2022 SheJumps Alpine Finishing School: Backcountry Basecamp

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Airport Road

Airport Road

Pemberton, BC


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An all-women's ski and splitboard mountaineering course led by ACMG Ski Guide Christine Feleki and ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide Holly Walker.

About this event

The SheJumps Alpine Finishing School presented by Arc'teryx: An all-women's ski and splitboard mountaineering course

This course is an opportunity for advanced backcountry skiers and splitboarders to learn the skills of ski mountaineering in a supportive and encouraging environment.

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 shorter backcountry snow-camping courses instead of one weeklong lodge-based course! 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, and more.

The Alpine Finishing School is a program of the nonprofit SheJumps, a US public charity (68-0662227) dedicated to increasing the participation of women and girls in outdoor activities. 


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 take a helicopter flight into a remote area north of Whistler, British Columbia for 5 days/4 nights of winter camping and backcountry skiing. Expect big glacier runs, fun peaks to climb, and massive smooth alpine runs up to 5000ft/1500m long!

Unlike the Traverses, the camp location stays the same for the whole trip, and ski excursions leave from camp. 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).

The Alpine Finishing School is an appropriate course for intermediate to advanced backcountry skiers/splitboarders who want to tackle bigger objectives, but want a bit more experience and knowledge for how to be self-sufficient in the mountains. If you’ve ever wanted to do a ski traverse or plan your own backcountry objectives—this is the course for you!

The Alpine Finishing School: Basecamp Backcountry is guided by Christine Feleki, the first woman to get her ACMG full ski guide certification on a splitboard, and Holly Walker, an ACMG apprentice ski guide who has many years of experience in the mountains, from freeskiing competitions to summiting Mt. Logan!


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, and a guided educational experience in the mountains. 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.

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. But please don't let that scare you - feel free to read the FAQ or contact us if you have questions on skill level.  

You will receive instructions on final payment (less your $500 USD non-refundable deposit) upon acceptance of your application. The tuition covers guiding, course instruction, food during course field days, and group gear.  It does not cover your transportation to and from Whistler, personal camp gear (sleeping bag, mat, tent), avalanche safety equipment, Whistler Blackcomb Backcountry lift ticket ($59 CAD), or food and accommodation in Whistler.  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.

If you are paying in CAD, please pay your deposit in USD and then payments can be accepted in CAD. 

We highly recommend also purchasing trip insurance for this event. 

About the Guides:

Christine Feleki, ACMG Certified Ski Guide: Based in Squamish, B.C., Christine is one of the hardest working women in the industry. An ACMG hiking guide in summers and Canada’s first woman to be certified as a snowboard guide; no matter the season she is teaching safe backcountry travel. Christine is ahead of her game in so many ways, behind her friendly smile lies a calculated and driven mind that will get you to the goods without sacrificing a good time. Her passion for sharing the mountains with other inspired women is only outmatched by her ability to out-ride most of the guys out there. In 2021, Christine became the first fully certified female ACMG splitboard guide in Canada. Christine holds the following certifications:

  • ACMG Certified Ski Guide
  • ACMG Hiking Guide
  • Canadian Avalanche Association - Professional Member
  • Occupational First Aid (80h)

Holly Walker, ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide: Although Holly was born in Vancouver B.C. to a family of skiers and mountain lovers, she was swept away from Canada's West Coast at age 10 to lead a vagabond lifestyle all around the world. Now settled in Squamish, Holly is an ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide and shares a new appreciation for the mountains she grew up with. A past Freeride World Tour athlete, she now spends her winters guiding and ski patrolling in Whistler. She fills her summers leading hiking trips in her backyard- the mountains of Southwest B.C. An explorer at heart, when she is not working it can only be guessed which mountain range Holly is wandering in with skis, boots, crampons, ice axe, mountaineering kit, camping gear and more. Holly holds the following certifications:

  • ACMG Apprentice Ski Guide
  • ACMG Hiking Guide
  • Canadian Avalanche Association - Professional Member
  • CAA Operations Level 2
  • Avalanche Search and Rescue
  • Wilderness First Responder

SheJumps Alpine Finishing School Guiding History

The Alpine Finishing School 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.


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 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, guiding/instruction, food, and group gear. It does not cover your transportation to and from Whistler, personal camp gear (sleeping bag, mat, tent), avalanche safety equipment, or food and accommodation in Whistler.  Also, gratuity for the guide is not included; please budget accordingly, as it's greatly appreciated.  

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?

Participants should have AST1 or AIARE 1 (or similar knowledge/experience). 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.

What kind of gear do I need?

Please see comprehensive gear list at HERE. Wherever possible, we recommend renting gear so you can get a sense of what you prefer to use before committing to purchasing. (To be clear: we do NOT recommend renting ski touring boots!)

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.

When do I need to arrive? 

You should plan to arrive to Whistler the day before your course starts. This is to avoid any missed or cancelled flights. Also, please plan flights for the following day or later in the evening on the day you fly out in case of any inclement weather. 

SheJumps COVID Policies

By registering for this event, you acknowledge and agree to the SheJumps COVID Code of Conduct.

The helicopter provider requires all passengers to be fully vaccinated and show proof of vaccination.

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email rgelfand@shejumps.org. Please expect 3-5 days before response.


SheJumps increases the participation of women and girls in outdoor activities. Partnering with nature, SheJumps creates safe, educational outdoor experiences for girls and women that nurture growth and transformation.

We believe in increasing diversity in the outdoors and providing ALL women and girls with the spark that will lead to a lifetime of outdoor learning and empowerment. We welcome all women and girls (transgender and cisgender) as well as non-binary people who self-identify with the women’s community.

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Date and time


Airport Road

Airport Road

Pemberton, BC


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Refund policy

No Refunds

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Organizer SheJumps

Organizer of 2022 SheJumps Alpine Finishing School: Backcountry Basecamp

SheJumps is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the participation of women and girls in outdoor activities to foster confidence, leadership, and connection to nature and community through free and low-cost outdoor education.

Our vision is to unearth the potential of all women and girls through outdoor play and connection to nature.

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