Why you should take a woman-specific camp this winter

Women skiers at Breckenridge

What do you get when you gather a group of women in one of the most beautiful ski resorts on earth, pair them with an expert (woman) instructor, and let them loose for three days?

A lot of laughter, many, many words of encouragement, and measurable improvement as each woman hones her technique and builds her confidence.

Welcome to the Mountain Women’s Camp at Breckenridge, a three-day intensive specialty lesson offered in January and February. Created for women by women, these camps can take skiers and riders to the next level in a supportive, entertaining environment.

“When a group of men go out to ski together with ‘the boys,’ it can tend to feel competitive,’” says Mike Hafer, general manager of the Breckenridge Ski and Ride School. “When you get a group of women, and there’s a lot of encouragement. They’re pushing each other and improving, but with camaraderie.”

This year, Breck is offering two three-day women-specific camps Jan. 23-25 and Feb. 20-22 for all levels for $699. The cost includes three days of instruction, discounted lift tickets, video analysis and a whole lot more.

Who should do these camps?

Anyone. The mom who planned the entire family vacation and wants to secure some quality “me” time. The young woman who wants to step up her skill and doesn’t want to learn from her boyfriend. The lady who wants a tune up. The group of friends looking for a unique long weekend away. If you’re female and eager to improve in a positive environment, this is the camp for you.

Why should you consider a woman-specific camp?

WomensCampBreckBecause the women who teach these camps are among Breckenridge’s best instructors and, as women, are intimately familiar with the biomechanics of the female body. They can translate instruction into terms women understand, and the effects are immediate. Women who struggled to carve a turn or descend a powder-choked slope can significantly improve with the right tutorials.

“When women teach women, you have a very authentic experience,” says Hafer.

Sure, there are plenty of successful examples of women teaching men and vice versa. But these camps are not simply a day lesson to practice a specific technique. Instead they’re an intensive immersion— three consistent days of instruction, lunching together, and reviewing the days’ lesson when the lifts shut down.

Speaking from experience, I can say that women-specific camps rock.

Last year I joined a group of women for steeps immersion and had one of the best ski weekends of my life. A little background: prior to the camp, I feared a women-specific intensive might be a little too “you go girl!” for my taste. I’m all about empowerment, but I am leery of cathartic, Oprah-like experiences with a group of women I hardly know.

Turns out I had nothing to fear. The women in my group were like-minded (athletic, ambitious, serious about skiing but hilarious about everything else), and our instructor tapped into that energy to give us helpful, customized tips that visibly increased the confidence of every one of us. My skills skyrocketed, and I left the camp a better skier than I started. Plus, I made friends I keep in touch with (and with whom I’ve already planned a few ski dates this year).

That’s exactly what women can expect at the Breck Mountain Women’s Camp, says Hafer.

“The feedback we consistently get from the women who take these camps is, ‘you get where I’m coming from,’” he says. “The participants are being helped to a new level of skill, and making wonderful connections—with the other students and their instructors.”

– Rachel Walker

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