Boot Tan Fest strips down barriers (and clothing) at Bluebird Backcountry this weekend
Women and femme folk will flock to Bluebird Backcountry ski area in Northwest Colorado this weekend to generate joy, celebrate each other, and take a naked ski lap in a safe, judgment-free environment.
When Jenny Verrochi conceived the festival, it was just a naked ski lap with 27 women after hours at Bluebird one winter day in 2021.
The next year, the official event was born and featured 250 participants as Verrochi rented out the entire resort to offer those who showed up a safe space to ski, board and be themselves.
“It was so much fun. I mean, life changing for myself and I think almost every woman there,” Verrochi said. “It just was an awesome feeling of collective joy.”
Celebrating its second birthday, the 2023 event will feature 400 women and femme folk supporting local artists, jamming to live music and spending a day on the slopes. The event costs $89, but sold out this year.
“It’s turning into something that has truly exceeded my expectations,” Verrochi said. “We’re excited to keep this tradition going once a year.”
The day will conclude with a clothing-optional ski lap, which symbolizes literally and figuratively stripping down barriers and systematic bull, according to the founder.
Verrochi wants to keep Boot Tan Fest affordable and accessible so everyone can access a fun, safe space to ski and board.
“Especially in the outdoor industry, it’s really male-dominated. It’s a sport of privilege,” Verrochi said. “This we’re trying to keep really accessible with lower costs, with free tickets to those who can’t afford it and reach out.”
The event relies on sponsors every year and Verrochi said she’s always hoping for more people to get involved.
Verrochi said the Boot Tan Fest feels at home at Bluebird, and the backcountry ski area’s co-founder Jeff Woodward said the festival is always welcome.
Boot Tan Fest’s values of getting more people into the backcountry and making the education and cost accessible aligns perfectly with Bluebird’s mission.
“We love ski culture. Skiing should be fun. Skiing should be playful. Skiing should be laughing with your friends, spending a good time with them,” Woodward said. “People do it for fun and we embrace everything about it and feel the resort experience has gotten a little too manicured and it’s stressful and there’s lines. Thematically we will embrace and support anything that drives ski culture and keeps skiing fun and keeps skiing a little goofy.”
Shelby Reardon is the assistant editor at the Steamboat Pilot & Today. To reach her, call 970-871-4253, email sreardon@SteamboatPilot.com or follow her on Twitter @ByShelbyReardon.
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