Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Love Winter, Hate The Oil Sands.


Like anyone who loves to ski, I love winter. So imagine a world where there's no cold weather. Where it's become too warm to snow. Where we're not able -- perish the thought -- to ski!

So imagine if there was something we could do about it.

There is.

The Sierra Club recently launched a campaign called Love Winter, Hate The Oil Sands, to halt the drilling for oil sands in Canada. Oil sand production emits three times the pollution of conventional oil and requires clear cutting ancient forests, wasting and polluting water, and leaving behind massive toxic lakes. By accelerating climate change, the oil sands threaten to bring more drought, receding glaciers, and early snowmelt to the planet, creating a bleak future for sports like skiing and snowboarding.

The industry has proposed expanding into the US via a sprawling network of pipelines and refineries that would crisscross Montana, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Minnesota and Illinois, in many cases using substandard pipe and threatening drinking water and farmland.

The oil sands project is being opposed by many top winter athletes, such as Alison Gannett, world champion freeskier and founder of the Save Our Snow Foundation.  I'm not in her league, but I'm against it, too.  If you want to join me in taking action against the oil sands, you can go here to sign a petition to President Obama.

For more information about oil sands, go here. Or for more about Love Winter, Hate The Oil Sands, go here

Let's all do what we can to save a sport, and a season, we love.

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, February 12, 2010

Gear Review: Opedix S1 Ski & Snowboard Tight

I have a number of friends who suffer from knee problems, so I know the damper it can put on a good ski day. Some of them try to get by with ace bandages or braces, but these can be bulky and difficult to fit comfortably under base layers.

Enter Opedix S1 ski and snowboard tights. In full disclosure, Opedix's PR firm sent me a pair to review. I can't say I'm necessarily the best choice to do this. As of now (knock wood), I don't have any knee problems. But  I do find the concept and technology behind the Opedix products quite intriguing.  So I figured I'd give it a go.

First, some background: Opedix developed the S1 was in conjunction with the Steadman Hawkins Foundation, a world renowned orthopedic clinic in Vail, Colorado. According to the company, the tights feature a patent pending anchor and sling design to provide support to the outside of the knee. This, they say, promotes proper alignment, which can lead to less strain and fatigue.

You can see the sling design as soon as you pull them out of the package. There's a circular fabric cup that centers on the knee -- sort of like a bull's eye.  Slip them on, and you can feel the support right away. I think the idea is to distribute the stress around your knee, to keep it away the knee, itself. The tights are also quite snug fitting, with a "four way compressive fit" that the company says keeps your muscles fresher longer.

So I took these tights skiing. Even though they're fairly thick, I supplemented them with another base layer. I'm always cold, and the wind chill was well below zero today. I'm sure the tights would be fine out west where it's usually warmer. But it can be brutal here in New England.

How did the tights perform? They're extremely well made, very comfortable, and quite supportive. You can feel the compressive fit against your muscles right away. But their strong suit is definitely knee support. I don't know if they'd eliminate the need, say, for an ace bandage or a brace -- I think that would depend on your individual situation -- but for moderate support, I think they do a good job. Did it make my muscles feel fresher longer? That I honestly can't say. But I'm sure it couldn't hurt.

The S1 tights aren't cheap, retailing for $190. But if it helps you ski longer, I'm sure it's worth every penny. That's a decision you have to make, yourself.

BTW, Opedix is offering a 15% discount if you use the promotional code "skistrongerdiva." Go here. 


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, February 02, 2010

Why you can't order a copy of DOUBLE BLACK on Amazon. And where you can get one, instead.




It figures. My debut novel, DOUBLE BLACK: A SKI DIVA MYSTERY, comes out on January 5, and the publishing world goes insane.

Here's what's happening:

Amazon and Macmillan have disagreed over e-book pricing strategies, and Amazon has suspended the sale of all Macmillan titles — electronic and hardcopy versions alike — as a result. This includes books published by Henry Holt; Picador; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; and my publisher, St. Martin's Press.

That doesn't mean you can't get a copy at your favorite bookstore or other online sites, like BarnesandNoble.com or Indiebound. Better yet, you can order a signed copy through my favorite bookstore, Northshire Books in Manchester, VT.

I still have a few author events lined up, too, so stop by to buy a book, or just to say hi:

Friday, February 5, 3PM
The Book Nook, Ludlow, VT

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

Saturday, February 13, 4PM
Passholders Party, Mount Snow Resort
West Dover, VT

Friday, February 19, 7PM
Phoenix Books, Essex, VT

Saturday, February 20, 11AM-1PM
Spruce Peak Ski Shop, Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe, VT


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.