Tag Archives | TheSkiDiva.com

Rest In Peace: EpicSki is Shutting Down.

UnknownPut on a black armband, light a candle, hang the black crepe: the internet ski world is in mourning.

EpicSki, the biggest ski community on the web, announced they’d be going offline on April 27*. And yes, it is indeed a tragic loss.

Since 1999, Epic has been the go-to source for ski information and fellowship. Whatever you wanted to know about skiing, you could pretty much find it on EpicSki. In fact, it helped inspire me to start TheSkiDiva.com more than ten years ago.

The loss to the internet ski world can not be overstated.

So why is it disappearing? Vail Resorts, which bought the site a few years ago, is pulling the plug. Word on the street is is that the site was using a software platform known as Huddler that could only run on Huddler’s own hosting platform, and Huddler is shutting down. The trouble, they say, is that there’s no easy way to migrate the forums to another more mainstream forum product.

To me, this makes no sense. Vail has very deep pockets, and I’m sure they’ve known this was coming for a while. I’ve long contended that Vail bought EpicSki for the url and name (Epic is the name for Vail’s pass products) as well as for its members list. Maybe it served its purpose, and they’re done with it now. Who knows.

But regardless of what’s really going on, a lot of amazing content will be permanently lost. It’s sort of like someone set fire to the biggest ski library on the planet, and then decided to block the roads so the fire department can’t get through. (I understand this on a deep level, since the oldest of the discussions at TheSkiDiva.com still get accessed regularly by visitors seeking info.)

EpicSki had a ton of members, and I’m sure many of them are a complete loss as to what to do now. Online communities share a lot of similarities with those in the real world. You meet people and develop relationships. You use it as place to gather, learn things, and exchange ideas.

But even though Epic is gone, take heart: There are many other ski communities on the web — maybe not as large as Epic, but certainly places to get your ski fix and connect with others who share your passion.

TheSkiDiva.com stands alone among them as a women’s only ski forum. We’re a fun, supportive community where women can come together to talk about everything and anything ski-related in a non-testosterone charged environment. I started the community ten years ago because I didn’t think the major ski communities gave women the respect and attention they deserved. We were marginalized, treated as an interesting side-line. Just an afterthought on the slopes.

That’s not the case at TheSkiDiva. Women’s skiing,  women’s gear, and women’s concerns are front and center. Today, the site has more than 5,000 members from all over the world, and is respected as the leading online community for women skiers. We develop relationships on and offline. We take trips together. We share one another’s joys and sorrows. In short, we’ve become a community in the real sense. And yes, that makes a difference.

So if you’re a casualty of the Epic blowup and are looking for a new online home, please, stop by and check us out.

And don’t worry. We’re not going anywhere.

 

*Editor’s Note [April 27]: The deadline has been extended til May 12.

 

 

 

 



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Another Diva West is in the Books: Aspen Snowmass

Mention Aspen, and what comes to mind? Movie stars, millionaires, plenty of glitz and glamor.

But here’s something new to add to the list: The Ski Divas! Because this year, TheSkiDiva.com held Diva West, our annual Western gathering, at Aspen Snowmass. And like all the others that’ve come before, it was an absolute blast!

Diva West is the one time of the year we come together to meet one another in person; to connect a living, breathing person with a user name. And sure — while the skiing is important, even more important is enjoying the camaraderie of women with a shared passion. These annual meet-ups have helped forge bonds that have resulted in a genuine community, both on and off the slopes. It’s one of the things that makes TheSkiDiva such a great place to hang out.

Some of the Divas on the trip.

Some of the Divas on the trip.

This year’s Diva West at Aspen Snowmass was no different. Besides the fun of just getting together, there was a lot to love about the mountain, too. Here are some of the things we particularly enjoyed:

The size:

Aspen Snowmass from the window of my plane.

Aspen Snowmass from the window of my plane.

Snowmass is Snowmassive! The resort has a total of 3,332 skiable acres: a third more skiable terrain than the other three Aspen areas combined. Seriously, you will not get bored. We skied Snowmass four out of the six days we were in Aspen, and regrettably, there’s a lot of the mountain I missed. Guess I’ll just have to come back.

