Female Ski Bum

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I am a full-time Killington, VT resident Female Ski Bum. Together with my dog, Vespi, we ski, paddle, hike, run, climb and bike our way through life. The spirit of the mountains feeds my soul - and sometimes rules my life! Come celebrate the sport of skiing with us :) May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You

Monday, December 27, 2010

Powder Storm

I love to ski in the powder,
I love to ski in the snow
I love to ski in then powder
Don't you know...

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Ski Family!

Wow! For the first time in I don't really have any idea when, my dad, sister and I spent an entire weekend skiing together!! It actually wasn't even that bad. Lol! It's awesome just skiing around Killington, seeing everyone around the holiday - it's like having anlargebextended family (although I bet my sister and her boyfriend probably got a little frustrated with me stopping everywherebto talk to everyone.
Totally funny thing today - it was like a Warren Miller movie at the top of the SkyePeak Quad today! There was a gun at the bottom of the Stash that wasncompletely blasting everyone on the lift. It was like a three second snow blast - jesse's goggles were completely blasted! So then everyone had to get off at the top of the skye peak quad - but they couldnt move at all because the snow hadbfrozen on the bottoms of their skis, like a reverse wax! So you all these tufting to move off the lift but it was their skis werenjust glued right down to the snow! It was freaking hilarious! I really just wanted to hang out their forna while...but we had to keepnskiing on...and skiing...and skiing!

My New iPad!!

Okay so this is my first new post from my real world chromatids present - an iPad!!! so instead of going to bed I am here at 3:30 in the morning figure out how to type on my iPad. I am hoping that I will be able to do all the sorter of things that I have been doing on the computer but without all the hassle. right now I am only worried about how the hell am I supposed to upload photos to Facebook and then get them onto my extrnali hard drive. I do like how it has automatic caps after periods and for the word I - and my typing mistakes aren't coming through...I wonder if I can't just keep typing and it'll. Add apostrophes - and it does! Now two handed typing is a little strange, but I am pretty sure i wil get the hang of this super fast! The photo quality is amazing! Thank you to my little sister for this awesome gift. Great skiing with her today also! I am now a true American - I have an iPad!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Resort!

Holy wow, I cannot believe how awesome the skiing has gotten in just the past two weeks!  The conditions are amazing and the open terrain is increasing daily!  The skiing is honestly the best Christmas skiing that we have had a long time, if I am remembering correctly.  But two weeks ago, the mountain was so bare that there was no Bear.  But now, Bear is opening a trail a day and wow!  would you believe how great the skiing under the guns on Wildfire is!  Will & I were cruising the mountain and each waved and yelled thanks to a lone snowmaker turning on the guns along Wildfire.  I think he was a little surprised at the thanks - but he shouldn't be - the snowmakers have been doing a phenomenal job this season!  From that unbelievably nasty rainstorm only two weeks ago to natural trails like North Star opening up, this is fantastic!  Combined with the blue skies that we had today and perfect 20 degree temps, how could anyone not be having an absolutely wonderful Holiday Vacation here this week  :) 
And for the best Christmas ever - we'll be getting Great Eastern top to bottom tomorrow!!!!!!! 

See everyone out on the hill tomorrow for Christmas Day!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Photo Gallery: Winter 2010

Just another glance at my beautiful backyard covered in marshmellow powder  :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Damn my inside foot :(

Ever since I switched over from straight to shaped skis, I have been struggling with the two footed concept of skiing.  Not mentally, because keeping both feet on the snow makes perfect sense, but my inside foot just always seems to want to lift off the of the snow  :(  I know that I have other problems (like my nasty jersey pole flick habit), but the fact that I have yet to really take control over that inside foot really aggravates me.  Since tearing my right ACL last January, I can feel that I am trying to relieve some of the tightness during the roll-over transition by lifting up my right foot and stepping it around the turn instead of letting my ankle crank it over.  It has been really frustrating, because I thought that before my injury I was really getting it but now it feels like I am back at square one. 
So, what can I do?  I have been doing a lot of one ski exercises, trying to gain strength in that weaker leg and then reminding it what it should feel like during transition.  However, I don't really seem to find any necessarily weaker points, except for a general weakness in the knee itself.  This means that the inside foot just seems to be avoiding doing it's job rather than not being able to perform properly.  While this is of great relief to me in general, it makes me more frustrated because perhaps I am lifting my inside foot due to just sheer bad habit.  So I have been really working on just skiing almost 80% pressure on my inside foot.  Of course, this means that I am probably inclining a lot more than usual, but that is something I can fix later...I hope...It is very frustrating when I can do all the drills, but as soon as I take my attention away from my inside foot to focus on variable terrain or whatever, I can feel that foot unweighting beneath me. 
Well, they say that bad habits are hard to break...and it looks like I might have to break this one twice!!!  ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Holidays are Upon Us!

