected female mountaineer in Macedonia. She holds the record in her country for the highest climb and most difficult assent. “Mountaineering is very fulfilling; I have learned a lot of lessons about how to survive. But also how to be grateful for the life we have and appreciate what is around us. Nature teaches us not only how to survive, but how to live.”

Donna and Ilina share a sincere appreciation for the great outdoors and a strong desire to increase women’s participation in outdoor sports. At Burton Snowboards, Donna started a Women’s Leadership Initiative to recruit, retain, and promote more females in the industry through mentorship. This professional experience is exactly what Ilina needs to jump start her own desires for more women to take part in the business of outdoor sports. Ilina’s vision is to organize the first Macedonian women’s expedition to climb the Himalayas and to encourage a younger generation of girls to take up adrenaline sports. After spending time with Donna at Burton, we know Ilina will be well on her way.

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