During mid-December, SheJumps partnered with YurtSki to run a three-day Women’s Backcountry Skills class in the Swan Mountain Range of Montana. The course was aimed at giving women confidence and decision-making skills related to backcountry winter travel without the intimidation (or expense) factor of a full avalanche class.
The first day began in sunshine, and introductions in the parking lot were full of friendly laughter, excitement and palpable nerves. Perhaps some of the nerves were mine, as this was my first opportunity to instruct a backcountry class and I had faced my own inner hurdles to get to the parking lot and this group of keen, motivated women. The night before, I confided my faltering confidence to a friend, admitting that although I knew I was ready and really wanted to teach the skills I loved most, I was frightened. What if I failed? Wasn’t good enough? What if…?
These thoughts and emotions are exactly what led me to become involved with SheJumps and in the process of helping other women take inner leaps through outdoor sports, I’ve taken some tremendous steps of my own. In the end, I feel that having to overcome my own hurdles while helping provide experiences for others has made me a better instructor and a more relatable person.
The weekend with the Backcountry Skills class was empowering all around and the group left with new friendships and confidence to continue stretching their knowledge in the backcountry. Women who began the class with their very first setup of backcountry gear learned to set skin tracks, read and talk about terrain, analyze snowpack and appreciate their own ways of understanding the mountains.
Thank you YurtSki Montana for partnering with SheJumps to provide the gear-haul, the meals and the great venue!