Words by Julie Brown  & Photos by Keith Carlsen 

Girl, Skier

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.

Lindsay Rider, Vanessa Aadland, and Katrina DeVore recover from a late night at the Cowboy Bar in Jackson.

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 But with more and more women making a place for themselves in ski towns, that outdated notion is changing.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. 

After downing a shot of whiskey at midnight, Alex Taran woke up for dawn patrol on Teton Pass to get some early turns before hitting the road again.
A pit stop on the road between Jackson and Big Sky.

Jackson Hole

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.”

Prudence Daniels lifts her wings and soars down a chute in the Jackson Hole backcountry.

Big Sky

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. 

Lynn Kinnison, a nurse, and Monica Thomas, a forewoman on a wildfire crew, take a break from their jobs at Big Sky, Montana.

Revelstoke

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. 

And it’s Ladies’ Night tonight, at the Revelstoke parking lot.

To read the full feature by Julie Brown, with photos by Keith Carlsen, pick up the December issue of POWDER (44.4).