Why We’re Special
We provide quality backcountry opportunities for women of different abilities and ages to gain skills in outdoor recreational sports, backcountry safety, and to participate in fun adventures together. Our instructors, coaches, and guides are some of the best. They are all highly qualified, certified, and experienced women who are passionate about mentoring other women who want to get outdoors.
We focus specifically on women because we understand that we often learn in a different manner and have different needs than men. We have tons of fun learning and enjoying outdoor backcountry sports together!
Backcountry Babes is an organization that was founded on providing opportunities for women to explore and learn more about outdoor recreation. We know that women sometimes have feelings of vulnerability and fear in pursuit of outdoor experiences, or that gender-related dynamics can affect a woman’s capabilities to experience, learn, and be empowered while participating in outdoor recreation. We understand that sometimes there just isn’t an opportunity or good mentor available to learn from.
Our mission is to be those quality mentors and guides for women in the outdoors. We aim to provide a comfortable atmosphere that women can feel at ease and learn new skills, define themselves, develop confidence, gain new insights and experiences, and share in fun adventures that build friendships and camaraderie. We strive to offer skills clinics and trips that provide women with a comfortable and fun outlet to the outdoors, and a place that they can be inspired and empowered by the experience.
We believe in women; our power, our strength, our individuality, and our beauty!
Backcountry Babes (formerly know as Babes in the Backcountry) was founded in 1997 by Leslie Ross, a 3x champion telemark skier. In the mid-1990s, Leslie recognized the lack of equality of women participating in recreational activities and outdoor sports. Her own passion for skiing and backcountry travel provoked her to create a business that would provide more instructional opportunities and adventures for other women to get outdoors in a comfortable and inspiring environment. The company was a leader in this movement at the time, and continues to be so.
Since 2014, Backcountry Babes has been owned by Emily Hargraves. An enthusiastic backcountry skier, backpacker, cyclist and river runner who has led outdoor education trips all over the world. She is delighted to have to opportunity to carry on so many years of Backcountry Babes tradition and history and also to explore what new possibilities lay on the horizon for the Babes.
Backcountry Babes continues to operate in Alaska, Colorado, California British Columbia, Japan, and wherever our adventures bring us. We love sharing the adventures of quality trips, with excellent instruction, adventure, and fun with our clients.
Our Spirit Animal
Like snow monkeys, we are a matriarchal hierarchy run by intelligent and fun females. We are highly social and hang out in small troops to play, feed, and travel together. We enjoy both the snow and water, and are often found enjoying a hot springs pool when we find one. Snow monkeys are known to be quite expressive, and in Japan, are considered symbols of success and good fortune.
At Backcountry Babes we pride ourselves in being like snow monkeys; providing good communication and female leadership as an important aspect of our purpose. We work to inspire women to be successful in their outdoor lives and active pursuits, and have fun while doing it. In turn, this brings our whole troop good fortune!
Come play with us!