Join Kelsey Serwa and 22 other adventurous and passionate women on an exhilarating skiing adventure, where they try Elan's W studio women-specific ski line, bond, and have fun on the slopes. Be part of their thrilling journey as they explore powder stashes and experience the excitement of skiing. But wait, there's more! Discover the meaningful cause supported by this event. Don't miss out on this unforgettable experience filled with skiing, laughter, and connections.
Our morning began at the Happy Valley Day Lodge. The aroma of fresh brewed coffee and warm welcomes filled the air. The room buzzed with excitement and chatter in anticipation for the adventures that await the group of 22 ladies who had signed up for this inaugural Women’s Ski Day at Big White Ski Resort. In groups of eight, we packed into the mountain’s iconic yellow gondolas ascending towards the Village Centre Mall. There, Elan rep Jeff Parkhill was ready with screwdriver in hand in a tent filled with the W-Studio fleet, Elan’s women specific ski line.
One by one, the ladies were fitted with the best gear, Elan has to offer, the Ripstick, Wildcat, Playmaker and more, exclusively reserved for our group. We then made our way to the spinning chair lift, pleasantly surprised by the non-existent lift lines despite the fresh dusting of snow overnight. The morning was mostly spent exploring powder stashes off the Bullet and Snow Ghost Express. We hooted and hollered as we dodged our way in and out of the trees and onto the perfectly groomed corduroy which Big White is famous for. With no rules or set plans, we skied in whichever direction our hearts desired. Despite spring being just around the corner, we were blessed with beautiful winter conditions. The air was cool and soft flakes drifted from the sky all morning long. With the Elan tent centrally located at the heart of Big White’s village, it was incredibly convenient to switch skis and explore a different style or size from run to run. What a treat that was!
Sharing Laughter, Stories and Skiing
Conversations on the chair lift were equally as enjoyable as the runs downhill. We exchanged stories about our most recent runs, shared laughter and bonded over our mutual love for skiing and spending time outdoors. Surrounded by this all-star crew of active, passionate, inclusive, and fun women, I couldn’t help but feel incredibly fortunate. Whether they came with friends or joined on their own, everyone was eager to welcome new companionships and create lasting connections.
We worked up one heck of an appetite throughout the morning, which was soon to be satisfied by a hearty lunch at the Kettle Valley Steakhouse. We feasted on a delectable spread of rich tomato soup, poached salmon, roasted potatoes, charred broccoli and salads, paired with some of the Okanagan’s finest wines. And let's not forget about the dessert platter, which was a sight to behold. I may or may not have sampled the entire thing, but I was happy to see that I wasn't the only one.
Unleashing the Joy with versatile Ripstick 94W Black Edition
In the afternoon, I clipped in a pair of Ripstick 94W Black Edition. Both models were an absolute blast! The Ripstick 94W Black Edition feature increased versatility and were perfect for hopping on and off groomed runs, dodging in and out of the trees, and floating through the stashes of powder that remained untouched, even in the afternoon. They were agile, provided optimal float and felt stable bouncing through choppier snow and crud. The Ripstick 94W Black Edition were also a ton of fun on-piste. Their construction features carbon reinforcement over the inside edges and carbon rods inserted into the wood core, allowing for excellent edge control and stability, even while ripping high speeds GS turns.
Memorable ski day with a purpose
The clouds ran away and opened the sky, allowing the sun to peak out for the last few runs of the day. We had taken on a total of 14 runs filled with good times while we explored the incredible range of skis from the W-Studio collection on this mountain that never fails to deliver the wintery goods. We reconvened at the Happy Valley Day Lodge, freed our feet from our ski boots and stepped onto mats for a restorative yoga session led by Taylor from Our Yoga Space. Like the clouds in sky, our minds drifted away as we matched each breath with gentle movement. Still in ski socks and base layers, we flowed together, letting our tired and worked muscles melt away.
And what would a ladies’ ski day be without après? Big White’s food and beverage team went above and beyond, ensuring our bellies, glasses, and hearts were kept full. As the clock neared 5pm, the only thing left was to give away a package of Elan 94 Black Edition Ripsticks, complete with bindings and poles. As everyone gathered with their raffle tickets in hand, I slowly started counting down numbers, “750...04” Gasps came from the crowd… “0…” more chitters of excitement ensued…and then, “7!” The lucky winner shrieked with joy, “I won, I won” and danced her way to the front to claim her prize. We confirmed the ticket numbers and the crowd cheered.
Each participant received a thoughtful prize package from Elan to take home. Beyond bringing together like-minded women to explore the slopes of Big White Ski Resort on my favorite skis, another goal of the event was to raised funds for the Kelowna Women’s Shelter. The shelter provides individualized domestic abuse support, education, shelter, and basic needs including food and personal items, to women and children leaving abuse and violence. Through the entry fees, Ripstick ski raffle tickets, and a generous contribution from the Schumman and Plimmer families, we raised $3500 to help fund programs that support local women and children as they move forward into a new life free from abuse.
Thank you to all the women who attended this event with open hearts and welcomed new experiences and friendships. Thank you to the team at Big White and Elan Skis for turning my idea for a Women’s Ski Day into a reality. Your support exceeded all expectations. Cheers until next year and stay tuned as we’ll be making this into annual event.
With love and gratitude,
Kelsey Serwa Rey
2018 Olympic Gold and 2014 Olympic Silver Medalist – Ski Cross
UBC Master of Physical Therapy Student – Grad 2023.
Photo credit: Andrew Jay & Kelsey Serwa