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, 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.
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.
- Finding the Lost and Myself: Digging Deep to Find Your Truth
As an accomplished, adventurous outdoor woman, Susan Purvis was as lost as anyone she’d ever found. Susan and her search dog Tasha became one of the best alpine canine search and rescue handlers in the US. Her unique expertise in wilderness medicine and gold exploration led her to the hottest, coldest, and highest places on earth. In her memoir, Go Find; My Journey to Find the Lost and Myself, Susan's story opens with an adrenaline-filled scene in which she and Tasha risk everything to uncover an avalanche victim to help a grieving family find closure. Little does she know at the time, she was digging herself even deeper into her own denial. Join Susan as she shares her harrowing story of how over a decade into her prestigious canine search and rescue career she asks herself, “How did the lost expert ever get so lost?” Susan uses breathtaking photos from her personal experience as an expedition leader, avalanche search and rescue specialist and the ultimate denial expert to take her audience through the five stages of denial. She'll take you to places you may or may not have ever been—or want to visit...places where we really get lost: like in a marriage, a career, an addiction, our health, and in life. It’s only when we move through these five states that we can truly find ourselves.
- How to Go From InviSible to InvinCible: Becoming Your Very Best by Helping Others
In what areas of your life are you putting yourself first? It's a question we should be asking ourselves. As adventure tourism explodes in the high country of Nepal, guide fatalities are up 27% in the last year alone. They're so programmed to put others first, they don't realize it's costing them their lives. Sherpa and African guides die while escorting wealthy, privileged clients to the top of the world. Susan Purvis, unwilling to accept these needless deaths, starts a high-altitude medical school where she changes lives—and saves lives—for indigenous peoples; the invisible ones, the poorest and most underserved. Considered two of the most dangerous and fatal mountains for clients and guides to climb, Susan volunteers for a decade training farmers and yak herders to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Everest. With no education or wilderness medicine experience whatsoever, the African and Sherpa guides become international superstars, learning to put their lives first, and going on to save the lives of others, too. Susan captivates and inspires her audience with stories from the field. You, too, will be inspired to look for opportunities to help the invisible become invincible which may mean looking at yourself
- The Miracle of K-9 Scent Detection: How to Connect with our Creative, Productive, Life Affirming Canine Partners
Every day our canines are telling us something. But because of our lack of understanding of animal behavior, we have no idea what they’re telling us. Thus, we miss great opportunities to grow and connect with our beloved canines. Join Susan Purvis as she shares fascinating stories of her tenure as a volunteer wilderness canine search and rescue specialist. She’ll teach you how to understand your dog's behavior through personal missions and adventures through stories of training and deploying her rebellious, but lovable black Lab, Tasha. Susan shares stories about how canines detect humans in the water, locate nitrogen in bombs, find accelerants in fires, dig up humans buried ten feet under the snow, and sniff out victims of crime. The audience will use their knowledge, put on their detective hat and participate in the best mission of all, finding a 12-year-old lost in a winter blizzard. She will even teach you tricks to communicate better with both your canine—and human partners.