Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lindsey named Female Athlete of the Year

The Associated Press chose Vail's Lindsey Vonn as Female Athlete of the Year for 2010. She is the first skier of either sex to win the annual AP award that began in 1931.

On the heels of her winning a World Cup downhill race in France on Dec. 18, the 26-year-old champ said this in an AP interview:  "For sure, 2010 was the best year I've ever had. It couldn't have gone any better for me. Even if I just won the Olympic gold medal, that would have made it the best year of my career and the best day of my life, period. Winning the World Cup races and the overall title just topped it off." 

To be the first skier ever to be selected by AP members is truly an honor that she holds dearly.  "When I say that it means everything to me, it really does. The Olympics are what I work for. They're why I spend so much time in the gym. It's why my family moved (from Minnesota to Colorado) for me to ski race, so I could pursue my dream of being Olympic champion." 

To read the full article in The Denver Post, click here.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Surprise feature in Columbia's Omni-Heat Jacket

My new Omni-Heat jacket by Columbia is incredibly warm and stylish. The warmth comes from the revolutionary  thermal technology of the tiny silver dots in the inside of the lining that generates and retains heat created by your body. You can read about that on Columbia's website. But what they don't tell you is how that same lining can be used as a chic jacket by itself.

When I was heading out the door for the opening party of One Ski Hill Place in Breckenridge, I realized I had packed only my Columbia jacket and not a coat for the dressy outfit I was wearing. So I unzipped the liner from the outer shell, and to my surprise, I now had a stylish satiny (it's actually taffeta) black jacket that was perfect for the evening soiree! And, one that kept me warm in the frigid night air at 10,100 feet.

The next day I was on the mountain early when temps were in the teens. I was toasty warm with the complete system at work.

For ski traveling, this jacket gives me the best of both worlds. I won't leave home without it!

Read my tips on buying ski jackets here

Lindsey Vonn Trapped in Snowstorm

I was excited to meet Lindsey at a Vail Resorts party prior to the opening of Warren Miller's newest show Wintervention Nov. 16 at Denver's Paramount Theatre. Soon after I arrived, she called the VR people from her cell phone saying she was stuck on I-70 that had closed due to a nasty storm. The Colorado mountains have been pummeled with storm after storm since late October, so this was no big surprise. She later talked to the audience from her phone, graciously apologizing for her non-appearance.

The Vail celebrity just released two milk mustache ads and a promotional campaign to "Live Like Lindsey Vonn in Vail." If you write about the value of drinking milk, you could win a trip to Vail to live like the ski champ. Part of living in Vail means getting trapped in snowstorms on I-70!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

New Lift Starts Up at Arapahoe Basin

Photo by Alan Henceroth
The new Norway Lift at A-Basin begins running Nov. 5 from mid-mountain to the summit. This photo was taken Nov. 3, 2010. Two chairlifts, seven trails and four terrain park features are open. Ski season is here!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Colorado first to kick off nation's ski season, again!

Following a snowstorm made in heaven, Loveland is the first ski area to open for the season Oct. 24, with Arapahoe Basin following suit on Oct. 25 amid a snowstorm. Both areas are in Colorado.

Despite Maine's Sunday River's claim to be "the first in the nation to open" on Oct. 22, it has suspended operations during the week until they can "get the trails in the best shape possible for next weekend."

So. . .Colorado again trumps all ski areas in the nation in the race to open and stay open for the season. Remember, Loveland's lift-served summit is 12,700; A-Basin is nearly 13,000. With that elevation, of course they should be the first to catch the powder.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Yoga and Skiing

Don't wait until the first day of skiing to begin training. . .it should be happening - now! I've found yoga to be the best all-around prep for skiing. Read my post from last season.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Women's Ski Jumping At Last!

I hear from my colleague at The Snow Industry Letter that the International Ski Federation said it intends to launch a World Cup for women's ski jumping in time for the upcoming season. It's planning 11 events for athletes over the age of 15 for the Cup.

