Mountain Chicks turned one year old this November. What started as an Instagram page and slowly grew into what’s now been deemed the “badass women’s adventure group”. What does that mean, though?
What is a Mountain Chick? What makes the Mountain Chicks community so special? Well, let me start by saying that there are many adventure groups that do a great job of bringing Mountain Chicks and Dudes outside, so I don’t think that’s it. Stories made the Mountain Chicks community. We have our own that’s unique to how we started, but with thousands of women in our Chapters, we’ve become a part of their stories as well.
Last weekend’s hike was a good example of this. We’re lucky enough to work with some amazing outdoor brands like Gregory Packs, who had just sent the Arizona Chapter a shiny new fleet of daypacks to demo.
The night before, I was running around my apartment getting the packs we’d be using in bins, checking the RSVP list, and almost forgetting that I need to have a bag too, so I should probably pack mine as well. My Mtn Dude and I woke up at 5:30 am on Saturday, we left the house ten minutes later to run to the grocery store and get water for everyone. It was 6:00 am by the time we hit the freeway and were officially on our way. While I don’t like waking up before the sun as much as the next person, there’s something so peaceful about having a six-lane highway all to yourself, passing silhouettes of mountains.
Needless to say, we were the first ones at the trailhead. We started filling up the bladders right away.
We were there for ten minutes when the first pair of Mountain Chicks arrived. We introduced ourselves, made small talk about the drive, and got right into the packs we’d be demoing for the day. I went through the different Gregory models available: the Amber, the Juno, the Citro. After hearing each pack’s features, the ladies each grabbed their bag of choice, adjusted the straps, and started putting their belongings inside. This process went on seven more times as attendees trickled in.
Once everyone was ready to go, we started our intro circle, something we do at every event. I introduced myself as the Founder of Mountain Chicks and gave everyone a brief rundown of how we got here. After my spiel, I thanked them for being here and asked that they state their names, where they’re from and a fun fact about themselves.
Lesley, one of our Arizona Ambassadors, attended the event that day and she started the circle. She stated her name, where she drove from, but I wasn’t really expecting what she said next. Lesley went on to explain how she lived in Hawaii and moved to Arizona with her husband and son, not knowing anyone. She found the Mountain Chicks community through social media and it wasn’t long before she joined the Arizona Chapter. She had never been in a group setting like this before, but her drive to meet people got her to start planning group hikes. Now as an Ambassador, she gets to bring others together. She attributed Mountain Chicks to helping her make most of the friends she has today. Of course, I knew where Lesley came from and I knew how passionate she was about the community, but I didn’t know how much of an impact these events had on her.
Then we met Kristin who drove two hours from Sedona to spend the day with us. Kristen moved to Sedona, AZ a few years ago and had been looking for some awesome, like-minded people to explore with. She found Mountain Chicks on Instagram, as she was posting her own solo adventures. She saw that there were some pretty cool chicks who loved doing the same things as her and decided to make the Gregory Packs event her first hike with us. She later said that it felt like she knew these girls her entire life.
The day went on to include more laughs, pickle juice (you had to be there), running from bees, the wind in our hair, and some women finding pockets in their Gregory’s that made the perfect “snack pack”.
I left this hike feeling more than enough gratitude for the day. Gratitude for the trail, our amazing partners, and these stories, because they’re a part of the Mountain Chicks story too. I don’t think there’s one singular trait that makes a Mountain Chick. Mountain Chicks will always be a representation of the amazing women in this community. To be a Mountain Chick, you just have to have a knack for adventure and a natural curiosity for what adventures are around the corner.
Don’t miss another Mtn adventure! We have events planned all month-long and the AZ Chapter is currently gearing up for another Gregory Packs event come December 23, 2017. You can learn more about what events we have planned on our Chapters page and more about our friends at Gregory Mountain Products by visiting their site.
What makes you a Mountain Chick? Let us know in the comments below!
Dani is the Founder of Mountain Chicks and the primary author of the Mtn Chicks Blog. Here you'll find outdoor tips, travel experiences, gear reviews and more.