Saturday, December 29, 2007

Happy 2008!

So where'd 2007 go??????

It's been an interesting year for me. Some of the highlights include:

  • Membership in TheSkiDiva.com surpassed 500: A terrific on-line community of women skiers. If you haven't checked it out yet, be sure you do. It's fun, informative, and free!

  • 52 ski days, which is pretty good for me, given the less than stellar season here in the east. Hope it's better this year. We're off to a good start in Vermont; let's just hope it continues.

  • New gear: Always fun. I acquired two new pair of skis -- Fischer Vision 73's and Volkl Queen Attiva's -- plus a pair of boots -- Nordica Speed Machine 10's. At year end sales, too!

  • The publication of Finn, by Mr. Ski Diva (AKA Jon Clinch): To tremendous critical acclaim, I might add. Named one of the year's best books by the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Amazon.com, BookSense, the Hartford Courant, and more. Plus a finalist for the John Sargeant Sr. First Novel Prize. Had to throw that in. Can you tell I'm proud?

    And here's what I'm already looking forward to in 2008:

  • Meeting more members of TheSkiDiva.com: I met a few in 2007. It's fun to meet people you've already established a relationship with on line. If you participate in the forum, you can understand the way I feel!

  • A trip to Solitude: I'm heading out there the first week of March. Never been, so I'm very excited!

  • Finn's publication in paperback in March. Need I say more?


  • 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.

    Sunday, December 23, 2007

    Skiing with the kids over the holiday.

    The Christmas holiday is a great time for family skiing. But high expectations can also lead to disappointments. So before you get on the slopes this week, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Know what you're in for: Things can go a lot slower when kids are involved. You may need to take a lot of bathroom and food breaks, and quit a lot earlier than you'd like. So be patient.

  • Don't force it: Don't take family members on slopes they're not ready to handle, just because you want to ski there. Not only is it not safe, but it's a good way to freak someone out -- and turn them off to skiing entirely.

  • Don't use ski instructors as baby sitters: It's not fair to the instructor not to show up on time at the end of your kids' lesson. And be sure to leave a tip!

  • Listen to what your kids want to do: And then do it (okay, within reason). They're not small for long. It'll make for a better relationship, and great memories in the years ahead.

  • Make it fun! That's what the holiday season is all about.

  • Have a happy, happy holiday!

    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.

    Tuesday, December 18, 2007

    The year's best read!

    Okay, this has nothing to do with skiing. But it has everything to do with a terrific book that's once again racking up the accolades:

    Finn, by Jon Clinch (AKA Mr. Ski Diva), published by Random House.

    Yep, the Washington Post, the Christian Science Monitor, the Chicago Tribune, heck, even Amazon.com have all named Finn as one of the best novels of 2007. Not only that, it was a finalist for the John Sargent, Sr., First Novel Prize, which honors the best first novel of the year.

    So if you're looking for a great Christmas gift, here's one that can't go wrong. Order it today at amazon.com.

    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.

    Friday, December 14, 2007

    Get with it, Lange!

    Am I the only one who finds this distressing????

    For the past 40 years, Lange has had a long standing ad campaign that features sexy, half-clad women wearing little else but its ski boots. Now Lange, along with Freeskier magazine, is sponsoring a contest to find four hot babes to represent the company at regional events.

    Everyone knows that sex sells. But this campaign sets the women's movement back 40 years. Instead of relying on talent and athleticism, Lange once again takes the low road by resorting to another kind of T&A, objectifying women to sell its products. Are Lange boots so poor in quality and design that they have to resort to this? They could have done themselves credit by showing a terrific woman skier using their boots and saying why they're so wonderful. Instead, they continue to rely on an outdated mode of marketing that's crude, insulting, and demeaning to the achievements of women skiers everywhere. It's time they delivered something better.

    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.

    Sunday, December 09, 2007

    The perfect helmet for a Diva!




    If this doesn't say Ski Diva, I don't know what does.

    I think it's my new favorite piece of equipment.

    What do you think????


    BTW, for anyone who does not wear a helmet: GET ONE NOW! Your life may depend on it.


    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.

    Tuesday, December 04, 2007

    The Skinny On Reviews.

    Do you read gear reviews? All the ski mags have 'em; heck, I've even posted a few here myself. And there are loads of them on TheSkiDiva.com.

    But before you rush off and buy the ski that a review says is best, here's something important to keep in mind:

    Gear reviews are subjective. So much depends on the reviewers' ski level, the way they ski, their own personal likes and dislikes, snow conditions, bio-mechanics, ski length, even mood.

    So please -- keep in mind that reviews are strictly the opinions of a specific skier. The best way to tell if a ski is right for you is to:

    1) Learn as much as you can about the ski you're interested in -- which includes getting opinions from a variety of sources;

    2) Assess you abilities honestly and fairly. You don't do yourself any favors getting a ski that's above or below your level;

    3) Keep in mind the conditions under which you ordinarily ski. If you ordinarily ski under boilerplate conditions in the east, it may not do you any good to only look at powder skis;

    4) Get out there and demo! You may find that a ski that gets awful reviews is one that suits you perfectly. Hey, they make tons of different skis for a reason. What's great for one person may be awful for you, and vice versa.

    Reviews are a good place to start. Just keep in mind that they are only a small part of ski selection. The rest is up to you!

    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.

    Wednesday, November 28, 2007

    Review: Nordica Olympia Conquer


    I feel like I've been on a bit of a roll lately with the Nordicas. What can I say -- Nordica had a demo tent at my local hill both last week and today. Last time I tried the Firefox; this time: the Conquer!!!!

    Again, I'm an advanced skier, 5'1", 110 lbs.

    Specs: Tried the 154 (126-84-110)

    Conditions today were, in a word, awful. Death cookies, ice, and crud.

    Did it bother the ski??? Not at all. This is one powerhouse. Even with an 84 mm waist, it handled the ice and death cookies like a, well, like a conqueror. Busted through everything, yet was able to get on edge like a champ. Grippy, smooth, and stable, better in longer and medium turns than short. A very fun ski. If you want a ski that can dominate the hill, this would be an excellent choice.

    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.

    Wednesday, November 21, 2007

    Ski Review: The Nordica Firefox

    This is one ski I've been dying to try, and today I got lucky! My local hill (Okemo) had a Nordica demo tent set up yesterday, so how could I resist?

    So here we go:

    Ski: Nordica Olympia Firefox, 154 cm, 120-70-103 (13m)

    Me: Advanced, 5 ft 1 in., 110 lbs.

    Conditions: 3-4 inches of fresh powder on top of bullet-proof ice. Ungroomed.

    I've been very intrigued by this ski since my interview with Deb Armstrong, and learning that this is what she skis. Now I know why. What a terrific ski! Conditions were mostly powder with some ice where it'd been pushed around; ungroomed. No problem. I found the Firefox stable and quick, with good edge hold and terrific rebound. Really nice in the long turns, but nice in the shorter turns, too. Didn't try it in the bumps, since there were no bumps around. But for a fun ski that really moves, this is it.

    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.

    Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    A chat with Kristen Ulmer


    Some of you may already be familiar with Kristen Ulmer. A pioneer of the extreme sports movement, Kristen was a mogul specialist for the US Ski Team in the '90's and appeared in a number of ski movies, jumping off cliffs and making heart-thumping, jaw-dropping, knee-knocking descents on some of the world's gnarliest terrain. She's also been named by both the media and her peers as the world's best big mountain (extreme) skier and overall woman skier, beating out Olympic Gold medalists. And in a cover feature about her life, Powder Magazine called her "the biggest icon the ski industry never expected" and the "protoplasmic mass of the ski industry."

    For many of us, it looked like Kristen was living the dream: fame, fortune, prestige, and unbelievable skiing in some of the world's most exotic locales. But then a few years ago she gave it all up. Just like that. No more of the glitter and glamour of the free-skier circuit. Instead, she devoted herself to developing a clinic that combined ski coaching with a western form of Zen teaching called Big Mind. Since then, Kristen's Ski to Live clinics have received national attention. I spoke to her recently from her home in Utah.

    Q: You've stated that your work with these clinics is the most rewarding you've ever done, and that being an extreme ski champion was the prequel that allowed you to do it. Can you explain why you made the transition, and why you feel this way?
    A: During my ski career, at least once a week I'd look at my skis and think that this wasn't what I was supposed to do with my life. And I couldn't figure out why. Eventually, I got to the point where I just couldn't take it any more. But I didn't have the guts to quit and I didn't know what I'd learned from everything I'd done. I don't believe you learn by experience. I believe you learn by reflecting on the experience. So initially I wanted to reflect on my experience as a professional athlete and figure out what I'd learned. This led me to Big Mind, an intense, powerful study of the self developed by Genpo Roshi. It's made a huge impact on my life. And now, sharing this with other people is what my life is all about.