A number of countries are poised to stage individual events, with Germany and Norway penciled in for two of the meets, while Turkey and Japan are also thought to be in the running to be host countries.

Six athletes per nation will be allowed to compete under FIS rules. The event is likely to start in December 2011 in Lillehammer and end in early March in Oslo.

Do you think this announcement from the FIS could lead to women competing in this discipline at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi? It's about time!

Learn more about women's ski jumping at the Women's Ski Jumping website.  For the latest International Olympic Committee ruling, click here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Glam Helmets Glitter on the Slopes

So by now we all know wearing a helmet is a wise thing to do. (Read my earlier post on helmet use). California even toyed with a law to mandate its resorts to require it, but Gov. Schwarzenegger vetoed the legislation, saying it would place an unnecessary burden on resort operators without any assurance of fewer injuries and fatalities. Nevertheless, it just makes sense to protect your head. So why not make a statement while doing it - a brilliant one.  Check out these high-style helmets handcrafted by Dareece Saca for Ice Couture.
Saca makes these designs with Swarovski, Czech and Korean crystals that catch the sun for a dazzling downhill display! Liners come in fur, velvet and dryfit. They cost anywhere from $200-$2000 but will protect your head in grand style. To order, go to her website or call 916-804-4037.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lady, it's cold outside!

Do you know what ceramics, soda pop bottles, zirconium carbide and insects have in common? They’re all sources of materials that go into your ski clothes.
The list of state-of-the-art fabrics and fibers that make up ski clothing reads like a chemistry book. Today’s technical threads move moisture, block wind, shed water, wick vapor, trap air, transport perspiration, heat up, cool down and breathe. They do everything but carve turns. Warmth, comfort and a pocket where you need it are the hallmarks of new-millennium ski clothing. Think of it as equipment.
Whatever your preference—high fashion or high tech—warmth is always in. My survey shows that being cold puts a freeze on a woman’s ability to enjoy skiing, and it is one of the reasons women quit skiing. 

How much warmth?
When buying ski clothes, consider your body chemistry: warm-blooded or cold-blooded? Combine that answer with the terrain you usually ski and the amount of energy you put out to determine how much warmth you need.
Layering continues to be the smartest way to foil foul weather. Warm air trapped between layers of clothing creates insulation that keeps you warmer than a single piece of heavier clothing.
The clothing layer closest to your body should be made of a fiber that  both breathes and wicks away perspiration to keep your skin warm and dry. The base layer I wear is Snow Angel, the softest and most versatile of all sports underwear. It comes in lightweight, mid-weight and ultra warm fabrics. The inside is a soft brushed material, while the outside is a smooth, shiny fabric that lets me easily slip my fleece over it. And, back at the lodge when I shed my jacket and pants, it becomes apres skiwear! The top is a zip T-neck, the bottom is a low rise capri. Love 'em! This season they've added an adorable Posh Plaid to the collection. Hard to believe something so cute and cuddly can also be the most important piece of clothing I wear!

Middle layer: sweater or fleece

On top of your base layer, the next piece of clothing should be a turtleneck (polyester is better than cotton) topped by a fleece pullover or thin zippered jacket. With its new weather-resistant treatments, fleece holds as much warmth as a traditional ski sweater, plus it resists moisture and wicks away sweat. 
If you choose a sweater, make it wool or wool-blend. Wool draws moisture from the skin and retains heat well; cotton and cotton-blend sweatshirts absorb perspiration, become damp and stay damp. You’ll get cold very quickly in cotton.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Outer layer: parkas and pants

The final layer should be the insulated or non-insulated parka and pant. Insulated clothing traps air, creating a barrier that keeps warmth in and cold out. It stays warmer than non-insulated clothing, but for some people can be too warm. The cold, damp northeast requires more insulation than, say, the dry climate of the Rockies where a lighter insulation works just fine.
Obermeyer for 2010-11

