Local woman to climb Grand Tetons, raise funds for SheJumps
Laraine Martin is climbing Wyoming’s Grand Tetons in August, all in the name of empowering young women.
Martin, executive director of Routt County Riders, is taking part in a fundraising climb for the Wild Skills Youth Initiative of SheJumps, a nationwide nonprofit that teaches girls the survival skills they need for outdoor adventures. Before taking the job with RCR, Martin was the Colorado regional coordinator for SheJumps.
Martin loves that SheJumps is not just a place for young girls to learn, it’s a place for young girls to learn from other women.
“There’s something different about that transfer of skills between women, something more empowering about it,” she said. “I have no problem learning from men and hanging in those places with men as well, but I think there’s a really cool relationship that develops between women in the outdoors.”
While Martin is pledging to climb all 13,775 feet alongside a small team of women and guides, all she’s asking for in return is a few people to pledge some money to SheJumps. As one of the participants in the climb, Martin is committed to raising $2,500 for the program.
People can donate at SheJumpsGrandTeton2021.CauseVox.com/laraine-martin.
This isn’t the first fundraising adventure Martin has taken part in for SheJumps. In April 2019, she summited Mt. Baker in Washington with a small group of women.
With a more climbing-centric challenge, Martin will be stepping closer to the edge of her comfort zone than she did on the Mt. Baker ski trip.
Martin used to climb more often, but as she discovered mountain biking, she’s opted for activities that keep her feet closer to the ground.
“I just got more into, especially with Routt County Riders, I got more into using my summer daylight hours on my bike and trails,” Martin said. “My mental state kind of thanked me for that. I’ve never really clicked with climbing. It kind of scared me more than I ended up enjoying it.”
Martin is hoping to use all her mountain bike activity to prepare her body for a steep and tough climb while carrying a pack. She’s learned that mountain biking, especially in Steamboat, does a great job of preparing the legs and cardio system for tough adventures.
“The type of mountain biking I enjoy is cross country where there’s quite a bit of uphill climbing involved,” she said. “Especially around here, once those buff pass trails dry out, there’s plenty of miles, plenty of vertical to train on.”
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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