Well, you can tell that the holidays are coming - every day there are more and more people filling up all the extra space on the trail.  While this is VERY good for business, it does not really make for the best trail and liftline conditions.  I knew it was time to head home today when someone skied over my tails in the liftline at the Needle's Eye Quad - one reason why I am a big fan of gondolas during the busy season.  It's harder for assholes to run over your skis when you don't have them on!

Of course, on the other hand, it is totally awesome that people choose to spend their winter vacation outside on the slopes than lazing around on some beach all day doing nothing  :(  Lift service skiing isn't exactly what you would call a workout, but it does help people to breathe in the cold winter air after sitting in a cubicle or classroom all the rest of their lives.  It's an awesome thing seeing a family with young kids braving the trails at Killington, although sometimes poor trail choice leaves something to be desired.  I hate watching a dad yelling at their youngster for their poor performance on a trail - and all because dad chose something way over their head!  But in the end, skiing is such an awesome way for a family to spend the holidays!  Even my super traditional family has realized that the holidays are much more fun when you get to go skiing!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mancuso, Kildow & Vonn

Over wings at Sushi Yoshi, my ski sister and I were talking about how skiing went with her seven year old daughter today. They were practicing whirlie birds on RamsHead. Somehow we ended up in a debate about Julia Mancuso versus Lindsay Vonn as role models for young female ski racers. I was kind of surprised that we were on opposite ends of this discussion, but for the same reasons: we both felt that our athlete represented a strong female.  But there is a third athlete hidden here: the Lindsey Kildow that lies stored away underneath
 
From Hometown Girl...
 When she first appeared on the scene, I was a Lindsey Kildow fan. She showed such a tough and dedicated work ethic, similar to Peekaboo Street and Diane Roffe-Steinrotter. She was big and strong, without making any apologies for her six to eight hour a day training regimen and her total commitment to ski racing. Mancuso, on the other hand, seemed to be having too much fun, running around with tiaras and beads instead of focusing on her run. The media loved this charismatic racer, getting caught up in her magical Aspen smile and costume jewelry from her Junior racing days.  There was no analysis of her training program, no interviews with the other racers who worked just as hard (if not harder).  The other competitors tried in vain to break into the media attention.  But in the end, it was Julia's enjoyment of the sport of skiing that put her on the podium while a driven, brunette tomboy named Kildow sulked angrily in the background.   
...to Playboy Bunny

Four years later, we saw a Julia that had remained true to her original identity, while the new Mrs. Timothy Vonn showed up looking like the finished product from TLC's What Not to Wear. Now bleach blonde and in full make-up, Mrs. Vonn appeared in Sports Illustrated, exposing most of herself in bikini clad photos in a pathetic attempt to demonstrate that she, too, could be sexy and feminine. While her husband's training program for her is truly impressive and her downhill runs and recoveries are honestly amazing for a female athlete, I felt that Mrs. Vonn had sold her soul for some big corporate sponsorships and media attention instead of just focusing on the internal drive that had gotten her to the top in the first place.  It seemed almost as if women's ski racing was no longer about who skied the fastest, but who looked the best in the finish corral.


