Backcountry Alaska Girls

Raising a family here in Chisana, surrounded by “real life living legends” as my son put it when he was little, is a little tricky. No day care, no preschool, just as rough and tough as they come mountain men. There is a definite lack of females here, in the wilderness. Girl friends, sisters, Moms, Grandmas, Aunts and cousins… At times I missed simply the company of other women.

Camp is part of life for the children.
Camp is part of life for the children.

The guys, if you were to see passing on the street, you might feel the need to keep your eyes adverted, make yourself just a little smaller to avoid notice, these are the scary dudes teaching my babies to talk (oh my!),. Humoring them by letting them tag along, keeping an eye on them while I’m doing whatever it is that needs me.  This beautiful land. These beautiful, strong, honorable, professional men are part of our family.

Terry has always said women were the best crew to have, if it was possible. Teaching most women to shoot, for instance, Terry said one day, was so much easier because of the absence of the male ego. They (women) didn’t get hurt as often, because they understood more about leverage, instead of counting on sheer strength.

My children have never known any different. Flying in Papa’s Super Cub to check camps and clients while I am out in camp myself. Knowing and understanding knives, guns, animals, hunting, trapping, butchering, hauling water, cutting firewood and all the things that make up our lives. The people that come into our lives, our guests, from all backgrounds, different ideas, thoughts, professions, history, they have all touched our lives, and the children’s lives. We are truly blessed.Caitlin and Alaska ChickAmber-Lee and Vicki CianciaruloGammy Nancy

What about the women?

The women I have met since coming to Alaska are beyond special. They are the strong and the smart. They do the dirty work and are still proud of their femininity. They have shown me how to be as good in the field as I am in my own home. More, they have all made me a stronger wAmber-Lee and Brenda, First Lady in Hunting, Brenda Valentineoman of faith.Girls of Pioneer OutfittersWomen of Pioneer Outfitters

As a professional woman in a field that is still mainly enjoyed by men, I am writing to you, this blog. The women I’ve met since becoming an Alaska Guide have shared so much with me, taught me and enriched my life. Helped me become who I am today; a back country Alaska girl. A Mother, a home school mom, a professional big game guide, a wilderness guide, trainer and teacher.

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