Saturday, December 30, 2006

2007 is here!

And I'd like to wish you all a happy, healthy, and safe 2007 with lots of great skiing.

May you have many, many powder days.

May you ski with people you love.

May you sing on the chairlift.

May your icy patches be few and far between.

May you never be too hot or too cold.

May your goggles never fog up.

May all your turns be perfectly formed S's.

May your boots be neither too tight or too loose

If you don't wear a helmet, resolve to get one.


Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Selling Julia.

It's been quite an eventful month for genuine Ski Diva, Julia Mancuso.

First she wins the World Cup in the downhill, after recovering from a stomach flu. No small achievement here.

Then she's featured half-naked in a promotional poster and video by Lange, a company with a long history of using sex to sell ski equipment.

Something is wrong with this picture.

While it's true she's a beautiful woman with a killer body -- one I'm sure she works very hard to maintain -- this sort of thing doesn't do justice to her or any other woman skier. In fact, I think it truly diminishes her talent, her athleticism, and her tremendous achievements.

Wouldn't it be nice if Lange showed her actually (gasp) using the boots instead of posing in them half-naked? Isn't the fact that she's JULIA MANCUSO enough to sell Lange boots? Doesn't her skiing speak for itself? Or is it just another case of objectifying women to sell a product? Hey, anyone can have their picture taken in their bra and panties. But who can win a gold medal?

I think Lange blew it. They have this fantastic spokeswoman they could've used to make a tremendous statement in a way that did them both credit. Instead, they just went with "sex sells." What a disappointment.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Whatever you celebrate this time of year -- be it Christmas, Chanukah, Kwanza, or something I've left out -- I wish you joy, peace, happiness, and the very best of health.

If you plan to ski over the holidays, ski safe and with a song in your heart.

Thanks for reading Ski Diva. And catch you on the flip side.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

What a Ski Diva wants.

Here we are, in the final ramp up to Christmas. I don't know about you, but I've been very, very good alllllll year. (Well, there was that one time......but let's forget about that.)

If you have a Ski Diva on your list, better hustle and get her something that'll have her turning cartwheels in the snow all season long.

Here are a few sites that may help with an idea or two:

Outdoor Divas: Gear and clothing designed to unleash the inner Ski Diva.

Title Nine: Women's sports and athletic apparel. A great selection.

Isis: Performance clothing designed by women for women. Beautiful things!

Or how about the gift of a women's ski clinic? There are lots of great ones around. Or something from your local ski shop -- a new boot bag, a pair of mittens, or something to keep her toesies warm?

Better get busy -- there's less than a week left!

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Diva Day at Stowe, Vermont!

I have to admit, I'm very excited this morning.

As you may already know, I'm the administrator for TheSkiDiva.com, an internet discussion forum for women skiers I launched back in September. And I have to say, it's been a blast. If you haven't already been there, make it a point to go. We talk about everything ski related (and then some): gear, technique, mountains, fitness, and more. And the discussions are all first rate. I'm constantly amazed by the knowledge, spirit, and character displayed in each and every post.

Anyway, today I'm finally going to get a chance to meet some of the wonderful women who participate at the site. Eight of us (including me) will be at Stowe, most for a weekend ski clinic sponsored by the Epic Ski Academy, and we'll finally have a chance to ski together. And even though the conditions here in the east have been less than stellar (make that crappy), I know it's going to be fun, fun, fun!!!

One of the great things about the internet is how it allows us to connect with one another in a way that was never before possible. Not only has it helped me make some wonderful friends who share my passion for skiing, but it's let me "talk" with women skiers from all over the US -- in fact, from all over the world. And though it's nice to communicate with them daily over the internet, nothing replaces meeting someone face to face. And that's what makes today so very special.

Gotta go now. My Divas await!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Facing fear.

Ever get scared on a ski run?

There, there -- It's okay. You can admit it. Happens to everyone.

Fear is a good self-regulator. It's what keeps us from trying something stupid that could send us to the emergency room.

But it's also a nasty head game that can make us play things a little too safe. And that can stop us from meeting new challenges that could actually be fun.

How to deal with fear? Obviously, it's best to avoid it altogether. Having a realistic assessment of your skiing ability helps. So if you're a Level 4 skier and someone wants you to go down a double-black mogul field, I'd suggest taking a pass.

That said, even on trails you should be able to handle, fear can still rear its ugly head. So here's what I do: First, I give myself a little pep talk. Then I try to get going as soon as possible. In most cases, I find that the more I stand and mull something over, the worse it gets. If it's really gnarly, I try to break whatever's ahead of me into smaller, more manageable components and concentrate on getting through those sections, one at a time.

I think everyone deals with fear differently. Some people thrive on being scared. Not me. The trick is to get good enough so you have the tools available to handle any situation; that way it isn't an issue. That could mean taking lessons and just putting in plenty of hours on the boards. And if and when it is an issue, try not to let it get the best of you.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Friday, December 08, 2006

No jumping allowed.

Those of you who've read my blog for a while may remember my post of May 31, where I celebrated what looked like the almost certain addition of women's ski jumping to the 2010 Olympic roster.

Looks like I was a bit premature.

In its infinite wisdom, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) voted down the addition of the sport to the 2010 Olympic games. Seems that last year, influential IOC member and International Ski Federation (FIS) President Gian Franco Kasper told National Public Radio that ski jumping "seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view."

Excuse me, I think I'm getting a case of the vapors. Maybe I better unlace my corset.

According to the IOC, there are not enough nations and participants to justify adding the event. However, since 1995 women ski jumpers from over a dozen nations on three continents have been competing on a women's elite competition circuit. By 2010, women's ski jumping will have held four World Junior Championships and a World Championship.

In contrast, women's Ski Cross, which was accepted by the IOC for inclusion in Vancouver 2010, has half the number of athletes, competing in less than half the number of competitions on just one continent.

Does this make any sense? Not to me. But then, I'm just a silly, addle-brained woman.

Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Ever consider women's ski boots?

A good idea (for women, of course).

Why? It's very simple: women are built differently than men. Women typically have shorter legs, narrower ankles, lower calf muscles, less weight and a lower center of gravity than men. Which gives us less leverage over unisex boots, making them more difficult to flex.

How do you know if women's boots are right for you?

  • If your legs tire quickly, even though you're in good physical condition. Your legs are aligned differently than a man's. This can make it more difficult to roll your skis on and off edge, thereby making it harder to control your skis.

  • If your feet get cold. It's tempting to blame poor circulation, but it may be because of your instep. A woman's is narrower than a man's, which may cause you to buckle your boot more tightly in this area. This can cause the top of the boot to press down on your foot, cutting off blood flow.

  • If you can't flex your boot forward. Women's lower center of gravity and lower weight gives us less leverage. This can make it difficult to start a turn, throwing you off balance.

  • If you can't buckle the top buckle of your boot, or if the top of your boot pinches your calf muscle. A woman's calf muscle joins the ankle lower than a man's does, so this may be the problem here.

  • If your heel keeps coming up in your boot when you ski. Again, it's our anatomy. A woman's foot is typically narrower than a man's. A lifted heel can make your skis harder to control.

    For best results, see a qualified bootfitter. They can assess your situation and come up with the solution that's best for you.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.
  • Friday, December 01, 2006

    Did you see this magazine?

    Some of you may have seen the new women's skiing magazine, Women's Skiing, which was sent out to subscribers of Skiing magazine with the regular November issue.

    So what did you think?

    I was somewhat disappointed. I mean, it wasn't entirely off base. First, here's what's good: hey, it's about skiing! And it's for women! And there are gear reviews, and a feature on women's clinics, and an article about Fay Johnson, the ski patrol director at Bridger Bowl.

    But then we move on to what's wrong: "Match the underwear" with the famous male skier. A discussion on when it's okay to "hook up" with your ski instructor. And of course, the answer to the question every female skier is dying to know, "Will skiing make my butt bigger" (the agony!).

    I like to have fun as much as the next person. I don't even mind hair and make-up tips (hey, I like to look good). But it is rather insulting that the publisher seems to think that the magazine won't draw women unless he pads it with silly stuff like "match the underwear" and so on. That's like saying skis have to be flowered and pink to attract women!

    There are a lot of women skiers who are looking for a good, serious source of information about skiing. Unfortunately, this has a long way to go.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, November 28, 2006

    Shop talk.

    If ski shops were on the ball, they'd realize the tremendous purchasing power that women skiers have -- and they'd try to take advantage of it.

    One smart retailer did just that. A friend in Michigan reports that her local ski shop, Brick Wheels in Traverse City, recently staged an evening event for women skiers called Wine, Women & Wax. The shop had more than fifteen representatives of the largest winter sports companies on hand to answer questions and show off their latest gear. There was food, entertainment, discounts, and door prizes. And to top it off, proceeds from a silent auction went to the city's Women's Resource Center.