    Q. How does the focus on spirtuality fit in with the ski experience?
    A. Big Mind comes from the Zen tradition. But it's several generations removed from Buddhism. It's not a religious program. Buddhism is the study of what the Buddha taught, but Zen is trying to feel what the Buddha felt. Basically, it's trying to embody our true nature; trying to help people access something they already know. Our clinic helps you use this awareness to become a better athlete.

    Q.In one interview, you said that some people won't meditate, but they'll ski. Do you equate skiing with mediation?
    A. For me, yes, but it's not that way for everyone. When I was a professional skier, there were times when it felt that way, but I wasn't in the sport for the peace of it. I was in it for its power, aggression, and self expression. Now that I'm in my forties, I don't care about improving my skiing anymore, so my feeling on this has changed. Meditation is something you have to learn how to do. Many people have different approaches to skiing, and using it as a way to mediate is one of them.

    Q. In your clinics, what are you hoping people will come away with?
    A. Two things. First, a greater understanding of themselves as an individual, and whether that relates to their performance skiing or just their lives, that's up to them. And second, I'm hoping they come away knowing very, very clearly their true natures.

    Q. I've had the pleasure of speaking to Deb Armstrong and Didi Lawrence, and both of them mentioned that for them, skiing is a metaphor for life. I know that isn't exactly what you're saying, but it's interesting that for you, too, skiing is more than just a sport.
    A. I say it's one of many choices on how to live your life. And it is one of the best things I can think of. It's beautiful, it's magical, it's social, and it brings up all sorts of stuff. But then it can also, if you allow it to, give you a glimpse of your true nature. I can see how the metaphor for life would resonate with some people. It's more than just a physical activity.

    Q. What kind of people attend your clinics?
    A. We get some of the most intelligent, interesting, grounded people in the country. I think many people are seeking knowledge and understanding in their lives. The choices are religion or the new age movement -- which I think has become more questioned and obsolete. Our clinic offers another way. We do, however, get a lot of religious people who just want to add to that.

    Kristen Ulmer will be offering her Ski To Live clinic at Snowbird from January 3-8, at Alta from April 3-6, and at Park City from February 28-March 2.

    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.

    Thursday, November 08, 2007

    Now you're talking!

    Every sport has its lingo. It's no different in skiing. Hang around enough, and you're bound to hear some ski slang.

    Here are a few of the more colorful terms:

    White Ribbon of Death: Seen mostly during the early season, this is the thin stripe of snow present on the trails of many resorts. Riddled with rocks, sticks, and the bodies of skiers who've hit same.

    Gaper: Not one of my favorite words. A "Gaper" is someone who's clueless about skiing, ski fashion, and proper skiing etiquette. I believe the word comes from the gap that can occur between one's goggles and hat and/or helmet (though if that's the case, shouldn't it be "gapper"?), and is often used to describe someone who's new to the sport.

    Death Cookies: Hard, evil chunks of icy snow that can occur when grooming machines try to break up a sheet of ice. Commonly found here in the East.

    Yard Sale: A spectacular wipe-out that results in gloves, poles, and skis strewn across the mountain.

    Sierra Cement: The opposite to powder. Thick, heavy stuff that'll slow you down and grab your skis.

    Skiing Switch: Skiing backwards. That's why there are twin tips.

    Snow snake: A mythical, invisible creature who'll grab you when you ski, pulling you down and causing you to fall.

    Face plant: This is what you do when you fall on your face.

    Bluebird Day: The best. Used to describe a sunny day with blue, blue skies, and white, white snow. I love these!

    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.

    Sunday, November 04, 2007

    Anyone seen the Beaver Creek Ad?

    Actually, it came out a couple months ago, but I'm just getting around to talking about it now. It was in the front of a recent issue of Ski magazine.

    Picture this:

    A two page spread. On the left hand page, large, large type on a completely white background that says the following:

    Girls will be girls.

    And across from that, on the right hand page, a full page photo of an unbelievable mogul field with two skiers (sex indistinguishable, but I assume they're women) making their way down the bumps.

    Kudos to Beaver Creek for recognizing that there are a lot of women skiers who can really kick butt!

    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.

    Wednesday, October 31, 2007

    A pain in the A__.

    Yep, early last season I suffered pain in my, shall we say, derriere region. Otherwise known as my glutes.

    Which I thought seemed rather odd, especially with all the working out I do. Just goes to show there's always something.

    A fitness trainer I know suggested the following exercise to strengthen the area, before I started skiing this year:

    Bent-leg raise
    On hands and knees, lift one leg up, knee at a 90-degree angle throughout the movement. Keep lifting until the bottom of the foot faces the ceiling and the hip, thigh and knee are all in alignment and parallel to the floor. Don't arch the back and keep the neck straight. Lower back down and repeat for all reps before switching sides. Add ankle weights for more intensity or hold a light dumbbell behind the knee. Perform 1-3 sets of 10-16 reps according to your fitness level.


    And here's a great stretch for apres ski (just don't do this on the floor of the lodge! Yuk!!):

    Lie on floor or mat. Bend knees with feet on floor. Cross lower leg over thigh of other leg. Grasp back of thigh of lower leg with both hands. Pull leg toward torso. Hold stretch. Repeat with opposite leg.

    After all, why should skiing be a pain in the A__?

    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.

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    A learning experience.

    There's always something new to learn in skiing. And this coming season, there're some great women's clinics that can help you learn it.

    Here are a few you might want to check out:

    Jackson Hole Women's Clinic
    Just for Women at Squaw Valley
    SkiWithKim
    Vail Her Turns
    Okemo Women's Alpine Adventures
    SheSkis Women's Testing Clinic
    LunaChix of NASTC

    Also:
    Didi Lawrence's Women's Master Extreme Camp: For information, email Didi at didilawrence@comcast.net.

    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.

    Friday, October 19, 2007

    Get ready!

    Ski season has already begun at A-Basin and Loveland. And before you know it, it'll be starting where you ski, too.

    So are you ready for the season?

    Here are a few things you might want to take care of, so you'll be ready on Opening Day:

  • Make sure to have your skis tuned: And your bindings checked. After all, safety first!

  • Wax 'em if you got 'em: Your skis are thirsty after a long season's rest. So give 'em the wax they need. They'll thank you and you'll have a lot more fun.

  • Precondition now! If you haven't been working out, it's not too late to start. Otherwise you run the risk of being in a lot of pain your first day out (and maybe a day or two after, too)

  • Check out your wardrobe: Go through last year's stuff. Does it still fit? Do you need anything new? Better take care of that now, before you find out you're missing something when you want to go ski.

  • Get your season pass: There are still some good deals to be had. Check out your local hill.

  • Get a helmet: If you don't have one, make it a priority. Helmet hair is a small price to pay for a potentially serious injury.

  • Register at TheSkiDiva.com, the internet discussion forum for women who ski, for some great talk about all things ski-related.
  • Sunday, October 14, 2007

    The Foundation of a Great Skier.


    What makes a good skier great?

    When they go above and beyond. When they see skiing as more than a sport, but as a way to help people, too.

    Which is why today's post is about Kelly Brush of Charlotte, VT - a truly amazing young woman.

    A skier since the age of seven, Kelly worked her way up the national rankings - particularly in the fast speed events of Downhill and Suger G - and qualified to race in the US National Championships during her junior and senior year of high school. She then went on to Middlebury College (VT), where she became a valuable member of the ski team.

    But on February 18, 2006, Kelly's world changed forever. While competing in the Giant Slalom, Kelly had an accident that seriously injured her spinal cord, paralyzing her from the chest down.

    Did this stop her? Not by a long shot. Since her accident, Kelly has not only started skiing again, but has established the Kelly Brush Foundation. Its mission:

  • To promote safety in ski racing;

  • To further spinal cord injury (SCI) research;

  • To purchase adaptive sports equipment for individuals with SCI;

  • To support the U.S. Disabled Ski Team.

  • Kelly spoke with me from the campus of Middlebury College, where she's currently in her senior year.

    Q. How did you decide to start your foundation?
    A. After my accident I was in rehab in Colorado for two months. And during this time I decided I wanted to do something to make ski racing safer, so that what happened to me wouldn't happen to anyone else. The other goals came along with it.

