More Than You Think: Six women tackle the East’s backcountry gems and stereotypes

A new three-part webisode series out this fall—directed by Sam Davies and produced by Burlington, Vt.’s Outdoor Gear Exchange—celebrates female empowerment to inspire women to look for bigger lines and expand their comfort zones. In the three episodes, Davies takes viewers to the well-known eastern locations of Québec’s Chic-Choc Mountains, Vermont’s Smugglers’ Notch State Park and New Hampshire’s Tuckerman Ravine to document an all-female group sharing stoke off-piste.

“We opened up in the Chic-Chocs with a focus on female empowerment,” Davies says. “We want to equalize groups in the mountains and showcase a strong female presence in the backcountry. The episode emphasizes the nurturing and empowering camaraderie that was especially present in this group of skiers.”

More Than You Think: Episode 1 from Outdoor Gear Exchange on Vimeo.

The webisodes capture an East Coast crew, including Kelsey Boleski, Manya Gordon, Emily Listowich, Olivia Andreozzi, Molly Drake and Leah Skypeck, who met while working together at the Outdoor Gear Exchange. They skied together frequently throughout the 2016 season after Boleski’s efforts created a small community of female skiers with a shared love of the backcountry.

“Entering this winter [2016] season, I wanted to ramp up who I was skiing with,” Boleski explains. “I was seeking a group of strong women that can get out and encourage me to ski harder, and I can do the same for them.”

Episode Two hones in on this sense of community, plus true East-Coast determination and desire to find untouched powder, as the women tag the classics tucked away on Vermont’s Mt. Mansfield. “You just have to want it more [out here],” Molly Drake says.

More Than You Think: Episode 2 from Outdoor Gear Exchange on Vimeo.

The series closes in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, with one last message: anyone can go big.

“We [finished filming] at Tuckerman Ravine for some spring skiing with a heavy focus on bringing less experienced women out into the backcountry,” Davies says. “The skiers being filmed throughout the series were not pro athletes; most of them came into backcountry skiing in the last few years. [We wanted to convey that] anything is possible and nobody should feel like they can’t go bigger. We tried to highlight the aspect of humility and how dreaming big can become a reality.”

More Than You Think: Episode 3 from Outdoor Gear Exchange on Vimeo.

With More Than You Think, Davies hopes to empower women to get out there and leave no stash untracked, and Boleski is game. “My hope,” she says, “is to promote and inspire broader normalcy for women throughout the outdoors.”

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