The views:
Incredibly beautiful. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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And that’s just a sample. Everywhere I turned, I wanted to take a picture. But somehow, skiing got in the way.

There are three other mountains to try:
Sure, Snowmass is amazing and has more than enough to keep you busy. But how could we resist the allure of Aspen Highlands and Aspen Mountain? You can ski Snowmass, Aspen, Highlands, and Buttermilk on the same ticket. Definitely worth exploring.

The shuttle system:
No matter where you want to go in the Aspen area, there’s a free bus to take you there. RFTA makes it easy to go from Snowmass to Buttermilk to Aspen to the Highlands, as well as to downtown Aspen and Snowmass Village. Honestly, you don’t need a car, so why go through the expense?

Forget about lugging your skis:
Skiing at one of the Aspen mountains one day and want to ski at another the next? No problem. Aspen makes it easy. For a modest fee ($12.), they’ll transfer your skis from one mountain to the other. We spent a day skiing at Highlands and knew we wanted to ski at Aspen the following day, so we just dropped off our skis at the Ski Concierge, and like magic, they appeared at Aspen the next morning. Sweet!

There’s terrain for everyone: 
Not everyone skis at the same level, and at Snowmass, this is easy to accommodate. Some in our group enjoyed the Hanging Valley, where you’ll find the steepest trees on the mountain, as well as the Cirque Headwall, accessible by a surface life and known as the former venue of extreme skiing competitions.  Others enjoyed the Powerline Glades, with its widely spaced, low angle trees, and Long Shot, Snowmass’s signature 3 mile trail that goes on and on and on and on. Then there’s the area off the Big Burn lift where you can find wide, open spaces, groomers, widely spaced trees, and a natural half-pipe gully. At Aspen Mountain, the Bells and Glades were a particular favorite. And at Highlands, some of  us tackled the famous Highland Bowl (Fact worth knowing: there’s a free cat that’ll take you part of the way up, so you can skip the hike).

In the Powerline Glades.

In the Powerline Glades.

The on-mountain food:
Aspen, Highlands, and Snowmass all have a good selection of on-mountain food. Yeah, it’s bit pricey, but the variety and quality are excellent. We checked out four of the on-mountain eateries at Snowmass — Elk Camp, the Ullrhof, Gwyn’s (they just completed a $5.9 million remodel), and Sam’s Smokehouse. At Highlands, we lunched at the Merry-Go-Round. And at Aspen, at Bonnie’s.

The town:
A trip to Aspen isn’t complete without a stroll downtown. And sure, you could easily blow a thou’ on a pair of ski pants (I fell in love with a pair that cost $950. No, I didn’t buy them), you don’t have to be a millionaire to browse. The people watching is pretty incredible, too. Let’s just say it was pretty clear I wasn’t in Vermont.

Just plain getting together:
This was the 10th Diva West, and I’ve never failed to be totally blown away by the strength, enthusiasm, and kindness of the women on the site. And though I was thrilled to be at Aspen Snowmass, the venue was truly secondary. The women are the heart and soul of the the site, and I’m truly honored that they took the time out of their busy schedules to get together. Let’s do it again next year!

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One more thing:
One of the things I truly love about the internet is how it allows us to make friends with people we might not otherwise have met. And one of the most outstanding people I’ve come to know is Kristen Lummis, creator of the most excellent ski blog, Brave Ski Mom. Kristen, who lives in Colorado, came to ski with me during Diva West. She’s a fine skier and terrific person. If you haven’t checked out her blog, make sure you do.

The Ski Diva and the Brave Ski Mom.

The Ski Diva and the Brave Ski Mom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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TheSkiDiva Wins the Harold S. Hirsch Award for Best Ski Blog!