    Q. What's the scope of the Foundation's activites?
    A. We're mostly working on fundraising. Last season we bought back protectors for the Middlebury Ski Team, and we also donated to the Green Mountain Valley School (this was high school I attended), the Mt. Mansfield Ski Club, and the Vermont Alpine Racing Assocation -- all to improve skier safety. Our last donation was to the Craig Hospital in Denver, Colorado, for research in the area of spinal cord injuries. This was the rehab hospital I was in after I got hurt.

    Q. What type of fundraising activities does the Foundation do?
    A. This past September we held our second Century Bike Ride. About 200 riders took part. This is something we want to do every year. We plan to use the money we raised to help buy fencing for mountains who request it to make their trails safer.

    Q. Are you involved in skiing again?
    A. I am. Last November I went out to Vail over Thanksgiving break and took four days of lessons on adaptive equipment. Surprisingly enough, the techniques I used in conventional skiing did not help at all. Some of the things are the same -- feeling the snow, for example -- but it's really completely different. I had to learn all over again. But aside from those lessons, I'm pretty much self taught.

    Q. How was it to be back on the snow?
    A. Fine. After I got hurt, I was never in the mind set that I didn't want to ski again. Obviously, I'm more aware of safety. But I was never nervous or scared.

    Q. What other activities are you involved in?
    A. I have a hand cycle so I can bike. I rode 25 miles in the Century Bike Ride in September. And I have an adaptive golf cart that stands me up so I can play golf.

    Q. What's your major in school? Any plans for after graduation?
    A. I'm majoring in Film and Media. And no, I don't know what I'm going to do yet (she laughs.)

    For more information about The Kelly Brush Foundation or to make a contribution, go here.

    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.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    I'm very proud.

    WARNING*****This has nothing to do with skiiing*****WARNING

    Can't help myself, though. You see, my husband's book, Finn, has been shortlisted for the John Sargent, Sr., First Novel Prize, which honors the best first novel of 2007.

    The Sargent Prize was created by the Mercantile Library Center for Fiction as part of its mission to promote the art of fiction in the United States. Marisha Pessl won last year for Special Topics in Calamity Physics.

    This is not a first book award; it's a first novel award. So some of the other nominees are some pretty heavy literary hitters.

    Here's the complete list of nominees:

    Finn by Jon Clinch (Random House)
    Lost City Radio by Daniel Alarcon (HarperCollins)
    The Ministry of Special Cases by Nathan Englander (Alfred A. Knopf)
    Soon I Will Be Invincible by Austin Grossman (Pantheon Books)
    Bearing the Body by Ehud Havazelet (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
    Fieldwork by Mischa Berlinski (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
    The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Riverhead)

    The award will be presented in New York on October 29. And I know it sounds cliche, but just being nominated is an honor.

    Wish us luck!

    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.

    Thursday, October 04, 2007

    Mark your calendar....

    ...if you're interested in attending Jeannie Thoren events. She has "Ski Soirees" at select ski shops around the country where she talks about how women can improve their ski experience by understanding their equipment. (In the interest of full disclosure, Jeannie works with Dynastar/Lange.)

    Who's Jeannie Thoren, you ask? Take a look at my recent post about her and her Thoren Theory.

    Here's Jeannie's schedule for the next few months:

    5 Oct: Geiger's Lakewood, OH 216-521-1771
    7 Oct: Buckeye Sport Center Peninsulia, OH330- 929-3366
    9 Oct: Ski Company Mountain Sports Rochester, NY 585-292-0580
    11 Oct: Ski Company Mountain Sports Syracuse, NY 315-445-1890
    13 Oct: Ski Chalet Arlington, VA 703-521-1700
    16 Oct: Ski Haus Wilmington, MA 603-898-1722
    19 Oct: Peter Glenn Ski & Sport Ft. Lauderdale, FL 954-484-3606
    22 Oct: Peter Glenn Ski & Sport Tampa, FL 813-960-24536
    24 Oct: Peter Glenn Ski & Sport Richmond, VA 804-527-2020
    26 Oct: Princeton Sports Columbia, MD 410-995-1895
    27 Oct: Princeton Sports Baltimore, MD 410-828-1127
    29 Oct: Outdoor Divas Boulder, CO 303-449-3482

    NOVEMBER
    1 Nov: REI Denver, CO 303-756-3100
    6 Nov: REI Portland, OR 503-221-1938
    8 Nov: REI Seattle, WA 206-223-1944
    13 Nov: REI San Francisco, CA415 934 1938
    15 Nov: Bobo's Mogul Mouse Reno, NV 775-826-909
    17 Nov: Sierra Snowboard & Ski Sacramento, CA 916-344-1800
    27 Nov: Outdoor Divas Denver, CO 303-449-3482
    29 Nov: McU's Sports Boise, ID 208-336-2300

    DECEMBER
    1 Dec: Sturtevants Ketchum, ID 208-726-4501
    3 Dec: Berg's Eugene, OR 541-485-4065
    6 Dec: REI SaltLake City, UT 801-486-2100
    8 Dec: Gorsuch Vail, CO 970-476-229
    10 Dec: Gorsuch Aspen, CO 970-925-3203
    12 Dec: Christy Sports Location TBD
    14 Dec: Christy Sports Location TBD

    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.

    Friday, September 28, 2007

    Why don't more women ski?

    Let's face it -- there are far more men than women on the slopes. It's one of the reasons I launched TheSkiDiva.com -- to give women skiers a place to connect with one another.

    So what's keeping women off the slopes? I already posted about this a while ago (go here). But here are a few more thoughts about this from some of the members at TheSkiDiva.com:

  • When I was in college a lot of my friends skied. But as I got older, they got fewer and fewer. For some it was kids, and the whole process was too difficult. For others, it was money. And for others, it was just lack of either time or interest. I'm the only one of us who's managed to keep at it.

  • I think as woman age their priorities change. High School age and younger, they have no responsibility, and are able to enjoy skiing without guilt. College age there's more responsibility with school, but no families or children yet. After graduation there's jobs, thus less time for skiing, more dedication to climbing the corporate ladder etc. Finally marriage, kids, lots and lots of responsibility less and less time for skiing. Skiing isn't a priority any longer and goes by the way side.

  • Part of the reason women fall into supporter roll is because of the way we're brought up, but I think another part of it is that "we" reorganize our lives and reprioritize our lives all the time. We tend to reinvent ourselves when things happen in our life, and adjust our priorities. If a guy is a skier when he's single, he'll likely be a skier when he's married, and when he becomes a dad..............(you get the idea), When an average woman makes those transitions her her life, I think she tends to adjust priorities more readily, and thus the lack of enthusiasm for a given activity.

  • It seems women get distracted from skiing by the parenting and total family expense; unfortunate more fathers don't step up and insist on hanging in the lodge and encouraging mom to get back out there. I don't live in the land of make believe -- couple of my friends husbands did encourage them to get back out there and take turns in the lodge. It makes the difference, for these friends they are still skiers -- with and without family.

  • 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 24, 2007

    A conversation with Didi Lawrence.

    Didi Lawrence is an incredible woman. In March, ’07, as part of a personal spiritual quest, Didi traveled to Nepal where she skied Annapurna (26,538 ft), one of the world’s least climbed mountains.

    This is an incredible feat for any skier, let alone a 52-year old recovering alcoholic who suffered a broken pelvis just a few years ago. Didi also conducts a women’s ski clinic at Aspen Highlands, as well as a Masters Extreme Clinic for women. Plus she’s a gear tester for Ski Magazine (that’s her on the cover of the 2006 Gear Guide).

    From her home in Aspen, Colorado, Didi talked about her trip to Nepal, as well as about her skiing legacy and her clinics.

    Q. Your mom, Andrea Mead Lawrence, is the only American to have won two gold medals at a single winter Olympics. Your dad, David Lawrence, was on the Olympic Team as a coach. And your grandparents founded Pico Mountain in Rutland County, Vermont. Has this legacy been a blessing or a curse?
    A. It’s been a combination of both. I grew up under my mother’s umbrella, so there was always a certain expectation from the outside that I’d follow in her footsteps. After all, everyone has so much admiration for an extreme athlete. But it’s also been a blessing, because the gift my parents gave me was skiing. But they never pressured me about it. The only pressure they put on me was to have a great life.

    Q. Why did you go to Nepal and what was the scope of the trip?
    A. For me, it was more a spiritual journey than about skiing – though that was a thrill, too. I was part of a group of four Americans, and even though we only skied three days and took a total of seven runs, it was absolutely incredible. We skied the north side where probably no one had ever skied before. The rest of the time – we were in Nepal a total of three weeks -- we went hiking, sightseeing, visited temples, even went to a Maoist rally. And we went parahawking, too. That’s when you paraglide with birds of prey who are trained to show you where the thermal currents are.

