SheJumps Snowshoe Adventure to Mt. Baker – Recap

Conditions were perfect for a sunny Sunday snowshoe up to Mt. Baker’s White Salmon Rd on February 11th.  The snowshoe trail is located on the hairpin turn just before the lower lodge ski area with breath-taking views of Mt. Skuksan it is a snowshoeing and cross-country skiing favorite in the winter months.


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Four volunteer leaders and 11 attendees met and grouped into vehicles to head up to our first stop at Wake n’ Bakery in Glacier.  Treats, coffee, and a final bathroom break before starting to snowshoe.  Majority of the 11 attendees had never gone snowshoeing before and were nervous and excited to tackle this new adventure.  Layered up and ready the group of Girafficorn’s embarked on their nearly 5 mile figure 8 trek through the snow.

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“If you can walk, you can snowshoe” said Shelly, one of the attendees and first time ‘snowshoer’ after about 20 steps into the trail.  Everyone was laughing and crunching along in the perfectly packed down snow.

We stopped to take in the views, soak in the sunshine, and enjoy time with our new friends.

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Huge thanks to our unofficial sponsor Superfeet Worldwide for giving each attendee a pair of TrailBlazer insoles!

SheJumps Ambassador 

Shari Karber

2/15/2018

GTGO at Stevens Pass 2018 – Recap

The snow dances paid off for the 4th annual Get the Girls Out at Stevens Pass Mountain Resort this year. On Saturday January 27 over 100 women and girls came out to ski and board together!

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Ladies started the day off making tutus in the Trailside Room and enjoyed snacks and refreshments from Munk Pack, KIND Snacks, Treeline Coffee Roasters, and Nuun Hydration. Everyone then gathered together for a group photo before splitting into groups to shred the mountain together. There were powder stashes and free refills all day!

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After lunch at the base some ladies gathered at the Mountain Education Center for snow safety demos. Ski Patrol did a demo with one of the avalanche dogs, Bailey. Everyone then got a chance to practice using avalanche beacons.  

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It was a great day on the hill! Lots of smiles and high fives!

 

 

 

 

The day wrapped up with apres and a raffle with tons of great swag items from our partners.

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The most stoked Girafficorn at the event won an awesome prize!

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SheJumps Volunteer 

Alana Espineli

2/10/2018

 

BIG Thanks to all of our sponsors!

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Leading the charge: Managing 70 volunteers in 5 time zones

In the beginning years of SheJumps, my narrative as the leader was foggy. The idea of SheJumps was still amoebic, taking shape over a series of emails from excited women and a collaboration of inspiration from my two co-founders, Lynsey (Dyer) and Vanessa (Pierce) who created a blog and the name SheJumps prior to me getting involved. We said yes to a lot of things, not knowing really how it could grow from there, but knowing that one foot in front of the other was at the backbone of our ethos. I thought that running this organization could be a side-project, but that I’d never have a “desk job” organizing people for outdoor pursuits.

"Back in the Day" 2009 the trio of co-founders at Alta Ski Area.

“Back in the Day” 2009 the trio of co-founders at Alta Ski Area.

Spiraling out from a not-so-groundbreaking-concept that women are a force of nature to be reckoned with, SheJumps had very grassroots beginnings. A lot of our success (and failures) stemmed from that theme. Not wanting to confine the women who wanted to be involved, yet personally scared I might lose any self-imagined edge I had as a burgeoning “pro skier”; the events, activities, and management of the organization was a daily practice without structure. A constant whirr of refreshing the inbox and struggling to keep on top of interest emails, I had no idea how to say “no” and no roadmap to determine if we were on the right path. What was our goal? While our mission seemed concrete enough, I thought that trying to grow the organization on my terms, void of any office or a set schedule, or even a boss could be sustainable.

Deciding to take the path less traveled meant some non-traditional office concepts.

Deciding to take the path less traveled meant some non-traditional office concepts.

