Ladies in a Ski Town: Warnings from a Veteran


Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

You’re a woman and you want to move to a ski town. Why not? Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where others come for fun and vacation? The scenery is breathtaking, opportunities for fresh tracks abound and the pickings are easy. For women, at least.

For a single woman in a ski town, it’s like a smorgasbord of men–all glistening with hope that you will pick them. Ski town guys have a saying for when their brief romances end: “you didn’t lose your girlfriend, you lost your turn.”

Herein lies the rub.

If you come to a ski town as a single woman, in order to smell the freedom on

Patrol gals know how to party

the wind, carve turns through pristine powder and perhaps sow a few oats, just remember that you probably won’t stay single for long. Not unless you work at it. Besides, you don’t want to be passed around so often that when you walk into a crowded après ski bar you can point to each guy and say, “slept with him, slept with him, slept with him.”

Unless of course you do, and in that case I can point you towards a gal who’s been spam-tweeting me naked photos of herself. It’s not lovely. Don’t be that girl.

Instead, you have to learn to be a little picky.

At the beginning of each ski season, I invariably have the same conversation at

photo by Chris Morin

the Snorting Elk with any number of similar guys. “So Kim,” Single Guy says over the foam of his beer. “Who’s the new ski patrol chic?”

“Oh,” I’ll say, scanning the ski patrol table in the corner. “Do you mean Anna/Leah/Sara/Shannon?” or whoever the newest female patroller happens to be.

Single Guy will waggle his eyebrows. “Yeah. So is she available.”

“Don’t you want to know about her first? Like how awesome she is?”

“She’s on the ski patrol, so obviously she can ski. Does she throw bombs?” He’ll ask, visibly starting to squirm.

“Of course.”

“Then I’m officially interested.”

I will stare at him and squinch my lower eyelids up a fraction towards my upper ones. “I’ll alert the media.”

He’ll smile. He might swagger. He might offer to buy me another beer. He’s buttering me up because he knows that veteran ski town women usually try to teach the newbies a thing or two about ski town life, before it’s too late. Single Guy will hope that by getting in good with me, I might pass on a good word to our newbie. And I might. I’ve been known to do this.

But more often than not, I pass on a warning to the new single ladies. Be picky. Choose wisely. Or don’t choose at all.

Ski town woman are usually looking for a ski partner in their male

Sorry Guys, these Ladies are taken

counterparts–someone who will challenge them, introduce them to other locals, teach them how to be first on the chair on a powder morning. Guys aren’t looking for that. They already have ski buddies to spend their days with. Instead, it’s the other 12 unoccupied hours they are hoping to fill when they court the new girl in town.

Instead ladies, look first to make friends with the veteran women. We’re a friendly, and for the most part, non-jealous lot. We wouldn’t care less if you did saunter in and steal away the most core dude in the valley. In fact, be our guest. You can have him.

Most of us have found the man of our dreams, and he’s happy to have us. But what we don’t have too much of is female friends. We’ll introduce you to the locals and show you a few of the more well-known stashes. We can show you a rope or two, before, sooner or later, you’ll settle on one of the dudes.

And that’s fine. That’s good. Go find yourself a guy. Just be a little picky, because as much as I like Single Guy #1-20, I’m not sure I’d want to marry him. If you know what I mean.

What do you think about romance on the slopes? Is it still possible? Any Single Guys out there want to throw their .02 in? We’re all ears.

15 responses »

  1. Too old to prospect for female follies as a ski bum in a ski town…and U R already taken. Now if you can clone yourself and land in Santa Cruz…Beach Town patrol would never be the same. Keep those blogs coming, and looking forward to making some turns with you this season.

  2. After 5 years in a ski resort, 3 of which were spent working at a ski school, I agree 100% with what you’re saying!!

  3. Great article Kim. I just was wondering which ski town you would move to if you were a single 40 year old GUY, expert skier, looking to meet the woman of his dreams and settle down. I am trying to decide between Aspen/Snowmass, Telluride, and Crested Butte in particular. Your comments, and anyone else’s would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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  5. Aspen is the only town I would consider. But it’s a circus there. Lots of drugs, trustifarians, and strange people in general. “It’s a nice place to visit. But I wouldn’t want to live there.” I’ve decided against moving to a ski town for all four seasons. But thanks!

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  7. Kim, while I really enjoy your voice, as a single female in a ski town, I am in fervent disagreement with this post. I pride myself in being a dynamic individual on and off the hill. Yet the only men I seem to meet in the glorious ski town I call home are seemingly not interested in well-rounded women. Perhaps if my hair was longer and blonder? (Sounds ridiculous, but looking around, I sure am starting to wonder.) See, what I keep finding is that men immersed in the ski life are still looking for women who uphold traditional gender roles. Please trust that I have been psycho-analyzing the f*ck out of the whole male-female dynamic in ski towns and it is hard for me to come to any other conclusions among a sea of people who are immersed in an industry that is still dominated by men.

    • Thanks for the comment Nomadic. I understand what you’re saying. Some mountain towns are a little harder to navigate. Every town is as different as the ski hill it supports. It bums me out that this industry is so male-dominated. Just last week, someone called me Sir–assuming, I suppose, that a ski patroller was naturally a guy. Sheesh. It’s 2015 here people.

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