Portillo, Chile: "The Shared Experience"
Part 1: Leslie Baker-Brown
Blizzard Tecnica US Marketing Manager
I am very excited to be introducing the Blizzard Tecnica Women to Women project. This project started over a year ago with a major commitment from our companies to truly understand what is different about women’s anatomy as it relates to the design of ski equipment, as well as to develop a communication platform that resonates and engages the community of female skiers.
Globally, we’ve held workshops, tested product, put out surveys, and performed scientific on-snow testing to find out what is necessary for women in their equipment to have the best possible on-snow experience. We then challenged our product team to design skis and boots that address these needs.
We also took a trip with 4 of our female athletes to Portillo, Chile this past August in an ongoing effort to gain insights into how they, as accomplished skiers, see the female community of skiers and how we can speak to this community authentically and effectively. After much talking on the lifts, at the top of the run, at meals and at the bar, we came to a few conclusions that really resonated with all of us.
It is more about mindsets, passions and behavior than it is about gender or age.
We want to be seen as “skiers and athletes” not “female skiers and female athletes”.
We thrive on challenging ourselves and learning from each other. These women are at the top of their game and yet are still learning and looking for new ways to experience the snow and mountains.
We love sharing our experiences and knowledge with others – inciting them to challenge themselves to progress their skiing and learn more everyday. “The Shared Experience” resonated with all of us.
This is just the beginning of producing products for and creating a community of female skiers who believe in and are proud to be associated with the Blizzard and Tecnica brands.
We invite you to join us on this journey.
Part 2: Jaclyn Paaso
Freeride World Tour Competitor
When I sit down and think about why it’s important for me to have more women in the sport, my reasoning may be different than the majority. Growing up I didn’t worry if there were other girls out on the mountain. I loved the sport and nothing was going to stop me from skiing. As I’ve gotten older I realize the importance of introducing this sport to other women and especially young girls. I love skiing and to be able to share something I love with other women and motivate them to get out and experience why it’s so great is huge!
PSIA National Alpine Team
The mountains give us endless freedom and opportunity. Since I can remember I have been sliding on skis through the mountains. For me skiing is a great escape from the craziness of the world, and the mountains the vessel I climb into. Exploring, climbing, seeking and skiing, teach us about not only ourselves, but about life and how to navigate a world filled with distractions.
Publisher at SkiRacing.com
My mind is clearest when I am on the mountain. There’s so much craziness and noise in life today, it’s often hard to get away from it. As soon as I step into my bindings it’s almost as if life resets. I can unplug and escape from it all.
Skiing is one of the few experiences that brings me to the present moment and allows me to fully embrace and enjoy my surroundings. There’s no better feeling than to stand on the top of a slope, look out, breathe the fresh cold air, enjoy the view and just be thankful for the opportunity to even be there.
When I’m skiing, I have complete control over my mind and body. I’m in charge - dictating my turn shape and choosing my line as I navigate whatever the mountain presents. I’m transferring my body’s energy into simple movements that are second nature to me. There’s nothing else clouding my brain. There’s clarity. This clarity allows me to reboot my system and I’m ready to go and tackle life again. I find my life most balanced and fulfilling when I make the time to slow things down and enjoy one of life’s greatest pleasures - skiing!
The trip to Portillo with the Women to Women group was the perfect “reboot” for me. I left so inspired and humbled by this group and it’s goals. We’re focused on making better products specifically for women and sharing our experiences that we hope will encourage women to get out and enjoy this sport that brings us so much in our lives.
Austrian Certified Ski Guide / Professional
Winter: Imagine….the little, individual snow crystals are able to cover our mountains in a huge white dress. Everything calms down and shows us the beauty of it in the simplest way. Coldness. Quietness. Brightness. All the negative things seem to disappear. All this reduces me down to the moment, while I’m playing in that special time of the year. Every moment feels unique. I´m focused and at the same time overwhelmed and enjoying. This special feeling is stunning. It makes me addicted to it. That´s the reason why I’m in love with winter and why I found my passion in skiing.
Please visit our gallery for more on our trip to Portillo, Chile.
Photos by Frank Shine.