Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Skiing steep.

Have you ever wondered how steep you favorite ski area is, and how it compares to other areas?

If so, you should really go to 3DSkiMaps.com, where you can find color coded maps that indicate the steepness of a variety of ski areas. Pretty cool!

Another site that provides a great perspective on ski areas is Ski.com. There are 3D maps of 19 resorts, and they give you a real feel for the lay of the land -- much better than a one dimensional map.

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

Friday, January 26, 2007

The sound of music.

Seems like a lot of people can't do anything without some musical accompaniment. So I probably sound like an old fart, but I don't get skiing with headphones.

For me, one of the great pleasures of skiing is the absence of noise. I enjoy the silence and the gentle whooshing sound of my skis against the snow. Besides, I need all the audio cues I can get. Without music, I can hear if there's a snowboarder coming up behind me or whether or not I'm skidding my skis. Plus, I like to be able to carry on a conversation, either with the friends I'm skiing with or with strangers on the chairlift. Maybe I'm too distractable, but I can't do this with music playing in my ear.

Some people tell me they keep the music very low so they can hear everything that's going on around them. If that works for them, fine. But as for me, I'll keep it quiet.

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

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Grand Opening.

If you like to participate in TheSkiDiva.com, the internet ski discussion forum for women, then check this out:

TheSkiDiva.com on-line store.

Here you can find stuff that'll let you show your Diva pride and support the site: bumper stickers, helmet stickers, mugs, T-shirts, sweat shirts, mouse pads, hats. And more (there's always "more.")

Take a look. You might see something you absolutely have to have.

And if you're not familiar with TheSkiDiva.com, be sure to visit. It's lots of fun.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Sleepless in Seattle.

Yes, I'm going to Seattle today. First time. Never been there.

And this has nothing to do with skiing, either (give me some leeway here).

As some of you may know, my husband, Jon Clinch, is having his debut novel published by Random House, due out in stores on February 20. It's called Finn, and it's the dark story of Huckleberry Finn's father. It's about racism, madness, alcoholism, slavery, dysfunctional relationships. love, murder, greed, & disillusionment. And I must say, it's beautifully written (really). Picture Cormac McCarthy meets William Faulkner.

If you haven't read Huckleberry Finn, don't worry about it. You don't need to to enjoy this book; it stands entirely on its own.

Finn is Random House's lead title for the spring. So that's why we're headed for Seattle. Jon will be at the American Library Association Convention, where he'll be signing copies of the audio book..

You can find out more about Finn here. Or you can pre-order it on line at places like Barnes & Noble (Finn is their on-line book club pick for March) or Amazon. Or you can visit your local book store on or after February 20.

Next time I'll talk about skiing.

P.S.: Happy Birthday to me!!!!!

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

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The long and short of ski length.

Life is full of great mysteries: Who built Stonehenge, is there a Loch Ness monster, and where the heck is Jimmy Hoffa.

But I think for many of us, "how long should my skis be" ranks right up there with them.

There's good reason for confusion. Ski length depends on a number of things: your height and weight, your ability, and the type of skiing you do (racing, freestyle, moguls, etc.)

In general, conventional wisdom is that shorter skis are easier to turn at slower speeds and handle the bumps better. And longer skis are better for speed (they deal with vibration better), crud, and powder. Also, the more advanced your level, the longer your skis can be, too.

Be sure to remember that your weight is more important than your height. Heavier skiers need bigger (or stiffer) skis for greater stability and surface area. Lighter skiers should think about smaller sizes as they may have less power to flex the ski.

To add to the confusion, one manufacturer's stated size may not be the same as another's. For example, Brand X skis may seem longer than Brand Y's, even though the length is supposed to be the same. Use the manufacturer's size as a rough guide, and take it from there.

So what should you do? First, be honest about your ability, how you plan to use yours skis, and how much you weigh (not always easy, I know). And second, get out there and demo. Different skis of the same length perform, well, differently. And since length can dramatically effect performance, it wouldn't be a bad idea to try the same ski in a couple different lengths.

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

Friday, January 12, 2007

Who makes what?

