International Women’s Ski & Snowboard Day

A group shot from a previous International Women’s Ski & Snowboard Day. (Photo courtesy of Bootdoctors)

Women and girls of all ages will gather on Saturday to celebrate skiing, snowboarding and the power of female camaraderie by having fun on and off resort mountains around the globe. Telluride is no exception. Bootdoctors, Telluride Ski Resort, K2 & SheJumps — a nonprofit with a mission is to increase the participation of women and girls in outdoor activities — are hosting the sixth annual International Women’s Ski & Snowboard Day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Six years ago, local Kelli Gleason, who has worked at Bootdoctors for 12 years, was invited by K2 to attend the first International Women’s Ski Day in Beaver Creek.

“As an ambassador there, I thought it would be a great idea to bring this event to Telluride,” Gleason said. So she did.

Traditionally, organizers scheduled the event for the second Saturday in December. This year, SheJumps changed the date to January in order to optimize snow conditions and to avoid busy holiday weeks. The new January date also sets up nicely ahead of Telski’s first Women’s Ski & Ride camp of the season, which is Jan. 18-20.  

Kelli’s mother, Penelope Gleason, marketing and PR director for Bootdoctors, said that the goal of the event is to get “friends, sisters, moms and daughters out on the snow and make new ski and snowboard buddies.”

Kelli reported that last year there were about 90 people. She anticipates that more than 100 women will sign up this year.  

“There are a lot of people who come from Ridgway and Montrose and Dolores who want to take advantage of the lift ticket specials. And there are also new people to town who want to meet other folks and gather their own ski posses,” Kelli explained.

Like her daughter, Penelope has attended the event every year.

“I wouldn’t miss it,” Penelope said. “This is the day I get to ski with lots of new and old friends. I especially love to see women and girls of different generations mingling and enjoying the shared experience of being outdoors and gliding over the snow.”

Registration is open from 8-9 a.m. Saturday morning at Bootdoctors in Mountain Village. The $20 registration fee covers breakfast — yogurt, croissants, fruit, coffee and tea — as well as ski or snowboard demos all day, apres food, beverage specials and entry into a raffle.

“When people come to register, we have the $75 ticket vouchers that they can turn into Telski to get the discounted ticket rate,” Kelli explained. Attendees without a season pass can purchase single day tickets at the discounted price of $75 (regularly $139) for use on Saturday and Sunday.

A favorite tradition of the day is Penelope’s deep stash of costumes available to participants.

“Those who know me know that my costume closet is bigger than my regular closet,” Penelope said. “I will be bringing out my usual giant suitcase full of tutus, furry rainbow leg warmers, sparkly fabric to make flowing streamers and flowery headbands to decorate helmets.

“Keep your eye out for unicorns,” she added. “They bring good luck.”

After a 9:30 a.m. group photo at the base of Chair 4, the wave of women will proceed to explore the mountain.

At 11 a.m., a ski touring group will meet to explore uphill touring (conditions dependent), a new addition to the itinerary this year.

At 2:30 p.m., the crew is scheduled to meet at Gorrono Ranch to enjoy a Chairlift Warmer, the in-house peppermint schnapps from Telluride Distillery, ahead of the day’s final run at 3 p.m., when the entire group will ski down the Misty Maiden headwall together.  

The day will wrap with an apres party and prize drawing from 3-4 p.m. at Tomboy Tavern in Mountain Village. The raffle drawing includes chances to win K2 skis, Arcteryx clothing, Smith eyewear, Hestra gloves, free custom footbeds, free tunes, women-specific winter clothing and gear, and a massage at The Peaks Resort & Spa.

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