This one goes out to all of the women out there. The women who don their helmets, jackets and ski boots, those who love the unending wintery blizzards, the ones who hear the call of the mountains in winter. There’s no age to the skier girl, she could be 85, she could be 3, but when her wild woman sings the mountain song, she must go. Skiing is her dance, it makes her feel free and unchained to pressures of the outside world, it is where she can run wild. (Below: Jess McMillan)
Women have been skiing since the sport began, but have struggled for recognition, proper gear, equal opportunities in competition, and the confidence to jump for the past 100 years. Those who broke trail before our time are not forgotten, they skied for themselves, they skied to feel happy and free, and they skied to tell the story of the strong mountain woman to the next generation. (Below: Hadley Hammer sends it big into Corbet’s Couloir.)
Now it’s our generations turn to leave a mark on the ski industry, and today’s professional female skiers are doing just that. Lynsey Dyer’s all-girl skier movie ‘Pretty Faces’ shows this Friday, (Oct. 17th) in Jackson Hole, and I hope to see all of Jackson’s incredible skier girls there. Any guy would be lucky to be in a room with so many impressive girl skiers, and any girl will be inspired and empowered by the sheer talent and work these girls have accomplished together.
I sat down with every professional and epic skier girl that I know and picked their brains about what has changed for women skiing today, and here is what they said. Professional skiing 10 years ago for women was all about being super aggressive, skiing like a guy, looking like a guy, acting like a guy, keeping up with the guys. Today, women (and men) are finding that skiing with more women is fun and empowering… fancy that!
Historically we’ve skied with our boyfriends or husbands or dads (which is obviously really fun and awesome), but what these gals have realized is that when girls start to ski together, it’s a whole new game. Women talk more about what we’re skiing, and that makes us feel stronger and more self-aware, it allows us to challenge our bodies more by calming our minds. There are so many talented women skiers on the slopes now that it’s high time we start celebrating and high-fiving each other instead of side glancing through our goggles.
The ski industry is beginning to celebrate women as well, not because they look good naked, but because they look good skiing. So next time your best frienemy beats you into Corbet’s, give her your best high-five and she might return the favor one day. (below: girl lineup scoping Corbet’s Couloir.)
Any girl skier can tell you, that skiing is not just exercise, a perfect line is like a dance, a quiet movement in just the right place, to the music of the mountains. Ski movies are lovely manifestations of this dance, but notoriously male dominated, save a few seconds of girl action.
That’s all changing now. Angel Collinson opened TGR’s 2014 movie ‘Almost Ablaze’ with a 5 minute segment of skiing at the border of Canada and Alaska. And by the way, people (skier girls) haven’t stopped talking about it since. Watching women ski isn’t the same as watching men ski, but it is beautiful. It captures the human experience including the emotions we feel, which turns the average ski movie into a story that we can not only relate to, but one that echoes our own battle cry. (Below: Angel Collinson.)
There’s a saying about the glass ceiling, which refers to women in the workforce hitting an invisible ceiling and not being able to rise any higher within the company. Here’s a before and after of Hadley Hammer breaking the Glass Ceiling, if you will…
So, here’s my bid to all you skier gals out there. Let’s shred powder together, and talk girl talk in tramline, let’s get hot chocolate when we’re cold, and most of all, let’s have fun doing it. Let’s honor that each one of us is skiing to let our true selves, and our Wild Woman be free in the mountains. Let’s share the confidence in skiing with each other to continue to grow ourselves and the next generation. (Below: Lyndsey Dyer in Alaska).
Let’s ski with our mothers, and our daughters, and our girlfriends. Let’s teach each other to be stronger skiers and women. Let’s challenge each other in the most allied of ways. Let’s… ski together.
FYI: Pretty Faces shows at The Pink Garter Theater on Fri. Oct. 17th, doors open at 3:30 & (6:30 show SOLD OUT!)
Buy your tickets HERE