Whitney & Hilary

2014 Lilypond Ambassadors

Whitney Lange Milhoan - Director of Programs, First Descents
We grew up exploring the mountains, rivers and woods of Montana with one ear cocked for the iron dinner bell, which we could hear from a mile away. We were raised with a true respect and appreciation for the natural world, and it came to drive our life decisions as we became women.

After nearly a decade guiding whitewater and fly fishing trips on the Flathead River system near Glacier National Park, I joined First Descents. Based in Denver, CO, First Descents provides free outdoor adventure experiences for young adults with cancer. First Descents programs are designed to allow cancer fighters and survivors to experience legitimate outdoor adventure - whitewater kayaking, rock climbing, surfing, mountaineering and even international multi-sport expeditions. During their week with First Descents, survivors are able to connect with other young adults who know exactly what they're feeling and what they've been through, forming instant bonds. Through outdoor adventure, they're able to rediscover their strength and regain the confidence and identity lost to cancer.

Anyone who has ever experienced the healing properties of the outdoors knows how powerful that can be. Being able to provide those experiences for people who need it most has been an honor, and has deepened my passion and gratitude for our mountains, rivers and oceans. My work with First Descents has brought more meaning to my role as a woman, a wife, a mother and an outdoorsman. 
It's been a joy to work collaboratively with Hilary to further the mission of First Descents. My best days are spent skiing or fly fishing beside my sister - never are we more connected or content.

Hilary Hutcheson - Outside Media Owner and PR Director, Trout TV Owner and Co-Host & Fly Fishing Guide at Glacier Anglers
Hilary grew up at the west entrance of Glacier National Park in Montana, where a friend taught her to fly fish in junior high. She started guiding whitewater rafting and fly fishing trips as a teenager. After getting a degree in broadcast from the University of Montana, Hilary worked as a television news anchor and reporter in Missoula, Montana and Portland, Oregon for 13 years before moving back home to the Flathead Valley for good with her husband and young daughters. Today Hilary is co-host of the network television fly fishing show, Trout TV, a program produced by the marketing firm she owns and operates alongside her husband, Shane. The marketing company, Outside Media, also represents fly fishing brands including Montana Fly Company, Glacier Anglers andTordrillo Mountain Lodge as well as other key ski and outdoor industry brands including Salomon, Suunto and Easton Mountain Products. When she’s not fishing, Hilary can be found skiing with her daughters, trail running in the woods or bellied up to the brewery in her beloved hometown of Columbia Falls, Montana.
 

firstdescents.org