Carving a Niche

After decades on the sidelines, women are finally taking to the slopes. Now the ski industry is having to slalom to keep up

Rossignol

Professional skier Pernilla Wiberg takes to the slopes in Switzerland with Rossignol Attraction XI skis and ELECTRA 14 boots, both of which are made specifically for women.

The U.S. ski industry should send a couple of season passes to downhiller Karen Harsch--gratis. The 38-year-old mother and ex--U.S. Ski Team member slaps on her sticks 50 times a season in Summit County, Colo., often bopping from Arapahoe Basin and Keystone to Copper Mountain and Breckenridge in a single week. Chances are her 6-year-old daughter will follow in her mother's boot steps.

Well aware that the mountains are not exactly teeming with aficionados like Harsch -- she and her family spend upwards of $5,000 a season schussing--the ski industry is investing a good deal to woo a long-underserved segment: women.

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