    This is a great idea on so many levels. It brings women into the shop in an environment in which they can feel comfortable and unintimidated; it's fun; and it establishes good feelings for the shop, which can translate into repeat business down the road. According to Brick Wheels, the event attracted 350 women and raised more than $3,600 for the women's center -- a winning situation for everyone.

    It's good to see a retailer taking women skiers seriously. Kudos to Brick Wheels. I can't help believe that other retailers are missing the boat on this one.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, November 24, 2006

    "Off The Grid" not on target.

    Not for me, anyway.

    Oh, I know I'm not the target audience. I think that's mostly 20 year old males. But like any ski-obsessed fool, I recently found myself among the crowd at the Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon, New Hampshire, sitting through countless commercials, waiting for the new Warren Miller movie to begin.

    For a ski-starved audience -- the season hasn't really taken off in New England -- a Warren Miller movie is just what the doctor ordered. Everyone is so ready, so willing to appreciate anything ski-related that's up on the screen. I know I am.

    And though it was fun, I just wish I liked it better. I mean, it really got me psyched for skiing (as if I need any more of that!). And I love to see the exotic locales (the segment on Kashmir was great). And though I respect the aerialists, after awhile it all looks the same (why would you want to ski off a 250 ft cliff? Yes, you read that right -- a 250 foot cliff. The same height as a 20 story building. Aside from skiing off the cliff, there's very little skiing involved. So what's the point?)

    I know -- I sound like an old stick in the mud. But I do enjoy watching technically great skiing; the kind that makes me wish I could rewind the film so I could track what they're doing and learn something. And there was a considerable amount of that in the film. The skiing is truly outstanding. If I could ski anywhere near like the people in the film, I'd think I'd died and gone to heaven.

    I'm sure I'll go see next year's Warren Miller movie, too. I'm a sucker for this sort of thing. I just wish "Off The Grid' was a little bit more on target -- at least for me.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, November 21, 2006

    Giving thanks.

    It's Thanksgiving week; time when we pause to give thanks, stuff ourselves with turkey, and start to engage in that great American tradition, Christmas shopping.

    I have plenty of things to be thankful for that are ski-related. And if you think about it, I'm sure you do, too.

    Here's my list:

    * The cooler temperatures that are finally reaching us here in New England: At long last, the local ski area can start making snow. With any luck, I'll be able to take some turns next week.

    * My season pass: Sure takes the sting out of paying for a lift pass, day by day. When you ski a lot, it's the only way to go.

    • An injury-free ski year: So far, knock on wood. Definitely something to be thankful for.

    • Mid-week skiing: I'm among one of the lucky ones who does all my skiing mid-week, when the crowds are down. I have a thing about crowds in general, so I'm thankful I have a schedule that allows me to avoid them. Actually, every day on the mountain is something to be thankful for. Beats anything else, far as I can see.

    • A husband who understands my obsession with skiing: Even though he isn't as nuts about it as I am, he's still out there with me, and still supportive of all things skiing. He is absolutely the best!

    * The great women on TheSkiDiva.com: I've gotten to know some amazing women skiers on that forum. Their posts blow me away on a daily basis. If you're a woman and want some great ski talk, make sure to visit and register so you can participate.

    • Your kind attention in reading this blog:
    It's nice to have you here.

    I have many many other things to be thankful for, too: friends, family, good health, and a happy home. For these, and many other things too numerous to name, I am truly blessed.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, November 17, 2006

    So where do you find gear info?

    There's a lot of ski equipment out there, most of it expensive. So before you plop down your hard-earned cash, do yourself a favor and do some research.

    Here are some places to get some good gear info:

    Internet Ski Discussion Forums such as TheSkiDiva.com or EpicSki.com. You can pick the brains (yech) of people who might already have the equipment you're interested in. Plus there are a lot of gear heads on these sites, so you're sure to get a lot of opinions.

    Review web sites. RealSkiers.com is a good one; just note that this is a paid subscription service. However, it's a small investment to pay for getting the info you need to choose the right equipment. You might also try Ski-Review.com,

    Ski magazines such as Ski and Skiing publish gear reviews each year, so check them out, too.

    Of course, before you buy anything, the best thing you can do is demo, demo, demo to make sure the skis you choose are right for you. Because no matter how many gear reviews you read, no matter how many people you talk to, what it all comes down to is how it works for you.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, November 14, 2006

    Apparently, all buyers are not created equal.

    True stories from women over at TheSkiDiva.com:

  • I was really serious about buying a Metron, didn't know if I wanted the M11 or the B5. So I went to the ski shop to get demos. Good idea, right? The shop manager actually looked at me, tried to talk me into different skis (lower intermediate models), and said, "I could let you demo the Metrons, but you'd never be able to use them to their potential". Guess where I didn't buy my Metrons?

  • The employee of a store I frequent (mainly for accessories and because they have given me good deals on kids equipment with buy backs, etc.) basically told me I was skiing the wrong ski (Dynastar Exclusive Legend.) The conversation started when I mentioned that I noticed they didn't carry Dynastar in their store. He never asked me how often I ski or my level. He just looked at my size and said that my ski was too stiff for me and too long (152 cm.) Now, I used these skis last year in CO and loved them and had no trouble. Fortunately the manager of this store knows me and doesn't treat me this way or I might not patronize them for my twins junior equipment. Just because I am small and light doesn't mean I need intermediate level equipment!

  • Man, I hope there are some ski retailers are reading this blog. Women skiers have a lot of purchasing power, and clearly we've had some bad treatment buying equipment. It's time people in ski shops realized that they should make no assumptions regarding a woman skier's abilities. Any decent sales person knows that it takes real engagement to make a sale. Asking questions, treating the buyer with respect without regard to gender, appearance, color, race, religion, etc. (you get the picture), and listening to the customer is key. Treating a customer the way reported here is more than just insulting; it's also an easy way to lose a sale -- not just from the woman who's there, but from her friends and family, as well, now and in the future. All in all, not a good way to do business.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, November 10, 2006

    Helmet Hair.

    Yes, it's time I addressed the dreaded, the unspeakable:

    Helmet Hair!!!!

    See the helmet in my picture? It's there more than just to protect my skull. After I've worn it for a while, my hair's a disaster. Seriously, when I take off my helmet at lunch time, children actually cry! At the end of the day, I find it's in everyone's best interest -- mine and the people who see me -- if I wear a cap when I walk to the car.

    Still, it beats the alternative. I'd rather have really bad hair than a really bad injury. It doesn't take a genius to see that a hard casing around your head is better protection against spending the rest of your days in a vegetative state -- or ending your days completely -- than a soft wooly hat. So looks take a back seat. I'm thinking long term here.

    What I don't get are these guys -- particularly bald guys -- who wear no helmet or hat, even when it's freezing cold. What, are they afraid they'll mess up their hairdos? Give me a break.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, November 07, 2006

    It's for your own good.

    Don't you hate that phrase? You know something awful is coming, like taking some wretched-tasting medicine or having to go on a diet. Still, there are a few things that would really be good for you to handle -- the first one has to be done today, and the next two before you hit the slopes:

  • If you're in the US, vote. You have nothing to complain about if you don't take part in the process. It's a privilege we all enjoy, so be sure to get out there today and make your ballot count.

  • Get your skis tuned up and your bindings checked. Don't even think about hitting the slopes if you haven't had your skis checked over and adjusted by someone who knows what they're doing. It's a matter of safety.

  • If you don't have a helmet, get one. Again, a matter of safety. I got mine a few years back after my daughter suffered a concussion snowboarding. I know it's not the greatest look, but it sure beats the alternative!

    Now that wasn't too awful, was it? None of them are too difficult, and all can make a difference in your quality of life.

    So what are you waiting for?

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.
  • Friday, November 03, 2006

    A special day.

    How many of you know women who used to ski and then gave it up, for one reason or another?

    I'm sure many of you do. And I'm sure that many of these ex-skiers would take it up again, if they were only reminded of how much fun it can be. So here's an idea. We've all heard of "Take Your Daughter To Work Day." Well, how about staging our own "Take An Ex-Woman Skier To The Slopes Day"?

    It doesn't have to be a particular day. Just when it's convenient for the parties involved. And it doesn't even have to be a full day. Could be half a day. Or an evening, if night skiing is available.

    If cost is an issue, many ski areas have discount tickets available at ski shops, grocery stores, or municipal buildings. Some areas even have Ladies' Days during the week, with reduced rates.

    The idea is to remind these ex-skiers how great skiing can be, so maybe they'll come back to a sport they once enjoyed.

    It's a win-win situation. They'll have fun. You'll end up with a new female skiing buddy. And we'll all end up with more women on the slopes.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, October 31, 2006

    Ski shopping.

