Sierra-at-Tahoe held its women’s performance ski camp for the third year March 1-2.
With recent snowfall, and snow showers off and on the whole weekend, conditions were prime for the camp, held during what may have been Sierra’s busiest weekend of the season.
Participants had the option of one or two days for the full-day lessons that are designed by women for women and also coached by women.
The groups were separated based on skiing ability, but at the end of each day everyone came together to drink some wine, swap stories and exchange email addresses.
“It was nice to stay with a group for the two days. You get to know one another and skiing becomes more fun,” said Beverly Wilson a certified PSIA level II instructor and camp teacher.
Lauren O’Reilly, a certified level III PSIA member from New Hampshire, organizes the event and other ones across the country at resorts including Loon, Attitash and Sunday River. This year, due to low snow amounts, Sierra-at-Tahoe was her only stop.
The purposes of these camps are for women to develop skills, overcome fears and gain confidence without any intimidation factors. O’Reilly said women often compare themselves to men skiers though they shouldn’t.
“I think that women are more technically accurate by nature because they don’t have the muscle,” she said.
The lessons are geared for women at an intermediate-to-advanced level who are currently skiing or who have left and want to get back into it. When snow amounts are right, classes can also venture out into the backcountry.
“Ski areas recognize that the mothers of the family dictate the vacations,” said O’Reilly, adding that the idea builds a market for these camps.
“It’s relaxed, it’s fun and there’s a camaraderie,” O’Reilly said.
Wilson agrees women shouldn’t try to be like the men skiers.
“Some women have learned to ski trying to keep up with the guys and haven’t really developed the techniques and skills necessary to advance,” Wilson said.” And some of the ladies are quite impressive skiers who become better after following a pro down a more challenging run.”
She agrees with O’Reilly about the women’s learning environment these camps provide.
“The camp provides the instruction, supportive learning environment and challenges to get the next level,” said Wilson.
She also says how O’Reilly’s enthusiasm for skiing and learning new skills is contagious.
Sierra-at-Tahoe has a similar women’s performance snowboard camp planned for March 22-23.