Advice for Girls: Breaking Barriers on the Slopes and Beyond

When filmmaker Sara Robbins asked me to join an all-female cast and crew as an athlete for the ski film Advice for Girls, I was hesitant. After being involved with a few small films, including co-directing and co-producing Stepping Out last year, I was ready to focus on my ski guiding career and take advantage of the rare day off to ski for myself.

Party lap! The Advice for Girls athletes make eights after a day of filming at Snowbasin, Utah. [Photo] Katie Cooney

But I kept circling back to their mission—to create space and reaffirm the value of women in the ski industry—I wanted to support the project by being involved. While they had a vision, I admired the film crew’s open approach to storytelling. They supported what I felt was important to my story and how I wanted to share it. I didn’t want to highlight super technical skiing or awe-inspiring lines—what I valued was showing my daily dawn patrol mission that keeps me ticking all winter long.

Hailey Griffin, a 2026 winter Paralympics Team USA hopeful, leans into a turn at Snowbird. [Photo] Katie Cooney

My time with the crew was brief, limited to a single dinner and a day in the mountains—I broke my leg on my first day filming with the team. But even in that short window, the supportive, inclusive dynamic of the women I worked with left a profound impression on me.

Over dinner, Sara, Iz La Motte, Addy Jacobsend and Sierra Schlag recounted their entire season—spent braving epic storms and extensive travel—and while their exhaustion was evident, their enthusiasm remained unwavering. In each of the lighthearted stories they shared, they passionately praised the remarkable women they spoke of. And when we ventured into the mountains, their camaraderie shone as they took care of each other, offering snacks, extra layers and words of support during our 3 a.m. ascent up Red Lady, the peak I frequently explore on my morning dawn patrols.

The brainchild of Addy Jacobsend, Advice for Girls started as a pitch for a seven-minute short to filmmaker Sara Robbins—co-founder of the indie production company The Road West Traveled—about a year ago. From there, the idea snowballed. Jacobsend’s friend and pro skier Sierra Schlag jumped on board. The production crew expanded to include cinematographer Iz La Motte, photographer and designer Katie Cooney, photographer Bianca Germain, with media support from AJ Cutler. From February to early May, the team filmed in various locations with numerous athletes.

Cousins and athletes AJ Cargill and Lynsey Dyer bootpack near Grand Targhee. [Photo] Katie Cooney

The product is the 45-minute film that will premiere this Sunday, October 22, in Salt Lake City—preceded by a fundraising event Saturday.

Transcending the boundaries of a traditional ski movie, the film weaves together a compelling narrative that celebrates the collective experience of women in the ski industry with invaluable guidance to girls and women of all ages. Featuring women from different generations, women of color, queer women, women with disabilities and more, the film emphasizes a crucial message: Women are deserving of success, have every right to occupy space and are indispensable contributors to the ski world.

AJ Cargill shows how to send some spray at Wyoming’s Grand Targhee Resort. [Photo] Katie Cooney

Though highlighting women, Advice for Girls was born out of a greater community effort. A Kickstarter campaign rallied support from the ski world and beyond, raising an impressive $47,067 from 431 backers. Formal sponsors are also supporting the project, including Picture Organics, Mammut, Protect Our Winters and more. 

In Advice for Girls, the snow-covered mountains are not just a backdrop; they are a canvas for empowerment, inspiration and unity. Perhaps most inspiring is the incredible women who brought this film to life and the way they each model these values in the sisterhood they built on screen and behind the scenes.

They remind us we can always create more room. Instead of reserving the mountaintop for a lone star, they encourage us to come together, carve out space and welcome more people into this empowering dynamic. Join the movement, be a part of the change and feel the strength of women in skiing.

The Advice for Girls athletes having fun after a day of filming at Snowbasin, Utah. [Photo] Katie Cooney

“Working on Advice for Girls has been an incredible experience, it’s one of the most dialed and communicative and passionate teams I’ve ever had the joy of working with,” La Motte says. “It’s just been a really empowering experience to be a part of a film that we hope has the opportunity to open people’s eyes and get people thinking.”

To continue the film’s mission of empowerment and to honor producer Sara Robbins’s commitment to equality, there will be a pre-tour fundraising film premiere October 21 in Park City, Utah. This event aims to raise money to accomplish the goal of compensating everyone involved in the film from crew to cast. If you can’t attend the event, you can also support the project here.

The world premiere of Advice for Girls will take place in Salt Lake City on October 22, kicking off a tour across the United States—with stops from California to Maine. Find a stop near you!

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