    Q. What did you get out of going to Nepal?
    A. As I said, this was a personal journey. Everyone struggles with who they are. Even though I’ve been through a lot, the universe has given me a second chance at life, and I’m so grateful just to be alive. The trip helped me realize the enormity of life and how great the universe really is. It was also about my love for my mom and what she’s done with her life. I’ve always been her personal champion. For me, it was a spiritual awakening.

    Q. What was the highlight of the trip for you?
    A. There were a lot of different ones besides skiing. But here’s one of the skiing ones: On the first day, two of us plus our guide went to the top of a run that was about 100 yards wide and 3,000 vertical feet. It’d never been skied before, and there was powder up to our knees. When we got to the bottom, both of us burst into tears. It was so wonderful -- like a magic carpet. We named it Mom’s Run, in dedication to our moms.

    Q. Tell us a bit about your clinic in Aspen. What are you teaching, what do you want attendees to come away with?
    A. I run a local women’s clinic every weekend. As you know, there are 10 levels in PSIA. I’ve added a level 12, and it's for women who want to experience steeper, deeper terrain. I tell them how to do it in an offensive rather than a defensive way. It’s extremely empowering, and it runs every weekend, January through March.

    I also run a Masters Extreme Clinic for women for four days in January. This is a huge draw for women who want to experience life and grow. I see skiing as a metaphor for life and how I approach my fears. Life is about confronting your fears and getting through them. In this clinic, we move through the fear that may be blocking their growth. I take women to experience the mountain in the same way that I do. It’s both empowering and emotional, and It really opens up the whole universe for women to ski in a way they they’ve never done before, without men or boyfriends.

    Q. What are you skiing these days?
    A. My boots are Nordica Doberman 130s. And my skis are Nordicas, too: the Olympia Firefox. Nordica has done a great job with its women’s program, and I feel honored to work with them.

    Anyone who wants to contact Didi about her clinics may do so by emailing her at didilawrence@comcast.net.

    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.

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    The Zen of Skiing.

    I've been hearing from a lot of people lately how skiing is a metaphor for life. And the more I think about it, the more I think it's true.

    Here are some thoughts on the subject expressed by some of the women over at TheSkiDiva.com:

  • You can't have fun getting down the mountain if you're down on yourself.

  • Skiing requires that you give up control of the things that seem obvious (leaning into the hill=safe) and surrender yourself to falling. The joy that comes with that experience is astonishing.

  • Forget about being in control: Be in balance and you will be able to control your response to the conditions around you.

  • Stop once in awhile, breathe, and enjoy the view around you.

  • All physical discomfort is relative: There was always a colder day, a sorer muscle, a meaner boss, a more difficult co-worker, etc.

  • It's important to be flexible, the best laid plans can be disrupted by unexpected events (what do you mean that chairlift is not running today?).

  • Falling down once in a while is part of life. So what. Get up, dust yourself off, and move on.

  • For every down there is an up. And vice versa.

  • Control takes a certain measure of self-awareness, practice, and discipline. Don't just launch yourself into something without knowing what you're doing. Have the tools at hand to handle the situation, and you'll be fine.

  • 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.

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Boot up.

    It wasn't too long ago that all ski boots were built the same. You had the same boots as your brother or your husband or your son. There weren't any just for women.

    Now that's changed. And it's not that they're making them in pink (thank God it hasn't come to that!). Manufacturers have finally realized that women have special needs in boots, just as they do in skis. Many now offer female-specific models. And they're worth checking out.

    Women tend to have lower, thicker calf muscles than men, so the cuffs may be larger, lower, or scalloped. Our anatomy may make it harder for us to get forward, so boots may include heel lifts, spoilers, or other devices. And because we're (generally) lighter in weight than men, the shell may be softer. (Look for a boot that can provide this without any sacrifice in lateral or rear support.) Some boots may even have cushier, warmer insides to reflect our cushy, warmer insides (not really; it's just because that's something we like).

    Boot shopping takes time, and it takes some real expert assistance. So be sure to visit a shop where there's an expert bootfitter on staff. Your feet will thank you.

    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.

    Sunday, September 09, 2007

    A few words with Gold Medalist Deb Armstrong.


    Deb Armstrong is a skier's skier. Winner of the Gold Medal in the Women’s Giant Slalom at the 1984 Olympics in Sarajevo, she's been inducted into the National Ski Hall of Fame and is on the PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) National Alpine Demo team.

    I caught up with Deb while she was packing for her move to Steamboat Springs, CO, from her home in Taos, NM. After eight seasons overseeing the ski school at Taos, Deb is assuming the position of Alpine Technical Director at the ski school at Steamboat.

    Q: Why the move to Steamboat?
    A: Ski technique is my passion, and I'll have a wonderful outlet there. I've loved working at Taos, but Steamboat is offering me what I'm looking for. There's more potential for involvement in more programs.

    Q: Why did you decide to instruct?
    A: I'm passionate about delivering the gift of skiing. I think I can relate well to people of all levels and deal with them as individuals. That's important.

    Q. Do you have a philosphy for skiing and instructing?
    A: Skiing is a life long learning process. It's a metaphor for so many things, and there's always more to learn. When I instruct, I try to be accessible and very clear. I try to get everyone excited about skiing.

    Q. Is there one problem you see more than others in women skiers?
    A. That's hard to say. Everyone is different, men and women. For some, it might be equipment problems. For others, it might be confidence. I much prefer to treat women as individuals rather than lump them all together in one group. I think that can be demeaning and frustrating. As a woman myself, I can be sensitive to a whole scope of things that might be going on.

    Q. Do you ever get scared when you ski?
    A. When I was racing there was so much adrenalin that this wasn't really an issue. Skiing can be a mental game. You have to learn quickly that if you're fearful, you'll lose the tools that can help you succeed. When you're scared you freeze up or lean back. So you have to be smart. You can't get in over your head. And you have to ski with conviction. It'll keep you over your feet.

    Q. How has your skiing changed over the years?
    A. The equipment has changed a lot, and that brings in technical changes. I've had to evolve my technique. I've worked hard at that.

    Q. What are you skiing on these days? Skis and boots?
    A. Nordica is making amazing skis these days for women of all levels. The Olympia Firefox is fantastic. It's their highest end women's ski and it's a ripper for the female ripper skier. I love it. As for boots, I'm using Nordica's Doberman 150, which are way too stiff for the average recreational skier.

    Q. A few years ago you suffered from a serious illness. How's the recovery been? Was it hard to get back into skiing?
    A. I'm 100% recovered. No problems at all. I took a year off and got right back into it.

    Q. When you're not skiing, what do you like to do?
    A. In the off season I like to read, particularly non-fiction. And I like golf, tennis, and bike riding. I'm an active person.

    Deb will be offering a series of women's clinics at Steamboat Ski Resort: January 15-17, February 5-7, and March 4-6.

    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.

    Tuesday, September 04, 2007

    So you're looking for new skis....

    If you haven't looked at women's skis lately, maybe it's time you took another look. Because to paraphrase an old ad campaign, they've come a long way, baby.

    It wasn't too long ago that manufacturers would simply take their men's skis, power them down, slap on some flowers, and call them women's skis. The technical term for this: shrink it and pink it. The result was less than satisfactory.

    Today, ski manufacturers have changed their tune, offering women's skis that'd give anyone a run for their money. They're making skis that are lighter and softer to accomodate women's lower muscle mass, but giving them the strength and stability we crave. (And they don't rely on cutesy graphics so much, either. Which, by the way, I always found somewhat offensive.)

    Other differences you may see in women's skis include:

  • Shorter tips: This keeps your boots closer to the front of your ski, for better turn initiation.

  • Lighter, forward mounted bindings: The heels may be raised, too. All this is done to accomodate our lower center of gravity, and make it easier for us to get our skis on edge.

  • Waists that are farther forward: This, too, is to accomodate our lower center of gravity, as well as our forward mounted bindings.

  • This year there are plenty of great choices to choose from. So take another look. I think you'll like what you see.

    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.

    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    The Thoren Theory.

    If you don't know Jeannie Thoren, maybe you should.

    Named one of the 100 Most Influential Skiers of the Century by Ski Magazine and one of the Top 25 Most Influential Skiers of the Past 50 years by Skiing Magazine, Jeannie has had an incredible influence on women's skiing.

    Jeannie developed the Thoren Theory more than 30 years ago -- perhaps the main impetus behind many of the developments in women's equipment today.

    What's her theory? By today's standards, it seems fairly obvious:

    Women are not small men!

    We're built differently, with wider hips, narrower shoulders, smaller feet, and a different stance. All this means its harder for a woman to get forward over her skis, keep her skis flat against the snow, or get enough power out of her equipment. Which means that women's skis and boots need to be engineered to accomodate the biomechanical differences that can make a world of difference in our skiing.

