Janice Kurbjun
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December 20, 2012
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Avy training in an all-female crowd

It's not just any avalanche course.

Backcountry Babes, formerly known as Babes in the Backcountry, offers women-specific snow training in everything from avalanche awareness to steep-skiing know-how.

And they're kicking off the season in mid-January with two avalanche courses, one non-hut (Jan. 11-13, $375) and one hut-based (Feb. 12-14, $595). The non-hut class splits time between the Lodge and Spa at Breckenridge and being in the field on Bald Mountain. The hut trip is at Francie's Cabin outside of Breckenridge.

Led by women and designed for women, the courses vary from those offered by Colorado Mountain College, Rocky Mountain Guides, the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, Chicago Ridge snowcat tours and other organizations offering American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and American Avalanche Association certifications.

The curriculum is the same, but it's a chance for women to experience all-female camaraderie in backcountry touring, a male-dominated activity that can be challenging for women to break into.

"Learning in an all-female environment gives women the empowerment and confidence to actively participate in making vital decisions when recreating in the backcountry," said Cindy Boisvert, the Babes marketing director. "With a high number of avalanche-related deaths in Colorado last year, it is more important than ever to educate yourself about how to play safely in the backcountry and avoid avalanche danger."

Backcountry Babes' Colorado winter clinic lineup also includes a Jan. 6 Mountain Tele Tuner at Loveland. Now based in Alaska, there are opportunities for workshops while on the go, such as the backcountry basics course Jan. 12-13 in Anchorage and the "Femme Fatale" freeride ski clinic in Alyeska, Alaska. An avalanche course is also slated for Feb. 1-3 in Anchorage.

Under new ownership, the company also offers mountain bike clinics as well as bike, whitewater and backpacking adventures and wellness retreats.

To learn more or to register, visit www.backcountry

babes.net.


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The Summit Daily Updated Dec 20, 2012 09:26PM Published Dec 20, 2012 09:25PM Copyright 2012 The Summit Daily. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.