Member Club Grant Update: Mountain Mentors

Mountain Mentors, an alpine mentorship program for self-identified women in Vancouver and the Sea to Sky corridor, was the recipient of a 2018-2019 FMCBC Member Club Grant. They put the funds towards Skills Training for their mentors, an annual occasion where the entire mentorship cohort comes together and utilizes the skills they’ve been developing all season.

Mountain Mentors members goof around outside Wendy Thompson Hut near sunset after a day of ski touring during the 2019 SkillShare. (Photo: Brett Trainor)

From Mountain Mentors:

“We booked out the entire Wendy Thompson hut for 4 nights for our mentorship pairs! It was an incredible experience, where women were given the opportunity to route plan, navigate, trip plan, and ski in a new area with new people, learning lots about safety and group dynamics in the process. The costs of this trip were partially subsidized by a small participation fee, plus the generous $350 grant from the FMCBC.

This trip was a big success. Last year we rented expedition tents from a guiding operation and did winter camping, which, although very fun, was a bit too intense (and cold!) for a lot of our members, especially because some had never spent time outdoor camping in the snow. Having a warm hut to come back to and play games and eat every night was incredible not only for comfort, but for community building and camaraderie.

It’s hard to quantify the number of volunteer hours put in for this event. All of our trip leaders and mentors are volunteers, so, if you count 4 full days with about 15 mentors/leaders, that’s over 1,000 hours!”

From L to R: Freya Wastenays, Kerstai Vaino, Em McCance, and Jess Herman pose before dropping in to ski near the Wendy Thompson Hut in BC. (Photo: Brett Trainor)

“Lessons learned:

  1. Ensuring a healthy ratio of mentees to mentors will be important when we run this trip again in 2020—while we can explicitly encourage participants to do ample research of the ski areas, avalanche hazard, and potential ski routes, it is unlikely that everyone will show up properly prepared. Ensuring that each group has enough mentors and experienced leaders is important to ensure a safe, fun, and empowering experience.
  1. Bring more bagged wine, and always change out the poo barrel in the outhouse before it starts to overflow :)”


To learn more about FMCBC Member Club Grants, visit


Mountain Mentors members head out for a bluebird group ski tour near the Wendy Thompson Hut in BC. (Photo: Brett Trainor)

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