The "For Women Only" name was first introduced for the 1994-95 season.
Prior to that it was called Women's Day which had evolved from the name "Ladies Day".
This program originally started as a ski program for the Bozeman Women Activity
Group known locally as BWAG.
Starting in the late 80's, there was a big effort in the ski industry to get
more women into the sport since it has historically been a male dominated sport
(currently in the Rocky Mountains it is still 64% men and 36% women). One of
the pioneers in getting more women into the sport of skiing is Jeannie Thoren
who has been instrumental in making the fact known that "women are not small men."
She recognized the physical and biomechanical differences in women compared to men
and was the one of the first to suggest moving bindings on womens' skis forward
by about 2.5 cm to enable the ski to turn more efficiently. She also recognized
that with a lower center of gravity and anatomical difference in hip and leg
alignment between men and women, there were many technical differences that needed
to be addressed in lessons specific to women skiing. The ski manufactures jumped
on board and began designing skis and boots specifically for women . Jeanie Thoren
was recognized by Skiing Magazine a few years ago as one of the 25 most influential
people in the sport of skiing over the past 50 years.
After much of Thoren's work in the 80's, she started doing Women Only Ski
Workshops in the early 90's which became very popular throughout the country.
Most (if not all) recognized ski schools have responded with lessons and workshops
for women only... Bridger was one of them. In marketing this idea, and conveying
the fact that ski schools (along with the ski industry) recognize the difference
between men and women when it comes to skiing, the name "For Women Only" has become
widely used simply to convey that this women's lesson program is much more than
a social gathering ... it's a program specifically designed to address the needs
of a woman who is learning or improving her skiing skills. Furthermore, this
name also implicitly addresses a much less competitive or potentially intimidating
learning experience often experienced by women when guys are in the class. Some
women do enjoy learning in groups with men, however, many women don't. (Note:
Prior to Men's Day Wednesday, we offered a co-ed group program for about 10 years
that never got off the ground.) The overwhelming response is that many women
highly covet the opportunity to learn with other women of similar abilities ...
Bridger's For Women Only program usually sells out each session.
Finally, "For Women Only" is a program name--not a Bridger policy. We are
not denying anyone access to any experience. For Women Only is taught by
virtually the same men and women instructors used for the Wednesday Men's Day,
getting access to the same quality instruction, lifts and terrain for the same
price. Bridger Bowl is committed to offering quality programs, services and events
for all members of our community.