The SheJumps Alpine Finishing School presented by Arc'teryx is an all-women's ski and splitboard mountaineering course. The Alpine Finishing School is a part of SheJumps Alpine School, which also includes our Alpine Development School, an online lecture program designed to educate on risk and terrain management and route-finding in alpine conditions.
The SheJumps Alpine Finishing School was first held in 2012 at the Selkirk Lodge outside of Revelstoke, British Columbia. We’ve decided to change things up a bit this year by offering three backcountry snow-camping events instead of one lodge-based event!
Why? SheJumps is committed to accessibility—including location and price—as well as helping our participants learn and practice hard skills that directly translate to approaching big mountain objectives.
Three Alpine Finishing School courses are being offered in 2022:
While we might have traded lodge-life for tents and snow-camping, we’re excited to offer this dynamic opportunity to ‘learn while doing.’ Our curriculum includes terrain management, route finding, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, navigation, and companion rescue as well as additional rope skills (featured mainly in Backcountry Basecamp).
So, what is the Alpine Finishing School?
The Alpine Finishing School (or AFS) curriculum we teach at these events has been refined by an incredible group of female guides over 9 years. Anne Keller (ACMG/AMGA) led the first two events, supported by North Cascades-based guide and outdoor educator, Michelle Smallman. From there, Kate Devine continued to fine-tune many details over the years as she was the AFS lead guide from 2014-2019.
We also had amazing input from the one and only Diny Harrison, the first North American woman to become an International Mountain Guide (IFMGA). For several years, we were fortunate to host Shannon Werner, ACMG ski guide, who is a forecaster, avalanche educator, and former professional ski patroller.
Christine Feleki (who will be guiding/instructing the Backcountry Basecamp) has been involved with the Alpine Finishing School curriculum since 2014 when she was a practicum (aspiring guide) on our course. Since then, Christine has continued her professional journey—recently becoming the first female ACMG ski guide to pass her exam on a splitboard.
New to this roster of guides for 2021 is Holly Walker, an ACMG apprentice ski guide based out of the Whistler/Squamish area. Holly has experience in the freeski world as well as ski mountaineering. As a professional skier who has made a strong commitment to her training and accomplishments in the backcountry world, we’re really excited to include her input and experience as we continue to revolutionize backcountry education events for women, by women.
Alpine Finishing School Course Descriptions:
The Spearhead Traverse is a popular way to escape the crowds of Whistler-Blackcomb and experience wilderness in the Coast mountains of British Columbia. This small-group course (6 ppl) includes a day of prep/training for rope skills so that participants can gain as much experience as possible toward their own big-mountain goals. Guided by ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide, Holly Walker, the course is 3 days, 2 nights in the field, and includes incredible skiing. Participants will be able to ask questions and learn from an experienced and highly-skilled guide as they complete this bucket-list adventure! Read full event description here.
Currie to Wedge Traverse
This brilliant adventure starts with a short helicopter flight to the summit of Mount Currie and finishes on the slopes of Blackcomb Mountain. Located just north of Whistler, it remains a mystery why this area sees such little traffic as the ski quality, terrain and setting along with the Currie-Wedge Traverse are quite possibly the best in the Sea-to-Sky Corridor. Read full event description here.
The Alpine Finishing School: Backcountry Basecamp is a unique way to gain valuable experience while learning technical skills that foster confidence and leadership attributes. Participants will fly into a remote area for 5 days/4 nights of winter camping. With a camp custodian on hand to help the experience be as comfortable as possible, each day the group will explore the surrounding mountains on skis/splitboards while learning about terrain management, route finding, navigation, companion rescue and rope skills (crevasse rescue, glacier travel, belaying/rappelling). Read full event description here.
Alpine Finishing School Course Costs:
Registration opens Monday, 10/18
March 21-24, 2022
The TOTAL cost of the course is $925 USD. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your space.
Mt. Currie to Wedge Traverse
April 4-7, 2022
The TOTAL cost of the course is $1,500 USD. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your space.
April 9-13, 2022
The TOTAL cost of the course is $2,250 USD. A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your space.
*The price of the course reflects equitable wages for our guides, access to comprehensive online training and curriculum, as well as a guided educational experience in the mountains. For the traverses, we will focus a full prep day around gear and practicing some rope skills. The Alpine Finishing School is a top-notch backcountry experience to learn tips, tricks, and systems for keeping you and your team healthy, happy and ready to ski amazing lines each day. The Backcountry Basecamp price includes a camp custodian who helps with meal prep and water systems. Gratuity is not included in the price and we encourage our participants to consider 10-15% additional as a tip for the guides. All tips are shared by event staff, including custodian.
SheJumps is an inclusive organization. We welcome all women and girls (transgender and cisgender) as well as non-binary people who self-identify with the women’s community. SheJumps strives to be an ally in the fight against racism and acknowledges that our events and programs take place on traditional, unceded Indigenous lands.