    I don't know what it is, but when it comes to buying ski equipment, some women leave the whole process to someone else.

    Does this make sense? We, who're known as the greatest shoppers in the world; who wouldn't dream of buying clothes without trying them on (well, we might -- but we'd sure as heck take them back if they didn't fit!).

    I know; it's incomprehensible.

    All the same, I can't tell you how often men take over the job of selecting skis for their wives/girlfriends/daughters. And though I'm sure many of us appreciate some help -- picking out skis can be a daunting process, given the wide variety of brands and models -- the ultimate decision-maker should always be you. After all, you're the one who's going to have to use them. So you're the one who should be happy.

    What it all comes down to is this:

    First, evaluate your skiing ability before you make any decision. Be honest. You're not doing yourself any favors if you're a beginner and you end up with expert skis. Or vice versa.

    Second, do some research. Talk to people -- your friends who ski, people in ski shops. Consult gear reviews. There are a lot of ways to collect information about equipment (the internet discussion forum for women skiers, TheSkiDivacom, comes to mind). So take advantage of them.

    And third, be sure to try before you buy. Lots of mountains offer demo days where you can try out equipment from various manufacturers. Some ski shops rent demos, and apply the cost of rental to the purchase price, if you decide to buy.

    The right skis are out there waiting for you. So go in peace. And have fun shopping.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, October 27, 2006

    It's good to be a woman.

    Here's why:

    1. We got off the Titanic first.
    2. We can scare male bosses with mysterious gynecological disorder excuses.
    3. Taxis stop for us.
    4. We don't look like a frog in a blender when dancing.
    5. No fashion faux pas we make could ever rival the Speedo.
    6. We don't have to pass gas to amuse ourselves.
    7. If we forget to shave, no one has to know.
    8. We can congratulate our teammate without ever touching her rear end.
    9. We never have to reach down every so often to make sure our privates are still there.
    10. We have the ability to dress ourselves.
    11. We can talk to the opposite sex without having to picture them naked.
    12. If we marry someone 20 years younger,we are aware that we will look like an idiot.
    13. We will never regret piercing our ears
    14. There are times when chocolate really can solve all your problems.
    15. We can make comments about how silly men are in their presence because they aren't listening anyway.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, October 24, 2006

    The buzz on women's skis.

    At long last, ski manufacturers are beginning to take women skiers seriously. In recent years they've begun putting out some awesome women's skis. And as you can imagine, these are a big topic for discussion on TheSkiDiva.com, the internet discussion forum for women skiers.

    Here are some of the skis that the ladies over there are buzzing about:

  • K2 Burnin' Luv, One Luv, and Lotta Luv

  • Volkl Attiva AC3

  • Dynastar Exclusive II

  • Nordica Olympia Speed

  • Atomic Balanze

  • Salomon Siam N10


  • Want to find out more? Visit the manufacturer's web sites for stats. And stop by TheSkiDiva.com for some great ski talk.

    Friday, October 20, 2006

    Ski for less (Part 2)

    The money saving tips listed in my October 13 entry were a good start. So let's continue: here are some more ways you can save money skiing. Anyone have any others?

  • Get a job at the ski resort of your choice: You'll get paid and be able to ski for free. What could be better?

  • Buy ski gear at early season sales. Or get it used. This especially makes sense for kids who grow out of things in nothing flat.

  • Join a ski club. You can get great deals on lift tickets, as well as on trips to all sorts of terrific places. Some maintain houses in or near ski towns where you can stay for very little, too.

  • Look for lift ticket discounts at ski shops, fast food chains, and grocery stores. You'll be amazed who has deals. Keep your eyes open. They're everywhere.

  • Look for special offers at your favorite mountain. Some have discount days for state residents, ski clubs, women, college students, and so on. Check your mountain's web site for details.

  • Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, October 17, 2006

    The difference between men's and women's skiing.

    Found a very interesting article about the differences between men's and women's skiing:

    Skimybest.com

    Basically, the article discusses the physical, anatomical, cultural, and psychological differences that make men and women ski and learn to ski differently.

    What it makes clear to me is that skiing is not a one-size-fits-all enterprise; that is, what works for one gender may not work for the other. There are critical differences that must be considered for each to have a happy and successful skiing experience.

    I also thought it interesting that the author finds women more likely to take lessons than men. Could this stem from a greater willingness to ask for assistance (for instance, why won't men ever ask for directions, when they're lost?), or is it a lack of confidence, on the woman's part? Whatever it is, lessons are a fine idea for both men and women. Don't you agree?

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, October 13, 2006

    Ski for less (Part 1).

    No question about it -- skiing costs money. And with just getting to the slopes costing an arm and a leg these days, it makes sense to think about ways to cut expenses.

    So here are a few ways to save. Most of them are pretty intuitive, but maybe there's something here you haven't considered:

  • Pack a lunch. Most of the food you get at ski resorts is expensive and let's face it, not especially good or healthy (you didn't really want that hog dog and fries, did you?). So bring your own, save money, and be good to your body.

  • Carpool. If you have a friend who likes to ski, sharing the cost of gas can be a big help. Plus you're keeping more cars off the road, which is better for the environment. (Remember, stop global warming!)

  • If you're on an overnight trip, don't stay slopeside. You can save a bundle by spending the night a few miles away. Granted, you'll have to drive a little, but you can save big.

  • Consider a season pass. If you ski alot, this can really pay off big time. My mid-week season pass pays for itself in just 5 visits. It's a terrific investment.


  • Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, October 10, 2006

    Ski season is coming!

    I know it is (in Vermont), for a few reasons:

    We had a hard frost the other night;

    Overnight temps are dipping into the 30s;

    I picked up my season pass yesterday;

    The new Warren Miller movie is making the rounds;

    The ski areas are holding their annual job fairs;

    The forecast is for snow showers by week's end.

    Not too much longer now.......

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, October 06, 2006

    Worst ski outfits.

    I don't mean to dis anyone's style -- and the important thing, after all, is the skiing -- but there are certain ski outfits I just don't understand.

  • One piece ski suits: I mean, isn't making a pit stop sorta inconvenient?

  • Long, long mid-calf coats: Don't they interfere with your legs?

  • Furs: Aside from being politically incorrect, isn't there a time and place?

  • White jackets: Is that you or the snow up ahead?

  • Skiing with your hood up: Doesn't that interfere with peripheral vision?

  • No hat: Makes me cold just to see it (especially when it's bald men). But I guess that's just me.

  • Anyone have any additions?

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Monday, October 02, 2006

    Who do you ski with?

    Me, I mostly ski with my husband, Jon. He's a great guy, a fine skier, and lots of fun to be with.

    I'm lucky he likes to ski.

    But sometimes even he has enough, and I end up heading off by myself. Sometimes I meet someone I know, sometimes I make a new friend, and sometimes I ski alone.

    I don't mind skiing by myself. but I do enjoy company. I like to have someone to chat with on the way up, and to share the experience on the way down.

    However, many women tell me they don't ski because they can't find someone to ski with and don't like skiing alone. Or they don't like skiing with their husbands or boyfriends, because they're bombarded with too much "helpful" advice when they just want to relax and have fun.

    What about you?

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Thursday, September 28, 2006

    Who's skiing?

    Leisure Trends did a national survey on who's skiing, and I thought it was pretty interesting. Here’s a quick summary:

  • Increase in first-time skiers (3.4% this season, up from below 1% for the last two years).

  • Increase in first-time riders (10% this season, up from below 1% for the last two years).

  • Increase in first-time visitors to a resort (23%, a six year high — low was 16% in 2004).

  • Continual increase in 19 to 24-year-olds (18% - the highest figure in 11 years).

  • Continued decline in 30-34 year olds (8% - down from 14% in 1995. Trend shows gradual decline over 11 years).

  • All other age groups holding their percentages - no significant increases in 50+

  • Decline in married (46%, down from a high of 58%).

  • Decline in percent traveling with children under age of 16 (23% - lowest in 11 years).

  • Empty nesters also declining (9% - from 13% in 2000).

  • Percentage of season passholders (continues to increase to 30% of all ticket holders).

  • Influence of the season pass on where to ski/ride is very high at 21% - behind ease of getting to (37%); influence of friends (29%); and ahead of terrain variety (20%).

  • Ease of getting to the resort is at a record high level in influence of choosing a resort (37%).

  • Internet continues to grow as an influential source of information (11% up from an average of 9%-10%. Prior to 2000 was 7%-8%).


  • Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    Going up?

    What do you like to do when you ride up the lift?

    My dad used to sing to me -- which I found terribly embarrassing as a teenager, but remember quite fondly when I think about it today.

    Sometimes I like to chat. It's always fun to meet new people. Plus you have the option of ending it naturally when you get off the lift. Or you can take a run with them and continue to talk on the way up again.

