Sunday, January 25, 2015

Killington Freshie Hunt with the Family

Spent the morning on a Freshie Hunt with my family :) perfectly groomed snow with a half a foot of the light & fluffy stuff on top!!May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains With You,

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Snowmaker's Sunrise

I tried for a gorgeous sunrise for my Friday morning dawn patrol, but the big dark cloud was emanating from the Guns of Superstar.  Bummer.  But I will take an army of K3000s over a stunning sunrise any day of the week!  Love playing in the manpow -- hopefully until June!! 

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Serenity in the Mountains

"Do not seek to have everything that happens as you wish, but wish for everything to happen as it actually does happen, and your life will be serene."

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Trip Report: When Mother Nature Sends Ice...Go Ice Climbing!

I don't tune my skis.
I don't know why, but I have been thinking about it a lot lately.
Trying to figure out why I choose the challenge of dull edges instead of razor sharp 3 degree tunes that can slice your palm open if you carry them wrong.
Been there, Done that.

It has definitely changed my technique - but also how I look at the mountain.

Since Christmas, the skiing in Vermont had been solid.
Don't get me wrong, I love fast and hard in all facets of life.
But when mother nature brings ice,
One should go ice climbing!!

And that is why I ski with dull edges.
Because it forces my very narrowly focused ski brain
To look to what else Vermont has to offer in the winter.
And since I know what locked on edges feel like,
I am convinced that I know when my axes are solidly in the ice.
Well, I am trying to convince myself of that anyways.

I am a horrible ice climber.
I am petrified of heights,
Have absolutely no trust in the system - no matter who sets it up,
My forearms are straining to swing the axe into the ice
My legs are shaking from trusting two tiny little points stuck in the ice

Why this is scarier than one long slice of metal holding me vertical on something like Ovation or Double Dipper on a slide for life kind of day, I have no idea.

It just is.

Not the Boyfriend though.
He can find the zen in the tying of knots into systems and anchors,
Into trusting his life to a rope connected to a screw in the ice.
Gently placing his axe onto the tiniest ledge, he rocks his axe a little bit to ensure its solid and pulls himself up.

But then it is my turn.
Taking a deep breath,
I lean into what feels like an impenetrable wall of ice and cast my first swing.
My life becomes simplified.
Nothing exists except the rhythm of the climb.
A swing.
Then another.
Now the left foot.
Then my right.
Then I stand up from my crouched position and reach upward again.

There is nothing.
Nothing but me, my axes and the wall of ice.
She is my bitch.
i kick her.
I hit her with axes.
And then I do it again.
And Over.
I look up to check my route and keep moving,
Like spiderman with crazy sharp things sticking out of me.
There is nothing.
Nothing but me, my axes and the wall of ice,

I killed it!!
For the first time in my life, I actually killed it on the ice!
It could have been because the ice was soft
Or whatever...who cares?
I found the zen!!
I was able to push my fear out of my mind,
To clear the mechanism and focus solely on the task at hand.

Kinda like tree skiing,
Where a turn of the head in the wrong direction,
A split second where you think how awesome you are
instead of about what you are doing.
I was focused!!
(which if you know me at all, if a miracle in and of itself!)

Even if it was just a little bit,
For one ascent, one climb, one day
For one small moment in time,
i was an ice climber!

I doubt that the next time will be so easy,
Or that i will find myself in the zone as easily
But I was there,
I bit off a piece of greatness.

And the shit eating grin?
Yeah, I was glowing.


Can we do this with skis on our backs now?

May You Find the Spirit of the Mountains Within You,

Monday, January 19, 2015

Over a Foot of Powder at Killington (After the Rain Stopped)

A Peaceful Dawn Patrol this morning for the 14" of snow that fell last night - after the rain stopped, that is.  Pitch Black until I was pretty much atop RamsHead.  I guess that's what happens when you're up at 5:30 waiting for the plow guy to finish making a space for you in the parking lot.  But, in the end, it was just me and the freshly fallen snow.  

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Quick Sunset Schuss

It is so nice that Pico is closed on Wednesdays - Fresh tracks on a sunset schuss with good friends make for an awesome evening :). Here's to beauty of Earning Your Turns!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

A New Adventure: the Future of FemaleSkiBum™

This blog was originally a project designated for me and my Golden Retriever, Vespi.
It was an opportunity for the two of us to turn small daily walks into bigger and bigger adventures. To find interesting and exciting from the mundane life that is every day.
In the beginning, it was amazing.
V and I traveled everywhere, venturing deeper and deeper into the woods beyond our home, as well as the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Adirondacks in New York.

But then Vespi got sick.

What were once multi day adventures turned into 30 minute tours around the pond or up the local ski hill. I took as many photographs of her as I could, cherishing these final moments that we could find ourselves, together, outside. Somedays were amazing and we would venture around like she was a puppy, others she would look at me with eyes that said she would go if she could.

And then, just two weeks after an ascent of Killington Peak,
Vespi was gone.

I hear the adventures calling and I try to find the heart to go.
But I can't.

It is like wandering the woods like a man without all five senses.
I get lost in the dark without her to follow.

We were a team, connected by either an invisible bond or a tethered one.
No more than 6 feet really ever separated us.
She was a medium through which I could communicate with the forest.
I started skinning so she could ski,
And now ...
There is so much more I could say, and so much more that I cannot.

Myself, and the blog, are at a loss.
This was our blog,
Vespi's and mine.

So now FemaleSkiBum™ and I, we must embark on a new adventure,
a new chapter.
As of this moment, I am not really sure
what that means or where it will take me,
Please bear with me as I rediscover both myself and FemaleSkiBum in the weeks and months to come. There will be some drastic changes and some that you will not notice at all :) but I WILL be moving forward. And if you have any suggestions or ideas toward which you would like to see FemaleSkiBum progress, please do not hesitate to share those with me at

I do, however, reaffirm my continued commitment to my basic principles.

1. I will make every day a magical one:
To find adventure, beauty, peace and happiness in the mundane.

2. I will encourage others to discover
peace and happiness through the art of skiing -
nordic, tele, alpine, snowboarding or alpine touring.

3. I will endeavor to play outside every damn day
(and post about it!)

4. I will find the Spirit of the Mountains within myself.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cold January Sunset

I could be convinced that
the butt ass cold snow of January
produces the most glorious
sunrises and sunsets
of them all.