Women in snow sports sometimes might feel left behind by their husbands, kids or male friends. The men might be naturally more daring or perhaps started out at a younger age. The kids might have been in school programs or taken up racing. Some women might languish at the intermediate level, believing that is as far as they can comfortably go.
But women skiers and riders who want to take their skills to the next level have an opportunity. While they are often intimidated by mixed groups, believing the men are bigger, stronger, faster or sometimes too judgmental, there is an answer — women-only clinics. Many resorts offer these clinics, which might be multi-day camps or women’s ski and ride groups that meet regularly.
In Vermont, Okemo offers two Women’s Alpine Adventure programs. Led by some of the best women coaches in the business, participants can learn and improve their skills in a supportive, non-judgmental and social atmosphere. The Premier program includes five days of personalized coaching, breakfast and lunch daily, an après party and banquet. Participants needing lodging receive special rates at the Jackson Gore Inn.
Okemo’s two-day Adventure program meets this season Feb. 7-8, Feb. 10-11 and March 7-8. This is a fun way to get the feel of a women’s clinic while experiencing hours of training from Okemo’s outstanding coaches. As with the five-day program, the vibe is friendly, relaxed and supportive. Social aspects include daily breakfast and lunch and an après party. Skiers and snowboarders are welcome in both programs.
Olympic gold medalist and world champion moguls skier Donna Weinbrecht, along with some of Killington’s most elite coaches, hold a two-day Women’s Camp from Jan. 26-27 and Feb. 23-24. Weinbrecht has designed the camp for women at the blue level and above. Each day there’s coaching by the all-female staff from 9 a.m. to noon, and 1-4 p.m. There’s a welcome reception the evening before the first day and the group has lunch at the Grand Summit each day. Video analysis provides feedback and enhances the learning experience. The coaching is designed specifically for women, is concentrated and the atmosphere is supportive. It is truly a one-of-a-kind experience.
Sugarbush’s Women’s Discovery Camps are customized to fit the needs of each participant and each group. The weekday camp will be held this season March 4-6 and will include, in addition to personalized instruction, group meals, après parties, video analysis and the chance to demo skis. The resort recognizes that one hindrance to participation in a women’s-only program is “what will the rest of the family do?” To answer this, and ease any guilt participants might experience, Sugarbush has come up with a unique solution. Each registrant in the camp will receive either a half-price companion all-mountain lift pass or a half-price full day kids program in the children’s center.
For those headed to New Hampshire, Loon Mountain’s Women’s Performance Camp features two days of instruction by the resort’s best female coaches. Participants, who should be intermediate and advanced skiers, will receive intense coaching, video analysis and be able to demo the latest skis from Völkl. They’ll come away with the expertise and skill to comfortably take on any of the terrain across the resort.
Professional coaches from around the world are invited to Loon to coach the Droppin’ In Women’s Freestyle Camp set for March 16-17. Skiers and riders looking to ramp up their park and pipe skills will enjoy this innovative camp, where they will practice in a private, custom-built terrain park. From there they can test themselves and their newfound skills in Loon’s awardwinning progression of terrain parks. Run by women, for women, campers learn, again in a non-threatening environment, from some of the finest female freestyle coaches anywhere.
Closer to home for those in southern New England, Wachusett Mountain holds women’s clinics on Thursdays in January, February (except Feb. 21) and the first two weeks in March. Sign up for just one or as many as you like. Whether you attend one or more, you’ll find a new experience in a program designed for women and taught by women. From novice to expert, you’ll progress at your own pace in the same nurturing environment you find at the resorts further north.