16-year-old Kayla Anderson going for 70K vertical at Beaver Creek to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital

Good luck, Kayla

Kayla Anderson and her friend Carter Gonzalez are using the feat of achieving 70,000 vertical feet in one day at Beaver Creek for a pre-calculus project, applying mathematics to the real world. This week, they’ll be attempting 70,000 vertical feet while also raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. (Special to the Daily)

Sixteen-year-old Kayla Anderson is taking her opportunity to do something amazing and using it to help others.

After reading my story about reaching 70,000 vertical feet in one day at Beaver Creek, the Pine Creek High School junior will be attempting the feat on Wednesday, along with her friend Carter Gonzalez and her dad, Matt.

“I’ve read a lot of articles, but I haven’t seen a girl get that high of vert at Beaver Creek, and I also haven’t seen a teenager,” she said leading up to Wednesday.

Three of her four grandparents are cancer survivors, and inspired by Jared Isaacman’s Inspiration4 mission, Kayla is raising money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with her 70K attempt.

Support Kayla’s mission on her GoFundMe page, “Ski 70K feet to fight childhood cancer.”

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Making a difference

A young Kayla Anderson, right, meets Lindsey Vonn, left. Kayla and her family would cheer on Vonn during her World Cup races in Garmisch, Germany, when they lived there before moving to Colorado.

Kayla’s dad Matt grew up in Pueblo and says he didn’t grow up skiing as much as his daughter is. A colonel in the U.S. Air Force, Matt and his family lived in Germany before moving to Colorado Springs.

While in Germany, the Andersons would regularly attend the World Cup ski races in Garmisch and are big fans of Lindsey Vonn — Kayla has Vonn’s signature on one of her helmets.

While growing up skiing in Germany and Austria, the Andersons now enjoy the slopes of Beaver Creek.

“I always loved skiing, and I always like to just keep going,” Kayla said. “I absolutely love being on the mountain.”

In addition to raising money for St. Jude’s, Kayla and her friend Carter have accomplished numerous mathematical calculations and are using the 70K attempt as part of a pre-calculus project. Tasked with using mathematics “in the real world,” they got to doing the math behind the lift times, vertical feet per lift and more.

“She’s a good, technical skier,” her dad said, adding she’s a competitive cross-country runner. “She likes to go up on Grouse, back into the trees and the glades, but it’s that fitness mentality from cross-country.”

The Anderson family, of Colorado Springs, used to live in Germany, where they met Lindsey Vonn and attended her World Cup races. (Special to the Daily)

With the math, skills and knowledge of the mountain — and support from the local Cohabit pod hotel in Avon — Kayla and Carter are excited for Wednesday.

“I absolutely want to earn an A on my math project. I also want to be among the first females to ski a documented 70K vertical feet,” Kayla says in her GoFundMe description. “But more importantly, I also want to make a difference. As a result, I would greatly appreciate your donations to help fight children’s cancer and support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.”

Skiing 70K to fight childhood cancer

Support Kayla Anderson’s fundraising goal for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at

Assistant Editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

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