In a lot of ways, this is what has brought SheJumps to the stage you see the organization in today. My story (and that of SheJumps) is one of living the tagline (What great thing would you dare to accomplish?) day in and day out. Too stubborn to let go, ask for help (even when it was staring me in the face), or create a structure that might—yikes—create too much structure, it took a physical act of nature to swipe me upside the head and see that it really was time to take a jump.

On May 6, 2012, I was skiing in the backcountry near Lake Louise ski area with my now-fiancé and his best friend. We had attempted to ski the Aemmer couloir two days before on my birthday. Thanks to a boot-fitting issue (read: excruciating pain), it was basically a 18 km round trip cross-country ski to the bottom of the couloir to figure out it wasn’t a good idea for me to continue. A quick overnight dump of snow on the 5th of May (Cinco de Mayo pow, anyone?) had me excited to ski on the 6th, but I was tired and secretly yearning for a rest day. Well, when it snows in May you must ski, right? Especially when you are trying to impress someone. Maybe I should have listened to my intuition; then again if I had, I might not be writing this blog today.

Three turns into Dogleg (the name of the line we were skiing) and I hit something which stopped my ski and my entire body made a slow twisting fall, causing me to hear and feel a loud pop. I immediately knew something was very wrong.

Fast-forward 8 weeks later. I am on the couch at the Wildcat Chalet, where I work in the winters. Post knee injury, I did a life-inventory and realized: I had no home, no money, no health insurance, no structure. My plan for the summer had been to work catering gigs in Hood River until I had the funds to travel south and work as a ski guide for the winter in Chile. I had planned to camp, and didn’t even have all my belongings in one centralized location—everything was scattered like confetti in friends’ homes in Salt Lake. I had a bone-impaction fractures on my tibial plateau and femur, a fully torn ACL and LCL.

artwork courtesy of Dr. Charley Marshall

artwork courtesy of Dr. Charley Marshall

As I was sitting on that couch, I picked up my computer and I started. I didn’t know what I was starting, but I knew that this was it: it was now or never. I replied to all the emails of “help” from people who are much smarter than I was, and started formulating a plan for growth.

I want to take a moment here and acknowledge how many people I have probably pissed off, forgotten to reply to, or did not properly acknowledge their contributions during and leading up to this time in my life. Thanks to my identity being sharply tied to that of a “nomadic adventurer” (hello! This was way before #vanlife!) there have been scores of people who have gotten involved in SheJumps, and then faded away, only to come back full circle (and sometimes they don’t come back, and that’s fine too). The point is, there wasn’t any sort of glue that held it all together. One person who would hold anyone (including myself) accountable. I feel responsible for not having seen what was coming down the pipeline in terms of scale and impact back then. I’m sorry to all those first supporters, but please: read on.

A woman named Tamra Geryk was the start of a new age for SheJumps. She had been writing to Vanessa and I for a few months—grandiose ideas for bringing SheJumps to the east coast, a concept that seemed daunting and slightly impossible, mostly due to my own self-imposed boundaries of my narrative as an aspiring pro skier and wannabe chef. Others had done the same before, only to never respond past the initial reply of “Sounds great, do you want to help manage that massive undertaking?”

Tamra (bottom center) was a major influence and impetus to the SheJumps you see today.

Tamra (bottom center) was a major influence and impetus to the SheJumps you see today.

Tamra’s concept was different, and she really didn’t take no for an answer. Tamra (and others) challenged me to really step it up during this time. All of a sudden, we had a new website, new titles for team members, a brand promise (what’s that?!), a graphic designer, and initiatives. Ideas that our founding members and I had shared around campfires were finally coming to life!

Suddenly, I was typing phrases like “team” and “program services” and even the ever-fancy (now out-of-style) term “move the needle.” The interest from people came in droves. Our first team unveiled 24 ambassadors in 19 states! Of course, not all of those people ended up staying with the team, but 8 of those first 24 ambassadors are still involved with the organization. Given the 6 year span of time, I’d say that’s some incredible volunteer retention. In addition to those founding team members, we average a 3 year retention of all team members.

