Some people think I’m a little too obsessed with skiing. And to them I say — you might be right. I started skiing when I was 13, stopped after about 10 years, then started again about 20 years ago. Since then I’ve become totally addicted. When I’m not skiing, I’m thinking about skiing. So yeah, I guess obsessed is the word.
I started this blog in response to two things: 1) my observation that men far outnumber women on the slopes; and 2) the overwhelming male orientation of ski magazines and internet ski forums. It’s not that I don’t like men — I do — I just think that women skiers are often underserved, under-represented, and overlooked. So this is my little way of putting it out there that yes, there are loads of kick-ass women skiers, and yes, we like to talk about skiing, too.
Since this is a blog, the conversation is pretty much one way. I mean, I’m happy to have you comment, but if you’d like to talk about skiing with more than just me, you should really check out TheSkiDiva.com. It’s a forum I started back in 2006 — this blog is only part of the site — and since then, it’s become the leading online community for women skiers. TheSkiDiva is a great place to talk with other women about anything and everything ski-related. It’s just for women — so men, please don’t register. I’ll only kick you off. But it’s really a lot of fun.
I will now take your questions. Yes, you in the back? Wearing the Patagonia jacket?
Q: If you love skiing so much, why don’t you move out West?
A: I’m an East Coast kind of girl. I actually grew up on the Jersey shore (love the beach!), and lived in Pennsylvania for a really, really long time — suburban Philly, to be exact — til I was lucky enough to move to Vermont. I have a real love for New England — the GMS (Green Mountain State) in particular. It’s a beautiful state that hasn’t been ruined yet by horrible traffic, big box stores, and housing developments. I don’t think a day goes by that I don’t thank my lucky stars that I ended up here.
Q: What are you skiing on now?
A: I have three pair of skis:
Blizzard Viva X8: These are new this season. They’re great on groomers and help me go zooooooom.
Nordica Hell’s Belle’s: This is the ski I turn to when the snow is soft, when there’s plenty of crud and chop, when conditions are mixed, and yes, even when there’s powder. They’re great in just about anything. Love ’em.
Atomic Elysian: A twin tip that’s 95 mm underfoot, this is fun, fun, fun! Fast edge to edge and easy to turn, this is terrific in all conditions. Probably the most fun out of the three.
Q: Are you the same Wendy Clinch that writes the Ski Diva mysteries?
A: Yes. But don’t hold that against me (badda-bing). My first book, DOUBLE BLACK, came out January, 2010, and my second, FADE TO WHITE, came out in January, 2011. Both books focus on Stacey Curtis, a young woman who moves to a Vermont ski town to become a ski bum. She’s sort of my alter ego; the direction my life would have taken if I hadn’t gotten married, started a career, and become a mother.
Q: What did you do before you were a ski bum?
A: I did the Devil’s work: advertising. Yep, spent many, many years in the glamorous world of business-to-business advertising, where I wrote about such things are water treatment, O-rings, pumps, flowmeters, etc.. If you can write about that and make it sound interesting, trust me — you can write about anything.
Q: Is your husband Jon Clinch, author of FINN, KINGS OF THE EARTH, and THE THIEF OF AUSCHWITZ?
A: Yes. Let me brag here a bit: FINN was named one of 2007’s best novels by The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, and the Christian Science Monitor, and a Notable Book of the year by the American Library Association. KINGS OF THE EARTH is amazing, too, and everyone should read it. Even Oprah loves it (yes, THAT Oprah); it was the #1 pick on her Summer ’10 Reading List, and featured in O magazine .You can find out more about him at JonClinch.com.
Q: Do you have a pet?
A: Yes, a cat named Sophie. I must be very good with cats. My first cat, Cat, lived to be 19, and my second, Katie, lived to 17. Both of these were orange cats, and Sophie is a tuxedo. Let’s hope that doesn’t make a difference.
A: Yes, a fantastic, terrific, highly intelligent, daughter. She’s vastly superior to me in every way, except she doesn’t ski. Go figure.
Q: Is there anything else you like to do besides ski?
A: Obviously, skiing is my favorite activity, but unfortunately, I can’t do it year ’round. In the off season I swim laps — which is totally boring but good for me, ride my bike, and work out at the gym. I try to do something physical at least 5 out of 7 days. As they say, use it or lose it. I also love to read, eat good food, and spend time with friends (yes, I have some).