Don't be fooled by skiwear in discount or department stores. Although department-store jackets may look and feel like those you see on ski slopes, look closer. Read hangtags. If you want real warmth, you want the latest technology from companies that make clothing specifically for cold-weather sports. Though a parka might resemble a brand carried in specialty ski shops, its cheaper price tells you the fabric, construction and features are not the same quality and won’t protect you from the elements like the real thing. 
Look for these features:
• Wind flaps over zippers for wind and snow protection • Pull-tabs on zippers for easy grabbing with mittens or glove Strategically placed pockets for outside access like a trail map pocket on a pant leg •  No hip pockets on tight-fitting pants — they make pants too bulky • Sealed seams — wind can rip through seams of poorly made clothes Snug or adjustable cuffs at wrists and ankles  •  Collars and inside closures that can be zipped or buckled to the chin • Elasticized drawstrings at waists and hems of jackets that can be tightened.
I find everything I like in Obermeyer, the Aspen-based company that has been designing skiwear for more than 60 years. You can read about the company's founder Klaus Obermeyer here on this blog. His ski clothes top the charts, especially for women and kids.
Nils for 2010-11
I also like Nils. This Swedish company designs ski wear only for women, so it's all about us! Their clothes fit women's curves like no other. My review of 2010-11 ski fashions is here

I dread the day one-piece ski suits come back into style. Not that they aren't warm. They are. Their biggest drawback is going to the bathroom! You know the drill: you get into the stall, take off your goggles, hat and gloves and find there's no place to put them except between your knees. So you unzip and drop your top, trying to keep the sleeves from dragging on the dirty, wet floor. Still clutching your hat (or helmet), goggles and gloves with your knees, you attempt to pull your long underwear bottoms down around your bum. Then you remember what your mother told you: don't ever sit on the seat!
While I'm on this delicate subject, let me tell you about a great find that is invaluable if you ski in the backcountry. It's called Freshette, a palm-sized anatomically designed device that lets you take a leak like a man. Without having to squat, you can direct your flow through a trough, a spout and a tube while standing up. Check it out here.


Monday, September 27, 2010

Buying tips:
  • Bring long underwear, turtleneck and sweater or fleece to ensure a good fit when trying on ski clothes.
  • Sit and squat in pants to make sure they don't ride up. For all-day active wear, they must be roomy, and you don't want to split a seam when doing a spread eagle!
  • If leg length looks too long, it's probably OK. Remember, ski boots add about an inch.
  • Too loose is more flattering than too tight.
  • Black and navy create a more slimming silhouette than other colors, particularly in pants.
  • A long, cinched-in jacket looks better on big hips than a short one. A belted style emphasizes big shoulders, narrow waist and legs.
  • Don't be afraid of white. Water-repellent coatings also contain stain repellent tough enough to be scrubbed. Most fabrics can be machine-washed, but always follow instructions on the tags.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Gloves and Mittens

Keeping hands dry is equally important to keeping them warm because hands lose heat 30 times faster when they are wet. Look for gloves or mittens made with high-tech insulation and materials for heat retention and water resistance. Mittens keep hands warmer than gloves and mittens with liners are warmer yet. You can't beat Manzella, the glove company with a line specifically made for women and our smaller, uniquely shaped hands. I wear their warmest style, the Bubble Down Mitt with goose down insulation and a water repellent quilted shell. My hands never get cold.

Many gloves and mittens feature pockets for heat packs for those bitterly cold days. There also are packets for feet, but don't substitute one for the other — the ones made for feet can burn your palms. If you have unopened packs from last year, you can use them this season; they are good for two to three years. Small-size packs for kids are available, too.
Thin glove liners made with moisture-moving materials work well inside gloves or mittens for added warmth and dryness. I like mine when I need to use my fingers outside my gloves for taking notes or opening trail maps.