A first generation Ambassador/Regional Coordinator and now part-time staff member, Tracy Remelius (Partnerships Director)

A first generation Ambassador/Regional Coordinator and now part-time staff member, Tracy Remelius (Partnerships Director)

The team, through its many iterations, has come to define what SheJumps is, and it is everything that you see and love about our organization today. At times, I feel as if I’m simply a conduit between our 71-person roster and their collective passion and dedication for wanting to make a difference in many women’s lives. It is their accountability which makes my job the most difficult. It’s one of the most rewarding things I could have ever imagined in my life.

This process of growing the team has not come without its intense challenges. The pleasure and satisfaction of working with a team that is so passionately driven incites a new level of accountability that has forced me to step back and examine my own personality. The old Claire, before the knee injury, wanted to keep things small, manageable. It was fun, but not too intense. There wasn’t a lot of accountability. Now, I am out of bed everyday knowing that these women are relying on me to keep the proverbial lights on.

Claire still finding time to play.

Claire still finding time to play.

The team forces me to be aware of the most detailed facets of our organization, yet there is an inspiring amount of trust as I watch them manage and sculpt SheJumps to be something personally meaningful in each of their experiences. Talking with our team about what makes them want to be a part of the organization—and learning to be vulnerable with them as well—has made for a very life-changing experience.

Our team has grown, and so have our programs—to the next generation.

Our team has grown, and so have our programs—to the next generation.

I take mental roll call with the team members as decisions are made. Having their buy-in, support, confidence, and input is vital to the organization. Scheduling calls between 5 different timezones is a pain in the you-know-what but what never ceases to amaze me is that they always get on the call.

Regional Team manager, Girafficorn for life: Cristy Watson

Regional Team manager, Girafficorn for life: Cristy Watson

Before I sign off, I’ll leave you with this. When I was in high school, I read and was obsessed with “the Teachings of Don Juan,” a metaphysical non-fiction book by anthropologist Carlos Castaneda. In the book, Castaneda describes the things he learned from the subject, Don Juan, a shaman from northern Mexico. When I first read this passage, I thought it was meant to be applied generally, and to my life as an individual. As we look back on the first decade of SheJumps, I realize, whether I like it or not—this is my life, and the unbending intent—that is the SheJumps team.

Impeccability begins with a single act that has to be deliberate, precise and sustained. If that act is repeated long enough, one acquires a sense of unbending intent which can be applied to anything else. If that is accomplished the road is clear. One thing will lead to another until the warrior realizes his full potential.” – Don Juan, “the Teachings of Don Juan”, by Carlos Castaneda

Melissa Matz and Lynsey Dyer circa 2013 at Get the Girls Out in Vail.

Melissa Matz and Lynsey Dyer circa 2013 at Get the Girls Out in Vail.

 

 

SPOTLIGHT: Avy 1 Scholarship Recipient EMMA HELLER

SheJumps in the Tetons would like to congratulate Emma Heller of Victor, Idaho, who was our scholarship winner for our most recent AIARE Level 1 course taught by the Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute in Jackson, WY held February 2-4, 2018.

We wanted to take a moment to introduce Emma and share her enthusiasm for skiing, safety in the backcountry and her new home in Teton Valley.

 

Dear Girraficorns, 
I am excited to take part in my AIARE 1 course with a great group of ladies and JHOLI. This is an amazing opportunity to gain valuable knowledge through Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership and SheJumps AND for someone new to the area make friends to explore the great outdoors with. I just recently moved to Victor, ID from Big Sky, MT to work for Sego Ski Co. as the Showroom Manager. I’m thrilled to live in such a beautiful area and amazing community. 

Happy Skiing!

