Finding women to instruct and lead avalanche education in Oregon has always been a challenge, and this year was no different. While more and more ladies are taking the jump every year and becoming certified to instruct and lead through the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (better known as AIARE), the options for female-specific events are few and far between. The fact remains that women are underrepresented in this growing industry, not just in Oregon but nationwide, and when time comes to plan an avalanche education event, female instructors are in high demand.
This year SheJumps was lucky enough to snatch up Washington-native Lyra Pierotti for our most recent Avalanche Awareness Evening on December 13, hosted at Arc’teryx Portland. Lyra is an AMGA Certified Rock Guide, an AIARE Avalanche Instructor, a Wilderness First Responder, and after her Ice Instructor Course in February of 2017, she will be halfway through her training in the AMGA Alpine discipline. Her year studying geology in the French Alps is what steered her toward a career in mountain guiding.
Happy Mountain Kombucha, Skout Backcountry, and Base Camp Brewing were donated delicious treats and beverages for all!
With Lyra and NWAC’s support, and the help from some incredible local partners like Arc’teryx, Base Camp Brewing, Happy Mountain Kombucha, Evolution Healthcare & Fitness, Skout Backcountry, and the Mazamas, the night ran without a hitch. Over 60 men and women came out to enjoy a Tuesday evening in style: free beer and kombucha, goodies and swag, raffle fun, new and old friends, and a TON of avalanche safety knowledge! Whether it was a night of new information, or just a refresher before heading back into the backcountry again, everyone’s stoke levels were through the roof – making for a lively crew of participants and some great conversations and questions throughout the night.
This marks the second Avalanche Awareness event that we have hosted in the Portland, OR area in 2016, and we could not be more excited about the turn-outs and ever-increasing demand for more avalanche education. SheJumps Portland is committed to bringing accessible, encouraging, and empowering events to the region, and 2017 is already brimming with fun ways to progress your avalanche safety skills within Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. Looking for more opportunities to work on your avalanche education? Check out the upcoming SheJumps Avalanche events in your area here, or contact your regional coordinator.
Oregon Regional Coordinator