I have owned skis for a few seasons now but with only a handful of days spent inbounds at resorts and an equal amount trying to backcountry ski, I have to admit that there has been more frustration with the sport than there has been love for it. So the decision to sign up for a ski camp was easy, but which one would I choose?
A few months ago I discovered the 2 day Arc’teryx Women’s Ski Camp being held at Whistler Blackcomb. I will confess though that the thought of participating in an all women’s camp wasn’t appealing to me and all women events are typically something I try to avoid for fear that they may be too “pink”. Would the atmosphere be overly girly – an estrogen charged atmosphere of emotion and snack breaks filled with chocolate and group hugs?
But they did advertise that you would leave with “more confidence guaranteed”. I had nothing to lose, so I signed up.
The weeks went by and when the camp weekend finally rolled in I was excited to see what it offered. I arrived at the meetup point, Merlin’s at the base of Blackcomb which would also serve as our Après ski location, and found the room packed. I was amazed at how many women showed up, clearly not everyone is as apprehensive as I am about all women’s environments.
That first morning we were given the opportunity to meet each other, provided with coffee, tea and a healthy breakfast spread that included yogurt, granola, seeds & berries (a very nice touch) and we separated into groups based on our self-designated ability levels. Despite the large turnout, each group maxed out with a 6 to 1 ratio of clients to guides and some even as low as 2 to 1.
Our first day was spent on Blackcomb mountain and our group coach, Connie Baker, immediately sent us down a slope to assess our abilities. Right away Connie was able to critique my technique and provide me with advice and tips on how to improve. Within a few hours, I was already starting to feel more confident and feeling a vast improvement from all of my other previous days on the hill. Connie was there watching each of us individually as we skied each run and provided feedback. I was so impressed with how much individual instruction we received. We spent hours sessioning specific moves until they felt natural. Connie was patient, funny and very dedicated in her teaching and by the end of the second day on Whistler mountain our group of 5 women were all skiing more confidently. Not only did we have better technique but we left with a knowledge of how to keep improving.
- Healthy breakfast option on the first day
- Après at Merlins each evening (included nachos, wine and beer on Saturday and artichoke dip,Bailey’s and hot chocolate on Sunday)
- Plenty of one on one instructions due to the the small group sizes
- Very knowledgeable and personable ski coach
- Post-camp email from our ski coach with details on techniques and how to keep improving
- Excellent price
- Awesome group of women
- Free Arc’teryx T-Shirt and water bottle
My experience with the Arc’teryx Women’s Ski Camp was so positive that I am trying to free up another weekend in the coming months to avail of another camp this season.
As women we are naturally supportive of others and excel in situations where we can share how we feel without pressure or judgement. Being part of this camp helped me to see how invaluable it can be to learn from each other in this type of group atmosphere. The all women’s atmosphere was encouraging, supportive and at the end of the day a whole lot of fun!
If like me you are wary of joining Women’s Only groups, I highly recommend this camp. Not only will it help you take your skiing to the next level but in trying something that takes you a little bit outside your comfort zone, you may learn a little bit about yourself.
For more info on the camp go here: Arc’teryx Women’s Ski Camp