Jessica Sobolowski (dark blue jacket) and Ingrid Backstrom (yellow pants) with the women who participated in the Next Level Women's Freeskiing Camp.
I’m standing to the side on Chute 75, watching a young woman slide head first down the steep slope. Jessica Sobolowski and a group of women shout instructions on how to self-arrest just above me.
Sobolowski and Ingrid Backtrom are in the midst of teaching the Next Level Women’s Freeskiing Camp at Squaw Valley on January 9 and 10. While taking 50-yard nosedives isn’t in the lesson plan, it all works out for the best. The next day, the same student will tackle bulletproof steeps with confidence.
Despite rain, flat light, and tough snow conditions over the weekend, Sobolowski and Backstrom show 10 women, ranging in age from 13 to 50, how to take their skiing to the next level. They share a few of those lessons here.
For a refresher on just what Backstrom and Sobolowski are capable of in the snow, check out the latest ski films from Matchstick Productions or Warren Miller. When the two women signed up to coach a big-mountain camp for women at Squaw Valley, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. “I had actually never heard of a women’s freeride camp before and when I did I thought it was amazing opportunity and signed up right away,” says Emma Andersson, a camp participant. “Not only to meet Ingrid and Jess, but because the fact that skiing with women is something special.”