Written by Rockies Ambassador Mya Akins
SheJumps hosted our first ever Get the Girls Out (GTGO) at Grand Targhee Resort on St. Paddy’s Day. Our GTGO succeeded in gathering girls and women of all ages to celebrate sisterhood, skiing, and unite the women girls of the Tetons. The ladies of Grand Targhee’s Ski School and Patrol volunteered to help SheJumps provide a day filled with learning, skiing, hiking, and, most importantly, having fun. Throughout the day, different events were hosted to inspire all age groups, skill levels, and interests. The main goal of this event was to help cultivate communities for women to support, mentor, challenge, and inspire each other in the outdoor sports world.
The day began shortly after registration with a pep talk from Lauren Hugo and a group picture. Lauren decked herself out in festive garb and got our participants stoked for the day. The ladies and girls had the option of either breaking into different groups to participate in instructional clinics or joining forces for a big group ski together. Of course, these go-getters all wanted to do mini clinics to improve their skiing abilities and work on their foundational skills to become stronger and more confident skiers and riders.
After breaking into groups based on ability, I followed the crew who were focusing on off-piste moguls in a more difficult area. Right as our clinic began, the sun broke out and we had brilliant blue bird skies with a few clouds. The entrance to the run happens to be a mini cornice that you can jump off of, slide into, or go around. Our instructor, Beth, gave tips, tricks, and some advice before showing our group how to properly go off the cornice. To my surprise, every lady (even our younger girls), in the group jumped off! It was so incredible to see how with just a little bit of positive coaching and support, we can improve our own abilities and gain more confidence. At the end of the clinic, we all skied down to the bottom hooting and hollering where we met in front of the ski instructors shack to do a little chant.
Around noon, cloud cover arrived and the snow began to fall! It was chilly for those of us at the tent but the ladies of SheJumps managed to stay warm dancing Irish jigs to the festive music playing over the stereo system in the Plaza.
The day’s next event was led by the ladies of Grand Targhee’s ski patrol. It was open to all ages, however, aimed at younger girls and based off of our Wild Skills Jr. Ski Patrol program. The event consisted of a tour of the patrol shack, an introduction into the everyday life of a patroller, and a beacon search. We wanted to give younger girls a look at possible careers in this area, open them up to build on their passions, and teach them survival and technical skills for safe and fun outdoor adventuring.
The last adventure event of the day was a group hike and ski off “Mary’s Nipple.”Mary’s Nipple is an in-bounds area that is hike-only terrain at Grand Targhee. Before going, we chowed on some snacks from our wonderful partners, Munk Pack, who makes real, healthy, and energizing food. We grouped up at the trailhead and had a quick chat to make sure everyone was informed, ready, and on the same page. I led the charge up the boot pack, while one of Grand Targhee’s instructors and dazzling manicorn, Alex, helped to tail the group. Before shredding the fresh few inches of snow that fell throughout the day, we took a break to catch our breath. We made sure everyone was ready, talked about our plan of action, and then headed towards our next meeting spot. After shredding some fresh powder, sharing giggles and excitement, we headed down to the bottom to begin the raffle and apres party.
Lauren kicked off the raffle with a thank you to all of our sponsors, partners, volunteers and participants. She explained the purpose of SheJumps and Get the Girls Out itself. We had raffle prizes from Sego Ski Co., K2 Skis, Forage restaurant, Teton Rock Gym, Coalition Snow, Darn Tough socks, and so many other wonderful gifts from our sponsors.
Our goal of this event was to create opportunities for women to inspire younger generations and ensure that they have the opportunity to develop life skills necessary to succeed in the mountains. Throughout the day, participants exclaimed how inspiring and exciting this event was. One of them even said that this is the first time she’s really felt comfortable skiing powder, thanks to our wonderful instructors from Targhee. She also stated how she wanted to cry tears of joy from the confidence and experience she gained. This made my heart so happy to see how this event made women feel. It felt great to see how with just a little bit of encouragement and love, the power and confidence that you have inside can come to surface. I felt so lucky to be able to share what gives me joy with others and inspire them to accomplish goals.