Wednesday, October 28, 2009

You are not alone.

One of the most common questions we get over at has to do with which ski to buy.

It's a good question. The type of ski you select, in my mind, is as personal as the type of jeans you wear or the toothpaste you like. Everyone has different preferences. What I like to ski on, you might hate, and vice versa. Mix that up with different abilities, the types of conditions you ski, and the amount of money you have to spend, and you could end up jabbering to yourself in a corner.

But there are some things you can do to decide which ski you might want to choose, before you plunk down the big bucks:

1) Talk to people. Talk to people who you know ski the way you do under similar conditions, and see what they like. No, they're not experts, but it's a starting point.

2) Talk to the equipment experts in your ski shop. Don't lie about how you ski or what you're looking for. You won't do yourself any favors if you do.

3) Visit the websites and read the reviews. Okay, these are not exactly objective. But they will let you know if a ski is for beginners or experts and something about its technical specifications: construction, dimensions, etc. All this is valuable information.

And 4) If at all possible, demo. I can not stress how important it is to try before you buy. It may cost a few bucks, but some shops will subtract the cost of the demo from the purchase price, if you decide to make a purchase.

Of course, we always welcome conversation about selecting skis on, but this advice can go a long way in making your task a little easier.

One final thing: If you don't get the ski of your dreams, don't sweat it. Sell it and try again.

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

Sunday, October 18, 2009

K2 Race for the Cure

If you're like me, you ski because it's fun, it's great exercise, and it's a wonderful way to enjoy being outdoors in the winter.

But now there's another reason: to help facilitate a cure for breast cancer. Because on December 12, K2 Skis is sponsoring the K2 Pink Chase, where teams of three women each will compete at Keystone Resort, Colorado, to see who can ski the most vertical.

Sure, there are prizes. And sure, it's fun. But it's also a great way to help beat a disease that kills thousands of women every year. In 2009 alone, more than 190,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. These are our mothers, our sisters, our friends, and our daughters. And it could easily be you or me. Because even though great strides are being made all the time, it's pretty clear that we still have a long way to go.

Some of the women on are forming their own team. I'm very proud of them. They'll be raising money for the cause, and I hope you'll be kind enough to donate. I'll post more about that, as info becomes available.

Kudos to K2 for organizing this event. And kudos to all the great women who'll be participating. Even though I can't be with you physically, I'll be with you in spirit.

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

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Allow me to toot my own horn.

Yep, it's an advance reader copy of my book, DOUBLE BLACK: A SKI DIVA MYSTERY, coming out January 5 from Minotaur Books, an imprint of St. Martin's Press.

What's an advance reader copy? It's a copy of the book that's sent to the sales force and reviewers, to promote the book before actual publication. Yes, there are typos. And yes, it's in soft cover, even though the book will actually be coming out in hard back.

I'm pretty excited. This is my first novel, and seeing it in book form is pretty amazing to me. Even though I've been down this road before with my husband's first book (FINN, Random House, 2007), it's a little different when it happens to you.

Here's a quick synopsis, straight from the book jacket:

In DOUBLE BLACK, Boston’s twenty-something Stacey Curtis ditches her cheating fiance and heads for a Vermont ski town. She’s looking for the life she’s always dreamed about, but she stumbles instead into financial intrigue, bitter family warfare, and murder. Populated with quirky characters, loaded with New England atmosphere, and starring a young woman with nerve, spunk, and a sense of humor about it all, DOUBLE BLACK is an exciting run down some treacherous mountain trails.

I had a lot of fun writing DOUBLE BLACK, and I think you'll enjoy reading it, too. And in less than three months time, you can!!!! But who's counting......

BTW, for more about the book, check out my web site at

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

Monday, October 05, 2009

Have you ever cat skied?

No, this has nothing to do with kitty cats on skis, with their whiskers blowing in the wind and their tails streaming behind them. (Though I'm sure that would be a sight to see!)

I'm referring instead to being transported up a mountain by a vehicle known as a "snow cat," then skiing down through fluffy pillows of powder. And yes, it's done by people, not cats.

I haven't done this yet, though I've always wanted to. From what I hear, it's an experience not to be missed!

Catskiing works a lot better for me than heli-skiing. I have a real fear of going up (but more especially, of coming down) in a helicopter. Cats never leave the ground; a definite plus, in my book.

A number of resorts offer catskiing. Monarch, Powder, and Copper, to name a few. One operation I've heard great feedback about is Powder Cowgirls, a three-day, all women's catskiing tour that operates on the Western slope of the Lizard Range of the Rockies, in SE British Columbia. I've heard that the Lizards have amazingly deep, dry snow, as well as fantastic terrain and tree skiing. Nothing wrong with that! Plus Powder Cowgirls sends along a Level 4 CSIA instructor to give you powder skiing tips (which as an east cost skier, I could definitely use!). They also provide lodging, meals, even powder skis, if you need them. I'm Diva enough -- and old enough, I guess -- to prefer a little of the creature comforts in life, and Powder Cowgirls looks like the mix of comfort and kick-ass skiing that appeals to me.*

Is catskiing for you, and does it mesh with your ski ability? My understanding is that there are catskiing operations for a wide range of abilities, from intermediate on up. A conversation with a tour operator can give you a better idea of whether or not your ability jives with what they have to offer.

There's a thread about catskiing going on now at If you're a woman who's a member, log in to talk about it. And if you're not a member, register so you can.

*Full disclosure: Power Cowgirls advertises on But that doesn't mean I don't really think it's cool!