Maggie Landwermeyer, a busy physician in Austin, Texas and a mom, wants to share the love.
The love of snow sports, that is. “There’s something magical that happens when we come to the mountains and ski,” she explains. “We connect. We play games in the condo at night.”
She wants to help other families experience that same vacation magic.
Karin Sheets, a working mom from Seattle and snowboarder, has a 12-year-old daughter with severe disabilities and wants her to be able to share the rest of the family’s fun in the snow. “I want Veronica to be part of things but our struggle is to find family activities we can do together. Otherwise, you leave a piece of your heart at home,” she says.
“I know so many families with special needs kids who don’t go anywhere because it is so exhausting,” she says. “I want to inspire other families to take that risk.”
Forty-four year old Andrea Guthmann, meanwhile, has only skied a handful of times. The Chicago mom of three is excited for a new challenge and wants to show other moms you never are too old to challenge yourself. “I’m excited,” she says.
Meet Park City Mountain Resort’s new crop of Snowmamas, chosen from applicants by Park City Mountain resort officials from around the country. The website has become the go-to place in the industry to help moms make trips to the snow easier and more fun. The group who just gathered at Park City Mountain Resort ranges in age from early 30s to mid forties. They have babies as well as teens. There are former ski racers and snowboard instructors as well as Guthmann, who is just learning. Some ski all the time, others just a couple of times a year. This year there is a snow papa too—Jeff Tuberville, who is from Nashville. He has no kids of his own but regularly brings nieces and nephews to the mountains.
They live in cities, suburbs and ski towns, are stay at home moms and professionals with demanding careers. But the one thing they share is the conviction that snow sports can provide the backdrop for what we all crave on vacation—memorable times with our kids.
“This is a happy place,” said Kristen Haaijer, a mom of four from Toronto who loves it here so much she and her husband have bought a condo. “When you get out on the mountain, you feel like you are 17 again. It can be a real vacation.”
“Skiing is a great way to get everyone outdoors,” adds Guthmann.
But a ski vacation is a lot of work for moms, acknowledges Amber Johnson, a Snowmama back for her third season from Denver. “There are so many things to pack and remember…It can be a nightmare!”
Let’s hope Snowmamas makes sure it’s not.