Taking Risks in the Backcountry Makes These Women Better Moms
How these mothers move through the mountains can teach us all about risk assessment.
It took about four hours to reach Turkey Chute, a couloir in Grand Teton National Park, that we’d been eyeing for a while. The chatter as we switch-backed up the steep skin track was lively, sometimes rowdy, and often not for the faint of heart. One of us that day wore her breast pump for a good hour, at least, while ascending.
We call ourselves the Mom Force. We’re a rotating group of eight women who’ve been getting together every Thursday for the last two winters to ski tour in the backcountry of Jackson, Wyoming, where we live. Veteran Exum Mountain Guide Kim Havell, also a mom, leads us with an abundance of experience.
While these Thursdays have become sacred, they are not a given. All the women in our group have jobs and partners and children that need them. The oldest of our children is six. The youngest is six months. Taking a full day away every week is tricky, to say the least. And skiing with a guide is expensive.