Telluride’s Women’s Week Celebrates Thirty-Five Years

My Ladies and Me

My Ladies and Me

I just finished teaching skiing to some great ladies during the January session of Telluride Women’s Week at Telluride Ski Resort. It was wonderful and since there are two more sessions this year (in February from the 7th to the 11th and the 26th to the 28th), I thought I’d let you in on some of the fun. Originally published in Masters of the Mountain 2015-2016, the new Telluride Ski & Snowboard School magazine, I’m posting my unedited version of my story below along with my own selection of Telluride Women’s Week photos from this year and years past.

Atop Prospect Bowl with My Ladies

Atop Prospect Bowl with My Ladies

Snowboard Instructor Lindsey Mesereau Photographed Atop Revelation Bowl by Her Lady

Snowboard Instructor Lindsey Mersereau Photographed Atop Revelation Bowl by Her Lady

Snowy Smiles

Snowy Smiles

Women, skiing, snowboarding, instruction, wine, apps, laughs, hot chocolate, girl talk, girl power, toasts, victories, sharing, learning, shopping, dining, fun. Of course all this and more occurs on a daily basis at Telluride Ski Resort, however, it happens tenfold during Women’s Week, ladies-only programs for skiers and riders interested in improving their skills within a supportive environment.

Founded by Annie Vareille-Savath, Telluride Women’s Week will be celebrating its thirty-fifth year this season with three sessions: one in January and two in February. “Whenever you immerse yourself with the same instructor and the same group of people for several days, you have the opportunity to get in depth knowledge followed up with consistent feedback and the support of the rest of the group,” says Annie, Telluride’s veteran ski instructor who is entering her forty-fourth season. “This really helps you to progress.”

Yay Girl Power

Yay Girl Power

Après Ski at Allred's: Always an Important Part of the Program

Après Ski at Allred’s: Always an Important Part of the Program

Two of My Gals

Two of My Gals

The first of its kind in Colorado, Telluride Women’s Week is a program of ski and snowboard instruction by female instructors with the added perks of a bouquet of special events such as après ski get-togethers, presentations on a variety of female subjects and welcoming and closing dinners and/or receptions. Some of the women have been coming back for years due to the bonds they’ve created with fellow participants, friends and instructors.

“We have such great leadership with the strength of our instructors,” says Fawnda Rogers, Women’s Week Program Coordinator for the past decade. “It takes a special instructor to teach and enjoy this program and we have many of them in Telluride,” she continues. “I think it’s magical–I just really believe in Women’s Week. It’s a program that enlightens and energizes women and gives them a nugget that may change the path they are on in their lives physically, emotionally and mentally.”

Annie (on the rt) Leading a Morning Warm Up Session

Annie (on the rt) Leading a Morning Warm Up Session

Annie emphasized a similar theme in saying, “When you see the light that goes on whether on the Magic Carpet or Spiral Stairs, it’s very exciting.”

Me with One of my Ladies a Few Years Ago

Me with One of my Ladies a Few Years Ago

The first Telluride Women’s Week kicked off with one participant thirty-five years ago, who Annie lovingly instructed over a few days. “We had as many as eighty ladies per session at one point,” says Cindy Smith, longtime ski instructor and Women’s Week Program Coordinator from 1983 to 1990. “It was hard accommodating so many at the après ski events,” Cindy added with a little chuckle.

Today, Fawnda talks enthusiastically about offering Women’s Week as a complete package, one that would include lodging and perhaps other amenities. As always though, locals, second home owners and ladies choosing their own accommodations are most welcome. Fawnda, a Telluride local, first experienced Women’s Week as a participant–with Annie as her instructor–before she envisioned becoming a Telluride ski instructor herself back in 2001.

So ladies take notice: If you have an interest in snowsports and enjoy all-female oriented learning and activities, consider Telluride Women’s Week at Telluride Ski Resort. It’s a fun program where love, support, wine and chocolate flow like skis on fresh-fallen snow on a brisk winter’s morning.

Women's Week Group Shot from a Few Years Back

Women’s Week Group Shot from a Few Years Back


You are such a great instructor! We had an absolute blast and learned lots! We will be back next year…


30 Jan 2016, 5:10pm
by Lisa Perfetti

I hate the snow and cold weather. Yet, I think I would have fun during Women’s Week.

1 Feb 2016, 7:50am
by Karen Rudolph

Nice article Maribeth! I can’t say enough good things about Women’s Week. This was my second year in a row and I will be back next year. All the instructors rock!


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