GALS GET OUT

CALL­ING ALL WOMEN. BACK­COUN­TRY SKI­ING IS DEF­I­NITELY FOR YOU TOO.

Skiing - - Cheat Sheet - By Heather Hans­man

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.

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