(Or anyone trying to make some new mountain friends)
Written by Teighan Wilson
So you’re a gal who skis?! What does that mean? Are you a leisure skier who comes out for a couple of runs, and stays for the apres? Are you someone training, riding, and skiing as many days as you possibly can? Or are you somewhere in between like a weekend warrior? And a better question to all of this is who do you ride with? If you’re anything like me, you’ve spent your time at the ski hill “keeping up with the boys”. You’ve spent your days traversing to “sick kickers” with no one understanding why your hands are cold and that you need to pee. Now let me tell you, ladies, there is more to skiing than this! And as much as we love our skier boys, let me introduce the idea of…. Girl gang!
A girl gang is a revolutionary idea for the ski community and something we need more of! This also isn’t to say I haven’t ridden with and know some amazing guys at the hill but to have a community of women is a different game which I think we can all agree on. Now you might be wondering, how do you start a girl gang? Great question! It’s something I’m still working on, but let me share with you what has brought me success in starting to build my own little group.
Now at my home mountain, Castle Mountain Resort, we have a small community which has its pros and cons. A pro: everyone knows everyone, and for the most part everyone is friendly and can ski! Con: not as many skiers, especially not girls. From my experience, here is what's worked so far…
Be your friendly self! Say hi! Give a compliment “I like your kit” “nice skis” etc. Don't be afraid to break the ice and connect with the gals you’ve been noticing around the mountain.
Ask if they want to go for a lap. This is a great way to see if they are someone you want to ride with on a regular basis. Do you go at the same pace? Do you want to ski in the same areas?
Be encouraging! Cheer the girls on! Support what they are trying to work on and hype them up.
Be flexible. Try new runs and terrain. Everyone rides a little different so be flexible and try new things.
If all of this works out and you find a new friend to ride with set-up a regular meet up! This could be riding all day, or meeting up for a couple of laps and some beers at the end of the day. Either way, YOU DID IT! Girl gang started!
A girl gang is all about getting the girls together. Hopefully to ride, but more importantly to share a community! A community where we feel safe to be ourselves, to be brave, to be silly, and to try new things, knowing we have a group of gals believing in us and cheering us on. We are each other's friends, cheerleaders, and role models. We are the women of winter. We are here to explore and enjoy the mountains together.
So I challenge you to make one pal this winter. Make one lap with a new friend. Complement a fellow lady on the mountain. Even just say hello!
Teighan is southern bell from Lethbridge, Alberta. She’s been skiing from the time she could walk, and grew up as Castle Mountain kid. Teighan works as a dietitian during the week, spends her weekends in the mountain hiking, skiing, and soaking it all up. She likes it steep and deep, and hopes to see you out there!
The summit and ski of Tahoma (Mt Rainier) last spring by Paradise Ambassador Kevin Doherty-Regalia! Tahoma is the largest mountain in Washington state, the most glaciated peak in the lower 48 of the United States.