Touring the West to infiltrate the girl scene in Jackson, Big Sky, and Revelstoke. A preview of the feature in the December issue.
I called Lindsay Rider a week ago to let her in on my plans to tour the West and tap into the ski girl revival that is taking over ski towns. “You should come,” I said. Rider hung up the phone, covered her shifts at the restaurant where she worked in Salt Lake City, rallied two more—Katrina DeVore and Vanessa Aadland—and hit the road to Jackson. Others would meet up with us along the way.
For a long time, ski bumming was thought to be a man’s world. But with more and more women making a place for themselves in ski towns, that outdated notion is changing. I wanted to see this shift for myself. So I gathered a crew and hit the road for two weeks to Jackson, Big Sky, and Revelstoke to find the most ripping lady skiers you’ve never heard of.
I followed Prudence Daniels down a line she’d skied so many times she had every bump and turn memorized by heart. Rendezvous Bowl to the Hobacks—4,000 vertical feet of the best resort skiing in the country, day in and day out—that’s her lap. “You know, powder is nice, but vertical is better,” she said. “If you find skiing you love, you ski it.”
Monica Thomas grew up in a place called Wisdom, Montana, population 98, not really close to anything. She spends her summers fighting wildfires—a hotshot for seven years, and last summer, the forewoman for an initial attack crew—so she can ski every day in the winter. It works the other way, too. She skis all winter to save herself from the hot, arduous summers of hard work.
At the top of the hike, we clicked in to our skis and dropped onto a narrow ridge that divided two big bowls and served up our choice of mini golf lines. One by one, the girls skied a one-turn wonder in the last remaining powder stash in the resort, swooping into the bowl and cheering the next girl on.