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.