The sun rises over Canyons

Where are all the women skiers? Canyons’ guide, Dana Edwards, asked this very question when her First Tracks ski groups were filling up with mostly men. And maybe I know why. 

It is pitch black and icy cold at 7 a.m. in Park City. Even in late March. I break every rule of eco-awareness by running my engine in Canyons parking lot to heat the car as I change into my frozen, stiff ski boots.

But the sting of the cold is bearable because I’m taking the morning off. With a slight pang of guilt, I am stealing a morning away from my job, my family, my friends and my endless to-do list to rip down perfectly-groomed ski runs at Canyons before it opens for the public. 

Like many working women, it’s rare for me to play. Add my scarcity of lady friend skiers and a slopeside romance with my snowy peaks each winter is lacking. Is this why Dana’s groups are missing “chicks on sticks” (coined by her snowmaking manager)?

Well, last week’s inaugural Ladies Only First Tracks is the exception. As the sun finally pops up to greet us, the 12 of us—all upper-intermediate to expert level skiers—are ushered up the mountain at high-speed in an orange bubble carriage, aptly named Orange Bubble Express.

Olympian and Canyons Resort Ambassador, Holly Flanders, introduces herself.

It takes a couple runs for my body—and my nerve—to warm up. My guilt subsides when my cheeks are zapped with mountain air and my ski edges zipper across the corduroy.

By our third run, I realize how lucky I am to shred with these fine ladies, including two two-time Olympians, Holly Flanders and Kaylin Richardson. 

Kaylin gets recognized from her Warren Miller films by her Astis Mittens 

Our First Tracks adventure finishes off with a hearty breakfast at their mid-mountain Red Pine Lodge. Coffee, bacon, oatmeal, eggs, fresh fruit and from-scratch biscuits replenish a skiers tummy for the next round of runs. 

Not a bad way to end my ski season. On my to-do list for next season? More ladies-only ski adventures.

From left to right: Kim Johnson (ABC 4), Val Rasmussen (Utah Bride and Groom/Salt Lake magazine), Wina Sturgeon (syndicated column on McClatchy Tribune), Kelley Epstein ( Resort Blog), Caitlin Martz (Canyons Resort PR), Holly Flanders (Olympian and Canyons Resort Ambassador), Amy Roberts (Park Record), Kaylin Richardson (Olympian and Canyons Resort Ambassador), Kristen Case (Park City Magazine), Jenny Wilden (Outdoor Sports Guide), and Nicole Bolduan (Canyons Resort PR). Taking the photo is Dana Edwards (Canyons Resort).