Sun Peaks’ terrain parks were brought to a standstill on March 21 when 40 women in frocks skied past to celebrate the first day of spring.
Decked in sequins, tulle, velvet, lace and silk, the glamorous group had rummaged through closets and secondhand shops to join the brand-new Ski Down in a Gown event.
The event, a brainchild of Vera Steinberger, exceeded its creator’s expectations.
“When can one get a group of 40 women together and get them organized so quickly to slide down a hill in such unison!” Steinberger exclaimed.
Having Nancy Greene Raine — wearing a pink gown and flamboyant floral bonnet — in the lead helped orchestrate an orderly descent, accompanied by cheers from the chairlift.
“It was so wonderful,” Steinberger said. “[Greene Raine] has the leadership quality [and] hill knowledge that made it an organized and safe event.”
“Who wouldn’t want Nancy Greene leading your parade?”
The idea for Ski Down in a Gown came to Steinberger after she saw social media videos of skiers in bathrobes and party dresses taking to the slopes. Starting with just a group of four friends, the growing network of participants did not take any convincing, she said.
“Once they heard about the skiing divas, the women were making plans for their outfits.”
One of the first to say yes to the dress was Councillor Julie Kimmel.
“A great group of people doing something fun — seemed like the only answer possible was ‘yeah, I’m in,’” Kimmel told SPIN.
When some participants had trouble finding a ready supply of ornate attire, Kimmel lent some of her own collection out.
“In past lives, I’ve been expected to attend glitzy and glamorous functions and have purchased gowns from bridal boutiques, dress shops, as well as second-hand stores,” she explained. “Some are too nice to let go of and most now are memories hanging in my closet.”
Kimmel said she’s 100 per cent interested in joining next year’s Ski Down in a Gown event.
Steinberger hopes even more people will join Ski Down in a Gown in the future after such a spectacular inaugural event. With word-of-mouth leading to more recruits, the enthusiasm for the spring fling was impressive.
“Never in my wildest imagination had I expected so many women participating,” Steinberger said. “I thought if there were ten of us, we would make a small splash, but 40? Clearly, we have an amazing community here in Sun Peaks.”
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