What happens when you drop 14 women in glaciated backcountry terrain for seven days?
The ideas behind Alpine Finishing School were thought up by Anne Keller, an AMGA and ACMG guide as well as an amazing woman. Anne contacted SheJumps to see if she could rally a group of women together for a trial run of the “school”. Definitely a success. We spent one week at the Selkirk Lodge honing our mountaineering skills while making some of the best turns of the season.
Naturally, Hannah Whitney and I decided to make an even bigger adventure out of our trip to Canada. We loaded up the Subi with ski gear, climbing gear, a ton of food, a pogo stick, hula hoop, and the necessary array of moon boots. ROAD TRIP!
First stop was Nelson, B.C. Where we drank kombucha, sang karaoke, skied some really deep mank snow, and played in the water…. I’m pretty much moving there.
It was nice to arrive back in Revelstoke, which has become my home away from home this winter. After visiting my favourite eateries and stuffing our bellies with poutine, we were stoked to settle into the Grumpy Bear B&B. Gear exploded in the living room as we awaited the arrival of the rest of the ladies.
The next morning went by fast… I recall five frazzled gals piling out of a diesel truck, ski gear and clothes covering a road, no-hands pogo sticking (seriously intense), and a 10 minute heli flight that took us from spring to winter. We landed in a magical blizzard and settled into the lodge. The next 7 days were informative, exciting, adventurous, and fun…. with a little crazy mixed in.
First things first, analyze the snow pack
Build a “dead man” anchor in the snow. Hannah tests its durability.
Navigation techniques. Maps, compass, gps.
Hannah, Meghan, Claire, and Sandy brave the storm
Lynsey putting her knowledge of the munter hitch and prusik knot to good use.
Evening shenanigans consisted of Claire serenading the group and leading yoga sessions while simultaneously cooking 5 star meals. How she does it…. no one knows.
Nat makes her way up to the Albert Icefall
Heading up the icefall, steep creamy turns lay ahead
Freerider tracks on the Justice glacier
Pulling friends out of crevasses NBD
Spectacular views for our final day. Approaching the summit of Campion Peak.
On our way to Espresso…. the final run
Amazing experience with amazing people. Keep an eye out for Alpine Finishing School 2013.
But, only if you are keen to fly jesus at her.
Much thanks to our guides; Anne Keller, Michelle Smallman, and Kate Devine….To Grania and Reinet for housing us at the “center of the powder skiing universe”…. And to all the rad companies that supported our journey; Black Diamond, Patagonia, Beyond Coastal Sunscreen, Arcade, Chums, Taos Mountain Energy Bars, Clif Bar, Ambler, Smith Optics, Discrete Headwear, and Flylow Gear.
*many photos pirated from Meghan Kelly