The Women Outside Adventure Forum


Due to the spread of the highly infectious COVID-19 virus, we have made the difficult decision to postpone the Women Outside Adventure Forum until the Fall of 2020. Please check back for more information on new dates.

March 24 – Featuring Annette McGivney & Tracy Ross, + Yoga @ The Sweaty Buddha

Who: Authors Annette McGivney and Tracy Ross

What: Annette McGivney is an award-winning journalist and the longtime Southwest Editor for Backpacker magazine. In addition to Backpacker, her writing appears regularly in Outside, Arizona Highways and The Guardian. McGivney’s latest book is Pure Land, which won the National Outdoor Book Award in 2018. She also founded a non-profit connected to the book called The Healing Lands Project that takes child survivors of family violence on clinically-supported wilderness trips.

Tracy Ross is a National Magazine Award winner and the author of The Source of All Things, a memoir about her attempt to forgive her stepfather for years of childhood sexual abuse through strength she gained in the outdoors and outdoor sports. An Outside Magazine correspondent, she also contributes to Backpacker, Bicycling, Ski, Runner’s World, The Red Bulletin, 5280, and many other national publications. Her stories have appeared in Best American Sports Writing and Best American Magazine Writing, and she is currently at work on a book about a mother and son, both passionate about climbing, who died 20 years and 70 miles apart on different peaks in the Himalayas. She lives in the town of Nederland with her husband, daughter, two dogs and a bearded dragon (and she misses her two sons, who are off adventuring in Steamboat Springs and Patagonia).

Where: Powerhouse Science Center, 1333 Camino Del Rio, Durango, CO

When: March 24, 6-8:30pm. Doors open 5:30pm.

This event is free and open to the public. Copies of Pure Land and The Source of All Things will be available for sale at the event, courtesy of Maria’s Bookshop. Be sure to show up early to grab a drink and a seat.

*Photo of Grand Canyon by NullSynapse.


The Sweaty Buddha is excited to be offering a special one-hour Vinama class for Women Outside participants. Hot Vimana combines traditional yoga postures and sequencing with pranayama and meditation designed for all ages and levels of ability.  We’d love you to join us for some fun on the mat!

This special class will be lead by Cat Morrison, part-owner of The Sweaty Buddha

When: Tuesday, March 24, 1:30-2:30 pm

Where: The Sweaty Buddha, 100 Jenkins Ranch Road, Durango

How much: $5.00

March 25 – Nichole Baker, Kelly Foutz, & Eliza Sampey

Who: Pathologist, humanitarian, and mountain biker Nichole Baker; Outdoor mom and climber Kelly Foutz; and Adventurer and full-time nomad Eliza Sampey

What: Nichole Baker is a pathologist and mountain biker whose charity Path of Logic is dedicated to enhancing pathology services through education and laboratory procedure improvements in developing nations. Three years ago, she began integrating her passion of mountain biking to further connect with the people living in rural Uganda.

Mountain biking became an integral part of Nichole’s life after the loss of her boyfriend to an aggressive form cancer. It’s role has played a part in her friendships, love, and adventure and has taken her all over the world to places like Scotland, India, and Uganda as an ambassador for Yeti Cycles.  In 2017, Nichole began distributing solar lights to children in small rural villages without electricity by bicycle. The impact of this adventure has been transformative and has introduced a new level of vulnerability.  Her path has come full circle as she works to improve cancer diagnostics in her career, while using the medium of the bike to become centered and focused, dedicating herself to her global work. 

While Kelly Foutz may describe herself as a “child of the outdoors,” she didn’t grow up as an outdoor kid. Kelly was raised on the Navajo Reservation, in a place called Crystal, New Mexico and later moved to Kirtland, NM, where she earned her Degree in Dental Hygiene at San Juan College. It wasn’t until moving to Durango with her young daughter in 2016, that Kelly discovered outdoor recreation and a passion for climbing. Kelly and her daughter Leah (now 8) began their journey together, learning new skills and exploring the outdoors together.

Eliza Sampey wears many hats: adventure seeker, bad idea instigator, bike racer, Doctor of Physical Therapy, writer, speaker, coach, facilitator, alchemist, pro airport sleeper, mediocre musician, craft beer enthusiast, skinny dipping evangelist, dance opportunist, and dog-mama to my big fuzzy old man wolf-bear, Cody Oats World Traveler. She loves to engage in creative projects combining bikepacking, mountain biking, mountain running, packrafting, fat biking, backcountry skiing, and ski mountaineering. Eliza is coming to the Women Outside stage fresh from a bike-packing trip from Pakistan to Nepal.

Where: Powerhouse Science Center, 1333 Camino Del Rio, Durango, CO

When: March 25, 6-8:30pm. Doors open at 5:30pm.

This event is free and open to the public. Be sure to show up early to grab a drink and a seat.

March 26 – Environmental Scientist and Explorer Dr. Heidi Steltzer + Adventure 101 with Eliza Sampey

Who: Environmental Scientist and Explorer Dr. Heidi Steltzer

What: A just world. An equal world. A sustainable world. All these are possible.
This is Heidi’s purpose and the journey she has long been on. Heidi Steltzer is an environmental scientist and explorer. She has sought opportunities to go places others don’t go, conducting research in the mountains and Arctic. These are regions of our planet where climate is rapidly changing. Why go where others don’t go? To challenge herself. To escape. To be places where anything is possible, even an unlikely demise. To bear witness to our changing Earth.

A professor at Fort Lewis College, Heidi recently made news when she testified before Congress about climate change. Her research has taken her around the world, from the Arctic to the Antarctic and has been featured in international news publications including the New York Times.

Join us for a special presentation about Heidi’s recent work in China, studying the impacts of climate change on Himalayan snowpack.

Where: Eolus

When: March 26, 6:00 – 8:00 pm. Doors open at 5:30pm.

Cost: $30, ticket includes 1 drink plus hors d’oeuvres. Proceeds benefit the San Juan Citizens Alliance. Tickets will soon be available online through Eventbrite.

For more information about the Women Outside Adventure Forum, email or call Backcountry Experience at 970-247-5830.

*Photo by: Matteo Melchior


What: Learn the strategies to set your next adventure up for success with Eliza Sampey. This two-hour interactive workshop will encompass all aspects of adventure planning and preparation; covering the nuts and bolts of logistics and route planning, addressing the physical, mental, emotional, and skills-focused aspects of preparation. 

This will be an intimate hands-on workshop with time for Q&A throughout. This session is geared towards beginners, as well as anyone who has embarked on adventures planned by others and wants to learn how to have more leadership in their outdoor pursuits with friends or even solo. 

When: March 26, 1-3PM

Where: Backcountry Experience, 1205 Camino Del Rio, Durango

Brought to you by:

Women Outside is brought to you by Backcountry Experience in Durango, CO. The most comprehensive outdoor gear and apparel store in the Four Corners, Backcountry Experience has become a community leader by organizing and supporting educational and experiential events.


Special thanks to The Powerhouse Science Center, Eolus, and Maria’s Bookshop for supporting this event.


Event organizers are currently monitoring the rapidly changing situation regarding the coronavirus (Covid-19). The health and safety of our audience, staff, and speakers are our first priority. We will post any updates to the event immediately.

Please review the CDC’s website for the latest information regarding the coronavirus.