Lonely Planet Writer

US ski resorts want more women on the piste

After focusing for years to get more young people on the slopes, ski resorts are now prioritising their programmes to encourage women to enjoy the thrill of skiing across the Rocky Mountain range.

Ski resorts have rescheduled classes to make it easier for mothers to drop their children to lessons and then attend their own classes
Ski resorts have rescheduled classes to make it easier for mothers to drop their children to lessons and then attend their own classes Image by ludovic / CC BY-SA 2.0

Research over the past two years into the levels of snowboarding and skiing showed that there was a comparative dearth of females on the piste. The New York Times reports that resorts have altered their winter ski schools this year and are hiring an increased number of female instructors to teach their classes.

Rachael Woods, spokeswoman for Vail Resorts’ Beaver Creek Resort in Colorado said their research had indicated that by the time mothers dropped their children to ski school, adult lessons had invariably started, resulting in their losing out on coaching opportunities. Now a number of resorts are offering classes that start and end at suitable times so that children can be picked up nearby. Such has been the success of this tweaking of timetables that Vail Resorts among others are expanding their programmes.

The resorts also see a new opportunity to deepen friendships on the mountain by including former Olympic medallists in their programmes and offering a quasi-social experience for visitors. Friday afternoons see lessons on the slopes first and then there is an après-ski glass of wine so friendships can be formed in more convivial surroundings.