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News Release - Piper’s Peak Holds Inaugural Wilderness Education Event for Young Women


May 26, 2021

Local nonprofit inspires to provide a safe space for women to grow their wilderness skills

KETCHUM, Idaho – Local nonprofit Piper’s Peak recently held its inaugural event to engage young women through wilderness education and grow the number of outdoorswomen in the Wood River Valley and beyond.

The initial three-part event kicked off on May 12 with a classroom session to educate participants about trout ecology, stewardship of the land, and fly fishing basics. This was followed by a waders-fitting and casting class held on May 19 and culminated in an outdoor education event held near Carey, Idaho on May 23 where participants had the opportunity to fly fish for the day, learning to catch, clean, cook, and eat the day’s catch.

“It was fulfilling to see these young women out on the water, experiencing nature, sharing their joy, and supporting one another,” said Lauren Bertelson, President and Founder of Piper’s Peak. “This is what we set out to achieve—helping to develop a group of strong, young women bonding on the water.”

Five young women, ranging in age from 17 to 18 years old, participated in the event, along with the board members of Piper’s Peak, Bertelson, Debi Reed, Paige Reed, and Brett Wilson. Leading the event was Wilson, along with Jacklyn Highfill, a volunteer guide, who instructed the classes and led the outdoor excursion. Silver Creek Outfitters donated the rods, reels, boots, waders and classroom used for the event, along with complementary hats.

“It was such an amazing experience to get out there and try something new with some of my closest friends. Both guides were so patient and helpful, I had an amazing time,” said Jade Ellison, a participant in the event.

Founded by friends and family of Piper Reed, a Ketchum firefighter, U.S. Forest Service forestry technician, and outdoorswoman who was posthumously awarded an Idaho Guide’s License, Piper’s Peak is committed to seeing more women participating in wilderness adventures and growing the population of outdoorswomen and guides.

“Getting more young women interested in connecting with nature is important for a number of reasons,” said Debi Reed, Vice President and mother of Piper Reed. “Fly fishing and hunting are traditionally male-dominated sports, and we are changing that. Women should have the opportunity to feel strong and capable in the wilderness, and Piper embodied that.”


Piper’s Peak is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing a safe space for women to grow their wilderness skills through introductory courses and follow-on field opportunities. We know that more women actively participating in outdoor activities grows independence, confidence, and happiness. Follow us on Instagram @PipersPeakSunValley.

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