Sunday, January 31, 2010

Back from Schweitzer

Yep, I'm back from four days in north Idaho. Not the easiest place to get to from Vermont, but definitely well worth it.

If you haven't heard of Schweitzer, you're not alone. A lot of people haven't. I'd mention to someone where I was going, and they'd give me a blank look and say, "Where??"

But that's not a bad thing. Because this way, it remains a nicely kept, kind of off-the-beaten track secret. At 2,900 acres, Schweitzer is definitely not hiding (compare that to 632 acres for my local mountain, Okemo). And there's plenty to keep you busy. You like trees? There are tons. You like steep? You got it. Moguls? Got them, too. And the view? Incredible. From the front side, you look out over Lake Pend Orielle (pronounced Pond Oray):

Here's the view from the Outback, or the back side of the mountain, where there's a ton of great skiing, too:

Schweitzer averages 300 inches of snow, and it's way down this year. Still, there was a lot of snow and zero ice. And with temps in the low 30's, no wind, and BLUE skies (I understand that's very unusual there. But it's unusual in Vermont, too), it was especially pleasant skiing weather.

Is it needless to say I had a great time? Well, I'll say it, anyway. I had a great time. I give it two ski poles up.

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, January 24, 2010

Heading to Schweitzer.

I'm pretty excited. Tomorrow I'm traveling to Schweitzer for a few days of skiing.

"Schweitzer?" I hear you say. "Where's that?"

Schweitzer's in Northern Idaho, and though it's not as well known or as big as say, Vail or Whistler, it has plenty to offer. Schweitzer has 2,900 skiable acres (in comparison, my home mountain, Okemo in Vermont, has 632), a vertical drop of  2,400 feet, and an average annual snowfall of 300 inches. And though it hasn't had the recent big dumps of Tahoe or Jackson Hole, I have good friends who live there, so I'll still have a good time.

Hey, it isn't always only about the skiing. (Did I just say that????)

Getting there won't be easy. First we have to drive 3 hours to the airport in Boston, then fly from Boston to Spokane via Denver, and then drive another couple hours once we land. Tomorrow looks like a long day.

But today is for getting ready. Which means I have to figure out A) which skis to bring, B) which clothes to pack, and C) how to stow it all.

One thing is easy: I always carry my boots on board. I mean, I could always rent skis if they don't arrive, but boots? I don't think so. I'll stow a day's worth of ski clothes with my boots, as well, so I'll be sure to have something to ski in, no matter what. And I'll put all this in my Transpack, a backpack boot carrier, which is pretty easy to handle and fits easily in the plane's overhead compartment.

Next, skis. I'm still in a quandary about which ones to bring. A trip out west usually requires bringing wider skis, like my Volkl Auras (94 waist). On the other hand, Schweitzer hasn't had a lot of new snow and it doesn't look like there's much in the forecast. So I'm thinking of bringing my Volkl Tierras, instead (78 waist).

No matter which skis I choose, they'll be packed in my Sportube, a hardshell ski bag that provides a good measure of protection. Plus it has wheels, which makes it easy to roll through the airport.

Now on to everything else. Two pair baselayers (yes, I'll do laundry when I'm out there), two fleeces, a pair of goggles, my helmet, Hotronics boot warmers (my feet are always cold), my camera, two apres ski outfits, two fleeces, and assorted socks, toiletries, hairdryer, etc. All this goes in a suitcase I'll check with Southwest. And hope for the best.

Of course, I have to bring my computer. That comes onboard with me. No, I can't go unplugged.

Here's something interesting. Look at all the electronic crap, er, I mean wiring I have to bring along. Sheesh! Kind of makes you long for an earlier time, doesn't it?

So enough thinking about packing. It's time to do it.

Catch you later.

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.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Tick tock, tick tock.

It'll be here before you know it: TheSkiDiva/NASTC clinic!

For the first time, TheSkiDiva is partnering with the North American Ski Training Center (NASTC) for a great women's clinic in beautiful Lake Tahoe, California. NASTC is an incredible operation. Headed by Chris and Jenny Fellows and headquartered in Tahoe, their instructors are members of the PSIA Demo Team and/or the LUNA Ladies Team, an elite team of women instructors sponsored by LUNA Whole Nutrition for Women and NASTC. The clinics will take place during the mornings of March 1st, 2nd, and 3rd -- you'l have the afternoons to practice and explore. We'll spend one day at Squaw, one day at Alpine Meadows, and one day at Sugar Bowl. Group sizes will be kept small and the instruction will be top notch.

Truly, this is something not to be missed.

The cost: $790. This includes 3 half-days of instruction, three days of lift tickets at the clinic locales (one at Squaw, one at Alpine Meadows, and one at Sugar Bowl), and one group dinner. Lodging packages are available at The Cedar House Sport Hotel.

Interested? And who wouldn't be! Contact NASTC at for more details.

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.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010


Yes, I'm excited. Can you blame me? As of today, it's on the shelves and ready to roll!

For those of you who don't know, DOUBLE BLACK  is my debut novel. It's a ski mystery that features a young woman who moves to a Vermont ski town to become a ski bum. She doesn't have any money so she ends up sleeping in her car, until one day she stumbles across a ring of master keys for the area's vacation condos. Since the condos are unoccupied most of the time, she reasons, why not put them to good use? So she starts going from condo to condo, spending one night here, one night there, until late one night she opens a door and discovers -- a dead body. And that's where the book takes off.

I'll be making author appearances at some book stores, ski shops, and ski resorts. If one of these is near you, how about stopping in to say hi?

January 8, 7:00 PM
Mystery on Main Street
Brattleboro, VT

January 9, 7:00 PM
Northshire Bookstore
Manchester, VT

January 23, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Okemo Mountain Resort, Jackson Gore Inn lobby
Ludlow, VT

January 29, 7:00 PM
Auntie's Bookstore
Spokane, WA

February 5, 3:00 PM
The Book Nook
Ludlow, VT

February 6, 3:00-6:00 PM
Aspen East Ski Shop
Killington, VT

February 13, 4:00 PM
Mount Snow Resort
Dover, VT

February 19, 7:00 PM
Phoenix Books
Essex, VT

February 20, Time TBA
Spruce Peak Sports, Stowe Mt. Resort
Stowe, VT

If you can't make it and want a signed copy, you can order one from my favorite bookstore, Northshire Books in Manchester Center, VT. When you order, just put in the Comments section that you want an autographed copy.

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.