I stood on the porch of a backcountry cabin high in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains with 15 other women, all of us there for a lesson in pack fitting from Becky Marcelliano, the marketing manager of Deuter, an outdoor-bags company. The women gathered around Marcelliano were all part of the outdoor industry and there as part of a leadership summit organized by Project16x. We were adventure photographers and writers, business founders, and professional athletes. The collective miles we’d logged over the years was indisputably considerable.
See how this small but mighty summit is paving way for huge opportunity...
We’ve decided to climb up the San Juan Range’s Sheep Mountain. After all, the summit is seemingly a stone’s throw away from our hut. There is no clear path so everyone - artists, writers, brand reps, climbers, bikers, runners, entrepreneurs, east and west coasters alike - scatters across the base of the mountain to start making their own. Quickly, I realize this hike would be a little different than the ones conquered before…
Real connections are made in the outdoors. There is a contagious energy to be found in women bonding through time spent outside. In this episode, we talk to two women who are building businesses around that energy.
Sasha Cox is the founder of Trail Mavens. She and a team of guides take women on backpacking and camping trips in the Bay Area of California. The trips are meant to teach, inspire, and empower; other side effects include new outdoor skills and friendships.
The Wild Women’s Project is the brainchild of Amanda Goad of Bold Brew, a creative and communications shop that does a lot of work for clients in the outdoor industry. Based in Durango, Colorado, the team is focused on “building meaningful cultures, innovative landscapes and gritty people,” according to its website. After spending a weekend with women from around the country who are blazing new paths in the outdoor industry and beyond, I’d say we moved the needle, in our own incremental way, on gritty, innovative and, most importantly, meaningful.
Forming our own identity as an individual is one of the most important things for personal happiness. But it's hard to stand proudly as that individual without a community behind you that has your back.
Exactly a week ago now, I found myself snowed in for first snowfall of the year in the High Camp Hut outside of Telluride, Colorado. Seventeen women, all from our different forests, mountains, homes (some vans), and walks of life met for the Wild Women's Project. We explored, hiked, built fires, laughed, dreamt, encouraged each other and opened up to each other (and ourselves). Though we brought our differences, we all shared something similar - our hearts were all found and formed by the outdoors.
LONGMONT, Colorado – Deuter, maker of women’s specific Slim Line (SL) hiking and trekking backpacks, is proud to participate in a Wild Women’s Project Summit Trip, July 7-10 in the San Juan Mountains, near Telluride, CO.
Wild Women’s Project is a mountain retreat and leadership summit providing valuable opportunities for women in the outdoor industry to explore common ground, tackle challenges and come together in a relaxed and collaborative environment.
The outdoor adventure sports arena has made it’s promises to it’s ever-so-dedicated female following. The forecast is for a whole lot less of the “shrink it and pink it” mentality and a whole lot more of showing men what women can do. I could only imagine the feeling that a male fly-on-the-wall might have gotten at the first Wild Women’s Project last month in the San Juan Mountains. I’d like to think he wouldn’t have been shocked at the amount of driven women in one place, but the reality of the situation is, he would have been blown away.
It was an impeccable summer morning. Sixteen women, leaders within the outdoor industry in their own rites, made their way up Highway 550 to Ophir Pass Road. They had been hand-selected, based upon their various involvements in the outdoors, to be a part of something bigger than them. Bigger, in fact, than their host had even conceived.
I am passionate about connecting people, thrilled to hear people’s stories, and inspired to bring the best out of myself, my environment, my community and all those I meet. After five years in a traditional agency routine, six months on the road through Alaska and the West, and three years as a co-founder at BoldBrew, a public relations and marketing shop, this is my mantra: this is why I do what I do, live where I live, and am who I am. And so, last summer, BoldBrew launched the Wild Women’s Project, a space for women to gather, converse and ignite action on the outlook of creativity, conservation, connection and commerce in the outdoor community.
“[The trip] provided such a valuable perspective on the fact that I’m not the only one who stays up at night thinking about outdoor issues like diversity and education,” says Boué, who joined other outdoor-industry professionals like pro skier Caroline Gleich, Wylder co-founders Jainee Dial and Lindsey Elliott, freelance writer Heather Balogh Rochfort and conservationist Maddie Carey on the “no cell service here”-style escape in Colorado.
Our friends at BoldBrew launched a new initiative this year called the Wild Women's Project. The goal of the project was to create an innovative leadership and empowerment camp for women in the outdoors industry, including editors, athletes, photographers, and influencers. The weekend included hikes, yoga, workshops, and campfires. But in the end, BoldBrew just wanted to create a memorable experience for these incredible women and see what would happen, what would be shared, and what would come out of it.
What happens when you invite 16 of the outdoor community's spirited and ingenious women to a high-alpine backcountry hut for a weekend?
Long conversations about sustainability and conservation. Passion for a new sport you never thought you'd try. Diverse perspectives on what it means to be a woman in this industry today. Motivation to start new ventures. Newfound confidants. Lifelong friendships. For real.
And 16 enlivened souls, driven to conquer any endeavor imaginable.