I’m humbled. Really. But excited enough that I hope you don’t mind my bragging a bit:

The North American Snowsports Journalists Association — NASJA — has named TheSkiDiva Blog the Best Ski Blog of 2016!

hirsch-logo-2016-copyYep, I’ve been given the Harold S. Hirsch Award. Hirsch, a ski clothing pioneer and the founder of White Stag, created the award to promote professionalism in winter sports coverage.

Truly, this is a real honor. After all, I’ve been doing this for ten years, and I won’t lie: it’s nice to get a little recognition.

Back in 2006, I started this blog because I had no one to talk to about skiing. None of my friends skied, and my other friends just about rolled their eyes when I started in about my favorite sport. So to save my social life — and my sanity — I thought I’d create a place on the web where I could go on…and on…and on (619 blog posts so far) about anything and everything ski related. Over the years, I’ve tried to cover topics that I thought would be of interest to women who share my passion.  I’ve done gear and resort reviews, interviewed all sorts of ski luminaries — from Suzy Chaffee  to Donna Weinbrecht and Lynsey Dyer to Elyse Saugsted and Crystal Wright, and written how-to’s on everything from surviving the White Ribbon of Death to buying used skis to taking care of your skiwear.  I’ve even kept things going during the off season with pieces on fitness, travel, outdoor activities, nutrition, weather, and more. Want to know what to do when you encounter wildlife on the trail? How to work out in the heat? It’s in the blog. And yeah, there’s been a measure of feminism thrown in too, because I think women skiers should be given the same opportunities and respect as men, and not treated as beginners, ignoramuses, or pretty little ladies who are there simply to decorate the lodge.

Here are some of the nice comments from the judging panel:

Ski Diva isn’t just a blog, it’s a movement and a community platform. The writing is thoughtful and infused with passion, but technically strong. Smooth, easy to read style of writing. Writes with a vigorous personal voice layered with humor, pragmatism and personal connection. Well written travelogue, expressive writing style that enables the reader to feel like they are there with the author.

Truly, I’m flattered. But as in all things, there’s always room for improvement. I mean, even though the blog’s been named best of the year, no one’s perfect. And after so many entries, it’s not always easy to come up with a topic to write about each week.

So I thought I’d open this up to you: Is there something in particular you’d like to see covered? Do you have any suggestions about what I could do to take this blog to a higher plane? And is there anything you really like or dislike about the blog? I’d love to know.

In the meantime, I’ll keep on keeping on. So thanks, NASJA, for the award. And thanks to you, too, for joining me here each week. Stay tuned. There’s lots more to come.

 



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Woo Hoo! TheSkiDiva Is Ten Years Old!

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Amazing, huh? We’ve hit double numbers!

It hardly seems possible, but this week marks an entire decade since TheSkiDiva.com made its debut on the world wide web.

In internet years, that’s like a bazillion. Seriously, we’re in super-senior citizen mode. After all, the shelf life of web sites is shorter than fresh fish. A few days, just about, and many are abandoned or forgotten. So it’s pretty amazing that we’ve not only stuck around, but that we’ve continued to grow and thrive.

For me, it’s been a great ten years. I can still remember when I came up with the idea for the site. I was on line for the gondola at Steamboat when I looked behind me………. and all I could see was men.  ‘This is ridiculous,’ I thought.  ‘I can’t be the only woman who likes to ski.’ But at the time it seemed that way. I didn’t have any women ski friends. And none of the online ski communities or ski magazines really paid that much attention to women, either. We were marginalized, treated as an interesting side-line. Just an afterthought on the slopes. If you were a female skier, you couldn’t be very serious or very good. You were probably just out looking for a guy. Or maybe you just wanted to wear the latest ski fashions, take two runs, and sit in the lodge.

So I created TheSkiDiva.com for a couple of reasons. Selfishly, I just wanted to find some ski friends. But I also wanted to find a place to connect with other women and talk about skiing in a way that I could relate to. And though the site’s been through some changes, I’ve held firm in keeping it for women only. Yeah, I’ve taken some flak for this, but I’ve never regretted my decision. It’s nice to have a little corner of the ski world that’s testoserone-free. When you want to know about women’s gear, someone knowledgeable actually answers. And no one puts you down or makes a snide remark when you proudly proclaim, “Yes, I AM a jacket slut.” (If you think this sounds weird, go here and you’ll find 105 pages worth of Diva jacket love.)