Cold Feet, Warm Socks

If cold feet are a chronic problem, or if you can't feel your toes while skiing, your boots could be cutting off circulation. Next time you take them off, check your feet and lower legs immediately. If you see any bulging blood vessels, this means they are  pumping blood to get it back to the toes. It is an indication your boots are too tight in that spot. A bootfitter can  correct this.

Nothing makes you more miserable than wet, clammy feet. Pedorthists say the average skier’s foot sheds half a pint of perspiration a day on the slopes, but I think this is more of a guy thing. Nevertheless, wearing the right kind of socks and taking simple precautions can prevent sweat and swelling problems that cause cold feet.

Socks should be made of the same moisture-wicking materials that are used for long underwear. These thermo-regulation materials (wool included, like SmartWool) should transfer vapor and perspiration from the skin without soaking the sock. One way to determine a fiber’s resistance to saturation is by observing how fast it dries. When I take my socks from the washer, they are hardly wet and line dry in a flash. Cotton socks, on the other hand, take forever in a dryer.

Layering doesn't apply to socks. Wear one thin sock (about the weight of a man’s dress sock). Heavier socks or layering will create more perspiration and circulation problems. I wear SmartWool's PhD medium ski sock made of 72 percent Merino Wool, 26 percent nylon and 2 percent elastic. Remember, boot liners inside your boots are designed to be warm.

Pantyhose and nylon workout tights do not make good substitutes for ski socks. They contribute to cold feet in women more than anything. Nylon doesn’t allow feet to breathe, making them wet and clammy. Nylon also makes feet slide in the boots, causing loss of steering and edging control.

Wear clean socks every ski day. Dirt and perspiration interfere with wicking, causing loss of thermal quality. Wipe your feet dry before putting on socks and never put on boots when socks still are damp. Never put on wet or cold boots. Your feet will stay wet and cold all day, making them susceptible to blisters and frostbite. When you drive to a ski area, keep your boots on the heated floor of the front seat.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

New Ski Technology Great for Women

Wayne Wong explains the Anton ski technology. Photo by Dino Vournas.

Of all the new skis I demoed last February at the SIA on-snow show at Winter Park, the most fun was the Anton, a brand new ski with a built-in suspension system like your car, absorbing all the shock. It has an unbelievable way of hugging the snow, so you are always in control and able to initiate turns like never before. This is super important for women, since we tend to ski in the back seat with most of our weight in our hips. With the tip grabbing the snow like a front-wheel drive car hugging the road, there's no way the tips will leave the ground or (worse) get crossed. It creates amazing stability and balance. 

I spent the day ripping on the Anton with the inventor for whom the skis are named and Wayne Wong, the hotdogger from the 70s era who is helping to bring the skis to market. I was impressed with how easily I could get the skis engaged and carve into the turn. I was with some ski journalist buddies who all loved it as I did. One said it's the first time he's skied all day without his knees hurting with every turn. In fact, at the end of the day, he said, he had no knee pain at all!

And get this: the next day when skiing on my own skis, I noticed my tips were all over the place. I really missed the stability the Anton gave me.

I'll be writing more about this Ferrari of skis, but if you want to learn about the specific technology, click on

I also demoed a few skis with the new "rocker" technology. Basically, the rocker is a reserve camber, where instead of bowing in the middle, the ski's middle is flat against the snow with a longer rise in the tip and tail. This allows better flotation in powder and crud. If you like big-mountain and powder skiing, look for rocker technology.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Women's Ski Clinics

Chicks on Sticks
2010/11 Ski Season

Academics are taking a second look at new research showing that boys demand, and get, teachers’ attention more than girls in grade school through grad school. But remove the boys from the classroom, and girls are more likely to participate in discussions, to achieve more and to hold themselves in higher self-esteem, the studies show.

The concept also has proven effective in ski schools. The trend toward all-women ski classes is snowballing in the ski industry.

Chicks on Sticks, Babes on Boards, Thelma & Louise on Skis— call them what you may—participants of these clinics know a good thing when they ski it.

