Betsy Manero is 26 years old and working for Jackson Hole Mountain Guides as a ski guide and AIARE Instructor. Betsy received a JHBF scholarship last year and completed her PRO Level 1 course and exam, which enabled her to work as a ski guide and AIARE instructor.
What inspired you to become a ski guide?
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!
How did you hear about JHBF scholarship program?
I’ve always known about the Jackson Hole Babe Force since moving to Jackson. I also work for SheJumps so I was able to learn more about the JHBF through them as they share a similar mission. I applied for scholarship and found out the second day of my course that I won and was awarded the scholarship!
Did you learn anything about yourself through the experience the scholarship provided for you?
Yes, indeed. The Pro level 1 has an extremely high fail rate... something like 80%. It might have the highest fail rate of anything in the outdoor industry. So going into it I was pretty stressed. But I worked really hard and studied a bunch and passed with a 90% on the written and practical. It was a really nice confirmation of what I was competent in and it felt good to perform that well.
What is next for you to advance your personal and professional goals?
By the end of this coming winter I’d love to pass my Pro Level 2 and get a bunch more guiding and instructing under my belt. I really enjoy both ski guiding and instructing, I think they compliment each other so well.
What do you think are your natural strengths when it comes to ski guiding?
When I go out with a client, I really want to teach them how to become a competent partner in the mountains, not just guide them around. It’s really fulfilling to see people gain confidence in their skills and realize their value as a member of a team in the backcountry. I know that I am teaching myself out of the job, but it is rewarding.