SKADI Fest debuted last week as part of Vail's attempt to shake up its women's program this season and get more gals out on the slopes, having fun. Nailed it! Not only was this Norse goddess of winter-inspired event a well-attended good time, it was a refreshing take on a no-boys-allowed demo/drinks/dinner, spanning three days January 20-22, 2016.
Set up as a choose your own adventure of sorts, SKADI kicked off Wednesday night with a happy hour and women's ski film premiere, Shifting Ice and Changing Tides, the attendees of which got to watch with one of the stars, Pip Hunt. The next morning, we were treated to a SmartWool-hosted coffee and breakfast at the brand's Lionshead location, where we got serious about socks—compression to padded styles, what's right for whom and why you shouldn't even think about doubling up.
Then it was off to demo village where, with help from Outdoor Divas and manufacturer representatives, skis from 14 brands were on hand for testing, free to the public. SKADI VIPs, however, were treated to an on-mountain, exclusive guided experience Thursday and/or Friday, where we grouped up and followed Vail Mountain instructors into terrain ideally suited for our ski choices and ability level. Lucky for us, it was perfect powder on Thursday as we struggled to strike a balance between the usual ski-testing hot laps and the buttery back bowls that felt bottomless after the night's 4" refresh.