Skiing with the girls should avoid the easy clichés of wine, shopping and spa treatments. We’re talking femme-specific ski clinics to help you outrace the braggarts and get more out of the mountain each season, and events that will make a one-off weeklong-escape become an annual outing.
That being said, the top picks we love deliver both the extreme tutelage you need and the luxe pampering you want. Plan accordingly.
Squaw Valley Ski Resort | Olympic Valley, Calif.
Squaw Valley is serious about its women’s ski clinics. Every Wednesday, there’s a drop-in WOW session from 9:30 am to noon – a bargain at $49 (lift ticket not included, though you do get priority lift access). WOW stands for “Women of Winter,” and the programs are taught by some of the resort’s top female pro skiers.
You’ll get individualized instruction that breaks out into Expert Bumps and Steeps, Intermediate and Advanced Skier Sessions, plus the chance to explore the more than 6,000 rugged acres that make up Squaw. And if mid-week doesn’t work – or if you want more of the same – enroll in the sister program at neighboring Alpine Meadows, which offers a similar program on Sundays.
Either way, the half-day experience will help you get grounded before you ply your own favorite runs throughout the rest of your stay. After skiing, take the 2,000 vertical-foot gondola ride to High Camp to hit the spa and pool, which opens each April. In the village, sign up for your preferred treatments at the Trilogy Spa, stretch out your aching quads at Wanderlust Yoga Studio or try some fine California wines at the Uncorked Wine Bar.
Ski Santa Fe | Santa Fe
Women who want to become better snowboarders should head to Ski Santa Fe’s Burton Women’s Snowboard Camp, held each February. All ability levels are welcome, whether you want to learn to tree ski, attack black diamonds, hit the park or simply work on turning technique.
Sessions start at 9:00 am and stretch over two days, including special instructions from serious riders as well as free access to demo boards. Then the attendees break out into small groups and hit the slopes, with instructors alternating periodically to widen perspectives.
There’s an optional meet-up downtown after the last day, but chances are that après plans will get hatched on the lift regardless. Your visit will also take full advantage of this iconic New Mexico town, which boasts a postcard-perfect central plaza lined with haute cafes, day spas and a seemingly endless collection of specialty shops that sell everything from high-end art to handmade jewelry, furniture and fashion.