Update, January 18. The womens-only sessions have been cancelled for 2019, due to inadequate demand. One-third of our applicants were women, but most seemed to prefer mixed-gender groups. We will try again in 2020.
In 2019 we are offering two women-only sessions. Both are scheduled for early-September in Rocky Mountain National Park during peak fall foliage.
Why a women-only trip?
The goal of these sessions is for women to learn to backpack and to have a legitimate wilderness adventure in a comfortable, nonjudgmental, and supportive environment.
Our women-only and mixed groups share the same Planning Curriculum and Field Curriculum, and the same emphasis on lightweight backpacking, long-distance thru-hikes, and off-trail high routes. But the women-only sessions will be more attentive to women-specific gear (e.g. backpacks, clothing, shelters) and women-specific skills (e.g. hygiene, personal safety), and should have greater female camaraderie.
Trip types & dates
The Fundamentals course is best for beginner backpackers, and for day-hikers and car-campers who have never before gone on an overnight trip. The 3-day/2-night outing will start on Friday, September 6 and conclude on Sunday, September 8.
The Adventure trip is best for intermediate backpackers, and for ambitious beginners who want to accelerate up the learning curve. The 5-day/4-night trip will start the day after the Fundamentals course ends — Monday, September 9 through Friday, September 13.
The trips start at 9 AM on Day 1, and usually exit between 10AM and noon on the final day.
Jessica has hiked the Appalachian, Pacific Crest, and Continental Divide Trails (the “Triple Crown” of long-distance backpacking) and is now a full-time yoga instructor in Seattle. When Jessica is the guide, morning and evening yoga sessions are complimentary.
Mary is a former wilderness ranger, ski patroller, and Grand Canyon river guide who more recently has been organizing and leading groups of women on backpacking trips in the northern Rockies. She’s also a mom of two and a Montana State Attorney.
I’ll be around at the start to help check gear and distribute food, demo gear, and maps. And I’ll be on-call during the trip if the group needs immediate assistance.
To apply for one of these trips, submit an application. In Section 2 of the form, indicate your interest in a women-only trip when asked.