Three Good Reasons to Book Your Ski Trip Early

Photo courtesy Copper Mountain

Photo courtesy Copper Mountain

It’s a common dilemma for vacationing families: Should you book your ski vacation early, or hold out with the hope of cashing in on a last minute bargain?


The last minute bargain your mind’s eye envisions might not materialize. As a result, you may miss out on lucrative advanced reservation promotions or even worse, not be able to stay in your family’s favorite slope-side hotel because it’s already sold out. Savvy families know that there are a host of budget-friendly benefits to booking a ski and snowboard vacation early.

Here are three good reasons to book your vacation now. REQUEST FULL POST

Three New Books for the Skier’s Library

3D Book with ShadowTopics explore the future of snow, avalanche safety essentials, and “lost” ski areas.

I don’t know if you’d call it a “ski-brary” or a “librare-ski” but no matter what you call that dusty old stack of tattered ski literature sitting on the corner shelf, here are three books we’d recommend adding to the collection.

The works speak to the sport’s past, as in “lost” ski areas, its present, as in avalanche safety, and the future, as in climate change. Each author dissects a unique aspect of the sport, and all together they afford skiers and riders an opportunity to add depth to their snow stake of knowledge. READ FULL ARTICLE. 

Now Playing: Newest Ski Movies for 2014


Days of My Youth - Photo courtesy Red Bull Media House. Skier:James Heim

Days of My Youth – Photo courtesy Red Bull Media House. Skier:James Heim

I received some deserved heat for missing “Pretty Faces” in my review of hot new ski movies for 2014. I knew this was a tough assignment given how many great ski movies are being produced by independent skiers and riders.

Regardless, the fall release of new ski movies is a special time and one more thing that sets this sport apart from all others. READ MY REVIEW

CSI: Greenback Cutthroat Trout

Forensic Science Unearths Three New Subspecies of Cutthroat Trout and Identifies Colorado’s True State Fish.

Colorado University of Boulder researcher Jessica Metcalf used trout DNA samples from the 1850s to identify Colorado's true "purebred" state fish. Here she releases trout spawned from eggs taken from a population of only 800 remaining trout.

Colorado University of Boulder researcher Jessica Metcalf used trout DNA samples from the 1850s to identify Colorado’s true “purebred” state fish. Here she releases trout spawned from eggs taken from a population of only 800 remaining trout.

If they made “CSI Trout”, then the story of Colorado’s official state fish, the Greenback Cutthroat Trout, would make one hell of an episode.  As it turns out about half of the fish that scientists had originally been calling Greenback Cutthroat Trout actually have genes more similar to Colorado Cutthroat Trout.

The discovery was the work of Jessica Metcalf, a young researcher from CU that used DNA testing and tissue samples from the 1850s to identify the genetic fingerprint of “purebred” greenbacks.  Metcalf’s findings ignited an internationalBear Creek Cutthroat Trout “Trout-Gate” within the scientific community. How could biologists have confused these two species?


Originally published on

What’s Cooking with Steven Nyman, Three-Time Olympian Ski Racer


Steven Nyman finding angulation. Photo courtesy of Steven.

Steven Nyman finding angulation. Photo courtesy of Steven.

It’s Sunday afternoon in late July and Steve Nyman, three-time Olympian ski racer, is holding court. In a few days he’ll be flying to New Zealand for a month of training as he kick-starts his 14th World Cup season; But first, a barbeque.

On this day, Nyman has invited a small group of young up-and-coming competitive skiers to his Deer Valley condo for a cookout. There’s a mix of freestylers, ski jumpers, and alpiners. His friend and business cohort Johnny Alamo describes the scene.

“It’s just amazing to watch how he carries himself,” says Alamo. IMG_4628“There’s a group of 20- to 22-year-olds all gathering around, listening to Steven; he’s cooking, he’s telling one story right after another, and he’s giving them advice on how to pack – hell, he’s not only cooking for them, he’s cleaning the dishes too!”

As it turns out, the 32-year-old Nyman has become somewhat of a father figure on the U.S. ski team. Just five months earlier he had 21-year-old freestyle sensation Heidi Kloser hoisted on his shoulders for the one mile walk to the opening ceremonies in Sochi. Kloser’s Olympic hopes were squandered days earlier when she broke her leg and blew her knee out while taking a training run.Liftopia Steve 1

Nyman fought back from his own career setback after suffering one of the worst injuries in all of sports; a torn Achilles tendon. Now, he’s well-poised to continue leading by example, and show the younger racers what it takes to podium. After a disappointing 27th place finish in the Olympic Downhill, Nyman went on to win both the Super G and Downhill races in Aspen last April.

