Women break into the backcountry with SheJumps
Women often get overlooked by the aggro, manly nature of outdoor recreation, especially in backcountry skiing. Times are changing however, and more and more ladies are finding solitude and pow in the mountains without their testosterone-fueled counterparts. But breaking into the backcountry can be intimidating, what with avalanches threatening to kill you and all. That’s why the Friends of the Utah Avalanche Center and SheJumps have teamed up to offer a backcountry 101 course for those of you looking to go beyond the ski resorts.
The backcountry 101 session begins with course #1 on Friday, March 11 at 6pm in the Wasatch Room at the Salt Lake City REI. The first course is an appetizer of sorts, with a three hour lecture about backcountry skiing, avalanche danger, choosing safe terrain and equipment needed to ski the backcountry.
The fun stuff happens on Sunday, March 13, when the backcountry 101 course goes into the mountain for real-world training. It will be an 8 hour field day on skis, snowboards, snowshoes, or spllitboards. Students will be taught by professional instructors about avalanche safety and terrain, how to read and understand the avalanche forecast when making decisions, avalanche danger identification, choosing safe terrain to travel in, and practice with beacons and probe poles for buried companion rescue.
UAC forecaster Evelyn Lees will be your guide through the backcountry 101 course , and all the women attending will be in good hands as she is one of the best and most well respected avalanche educators in the mountain west.
The cost for the backcountry 101 course is a mere $125 for the classroom and field day courses. That’s a steal considering all the education women will be getting to take their first steps into backcountry exploration in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains.
For more information and to sign up, visit the Utah Avalanche Center webpage.
The women’s only backcountry 101 course is being held in coordination with SheJumps, an organization that, “strives to increase female participation in outdoor activities by building upon a supportive community that inspires its members to reach their highest potential.” SheJumps believes in “offering an opportunity for all women to get outside and live life to the fullest by creating community-organized events for all seasons.”
SheJumps is working with the Utah Avalanche Center to offer women’s specific beacon clinics and avy seminars, and they hope to get more ladies skiing and riding safely in the backcountry. They also get women involved in other outdoor recreation sports, so if you’re a female jonesing for outdoor action, then check out www.SheJumps.org They’ve also put together this video that illustrates their mission: