Even if you already ski / ride well. Especially then.
My girlfriends in California who are amazing skiers had booked a condo at Kirkwood for a weekend to attend an advanced Ladies Ski Clinic with Expedition Kirkwood. I really wanted to go ride a new mountain and there was space in the condo, so how could I say no to a ski-in ski-out gourmet weekend with these two?!
Little did I know they wouldn’t have it any other way but MAKE me do the advanced Ladies Clinic too. I’m “average on a good day” so you can only imagine how hesitant I was to sign up for a clinic and be pushed, challenged, and compared to other women. The girls resorted to extreme measures and said: #NoClinicNoCoffee ☕ Considering they had brought 3 different European espresso makers and fresh ground organic beans from San Francisco, for damn sure I wasn’t having American drip coffee. I have my priorities right after all! #butfirstcoffee
So that morning I stepped in the office of Expedition Kirkwood shaking and insecure of how the day would unfold. The full-day Advanced Ladies Clinic offers the opportunity to:
- Gain confidence in a controlled environment with superb instruction surrounded by other active and supportive women
- Hear what tiny tweaks can help you improve your performance or clean your style
- Learn skills and tricks specific to the female body
- Ski / ride with other women
You think I’m SO brave for doing all these activities and going on adventures.
Well NOT at all.
- First of all, I don’t like to be pushed or challenged or “drilled”. I’d rather hide in a corner and not learn anything than be humiliated about how clumsy I am 😦
- Moreover, I don’t fare well around overly gregarious and bubbly female energy. (I’m weird I know 🙂 I learn best with a private male guide just exploring the mountains. In 4 hrs with the right male instructor I can learn more than in a week with a female one. (Ask my Mammoth and Jackson Hole guides 🙂
I was introduced to the teacher (wonderful, patient, kind, and bad ass G-Rae) and I was ensured the clinic would be at my level and I wasn’t going to be “overterrained”. G-Rae explained that “Group Lessons” only take you to a light blue slope, so if you’d like instruction beyond that or to progress to dark blue or even black then your options are “Private Lessons” or “Advanced Clinics”. Therefore, she wouldn’t consider my “average on a good day” skill level as beginner but more as a “dark blue” upper intermediate rider 😉😉😉 Luckily there was only one other lady at the same level, so we ended up having semi private instruction and choosing appropriate terrain was easy. The instructor truly listened to my hesitations and worked around my needs.
When she asked what my goals were I responded: “To have as much fun as possible while free riding and exploring the mountain.” She still wanted to know what I wished to learn and was “slightly” surprised when I answered: “Absolutely nothing.” That’s HOW afraid I am of being pushed. If something comes natural during the day and I can retain the knowledge without being challenged, frightened, overterrained or drilled, then fine.
G Rae didn’t push me AT ALL but she also instructed and challenged the other lady PLENTY. She checked in with me after every run to see how I felt about the terrain and if I had any questions. When she saw the fear (and tears 😢) in my eyes on a cornice she made sure we never hit such challenging features again. You really get what you ask for out of the ladies clinic. And I would wholeheartedly recommend Expedition Kirkwood and especially my gal G-Rae.
So after riding with a smile on my face 90% of the day, I earned my delicious European coffee for the rest of the weekend (my girlfriends may have slipped some fresh french butcher’s bacon into my breakfast too for extra reinforcement 🙂