All-women classes remove the pressure to ski like men. Women learn at their own pace, in their own way. Dancing with the mountain rather than attacking it becomes a unified goal. Men like to Rambo down the mountain while women take it slower, concentrating more on technique. With everyone sharing the same objectives and strategies, the class becomes an ideal learning environment. It breeds success.

Former Telluride Ski School Director Annie Vareille Savath said all-women classes work because most women are not as confident about their athletic ability as men. “In coed classes, women tend to ski defensively, and lose quality,” Vareille Savath said. “But competition on the same level pushes them to be better and builds confidence.

“In Women's Week, we show women how to accomplish goals, how to recognize and deal with fears and to coordinate mind and body,” Vareille Savath said. “What they learn skiing, they carry throughout their lives. It’s better than psychotherapy.”

Women-only programs owe much of their success to the quality of instruction. Ski schools select the crème de la crème of their fully-certified women instructors who are well-versed in the latest teaching methods and equipment technology, and capable of setting examples in a non-condescending way. Their skiing definitely presents a visual, achievable model.

A male instructor for these specialized classes just won’t do. Feedback questionnaires from participants who’ve completed women’s clinics indicate they prefer the women-taught-by-women format. The presence of even a single male is like having a “gal” go out for beers with the guys after bowling. It’s just not the same!

Besides mastery of skills and building confidence, women come for the sheer fun of it. A spirit of camaraderie sets these clinics apart. The multi-day seminars can be a slumber-party-sorority-house-Girl Scout-camp rolled into one great getaway. “Let’s Do Lunch” takes on a whole new meaning: Picture a sun-drenched mountaintop deck where new friends celebrate their skiing breakthroughs over a bottle of wine.


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Schlep Ski Boots with Ease

Schlepping ski equipment is a necessary evil for skiers. For day trips, I never put my boots on at the car and walk on icy pathways or graveled pavement to the slopes. This is a sure way to either fall on my butt or ruin my boot soles. I used to strap boots together and hang them over one shoulder and carry my skis on the other. Now I've taken the weight off my shoulders and put it on the ground. . .in my Skboot bag. Skboot is a versitle roller bag that holds not only my boots, but my helmet, goggles, gloves, neck warmers, sunglasses, and extra stuff like hand warmers, boot heaters, hats and socks. It rolls easily over snowy parking lots and hotel hallways, and it'll be great for flying too. Here's a photo of Caroline Horner, who invented and designed Skboot. Check out more at

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Aspen's Christy Mahon Becomes First Woman to Ski All 54 of Colorado's Fourteeners

Most people consider hiking a Fourteener a huge feat. Aspen's Christy Mahon, 34, just climbed and skied 14,130-foot Capitol Peak in the Elk Range on May 16, her final conquest on the road to setting a record as the first woman to ski all 54 Fourteeners. Fourteeners, for those who don't live in Colorado, are the mountains in the state whose elevations are 14,000 feet or higher. There are 58 such peaks, but climbers recognize only 54 of them as official (they don't include the sub-peaks of a saddle).

According to Jason Blevins' story in The Denver Post, Christy began this quest quietly six years ago, edging out Crested Butte's Brittany Walker who was sidelined by a knee injury. Brittany's April descent of Capitol is considered to be a first by a woman.

"Some of those peaks just weren't meant to be skied from the top," said Christy. "I had to wait for better conditions and turned back a couple of times. That fourteener code is now out there," she said. Christy's day job is as an assistant development director for the Aspen Art Museum.

Kudos to Christy and every woman out there who set these lofty goals—on mountains or in their personal lives—and achieve them!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My last turns of the season at the Taste of Vail

Where did the season go? Seems like I just got my skis tuned and readied for the long winter. And now it's spring!

