This Ski Camp Wants Girls to Know: Women, too, Are Badasses

Keely’s Ski Camp for Girls sheds light on girls getting into the backcountry.

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It’s that ski film time of the year, and to anyone who has been paying attention, one thing should have become very clear by now: lady shredders are stealing the scene in this year’s ski flicks. There’s Michelle Parker, who stars in Red Bull TV’s series Originate; Eva Walkner and Jackie Paaso in Evolution of Dreams; and then there’s the badass trio of Parker, Angel Collinson and Elyse Saugstad, who disrupt the “token female formula” of ski movies and dominate in Matchstick Production’s All In.

These productions get it: lady skiers rip, and women the world over want to see that represented in mainstream media. How else will women and girls come to realize and internalize that women, too, are badasses and role models in the world of big mountain skiing?

Keely Kelleher, former U.S. Ski Team Member turned professional skier and guide, has made it her mission in life to confront exactly this issue. In 2012, Kelleher founded Keely’s Ski Camp for Girls with the goal of coaching, inspiring and empowering young girls through skiing, and in the years since she’s been leading multi-day camps for girls and women around the world. The most adventurous of these is her annual Iceland Ski Camp for Girls, in which Kelleher and an all-female guiding staff take seven lucky teenage girls on a sail-to-ski adventure around Iceland’s remote fjords.

Kelleher worked with cinematographer Susie Theis to document last spring’s Iceland trip in Girls Moving Mountains, to show girls getting out of their comfort zones and learning to tackle new and unfamiliar challenges.

“I think it’s really important to have females showing you that you can summit Denali three times and be a female guide,” says one participant in the film. 

Learn more about Kelleher’s camps at