Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Women's Alpine Adventures, Okemo, VT

Each winter Heather returns to Okemo Mountain in Vermont to teach the Women's Alpine Adventure Clinics. This program has been a highlight of the year for many women for over 17 years. Started by Janet Spangler, then led by Jennifer Speck and now by Maria Tomaselli, this is one of the best women's programs in the country. There are five, three and two all day sessions held from

January to early March. Five or less women are in each group and receive all day ski/snow board lessons from the same instructor each day. The total number of students in each session varied from 24 to 56 this year so far. The program includes early morning stretches, breakfast, lunch, welcome cocktail party and for the five day programs, an awards dinner. At least once during each session the students are video taped and critiqued.
During the three or five day sessions there are clinics which allow women to try bumps, racing, alternative equipment, snow boarding or even cross country/snow shoeing. At the end of every session there is the thrill of having challenged yourself and having suceeded in reaching a new level of skiing/boarding. Women of all ages participate; sixteen is the minimum age and many of us were lucky to have known Muffy Prendegast who skied with us until she was 91. All our students move way outside their comfort zone and set new higher limits for its' boundaries - all in a supportive and fun environment. My students can't wait to call home after a session to let their family or friends know that they skied the bumps/black diamonds/double black diamond/glades, or did a 360 freestyle move or "got air". At the end of each sessions alumnae awards for years of attendance are given out; two, four, eight, twelve and this year, sixteen for Shirley Berkowitz!

No comments: