Amidst the chaos of the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake and the biggest storm of the season, SheJumps, a non-profit designed to inspire women to get outside and recreate, threw a free avalanche awareness night. The Ski Journal was there to represent. Check out a story about the evening here.
I walked into a room in the University of Utah’s Alumni House to find piles of gear donated by companies like Smith, Trew, Helly Hansen, Atomic, BCA, Oakley, and Smartwool. SheJumps volunteers rushed around to set up the silent auction tables, surrounded by appetizers and balloons. The Ski Journal had a table at the head of the room, offering people a chance to check out the publication and subscribe. The Ski Journal’s representation extended to the auction tables, where past year’s Photobooks were being auctioned. People mingled, bid for gear, and talked about the upcoming storm.
Park and pipe skier, Angeli VanLaanen, took charge of the SheJumps table, accepting offered donations and passing out information on the mission of the organization.
Next co-founder, Lynsey Dyer, and executive director, Claire Smallwood, gave brief presentations and shout-outs to sponsors, followed by photographer Re Wikstrom’s slideshow of the ripping female skiers she shoots. Long-time forecaster, Evelyn Lees, followed with a presentation on the current state of the Utah snowpack and a brief avy level one discussion. One woman from the crowd asked when it would be appropriate to put her teenage daughter into an avalanche class, another questioned the significance of the moon on avalanche cycles; audience participation and genuine interest in the event made it feel like a success.
After the Evelyn spoke, SheJumps motivated the crowd to get even more involved. A skin detachment contest followed by a breath holding competition (both appropriate for a backcountry travel theme) completed the evening just before the names of the silent auction winners were announced.