AMI Expedition 2
Intro to Mountaineering and Ice Climbing
About the Expedition
In February 2018, a team of women came together to immerse themselves in the nuances of winter camping, mountaineering, and ice climbing. Over the 9 days of the Expedition, they developed technical skills as expected but also experienced so much more: camaraderie, high altitude adventure, yurt life, mountain dance parties, biting wind chill, relaxing hot springs, laughing to tears and tears to laughing, vulnerability, growth, and of course, epic shenanigans.
This expedition was designed to be an introduction to the concepts, skills, and techniques utilized in winter camping, mountaineering, and ice climbing. Each day, the team worked through a series of skills, field simulations, and technical demonstrations.
Winter Backpacking and Camping: setting up camp in the snow, layering systems, hydration and nutrition, using and trekking in showshoes, gear management
Mountaineering: snow travel techniques, knots, rope management, snow anchors, crevasse rescue simulation, self arrest drills, roped team travel simulation, avy terrain awareness, beacon and probe drills
Ice Climbing: utilizing ice tools and crampons, top rope anchors, rappelling, belaying, climbing commands, ice climbing techniques
- Winter Camping
- Intro to Mountaineering
- Ice Climbing
All photos displayed on the E2 page were taken by expedition team member and photographer extraordinaire, Andrea Laughery. To see more of her work, visit andirayphotography.com.
Stories and Testimonials
“A huge part of who I am, what I love, and how I spend my time is adventuring in the great outdoors. I desperately need this wilderness therapy for my mental well being. Time outside challenging myself is nonnegotiable and I’m proud to show my kids what it looks like to be your own person and invest in self-care. I’ve never been fond of the expression ‘take care of yourself so you can better take care of your family.’ NOPE. I want to take care of myself simply because I am a person worthy of being taken care of, and that doesn’t have to be at the benefit of anyone else. My kids see a strong mom who has her own passions, and they also see a mom who loves them fiercely. The two don’t have to be exclusive of one another. They know I always come back, and in turn when we go out together, they are 100% stoked to be there camping and hiking because they feel it’s our family culture. Leaving for the E2 trip was so good for my family…it gave their grandparents an opportunity to spend more time with them and everyone a chance to show up with love and support for one another.”
“Vulnerability and badassery are compatible, maybe inseparable…Taking care of my boys means teaching them what a woman is really like: I am a woman who follows my passions, does hard things, makes myself stronger every day, and-toughest of all-seeks help when I need it. But I had lost sight of those things…My divorce was final just two months before the AMI Expedition. I was in a mental place where I sought peace, balance, and a version of myself I could love and respect, regardless of others’ opinions. In the training, bonding with other badass mom-babes, hiking & more hiking, outrunning storms & tossing my need for oxygen aside, I found exactly what I need…I returned to my love of mountaineering, my outdoor addiction, and fell in love with like-minded women and building meaningful relationships.”
“E2 sounded insane for me: I had zero of the skills needed for winter camping, mountaineering, or ice climbing. So naturally, I was in, hooked on the thought of trying something completely new and scaring the shit out of myself. I was a part of the E1 team– the friendships that formed and the camaraderie we shared was life changing. It gave me the boost I desperately needed in my marriage and in motherhood. Surprisingly, after E2 all I can think about is big mountains and snow! Learning more about glacier travel was incredible. I have been devouring mountaineering books and am constantly planning my next dream trip. I plan on taking more mountaineering and avalanche courses to further my knowledge.”
“I’ve found a love for a technical, extreme sport that I didn’t know existed. I’ve gained the confidence from this experience to truly believe in my ability to do anything I desire in life- and with that being said the more challenging the better! The incredible bonds created with some of the most inspiring women I’ve ever met, whom I adore and I’m always trying to come up with a plan to see all these mamas on my never-ending travels.”
ARDEN HILLS, MN
“Being someone that you are not [is exhausting]. Who has extra energy on trail for that nonsense?! On trail, there’s nothing to hide behind so everything is brought to the surface: your fears, struggles, and, strengths. Friendships forged in the backcountry are built upon raw, authentic, challenging, and beautiful experiences and are laced with opportunity to give and receive what is truly needed in the moment.”
Coordination and Facilitation Team
Climbing Facilitation + Risk Mgmt Consultant