Winter Women: Ladies’ Outdoor Programs

As more and more female instructors assume leading roles in Colorado’s backcountry, by-women-for-women ski clinics, camps and retreats are also on the rise. These programs not only help ladies conquer big challenges, they often come with fun extras like yoga, wellness speakers and après soirees. 

By: Staff Writer
Updated: April 24, 2024

Whether you’re just starting out or an experienced outdoorswoman looking to beef up your skills, here’s how you can gain some serious girl power on your next visit.

Telluride Women’s Ski & Wellness Week

America’s longest-running women’s-only ski retreat has united female skiers and instructors in Telluride since 1981 via Telluride Women’s Week. These days it’s not just one week, but two sessions held throughout the season, featuring expert instruction for all skill levels and talks on subjects ranging from body biomechanics to gear.

IRIS Alpine

Formerly Chicks Climbing & Skiing, this Ouray-based group has rebranded to IRIS Alpine, an acronym for Inclusive Rock Ice Ski. Staffed by International Federation of Mountain Guides Association- and American Mountain Guides Association-certified instructors, IRIS embraces the empowerment of women, nonbinary and trans outdoors lovers. Their ice-climbing program guides you through some of the most challenging frozen pitches in the country, including routes in famed Ouray Ice Park. If skiing is more your thing, book a backcountry clinic to shred some prime off-piste powder stashes.

Aspen Expeditions Backcountry Hut Trips

Confidence is a necessary asset in our rugged backcountry, and gals will gain more of it under the tutelage of Aspen Expeditions’ seasoned female guides. Learn the ropes with an intro course or dive headfirst into a multi-day hut trip within northwest Colorado’s hut systems, where you and your fellow female adventurers will work together through challenging terrain by day and share stories, laughs and maybe a bottle of wine or two at night.

Sisters in the Steeps

If it’s resort frills and blue-square trails you’re after, stay far, far away from Silverton Mountain in southwest Colorado, where North America’s steepest and highest ski area (13,487 feet to be exact) even puts experts to the test. But for experienced skiers looking for new boundaries to smash, there’s the Sisters in the Steeps Women's Big Mountain Camp, a weekend of advanced heli-skiing, hair-raising terrain and hard-earned après parties — all in the company of other bad@$# ladies.

Ladies-First Ski Programs

On most weekdays, you can find a Colorado ski resort that offers women’s-only instruction for every skill level. Monarch Mountain near Salida offers Women’s Adventures clinics and Snowmass has Women's Ski Adventures With Kim.

Ready to get your ski on with like-minded peeps? Check individual resort websites for dates, availability and packages.

Want More?

Learn about awesome adaptive sports in Colorado

Find out more about learning to ski and snowboard in Colorado

Learn how to steer clear of winter backcountry danger