The WHAT and WHY Behind Women's Only Ski Adventures

I believe skiing is one of the most beautiful sports there is. It’s like a romantic dance; you and your skis with the mountain as your partner. It’s not about being strong and aggressive it’s about fluidity, efficiency and rhythm, qualities which are more naturally attainted by the feminine.

Because skiing is such a finesse sport, it is a natural for a woman to grace the mountain with her individual grace and style. However, the process of becoming a great female skier is difficult, not due to the physical demands, but the mental aspects: it’s intimidating, equipment intensive, cold, high-risk of injury. Our minds get in the way of the learning process and unlike men we can’t just let go.

1983 was the first time I asked a group of women to join me for a free two-hour ski clinic. I had been hosting co-ed clinics all season and I wanted to change it up. Without the guys around, the women were more relaxed, asked more questions, tried harder, encouraged one another and laughed more. It was an entirely different experience.

I then started paying much closer attention to the way women learn sports, especially sports with risk. Women don’t want to get hurt, where guys carry an injury like a badge of honor. We don’t want to lose control, where men love being on the edge. We want to look good, while most men don’t really care. Throw in the chemical differences between us and you have two completely different sets of priorities, affecting how we learn.

When I started Women’s Ski Adventures in 1989 my goal was to make it all easy. Eliminate the hassles. For every excuse, I had the answer. For every inconvenience, I made it convenient. Every challenge was broken down piece-by-piece and put back together through technique, knowledge and building confidence. I made sure we enjoyed the little things like a sit down lunch in a beautiful location, a pause at the top of the mountain to take in the beauty, a fireside hot drink, or chitchat with a cute patroller.


My goals and my approach are still the same today. I believe we all learn better when we are comfortable and gained the trust of a strong support system. When we are confident we are more likely to challenge ourselves outside our comfort zone and this is how we improve. It doesn’t matter if you ski blues or blacks. It doesn’t matter if you take two runs or ten runs. The experience is the same once you are confident. Being outside in beautiful locations, feeling the wind in our faces and the rush of adrenaline in our hearts, not needing a partner to participate, encourages independence.

This is exaclty why I’m so excited to offer even more Women’s Ski Adventure weeks this year. Call up your girlfriends, sisters, daughters or moms and join me in:

Vail, January 9,12 and March 6-9: 

Alta, February 6-9: 

Lake Louise, February 20-23: 

Myself, together with you and the help of the other women in the group will take your skiing to the next level….and have a heck of a lot of fun doing it!


Ryan Schmies