A Q&A with Osprey Packs Ambassador Alison Gannett
Osprey Packs sat down with one of our star athletes/ambassadors, Alison Gannett, after the Rippin Chix Steep Camp this February, in Crested Butte, Colo. Attending this camp changed my life. Since the camp, I’ve signed up to take a stunt car racing clinic, a base jumping improvement seminar, and, I’m going to Vietnam with Osprey Packs in less than two weeks! Heck yeah!
OSPREY PACKS: What was your “aha” moment when you devised “Rippin Chix?”
ALISON GANNETT (AG): “I started teaching women’s camps in Red Mountain, Canada. From there, I began to teach women in avalanche education. That led to teaching women in India and Alaska, which brought me to Crested Butte, Colo.
“I think my biggest epiphany was on my first all women’s expedition in India. There, I realized the power of transformation that can happen with a group of all chicks learning together how to do something really hard. Conquering your fears is very powerful and helps you with everyday issues like relationships, jobs, sickness, etc.”
OSPREY PACKS: How did you come up with the techniques and procedures around teaching women to ski steeps?
AG: I was training with lots of guys for big mountain extreme comps and the X-games. I would ask them very detailed questions how to get down scary stuff and they would usually say ‘you just go,’ which is like a foreign language.
“But then I would watch and break down each move or jump, and create a whole language/vernacular for what I saw and felt as I learned. It seems to me that there is a whole series of moves that are not traditionally taught. It really gave me new confidence, especially because I was a dorky overweight brainiac kid. I became a new person and wanted to share that power with others!
AG: “I’ve only been doing this in Crested Butte for four years. I think our enrollment increase is from word of mouth. Let’s be honest: Life transformation creates good marketing that money can’t buy.”
OSPREY PACKS: What’s your favorite Rippin Chix “before and after” story?
AG: “One woman was struggling in an abusive relationship. After the camp, she found the strength to leave.
“While that’s a bit extreme, it shows how the confidence a woman gains in the camp can change your life. It’s hard to describe until you do the camp. I also have a money back guarantee that has never been use!”
AG: “Crested butte is filled with Rippin Chix! I meet them on the slopes , in the backcountry, in competitions, etc.”
OSPREY PACKS: Osprey is thrilled that you are so committed AND PROACTIVE with your environmental stewardship. You added in climate change effortlessly to the clinic —does it seem that each year your students are more proactive on the climate change/Save Our Snow issues?”
AG: “Women are getting way more involved now. I’ve created an atmosphere at Rippin Chix where we reward our camp participants’ good work on the environmental front. Those women at Rippin Chix who have had an energy audit on their home, use public transportation to commute, recycle, use 100-percent post consumer recycled paper, install solar panels, grow their own food, buy locally and consciously, are acknowledged in front of the entire group, and awarded with gear.
“I also make sure to teach them things like how to calculate your carbon footprint or how to shop for more environmentally products. Osprey’s one of those I talk about, because you guys are working to make greener products.”
OSPREY PACKS: With each group of Rippin Chix you inspire on carbon footprint mitigation, etc., you’re creating a group of citizen marketers on this critical subject. Have you thought about ways to harness them and catalyze their reach?
AG: “I do training on line and in person for folks who want to teach others about my four step CROP process to battle global warming while also saving money. This is why I started the Save Our Snow and the SOS Foundations- to create funding to spread the word. I’m working to get Osprey to join, to work toward more training, especially at schools.
To learn more about Alison’s CROP process to battle global warming while saving cash, or to hear how she trains with people like Al Gore on climate issues, visit Alisongannet.com.