Calling all ‘girafficorns’ — It’s time to hit the slopes for International Women’s Ski & Snowboarding Day |

Calling all ‘girafficorns’ — It’s time to hit the slopes for International Women’s Ski & Snowboarding Day

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Whatever brand you ski or board on, whoever you ski with, wherever you ski – Saturday, the "Girafficorns" will unite.

Declared as International Women's Ski and Snowboard Day thanks to K2 Alliance and SheJumps, female skiers and riders from grandmas to tweens are called to hit the slopes, all in the name of global girl power, on Saturday, Jan. 20.

“IWSD is all about celebrating one of our favorite passions,” said Melissa Matz, SheJumps Rockies regional director. “Our goal is to encourage more women and children to get out and ski or ride, but having so many mountains and women participating, celebrating their love for the sport in many different ways, gives an opportunity for women to express themselves the way they love best.

“Maybe it’s giggling or belting out a song with buddies on the lift ride up or hanging out on the groomers for fun with no pressure to be down the mountain first, or perhaps it’s displaying athleticism by absolutely shredding whatever snow we lucked out with,” Matz continued. “It symbolizes an opportunity to find our finest selves and feel a part of a bigger community that is doing the same.”

Aiming to reverse the male-to-female ratio in ski towns all over the world, festivities will kick off at 7 p.m. Friday at Bud Werner Memorial Library with two female-driven backcountry ski and snowboard films premiering in Steamboat Springs.

"Full Moon," directed and produced by Leanne Pelosi, explores the past, present and future of women's snowboarding, and "Finding the Line" is a documentary produced by Australian free-skier sisters Anna and Natalie Segal.

"Winter can get long, and it can be hard to find ski partners with schedules that sync up,” Matz said. “Perhaps this weekend will create an opportunity for community members to support and mentor one another’s outdoor pursuits in a way that keeps them getting out there, crew or not.”

On Saturday morning, events include a Snow Flow hot yoga class and on-mountain events with an intermediate/advanced group hike and ride, a parent-and-daughter ski including a naturalist session with Yampatika and the U.S. Forest Service, and then a closing party at 10:30 a.m. at the Bashor Pavilion with music, photo booth, group photo, hot cocoa bar and lots of neon.

Costumes, including tutus, unicorns, giraffes and girafficorns, are strongly encouraged Saturday, said Laraine Martin, SheJumps ambassador for the Northwest Colorado region.

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Festivities will continue Sunday with Coalition Snow, a female-driven ski and snowboard company, and Steamboat-based Harvest Skis offering free demos from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Howelsen Hill's Free Ski Sunday.

Take a lesson, hike for pow, rip groomers or maybe learn something new — this weekend is about getting outside that zone of comfort.

"Do it," said Natalie Segal. "If you don’t feel comfortable skiing or climbing or hiking with a certain group — whether it is guys that go too fast, others who are stronger — go find people who resonate with you and will teach and push you in the direction you want to go."

Earlier this week, Explore Steamboat caught up with Segal to get her advice on getting into new outdoor pursuits, especially as a female. Read the Q&A here.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

International Women’s Ski Day schedule:

Friday, Jan. 19

  • IWSD Kickoff Party and Film Fest

7 p.m. | Bud Werner Memorial Library, Library Hall, 1289 Lincoln Ave. | Tickets $15 at the door, proceeds benefit SheJumps programs

Saturday, Jan. 20

  • Snow Flow hot yoga class

6:30 a.m. | Out Here Yoga Studio, 685 Marketplace Plaza

  • Women’s Intermediate/Advanced Group Hike and Ride

9 a.m. | Steamboat Ski Area, meet at Gondola Square by the Billy the Kidd statue; then head up to the gondola to Storm for a lap on Morningside hike-to terrain

10 a.m. | Group photo | Top of Morningside

  • Parent & Daughter Ski with a naturalist from Yampatika and U.S. Forest Service

10 a.m. | Steamboat Ski Area, meet at the gondola near the big map, then head down the Why Not scenic nature trail

  • Closing Party

11:30 a.m. | Steamboat Ski Area, Bashor Pavilion, near the Bashor lift, including music, photo booth, group photo, hot cocoa bar, neon and costumes encouraged

Sunday, Jan. 21

  • Coalition Snow and Harvest Skis Demo Day

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. | Howelsen Hill, free demos will be located at the Howelsen base area and free skiing