Among some women, the "ladies' getaway" weekend or program has become an annual tradition.
Small or extended groups of women, girls, mothers, daughters, or friends organize a get-together unaccompanied by (one might even say unburdened by) or exclusive of men, boys, brothers, and fathers. The motivation and/or common denominator is about connecting.
A girls' program might include recreating or relaxing together, enjoying good food and good wine, and a host of other activities that provide the backdrop for engagement and lasting memories. XCSkiResorts.com found programs that range from once-a-week group outings to week-long all inclusive packages.
The Lapland Ladies Love to Ski is an instructional cross country ski program that runs three times each winter and has been ongoing for about 10 years. It is designed for women and taught by women at Lapland Lake XC Ski & Vacation Center in Northville, N.Y. Female participants, who are beginner or intermediate level skiers, register for the program for a one-time activity or for all 3 outings.
They are grouped to learn and practice ski techniques and they all have lunch together followed by a presentation about XC ski equipment, clothing, and other topics. The group is self-divided into smaller groups after lunch for a social ski tour on the trails and then back in the lodge for a hot beverage and a chocolate goodie at the end of the day. The $40 price includes the trail pass, lunch, and discount coupons to use in the ski shop.
Lutsen Resort on Lake Superior in Lutsen, Minn. has the "Girlfriend Getaway Package" for anytime of year including a bottle of champagne, breakfast, dinner, spa treatment, complimentary guided tour and XC ski or snowshoe gear (or hiking, biking sea kayaking in the warmer months) and visits to galleries and shopping in nearby Grand Marais.
Maplelag Resort in Callaway, Minn. has the "Women's Wellness Retreat," including getting outdoors for XC skiing and snowshoeing, healthy meals, and massage. A number of women's getaways at Maplelag are organized by guests, who have visited the resort with their families and then return another time with other women to enjoy a variety of activities such as quilting, knitting, book discussions, board games, and more. The family style meals at Maplelag make it easy for the groups to engage and there's the added bonus that none of the ladies have to cook.
Sun Mountain Lodge in Winthrop, Wash. has the "Women’s Ski & Yoga Retreat" on Feb 28 – Mar 2 with yoga, meals, XC ski sessions, and relaxation.
Vista Verde Ranch in Steamboat, Colo. has all-inclusive programs called the "Share & Save" offer (starts at $335 per night with a 3-night minimum) during certain times in the season. There are three meals a day, XC ski instruction, guided backcountry ski tours, equipment to use, cooking classes, wine tasting, sleigh rides, horseback riding, photography workshops, and evening entertainment. The package includes transportation from the local airport to the resort and there are many extras offered to extend the memories such as dogsledding, alpine skiing, massage, and premium wines at an additional price.
Larger participatory programs include the "Inga Lama Women's Weekend" held at Minocqua Winter Park in Minocqua, Wis. Date is Jan. 11 for a winter evening of moonlight skiing with wine and snacks back at the Chalet. There’s a ski or snowshoe tour the following morning with breakfast at the Tea House, followed by more socializing and fun.
Steamboat Ski Touring Center holds the "Colorado Ski for Women" program Jan. 26. The Catamount Trail Association runs the "Ladies Nordic Ski Expo" at Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vt. Jan. 11. The "New England Women's XC Ski Day" is scheduled at Bethel Inn Resort in Bethel, Maine Feb. 9 with gear demo, lunch, prizes, and wrap up party.
One multi-year women's weekend participant jokingly cited "verbal profuseness" as the prime characteristic of her getaway experience with female friends. Such getaways may have a distinct purpose such as high performance fitness exercise or healthy wellness activities or they could incorporate different themes, but it is the composition of the group, which determines the vibe and memories for the weekend.
Check the XCSkiResorts.com Women’s Event Page for a comprehensive list of this winter’s women’s programs.
Photo: NENSA 2012 Womens XC Ski Day (New England Nordic Ski Association)