I started backcountry skiing when I was 11 years old. My Dad would take me up Mt. Washington a lot. We would also ski old logging trails that were cut by the Citizens’ Conservation Core back in New Hampshire. I kept at it and got involved with outdoor programs in college as an “in-house” ski guide. Fast forward a few years, I moved to Jackson, and begged Jackson Hole Mountain Guides for a job!
The Jackson Hole Babe Force (JHBF), a 501(c)3 organization striving to empower all women to seek adventure in the mountains, raised just over $14,000 at their fourth annual Kentucky Derby Dance Party fundraiser on May 4, 2019. Ticket sales, a raffle, and a silent auction contributed to this total. One-hundred percent of these funds will go to the JHBF Scholarship Fund.
The JHBF Scholarship Fund was established in 2015 using money raised during the 2014/2015 winter season. In the past four years, the scholarship program has expanded significantly. Thanks to the support of the community and generous sponsors, the JHBF has been able to grow from awarding two scholarships in 2015/2016, to awarding 20 scholarships in 2017/2018, and 28 scholarships in 2018/2019. JHBF will continue fundraising efforts throughout the year with the goal of expanding their scholarship offerings even further for the 2019/2020 scholarship cycle.
In the 2018/2019 Scholarship Program, JHBF provided 28 Wyoming women with scholarships: 24 women attended an exclusive JHBF women’s-only Avalanche 1 education course with the American Avalanche Institute; one woman received funding to complete advanced-level avalanche education coursework; one woman was provided full funding to attend the Women’s Elevate Camp at JHMR; one “Jr. Babe” scholarship was awarded to a Doug Coombs Foundation participant to attend Keely’s Camp for Girls in Mt. Hood, Oregon; and funding was provided in partnership with the
Greater Than Sum group for a "Choose Your Own Adventure" scholarship that supported an all-women's ski mountaineering trip on the Pika Glacier in Alaska.
2018/2019 scholarship recipients Martina Bello and Carter Cox spoke at the Derby event, highlighting the personal impact that receiving a scholarship made on their lives and the importance of the support the JHBF is able to provide. Bello, who attended the Women's Elevate Camp at JHMR, spoke of getting her confidence back after an injury through experiences, group encouragement and skills learned at the
camp. Cox spoke about the importance of an all-female group learning dynamic during the Avalanche 1 Education course sponsored by the JHBF.
“We love hearing and sharing the stories of the women who have benefitted from the JHBF Scholarship Program,” said JHBF Board Member Laken Rush Allen. “Our annual fundraiser provides not only a chance for us to raise the resources to support our scholarship program, but also to celebrate the impact that our programs have had and the community that supports our mission.”
The next scholarship cycle will open October 2019. This summer JHBF will be hosting the Trails to Tailgate series which provides a venue for women of all ages and abilities to gather once a month from June to September and mountain bike, trail run, or hike together. The Trails to Tailgate dates for summer 2019 are June 19, July 17, August 21, and September 18. For more details visit www.jacksonholebabeforce.com.
The JHBF is grateful to their title sponsor, US Bank, and to Hatch Taqueria and Tequilas for continuing to host this event. The JHBF would also like to thank its many other community supporters who donated, including A Cut Above, All In One Beauty, Alexis Dittmer, the Anvil Hotel, Apres Visuals, Arc’teryx, Big Sky Resort, Blizzard, the Blue Collar Restaurant Group, Brigid Horigan Cakes, Champu Salon, Core Pilates, Dancers’ Workshop, Dwelling, Exitus, the Fine Dining Restaurant Group, Fitzgerald’s Bicycles, the Four Seasons, Glorietta, Greta & Haakon Salon, GU, Haagen Daz, Healing Waters, High Country Outfitters, Hoback Sports, Homestead Hounds, Hotel Jackson, the Hub Bicycles Inversion Yoga, Janice Skinner, JH Golf & Tennis, JH Mountain Guides, JH Stillworks, JH Whitewater, JH Winery, JHMR, King Sushi, Laura Peterson of JH Backcountry Health, Lee’s Tee, LEM Helmets, Local, Massage Professionals of JH, Medicine Wheel Wellness, Momentus, Mountain Lotus Massage, Montana Sunset Photobooth, Mountain Modern Motel, Mursell’s, Peak Physical Therapy, Pearl Street Bagels, Persephone/Picnic, Peter Lobozzo Photography, the Pink Garter Theater, Portraits In Motion by Jonathan Selkowitz, Pursue Movement Studio, Quiznos, Ralph Boyack, Rendezvous River Sports, Revolution Indoor Cycling, Rick Hunt, Roadhouse, Sabine Collection, Scott, Sh*t That I Knit, Skida, Snake River Angler, Springhill Suites, Stinky Prints, Stio, Studio J Pilates, Sweet Cheeks Meats, Tamara Clauson, Teton Boot Lab, Teton Pines, Teton Village Sports, Teton Gravity Research, Trio, Wright Training, and Wyoming Outfitters.
About the Jackson Hole Babe Force: The mission of the JHBF is to empower all women to seek adventure in the mountains. Jackson Hole Babe Force encourages females of all ages and abilities to push their limits, gain confidence, and support each other, all while building relationships with other like-minded women.
2017/2018 JHBF Scholarship Program recipient Elizabeth Peltz moved to Jackson this past winter and jumped right in by applying to the JHBF Scholarship Program's "Progression Session 1" scholarship. She, along with 11 other women, took an Avy 1 class with the American Avalanche Institute this past January. Read more about Elizabeth's experience below!
By Ilka Hadlock, Progression Session II Scholarship Recipient
Lately we have been getting a lot of questions about the JHBF patch. The patch can sometimes come with the misconception that the Babe Force and our events are exclusively for women who have earned a patch, which is not the case at all.