    For years Jeannie offered ski clinics at ski areas across the country, helping women adapt equipment to their special requirements and coaching them to become better skiers. Lately she's moved on, working to develop women's boots and skis for Dynastar/Lange.

    Jeannie is a great resource for women's skiing, and someone to be admired. Truly a women ahead of her time and someone who should be saluted for making a difference.

    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.

    Friday, August 24, 2007

    I'm off to ESWA!

    That's the Eastern Ski Writers Association, to you.

    Today begins their pre-season meeting at Mount Snow, Vermont. It's going to be my very first event with the group, and I'm kind of excited.

    Tomorrow I'm on a panel about bloggers and blogging, exploring whether bloggers should be recognized as legitimate members of the ski press or not.

    This is a tough one. With the right equipment, moderate computer skills, and something to say, just about anyone can blog these days. The problem is separating the wheat from the chaff -- and there's bound to be more chaff than wheat.

    I've had this blog for over a year now, and maybe it's time for a review. What do you folks think? Is it something you enjoy reading? Do you check it often? Has it proven helpful in any way?

    Post your comments. I'd love to read 'em.

    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.

    Sunday, August 19, 2007

    The reviews are in.

    Haven't seen them yet myself, but the Gear Review issues are starting to appear. Powder and Skiing are out, and Ski is sure to come, in a matter of weeks.

    Gear reviews are useful. The provide a good place to start your search for new equipment. They can provide important information, like ski dimensions, point out new features, and just let you know what's new for this year and what the trends are.

    All the same, it's important to remember they're exactly what their name implies: a GUIDE! View it as a source for information -- not the final word. Talk to knowledgable people in ski shops. Register at TheSkiDiva.com and take advantage of the great discussions about equipment. And more importantly, try before you buy. Hit a Demo Day at a mountain near you. Or see if you can rent it from your local shop. What's right for someone else may not be right for you.

    Ski gear ain't cheap, so use all the tools you can to make the best decision possible. After all, the only review that counts is the one you make.

    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.

    Tuesday, August 14, 2007

    Skiing and pregnancy.

    There are lots of opinions about this. Some people say if you're a good skier, then there's no reason pregnancy should interfere with your skiing -- as long as you stop before the third trimester, since your center of gravity may be off.

    Me, I don't think it's worth the risk. There's never a guarantee you won't fall or someone won't collide with you. And there are a lot of worse things than missing a ski season.

    Apparently I'm not alone. Three-time Olympian and four-time US slalom champion Sarah Schleper just announced that she's going to miss the 2008 World Cup season because she's expecting a baby early next year.

    Granted, she skis a lot differently than just about any other woman on the planet. And even though she's giving up racing, maybe she'll still take a run or two. The reports I read didn't say.

    Everyone is different. And of course, the final decision is up to you. But if you do plan to ski, discuss it with your doctor. Stay away from double black runs. And be extra careful, okay?

    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.

    Thursday, August 09, 2007

    The high price of skiing.

    No one ever said that skiing is cheap. When you figure in the cost of equipment, clothing, day passes, food, and transportation, it's amazing that anyone other than Bill Gates is able to afford it. (Does Bill Gates ski?)

    Now I see that Aspen is raising its day pass to $87. for the '07-'08 season. Granted, Aspen is not my local hill. And granted that I am not paying anywhere near that to go skiing. And granted, also, that Aspen seems to thrive, no matter how much they seem to charge. (You know how it goes -- for some people, the more you pay, the more it's worth.)

    Still, last season Vail charged $85. for a day pass. And many ski areas have no problem cranking their prices up and up every year.

    I know costs are going up. Improvements made by a ski area can cost millions of dollars. And this is a business, not a charity. All the same, in an industry that's been lamenting a downward trend in the number of skiers, this doesn't seem the way to correct the trend.

    At least that's how it seems to me.

    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.

    Friday, August 03, 2007

    A Half Marathon, A Complete Committment

    One of my favorite people will be running a half-marathon in Philadelphia on September 16th.

    My daughter, Emily, along her very good friend, Wendy Levine, will run to raise funds for The Children's Tumor Foundation—an organization whose mission is to end Neurofibromatosis (NF) through research. I don't know about Wendy, but Emily's never covered that kind of distance before. So it's a huge commitment on her part—but a commitment to acting on behalf of something she truly believes in.

    NF is a progressive and debilitating genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow randomly throughout the body, along the nerves and nerve endings. It can cause brain tumors, blindness, deafness, bone abnormalities, learning disabilities, and more. NF occurs in more than one in 3,000 births and is more common than Cystic Fibrosis, hereditary Muscular Dystrophy, and Huntington’s Disease combined. Currently, there are no effective treatments and NO CURE for NF.

    If you'd like to support Emily and Wendy and their commitment to NF, click on over to Active Giving.com and make a donation.

    Tell 'em Ski Diva sent you.

    Monday, July 30, 2007

    Summer savings.

    Here we are, deep in the heart of summer, and I'm thinking ski gear.

    The reason is obvious: the prices right now are fantastic. Search around on the web, and you can get some of the best deals of the year -- up to 50% off on gear you would've paid full price for just six months ago.

    Think about it -- does it make any difference if you're skiing on '07 skis during '08? They're still brand new. And they're still great.

    If you're in the market for skis, take my advice. Shop now! You'll save plenty of green before the trails turn white.

    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.

    Wednesday, July 25, 2007

    Kayaking the Connecticut.

    As much as I love skiing, summer does have its pleasures. And one of them, to be sure, is kayaking.

    My husband and I recently spent an absolutely stellar Saturday kayaking on the beautiful Connecticut River (for those who don't know, that's the river that divides Vermont from New Hampshire). The weather couldn't have been better -- 70 degrees with a light breeze, clear, sunny skies, a few puffy clouds. Thanks to recent rains the river was running at a nice clip -- 11,000 cubic feet per second. We put in at Sumners Falls, just above the town of Hartland, VT, figuring we'd paddle a couple hours, ending up at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor. Sitting in our kayaks, we could feel the power of the river surging behind us, carrying us along without even the need to paddle.

    Though paddle we did.

    The Connecticut River Valley is a beautiful place. Lovely green, tree covered banks, the mountains of Vermont rising both beisde and in front of us, as the river bends. We saw a variety of bird life (alas, no eagles, though they do frequent th area. Guess we were there at a bad time,) Suprisingly enough, no one else was on the river with us -- we had it all to ourselves. A perfect way to spend a Saturday.

    Thanks to the swift current, our trip was over in much less time than anticipated. All the same, a lovely day.

    I guess summer isn't so bad after all.

    For some great talk about ski gear, be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, the only internet forum especially for women skiers. Be sure to register to participate in some great discussions about skiing!

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    Want a peek at the new women's skis?

    What better way to pass the hot, steamy days of summer than with a little ski porn?

    Here's a look at some of the new skis for the '07-'08 season:

    K2 Skis
    Volkl Skis
    Head Skis
    Fischer Skis
    Nordica Skis

    For some great talk about ski gear, be sure to visit TheSkiDiva.com, the only internet forum especially for women skiers. Be sure to register to participate in some great discussions about skiing!

    Sunday, July 15, 2007

    From the Fire Tower.

    Yesterday I hiked up the back of Okemo Mountain. It was a beautiful day -- clear sunny skies, not hot, humid, or windy. At the top of the mountain there's an old fire tower that was used years ago by the fire service. During the winter, you can see this tower when you off load at the top of Okemo's South Peak chair. Then it looks frozen and forbidding. But yesterday, on a picture perfect Saturday in July, it was exactly the opposite -- inviting and ready to be climbed.

    From the top, you get an unmatched 360 degree view of the beautiful Green Mountains. To the north, Killington. To the south, Magic and Stratton. To the east Ascutney, Sunapee, even Mount Washington. And at your feet, the South Peak chair at Okemo. I felt like Maria von Trappe in the "Sound of Music," when the camera pans down on her singing at the top of a mountain and she's surrounded by a breath-taking, panoramic view of the Alps.

    As usual, I left my camera behind (seems I never have it when I need it!), but it reminded me that in skiing, it's not just the ride down that I love so dearly, but the view from the top, as well. And with six areas spread out around me, I couldn't help but ask myself, "HOW AM I EVER GOING TO MAKE IT TIL SKI SEASON STARTS?"

    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.

    Tuesday, July 10, 2007

    Summer Desperation.

    I don't know about you, but I've had enough of these 90F+ degree temperatures.

    This clip pretty much sums it up for me (at least the first part). Take a look. It's pretty funny.

