Inspirational women come in all shapes and sizes, and the people supporting the industry often go unrecognised, whilst the sports women winning medals or publicly fighting to work in the industry are much more prevalent in the eye of the media. But behind this is a plethora of people, most of who are passionate about the industry and fighting just as hard in every day life to be a part of the sporting world. In the lead up to International Women’s Day, we wanted to take a moment to speak to Felice Hardy, an esteemed travel writer who has dedicated her life to the ski industry, and now is branching out with her love of ski into depicting the alps through art.

Being a ski writer, which is what I have been for the past 30-odd years is a particularly blatant branch of sports/travel journalism. If you’re a football or a Formula 1 correspondent you don’t spend your days tearing around the turf or the tarmac, risking life and limb.

The British actually invented ski journalism, with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writing the first ever ski feature in Strand Magazine in 1894. My particular job description, and his as well, requires you practice what you write about. What’s more, you’re expected to be able to ski at a pretty competent standard – and higher, of course, if you happen to be female in a male-dominated sport.

If I am going to tell people where is the most suitable skiing for their ability, then it’s pretty important that I have personal experience and a qualified opinion on the terrain and the resorts involved. The same goes for choosing the best chalets, ski schools, childcare, and the whole host of other factors that contribute to the makings of the perfect ski holiday.

If you look around you on (and off) the mountain you can’t fail to notice that men outnumber women. In fact, the latest Consensio Chalet Ski Stats show that 52% of holidays are booked by men against 41% women. The missing 7% are booked by PAs.

In my family it’s the wife and daughter who are the driving force behind where and when to go on holiday! The fact that bookings traditionally spike in September in the fortnight after children go back to school is a strong indication that it may well be the same in other families too.

With three children of my own I’ve got a pretty good idea of what constitutes the almost perfect ski holiday . I’m still looking for actual perfection and having a lot of fun each year in not quite finding it.

I’ve travelled a lot over the years – not just skiing – which hasn’t always been easy during my children’s school years. But while I can’t imagine a world without snow, I try not to let it dominate our lives.

Now that my children are grown up (the youngest is at university), I have more time not only to indulge in skiing, pilates, yoga, cycling, and hiking, but also in art. After school I went to art college where I specialised in illustration, but I gave it up completely when I went into journalism and never really thought about it whilst my children were growing up. There just wouldn’t have been time!

My aim now is to combine my travels, and skiing in particular, with art. I’ve been involved in half a dozen exhibitions in the last couple of years, and have sold some hand-printed etchings to a shop in Val d’Isère, plus some mountain-themed mixed media work online. If people are passionate about a particular resort or chalet, I can create a strictly limited edition etching of it for them. They just need to let me know!

felicehardyart@gmail.com // +44 (0) 7827 445127Oil Painting of a red chalet in snowy mountains, ski resort

Felice Hardy studied for a foundation course at University of the Arts London followed by a degree in Illustration.

It was by chance that she moved into journalism, when offered a job at Vogue magazine. She then went on to become a travel writer touring the world over the next 30 years for a huge variety of publications including The Guardian, Independent, London Evening Standard, Country Life, Conde Nast Traveller and BA Highlife magazine.

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