This time of year, many resorts hold fun and sometimes zany shenanigans to keep the slopes filled until closing. The Taste of Vail is not one of them. Though spring skiing is a big draw, the annual food and wine fest is an event that stands on its own as one of the country's premier gourmet celebrations. An average of 5,000 foodies and wine geeks attend each year, raising around $20,000 for charities in the Vail Valley in Colorado. Read my story on last year's Taste here.

It didn't hurt that Vail Mountain received four feet of snow just prior to this year's 20th annual Taste April 8-10, making afternoon skiing just superb and the popular Mountaintop Picnic a solar spread of epic proportions. New this year were two on-mountain skiing sessions with chefs and vintners that participants could buy for $200 each. Added to the seminars and tastings was a fun session on aphrodisiac foods by Amy Reiley, author of Fork Me, Spoon Me. Guys: eat your watermelon!

The only complaint of the weekend: "the sky isn't as blue today as it was yesterday."

Due to the big late season dump, Vail expanded its terrain for closing week and its Spring Back to Vail celebration. Vail closes April 18. After that date, the only Colorado resorts to remain open are Echo Mountain, closing May 2 and Loveland and Arapahoe Basin (closing in May and June, respectively).

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Vail Names Ski Run After Lindsey

In honor of its hometown hero, Vail has renamed an expert run Lindsey's. As of Feb. 28, the sign on the former International trail on the front side of Vail Mountain will bear the name of the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in Downhill. (Though she also added a bronze for the Super G, her gold medal in her favorite discipline is what she cherishs most.)

Wow! What an honor!

This trail is a good choice. It is the site of the women's speed events during the World Alpine Championships in 1989 and 1999, and its primo location emphasizes how highly Vail regards its resident champion. Lindsey Vonn was actually born in Minnesota, but calls Vail her home since moving there in the late 90s to train for her career. Vonn and her husband Thomas live at the chi-chi Arabelle, a Rock Resort, at Vail Square when they're in town.

"We could not be prouder of Lindsey and her success at the Olympic Games. She truly embodies the Vail spirit with her perseverance in the face of adversity, dedication and hard work, and commitment to excellence—both on and off the snow," said Vail Resorts' Chairman and CEO Rob Katz.

If you're a Lindsey fan, follow her on You'll learn a lot about the champ, certainly a fantastic role model for women athletes everywhere.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Paralympian Sarah Inducted into U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame

Sara Will loves to ski. When she became paralyzed in a skiing accident in 1988, she didn't turn her back on the sport. Instead, she picked up a book on adaptive skiing by Hal O'Leary and started to train under him at Winter Park. Within three years she won gold medals in the downhill and Super G at the 1992 Paralympic Games. In total, she's won 12 medals. She started an adaptive skiing program in Vail with a colleague, Chris Waddell. Her accomplishments earned her a place in the Colorado Ski Hall of Fame in 2004, and on April 9, 2010, she was inducted into the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame in Beaver Creek. Sara lives in Edwards, in the Vail Valley of Colorado. Congratulations, Sara!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Ski Clothing Pioneer Obermeyer Still Going Strong at 90

Klaus Obermeyer, founder and president of Sport Obermeyer, has a 100-watt smile and a successful business to match. For a long time, he's been a leader in the ski clothing biz. Here he is with me and a fellow journalist from New Jersey, Martin Griff, ( at the SIA Snow Show in Denver recently.

The 90-year-old skis every day in Aspen, his home since 1947 when he immigrated to the U.S. from Bavaria looking for a job as an aeronautical engineer. Instead, he found an opening as a ski instructor, falling back on a sport he knew and loved since first skiing on homemade skis crafted from runners of a wooden crate at age three.

When he arrived at the tiny ski hamlet, it was almost deserted. “There was snow on the ground like I had never seen except maybe at 3,000 meters in the Alps,” he said over breakfast at The Wienerstube in Aspen. “When I put my ski down, flakes flew like feathers, it was so dry. It snowed almost every night with the sun shining in the day — a paradise for skiers, but there were no people here!”

