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Showing posts from 2016

Deer Tracks through the Snow

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Where I am going,
I do not know.
I am following the tracks
of a deer through the snow

With skis on my feet
I can slide through the pow
Over logs and under bushes,
where is this deer heading now?

We've been sharing a skin track
for just the past few weeks
We take turns breaking trail
and then being the meek

This time he is the leader
through the newly fallen snow
And so I blindly follow
I don't really care where we go


Because the snow it is everywhere
on the ground and in the trees
On my hat and down my jacket,
A blanket as deep as my little deer's knees

I can't help but blindly wander
through the snow drifted wood
I just know this deer is taking me
To where the skiing is just too damn good.

Somehow it will keep snowing,
I can't tell you how I know,
But I can feel it in my skis,
this year, we should expect a lot of snow.

It's not even Christmas, or New Year's!
we're already skiing stuff we haven't in years
I think our whole town has gone sappy
Becau…

Natural Snow, Skiing and Freedom

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Pow Grins rule the day as Natural Snow Returns to the Vermont Woods!

Last ski season in Vermont, our world revolved around the placement of snowguns and the financial budget of our resorts.  Lap after lap, we were trapped on trails whose foundations had been built and rebuilt.  We watched, Wednesday after Wednesday, as the cold New England rain washed away the hard work of our snowmaking team.  The resort was painted white for winter as the surrounding mountains rolled away in their greyish-green of a not so-cold sadness.  In between the trails, you could still see the pine needles that lay on the ground, marking the woods as forbidden and dangerous territory.

We were trapped.  Trapped on ski trails that were firm as fuck, marked with thousands of stupid death cookies and the yellow of frozen groomer tracks.  Even ski racers, with their super sharp edges and course set variations were frustrated by the feeling on entrapment.  There was no where else to go.  Up and down, the same trai…

Tears of Pride as Killington, Vermont hosts our first World Cup

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Like so many east coasters, I grew up ski racing.   Membership in the Killington Ski Team meant that my family had a legitimate reason to spend every weekend skiing.  Any small amount of success meant that I could justify taking Fridays or Mondays off as well.  Commitment meant that my dad and I could ski & practice drills at my home-home mountain after school a couple nights midweek.  For my dad and I, ski racing was always an excuse to ski.  And we couldn't get enough.  We would race through elementary school and high school and, later, a little college, traveling around mid-Vermont and later New England, experiencing the differences in the ski areas, learning their distinctive individual histories but marveling at a commitment to ski racing that was the same everywhere.  For me, the East was simply a collection of ski areas.  
We grew up gathering the stories of the great skiers of Vermont, but we never saw them.  Not one.  I had posters of Diane Roffe Steinrotter and Juli…

Ski Sisters, the Beast World Cup ... and Pantsuit Nation

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This weekend, the best women skiers in the world will gather in Killington, Vermont for the 2016 Audi F.I.S. Ski World Cup.  As the "White Circus" rolls into town, the strength and technical skills of women will be on display in Vermont for the first time since 1978, and on the East Coast since Julie Parisien won gold at Waterville Valley, NH in 1991.  Finally, as global warming threatens almost all early season ski races across the world, Killington Resort is able to do what we who live here have always known they could do: put on the greatest display of man-made snow ever seen in the history of skiing.
For the past month, Killington locals have been watching in anxious anticipation as our snowmaking team demonstrated why it is considered the best and strongest in the world.  Our groomers have two new piston bully winches that have been running virtually non-stop for over a week while the rest of the mountain ops team has been diligently building a world cup level venue at …

My 2016 Post-Election Ski Adventure

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"I go to the hills, when my heart is lonely I know I will hear, what I've heard before My heart will be blessed,  With the Sound of Music And I'll sing once more."
Waking up this morning, I felt hollow.  My body ached from the heaving tears I had poured as I cried myself to sleep and lips were cracked from dehydration.  Glazed eyes glanced around with no real focus and I felt empty.  Like someone had scooped all my insides out and laid them on the ground somewhere to rot.  My brain was a mush and filled only with an all-encompasing fear for our future.

I honestly could not tell you how I got to the base of the mountain today.  It seemed as if every moment since I had awoken was leading me to the only damn thing I know how to do anyways.  Even if my mind had no idea what was going on, still caught in the traumatic shock of the evenings events.  Yet here I was, in a car packed with 3 different jackets and an extra fleece because I obviously had no decision making skills b…

Ski Bum Season Starts in October

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I totally missed October.
A whirlwind of time, where my mind is focused on only one thought.
Skiing.

When will it happen?

And, holy crap, can it please be way sooner than it's really supposed to be?

There are days when my body can't stop shaking, where I literally have to pick up my shoulder and dig the bonfire pit deeper just because I can't seem to relax.
There are moments when you can ask me a question, about anything, and I will honestly have no idea that someone was even talking to me.