    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.

    Thursday, July 05, 2007

    Getting back into skiing after you've had kids.

    Having kids changes things a LOT, doesn't it?

    I mean, used to be you could ski pretty much when the mood struck you -- and time allowed. Well, anyone who has kids knows those days are over.

    So what do you do if you have kids and you want to ski?

    The answer is simple: Get Them Involved!

    Start talking to them about skiing well before you head to the slopes. This can give them an idea about what to expect and make the transition to the slopes a lot easier.

    If they're old enough, enroll them in a ski program.. A few hours a day is sure to be enough. Planning it for when they're most receptive (i.e. not tired) would be best.

    Focus on the positive. A lot of praise can make a big difference. So make a big deal when they learn a big skill. And when they want you to watch, WATCH!

    Don't take them on trails they can't handle, just because you want to go there. It isn't enough to say, "Oh, I won't let them get into trouble." Things can, well, just happen. Besides, if it's beyond their ability, they won't enjoy it. Better to stick to the easier runs where they can have fun than to get them so scared they won't want to come back!

    Be sure to take some time for yourself. I mean, you want to have fun, too, right? So get a sitter sometime and go by yourself (or with your friends). Or have Dad watch them, for a change. After all, you deserve it!

    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.

    Friday, June 29, 2007

    Staying in shape for ski season.

    The summer solstice has come and gone, the days are getting shorter.

    Yes, I know it's not even the Fourth of July, but ski season will be here before you know it. So if you want to be ready to tackle the slopes without doing yourself damage, it makes good sense to stay in shape during the off season.

    Some suggestions:

    Do something you enjoy: Whether it's cycling or swimming, running or roller blading, staying in shape is easier if it's something you like to do.

    Set realistic goals: Don't try a 10k run first crack out of the box. Start small and move up in small increments, whether it's the weight you're using or the time you spend on a bike.

    Make fitness a priority: One of the toughest things about staying in shape is finding time to exercise. So make an appointment with yourself to work out. If you set aside the time, it's harder to duck.

    Get advice from the experts: A personal trainer, a fitness guru, someone who knows how you can make the most out of your workouts and teach you how to do them properly, without injury.

    Workout with friend: More fun for you, better for you both.

    Register at TheSkiDiva.com, an internet forum especially for women skiers: This is a great place to talk about skiing and fitness all year round. A great way to stay motivated!

    Friday, June 22, 2007

    Coming to a TV near you.

    The Ski Channel, a video-on-demand channel brought you to by Time Warner and Steve Bellamy, founder and former president of The Tennis Channel.

    Launching the first quarter of 2008, the Ski Channel will focus on year-round mountain activities: skiing (of course), boarding, climbing, orienteering, hiking, biking, camping, kayaking, caving, and the always indeterminate "and more."

    According to Bellamy, "We’re going to create an incredible network that everyone sitting in every living room in America can watch. Serving skiers and mountain enthusiasts is going to be 100 percent of our focus – we’re going to understand their every want and need, whether it’s in our coverage of competition, destination travel, equipment insight and instruction, or those off-season, ancillary sports like hiking and mountain biking, to which we’ll also devote a significant amount of instruction. By understanding them and integrating with them at every turn, we will build a great media vehicle that will help to grow the snowsports industry."

    Sounds good. Wonder if they'll have anything related to women's skiing.....

    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, June 18, 2007

    Something you can do in the off season.

    You can do what a friend of mine, Steve Kendra, is doing:

    Cycle across America.

    Steve is part of a team called "Ari's Angels" that's participating in the Race Across America. The charge of his team: to raise money for The Children's Tumor Foundation, an organization whose mission is to end Neurofibromatosis (NF) through research.

    NF is a progressive and debilitating genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow randomly throughout the body, along the nerves and nerve endings. It can cause brain tumors, blindness, deafness, bone abnormalities, learning disabilities, and more. NF occurs in more than one in 3,000 births and is more common than Cystic Fibrosis, hereditary Muscular Dystrophy, and Huntington’s Disease combined. Currently, there are no effective treatments and NO CURE for NF.

    Steve and his team began their journey in Oceanside, CA, on June 12, and expect to complete it in Atlantic City, NJ, on Friday, June 22. They've seen it all: From the mountains to the prairies indeed. And they've persevered with humor, strength, and dedication that are lessons to us all.

    Those of us who are not along for the ride can follow Steve's journey at Ari's Angels' Blog. And you can make a donation to his team by visiting Active Giving.com.

    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.

    Thursday, June 14, 2007

    Match Game.

    Do you care if your skis/boots/jacket/pants are color coordinated?

    To be honest, I really don't. Not much, anyway. I'd like my pants and jacket to match. And this is pretty easy to do; my pants are black, so they go with everything.

    But as far as equipment goes, I couldn't give a rat. I go for function and fit rather than color. Years ago, however, I had a pair of purple boots, which I absolutely HATED -- then again, they were just crappy boots. Though the color didn't help any.

    Despite all of this, my new boots and skis actually match -- but that's merely a happy coincidence. My skis (Fischer Vision 73's) are orange. And my boots (Nordica Speed Machines) are blue, white and orange.

    Is it too girlie of me to be glad they do??????

    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.

    Saturday, June 09, 2007

    The non-skiing partner.

    What do you do if you have a passion for skiing -- and it isn't shared by the one you have a passion for?

    That's a tough one.

    For me, it meant years of not skiing, until my sweetie decided to give it a try. Now he's as hooked (well, almost as hooked) as I am.

    But I think it'd be difficult to balance a relationship between someone who skis and someone who doesn't. I know some women who do. Their husbands don't ski, so they just go out and do it themselves. Hey, a lot of men do that without their wives, so why not?

    Trouble is, most women feel guilty about doing things that are only for them. In the interest of being the perfect wife or mother, they seem to discard the things that bring them joy -- like skiing. Call it socal conditioning, call it responsible thinking, it's hard to shake.

    Finding a supportive group of like-minded women certainly helps (shameless plug for TheSkiDiva.com, the internet discussion forum for women skiers). So give us a try.

    Sunday, June 03, 2007

    Map Quest.

    Wouldn't life be easier if you could look at a trail map and actually see if a run is right for you? I mean, it isn't always apparent; something you think is a downhill trail may actually go across the mountain. Or it could be much too steep for your ability. Wouldn't it'd be nice to know before you commit?

    Face it; the usual blue and black symbols just don't always tell the story.

    Here are two sites that can help:

    Ski.com's interactive 3D trail maps. and 3D Ski Maps.

    Both can give you a better sense for the terrain than a flat, one-dimensional map, so you'll have a better idea about what you're getting in to, before you even get there.

    Check 'em out.

    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, May 28, 2007

    Separating Sunscreen Facts From Fiction.

    When I was a kid, I used to slather on the baby oil and sit on the beach and roast. The idea, of course, was to achieve the "perfect tan." What I usually ended up with was the perfect burn, instead.

    What fools we were back then.

    Now, of course, we know a lot better. Sun exposure can cause all sorts of damage to your skin, not to mention contribute to skin cancer.

    So when I saw this on CNN about common sunscreen "myths", I knew I had to post it here.

    Myth No. 1: Sunscreen is all you need to stay safe.

    Reality: "Sunscreen is only one part of the sun-protection picture," explains Francesca Fusco, M.D., an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. "Just slathering it on and doing nothing else isn't going to cut it because, even with sunscreen, there's still up to a 50 percent risk that you'll burn."

    You also need to seek shade between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when sunlight is strongest; cover up with clothing, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses; do regular skin self-exams; and get a professional skin evaluation annually.

    Myth No. 2: SPF measures levels of protection against both UVB and UVA rays.

    Reality: The SPF (sun protection factor) measures only the level of protection against UVB rays. But several of the 16 active ingredients approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in sunscreens also block or absorb UVA rays, says Warwick L. Morison, M.D., professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins Medical School and chairman of the Skin Cancer Foundation's Photobiology Committee.

    Ingredients include: avobenzone (Parsol 1789), octocrylene, titanium dioxide, and zinc oxide, as well as the recently approved Mexoryl SX. Make sure one of these is in your sunscreen, or look for products labeled "broad spectrum," which means they protect against UVB and UVA rays.

    Myth No. 3: Some sunscreens can protect all day.

    Reality: "Regardless of the SPF or what the label says, sunscreens must be reapplied every two hours," Fusco says. "The active ingredients in most products begin to break down when exposed to the sun." Only physical blockers such as zinc oxide stay potent after two hours, but not all sunscreens are made with these ingredients.

    Myth No. 4: Some sunscreens are waterproof.

