To lift and support underrepresented people, especially from our BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities, by shifting people's perceptions about themselves, others, and the world around them through transformative outdoor education and experiences.
The Mountain Goats Program
Verascapes began with an afterschool youth program for girls aged 8-11 in the Seattle area. We fostered creativity and courage by providing our young female-identifying students tools in environmental education, wilderness medicine, and creative projects.
We are a small organization with a small staff who volunteer their time. In the fall of 2021, we launched our Outdoor Leadership Accelerator Program and we ran a Level 2 AIARE course in collaboration with a local Pacific Northwest guide service.
We intentionally started small so we may build meaningful and thoughtful connections, relationships, and products and services.
To infinity- and beyond!
While our story is still being written and we do not know what the future holds for our small, dedicated organization, we do know we will generate a meaningful shift in our outdoor spaces and we are stoked about the possibilities.
What People are Saying.
"The AIARE Level 2 and Companion Rescue by Verascapes was by and large a phenomenal success in my book. From start to finish, the execution of the course was thoughtful, intentional, and the results were astounding. My expectations were blown out of the water after completion of this course and I would recommend any course by Verascapes to anyone looking to expand their learning not only about hands on skills to navigate the natural world but also about their own identities as outdoor enthusiasts, leaders in their own right and many other intersections of their own internal landscapes.
Verascapes felt unique in that I have never been a part of a course with so much diversity in backgrounds of my fellow course colleagues. People varied in how they came to love backcountry touring, the modes in which they traveled in the backcountry, their ethnicities, genders, hometowns, experience, knowledge, goals, and so much more. Our course instructors made it a point to target safe learning environments to promote optimal learning and harmonious, teamwork oriented gatherings in what otherwise was a challenging weekend of pushing us in the way of expanding our knowledge and bettering our leadership skills to meet our individual learning goals. "
- Tiffany B
"Verascapes Emanates Community! Cultivating a space of fellowship by instituting a welcoming environment to all ages, types, and experience whether that be as steward, administration, novice, or all-around fun-time retreater. As a female person of color, I am stoked about these ideals Verascapes possesses and have thus far felt so embraced into this outdoor education experience – and I say 'experience' because that’s what it is! An inviting, community-oriented, encouraging EXPERIENCE!"
- Raquel G
- Ina W
"I am a woman of color, I am also an outdoor enthusiast. These two identities, which are too often mutually exclusive, have often brought me to spaces where I feel like “the only one”. I’ve found myself in many situations surrounded by well intentioned and well educated white men. Trying to learn in this environment can be difficult because when you feel like the “only one” you already feel as if you don’t belong there and that information is not meant for you. Maybe your peers make you feel silenced. When I had the opportunity to take my avalanche 1 course with all women and other women of color I jumped at the opportunity. In this space I felt heard and acknowledged in a way that I hadn’t experienced before in the outdoors. I was surrounded by other people that had also felt like the “only one” except this time we were no longer alone in that experience."
The values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice are core to everything we do, thus our work feels different and intentional. Everyone who interacts with us is seen, heard, and valued. Our inclusive culture is a superpower; it accelerates and enriches our ability to evolve, iterate, and improve.
Verascapes changes how people think and move. We open up the possibility for people to live healthier, happier, and connected lives. We are leaders and role models for others to live joyfully with each other and with nature. We develop courageous, confident, and inclusive leaders. We strengthen and grow our communities.