GALS GET OUT
CALLING ALL WOMEN. BACKCOUNTRY SKIING IS DEFINITELY FOR YOU TOO.
The first time I ever went backcountry skiing was with my father, who is a man. We popped into our cable telemark bindings and
started skinning up Mount Washington’s Sherburne Trail. By the time we topped out, I was sweaty, mad, and ready to swear off ski touring. My gear was unwieldy, I’d started out too fast, and I was freaked out. And hungry.
Luckily, things have changed. It’s 2014, and we’re all liberated women here—even the dudes. I’m not going to tell you the backcountry is the kind of place girls go only with the help of their tougher and more skilled man friends. That’s not true. What is true is that, psychologically and physiologically, men and women ski differently. We move at different paces, metabolize at different speeds, and process and assess risk in different ways. Plus, we have different equipment for when we have to go to the bathroom. All of those qualities are at their most distilled in the backcountry. And since females make up a smaller portion of the backcountry community,* you’ll probably start out in gender-diverse groups. Here’s how to hang.
Shireen Marshal tiptoes a fine line high in the Swiss Alps.