February marked SheJumps final women’s-only AIARE Avalanche Level 1 course in the Tetons for the 2015/2016 ski season, and what a successful season of educating women we had! Ran and instructed by our amazing community partner, Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute (JHOLI), we hosted a total of three courses this year, providing twenty-three women with vital backcountry education. Further, thanks to a generous donation by JHOLI, we were able to provide four women with partial scholarships to these courses!
And not only did we provide an opportunity for women, we provided an opportunity that women loved! Lead course instructor Nancy Bockino has an amazing rapport with the ladies she teaches—she is insanely knowledgeable about all things backcountry, while remaining entirely approachable. Ladies felt comfortable not only asking her and our other female instructor, Marilyn Davis, questions, but raved about the feel of the space provided by the all-women’s space. Indeed, the space created by a group of females learning together made our participants feel far more inclined to participate than they typically did in mixed crowds—they wanted to ask questions and didn’t care that those might be silly questions! Lades felt empowered and full-heartedly wanted to support the other ladies in their class instead of competing with them.
In addition to the camaraderie they developed, ladies learned about snowpack, terrain features, travel techniques, rescue techniques, decision making, group dynamics and how to utilize their voice. They got out into the mountains for kick turns, pit digging and powder. They had fun. They gained invaluable education and took an essential step in their backcountry journey. They fulfilled the SheJumps mission. And they all agreed that they would recommend a ladies-only avy 1 a hundred times over!
Thank you to JHOLI for the essential role they play in our avalanche education opportunities in the Tetons and thank you to the ladies who participated in our courses. Your support is what keeps our wheels turning (or shall we say our skins gliding uphill?!?)! And of course thank you to our amazing national partners EcoLips, Little Red Wagon and Kate’s Real Food for the goodies to help get gals through the course 🙂
Stay tuned for avalanche education opportunities and scholarships coming your way in 2016/2017!!