Here are some interesting facts about TheSkiDiva:

As of September 6, 2016

Number of members: 4,747

Number of discussions: 19,294

Number of messages: 323,700 

Site visitors (since July, 2007): 1,353,162

Where they’re from (top 4): 73% from the US; 8% from Canada; 6% from the UK; 3% from Australia/New Zealand

Where we’ve held for Diva gatherings:
Diva West:
Solitude, Steamboat, Summit County (Breck, Copper, Keystone, Beaver Creek, Vail), Tahoe (Northstar, Squaw, Alpine Meadows, Sugar Bowl), Big Sky, Snowbasin, Powder Mountain
Diva East: Whiteface, Killington, Okemo, Sunday River, Sugarloaf, Stowe, Jay Peak

And here are a few comments about the site that forum members made in last year’s anniversary thread:

• I think I’ve been on the forum since 2009 and have got so so much from it: many new friends and ski buddies. I’ve benefited from the knowledge of so many – for things like tours of Big Sky , trip organization, even meet-ups outside of ski season  – the list could go on and on and on. Also, tons of great info on gear and equipment. And, most of all, I thank Ski Diva for keeping this forum such a positive, supportive place. It’s always a pleasure to “visit.”

• What a great site and GREAT skiing ladies! Since becoming a member I, too, have so many new women ski friends and know I”ll be skiing with my Ski Diva friends on here for the rest of my life!

• I have had so much fun with the Ski Diva’s. The knowledge and support of this group is beyond comparison. Many of us have been through a few life crisis, and the Diva’s were always there for support. We have many technical experts with how to ski, what to ski on or where to ski. I’ve made to Diva East at Sugarloaf. Been to two Mother’s Day weekends at A-Basin. Shown many Diva’s around Tremblant. Did a Ski Diva Roxy weekend at Whistler! I now have ski buddies at Tremblant as well. And if I were to take off for somewhere, I know there is probably a Diva to show me around!

• I have loved being part of this site and learning and reading about what other woman skiers and feeling often, inspired, exited and intimidated some times at the same time, some times different feelings. But whatever it has been, I love it. Although I have not met many “Divas” in person, and I don’t post as much as others (or even very often anymore), I still love coming here. I love that I can post something and feel safe and that I will get feedback and not ridiculed for posting something that may seem silly.

Some of the Ski Divas at Big Sky

Some of the Ski Divas at Big Sky

Administering TheSkiDiva is an honor and a privilege. The caliber of the people, their tremendous spirit, and the friendly, supportive nature of the community makes it a truly remarkable place to hang out. A forum is only as good as its members, so it’s a tribute to the Divas that it’s so much fun.

Happy Tenth! Here’s to the next decade!

 

 

 



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Why do a women’s ski trip?

I’m writing this at 35,000 feet, on my way home from Big Sky, Montana, where I just spent a week at the annual gathering of members of TheSkiDiva.com. We’ve gotten together every year since 2007, hitting such places as Solitude, Summit County, Steamboat, Tahoe, Big Sky, Snowbasin, Big Sky, and yes, Big Sky again. Each year I say it’s the best trip ever, and truly, this year is no exception.

Ski trips come in all sorts of combinations: friends, families, ski clubs, and school groups. But the trips the Divas do once a year are truly one of a kind. Many of us don’t know one another before we meet at our final destination, which I think in itself is pretty remarkable. It takes a great measure of faith to venture from your comfortable home and spend your vacation with people you’ve never met. But it’s the interaction we have on the forum that make us feel less like strangers than like members of a community – albeit one that spreads not only across the US, but across the world. Women come from all over: Scotland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, California, Washington, Pennsylvania, to name a few. After all, there are Ski Divas everywhere.

So what makes them come? And what makes these trips so great?