So who is the better role model for today's young female racets and ski bum wanna-bees? Is it the fun loving and free spirited Julia Mancuso, a ski princess in her own right? Is it the powerfully aggressive Mrs. Timothy Vonn, so blindly driven for sucess that she must change her entire image and personality? Or, was it the young Lindsey Kildow, so innocently dedicated to skiing that she didn't even have time to notice her appearance in the mirror?  Despite the frivolous tiara, I would rather be the mentally balanced Julia. I don't care how good you are - if you need to dye your hair and put on full makeup before running your race, you are missing the point of skiing and have lost yourself in the commercialism. I would rather our young lady skiers stay strong in who they are as individuals and ENJOY THE SPORT OF SKIING, no matter what place they finish. On the course and in training, there are many things that young athletes can learn from Mrs. Vonn, but I would much rather they find self-confidence in being themselves rather than changing who they are to fit the corporate sponsorship plan.





Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hopefuls!!

What another awesome day of program!!  Nothing reminds me more of how much fun skiing is than shredding the gnar on Snowshed with a bunch of five, six and seven year olds!

This morning I had the Pole Group - where we were working on Fore and Aft balance using thousand step turns...it's amazing when a six year old can explain to you that they are in the back seat, how they were able to determine that from how they were lifting their ski off the ground and then listening to a group of them discuss what they could have done to be more forward.  Watching young athletes discover their physical self-awareness is such an amazing moment :)  Then we tried leaving our tip on the snow while lifting our heels - and even the kids who were convinced they were forward began to realize how much futher their skiing has to go.  As we were heading into lunch, I heard one athlete tell another that they had the first part of the whirlybird down okay, but that they really needed to work on their tails for the second part.  Analysis, Vocabulary and Understanding!!

I spent the afternoon with the Pinky Toe Team, trying to wake up that inner leg from its deep slumber.  They were able to start tracing my tracks with their pinky toes - a great start  :)  but these first time Hopefuls were more interested in discovering the Secret Trails known only to Hopefuls.  Ah, the Hopeful Secrets...but after a thorough secret meeting to discuss the technical and emotional requirements for these adventures, a great "A hah!" moment happened and we chose to spend the rest of December focusing on Skiing the Gnar (on Snowshed).  So we  worked on mastering our independant lift riding skills, making friends with the lifties on the Snowshed and Northbrook Quads.  Who needs grown-ups, anyways?!

Two Trails Diverged in a Wood, and the Hopefuls?  We chose the Gnarly one!!

Friday, December 17, 2010

Vespi hanging out in her Snow Cave

A Pickle full of Idiots

Oh man was it difficult to get up this morning...but I had to return the Atomic Lady's demo ski that I totally flaked on returning to the Basin last night. So It's 10am and I'm on the K1 wearing a layer short of long johns on the bottom instead of curled up in my sleeping bag next to my little drummer boy.
Besides the fact that the brewery didn't show up for their own freakin' party, the boys rocked the Barrel!! Aaron let out this new machine gun style fills on War Pigs - so totally awesome and Eli's set list had us "dancing our asses off" right from the beginning! Noodling, moshing, head banging...I am feeling really old this morning :) I hope my turns don't suffer because it is a beautiful day, fighting with the Killington Cloud to be a bluebird one.
But the skiing is awesome!! There is a beautiful layer of light fluff from last night's covering some slightly stiff groomies. But we have had no probles finding the texture we've been looking for. Thanks to Peter for letting me check out these 159 fischer Koa 78s. :) Rip it to live it!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dynastar Eden 2011

Seriously, this ski just might be heaven for me!  I know that my dad has been skiing Dynastars for a pretty good chunk of time now and I guess perhaps they just fit the way my family skis - might have to get my sister on their bump ski and see what she says!  Now, granted I demoed these 85mm under foot skis on one of the most beautiful powder days of the year, providing me all the loving float that my body could handle (well I did get stuck in theigh deep snow once, but that was more lack of pitch than lack of float.  :) 

I was a little disapointed, I guess you could say, about the softness of the slight rocker tip, but it was only the last 10 or 15 cm rather than an entire front end so it was much firmer than the K2 Lotta Luv with the All-Mountain Rocker.  It was wonderful how I could float through the powder and then roll them onto their edges from some slightly aggressive railroad track turns.  I'm not so sure how they would have stood up to the rigors of the Ski Bum Race today, because I took out the Nordica Conquer instead  :)  Hopefully I kicked ass!