    Mostly, I like to watch people ski. You see everything -- great skiers, awful skiers, weird behavior, fantastic wipeouts, relieving recoveries. And the outfits! Can someone tell me why it seems like some days everyone's wearing red, and other days, yellow? Just seems to work out that way.

    I also like to evaluate trails and conditions and even plot a line down the hill. Good to know where you're going, before you even get there.

    Sometimes I even sing. Just don't tell my dad.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    Help make January "National Ski & Snowboard Month"

    I know, I know -- for those of us who are obsessed with skiing, every month is "National Ski & Snowboard Month."

    All the same, Ski Area Management (SAM) magazine is reporting that The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) and Snowsports Industries America (SIA) are lobbying Congress to seek a White House Proclamation declaring January "National Ski and Snowboard Month." The intent is to remind people to get outside exercise in winter.

    Congressman Mark Udall (D-CO) has introduced House Resolution 979 asking for the proclamation, but the bill requires co-sponsors. You can help by contacting your Congressional representative and urge him or her to co-sign H. Res. 979.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Friday, September 15, 2006

    Goals for '06-'07.

    It's always good to have something to work toward. So here are my goals for the upcoming ski season:

  • Get through the season uninjured. An injury can put a damper on anyone's year. So I hope to escape unscathed (hope you do, too!).

  • Ski more days than last season. Got in 40 in '05-'06. Let's see if I can do better this year!

  • Try at least one new mountain. Always fun to mix it up a bit.

  • Improve my skiing technique, particularly on moguls. I'm okay on a certain type, but once they get too big, too steep, or too icy, I'm out of my depth.

  • Make lots of new ski friends.

  • Have fun! That shouldn't be hard.

  • What're your goals?

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    This is for you, doll face.

    As you all know, Barbie (yes, I'm talking about the doll here) has done it all: astronaut, doctor, rock star, fashion model -- you get the picture.

    Now you can add ski manufacturer to the list (well, almost).

    Mattel, Barbie's home company, is partnering with Elan to make skis for young girls, in pink (of course) with graphics of flowers and butterflies. Suggested retail price: $119. to $189.

    As much as it makes me twinge, I bet my daughter would've LOVED these when she was little.

    Hey, if it gets 'em skiing, I'm for it.

    Wonder if Barbie's Ferrari has ski racks?

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, a new internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    In remembrance.

    It's been five years since the horrible events of September 11, 2001.

    For me, the time has gone by quickly. It's easy to feel that way, given the hectic schedules of our daily lives.

    But think back -- on that terrible, terrible day, the world seemed to stop. The awful face of evil revealed itself, and all of us were stunned at its magnitude.

    Today, take a moment to remember that even though evil exists, it is far outweighed by the goodness that's all around us. In the memory of those who died on that tragic day, do what you can to help spread this goodness. And above all, pray for peace.

    Friday, September 08, 2006

    Ski like a woman.

    Thought I'd clue you in on this great web site I found:

    SkiLikeAWoman.com

    If you're interested in improving your skiing, this is definitely worth checking out. It's a directory of women's ski clinics, and even though it doesn't list every clinic everywhere, it could help you find the one that's right for you.

    So when you're planning that trip for the coming winter, take some time and take a look. There might be a great clinic right where you're headed.

    Be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers, where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related.

    Monday, September 04, 2006

    It's Here: TheSkiDiva.com Forum!!!

    Ta da!!!!

    Yes, it's finally ready -- TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum devoted exclusively to women who ski.

    Here you can post comments, ask questions, trade tips, vent, express opinions, and otherwise hold forth on anything and everything ski related. And you can do it with other women who care as passionately about skiing as you do.

    Here's a taste of the forums that are currently awaiting your input:

    General Skiing: Ski related discussions that don't fit under other, more specific headings.
    Ski Gear: Questions, comments, and reviews about all types of ski gear.
    Family Skiing: Skiing together as a family.
    Resorts, Conditions & Travel: Questions and comments about resorts and snow conditions.
    Trip Reports: Tell us about your ski trip.
    Meet on the Hill: Arrange to meet up with another member of TheSkiDiva.com community.
    Getting to know you: Tell us about yourself! We'd love to get to know you.
    Health & Fitness: Staying healthy during ski season (and the rest of the year, too).
    Off Season Sports: Hiking, biking,kayaking, tennis -- anything you do in the off season.
    Random Humor: Jokes, funny links; we could all use a laugh.
    Miscellaneous Discussions: Anything else you feel like discussing.

    As you can see, there's something for everyone. You'll have to register to post in the forums, but it's fast, easy, and absolutely free.

    And just so you know, TheSkiDiva.com is not affiliated with any ski resort, ski manufacturer, professional association, or other organization. It's just us chickens.

    So even though you'll still be able to find me here in my blog, I'll be spending a lot of time over there, too. Be sure to visit!

    Thursday, August 31, 2006

    A reqium for summer.

    Labor Day weekend marks the unofficial close of summer. And while I rejoice at the now forseeable approach of ski season, I am not, as some people claim, a "summer hater." There are lots of things I actually like about summer. Here are a few:

    Warm temperatures: Believe it or not, I actually don't enjoy being cold. It's just that I love skiing so much that I'm willing to, shall we say, overlook it. It's nice not to go outside dressed in multiple layers.

    The beach: As someone who grew up on the Jersey shore, the beach is in my blood. There's something almost visceral about it to me. When I go to the beach, I feel like I'm going home. For me, the ideal would be a home in the mountains and one on the beach. But unless I hit the lottery, that ain't going to happen!

    Summer shoes: What woman doesn't love the toe-baring sandals you get to wear in the summer?

    Cooking on the grill: My husband and I grill a lot in the summer. Food just tastes better. I miss that in the winter.

    Summer veggies and fruit: Corn on the cob, peaches, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes. 'Nuff said.

    Flowers: I'm a big fan of anything that blooms. Green is nice, too.

    To all that, I bid a fond farewell. See you next year. Now when do we ski?

    Reminder: Coming September 4 -- TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers (see August 2 blog entry entitled "Coming Attractions"). If you'd like to know when it's up and running, send me an email and I'll keep you posted!

    Sunday, August 27, 2006

    "Know thyself."

    That's a quote from Aristotle, And in skiing, it applies big time.

    There's a thread over at Alpinezone.com where posters are listing their opinions of the steepest trails in the east. Some people look at this as a "to do" list. For me, that ain't necessarily the case.

    I think I have a pretty good handle on my ability. And I don't think I need to prove myself to anyone.

    This is probably generalizing, but it seems to me that one of the biggest differences between male and female skiers is the former's tendency to view skiing as a competition -- who can ski the best, the fastest; who can be the most extreme.

    Most times, all it boils down to is who can talk the biggest talk.

    Big talk can be impressive. But it can also lead to trouble. I've seen people who talk like they're the greatest skier since Jean Claude Killy end up in some pretty hairy situations, instead of admitting they're in over their heads.

    As I've said in my previous posts, I'm all for accepting challenges. It'd be a pretty dull world if we didn't, and we'd all stay at the same level plateau. But I also think it's important to have a clear sense of your ability and to know what's right for you, instead of attempting something before you're ready.

    Big talk doesn't make the skier -- only the skiing counts. And you can be the judge of that.

    Reminder: Coming September 4 -- TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers (see August 2 blog entry entitled "Coming Attractions"). If you'd like to know when it's up and running, send me an email and I'll keep you posted!

    Wednesday, August 23, 2006

    Like the robins in spring.

    Yep, one of the first signs of ski season is here: the September issue of Ski Magazine, where they review gear for the upcoming season. And even though I'm not in the market for new skis, it still gets my pulse going.

    Not that I wouldn't love new equipment -- who wouldn't -- but I only have three seasons into my Head Monster i.M 70's; they're great skis, and I think they have a lot of life in them yet. I've vowed to keep them for three more.

    I actually like them a lot. They're great on the hard pack (translation: ice) and crud we get in the east. Head ingrained Intellifibers into the core of the ski. As you turn, mechanical energy (vibrations) are converted to electrical energy, which is applied to these fibers to make them progressively stiffer. In a matter of microseconds, the ski senses and adapts to its surroundings, growing stiffer or softer torsionally as conditions and speed warrant. The ski comes with a binding, Tyrolia's LD 12, and an integrated plate system, Super Railflex, which allows the ski to flex unimpeded.

    Still, it's hard not to be wowed by the latest and the greatest. I'm especially impressed by the many new women's skis that are on the market. Eventually, I'll have to give them a try.

    Reminder: Coming September 4-- TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers (see August 2 blog entry entitled "Coming Attractions"). If you'd like to know when it's up and running, send me an email and I'll keep you posted!

