SkiMums of SnowBird

SkiMums of SnowBird

SkiMums of SnowBird

We’d like to share with all you rad Moms and readers out there a feature about a group of inspiring Moms (and other women, too) who decided that at least one day a week, they needed to give themselves something and in doing so, they have changed their lives for the better.

Meet the SkiMums (like, SkiBums)! Founded in 2011, the SkiMums are a meet up group that gather every Wednesday morning (January – March) at SnowBird Ski Resort in Salt Lake City, Utah to ski together. The group is made up of all different types of women (sometimes spouses and partners come too) who are intermediate and advanced skiers. Ski moms Kathy, Denice, Julie and Paula found that sometimes it’s nice to take a break from the kids, from the job, from life, to just ski and have a great time with other women. So they set aside one day a week to do so, and thus SkiMums was born.

We talked with one of the founding members of SkiMums to find out more about this fun, great, group of women.

WinterWomen: Who are your founding mums and how/when/why did you decide to found this group?

SkiMums: When Paula Colman moved to Salt Lake City from Houston in 2011, she could barely “pizza” down a cat track much less ski the steeps, but some kind and patient women started taking her to the various local resorts, where she gained more skill and confidence and a bond with these amazing ladies. Kathy, Denice, Julie and Paula would drop the kids and hit the lifts discovering that if they set aside a certain day to ski, everything else (work, volunteering, laundry) seemed to work around it.  Like Pied Pipers, others began to follow them on the mountain.  On a lark, Paula called Snowbird Ski Resort telling a curious communications manager, “I have this group of women who ski Snowbird every week.  Can we have free hot chocolate?” SkiMums was born. They didn’t get the hot chocolate; instead, Snowbird sent its top female ski (and now snowboard) instructors to give SkiMums four FREE group lessons each season so other women could reach the summit and soar down with others encouraging, cheering and laughing all the way.

 

WinterWomen: Approximately how many women do you have involved in SkiMums currently? Tell us a little bit about the makeup of your group. Who are the SkiMums?

SkiMums: SkiMums is a simple meetup of intermediate-to-advanced women skiers and snowboarders at Snowbird.  It’s not a group or organization; there are no employees, dues or requirements (many don’t have kids). SkiMums posts photos on Instagram (@skisnowbird) to encourage others (and show our families how cool we are) and, if you provide your email address, then it’s added to a private group share site (because the group texting was getting unmanageable) for messages.  There are presently over 150 mostly local women on the list, but other women (and the occasional spouse) just show up on any given Wednesday to ski. Because women like to share great stuff, word of mouth alone has made SkiMums self-sustaining.

 

WinterWomen: We see the phrase, “Mountain Therapy” on your website in a few different places, can you unpack that for us?

SkiMums: “Mountain Therapy” is mentioned frequently by SkiMums and others here in Utah.  Maybe it’s the lack of oxygen at Hidden Peak (11K above sea level) or endorphins while sailing (or pummeling) through powder or just driving 20 minutes up the canyon to Snowbird leaving everything behind for a few hours…but something happens to SkiMums most Wednesdays whereby, the ride home makes you want to turn up the volume, open the sunroof and conquer the world or the school carpool line. All the research on the health benefits of the outdoors, exercise and community—that’s SkiMums.

 

WinterWomen: How have you seen being involved in SkiMums impact your life on and off the slopes?

SkiMums: Paula will freely admit that SkiMums has changed her life in ways she couldn’t imagine. Calling herself a recovering attorney and practicing parent, SkiMums has taught her how to become better at both and, more importantly, how to give herself permission (women tend to give to others first) to take time to discover new passions like skiing, mountain biking, wine pairing and writing.  Doing so, has allowed her to challenge and develop herself mentally, creatively and physically (she’s in better shape at 50 than 15) and has introduced her to lifelong friends on and off the slopes.

 

WinterWomen: Does SkiMums host any meet ups off the slopes? Has the group’s reach expanded to any other activities or events?

SkiMums: SkiMums meets on Wednesdays from January through March, but if there’s powder at Snowbird in May…! Because these women tend to be pretty active and have the Wasatch Mountains in their backyard, many will reach out to others to hike or mountain bike.  Snowbird has invited SkiMums to ride the tram and mountain bike down the Big Mountain Trail on its opening day for several years, and its Mountain School started an all-women’s MTB clinic due largely to interest by SkiMums.

 

WinterWomen: What advice do you have for any moms reading right now who might be inspired to follow your lead in their own city?

SkiMums: Carve out a piece of time during the week consistently to do something active that you enjoy (or want to try), and let your friends, families and co-workers know about it.  Someone will be intrigued and tag along, then others… Family members will notice your joy and encourage you (TRUE STORY: husbands and boyfriends frequently start offering to buy SkiMums new skis, jackets and mountain bikes).

 

WinterWomen: Any other testimonials you’d like to share from other mums?

SkiMums: Most SkiMums say that skiing with other women is SO DIFFERENT (read: better) than skiing with their spouses, significant others or kids.  SkiMums laugh…a lot.  They also support each other…a lot.  When skiing down a steep black diamond run the first time, it’s not uncommon to look at another’s line and say, “I’ll go that way, too,” or “If she can do it,…” If she tumbles, SkiMums don’t lecture one another on how to do it better; they pick up her poles and tell her, “I think it’s time for lunch!”

 

WinterWomen: For fun, what are some of your worst mothers’ day experiences/gifts?

SkiMums: Paula is sure there are some, but she can’t think of them offhand.  They probably involved laundry.

WinterWomen: Best mothers’ day experiences/gifts?

SkiMums: Hiking with the family on a sunny Sunday here in the Wasatch followed by lunch in Park City.

Thank you to Paula and the SkiMums for sharing their awesome story with us, it is always encouraging and inspiring to see women coming together and sharing in something that they love, especially something as fun and healthy as skiing. We love to hear about amazing sisterhoods on the slopes!

 


Close to SnowBird?  SkiMums meet Wednesday morning at 9:30am (from January-March) at the bottom of the Gadzoom lift.

 Just want to learn more? Follow SkiMums on Twitter @snowbirdskimums and on Instagram @skisnowbird and be sure to check out their website at https://skimums.com.

 

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