Spring Stoke: 5 Top Ski Area Concerts

Copper Mountain offers one of the best easy-access, low-hassle spring concerts experiences you can find at a major ski area.

Copper Mountain offers one of the best easy-access, low-hassle spring concert experiences you can find at a major ski area. This amazing shot is by Tripp Fay. www.TrippFayPhotography.com

Mountain folk know how to party, and if there’s a time when things go truly uncorked, it’s the spring. Who’s not ready to shake their rumpus under in the sun after a long winter stretch of short days, cold nights, and heavy snow. There’s a lot of music set of go off in the mountains this spring, here’s five of our favorite springtime ski area concerts where you’re sure to see some freak flags flying. [Read more...]

2015 NASJA Lifetime Achievement Award

Olympian skier Pam Fletcher wife her father Al, 2015 NASJA Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo Dino V.

Olympian skier Pam Fletcher with her father Al, 2015 NASJA Lifetime Achievement Award. Photo Dino Vournas.

At the 2015 Annual Meeting of the North American Snowsports Journalist Association I had the honor of presenting the Lifetime Achievement Award to Al Fletcher, founder of Nashoba Valley ski area in Massachusetts.

Al, 82, is credited as one of the first ski area owners to employ grooming and snowmaking. Nashoba Valley opened for just three weeks in its inaugural year in 1964. The following year, Fletcher bought a tiller to be pulled behind the area’s snowcats. Up until then, slope grooming was done by ski area staff boot-packing trails with their skis.

Fletcher was also an early adopter of snowmaking, ensuring that his ski area would thrive as a popular destination for Boston and Rhode Island skiers. Fletcher’s daughter Pam, a champion World Cup and Olympic skier, introduced her father at the awards reception.

Lindsey, Mikaela Crystalize Season with World Cup Titles

Lindsey and Mikaela. Photo Getty Images

Lindsey and Mikaela. Photo Getty Images

Strong season-ending finishes by Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin led the U.S. Ski Team women to reap three titles at the season-ending World Cup Finals held this past weekend at Meribel. 

Two of the globes went to Lindsey Vonn, who claimed her 66th, and 67th World Cup victories by winning both the downhill and Super-G. Vonn has now won 19 World Cup titles, the most of any woman in history, and tied with Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark.

Vonn only needed to finish in the top 15 to take the downhill title, but she skipped technical races held in Sweden a week earlier in order to spend extra time training in Meribel. The training clearly paid off as she won the downhill in convincing fashion with a .24 second victory over Austria’s Elisabeth Goergl.150319132355-lindsey-vonn-two-globes-exlarge-169

 The following day Vonn held only an 8-point lead in the Super-G over Austria’s Anna Fenninger who put down a stunning run to move into the lead from the 15th start position. But Vonn, skiing 19th, set the pace right from starts gaining a .41 lead by the midway point and finishing .49 ahead of Fenninger. [Read more...]

Mont Tremblant: She Trembles, She Shakes


Photo courtesy Tremblant.

Photo courtesy Tremblant.

You can learn a lot about a place on Wikipedia, but you can only learn to love a place by experiencing it first-hand. It wasn’t until I got to Denver International Airport that I finally had time to study up on my upcoming ski trip to Mont Tremblant.

At 2,871 feet, Mont Tremblant is one of the tallest peaks in the Laurentians and the local Algonquins named her the “trembling mountain.” It does get cold here, so maybe that’s what the tribes were referring to, but now days Tremblant treats skiers and riders to one of the most solid ski experiences in North America. 

My itinerary included two nights at the Holiday Inn Express. Holiday Inn is a classic American motel chain where my family often stayed when I was a child. No matter where we were, if we were staying at a Holiday Inn it meant we were some where having fun as a family. But make no mistake, the Holiday Inn Express at Mont Tremblant is not your father’s hotel.

Room for Your Gear, and one of the Best Skier’s Breakfasts20150206_104059

Ski trips require enough space for all of your stuff, and the spacious 141 guest rooms here provide you with that and a whole lot more. The hotel recently underwent a $3.2 million makeover including a state-of-the-art fitness room, sauna, free Wi-Fi that actually works, and an outdoor hot tub and swimming pool.

Wake up to the Express Start breakfast bar packed with a bounty of everything you need to start your day including eggs and bacon, hot pancakes, fresh fruit, and endless gourmet coffee. The abundant spread is laid out in roomy lounge with granite countertops, high-top tables, leather furniture, and a fireplace. I loved the work stations where I could take care of a few a last minute work details before hitting the slopes for the day.

One of the Best Ski Villages in the Worldtremblant

From the Holiday Inn the gondola is just a short stroll away through the “Vieux-Tremblant.” Joe Ryan’s vision for the village was to invoke an aura of France in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Quaint stone and mortar buildings resemble Laurentian farm houses. The village has seen changes through the years but it still stands as the model ski area village that other places went on to imitate in their designs several decades later. It’s said that Joe’s ghost still roams the village.

Norm Knows it All

If it’s your first time to Tremblant, I’d highly recommend starting your day by pairing up with an InfoSki Guide at the top of the gondola. My guide was Norm, and he knew everything I needed to know to having the best day on the mountain and shared the rich history of Mont Tremblant. Every run has a name, and there’s a story behind all of the 96 trail names. If it weren’t for Norm, I would have never known that the run Fuddle Duddle was named after the F-word. If you want more on that, go meet up with Norm.20150206_081958

A Foodie’s Treasure

You don’t have to log on to Wikipedia to know that the Canadian French love their food. Norm and I enjoyed a coffee and amazing hot beef stew in The Refuge, a cozy, low-key log cabin on the Versant Sud (south side of the mountain).

At the end of your day, more amazing food awaits you in the village. I don’t know how many Cajuns ski, but aromatic Creole seasonings cut through the cold like no other. This is food built for skiers and Fat Mardis brings New Orleans 1,400 miles closer with a menu of Po’Boys, Creoles, and Jambalaya. trmeblant 2

You can boil an awesome day on the mountain down to seven simple words: Eat, ski, eat, ski, eat, sleep, repeat: A belly full of shrimp creole and a good night’s sleep in a quiet room and comfortable bed, and you’re ready to start it all over again.

Eyes Wide Forward – Ski Racer Beth Requist is Focus Forward

Beth Requist 3

Originally published by Club Colorado – The Official Blog of Colorado Ski Country USA

Sometimes it’s easy to find yourself stuck in a moment. U2’s Bono sang a song about it. Beth Requist, a paralympian ski racer, doesn’t allow it.

The moment that Requist could be languishing in occured in August 2011: That’s when she jumped off a 40-foot cliff feet-first into the Upper Colorado River.

It’s a plunge dozens of other whitewater thrill seekers take every summer day on this popular stretch of river that runs just south of Kremmling to State Bridge, Colorado. On her turn to jump, Requist says she entered the water at an awkward angle. There was no immediate pain, but she knew something was wrong. She couldn’t feel her legs. In that split-second moment, Requist’s life was changed forever. REQUEST FULL POST

15 Go-Anywhere Apps for Skiers & Riders

997048_834323176591642_2166026056570593099_nIt’s an app life, and there’s one built for nearly everything we do. Here’s a rundown of go-anywhere apps for all the skiers and riders out there designed to put you on the powder, hook you up with sweet lift tickets deals, help you stoke your day on the hill — and even teach you how to shake your thang at night.  READ FULL POST