Attention ladies: If you’ve ever wanted to bare your backside in the backcountry, there’s an event this month that’s specifically designed as a safe space where you can drop trow.
The Boot Tan Fest on March 15 invites women, female-identifying and non-binary individuals to Bluebird Backcountry ski area in Kremmling for a day of live music, beer, tacos and gear demonstrations, capped off with a naked ski lap.
You read that right. At 3 p.m. the day of the event, women will skin up and strip down for a run on the mountain.
“It is the best feeling,” said Jenny Verrochi, founder of the event and co-founder of the local Wild Barn Coffee, who organized a naked lap at the same venue in 2021. It was a spontaneous affair last year, she said, inspired by the woman known as the Nudy Judy that graces Wild Barn’s cans of nitro cold brew. Details spread by word of mouth and 22 people showed up to take ski in the buff.
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“You feel supported because every body is different and every personality is different. But when you’re outside and you’re exposed like that and there’s no men around to judge you, it’s the most powerful feeling ever,” Verrochi said. “We wanted more women to experience that.”
Verrochi and her business partner Alyssa Evans quickly began planning a follow-up event in hopes of making backcountry skiing a more inclusive, accessible and empowering sport. A $69 ticket to Boot Tan Fest includes a day pass for the mountain, which does not have chairlifts, plus access to the festival. Beginners are welcome, Verrochi said, as Bluebird Backcountry is an avalanche-regulated area.
Still, anyone planning to ski will need backcountry boots, skis or a split-board, and gear such as a beacon, probe and shovel. Gear can be rented from Bluebird or in nearby Steamboat Springs, Verrochi said. Weston Backcountry will also be onsite demoing equipment.
“You don’t need to be an expert by any means and you certainly do not need to be an expert in the backcountry,” she said. “Skiing in general is intimidating. Backcountry skiing is intimidating times 10, and the ski industry as a whole is intimidating. It’s just filled with white, privileged men. It’s difficult to break your way into that scene.”
There will also be an all-female film crew creating a supplemental movie appropriately entitled “Full Frontal Freedom,” which aims to spotlight women who are traditionally underrepresented in documentaries about the outdoors. The leader of the crew will have a snowmobile and provide rides to adaptive skiers who are unable to skin up the mountain for the naked lap, Verrochi said. Additionally, 20% of tickets are reserved for people of color and Boot Tan Fest offers the option for someone to sponsor a ticket for another person.
Attendees are expected to be clothed during the remainder of Boot Tan Fest – “It’s not a nudist event,” Verrochi said – and no one is required to undress for the signature ski. But Verrochi believes it’s important to create an environment where women feel empowered to let it all hang out.
“As women, we are taught shame is this huge aspect and we’re taught to cover our bodies, and sometimes you need permission,” she said. “We’re giving everybody permission to just get naked and have fun.”
Boot Tan Fest takes place March 15 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Bluebird Backcountry, 12210 Colorado 14, Kremmling. Tickets cost $69 at Eventbrite.com, plus additional fees for car camping reservations ($25), a dog pass ($10), and gear rentals. Capacity is limited to 300 women. For additional lodging options, Verrochi recommends looking for Airbnbs and hotels in Kremmling or nearby Steamboat Springs.