Recap courtesy of Erica Aarons, our SheJumps scholarship winner who recently attended the Ladies Avalanche 1 Course with the Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute on December 8-10.
“It’s been about a month since I sat down in a room full of ladies to learn the ins-and-outs of Avalanche Safety. I had been meaning to take a class for a couple years and jumped on the opportunity early this winter when I signed up for one of She Jumps ladies only courses. It was not only a classroom of me and 10 other women like myself, but it was also instructed by two incredible females from the Jackson Hole Outdoor Leadership Institute.
Taking a course with all women is kind of like taking a course with men- except better. While the information and format are all the same, I would argue that we were better able to absorb the content because of the nature of the class. Working with all ladies promotes healthy discussion, an openness to ask questions, and an abundance of bathroom breaks.
As someone who does a majority of my backcountry travel with men, working with other women taught me valuable lessons that could very well save me some day. One of the most important aspects, and arguably often overlooked is communication. In the midst of snow pits and mock rescues, we made decisions as a group and not individuals. If the safety or comfort of one individual isn’t where it should be, the whole group suffers. Being a group of all females gave us a comfortable environment to express concerns that may have gone quiet in other situations.
Above all, I learned that avalanche safety is so much more important than practicing rescues and reading reports. It’s about planning ahead and making strategic real-time decisions about pre-existing and changing conditions. It doesn’t matter if you ski 1 day or 50 days a season in the backcountry- everyone can (and should!) benefit from these classes.
Thank you to She Jumps for making it possible!”
…and thank you to Erica for her participation and awesome recap!
SheJumps would also like to thank the following partners and sponsors for helping make our Avalanche 1 Course such a success for all our participants:
We are truly grateful for your support and participation.
Also, a giant shout out to SJ Ambassador Betsy Manero, for her dedication and hard work in making our Avalanche Courses a reality!
Lauren Hugo–WY Regional Coordinator