The ski equipment universe is a lot smaller than you might think. I found the following info on EpicSki.com, and it was a real eye opener for me:

Amer group: Atomic and Salomon share common ownership under Amer, though each brand's premium models are still made in Austria and France, respectively. US distribution of both is moving to Utah next year. Amer also owns Bonfire clothing and has an interest in Arc'Teryx clothing.

Tecnica Group: Tecnica boots, Nordica boots/skis, Dolomite boots, Rollerblade, Lowa footwear. Tecnica boots are made in Italy, Nordica boots in Hungary, and Nordica skis by Fischer in the Ukraine and Austria. Depending on which rumor you believe, US distribution of Tecnica, Nordica and Dolomite is in New Hampshire.

K2 Corp: K2, Völkl, Line and Marker bindings. All K2s and Lines are built in China. Most Völkls are still made in Germany, though a couple of models are made in China by K2. Marker bindings are made in the Czech Republic. US K2 distribution is in Seattle. Völkl and Marker USA are in New Hampshire. Also owns Red Feather/Tubbs snowshoes and Marmot clothing

Quicksilver group: Rossignol, Dynastar, Roxy, Look, Lange. Lots of production shared between these brands. Rossi makes skis in both France and Spain while I believe Dynastar is still entirely in France. US distribution of all just moved to Utah.

Elan is the OEM manufacturer for Armada. The US distribution of Elan was recently transferred from the Tecnica group to Dalbello (Andover, NH).

Head and Fischer are family run operations. And since Fischer makes skis for a number of other companies, they're the largest ski manufacturer. Many cheap "package" skis from many different brands that you see at big box stores are made by Fischer and Elan.

Also:
4Frnt and Armada skis are made by a mix of Elan and Atomic.
Rossignol bindings are made by Look.
Atomic bindings are made by Salomon.
Roxy is made by Dynastar and Rossignol.
Nordica and Blizzard bindings are made by Marker.
Elan and Fischer bindings are made by Tyrolia.
4Frnt bindings are made by VIST.

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

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

If you're tired of this weather....

....then join the club -- temperatures have been way above average, there hasn't been enough snow, people are playing golf, for crying out loud. Ski areas are suffering.

Ah, winter in New England!

According to the National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration, we have El Nino to thank for this. El Nino is a strong climate pattern that forms in the Pacific Ocean from time to time. This one's been in place since last summer. It's wrecking havoc in the east, while causing tons of snow to fall in the west. And they say it's going to remain in place until spring.

So what am I going to do, continue to complain?

Well -- yes. But I'm also making plans to take a trip out west this year. I'm heading to Steamboat in March. I have my tickets, my lift pass, and I'm dying to go.

Looks like that might be my best chance of getting some real solid skiing done this winter.

Curse you, El Nino!

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

Friday, January 05, 2007

How about a women's ski clinic?

There's no better way to improve your skills than with a workshop designed with the unique needs of women in mind. Women's ski clinics focus on building skills and confidence while offering the comeraderie that comes from working with highly skilled female instructors.

Here are a few you might want to check out:

Kim Reichhelm's Ski Adventures, at varying dates in Vail, Crested Butte, and Alta.
Girlz on Edge, multi-day ski excursions for intermediate to advanced skiers
Adventure Women, week ski clinic in Montana
SheSkis testing clinic, Vail, CO
Women's Alpine Adventures, Okemo Mountain Resort. Vermont
Big Mountain Women's Workshop, Big Mountain, Montana
Breckenridge Women's Program Breckenridge, Colorado
Telluride Women's Ski Weeks,, Telluride, CO
Just for Women Ski Clinic, Squaw Valley, CA
Jackson Hole Women's Clinic, Jackson Hole, WY
Steamboat Women's Ski Clinic, Steamboat Ski Resort, Steamboat, CO
Women's Winter Escape, Crystal Mountain, Michigan

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

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

This is either terrifying or extremely cool.

But it's something I'm certain I will never, ever do. Just missing that adventure gene, or whatever it is, I guess.

Go here and take a look.

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