Undaunted, he joined his friend, Austrian racer Friedel Pfeifer, Pete Seibert (who would later discover Vail) and four others who made up the first ski school in Aspen. He lived at the Jerome Hotel, skating on skis through the streets to the mountain. He remembers being followed by packs of barking dogs that were left behind by miners. “There were more dogs than people in those days,” he said.

The single-chair number one lift from the base to midway had just been completed. The second lift was a rebuilt mining tramway that dripped grease on riders so frequently that the ski company obligingly pickup up dry cleaning tabs. To ward off the cold, Obermeyer wore a “long city coat” for the 15-minute ride to midway, and then sent it back down while he skied two and a half minutes to the bottom and rode up again sans coat. “I had one warm ride and one cold one,” he laughed.

Eager to earn his $10-a-day pay, he scoured the slopes for students. He found that people were reluctant to commit to lessons because “they froze like hell.” Ski clothing then consisted of long underwear, a sweater and unlined shell and pants, hardly enough to keep warm in the best of conditions. To keep his classes filled and students happy, he began making down parkas for them after fashioning the first one from his goose-down comforter he brought from Europe. Later, he built machines and made the first quilted parka out of shavings from the floor of a textile factory in Munich.

Severe sunburn was another problem in the high-altitude of Aspen. “People came here in February and March for a 14-day vacation and left after two days because they sunburned so badly,” he said. So he and Pfiefer concocted Sportana, “the first suntan lotion that really worked.” To foil the sun even further, he helped develop mirrored sunglasses with a French manufacturer using vaporized metal to block the sun’s UV rays.

No idea escaped Klaus Obermeyer. His turtlenecks were the world’s first with elasticized collars and shoulders. He was the innovator of a dual layer ski boot with a soft, warm liner inside a strong rigid shell. The list goes on and on.

“There was a lot of opportunity then,” he said modestly. “There was no supply because there was really no market. So it was easy to become a supplier with very little money.” Soon dealers heard about his products at the same time the sport exploded, and demand was created. It was a classic moment of being in the right place at the right time.

Today, after scores of awards honoring the clothing pioneer and his company, the innovation continues with fabrics made from bamboo and recycled materials. “We try to step lightly on the planet,” he said.

Monday, February 1, 2010

New Slope Fashions Revealed at Snow Show in Denver

I previewed fashions for the 2010-11 ski season at the annual Snow Industries America (SIA) Snow Show in Denver Jan. 28-31, 2010. Remember the neon color craze of the 80s? It's baaaaack! Though not as blinding bright as that bygone era, snow clothes for next season will be vibrant—lime green, orange, sky blue, red—but softer and easier on the eyes. Contrasting that will be lots of gray in both men's and women's styles with black as an accent color. Metallics will shine, and jackets and hats with faux (and real) fur trim will keep you warm. No longer just black, snow pants come in photo-print patterns and colors. Silhouettes range from baggy to body-forming, but not too hugging. Though the 80s retro colors are back, the one-piece suits are not. Everything is jacket and pants. Base layers are so cute they can be worn as tops with jeans and moon boots, another throwback to the past. Tecnica has them in black patent. (Photos by Steve Crecelius, courtesy of Visit Denver.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Lindsey Vonn: "My Success Has Nothing To Do with Weight"

In her personal commentary in The Denver Post (with reference to Austrian newspaper stories about her weight), Lindsey Vonn wrote, "If adding weight was the key to downhill success, everyone would be stuffing their faces with food. It doesn't work like that. You have to be agile and strong," she wrote. "It's frustrating as an athlete to be called overweight. . .I pride myself on how hard I work out and how physically fit I am. For them to say that was extremely aggravating. Read her entire article in See her workout regime here.

What do you think? Does more girth get to the bottom of the course faster?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Watch a Lindsey Vonn Training Session

Lindsey Vonn is America's hope for Olympic medals in alpine skiing. Here's a peek into her training regime.