Monday, November 23, 2009

And so it begins.



Even though my book, DOUBLE BLACK: A SKI DIVA MYSTERY, isn't coming out til January 5, reviews are starting to pop up.

So I thought I'd share them here.

From Publisher's Weekly:

For all its fluffy powder and Green Mountain gemütlich, Vermont's Spruce Peak has a decidedly sinister side in Clinch's easy, breezy debut. Bostonian Stacey Curtis, a grad student turned ski bum, quickly discovers that when she finds a dead man with "the jagged oily chain from a chain saw yanked tight around his neck." Though she has headed for the hills in hopes of lessening the drama in her life (think cheating fiancé), spunky Stacey's amateur sleuthing efforts send her schussing into fresh intrigue, danger, and just maybe romance with hunky ski patroller/trust funder Chip Walsh. Clinch, a Vermont resident who runs a popular Web site for women who ski (www.TheSkiDiva.com ), clearly knows-and loves-the terrain, conjuring the kind of bewitching winter wonderland and endearing New England characters that will leave readers antsy for a return visit. (Jan.)

And from Romantic Times, which gave it FOUR STARS:

This first in the new Ski Diva mystery series set in the Green Mountains of Vermont features a smart and sassy lead character with a fun sense of humor and appealing supporting characters. Clinch captures your attention from the start and never lets go with a plot that must be similar to traveling down a slick slalom course with all its twists and turns. This is a wonderfully entertaining way to spend a chilly winter evening.

The book's already available for pre-orders at Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and Indiebound.com. So you can actually order it now.

I can hardly believe there's just over a month til it's on the shelves. It seems so long ago that I actually wrote it (the summer of '08), that I almost forget what it's about. Maybe you should read it and tell 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.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Walking to save our snow.

Anyone who loves to ski knows we'd be lost without our most essential element: Snow. And though many of us are aware of the dangers of global warming, not many of us actually get out there and do something about it.

That's not the case with Alison Gannett, a World Champion Extreme Freeskier and a true champion of environmental efforts.

Founder of the Save Our Snow Foundation, Alison has trained individuals, businesses, and governments all over the world -- including Al Gore's Climate Project team -- on solutions to climate change. She was recently named "Ski Hero of the Year," and Outside magazine named her "A Green All-Star," next to Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger. (By the way, I interviewed Alison way back in September, 2008. You can see it here.)

Not content to rest on her laurels, Alison is at it again. To raise awareness and bring media attention to global warming, Alison is planning to walk over 200 miles towards the United Nation's Climate Change Conference, or Cop15, which will be held next month in Copenhagen, Denmark. The century's most important conference of its type, Cop15 will hopefully result in agreements to replace those reached at the conference in Kyoto, Japan in 1997. Throughout her walk, Alison will be carrying her skis on her back to bring ski and snow awareness to the urban landscape.

Saving our snow goes way beyond just preserving the sport we love. Snow and ice together provide almost half of the world's drinking water and irrigation for food cultivation. It's an effort all of us should get behind.

For more information and to contribute to her efforts, go here.

Oh, and just for some skiing stoke -- and more about Alison -- check this 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.



Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let The Women Jump


Way back in December, 2006 (wow, has this blog been around that long?), I posted about the International Olympic Committee's refusal to include women's ski jumping in the 2010 Winter Olympics. Ski jumping is the only Olympic sport that doesn't allow women to compete. In fact, influential IOC member and FIS President Gian Franco Kasper told National Public Radio that ski jumping "seems not to be appropriate for ladies from a medical point of view."

Pretty amazing, isn't it? And this is 2010 we're talking about -- not 1910.

The IOC has all sorts of reasons for its decision. So in the grand tradition of that TV show Mythbusters -- and borrowing heavily from the Let The Women Jump website, I thought I'd explode a few of them here.


Myth: There are not enough women ski jumping for it to be included in the Olympic Winter Games.

Fact: Over 130 women from 16 nations are registered as international competitors with the International Ski Federation (FIS). Hundreds more compete in their own countries at the national and club levels.


Myth: Women are not good enough to compete at the World Cup level.