A shared passion: It’s not easy to find women who care as much about skiing as the Divas. I know I’ve had to tamp down my own enthusiasm so as not to drive others crazy. But at TheSkiDiva,  I’ve found kindred spirits – women I’m not boring when I talk about the attributes of a particular ski or the best technique for tackling glades or how to make my turns better. It’s nice to know we’re not alone, and that it’s okay to go on and on about our favorite activity.

It’s a supportive, caring environment: Here’s a example: on one of our trips, a group of us decided to tackle something that some of us considered a bit difficult. As each one of us made our descent, the  others stood by and cheered. Yes, cheered. Not heckled or made snide comments. And when one of us ended up injured, the others didn’t leave her forgotten on the sidelines. We hung out with her during the day, took her to the doctor’s, made her comfortable and just generally bucked her up. We were happy to do it, because that’s how we roll.

It’s a heck of a lot of fun: There’s something freeing about skiing with a group of girlfriends. You laugh a lot. You have great conversations on the lifts. You’re free of the label of girlfriend, mother, wife, caregiver. It’s just you, the mountain, the snow, and your friends. What could be better?

So rather than just go on and on about this, I thought I’d include some pictures from Diva Week. The smiles here tell more than I could in any blog post:

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Why do a women’s ski trip.

I’m writing this at 35,000 feet, on my way home from Big Sky, Montana, where I just spent a week at the annual gathering of members of TheSkiDiva.com. We’ve gotten together every year since 2007, hitting such places as Solitude, Summit County, Steamboat, Tahoe, Big Sky, Snowbasin, and Big Sky again. Each year I say it’s the best trip ever, and truly, this year is no exception.

Ski trips come in all sorts of combinations: friends, families, ski clubs, and school groups. But the trips the Divas do once a year are truly one of a kind. Many of us don’t know one other before we meet at our final destination, which I think in itself is pretty remarkable. It takes a great measure of faith to venture from your comfortable home and spend your vacation with people you’ve never met. But it’s the interaction we have on the forum that make us feel less like strangers than like members of a community – albeit one that spreads not only across the US, but across the world. Women come from all over: Scotland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Florida, California, Washington, Pennsylvania, to name a few. After all, there are Ski Divas everywhere.

So what makes them come? And what makes these trips so great?

A shared passion: It’s not easy to find women who care as much about skiing as the Divas. I know I’ve had to tamp down my own enthusiasm so as not to drive others crazy. But at TheSkiDiva,  I’ve found kindred spirits – women I’m not boring when I talk about the attributes of a particular ski or the best technique for tackling the trees or how to make my turns better. It’s nice to know we’re not alone, and that it’s okay to go on and on about our favorite activity.

It’s a supportive, caring environment: Here’s a example: on one of our trips, a group of us decided to tackle something that some of us considered a bit difficult. As each one made their descent, the  others stood by and cheered. Yes, cheered. Not heckled or made snide comments. When one of us ended up injured this year, the others didn’t leave her forgotten on the sidelines. We hung out with her during the day, took her to the doctor’s, made her comfortable and just generally bucked her up. We were happy to do it, because that’s how we roll.

It’s a heck of a lot of fun: There’s something freeing about skiing with a group of girlfriends. You laugh a lot. You have great conversations on the lifts. You’re free of the label of girlfriend, mother, wife, caregiver. It’s just you, the mountains, the snow, and your friends. What could be better?

So rather than just go on and on about this, I thought I’d include some pictures from Diva Week. The smiles here tell more than I could in any blog post:

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Ten great gifts for Ski Divas

Sometimes it’s tough to know what to get a Ski Diva for the holidays. Ski gear can be très cher, so if you don’t want to break the bank but still leave her smiling, here are ten gift ideas for the Ski Diva in your life (If you’re a Diva, send Santa a link. He may need some help.):

 

Ski Diva necklace or earrings: What better way for a Diva to let the world know of her love for skiing than with Ski Diva jewelry. Handcrafted of sterling silver by Wenda in Vermont (not me; I’m Wendy) and available in a variety of stones, either one — or both! — makes a great gift choice. (A caveat: each of these is made to order, so if you want one for Christmas,  better order now!)