Moments when me eyes stretched across the horizon in the direction of the mountains, willing my eyes to see beyond their grasp.  Times when I reached out with my soul to reach futilely for the snow, for the mountains.  I can't focus enough on anything to read and would sit mindlessly scrolling for any glimpses of snow anywhere close to home.  Perhaps willing the season foreword in my mind.

And then the snow falls.  And I find that I have be once again been swept into the abyss.  …

Day One? September Skiing in Vermont: the First Frost makes for Fast Grass

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It's been just over three months since I last felt my skis beneath my
feet. I'll admit, my ski clothes are still hanging on the hook right next to my closet. They haven't moved from the last time I wore them. My jacket and uphill pants are waiting. My skis sit silently, ready and willing for the moment when they will once again play in the snow.

For me, September is always the hardest month of the year. The air has changed but snow & skiing still seem like forever away. It's the last month where we don't get to ski, but the first month of pure torture. I check the weather in constant anticipation of the first frost, in hopes that will calm my soul. But it never does, instead making all my pre-season jitters worse.  I mountain bike, I paddle, I trail run and spend countless hours in my garden ... and they are all just endless quests for the feeling for that I most long ...   



Winter.  
I spend my whole year
waiting for the air to get cold enough,
for the gro…

Autumn arrives and I am called on an Expotition

All summer, I have been waiting
Laying around, working in my garden
feeling sweaty and gross
just hot. sticky. hot
and moist.

Ugh, I want to hide in my cold basement,
away from the blazing sun and excruciating heat.
I cringe when the weatherman says its going to be gorgeous
knowing those words only mean miserableness to me.

And then autumn comes,
and instead of being fat and lazy
I want to play, and run and explore

As I left for my run today,
leaves were circling in the air around me.
autumn had encircled me and I felt as though I was running through a thoughtful spot.
Like Winnie the Pooh would come bumbling by at any moment and suggest an Expotition.
I could feel An Adventure in the air.

And so I ran.
I got to the end of the road and kept running.
Like I never wanted to stop.
Like there was a world out there beyond by normal route
and today,
today, was the day I was to venture forth and seek the world.

I heard the call of an Expotition.
And so I ran.

And ran.  And ran.  And ran.

#WinterisComing - Can it just be here already??

It's coming.

I can feel it.
The air has changed.
It's colder.  Cleaner.
I can breathe easier.

Only I can't.
Because I want to ski.
Not in a month.  Or 6 weeks.
Like now.
Tomorrow.
Today.
Now.

I hike through the beautiful mountains and watch the leaves change color.
I pedal the trails and see the leaves begin to cover the trails.
I look at the mountains surrounding the water as I paddle along.
I spend hours in the garden, trying to pass the time by growing food for my little family.

But it's simply not the same.

It's my drug, this skiing thing.
It's all I've ever wanted in life, no matter how hard I try to refocus.
My goals, all fallen by the wayside as I search for more days on snow.
My dreams, completely full of fluffy white goodness falling from the evergreen trees which surround me on all sides.
I want something else to be important, to be relevant, to be ... anything!

But it's not.
Nothing matters anymore, except turns and snow.

I try.
Really h…

My Journey to the 200 Day Ski Season

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I still don't believe it.

Yesterday, just like any other day, I went skiing in the morning before work. Only it wasn't like any other day, not even the littlest bit.  Not even at all.
As I sat in the drivers seat of my car and pushed the ignition, I noticed that my right hand was shaking.  Violently.  My left hand was shaking, too.  And in that moment I realized that my protein shake was not as settled in my stomach as I had first believed.  My heart was pounding and I was either going to vomit or burst into tears.  I did neither.  
Until I was driving up the Killington Road and saw the snow. Then I lost it.
Not my breakfast, thank goodness, but any control I had over my emotions what so ever.  I let the tears fall, letting my chest heave violently up and down as I pulled into the parking lot at K1.  The sky was a stunning blue and the green mountains, only recently having popped, were showing off their sparkling plushness that seemed to come alive in the slight breeze.  It w…

Tuckerman Ravine 2016

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We made it to Tuckerman Ravine this year!

That's all I could think about as we hiked up the work road style trail with all our backcountry ski and camping gear strapped to our backs.  It's a long slog up the first part of the Tuckerman Ravine Trail, but made even longer when the rubber on the YakTracks that I found lying on the trail out to Pico Pond several years ago finally decide they were going to snap.  So after hobbling up the icy sections for a while, the Boyfriend rigged the first, then the second and finally a third snap back together with the binding force of the universe: duct tape.  Our oaks weighed less than 50 pounds, but after virtually no skinning this past winter, my body felt completely out of shape.  Did this feel like the worst ascent ever?  Yes.  Did the boyfriend break his ascent record?  Yes.  And I say yes with a huge smile, after more than six years leaving with a traumatic brain injury, having him lead the ascent was a ginormous success!

But the real…