Find your Tenacity Jane
New women’s adventure program starts this summer
Ladies, meet Tenacity Jane. She’s an outdoor, western superheroine—the ideal, strong-willed woman who inspires other women to live adventurously. She’s the brainchild of Serena Calder, and the namesake of her recently started Tenacity Jane Adventures, a Big Sky area program that brings like-minded women safely and confidently out into the wild.
Calder grew up in in Canada, and found her way to Big Sky in 2013. Prior to that, she spent lots of time in the outdoors. After college, she decided, rather than pursuing her journalism degree, she took a job at an organic farm in northern California. “And I realized I loved being outside, learning, and teaching people about the earth,” she said.
That realization led her to Washington, where she worked at an outdoor school. She loved that as well.
“I just thought, ‘Wow, leading these kids on hikes is so awesome. I wonder if I could be a trail guide?,’” she recalled of her early days in outdoor leadership.
Her next adventure led her to the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska, where she guided trips for Alaska Wildland Adventures. Trips went all the way to Denali, rafting, hiking among glaciers and through the tundra. Her time there created a mold of the kind of guided trips she liked, especially backcountry ones with younger, fit people excited to get out into nature.
Though Alaska was great, Calder missed Montana, a lot. She eventually came back to work for Alpengirl in Bozeman, guiding backpacking trips with teenage girls. She’ll be back guiding trips for them this summer since it’s a job she said she loves to do.
“Some of the happiest moments of my life have been standing at the top of a mountain with a group of girlfriends, or even just skiing a difficult run at the resort with them. There’s just nothing quite like that,” Calder said. “It’s fun with whomever, but there’s just something special about it being all women.”
With plenty of background on how other companies do guided nature trips, Calder began to consider what she would do differently. “I always had in the back of my mind, ‘This is how I would do it, if I had my own company,’ so I was gathering bits and pieces throughout the years,” she said.
During her more recent trips with Alpengirl, Calder said she was able to take those bits and pieces to better understand her trips and the young women she leads.
“I learned how adventure is a helpful tool for mental health, self-confidence issues, or what have you. I realized, for myself, the outdoors and adventure have been a huge confidence booster and identity former. So, I have this urge to share that with other people, since it’s been such a big part of my life,” she said.
And so Tenacity Jane Adventures was formed. Registration is currently open for the first-ever program, a three-day mountain biking skills clinic and women’s retreat in late June where 12 participants will learn the basics before hitting Big Sky Resort’s lift-served terrain and more. The program also includes restorative yoga, meals, lodging and of course plenty of opportunities to make lifelong friends.
Other future trips have not been solidified, but Calder envisions things like one-day excursions for women who want to learn to boulder, or whitewater raft. “Basically, just things we can do to gather women together,” Calder said.
Calder wants any woman who might be thinking of signing up to know that she’s no mountain biking expert.
“I’m not,” she said. “I’m a very beginner, intermediate mountain biker, so this isn’t about coming out and being the best at anything. It’s really just about getting out there and doing it.”
So why just women on these trips?
“Mostly, because I want to serve people just like me,” Calder said, laughing. “But biking specifically, our mountain is kind of intimidating, as woman, and I never have any ladies to bike with, so I thought it would be cool to make it a little less intimidating for women who want to come and try it out.”
For more information, visit www.tenacityjaneadventures.com.