AIARE Women's Mentorship Program

Women make up a disproportionately small number of avalanche educators in the U.S., and many women in the field find it difficult to grow and sustain their careers. The financial, sociological, and other barriers faced by everyone in the industry are often exacerbated for women. And those barriers can be even further amplified for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) women, women with disabilities, mothers, and women who hold other historically marginalized identities.

For these reasons and more, AIARE is thrilled to launch the Women’s Mentorship Program for the 2021–22 season.

This three-pronged community-focused program aims to break down the barriers for women in avalanche education. It features:

  1. Cohort-based mentorship opportunities for select applicants
  2. Scholarships for women on PRO 1, Instructor Training, & Course Leader Training Courses
  3. Panel conversations featuring women in avalanche education and facilitated networking

Want to support the Women’s Mentorship Program?

Purchase a Mammut Barryvox S beacons are for sale in the AIARE online store. All proceeds go towards the Women’s Mentorship Program.


Interested in Getting Involved?

This month we’re offering virtual events in Seattle, Lake Tahoe, and Denver, to connect and share experiences. Each event consists of a panel featuring questions crafted by registrants and panelists on building and sustaining a career in avalanche education and highlighting the unique challenges of women in the industry. In addition to these panels, we’ll be hosting in-person networking events which you’ll gain first access to by registering for one of the three panels.

Women’s Mentorship: A Conversation Series


Tuesday, February 22nd, 7– 8:30 pm (PST)
Panelists: Brenda Walsh-Hollom, Irene Henninger, Julie Ann Holder (WMP mentor)


Wednesday, February 23rd, 7:30– 9 pm (MST)
Panelists: Sheldon Kerr, Leilani Bruntz (WMP mentor), Eryka Thorley, Amy David (WMP mentee)


Monday, February 28th, 7 8:30 pm (PST)
Panelists: Jen Violet Callahan, Wendolyn Antibus (WMP mentor), Emily Hargraves

Meet the 2021– 22 Mentors

“You are not alone in blazing this trail. You also don't have to sacrifice who you are or make yourself smaller to be here.” —Liz Riggs Meder 

Meet our experienced avalanche educators and 2021 22 mentors. These women share a strong desire to support fellow women in building, growing, and/or sustaining an outdoor career.

Meet our 2021– 22 Mentees

Meet our mentees. These 31 women have been grouped into small cohorts, each facilitated by one of our six experienced mentors. The program is designed to help mentees learn, grow, and connect with fellow women avalanche professionals.

(coming soon)

AIARE Women's Affinity Courses 2021-22

AIARE offered its first Women’s Affinity Instructor Training Course (ITC) in February 2021. Six women successfully completed the course in Washington, and we were able to offer full scholarships to all participants. Through this effort alone, we increased the enrollment of women in ITC courses to 35% (up from 28% the previous year).

In 2022, we will expand our women’s affinity programming with our first Women’s Affinity PRO 1 Course, offered to 12 women in Leadville this spring.

Both courses are currently full with a waitlist. 

We hope this is only the first step towards an ongoing strategy to support women who want to build, grow, or sustain careers in avalanche education. 

Interested in applying for an all-women’s PRO 1 or ITC for the 2022–23 season? Sign up to be notified about scholarships and course application openings.

Title Sponsor:

Safety Sponsor:

Scholarship Partners:

First Ascent Foundation