BOSS LADY

THE FU­TURE (OF SKI­ING) IS FE­MALE

SKI - - CLINIC - —CRYS­TAL SA­GAN

I’d al­ways been a tom­boy, and my first lady shred—al­beit a lit­tle late at 33 years old—was one for the books. In the big-moun­tain en­vi­ron­ment of Sil­ver­ton, Colo., I cut my teeth on our all-fe­male shred ses­sion. It was here that I found my­self stand­ing on the edge of a fat, bro­ken-off cor­nice that left a two-foot drop be­tween me and the 50de­gree sheet of ice that I was sure I’d end up death-slid­ing down. The sun teased us with its warmth on that cold, Fe­bru­ary day. There wasn’t a cloud in the per­fectly blue­bird sky, and I’d never wanted to ski a line less. The eight of us, all ski in­dus­try pro­fes­sion­als, came for the ski­ing but ended up leav­ing with a prover­bial pantry stocked full of in­spi­ra­tion to go fur­ther, harder, big­ger. In an arena for­ever dom­i­nated by what we af­fec­tion­ately dubbed the “Old Boys Club,” we rev­eled in the nov­elty of three whole days spent in the ex­clu­sive com­pany of other strong, suc­cess­ful women. In the end, I did fi­nally drop into that line at Sil­ver­ton three years ago, but not be­cause my ego was pres­sured into it. I learned the value of lady shred­ding that day, that a lit­tle sup­port from your tribe goes a long way. Ski­ing with women picked me up and gave me the con­fi­dence to be­lieve in my own strength and ex­pe­ri­ence, send­ing me on my way down that line with tools I al­ready owned. It felt dif­fer­ent than ski­ing with the guys—all I’d ever known up un­til that point. Less pres­sure to fit in, more safe space where fail­ure didn’t make you cringe with em­bar­rass­ment. I’ve since spent ev­ery win­ter chas­ing the dragon—latch­ing on to badass women for a few laps wher­ever I got the chance. Aside from giv­ing the boys a run for their money on the moun­tain, the women I’ve met are pas­sion­ate in their re­spec­tive ca­reers and own the im­por­tance of their lead­er­ship roles. This time around, they’re giv­ing the Old Boys Club an ac­tual run for their money. The prod­ucts, busi­nesses, and tal­ents of women-led en­deav­ors in the ski in­dus­try are find­ing their stride. As in­spir­ing as it is to watch a woman slay big-moun­tain lines in Alaska, it’s in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing to see her suc­ceed else­where in the ski in­dus­try. The amaz­ing women pro­filed on the fol­low­ing pages are re-in­vent­ing the ski in­dus­try. There’s much to be learned from them, on the slopes and in the board­room, from mas­ter­ing a 360 grab to re­struc­tur­ing a com­pany. Go forth and be in­spired.

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