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Pro skiers Izzy Lynch and Tessa Treadway navigate parenthood, grief and healing while raising kids in the mountains of British Columbia.
Photography by Zoya Lynch
What does it take to raise kids in the mountains as single moms?
If there’s one thing we can learn from Izzy Lynch and Tessa Treadway in the first episode of Motherload, it’s that no day looks the same. Maybe it’s a mountain bike ride slash cow recovery mission (read on for more context), sometimes it means parking the van on the lawn for a backyard camping trip and sometimes you just need to scrap all your plans and go get ice cream. When you’re parenting a gaggle of “free-range kids” (as Tessa puts it), anything can happen.
Pro skiers Tessa Treadway and Izzy Lynch are pulling back the curtain on what it really looks like to parent in the mountains while handling the motherload of loss, grief and love, in a brand new mini-series presented by Arc’teryx.
“Suddenly being forced to carry the load of parenthood on our own made us realize we are capable of things we never imagined,” says Izzy in the series intro. The original Motherload short film, which premiered in 2020, showed the harsh and honest realities both women were dealing with at the time; Tessa’s husband, Dave Treadway had passed away in a ski accident in 2019 and Izzy’s marriage had just fallen apart, leaving them both to navigate motherhood on their own. It was raw and heart wrenching, following the two friends as they supported each other and shared a vulnerable part of their lives with the world. “After the first film, we had so many people commenting that they wanted more,” says Izzy.
“The main thing that energized us were the heartfelt comments that were left on the YouTube page when the film was released,” says Zoya Lynch, who directed the film (and is also Izzy’s sister). “There are over 300 comments from people all over, including a ton of mothers and single parents who expressed how much the film meant to them, and how they finally felt seen.”
In the series opener, Tessa, her three boys, a pregnant Izzy and her son spend the day riding their mountain bikes in the mountains around Golden, B.C., exploring trails and also looking for a missing cow that escaped Tessa’s property (yes, you read that right). The two women show admirable grace in the face of chaos, with plenty of humor sprinkled in as they shrug their shoulders and let go of what they can’t change, determined to get their families outside as much as possible.
Motherload is a refreshing departure from the typical shreddits that occupy most of ski media space these days, a relatable look into the beautiful (and challenging) work it takes to raise kids in a mountain town. “I hope moms and all parents see this and realize they are doing a great job even though it may not feel like it at times,” says Izzy. “It’s easy to get wrapped up in what the ideal life looks like on social media, and you don’t often see all of the effort or things that go wrong in the process. Parenting is messy, and exhausting, and amazing, and rewarding, all at the same time. I think it’s really amazing that ski media has evolved to a place where real life stories can be shared and appreciated.”