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Earrings

 

Pretty Faces DVD: Lynsey Vonn got a bit tired of always seeing guys featured in ski movies, so she went ahead and made one with just women.  I’ve seen it, and it’s a blast. The skiing’s fantastic, the scenery’s breathtaking, and even better, it demonstrates that skiing isn’t just a man’s game. I featured a review of it here, so check it out.

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Double Black, a Ski Diva Mystery: “When Stacey Curtis found a dead man on the bed, she knew it was time to get her own apartment.” How can you stop reading after a first sentence like that? Double Black features a young woman who leaves her cheating finance and moves to a Vermont ski town only to find that all’s not right in Green Mountain State. Okay, I’ll admit it — I’m the author. Available in hardback, paperback, and as a downloadable ebook.

 

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You can also get a variety of SkiDiva wear at our Ski Diva store:

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SkiLikeAGirl

 

Black Diamonds

 

Don’t know her size? No problem. Choose a hat or a mug:

Ski Diva Hat

 

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Or there’s TheSkiDiva Cooks, a collection of recipes from members of the TheSkiDiva.com. If you like to eat (and who doesn’t), pick up one of these. There’s some seriously yummy stuff in here.

 

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Happy shopping, and a very happy holiday!

 

 

 



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It’s summer. Here’s what you need.

Even though summer doesn’t start officially til June 21, we all know the real story. Once Memorial Day is over, like it or not, summer’s here.

For nearly all of us, that means no skiing for months….and months….and months. Seems like an eternity, doesn’t it? So to help you make it through the loooooong ski drought, I thought I’d have an on-line fashion show of sorts.

Introducing, for your viewing pleasure, TheSkiDiva Collection!

Okay, so I couldn’t afford to have Gisele Bundchen or one of those other grossly overpaid super-skinny supermodels  sashaying down the runway for us (did you know Gisele earned over $42 million in 2013? Holy crap, that’d buy a lot of skis). Instead, I can only rely on the headless torsos below — and your imagination. Picture yourself in one of these fabulous T-shirts:

 

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Don’t you look great?  Of course you do!

Or imagine grilling in this great apron:

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Or wearing this cap:

Ski Diva Hat

 

And to complete your ensemble, our fabulous Ski Diva necklace and earrings, available in a variety of stones:

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Earrings

 

And while you’re  got up in your new SkiDiva gear, how about a fun summer read? Might I suggest DOUBLE BLACK, a Ski Diva mystery that’d be great to read on the beach or along the pool. DOUBLE BLACK follows the adventures of Stacy Curtis, a young woman who moves to a small Vermont ski town to live the life of a ski bum, and stumbles into all sorts of exciting adventures:

Double Black

 

So where can you get all this stuff? Click on the photos above, and you’ll end up right where you can place your order. How convenient is that?

Happy summer. We can get through this.

 

 

 

 

 



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2014 Mountain Top Picks: TheSkiDiva’s Third Annual Best-Of Awards

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The Ski Divas are a passionate group. When it comes to skiing, we don’t hold back. Anyone who goes to our forum knows they can find lively discussions about ski gear, apparel, resorts, and any number of things related to skiing. And while there are as many opinions as there are Divas (we’re more than 4,000 strong), we can usually find a lot of common ground.

That’s where our Mountain Top Picks come in. Each year, we vote on the best of the best from the past season. And though there’s no awards ceremony, no fancy statuette, not even a cheesy certificate, the winners get the honor of being named a Diva favorite (they can even use this neat little logo, if they like). And really, isn’t that enough?

So now, for your reading pleasure, here are TheSkidiva.com’s selections for this year’s Mountain Top Picks.