Fact: The FIS Continental Cup format is used for the elite level of women's international competition. In 2004 organizers from ski jumping nations chose to forgo asking the FIS for a Women's World Cup tour in order to reduce production costs and facilitate growth in the sport.


Myth: Women's ski jumping is not developed enough. There is not enough "universality."

Fact: 16 Nations (AUT, CAN, CZE, FIN, FRA, GER, ITA, JAP, NED, NOR, POL, RUS,SLO, SWE, SUI, & USA) have women registered as international competitors with the FIS. This season’s Continental Cup tour will include 25 events hosted by 8 countries in Europe, North America, and Asia.


Myth: Only a few women athletes can jump respectably.

Fact: 35 different athletes from 9 nations have placed within the top 10 in FIS Continental Cup competition during the past two seasons. The depth of field parallels the men's tour.


Myth: There must be two World Championship competitions held before an event can be included in the Olympics.

Fact: This criterion has had exceptions made to it in the past. The most notable being the inclusion of the women's marathon event in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics after a single World Championship in 1983. The first Women's Ski Jumping World Championship will be held in Liberec, Czech Republic in 2009. By 2010 there will have been four World Junior Championships.


Myth: There is not room on the 2010 program to include the women jumpers.

Fact: Currently there are six men's ski jumping medal events (three ski jumping and three Nordic Combined) planned over six days. A single women's event could bescheduled on available days.


Myth: The cost of including a women's event on the 2010 program would be prohibitive.

Fact: Women ski jump on the identical jumps that the Men use. The venue would not be required to be modified in any way.

There's a petition about this over on the Let The Women Jump website, and I encourage everyone who reads this to sign it. Even if it's too late to get this included in the '10 games, maybe if enough of us speak out, we can hope for 2014. As they say, better late than never.

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, November 09, 2009

So much for "best of" lists.

Outside magazine just came out with its top 16 ski areas. SKI magazine lists its top 50 every year . And Skiing has its own top ten.

Number one? For Outside, it's Alta. For SKI, Deer Valley. For Skiing, Whistler/Blackcomb.

They're all great ski areas. But the fact that each magazine has a different resort in its top slot clearly demonstrates: It's all a matter of opinion.

I don't know about you, but I don't pay much attention to resort ratings. The whole thing is so subjective, simply because what's good for one person may not be good for another. Everyone has different priorities. For example, you may love Okemo, VT. But for someone who wants to nail the chutes at Jackson Hole, for example, Okemo isn't going to cut it.

It really depends on where you are with your skiing and what you're looking for. My advice? Get the best match, and you'll be a happy skier.

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 03, 2009

My quiver for the new season.

I'm entering the new ski season filled with excitement.

That's nothing unusual. I'm always excited for ski season to begin.

But I'm especially excited because I have two new pairs of skis this year: a pair of Volkl Auras and a pair of Tierras, also from Volkl. And I'm keeping my trusty old Fischer Vision 73's, too. I can't bear to let them go.

So here's a quick review of what my quiver looks like this season, so you can recognize me on the mountain:



The Aura has been receiving a lot of love from the women on TheSkiDiva.com, and SKI and Skiing magazines seem to like it, too. Similar to the Mantra but 20% lighter, the Aura features a sandwich construction and measures 130/94/113. It has a reputation for terrific edging on the hardpack, but its wide waist makes it great for the powder, too. I'm looking forward to having a lot of fun on this one!

And for my next ski.....



the Volkl Tierra, which features the company's new Bio-Logic Technology. Volkl's raised the toe in the binding, which they say puts a female skier in a more neutral stance. They claim it improves the balance of the hamstring and glutes to result in more efficient muscle use. They’ve also tapered the tail angle so it releases more readily at the end of a turn. The tip is a bit wider, and they gave the ski a more consistent flex pattern. The Tierra's dimensions: 129/78/99

And here's ski #3....



My Fischer Vision 73's. I've had these skis since 2007, and they've served me well. They're fun, lively, snappy, happy -- just tons of fun for carving, making short turns. They're great on soft snow, plowing through ice cookies, and hold a terrific edge. A great East Coast ski. Love 'em. They're 118/73/105.

So that's where I stand, on the brink of the '09/'10 season. Now if only I could get out on these babies!


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.