The width of the ski, so wide all the way through, does make me a little worried though.  I think that I will try the 78cm Dynastar Idyll over the next few days to see if that can handle everything that I'm looking for.  I would rather NOT have rocker - it seems like the tip of the ski comes pre-broken - but the little amount of rocker in this ski would at least be alright for one season...any more than that, I'm not really sure how long they would last.  Plus, My bad habit of sometimes picking up my inside foot (only sometimes!) became a real problem on these as I did step on the tails a few more times that I would have liked to. 

I will try to get a photo up soon - my internet doesn't really like the minimal skills of my six year old computer! 

Powder, Work, Eat, Sleep

Well, that pretty much sums up my life for the last couple of days!  The skiing here has been amazingly awesome - what a difference from last Wednesday (when it was r***ing cats and dogs here)!  We have had over 20 inches in the past few days and I have been so busy skiing that I have completely forgotten to take pictures!  Maybe tomorrow...but it just hasn't stopped snowing for the past two days!  Rope after rope has been dropped as trails are building up an amazing base - things that we were afraid to ski only 2 days ago are now being skied by every Joey on the mountain!  Soooo amazing!  Thank you so much mother nature!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Nordica Conquer 2011

So last Friday I had the opportunity to demo the Nordia Conquer, an extremely powerful women's ski, in a 154.  I am glad that I started out the morning with the boys, driving hard to be the first to the bottom of our warmup on Great Northern.  It's always good to have a warmup run - especially popping the cherry on brand new demos!  And wow!  These skis just blew me away right from the start. 

There is no complaining about the construction of these extremely durable skis.  I could tell right from the start that these skis could put in season after season, even for a local skiing over 100 days a year.  Yes, they were a little bit heavy - probably due to the rediculous binding-ski combo for sale.  I will say, the removal of binding choice from the consumer is an extremely frustrating one.  Do ski corporations not trust us to purchase the binding that best fits our technique - or do they just want to guarantee the binding sale?  :(  Either way, the ski was extremely solid and slightly heavy - but in the East Coast crud, a heavy ski is always a benefit.

Check Out the Nordica Conquer 2011
at Basin Sports in Killington, Vermont

The solid construction and 84mm width made the Conquer an extremely sluggish initiator.  The ski would not lock into the next turn until about 20mm from the tip, making the edge to edge much longer!  However, if you are a jerky skier, I could see where this would help make a more graceful transition for those who don't roll their ankles, but as a dynamic skier I quicky found myself juicing the tails (which were appropriately stiff - not tossing me about) so that I could make a quicker edge transfer in the air.  I would have liked more input from the ski at an earlier point in the sidecut, so that I could have more control over my edge transfer. 

That said, I had an amazing run down Rime, riding the 14m radius from one treeline to the other, although this did mess with the primarily downhill skiing pattern of my buddies.  The ski itself had a really wonderful turn shape, with the tails really bringing the skier across the hill rather than merely switching edges while still pointed downhill.  It even wanted to do this in the moguls, which made this an extremely difficult all-mountain ski...East Fall ice moguls are not something that I really wanted to make long GS turns in.  When I did get the skis to point down the hill, they were definately unhappy and felt as though they were reluctant to participate, waiting instead for any opportunity to cross the trail. 

All in all, I am glad that I took this ski out in a 154m due to its big, beefy nature.  Even with my huge, powerful theighs that are usually most comfortable with a 160m, I couldn't see myself finding any comfort on anything longer.  This ski is definately designed for the larger, slow moving women who wants to travel fast on her skis.  You have to be strong to work with the ski, and pretty heavy to dominate it.  I kept thinking how perfect this ski would have been for groomed & crud terrain if I was just twenty pounds heavier.  Otherwise, these skis were so fast & sexy that I guess I'll just have to settle for skiing these on non-crowded midweek days - with a helmet  :)  Thanks Nordica for actually manufacturing a quality product that won't break down after 30 days on snow!!

Thanks for Reading!!

and thanks for all the great comments :)