Backcountry Access (BCA) and the American Avalanche Association (A3) have named three individuals as the inaugural winners of A3’s Women’s Pro Training Scholarship.
In its first year, BCA and A3 joined forces with the goal of “supporting professional development of female-identifying avalanche workers.” Both BCA and A3 are aiming to help more women enter the largely male-dominated field. The BCA A3 scholarship will provide each recipient up to $1,500 in tuition support. That can be applied this season to higher education in the snow and avalanche safety field, mainly for AIARE Pro Trainings.
Three ski industry professionals from across the U.S. — Megan Guinn, Katy Lanfri, and Caroline Carlson — have been chosen as the recipients of the 2022-2023 Women’s Specific Pro Training Scholarships. All three will apply their scholarship funds toward AIARE PRO (Professional) Level 1 courses.
Meet the Winners of the BCA A3 Scholarship
Guinn’s focus is on snow science and avalanche forecasting. Lanfri’s on avalanche education and guiding. And Carlson is focusing on ski patrol-related education.
Guinn plans to put her scholarship money toward an ongoing internship with the Chugach Avalanche Center.
“Taking my PRO 1 is a necessary step in my professional career in the avalanche and snow industry,” Guinn noted.
Lanfri, a ski patroller in Bend, Ore., will also be taking a PRO 1 course as she works toward becoming an avalanche education instructor and professional ski guide.
Finally, Caroline Carlson, who works as a ski patrol professional, is using the scholarship for a PRO Level 1 course with Silverton Avalanche School in Colorado.
“There’s no reason why this field shouldn’t reflect the demographics of the rest of the working world,” said Backcountry Access Co-founder Bruce Edgerly. Edgerly is also a recent member-elect on the A3 board.
“We’re ecstatic to help A3 in its efforts to diversify the workforce in our industry,” he said.
A3 offers two other snow-education-related scholarships. There’s the Wyssen Avalanche Education Scholarship, for any individuals seeking additional pro-level avalanche education. They also offer the David Pettigrew Memorial Scholarship, which offers funds to support snow industry professionals from the Pacific Northwest.