Raised in Bozeman, Montana, Lorea Zabaleta ‘18 spent her days outdoors, guided by her father Martin – an internationally-renowned mountaineer – and her mother Sue MacGrath – active in education, conservation and other environmental and social justice causes. Her love of the outdoors continued to flourish when she came to Holderness, becoming a fixture of the rock climbing team, mountaineering team and learning to embrace the outdoors not just as a challenge to overcome but as an opportunity for reflection and restoration.
It was at Holderness, too, where Lorea encountered journalism, writing for the school newspaper The Picador and editing the newspaper during her junior year. At first her articles touched on how Holderness faculty looked like their dogs, but Lorea quickly found her voice writing about politics, the 2016 presidential election, and educating the community about the Basque independence movement in Spain, a cause dear to her and her family.
Lorea’s life experiences – her love of the outdoors, an interest in journalism, and time spent supporting political and environmental causes – were made visible when she enrolled at Colorado College to study international political economy with minors in journalism and environmental studies. She wrote for The Catalyst, Colorado College’s weekly newspaper and interned for Mountain Journal, a conservation publication covering the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem, as well as The Ski Journal. Lorea even wrote a feature for The Colorado Sun on urban climbing, known as buildering, an illicit activity with a rich history in Colorado.
It’s no surprise, then, that Lorea would forge a path that would combine those powerful forces of the outdoors and journalism. Lorea – as co-editor-in-chief – spearheaded the creation of the Colorado College Outdoor Journal (CCOJ), a publication which aims to expand the definition of outdoor storytelling. The CCOJ, which published its second issue in April, has provided an opportunity to show the intersection between the environment, recreation, and social issues through feature articles, travelogs, poetry, and photography, including some work from Gracie Roe '21. Lorea and her staff aim for the CCOJ to be “radically inclusive” with the intent that “the word ‘adventurer’ is meant to encompass a wide breadth of students, alumni, athletes, activists, and more. The CCOJ is for casual evening strollers, backyard botanists, ski fanatics, and more – from novice to expert. It is a publication for anyone who loves being outside.”
In their introduction to the latest issue, Lorea and her co-editor-in-chief wrote, “We hope as a publication that we can be a catalyst for change and a beacon for joy. Better yet, to cultivate stoke for our beautiful world. Our goal for this publication is to build a community, so welcome.”