    Reality: The FDA does not recognize the term "waterproof," so don't count on sunscreen to last through hours of swimming. The agency does recognize "water/sweat/perspiration resistant" (which means a product offers SPF protection after 40 minutes of exposure to water) and "very water/sweat/perspiration resistant" (which means it still protects after 80 minutes). To be safe, reapply sunscreen after swimming or sweating.

    Myth No. 5: A sunscreen can provide "total sunblock."

    Reality: "No sunscreen blocks 100 percent of UV rays," Fusco says. An SPF 15 protects against 93 percent of UV rays, SPF 30 protects against 97 percent, and SPF 50 wards off 98 percent. You should slather two tablespoons on your body a half-hour before going outside, so the sunscreen has time to absorb into your skin.


    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.

    Wednesday, May 23, 2007

    Teenage girls and skiing.

    Just learned of an interesting article in January's Ski Area Management magazine about teenage girls and skiing -- specifically, why they drop out and how that's being addressed -- or should be addressed -- by ski areas.

    Go here


    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.

    Sunday, May 20, 2007

    Where have all the skiers gone?

    According to a recent report by the National Ski Areas Association, skier visits were down 6.9 percent from last season's record-setting 58.9 million visits.

    That's not much a surprise here in the northeast, where a miserable early season got things off to an especially late start. Add in a miserable storm over MLK Weekend that essentially destroyed what little snow there was, and the decline is hard to offset, even with some terrific late season storms.

    Poor conditions are a mixed blessing. They can help keep the crowds down, which is great for those of us who choose to ski. But they can also translate into bad financial statements for the resorts. And when the resorts suffer, so do we all.

    Here's hoping that things are better next year.

    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.

    Wednesday, May 16, 2007

    Best Trail Names.

    Do you choose a trail based on its name? Avoid something named "Suicide" or "Certain Death" out of fear?

    Trail names can be either revelatory or completely deceiving; it can go either way. That's why it makes sense to find out about 'em, before you give 'em a try.

    Here are what I think are some of the best trail names out there:

    Widowmaker (Sugarloaf)
    The Spin Dryer (Sun Peaks)
    Jaws of Death (Mount Snow)
    Goatsucker Glade (Sunshine)
    Elevator Shaft (Lake Louise)
    CPR Ridge (Kicking Horse)
    Dead Bob's Chute (Crested Butte)
    Idiot's Option and Chicken's Option (Attitash)
    Agony (Sunday River)
    Oh God! (Jungfrau)

    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.

    Thursday, May 10, 2007

    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!

    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.

    Saturday, May 05, 2007

    Are you afraid of getting hurt?

    Can't blame you. No one wants to get hurt. The problem is when the fear of injury takes over until you work yourself into such a nervous tizzy that your skiing suffers and you actually end up doing yourself some damage.

    Funny thing is that you can get hurt doing just about anything. One of the women on TheSkiDiva.com posted about someone she knew who got hurt washing her car; she tripped over the hose and woke up in the hospital with a shattered femur and a number of torn ligaments. It was one of the worst injuries the therapist there had ever seen.

    This doesn't mean you should take needless risks. But fear of getting hurt doesn't help your skiing. It can dampen your enjoyment of the sport and keep you from realizing your full potential.

    The best advice: know your limitations, maintain your equipment, and keep yourself in shape; good balance and good core strength can go a long way in keeping you out of the emergency room.

    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.

    Tuesday, May 01, 2007

    Skiing with the boyz.

    Some of the women on TheSkiDiva.com have been talking about skiing with the boys. And it's made for some interesting discussion.

    Seems in some cases, a platonic skiing relationship just isn't enough; the guys want to be more than just "skiing buddies."

    Which is too bad. With women who ski in the minority, sometimes the only people we have to ski with are guys. And a guy who tries to step over the line can turn a perfectly nice ski day into something considerably less than perfect.

    Let's be honest -- this isn't just limited to men. I'm sure some women are looking for something else on the mountain, too. But for those of us who aren't, it'd sure be nice if we could just, well, ski without all this other stuff getting in the way.

    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.

    Saturday, April 28, 2007

    Love is a slippery slope.

    I can't be the only who noticed that Prince William busted up with his long-time girlfirend while on a trip to Zermatt.

    Who's to say why they broke up. It's probably something that's been coming for a while. I've known people who've found love on the slopes. But I'm sure it's also possible to lose it on a ski trip.

    It's true that skiing can bring out the worst in people. Poor conditions, fear, equipment problems, crowded lift lines, etc. can cause tempers to flare and a weak relationship to fracture. Maybe it's a good way to determine how good you are for each other. Fun on the slopes equals fun everywhere else. Cranky on the slopes, with your significant other turning into the Abominable Snowman, could mean it's time to look elsewhere.

    After all, I hear there's a Prince available......

    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.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    Don't try this at home.

    A Norwegian was arrested recently after doing this in the London Underground.

    I'd never get that desperate, even in the off season!

    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.

    Friday, April 20, 2007

    '06-'07 Ski Goals: A Look Back.

    Way back in September I had a post about my goals for the '06-'07 ski season.

    How'd I do? Let's take a look:

  • Get through the season uninjured: Check! No injuries. Phew!

  • Ski more days than last season.Check! Got in 51 wonderful days, a personal record.

  • Try at least one new mountain. Check! Skied Jay Peak and Burke (both in VT), as well as Sunapee (NH). Loved them all.

  • Improve my skiing technique, particularly on moguls.This is still a work in progress. I'm okay if they're not too steep or too icy.

  • Make lots of new ski friends. I was fortunate enough to ski this year with some of the women who participate in TheSkiDiva.com. And what a blast it was! A fabulous time and some great skiing.

  • Have fun! This was the easiest one of all. Double check!

  • How'd you do?

    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, April 16, 2007

    Ski Diva goes legit!

    Yep, it had to happen. They went and made an honest woman out of me.

    I'm now an official member of the Eastern Ski Writers Association (ESWA), part of the North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).

    Sounds very hifalutin', doesn't it?

    Well, it is. The North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA) is a professional group of more than 300 writers, authors, photographers, filmmakers and broadcasters who report ski- and snowboard-related news, information and features throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico, via the various media. The NASJA is an "umbrella" association of three regional affiliates that represent Eastern North America, Midwestern North America and Western North America.

    So what exactly does this mean? Two things:

    1) It means that people in the snow industry have recognized both this and TheSkiDiva.com as legitimate web sites, as opposed to someone who's just blogging to their grandma.

    2) It means I'll have better access to information about skiing and snowsports -- information I can pass on to you.

    Can a spot in the White House press corp be next????

    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.

    Wednesday, April 11, 2007

    Better than a bra tree!



    In my post of February 16, I railed (yes, railed is the word) against people who insist on descecrating the landscape along ski lifts by hurling their bras/undergarments on innocent, unsuspecting trees.

    Just didn't make sense to me. Like littering, it's just plain messy.

    But now there's a case where giving up your bra makes sense.

    If you donate your bra to Fat Mardi's Restaurant in Tremblant's Mountain Village Square, they'll give you a credit toward dinner there, plus make a donation to the Canadian Cancer Society.

    I understand they have a line of bras going around the bar.

    A great idea. So I sent one in. You can, too. Their address is:

    Fat Mardi's
    3035 Ch. de le Chapelle
    Mont Tremblant, Quebec J8E 1T1
    Canada

    You don't have to be a customer to participate.

    A good idea for a great cause.

    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.

    Friday, April 06, 2007

    Have you ever shared a pass?

    Come on. 'Fess up. It's good for the soul.

    Do you or have you ever "shared" a daily lift ticket?

    I know people who have done this -- parents, actually, who want to ski but also need to share child care duty. They'll take turns using a jacket with a lift pass, passing it between them throughout the day. One of them skis, while the other stays in the lodge and watches the kid.

    It's a dirty little secret. Because it's actually theft of service, if you think about it. Which is something I don't approve of, particularly when so many ski areas are struggling to stay afloat.

    However, it also isn't right for ski areas not to have some kind of interchangeable pass for Moms and Dads to share. It fails to recognize the difficulties many families face in getting out to ski, and the harsh realities of child care.

    I know this pass is possible, because Bretton Woods, Tahoe Donner, Alpine Meadows, and Northstar have it, to name a few. Mom and Dad buy identical passes, only one of which can be used at any given time.

    Seems like a good business decision to me. A win/win situation all around.

    What do you think?

    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.

    Tuesday, April 03, 2007

    Thinking ahead.

    As your season's winding down, it's never to early to start thinking about next year.

    A lot of ski areas are offering season pass discounts. Buy your pass now, and you'll pay less than you would if you waited til after a certain date.

