Guest Speakers

Sandy Fransham

The Dark Side of the Mountains - Surviving Loss & Trauma

Topic description: As mountain enthusiasts, we understand the rewards gained from time spent in these magical places, but do we ever truly appreciate the darkness that they can also bring? Accidents are traumatic for those involved and can overwhelm an individual’s ability to cope, cause feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and diminishes their sense of self. People who experience trauma are at a greater risk for suicide, and mountain dwellers are even more at risk.

Critical Incidents cannot be carried alone. It takes a tribe and a community to heal. “Mountain Muskox” is a peer circle supported by clinicians that brings together those who have gone through a traumatic mountain event to support each other and heal. Learn about this group and what makes it so successful. We hope you never need it…

Bio: Sandy hangs her hat in Calgary with her husband Tom and their two young Sherpas in training (daughters). She works in Real Estate, as a realtor and the owner of a real estate investment company. Sandy swung her first ice axe, tied into her first rope, and strapped on her first back-country skis while living in Japan. After returning to Canada in the mid-1990’s she joined the Alpine Club of Canada, Calgary Section to explore her own backyard and find some like-minded souls. Sandy loves the outdoors for its beauty, challenge and for the deep friendships she’s developed that have lasted decades. Initially focussed mostly on rock and ice climbing, her interests have expanded over the years to include all types of skiing, mountain biking, hiking and paddling. She also loves adventure travelling with kids in tow. Sandy has experienced the dark side of the mountains and is a mentor with the Mountain Muskox Bow Valley Circle.