Emma

Emma enjoys adventuring on her skis in the Teton backcountry

Emma enjoys adventuring on her skis in the Teton backcountry

5C’s of Survival recap

5 adventurous ladies showed up Wednesday night to learn about the 5 most essential things you can carry for survival.  The smaller group size made it easy to share some of our own stories and Sherri was super patient answering all our questions. She even shared some off-topic tips (did you know you can dehydrate chili?!).

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For each one of the 5Cs, Sherri demonstrated the proper gear. Not only did we get to try the gear first hand, but Sherri took time to explain which choices are good, which choices are better, and why. We even learned a few diy tricks, like how to make your own kindling!

There was a lot of information to take in but a few important tips included:

-make sure it’s multipurpose and light

-dress appropriately/sustain climate

-waterproof matches are not always the answer

-You can have all the tools, but they won’t do any good if you don’t know how to use them!!

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Now that we have the confidence to get the gear, we’re ready to tackle another class! Next one on the list? Fire building! Thank you to Wilderness, Water and Woods Trading Corp. for making this event possible!!

PDX Avalanche Awareness Clinic – Recap

Thursday night was magic!

She Jumps PDX was  fortunate to have Lindsey Clark up from Bend to teach the avalanche awareness clinic!

Lindsey, a local backcountry skier,  avalanche educator and our own awesome Product Manager, lead us through various topics such as how one identifies avalanche terrain, why and how they happen, best practices for travel in avalanche terrain, local and regional resources to use throughout the season, and upcoming opportunities for more in-depth avalanche education in Oregon this season. Footage shot all over the world was shared and helped drive home the various learnings.  The presentation was followed-up by a question and answer session as well as a generous raffle!

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Special thanks, to evo Portland for organizing, hosting and providing the raffle prizes for such an awesome event. Thanks goes to NWAC for joining, supporting SheJumps and  playing the role of such a valuable knowledge base for all backcountry lovers.

 

While the winter in Oregon has left a bit to be desired, the stoke is still extremely high!!

Backcountry 101- at Brighton Resort

Winter has finally arrived in the Wasatch!  But first a classroom session with the lovely Evelyn Lees and Pat Lamborough.

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They covered everything from beacon flux lines to travelling in avalanche terrain.  The ladies broke up into groups to go over scenarios and decision making as well.  So much to learn, so little time!

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We met up again on Saturday at Brighton among the fresh snowfall!  What a beautiful day to be out in the mountains.  The day started with breaking up into groups and discussing a plan for the day.  After a single lift ride, we dropped down near Dog Lake to be left to our own human power.

Probe deployment practice as well as beacon searches were on the agenda followed by a snow pit where the layers of the winter could be seen.  This year in the Wasatch we have a persistent slab on the northwest to east aspects.  While we didn’t get it to fail on that layer with our column tests, it is still lurking in the basement.

Thank you so much to the Utah Avalanche Center and the amazing instructors for all of the groups!

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Huge thanks to our Outdoor Education Partners!

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Beacon Clinic

Over 40 ladies were keen to learn and refresh their beacon skills, even on a Monday morning!  It was a gorgeous day up at Alta.  Our fearless lady leaders discussed some beacon basics, including the flux lines (shown above) of a beacon.

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After the full group discussion the ladies broke up into groups of about 6 to head outside to have some practice.  Some groups started by going through good items to have in your pack for a tour and some were eager to get outside to enjoy the beautiful day.

Once outside, the leaders demonstrated the 3 phases of the beacon search which can be simplified to Run, Walk, Crawl.  These refer to the steps of finding a beacon signal (run), following the flux lines (walk), and doing the fine search (crawl).

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After the demo, it was time to practice!  A beacon was hidden and the group searched, probed for and dug it out.  There’s no such thing as too much beacon practice so the groups kept at it until we ran out of time.

Thank you instructors, the Utah Avalanche Center, and Alta Community Enrichment for helping make this clinic a reality!

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Huge thanks to our Outdoor Education Partners!

