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@featheredpipe
Feathered Pipe
Mountain Girl - Building a CommunityMountain Girl - Building a Community On November 23, a new company was launched at MAP Brewing Company in Bozeman, Montana. Torrin Daniels of the Kitchen Dwellers and some special guests provided the tunes, cold drinks were shared, and new backcountry partners were made. We filled MAP to the brim with lovers of the outdoors, mountain bikers, hikers, and skiers. What is Mountain Girl? Marketing in the outdoor industry tends to highlight the extreme athletes, giving the impression that the outdoors is only for the ones who hike to the top of the mountain, careen down the slopes on their snowboards, and spend weeks in the wilderness. The peakbaggers, extreme adventurers, and through trailhikers. There are so many who long for the outdoors but aren’t sure of where to go, what equipment they need, or what the “rules” are. So, they stay home. This is particularly true of women. Many women lack confidence, fear judgement from others, and aren’t sure how to get started. Mountain Girl is building a community of women of all backgrounds, ages and skill levels. A community of women that long to get into the outdoors. By hosting ladies retreats, day hikes, photography workshops, and Mountain Girl get togethers, skills will be gained, confidence built, and backcountry friends made. “Montana Intimidates Me” I talked to all kinds of women that night. Women who told me they go to the mountains, but they go with the male figure in their world (husband/boyfriend/dad). Or they have been to Yellowstone but that is all. Women who said all kinds of things: “Montana intimidates me.” This from a gal who just moved to Montana from Colorado. In Colorado she mountain biked, skied, and climbed. How can this girl be intimidated by anything? “I’m the only one in my family that likes the outdoors.” She told me she and her husband have 5 kids, 3 still at home. She is the one who did boy scout camp with her sons and girl scout camp with her daughters. Her family just moved to Montana and she is so excited about the outdoor opportunities that come with living in Bozeman. Only one catch, no one in her family wants to go with her. In fact, they sent her to the Mountain Girl launch party specifically so she could find new friends that would get outside with her. “We just moved to Montana and I don’t know where to go.” To those of us who grew up in Montana or have lived here for a very long time, the outdoor opportunities seem endless, the mountains are literally right out your door. To someone who has just moved here, they aren’t sure where to go, how to navigate legal access and what the “rules” are in Montana. “I’ve never lived where there are bears and mountain lions.” Girl you have got to be aware, you have got to be educated, but please do not use this as the reason you are not enjoying those beautiful mountains. Educate yourself, get some safety equipment (aka bear spray), and get outside! We can do it! Listening to the stories and obstacles (both perceived and real) that night, I saw something else. Something in the smile shared between two friends as they related the story of a recent adventure, something in the determination of one who came alone, hoping to become a part of something more, something in the energy of the crowd. We can do it. Mother Nature welcomes us all with open arms and shares herself unselfishly. There is no dress code. No necessary skill level. No age requirement. All you have to do is grab your backback and let’s go. For more information about Mountain Girl, you can find us on Facebook, Instagram and the web at www.themtngirl.com.
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