San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Back for its 6th year due to popular demand, we are pleased to announce registration for the 2017 Alpine Finishing School! Presented by Arc'teryx, the Alpine Finishing School is an all-women's ski and splitboard mountaineering course led by ACMG ski guide Kate Devine.
This course is an opportunity for advanced backcountry skiers to learn the skills of ski mountaineering in a supportive and encouraging environment. Topics covered include terrain management, glacier travel, crevasse rescue, route planning, companion rescue, navigation, and more.
The Alpine Finishing School is offered for two separate sessions:
April 15-22, 2017 & April 22-29, 2017
A $500 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your space. We will need a minimum number of 9 participants for each week, so please be aware that if your week doesn't fill up, your deposit will be refunded.
Upon submitting your $500 deposit, you will be asked a series of questions pertaining to your skiing/splitboarding abilities and experience in the backcountry. You will also be required to provide a couple of references; these should be people with whom you have spent time in the backcountry. We strive to ensure our course maintains a similar skill level for participants. First-time backcountry skiers should not apply for this course. You should have at least two prior seasons of backcountry skiing/splitboarding in order to get the most out of this course.
Session 1 Guides: Kate Devine & Shannon Werner
Session 2 Guides: Shannon Werner & Diny Harrison
The TOTAL cost of the course is $2300 USD. You will receive instructions on final payment and payment plans upon acceptance of your application. The application is in conjunction with your deposit (paid here through Eventbrite). This price includes heli transportation to and from the lodge, all meals, guiding, course instruction, and lodging. Gratuity for the guides/caretakers is not included, please budget accordingly; it's greatly appreciated.
New for 2017:
As an added value, participants will receive preferred VIP 50% off pricing on their next Arc’teryx purchase.
We highly recommend also purchasing trip insurance for this event.
About the Guides:
Kate Devine, ACMG Ski Guide:
Kate Devine was born into a mountain lifestyle. Her family owns Selkirk Backcountry Lodge near Revelstoke, BC. She started ski touring as a kid with her parents and went on to pursue a guiding career. Passing her first guides exam at 24, Kate is a great role model for young, independent mountain women. She has been teaching for the Alpine Finishing School since its inception and brings an amazing amount of experience to the course. She has an incredibly thorough knowledge of the terrain surrounding the lodge and is passionate about sharing it with people from all over the world.
Diny Harrison, IFMGA Guide
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Diny Harrison was the first North American woman to become an internationally certified mountain guide in 1992. Her IFMGA guiding career has since taken her from her home in the Canadian Rockies to Alaska, Morocco and Argentina. Did we mention the European Alps in there as well? From teaching mountaineering camps for Thompson River University in British Columbia and avalanche courses for the Canadian Avalanche Association, Diny also worked for 17 years as a heli-ski guide for CMH (Canadian Mountain Holidays). Presently working as a lead guide for Mustang Powder Cat skiing in the winter, she resides in the lovely Revelstoke, BC. Obviously a fan of sliding on snow with skis, Diny is also an avid climber and mountain biker and has a new passion of kitesurfing--often travelling worldwide to fuel this lifetime of adventure!
Diny has served on the Canadian Avalanche Association board of directors and was the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides president from 2003-2006. We are honored to have her as an instructor for the 2015 SheJumps Alpine Finishing School.
Shannon Werner, ACMG Guide
As soon as Shannon could walk her parents put her on skis. The Chocolate Moose kiddie park at Lake Louise Ski Resort became her stomping grounds. Over the years, Shannon dabbled in different competitive aspects of skiing including racing, mogul, big mountain, and shyly admits, ballet competitions. She quickly discovered her heart belonged to ski touring and ski mountaineering, seeking those endless powder turns in the backcountry with her passionate partners in crime.
Claire is the co-founder and executive director of SheJumps and helped to create the Alpine Finishing School with Anne Keller. She also moonlights as a private chef based out of Little Cottonwood Canyon in the winter along with running SheJumps! Claire caters the entire week of the Alpine Finishing School, offering clean, healthy, and filling foods to match the activities. Please be sure to include any dietary restrictions in the registration process.
Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?
Please email email@example.com. Please expect 3-5 days before response.
Is my registration/ticket transferrable?
If there is no waitlist, yes, but the person must have the necessarily skill and fitness level to participate in the course. If there is a waitlist, we will go in the order of the waitlist. Thanks!
If I have to cancel for some reason, do I get my deposit back?
No. Your deposit is non-refundable. The closer we get to the course, the harder it will be for us to fill your spot. We recommend looking into options for trip interruption/cancellation insurance.
If SheJumps or Selkirk Lodge cancels the course, do I get my deposit back?
Yes, if the trip gets cancelled from our end, you would be refunded in full.
What does the tuition include?
The tuition covers your helicopter flights, food, accommodation and guiding/instruction. It does not cover your transportation to and from Revelstoke, or food and accommodation in Revelstoke.
How strong of a skier/boarder do I need to be to take this course?
You need to be able to ski or snowboard in a variety of backcountry snow conditions. For example, that doesn’t mean you need to be shredding flawless turns in breakable crust, but you would need to be able to negotiate breakable crust relatively efficiently.
How fit do I need to be?
You need to be able to ski and climb a MINIMUM of 3000 vertical feet/1000 vertical meters with a 20lb backpack. The reason we say minimum is because if this amount of skiing pushes you to your limit, it will be difficult for you to focus on the learning objectives.
How much backcountry skiing experience do I need to have?
Depending on how often you get out, you should have a minimum of 1-2 years. Try to be an honest judge of your skills and experience level when it comes to basic ski touring (non-mountaineering) objectives. If you are feeling maxed out most of the time, then you may benefit from another season of touring before you come on the AFS.
Do I need to have Alpine/Rock climbing or mountaineering experience?
No. If you do, that’s great and you will still get a lot of value out of the course, but it is not a requirement.
Is an avalanche course a pre-requisite?
Taking some kind of recreational avalanche course is not required, but it is highly recommended. We will be talking about terrain management, decision-making and risk management so it will be to your benefit to have some prior avalanche safety knowledge so that we can build on those skills.
How rad are we going to get?
Rad is in the eye of the beholder. Will we be rapelling into 60 degree pinner couloirs with 15 people? Probably not. Will we be skiing 10,000 foot days? Also unlikely. Our aim is to teach you a whole bunch of awesome ski mountaineering skills and then go out and apply them in the appropriate terrain. That isn’t to say that you will be bored! As always, conditions will dictate where we can go, but over the course of the week, we typically summit several peaks, ski some great runs, travel on some big glaciers, and do some amazing tours.
How much skiing can we expect to do in a day?
We will ski everyday, however some days will be half days. We have a lot of course material to cover, some of which is in the classroom. We will often try to have our classroom sessions in the late afternoon to allow for a longer day of skiing.
Do you have an itinerary for the week?
We are at the mercy of the weather/snow conditions and for that reason we don’t have a pre-set course schedule for the week. We end up shuffling lessons around in order to maximize our skiing so that we can take advantage of good weather and good skiing conditions.
Is the week catered or are we expected to cook?
The week is fully catered and Claire does the cooking. She is a pro. If you feel like helping, she may give you a task, or she may have it all under control! While we understand that some people like the vibe of feeling like you’re on a hut trip with your buds and part of that is cooking, the logistics of that combined with all of our other goals and objectives is just way too much! We will ask for help with things like dishes, so fear not, there are chores!
Do I need to bring a sleeping bag and thermarest?
No. We have comfortable beds and all bed linens are provided.
Can I get a private room?
No. The rooms are dorm style but we’re all friends! Bring earplugs if you are a light sleeper.
Is there wifi at the lodge?
Yes, we use wifi at the lodge to check the weather and submit conditions reports. People are welcome to use the wifi but we have strict limits on bandwidth usage, so we ask that everyone stops background refreshes on their phones and also is aware of not being "that person" who's glued to their phone while spending time on a glacier in the middle of Canada. :)
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SheJumps is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization with the mission to increase the participation of females in outdoor activities.