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Some skiers dressed up for  International Day  day on Wednesday, the last day of the six-week Women s Days program at Eldora Mountain Resort.
Jenn Fields
Some skiers dressed up for International Day day on Wednesday, the last day of the six-week Women s Days program at Eldora Mountain Resort.

It’s almost a myth among the ski instructors. No one knows for certain whether Eldora hosts the oldest women’s skiing program in the country. But it might.

“Nobody knows the exact date — we debate about that — but it’s been about 30 years,” program director Krista Crabtree said.

If you go

What: Eldora Women’s Days

When: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesdays or Wednesdays through March 10 (breakfast at 8:30)

Where: Eldora Mountain Resort

Cost: $269-$399

The next four-week session of Eldora’s Women’s Days — instruction in snowboarding, and downhill and Nordic skiing — starts Tuesday.

Eldora runs two sessions a year; the first six-week session ended Wednesday. Women meet every Tuesday or Wednesday for group ski or ride instruction, and the cost includes a catered breakfast and lunch, plus a lift or Nordic area pass that’s good for any day during the duration of the session.

Crabtree said the continuity of skiing with the same instructor and same group week after week offers a different learning experience.

“The instructors work on progression,” she said. “And you get to take your time and learn the fundamentals through six weeks of progression.”

Beth Bartel, who participated in the just-completed six-week session, said the continuity was helpful. The members of her group got to know each other well and knew what the other women were working on, she said.

“So you can offer that encouragement, ‘Hey, you’re really improving,'” she said.

Bartel, of Boulder, added that she liked learning with a group of women.

“I think there’s less competition, more encouragement,” she said.

Colleen Ambrozy, of Coal Creek Canyon, said she participated in all 10 weeks of the program last year, and she’s doing it again this year. She said she was trying to improve her telemark skiing skills for hut trips.

“It’s great to be out with other women,” Ambrozy said. “I enjoy my husband, but it’s nice doing stuff without the guys.”

Ambrozy added that she thinks the program offers amazing “bang for your buck.” Prices vary per season, session and sport (Nordic is cheaper), but the in-season cost is below $100 per day.

Each week during the program has a theme: Outdoor Divas brings gear to Eldora one week for a free demo day; instructors shoot video of participants another week for skills analysis; chair massage was so popular on spa day that the massage therapist returned at lunchtime every subsequent week.

About 200 women participate in each session on average, Crabtree said, and a lot of women make friends and meet between lessons to practice.

That’s what Louise Fordyce, of Rollinsville, has been doing.

“I did the four-week program last year, and I was really hooked,” she said.

This year, she’s in a class with some of the women she met last year.

“What makes me really happy is that you’ll see women here who met each other in a group, and they get together and ski on weekends,” Crabtree said.

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