By Carrie Scheick, VNTRbirds mentee/die-hard groupie/friend
All photos by Julia Ordog

I recently celebrated my one year anniversary with VNTRbirds.  

Last year, a friend that was involved with the group invited me to an event at the new backcountry ski resort, Bluebird Backcountry. She told me I would meet a group of awesome and encouraging ladies, get to practice my splitboarding and backcountry skills, make new friends, win some great prizes, and have A LOT of fun. 

She was right…and now I’m hooked. Throughout the next year I deepened my involvement with VNTRbirds through mountain biking meetups and clinics, “good vibes” ski resort ride days, fundraisers, gear maintenance workshops, and even eventually became one of two scholarship recipients for 2022. 

Fast forward a year from my inaugural VNTRbirds event and we are back at Bluebird Backcountry for the second Venture Out, two full days of backcountry fun that has become one of the most anticipated annual VNTRbird events.

Early that morning, we met up in the base area of Bluebird for introductions (humans and dogs), goodie bags, passes, gear rentals, and of course, a Yerba Mate Tea. Some of the group explored the mountain unguided while others participated in VNTRbirds’ Companion Rescue tour, led by VNTRbirds co-owner Leanne Wren, who has over 10 years exploring and teaching backcountry education and just recently completed her AIARE Pro Level One and ITC.

VNTRbirds’ Companion Rescue tour is the perfect introduction and great refresher to avalanche basics and how to use your avalanche safety gear. It’s a great prerequisite to taking an AIARE Level One Recreation Course or to refresh your own rescue skills. Participants practiced beacon drills, probing for a positive strike and proper shoveling techniques.

Discussing how beacon flux lines work and therefore becoming more efficient at searching.
Practicing searching for a burial

After lunch, the group paired off and geared up for a photo scavenger hunt tour around Bluebird. The groups had limited time to search for cornices, snow layers, touring through the aspens and, obviously, a plate of bacon (courtesy of THE PERCH under MEAT HILL that serves up hot, fresh and free bacon stripes all day long) for a chance to win some awesome prizes from Vans and other VNTRbirds sponsors! There are so many things that sets VNTRbirds apart, but one of my favorites is that they ALWAYS have rad prizes and giveaways at every event. 

Pairing off to begin the scavenger hunt all over Bluebird Backcountry
Team Surface Hoars is off to a strong start finding wind loading aspects in the terrain
Team Split Ski gets into the aspens checking off scavenger items left & right
Team Bouji B****es claiming second place with fastest time!

After the scavenger hunt, we hung out in the base area enjoying snacks and beverages from Yerba Cha and Candid Cocktails while lounging with the dogs.

Candid Cocktails are the delicious and perfect finisher to a long day in the backcountry. Women owned & women approved!

A late afternoon snowstorm changed the original plan of going out on a sunset tour. We pivoted in our activities and instead checked out each other’s different camping set ups, made s’mores around the campfire, and simply spent time together – building our beautiful community of badass women. 

Co-Owner, Leanne Wren showing off her retro camping rig
Stoking the fire and each other up during the snow storm
Munching hot s’mores with the snow falling

So, happy one year of friendship and inspiration VNTRbirds! I can’t wait to celebrate another year of adventures, community, and fun. And see you all at Bluebird with VNTRbirds next year!

Interested in learning more about VNTRbirds and joining our community? Check out upcoming VNTRbirds events or send us a message!