    Makes sense to me. I love to ski, but I hate to spend money.

    Don't think you ski enough at a single ski area to warrant a season pass? Think again. It'd take just five trips to the ticket window to pay for my mid-week season pass at Okemo. Kind of puts it in perspective, doesn't it?

    Just something to keep in mind.....

    Friday, March 30, 2007

    The last day.

    I think today might be my last ski day of the year. (sniff!)

    Where did the season go?

    All the same, it's going out with a bang, for two reasons:

    First, it's my 50th ski day. Some people think it's obsessive to count. Me, I see it as goal oriented. My goal this year was to reach 50 days, and now I have. I can think of worse things to keep track of.

    And second, I get to ski with some of the great women from TheSkiDiva.com. A few of us are meeting today at my local hill, and I can't think of better company to have on my last few runs. This has been the forum's first ski season, and I must say, it's had a tremendous impact on my life. I've connected -- and become friends with -- some fantastic women skiers. And I've learned so much from the tremendous knowledge we've all been able to share. If you've never visited the site, be sure to stop by and register. It's a blast. And we'll still be going strong in the off season.

    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.

    Tuesday, March 27, 2007

    The end is near.

    I'm afraid it's coming.

    The weather is getting warmer. There's the steady drip, drip, drip of melting snow. Bare spots are beginning to appear on the slopes. As I rode the lift yesterday, I heard the sound of birds chirping. And I noticed the trees are taking on the ruddy hue that signals the emergence of budding leaves.

    I don't know about you, but I find this extremely depressing.

    Spring is supposed to be a season of hope. Of flowers blooming. Of the earth coming to life. It's inevitable. The natural order of life.

    For me, however, it signals the end of an all-too-short winter.

    Some dedicated skiers follow the snow. I know one instructor in Vermont, an Australian, who spends our summer Down Under where she works as a ski instructor. For her, it's skiing all year round. An endless winter.

    I don't think I'm ready for that. I actually enjoy the warm weather.

    Just wish I could ski in it.

    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.

    Thursday, March 22, 2007

    And now, new skis.

    Once again, the end of season close outs got the better of me.

    It's not that I didn't need new skis -- I did. My old skis were four years old and the mileage was beginning to show. Also, I was bored and wanted something new. And when confronted with 50% off, what woman could resist?

    So what'd I end up with?

    Before I tell you, let me first explain my selection process. I take picking out skis seriously. Before I plunk down my hard earned cash, I want to make sure I get the ski that matches my ability and the conditions I ski in the most. So I do research. I talk to people at forums like TheSkiDiva.com to get opinions and first hand experiences. And I check out gear reviews at places like Realskiers.com. Then I demo, because there's nothing like time on the snow to see if a ski works for you. No matter what anyone tells you about a ski, there's no better way to see if you like it.

    So, after doing all those things, what'd I end up with? Fischer Vision 73's. A really fun ski. Snappy, happy, energetic, and not too heavy. I like a stiff ski, but I don't like one that'll weigh me down (I'm not very big or powerful, myself); this one fills the bill. It also holds a nice edge, a must in eastern hard pack.

    With the season almost over here in the northeast, I probably won't have the chance to ski on them too many more times. But when next season comes, I am so ready!

    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.

    Tuesday, March 20, 2007

    Skiing Safari.

    I've just returned from a bit of a skiing safari, and like the Beach Boys say in the old song (the one about the T-bird), I had "fun, fun, fun!"

    I started out on Friday at Burke Mountain, a small(ish) resort in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Burke is known as a place to experience traditional New England skiing, and it doesn't disappoint. Lots of trails that follow old logging roads as well as the contour of the mountain. And on the day I was there, my friend and I owned the place. It was completely empty. Unfortunately, the conditions could've been better.

    On to Jay Peak, waaaay northern Vermont by the Canadian border. That's when the snow got serious. It started coming down Friday night, and didn't stop til the end of day Sunday. The result: 40 inches of freshies. On both Saturday & Sunday I demoed fat skis in some of the best conditions I've encountered anywhere! Jay is an awesome mountain with terrific glade skiing. And to make it even better, I had the chance to share it with some of the fabulous women from TheSkiDiva.com. A terrific experience.

    Then yesterday, it was Sugarbush in the lovely Mad River Valley, Vermont, truly one of the most beautiful places on earth. They'd received a ton of fresh snow as well (about 36 inches). The sky was blue, the sun was out, and the conditions were great. We hit the trees, did the bumps, and had a terrific time.

    Four days, three ski areas, stellar conditions, and great company. Life is good!

    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.

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    These boots are made for skiing!



    And that's just what they'll do!

    Excuse the reference to an awful pop song, but I'm pretty excited here.

    I just got a new pair of ski boots. My old pair -- Lange Banshees -- was five years old and pretty packed down. My heel was lifting up and my foot was slopping all around the inside. Plus I was getting awful shin pain, also known as "shin bang." Which was highly unpleasant.

    So yesterday, after a morning skiing on slushy snow, I decided to go look for boots. Not buy, just look. But with the year end sales, the temptation was too great.

    I hit two ski shops -- both with excellent reps for bootfitting: Basin Ski Shop in Killington, VT, and Northern Ski Works, also in Killington and Ludlow. I went to the first to try Heads and Salomons, and to the second to try Technicas and Dalbellos.

    So what did I end up with? Nordica Speed Machines. Just goes to show: you have to have an open mind.

    Why the Nordicas? They seemed to do it for me in all the right places. Of course, it's hard to tell for sure til I ski on them, but I'm hoping they'll ski good, too.

    Can't wait to give them a try. I'm hoping to get out on them today. Here's hoping for a snowy, snowy weekend!

    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.

    Tuesday, March 13, 2007

    It's about time.

    I suppose by now everyone has moved their clocks ahead ("Spring forward, fall back.") If you haven't, you've been running late all week, so get with the program!

    I haven't been skiing yet this week, so I'm wondering about the effect this will have on skiing. Obviously, one more hour of daylight means better light and greater visibility in the late afternoon. And I know of at least one ski area, Crested Butte, that's running its lifts an addtional hour to take advantage of the extra hour of daylight.

    All this is good. But it also means spring is coming, which marks the approach of the dreaded off season.

    Better get out there now, while you can.

    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.

    Friday, March 09, 2007

    It's the little things that count.

    Yep, I'm still here at Steamboat. And the other day I had the pleasure of skiing with two men who are instructors at Copper Mountain. Great guys, fantastic skiers.

    And though it wasn't a formal lesson, they did give me some valuable pointers. Just some small things I could do to make my skiing a lot better.

    Which made me think: a lot of what we do in skiing is a series of small refinements -- to our balance, to our edges, to where we place our poles, and so on. Taken individually, these don't seem like much. But put them all together, and you can make some dramatic changes in the way you ski.

    Tiny steps lead can lead to big improvements. True in skiing, true in life.

    I'm working on it.

    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.

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    Steamboatin'!

    So here I am in Steamboat, Colorado.

    Quite a change for a New England skier. Bluebird skies, sun, soft snow, temperatures in the forties yesterday. Today it's only supposed to be 4 degrees in Vermont.

    I could get used to this.

    It's always good to try new places. I've been to Steamboat before, but skiing someplace you don't ordinarily get to is a lot of fun.

    I'm having a blast!

    I should definitely do this more often.

    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.

    Friday, March 02, 2007

    You know your skiing has improved when.....

    (this is a compilation of comments from a thread on TheSkiDiva.com)

  • Your friends don't wait for you because they know, without a doubt, that you can ski the terrain you're on.

  • You come in from skiing after your teenage son.

  • You start thinking that bumps are kind of fun.

  • Your husband is complaining about the snow spray from your twin tips because he's BEHIND YOU!

  • You look back up the slope and realize - hey! I just skied that!

  • The mountan seems smaller.

  • You find your skis are doing exactly what they were designed to do.

  • You actually seek out the gnarliest terrain and get excited about skiing it.

  • You're smiling!

  • 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.

    Tuesday, February 27, 2007

    Feel the burn!

    I think everyone who skis has felt the agony of quad burn, at one time or another.

    Mostly, it seems to be caused to skiing too much in the backseat instead of leaning forward, the way you're supposed to.

    So what can you do about it?

    First, work on your form. Keep your arms out in front, make sure you can feel your shins pressing lightly against the tongues of your boots, and look DOWN the mountain, instead of across.

    And second, strengthen those quads. Squats, lunges, step exercises, weights -- all these are good. Plus build up your core strength. That'll help keep you centered over your skis and give you a quieter upper body, so you won't sit back as much.

    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.