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SLC Wine & Wax at 2nd Tracks Recap

Thanks once again to 2nd Tracks for hosting our wax clinic.  Included this year in Utah: wine! 15 SheJumpers gathered to learn how to properly care for the bases of our skis while enjoying a glass of wine..or two!

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Inspecting the bases, fixing core shots, and proper waxing technique were all among the topics covered.

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Many questions asked and answered as well as leaving with freshly waxed skis or boards!

2nd Tracks was also generous enough to give the ladies 10% off in the store after the clinic.  Thank you!

 

Huge thanks to our Outdoor Education Partners!

 

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IWSD Crystal Mountain 2018 – Recap

The K2 Alliance & SheJumps hosted the 5th Annual International Women’s Ski & Snowboard Day (IWSD) on Saturday, January 20, 2018 at 25+ locations across the world. Women were invited to get together to celebrate skiing, snowboarding and the power of female camaraderie by having fun on and off the mountain.

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Our goal was to encourage more females to go skiing and snowboarding – friends, sisters, moms, daughters. Whatever brand you ski on, Whoever you ski with, Wherever you ski, Enjoy the fallen flakes with your girls! It’s your day so lap the park with the girls, take a lesson, hike for pow, rip groomers, teach a friend to ski, get together for après. Our Crystal Mountain event had 177 ladies (and 6 men) turn out for the fun!

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rl_french-16 rl_french-8 rl_french-29The day kicked off with a group photo then we divided into the skier ability groups for beginner, intermediate, advanced, expert and freeride. These groups were headed up by our stellar team of local volunteers who showed ladies around the mountain and encouraged all to connect. The goal of these groups is to create an encouraging environment for women to meet others and hopefully form lasting friendships. You never know who you’re going to meet – the important part is making the effort, you have to TAKE THE JUMP!

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Who doesn’t love hot cocoa & donuts?! Thanks to our local partner, Sturtevant’s, we were able to provide participants with a Stoke Station mid mountain including hot drinks, treats and high fives.

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In event emails and a registration, participants were given the Ski Party Photo Assignment Sheet which offered an array of fun prompts for group photos including: ski limbo, best dressed on the mountain, triple black diamonds, impromptu dance party and the album cover. Ladies used the hashtag #IWSD to share images and be featured on the K2 skis website. To add another fun all ages element to the day we provided participants with a scavenger hunt. Items on the hunt ranged from snowmobiles to pieces of pizza. We operated this game on the honor system and if you found all the items on the sheet you could turn it in at the apres party for a free raffle ticket.

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Lunch was held at Campbell Basin Lodge located at the top of the Forest Queen lift. The skies opened up just in time for many ladies to enjoy lunch outside. After refueling, many participated in the Buried Treasure Hunt, an light hearted approach to avalanche rescue techniques that first debuted at our Junior Ski Patrol event in December. Participants are given a crash course in beacon use, a breakdown of the scene and tasked with finding their treasure – in this case, oreo cookies.

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Our perfect day in the mountains was capped off right with rockin’ live music, dancing and a massive raffle thanks in part to large contributions by K2 Skis & K2 Snowboards! The Ski Carry Showdown entertained and educated the crowd by displaying the many creative ways to carry your skis. Dirtbag royalty, Gisken Crawford, dominated with speed and agility in the first two rounds and pulled out a ruckus cowgirl riding demo to win the finale! $4419 was raised by the raffle setting a record for our Crystal Mountain events!

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Super high five to Crystal Mountain for hosting us! Special thanks to Tiana & Bri in the marketing department, Corey for dialing in the apres event, and ski patrol for keeping the mountain safe!

Videographer:

Max Chesnut

Photographers:

Ryan French

Blake Coudriet

National Partners:

K2 Skis

K2 Snowboards

Clif Bar

Big Agnes

Find out about our rad raffle partners: http://www.shejumps.org/announcing-our-winter-partners/