    Saturday, August 19, 2006

    Yes, it's hot out...

    which brings to mind a great quote from Eleanor Roosevelt (I actually found this recently under the cap of an ice tea bottle):

    "A woman is like a tea bag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water."

    Nothing to do with skiing, I know; just wanted to pass it on.

    Stay cool. And pray for an early ski season.

    Reminder: Coming in September -- TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers (see August 2 blog entry). If you'd like to know when it's up and running, send me an email and I'll keep you posted!

    Wednesday, August 16, 2006

    In the bag.

    Ever get a piece of ski gear you really, really liked? One that made your life oh-so-much easier?

    I had that exact experience last winter, when I purchased a boot bag I can carry on my back. See, I used to hoist my skis over my right shoulder and steady them with my right arm, while I carried my boots and helmet with my left.

    By the time I'd hike from my car to the lodge, my left wrist would feel like it was going to break off (those boots are heavy!).

    So I found this great boot bag, with enough room to carry not just my boots, but my helmet, googles, and anything else I needed for a day on the slopes. And since it works like a backpack, my wrist didn't kill me all winter. To me, that's a big improvement.

    I wish I'd found it sooner, but I guess I'm glad I found it at last. I don't think a day went by when I wasn't thrilled to have it.

    Anyway, if you're looking for a better way to carry your stuff, I highly recommend it.

    Reminder: Coming in September -- TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers (see August 2 blog entry). If you'd like to know when it's up and running, send me an email and I'll keep you posted!

    Saturday, August 12, 2006

    Yard Sale Day.

    Today is Yard Sale Day. By which I mean we're the ones having a yard sale -- not the ones making the rounds. We have all sorts of stuff for sale: old pots, dishes, toys, vases, a rug -- you get the picture. All the things we don't need anymore, but that are still in good shape, still useful -- a great value for someone else.

    It reminded me of what terrific deals you can get on ski gear at this sort of thing -- especially for kids, who outgrow stuff in nothing flat. Even though it's not this year's equipment, does it really matter if they're just learning? And once in a while, you may even run into an adult who's getting rid of perfectly good equipment (God only knows why). That's great for you, too.

    Anyway, yard sales can be a fabulous way to get ski stuff for cheap. Check 'em out!

    Reminder: Coming in September -- TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers (see August 2 blog entry). If you'd like to know when it's up and running, send me an email and I'll keep you posted!

    Wednesday, August 09, 2006

    Some insight into why more women don't ski.

    I was very impressed with the following post by Mollmeister on EpicSki.com and wanted to share it with you. The thread was exploring why more women don't ski, and as you can imagine, there were lots and lots of opinions. I thought this one was especially insightful. Read it and see if you agree.

    After thinking a bit more *seriously* about this, there is one thing that keeps coming to mind, and it's a difference between men and women (especially moms) when it comes to thinking about time, and especially about time off.

    The number one reason that I get ready quickly on ski mornings is the snow. I am an addict, no question. However, there's another driving force, and that's duty. If I don't get the two-year-old breakfast and a cold-weather outfit and a bag packed for daycare/ski school, it ain't gonna happen. Or at least it won't happen until Daddy has done his showering, made his breakfast burrito, watched some ESPN while devouring said breakfast burrito, and looked for his missing set of long johns that he "was just wearing yesterday!" You get the picture. Ski day is going to start late, late, late, if I don't handle most of this stuff. Plus, I go into the day knowing that I need to be done by a certain point, so that we can collect the munchkin on time, and maybe even have him demonstrate some of his on-snow skills before we head back to the condo or the car. I am programmed to be thinking about all of these things that *need to get done* while I am going about my day.

    Now, my husband on the other hand, sees ski days as vacation, as true time off. And as a rule, the men in my life (husband, father, father-in-law) are much better at embracing time off to the fullest, much more so than the women. For the men, time off means getting started late if you get started late, and so be it. It means a nap on the couch. A little too long in the hot tub. Zoning in front of the TV. Leaving the dishes next to the sink. . . maybe until tomorrow. PURE relaxation. For me, time off is always a little bit tinged with the things that need to get done re: toddler or family or house or whatever.

    I think that many women, as caregivers, learn this kind of behavior, and never shut it off. While a man, even into his twilight years, may be able to forget everything on the ski slope, the woman may be thinking not just about how she might hurt herself, but also about how she needs to get home to set out the hors d'oeuvres for the ski friends who are dropping by later. And will she have time for a shower before they come by?

    Many, many women, especially in my mom's generation, seem to have this ingrained sense of needing to take care of everyone, including their husbands, while the men have an easier time really embracing a day off. This may affect womens' willingness to give time over to skiing, because it can be a very, very time-intensive sport, especially if you live in day-trip proximity to the big mountains. They may just be thinking about all the stuff that won't get done if they spend this or that day up in the hills, and then they go less, and their skiing doesn't get better. Meanwhile, the men are thinking, "Great! A day off, let's ski!"

    I hope I keep loving skiing (and that my kids love it, too), because when I am ripping down the hill, it is the one time in my life when I am able to shut out all of the other things I *need* to be doing, to stop being a wife or a mother, and just be me. I really hope that doesn't get lost somewhere along the way. It's sanity for me at this point.


    This is the sort of stuff we can address in more depth on TheSkiDiva.com, the new forum for women skiers coming in September (see August 2 blog entry). If you'd like to know when it's up and running, send me an email and I'll keep you posted!

    Sunday, August 06, 2006

    Hail Vail!

    In case you haven't heard, Vail Resorts recently announced it's going to purchase wind power credits equal to 100% of its annual energy use, making it the second-largest corporate buyer of wind power credits in the US (after Whole Foods Market).

    According to Vail, the decision reflects a growing concern about global warming among U.S. ski resorts. They're not the first ski resort to do this: Aspen already offsets all its electricity with 21,000 megawatt hours of wind power credits.

    Vail Resorts estimates that the 152,000 megawatt hours of wind energy credits it'll buy are equal to eliminating 211 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions a year -- the equivalent of taking 18,000 cars off the road. Companywide, Vail Resorts uses about the same electricity as about 14,000 homes. It operates the Keystone, Breckenridge, Beaver Creek and Vail ski resorts in Colorado, Heavenly Mountain ski resort near Lake Tahoe, the Jackson Lake Lodge in Wyoming, and other resort hotels from California to Vermont.

    To anyone concerned with global warming (and I know all of you are), this is great news. Let's hope other ski areas take note and follow suit.

    Two ski poles up for Vail! (And Aspen, too!)

    Reminder: Coming in September -- TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers (see August 2 blog entry). If you'd like to know when it's up and running, send me an email and I'll keep you posted!

    Wednesday, August 02, 2006

    Coming Attractions.

    When I first started this blog, I wanted to create an alternative to the decidedly male orientation you'll find in the current ski forums and magazines. As I've said in earlier posts (and in my profile), women skiers are often overlooked, underserved, and under-represented in the skiing world. And in much of the ski-related media, it shows.

    Now I'm taking this one step further: I'm creating an internet forum dedicated exclusively to women who ski.

    Curently under construction, the new forum will be a place where women skiers can connect with one another to talk about everything and anything ski-related: equipment, resorts, techniques, clothing, family matters, trips, nutrition, etc. It'll be a place where we can discuss skiing in a way we can relate to, on topics that we find of interest.

    I'm hoping you'll visit -- and beyond that, I'm hoping you'll register and participate (it's free!). It'll help get a potentially great thing off the ground. And it'll be a lot of fun, too.

    Right now I'm looking at launching the site some time in September. So if you'd like to be notified when it goes on line, just click here and send me your name and email address. Tell your friends, too. Any and all women skiers are more than welcome!

    Saturday, July 29, 2006

    Random summer thoughts.

    Just some brain ramblings on a hot, hot summer day:

    Will summer ever end? I know it will. Just seems like it lasts forever -- especially with the temperature approaching 90 degrees.

    When will ski season begin? Last year we had an "October Surprise" in the Northeast, but the real season didn't begin til much later. Let's hope that we have a strong early snowfall that doesn't melt or get washed away. Let's see -- November 15, which I gauge as the unofficial start of ski season, is 109 days from today. Not too bad. We can make it!

    Hope I remember how to ski! I worry about this every year, and every year I seem to do just fine. Who knows -- maybe it's muscle memory or something.

    Hope I can ski a lot this winter. Last season I got in about 40 days, a personal record in a year not noted for great snow. This year I hope to beat it, but with my husband's book, Finn, coming out in February, it might be difficult.

    It's July 29. Am I the only person who's thinking about skiing? I don't think so! After all, you're reading this, aren't you?

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006

    Speak your mind.

    It could make a difference.

