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Backcountry Babes

Inspiring women through outdoor adventure

Backcountry Babes is an outdoor education program that specializes in cultivating women’s leadership in the outdoors. We create a confidence-inspiring, fun and supportive environment for learning. Our goal is to support women in gaining the skills to pursue outdoor adventures, whether backcountry skiing, backpacking, boating, biking or wherever your path may roam.

Backcountry Babes is a Backcountry Ski & Spiltboard Guide Company for women. We are an AIARE Course provider and we offer a unique perspective on outdoor adventure in a fun, inclusive, and inspiring learning environment. We hold permits with the United States Forest Service in Tahoe, Colorado, New Hampshire, and Alaska and employ experienced instructors and guides that return to Backcountry Babes year after year.

Backcountry Babes was founded in 1997 by Leslie Ross as “Babes in the Backcountry,” in Breckenridge, Colorado. As a 3x champion telemark skier, Leslie recognized the lack of women participating in backcountry skiing as well as the lack of available equipment and gear. Her passion for telemarking and backcountry travel provoked her to create a business that would provide more instructional opportunities and adventures for women to get outdoors in an inspiring environment. She created learn-to-tele clinics at ski areas, which led her to want to teach avalanche courses to women, and she became one of the first AIARE course instructors. From there she built our BC and Japan trips, which have continued running annually through 2023!

Leslie built a team of instructors and clients that have kept returning through the years!

In 2014 the Backcountry Babes ownership torch was passed to Emily Hargraves. Emily is an enthusiastic backcountry skier, backpacker, cyclist and river runner who has led outdoor education trips all over the world. She is delighted to have the opportunity to carry on decades of Backcountry Babes tradition and history and also to explore what new possibilities lay on the horizon for the Babes.

Emily is an AIARE Course Leader and you may meet her teaching an avalanche course in her home base in Tahoe with her avalanche dog in training. She also enjoys joining our guided international trips, so you might ski with her in Japan, BC, Iceland or Chile!

Backcountry Babes continues to operate in Alaska, Colorado, California, New Hampshire, New Mexico, British Columbia, Japan, and wherever adventure bring us. We love sharing the adventures of quality trips, with excellent instruction, adventure, and fun with our clients.

Small Business

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