Susan’s stories are powerful. Her agenda is simple: to motivate, educate, and inspire.

They call me “the denial expert.”

It wasn’t easy to share vulnerabilities and explore the deepest part of myself so openly. The process took eight years.

My story is about being lost—lost in denial about my marriage, my life, and my purpose. But Tasha, a five-week-old Labrador retriever with the face of a baby bear, fur as black as obsidian, and the temperament of an NFL linebacker changed all that.

I am a writer, writing coach, and public speaker.  I help people find their way, whether on the trail or on the page. As a guide in the mountains, leading an expedition, or mining your story on Zoom, it’s what I do best: helping you work through your pain to live your best life.

My insider’s knowledge of finding the lost–to being lost–and to crawling my way out of grief enables me to lead countless others through their hardest challenges

I save lives. I teach humans and canines to do the same.

I coach others to tell their story. To find themselves.

Sometimes, my clients don’t even realize they’re lost…until, together, we find their purpose in life. And that’s when their real story begins.


Author Speaker Writing Coach Susan Purvis

Susan Purvis in her 60th year in Oahu Hawaii, shining bright after 3 years of sobriety and fitness training.


Sherpas were dying. I had to do something about it.

After I heard about a deadly avalanche that buried three toddlers across the street from my condo, I traded my rock hammer for a pair of skis and a puppy named Tasha to save lives on the most avalanche-prone slopes in the US.

The confidence I gained as a volunteer search and rescue K-9 handler, team leader, and wilderness medicine specialist gave me the courage to educate others. In 1998, I founded Crested Butte Outdoors and began teaching others about medicine and avalanche safety.

I love to give back.

In 2005, I started a high-altitude medical course for the untrained and invisible local guides risking their lives on Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Everest. Over the decade, many of them have become international mountain guides. Others went on to form the Mount Everest Rescue Team. In honor of my beloved search dog Tasha, I wrote our story. Go Find: My Journey to Find the Lost—and Myself became an award-winning and bestselling memoir. I debuted Go Find at Book Expo America held in New York City. You’ll hear my voice telling Tasha our story if you listen to the audio version of my book.

Susan Purvis Bio

Often called a Maverick, Susan’s paved a not-so-easy, yet successful career, in the male-dominated outdoors for 40 years, shuffling between business owner, scientist, author, K-9 search and rescue dog handler, wilderness medicine, and avalanche specialist.

Her outdoor education company, Crested Butte Outdoors International captured the attention of The Oprah Show, the US Secret Service, the FBI, and the Navy Seals. Her exploits put her in Smithsonian, Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, on CNN. She appeared on the science documentary, The Hottest Place on Earth on the BBC and Discovery Channels. She consulted for National Geographic Channel, truTV, and in 2013 embarked on an epic 45-day expedition to Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.

An acclaimed author, and renowned educator, Susan is an entertaining keynote with over 20 years of public speaking experience. Whether it’s an intimate gathering with men who protect the president, a national outdoor trade show, or the private setting at one of the Turner Ranches, Susan has spoken to over 10,000 individuals from CEO’s and corporate investors, and on the international stage. Susan connects with the audience keeping them listening, laughing, and learning. Her speaking topics include motivation/inspiration, travel, health and wellness, avalanche, and wilderness medicine education to K-9 search and rescue.

Susan-Purvis-John-Herrington Astronaut Partner

Susan Purvis exploring in the Alaskan Tundra.

With a passion for mentoring women and men in outdoor risk, Susan is matter of fact, direct with a soft leadership tone in her teaching style.

In 2003, Susan and Tasha, her search and rescue canine, were honored by the US House of Representative, receiving Congressional Recognition for their “unselfish neighbor-helping-neighbor,” an acknowledgment of their heroic avalanche rescues in the high country of Colorado.

In 2018, Susan launched her best-selling memoir, Go Find: My Journey to Find the Lost—And Myself. A tale of a woman, against all odds, finding her purpose and passion and never looking back.

Susan Purvis is a Lead Instructor with Wilderness Medical Associates and the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE). She is a professional member of the American Avalanche Association (AAA), the Explorers Club, Wilderness Medical Society, and ex-Mountain Rescue Association member.

Susan Purvis lives in Whitefish, Montana near Glacier National Park.

Receiving congressional recognition for my search and rescue volunteer service.

Many people don’t realize that search and rescue is a volunteer service. Training and deploying a K-9 to save lives takes dedication and thousands of hours to be reliable and good. I paid for our training.  I’d like to share this Congressional Record to all the canine teams out there working hard to better this world, risking their lives to find victims lost in the woods, buried in avalanches, drowned in water, or succumbed to crime.   

Are you interested in working with Susan?

From helping you write your book, to speaking at your event, or teaching you wilderness medicine, Susan is looking forward to hearing from you! To learn more about her courses in Avalanche and Wilderness Medicine Education, please visit CB Outdoors.

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