    If you're less than pleased with something at your favorite ski area, it might be worth your while to let them know. Could be the child care or the children's program needs improving. Maybe the bathrooms or the dining area could be cleaner. Maybe you'd like to see them institute a women's clinic.

    All too often, women are encouraged to be "nice" and not rock the boat. But this can be perceived as acceptance of the status quo. So bad situations stay bad. And you remain dissatisfied.

    I'm not encouraging you to be a pain in the neck. But it only makes sense to let management know when you're unhappy (nicely, of course), and to offer any suggestions you might have for improvement. Skiing's a business, and ski areas want to keep their customers happy.

    Conversely, if they're doing something you thnk is great, let them know about that, too. This way, they'll be sure to keep it up. And that's important, too.

    You can find the appropriate person to contact at your ski area's web site. Give them a call or drop them an email. I'm sure they'd welcome your feedback.

    Saturday, July 22, 2006

    Take a hike!

    As accustomed as we are to thinking about our favorite ski area as a place for winter fun, have you ever hiked one in the summer?

    Many of them have great hiking trails. For example, I recently hiked the Healdville Trail in Ludlow, Vermont. This trail goes up the back of Okemo Mountain and ends at an old fire tower at the top of South Peak. Climb the tower, and you get a beautiful 360-view of the Green Mountains. Breathtaking.

    Plenty of other ski areas have hiking trails, too. It's a great way to enjoy them during the summer months. And it'll give you a different perspective of the trails you ski during the winter. (Hmmmm, who knew that rock was there??)

    See ya at the top!

    Wednesday, July 19, 2006

    Male or female instructors?

    To me, it doesn't matter. As long as the instructor is knowledgable, patient, and able to explain and demonstrate things well, I'm happy.

    But I wonder if it matters to you.

    Some people have told me that female instructors are more patient (if the instructor is a mother, could this be from dealing with kids?), while others have told me that male instructors push them harder.

    Both are good traits to have. I like to be challenged, but I also like some understanding and patience, along the way.

    What do you think? Any preference?

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Lost and found.

    Here's a fun way to spend those idle hours at the computer: looking at web sites about lost ski areas.

    Seriously. In this world of mega-resorts and high speed lifts, there are a lot of ski areas that're no longer around. Skiing's a tough business, and for whatever reason, some areas just couldn't make it.

    Weeds grow on the slopes. Rust accumulates on the chair lift towers.

    It's pretty sad, when you think about it. But by going to these web sites, you can get a sense of skiing as it was years ago. Hey, you may have even skied at one of these places. In that case, prepare yourself for a trip down memory lane:

    New England Lost Ski Areas: 573 lost ski areas in New England and 61 elsewhere
    Colorado's Lost Ski Areas: 140 dormant ski areas
    Mid-Atlantic Lost Ski Areas: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, and North Carolina; 34 dormant areas
    Lost Ski Areas of Washington: 47 lost areas
    Alaska's Lost Ski Areas: 96 lost areas
    Lost New Mexico Ski Areas: 8 lost areas

    Just totaled it up -- that's 959 areas right there. Wow. Imagine if only a fraction of these opened again!

    While we're in a historical mode, here's another great site: Teachski.com. It's a historical look at skiing through photos, trail maps, brochures, booklets, and other memorabilia. Check it out.

    Wednesday, July 12, 2006

    Goodbye to a great one!

    From Ski Racing Magazine:

    Veteran American World Cup star Kristina Koznick retired from the sport on Monday after 16 seasons on the World Cup.

    Koznick raced the Olympic giant slalom with a completely torn anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee after a training-run mishap on Feb. 5. She finished the season ranked 13th in the World Cup slalom standings, 28th in giant slalom and 31st overall.

    She was fourth in the slalom standings in 2004-05 with three podium appearances and five top-six results. The product of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, retires with six career World Cup wins. She was the 1993 Ski Racing U.S. female junior alpine skier of the year, and took home Ski Racing's top alpine female honor in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2002.


    Hats (or helmets) off to Kristina, a true champion.

    Saturday, July 08, 2006

    Women's clinics

    Anyone attend a women's ski clinic this past season?

    I understand they're a great way to build skills, boost confidence, and experience the comaraderie of skiing with other women.

    To me, all this sounds great.

    Even though I've never participated in one, it's something I've always wanted to do.

    So anyone who's been in a women's clinic, please post here and let me know what it was like. Where'd you take it? What'd you do? And was it worthwhile?

    After all, there's always next year....

    Wednesday, July 05, 2006

    Another reason to ski....

    ...or even exercise: it'll improve your memory and boost your creativity and reaction time.

    Middlesex University researchers in London discovered that 25 minutes of aerobic exercise boosted scores on subsequent creativity tests. And one study found physically fit workers were 12.5 percent more efficient at the end of the day than their nonphysically fit counterparts. What's more, a study in the journal "Nature" reports that sedentary senior citizens who took up walking for 45 minutes, three days a week, were able to significantly improve mental skills that decline with age.

    We all knew we were smart for skiing. This just proves it!

    Now if I could just remember where I put those keys.....

    Saturday, July 01, 2006

    Girl Talk.

    It's no surprise that one of my favorite things to talk about is skiing.

    All the same, with so few skiers among my of my female friends, I often feel obligated to keep this part of my life under wraps. Don't get me wrong -- as I'm sure you can imagine, I have no problem talking about lots and LOTS of things. But skiing is often a different story. I don't want to bore my non-skiing friends with something they're not interested in. And to someone who's not into skiing, how can I communicate the excitement I get from hurtling headlong down the mountain, the almost spiritual uplift I get from the view at the top, the sense of achievement I get from mastering a difficult run? With what women can I discuss new equipment, compare mountains and trails, and share tips on technique and ski clothes? Is it just me, or do any of you feel the same way?

    As I noted in my first post on this blog, It ain't easy. And that's what makes Ski Diva so special. Here I can get as carried away as I want with people who understand. And you can, too.

    So if you find something you want to talk about in the ski world, post it here. We know how you feel. And we're happy to listen.

    Have a safe and happy Fourth!

    Tuesday, June 27, 2006

    Ski your way to better sleep.

    Have trouble sleeping? Maybe you should ski more.

    The National Sleep Foundation reports that exercise in the afternoon can help deepen shut-eye and cut the time it takes for you to fall asleep. However, a 2003 study found that a morning fitness regime was key to a better snooze. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center concluded that postmenopausal women who exercised 30 minutes every morning had less trouble falling asleep than those who were less active. The women who worked out in the evening hours saw little or no improvement in their sleep patterns.

    No studies have proven conclusively the best time to exercise, but there's unanimous agreement that exercise helps you fall asleep better and sleep more restfully.

    Hey, it's as good an excuse as any to hit the slopes.

    Saturday, June 24, 2006

    The great, completely unscientific energy bars taste test.

    Raise your hands -- how many of you like to take energy bars to the slopes?

    I'm sitting here with my hands firmly on the keyboard. Not just because I'm typing, either, but because I've never found an energy bar I really liked. To be fair, maybe I just haven't looked hard enough. After all, the concept of energy bars is tremendously appealing. It'd be great to bring something along for a quick snack on the lift.

    So I thought I'd do a limited, unscientific taste test. Limited, in that I'm only going to test four bars. And unscientific, because it only involves one taster -- me.

    Here's what I found:

    Zone Perfect (strawberry yogurt): 210 calories. 15g protein, 21g carbs, 7g fat, 1g fiber. A sweet yogurt coating surrounding a grainy strawberry-flavored interior. Not too bad.

    Kashi Go Lean (oatmeal raisin cookie): 280 calories. 13g protein, 49g carbs, 5g fat, 6g fiber. Chewy with a sweet exterior coating. Again, not bad.

    Clif Energy Bar (carrot cake): 240 calories. 10g protein, 46g carbs, 4g fat, 5g fiber, 4g fat. Doesn't taste even remotely like carrot cake. In fact, it has a strong cinnamony flavor. No exterior coating. Didn't like this at all.

    PowerBar Performance (apple cinnamon): 230 calories. 9g protein, 45g carbs, 2.5g fat, 3g fiber. Flat, sticky, and hard to remove from the foil packaging. Very gummy texture that turns grainy in your mouth. Has a slight apple flavor and a decidedly non-apple aftertaste. Ugh.

    Of course, everyone's taste is different; you might like something that I don't, and vice versa. What's your favorite energy bar? List it here. I'll test more in the future.

    Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    Sure, I'm sure!

    Even though it's come and gone, here's a day worth noting: National Women's Confidence Day.

    If you missed it like I did, here's some background: National Women's Confidence Day was established on June 7 by Vanity Fair (the lingerie company), and announced to the world by none other than their spokesperson, Queen Latifah. The idea of the day is "to recognize women who project the power of confidence and encourage other women to gain confidence and self-esteem."