There’s plenty cooking in Steven Nyman’s world right now. Here’s what we grilled him on the morning after the barbeque. READ OUR FULL Q&A


Pairing Up with Outdoor Gangster


Powder Mountain border tour with the crew at Outdoor Gangster. Photo illustration by Troy Hawks.

Despite there being so many words in the English language ‑ and more being invented every day‑ sometimes all you really need is two; like bacon and eggs.

Technically that’s three words, but you get the point. On their own, they are static. But when placed side-by-side they have the power to rile up an electromagnetic nerve impulse strong enough to send a 200-pound grown man running for the nearest Denny’s. 

Here’s another two words: Powder Mountain, arguably the best name for a ski area ever. It’s difficult to find another vernacular duo that when used together does a better job of cutting to the core of what seasoned skiers and snowboarders crave the most: A mountain of powder. With more than 7,000 skiable acres and an average 500 inches of snow a year, it’s an appetite Powder Mountain has been satisfying since 1972.


World Class in Wisconsin

birkie fever coverMost folks don’t think of Wisconsin as a World class skiing destination. I grew up in the heart of America’s Dairyland, and the topography there is “rolling” at best.  So as an eight year old, skiing to me meant being pulled behind our snowmobile, a natural progression given my prowess at water skiing.

Each of the 50 states has its own unique mini-culture – a set of characteristics and traits that tend to distinguish it from the other 49 – and the way of life in Wisconsin is the stuff of legend. In his book, “Beyond Birkie Fever,” Walter Rhein captures the juxtaposition that exists when a state in which skiing plays second fiddle to football, deer hunting, and bowling, hosts an internationally renowned cross country ski race.  

READ FULL REVIEW: World Class in Wisconsin – Beyond Birkie Fever

Digging Deep on the Potential Impact of Climate Change : Book Review

3D Book with ShadowOriginally published in Ski Patrol magazine.

By just the title alone “Deep, the Story of Skiing and the Future of Snow,”  it’s clear that author Porter Fox, a features editor at Powder magazine, attempts to cover an incredible amount of readable footage in just 288 pages.

By comparison, legendary ski writer John Fry focused solely on chronicling the history and progression of the sport in his 388-page book “The Story of Modern Skiing.” Fry’s work remains the hallmark literature detailing what we know of skiing and snowboarding today.

In “Deep” Fox seeks to weave current climate change data and predictions into the fabric of ski history, and the culture of big mountain powder skiing. The narrative starts out slow, and Fox’s story of skiing begins with himself as he tells of his early days on skis, and introduces readers to some of the personalities he met along the way.

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Pro Skier Aims to March Ski Troops into the Classroom

Chris Anthony Seeks to Educate and Inspire Youth with “Climb to Glory” – the Latest Documentary Film on the 10th Mountain Division.

climb to glory 3Ski touring expeditions in extreme cold conditions, 70-pound rucksacks, stubborn mules and deep powder coupled with rudimentary gear, boyish pranks, and all the terrors of war: The story of the men of the 10th Mountain Division is one of the best in skiing.

Climb to Glory” is the latest documentary film on the World War II ski troops, and its July 2 screening played to a sold out audience of about 200 people in Breckenridge, Colorado. The 45-minute film, inspired by pro skier Chris Anthony and produced by Warren Miller Entertainment, features original war footage, video interviews with members of the 10th, and narrative from Anthony himself, who grew up in Vail. Coincidentally, Robert Redford recently announced plans to also produce a film on the 10th Mountain Division.

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More Ski Areas Commit to the Climate Challenge

flakeOn the heels of Earth Day 2014, the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) announced that 10 new ski areas have signed on to the industry’s Climate Challenge, an environmental initiative that targets carbon emission reductions.

Those resorts include four owned by Aspen Skiing Company, including Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, and Snowmass. Other resorts include Colorado’s Steamboat Resort, California’s Alpine Meadows, June Mountain, Mammoth, and Squaw Valley, and Utah’s Snowbird.