[Drum roll here]

The winners are as follows:

Ski Gear
Favorite ski for hard snow: Volkl Charisma
Favorite ski for powder: Rossignol Savory 7
Favorite All Mountain Ski: Blizzard Black Pearl*
Favorite Ski Boot Brand: Dalbello
Favorite Ski Goggle: Smith IO/S*
Favorite Helmet Brand: Smith

Ski Apparel
Favorite Brand of Baselayers:  Icebreaker*
Favorite Brand of Socks: Smartwool*
Favorite Jacket Brand: Arcteryx
Favorite Brand of Ski Pants: Mountain Hardwear
Favorite glove or mitten: Hestra Heli Mitt

Ski Resorts
Favorite Eastern Resort: Sunday River
Favorite Western Resort: Powder Mountain
Favorite Midwestern Resort: Nubs Nob*
Favorite Resort, eastern Canada: Le Massif
Favorite Resort, western Canada: Whistler-Blackcomb
Favorite European Resort: Val Gardena
Favorite Women’s Clinic: Rippin’ Chix

*Second year in a row! For a list of our 2013 Mountain Top Picks, go here.

Congratulations to all!

 

 



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Get The Girls Out

International-women-s-day-8In case you missed it, International Women’s Day was March 8th. I know, I know….there’s a day for just about everything. International Ask A Question Day. International Buzzard Day. Dress Up Your Pet Day. And yes, these are all real. You can look them up on the internet.

But International Women’s Day is more substantive than you might think. First of all, it’s not some calendar-filler trumped up to promote this or that. It’s been around since the early 1900’s, and is actually an official holiday in many countries around the world. And second, anyone who reads my blog knows that I’m a feminist — as I think all women should be. The unfortunate fact is that women’s pay is not equal to that of our male counterparts, women are still not present in equal numbers in business or politics, and globally, women have it far worse than men in terms of education, health, and freedom from violence. It’s true that women are better off now than they’ve ever been before. But it’s also true that a lot more needs to be done, and the more attention we can give this, the better.

So how does this relate to skiing? Stay with me here, because it does.

I spent International Women’s Day doing something pretty cool: participating in an event sponsored by SheJumps.org at Magic Mountain, Vermont.

SJLogoI’ve written about SheJumps before. Started by Lynsey Dyer (I interviewed her here), Claire Smallwood, and Vanessa Pierce, SheJumps is dedicated to encouraging women to become involved in outdoor sports. If this sounds frivolous, let me assure you — it’s not. We’ve all heard about why physical activity is good for women: it reduces our risk for cancer, dementia, and osteoporosis, and decreases muscle loss. But there’s more, too. Studies show that girls and women who participate in sports have higher levels of confidence and self-esteem and lower levels of depression. They also have a more positive body image and experience higher states of psychological well being than girls and women who are not involved in  sports.*

You’d think that’d be enough to get us off the couch. Unfortunately, no. Each week, there are 1.5 million fewer women than men participating in sports or physical activity. Data show that over time, girls drop out of sports at twice the rate of boys — and at a younger age. Today’s girls are bombarded with images of external beauty instead of confident, strong female athletic role models. Peer pressure can be hard for girls at any age; when that pressure isn’t offset with strong encouragement to participate in sports and healthy physical activity, the results may lead girls to stop exercising entirely.

SheJumps.org seeks to reverse this trend with activities and educational programs geared to women and girls. In the winter, this involves events at ski areas around the country designed to get women out on the slopes. It’s a mission that’s near and dear to my heart. After all, one of the reasons I started TheSkiDiva.com was to give women skiers a way to connect with one another so they’d keep on skiing. The forum gives us a means to talk with one another about skiing in a way that we can relate to, discuss women’s gear with people who actually use it, and get the support we need to stay in the sport. Today we have more than 4,000 registered members, so it’s apparent that there are a lot of women who enjoy the site.

You might want to check out SheJumps and see what they have cooking in your area. It’s a terrific organization, it’s a worthy cause, and I encourage you to give them your support.

Besides, it’s just plain fun.

Here’s the SheJumps group at Magic (I’m fourth from the right, with a big smile on my face). Don’t you wish you’d been there?

Women at the SheJump event at Magic Mountain, VT

Women at the SheJumps event at Magic Mountain, VT

 

*Women’s Sports Foundation

 

 

 

 

 



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