    As much as I abhor this as a blatent ploy to sell women's underwear, I guess I must be a sucker at heart. Because I can't help but applaud the notion behind it. After all, there's nothing wrong with encouraging women to be confident.

    This is especially important in skiing, a sport where head games can do a real number on you. Lack confidence in your ability, and you can pretty much guarantee yourself a white knuckle, teeth chattering, toe clenching ride down the mountain. In other words, you won't have any fun. But feel fairly confident, and the run's a different story.

    Seems to me that lack of confidence is more of an issue with women than it is with men. Chalk this up to social conditioning, intimidation, or who knows what. I'm not saying you should over estimate how well you ski and take unwarranted risks. On the other hand, why not give yourself permission to recognize the ability you do have? Instead of talking yourself down, boost yourself up. You'll ski better, feel better, and have a much better time.

    I'm sure of it.

    Sunday, June 18, 2006

    Try it. You'll like it.

    Well, here I am -- back from my trip to Grand Cayman. And even if it wasn't skiing, it was still a lot of fun.

    We swam, snorkeled, relaxed on the beach, read, ate too much -- in short, we did all the things one does on vacation in the Caribbean.

    What could be bad? The weather was incredible -- in the 80's, nice breeze, bright sun, The water was magnificent, too -- a brilliant, clear turquoise unlike anything you'll see anywhere else. Not cold, either, so you could jump right in without that awful shock you get here in the Northeast.

    It made me think: Could there actually be other things in life that're fun, besides skiing? The short answer is -- yes. I mean, I may be crazy about skiing, but I'm not completely crazy.

    How dull it'd be if we did the same thing, time after time after time. Whether it's a new place, a new sport, a new book, or even a new food, trying new things keeps us alive, expands our minds, and makes us better human beings.

    Naturally, this even applies to skiing. Trying a new mountain, a new trail, or even a new technique can re-awaken our senses and remind us again why we love the sport.

    So when you think about skiing next winter, think about mixing it up a bit. Chances are you'll like it.

    Friday, June 09, 2006

    (Not) Going Skiing.

    Believe it or not, even I'll admit that there are other things in life besides skiing. So starting tomorrow, I'll be off on a vacation where there won't be a snowflake in sight.

    Actually, I'm pretty excited. I'm headed to Grand Cayman for a week of fun 'n sun. And I won't be back til June 17.

    I've never been to Grand Cayman before, but I have been to the Carribbean -- Barbados, St. Thomas, Providenciales. And Bermuda (not in the Caribbean, though it's Caribbean-like). Anyway, I hear this island's pretty nice.

    What are your vacation plans for the summer? Care to share? Or are you saving all your vacation for that blow-out ski trip this winter? And if so, where do you think you'll go?

    I'll post when I get back -- probably on Sunday, the 18th. So don't forget to come back then. In the meantime, if you haven't read my earlier posts, go into my Archives and check 'em out.

    I'll talk to you later.

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    Never argue with a woman who reads.

    All credit (or blame) for this goes to poster Dorm57 on EpicSki.com. I know it has nothing to do with skiing, but I thought it was so cute I had to share it with you:

    One morning a husband comes back from fishing and decides to take a nap. Although not familiar with the lake, the wife decides to take the boat out, so she motors out, anchors, and begins to read a book.

    Not long after, a game warden pulls up beside her boat. "What are you doing here?" he asks.

    "Reading a book," she says (thinking, "Isn't it obvious?")

    "Ma'am, you're in a Restricted Fishing Area," he informs her.

    "So what's the problem, officer? I'm reading, not fishing."

    "Yes, ma'am, but you have all the equipment here, and for all I know you could start fishing at any moment. I'm afraid I'll have to take you in and write you up."

    The woman says, "That's fine, and in that case I'm afraid I'm going to have to charge you with sexual assault."

    The game warden says, "Ma'am, you can't do that. I haven't touched you, looked at you...I haven't even gotten into your boat."

    "That's true," she says, "but you have all the equipment and for all I know you could start assaulting me at any moment!"

    The game warden thinks a bit, then motors off in his boat muttering, "Have a nice day, ma'am."

    Moral: Be careful when arguing with a woman who reads. It's likely she can also think.

    Wednesday, May 31, 2006

    Jump For Joy!

    Well, it's about time -- women ski jumpers may finally be on the way to becoming Olympic competitors!

    I don't know if you've been following this story, but ski jumping is the only Olympic sport that doesn't allow women to compete. And yes, you don't have to check your calendars; it really is 2006 -- not 1906.

    Just last week, however, the International Federation of Skiing (FIS) voted to add an individual event in the 2009 World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic -- a necessary step to the sport attaining Olympic status.

    Why the hold up? The thought was that there weren't enough competitors to generate interest for the sport. But according to CBS News, more than 120 women from 14 countries are registered with the FIS as ski jumpers. And nearly half of them are qualified to compete internationally. That gives ski jumping more seasoned competitors than women's bobsled and skeleton had when those sports were added to the Games in 2002.

    So a big congratulations to women ski jumpers like Lindsey Van, Alissa Johnson, and Jessica Jerome. These are hard working, extremely talented women who deserve to compete. Glad they may finally get their chance!

    Saturday, May 27, 2006

    Summertime Blues.

    Okay, so it's May 27. Memorial Day Weekend. The Official Start of Summer.

    Not to panic; we can make it.

    After all, if you pick November 15 as the arbitrary beginning of ski season, it's only five months and 19 days away.

    That's 172 days.

    Or 4,128 hours.

    Or 247,680 minutes.

    Take a deep breath. We can do this.

    Count on it.

    Wednesday, May 24, 2006

    People are talking!

    It's May 24th. Do you know where the management of your favorite ski area is?

    I do! I do! They're at the 2006 National Ski Areas Association Convention in Marco Island, Florida.

    And do you know what they're discussing?

    Once again, I do! One of the main topics is women and snowsports. Apparently, they're as concerned as we are about the dearth of women on the slopes.

    It only makes good sense to address the women's ski segment. According to Sports Illustrated, 42% of alpine skiers are female (though you could've fooled me). Nonetheless, whatever the number, it's a group that's often overlooked and extremely underserved. And not paying attention to it just doesn't make sense.

    Just a couple weeks ago I was contacted by a market research firm that's addressing the convention. They were trying to figure out why more women don't ski; why women (especially teenage girls) leave the sport; and how to keep women skiing -- all interesting questions on which I tried to provide input, based on feedback I've gotten from you, my own observations, and things I've read from women posters on AlpineZone and EpicSki.

    Hope the Association comes up with some good ideas. We could use 'em.

    Saturday, May 20, 2006

    Ain't no harm in that.

    I'm embarrassed to admit it, but until recently I thought the words to the Gwen Stefani song, "Ain't no holla back girl," were "Ain't no harm in that, girl." My daughter informed me otherwise. I guess I'm showing my age.

    Anyway, "Ain't no harm in that" has sort of become a family catch phrase. And I'm using it here to promote exercising during the off season. After all, "Ain't no harm in that."

    Keeping in shape in the off season can mean fewer sore muscles when ski season rolls around. I go to the gym 5 times a week, where I do half an hour on the ellipitical machine, and half an hour of weight training. On days when it's just too beautiful to stay indoors, I like to bike (great for leg muscles), roller blade (ditto), hike (ditto), or swim.

    The most important thing is to find something you enjoy. That way, you'll be sure to keep at it. I know, I know -- finding the time to exercise with the kids, the job and/or school, laundry, errands, etc. etc. can be a real challenge. But -- and I know you've heard this before -- staying in shape is imperative not just for skiing, but for warding off all kinds of health conditions and for making you feel better all around. (It's also important for looking great in a swim suit this summer. But that's for someone else's blog.) Even if you can only exercise a few times a week, try to make that a regular part of your schedule. The payoff is incredible.

    What do you do to keep in shape? Yoga? Pilates? Tennis? Swimming? Walking? Post it here. After all, the fitter you are when the snow starts to fly, the less ibuprofren you'll have to take next winter -- and the more easily you'll fit into this season's ski clothes. Ain't no harm in that, girl!

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    February isn't just for skiing.

    Something else exciting is going to happen, too. And although it has nothing to do with skiing or women and skiing, I'm so proud that I have to put it out here:

    You see, my husband recently sold his first novel to Random House. It's called Finn, and it looks like it'll be in book stores everywhere in February, 2007. Way cool.

    Here's the description from Random House's catalog:

    Wicked meets Cormac McCarthy -- a masterful debut centered on one of the most notorious characters in American literature.

    In this resonant, remarkable novel, Jon Clinch tells the story of Finn, Huckleberry Finn's brutal and mysterious father. Finn begins and ends with a lifeless body, the mirror of a corpse glimpsed but unnamed in Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, drifting down the Mississippi. The circumstances of the murder and the secret of the victim's identity comprise Finn's story.

