Earlier this month, the Mountain Mentors team caught up with backcountry skiing mentor, Rosie, to chat with her about her alpine-focused goals, the value of mentorship, and what sets Mountain Mentors apart.
Being involved in Mountain Mentors as a mentor has sparked some thinking in me about my experience as a woman in the backcountry and here’s my truth… I’ve got some stuff I want to do. I’ve got lists of summits, routes, descents, times, distances, and difficulties that I want to undertake. I am the best person I can be when I am in the mountains and I genuinely just love the process of getting there. Because of this, I would love the company of anybody who wants to go there too; so much so, that I would gladly go with somebody regardless of whether they were a guy or a gal. However, I also recognize that there is a uniqueness of doing these activities as a woman and with other women. So, somewhere in between those two ideas, I’ve found a few of my thoughts. Here they are:
- Just because I am a woman, doesn’t mean I can just “do it.” I need to, and am going to, work just as hard as anybody on my fitness, skills and knowledge (and I recognize that I have a long way to go on all of those things).
- Just because I am a woman, I don’t feel that I can only do it with other women…. Boys are cool too.
- I don’t need to emphasize that it is okay to wear pink when I ski – though I am totally fine with wearing pink when I ski (as many know, I have an entirely accidental entirely pink and purple ski suit).
- I don’t need to emphasize that it’s okay to talk about menstruation, how we have to pee, how boys suck, or any other stereotypical skier girl conversation and it’s not wrong that these stereotypes don’t empower me. That being said, these conversations have made numerous skin tracks and slogs far more enjoyable (with no shortage of pretty hilarious jokes about the above topics pitched in from my male ski partners).
- I don’t need to be an active woman who advertises not to “need men,” because I value and appreciate skills of all kinds to help me reach my goals. I sincerely hope the men I am friends with know I don’t need them, but that they have skills that compliment my own and that, as partners, we could do some pretty cool things.
- BUT, because I am a woman, and because that is unique, the experience I have doing these activities with other women will be different than it is with men. And that’s rad too.
To me, Mountain Mentors enables a community of women who have serious objectives that they want to accomplish and who happen to want to do that with other women. So far, I see it as women who want to accomplish these goals without a faffy, fiddly motto, as Rome burns. Rather, Mountain Mentors encourages women to say, “We are girls, let’s go do it!” and then go skiing, climbing, or mountain biking into that fire while fiddling…. Fiddling the gosh darn coolest song you've ever heard!
-Rosie Langford is a Run Like a Girl ambassador, ultra-marathon runner, and a Geology student at SFU, who also happens to tell a mean fart-joke AND play the actual fiddle. Go figure.