    Along the way, Clinch introduces the reader to a mesmerizing cast of characters: Finn's own fearsome father, known only as the Judge; Finn's brother, the sickly, sycophantic Will; the hermit Bliss, a blind moonshiner; the strong and quick-witted Mary, a former slave who becomes Finn's mistress; and of course young Huck himself (and the mysterious secret regarding his birth).

    Finn is a novel about race, about the stain of slavery, and about the burdens of paternity. Written in a style both precise and thunderous, understated and violently elemental, it draws from our literary heritage to create something original and new. Finn is a hypnotic, completely original, distinctly American story.


    Sounds intriguing, doesn't it? I have to say, too, that it's one of the best books I've ever read. And I'd say that even if it wasn't my husband who wrote it; it's that good. What's more, Jon's a great skier and a terrific guy. ( I know that's totally unrelated, but I thought I'd throw it in.) Film and foreign rights are for sale, too. Anyone interested?

    By the way, you don't have had to have read Huckleberry Finn to enjoy Finn. It's great all on its own.

    Jon has a blog you can visit, too: The Horsehair Couch. Be sure to drop in.

    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    Here's to you, Ski Moms....

    ...for all you do. Making sure everyone has the hats, goggles, ski pants, boots, etc. etc. they need on the slopes. Dressing and undressing the kids. Assembling the lunches. Hauling the equipment. Harboring a secret stash of tissues/sun block/chap stick/energy bars for that unavoidable emergency. Accomodating multiple bathroom breaks and all the dressing and undressing that go with 'em. Providing encouraging words after a fall. Driving to and from the ski slopes. Attending ski races. Wiping noses. Wiping tears. Administering first aid. Putting on and removing boots/jackets/gloves/helmets. Making sure nothing gets left behind. Arranging ski lessons. Making sure the kids wear helmets.

    For all you do, ski moms, for all your unwavering love, devotion, and support -- we salute you!

    And to my own mom, who doesn't ski and never did, here's to you, too. Thanks for supporting my skiing when I was growing up, and for continuing to support it -- without ever asking 'why' -- now that I'm an adult.

    Happy Mother's Day!

    Wednesday, May 10, 2006

    Tech Talk: Summer Storage

    Are you a techie? Do you tune your own skis? I don't know any women who do, and I don't think I've ever seen a female techie in a ski shop, either.

    Someone may call me on this, but I think I'm pretty safe in saying that ski maintenance is still predominately a man's world. I wonder why...but that's a topic for another entry.

    Anyway, whether you do it yourself or have someone do it for you, it's important to take a few precautions when you store your skis for the summer. A survey of a few local ski shops resulted in the following advice:

    1) Coat the bottoms with a base conditioning wax to keep them from drying out. If you want to try this yourself, there's a great article in Skiing magazine that shows how it's done.

    2) Store them in a dry environment. This means keeping them off a concrete floor, which can hold moisture and cause the edges to rust. I also read somewhere that coating the edges with Vaseline can help prevent them from oxidizing over the summer.

    Anyone have any other tips? If so, post 'em here. Remember -- take care of your skis, and they'll take care of you.

    Saturday, May 06, 2006

    Risky Business.

    Granted, there are a number of women who ski with no fear -- who have the skills and nerve to tackle just about any situation on and off-piste without a second thought.

    But for all of those with no fear -- and I salute you -- there are dozens of other women who are reluctant to push themselves to the next level, or who may even give up skiing, for fear of getting hurt.

    Is it that women are more averse to risk than men? Do we know that we'll still have to go to work, take care of the kids, do the laundry, cook the meals, clean the house, and so on and so on, even if we've torn our ACL or fractured our tibia? Or is it some macho thing that causes some men to turn into super competitors who are willing to try anything on the slopes, even if it's beyond their abilities, no matter what the cost?

    I know I'm generalizing. I know there are plenty of men who'll do the housework and take care of the kids, and many women who'll rip down the slopes, launching themselves off frozen waterfalls and zipping down untracked couloirs. Of course the whole concept of what's risky -- and what isn't -- is purely personal. It probably has a lot to do with past experiences, social conditioning, upbringing, role models, expectations, and so on.

    But still, when I see how male dominated skiing seems to be, it makes me wonder. What do you think?

    Wednesday, May 03, 2006

    Don't Forget Mom!!!!

    Mother's Day is May 14th. So this year, instead of getting your mom the traditional flowers and perfume, how about trying something different:

    Ski gear!

    Of course, this only works if your mom skis. (My mom doesn't, so this would go over like a lead balloon. Then I'd have to take the stuff off her hands, and....hmmm......maybe I'm onto something!) But if your mom does ski, there are some great end-of-season deals at your local ski shop. And it's never too early to plan for next year.

    If you're a mom who skis, be sure to send a link to this post to the father of your children. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly reminder to get the season's pass/gloves/skis/helmet/pants/boots/boot bag (I could go on, but you get the picture) you really, really need.

    Remember, when Mama's happy, everybody's happy.

    Need I say more?

    Saturday, April 29, 2006

    Girl Friends.

    So how many of your female friends ski? Me, I can think of two. No, make that three. (And no, once-a-year skiers don't count. These have to be people who get out fairly regularly.)

    I guess it all depends on the circles you travel in.

    I honestly can't figure out why more women don't ski. Is it the cold? Child care? The incredibly busy lives that most women lead? Is there something about ski culture that puts them off? Or is it because men ski -- could staying off the slopes be a way to get away from men, when they're out skiing?

    Part of the mission of this blog is a selfish one: To connect with other women who like to ski. I think women skiers have different perspectives than male skiers. Different concerns. And maybe even different ways of interacting with the ski universe.

    And I'd love to expand my circle of female ski friends. Because even though I love skiing with my husband, it'd be awfully nice to have more women out on the hill.

    Don't you agree?

    Wednesday, April 26, 2006

    So is it over?

    Alas, my ski season is. And I think I'm in withdrawal.

    I know, I know, spring and summer have their benefits. But since they don't include skiing, what good are they, really?

    I also know that somewhere -- out west, maybe even at a couple places here in the east -- the ski season goes on, albeit in a limited fashion. Are you one of the ones who's still pressing on? And if not, how many ski days did you get this season?

    As I said in an earlier post, I wracked up 37, which isn't too bad, considering the winter. What about you?

    Sunday, April 23, 2006

    On Posting and Saving Money.

    First of all, I'd like to thank everyone for the great response this blog has been getting! It really seems to have struck a chord with a lot of people. I know there are women skiers out there -- yes, I mean you and you and you -- and it's great to know I'm not alone in my love for this fantastic sport.

    Between now and the beginning of ski season, I'll probably post just once or twice a week (that'll change when the season kicks in). So if you don't check back every day, don't sweat it. In the meantime, if anyone has any ideas for things they'd like covered, feel free to post 'em. Let's get this thing rolling!

    Now on to something that's near and dear to all our hearts: saving money. After all, the first step to getting more women on the slopes is to make it as affordable as possible. And a good way to do that is to buy your season's pass for next winter NOW, while many ski areas are selling them at a discount. You might want to check with your favorite ski area to see when these discounts end. For example, here in Vermont, discounts end April 28 at Okemo and Stratton; May 2 at Killington and Mount Snow; May 3 at Sugarbush, and May 31 at Burke.

    It's really incredible how much you can save with a season pass. I have a mid-week pass at Okemo, which is also good at Stratton and Sunapee. Last year this cost me around $260. (this may not be the exact amount -- can't remember -- but it's close enough). I skied 32 days at Okemo (5 days elsewhere), which brought my cost down to just over $8. a day! Compare that to $63. for a daily lift ticket at Okemo, and it's easy to see how fast the savings add up.

    There are lots of other early season pass discounts out there. If you know of any good ones, post 'em here! And tell your friends! Better yet, buy a pass yourself.

    Thursday, April 20, 2006

    Welcome to Ski Diva!

    How many times have you entered a ski lodge or stood on a lift line and noticed that there were hardly any other women present?

    I know I have. More often than not, the majority of the skiers you'll see on any given day are male. And far too often, this is the audience that's addressed in the editorial of ski magazines, in ads for ski products, and on major ski websites.

    To all of the aforementioned I say, "Hey, what're we -- chopped liver?"

    Women ski, too. And even though we may be in the minority, we have just as much -- hey, maybe even more -- passion for skiing as alot of men out there.

    Just like men, we put on our ski boots one boot at a time. And just like men, we love to rip it down a fall line on a clear bluebird day with a foot of fresh powder.

    So women skiers, unite! It's time to take back the lift line! Here's a blog just for you.

    Bookmark it. And come back often. We Ski Divas have to stick together.