Archive for 2012

More than 80,000 Youth and Families Introduced to Winter Recreation in the Month of January

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

By: Ali Kelley, Deputy Associate Director for Let’s Move Outside!
February 29, 2012

This January marked the fourth annual Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM). The month-long effort aims to get children and adults of all experience levels on the slopes for an active start to the New Year.  LSSM began in 2009 with a few select programs and has since grown to include more than 300 ski resorts in 33 states.  Throughout the month of January, these resorts provided introductory ski and snowboard lessons to more than 80,000 children and adults across the country for free or at a reduced price.

A highlight of this year’s LSSM was an event in the rugged mountains of North Carolina.  On January 28th, more than 150 young people from Knollwood Elementary and the Whitehead Boys & Girls Club in Atlanta, GA visited Cataloochee Ski and Snowboard Resort in North Carolina’s Scenic Maggie Valley. The Southern Snow Seekers Club sponsored the event, providing the students with exciting opportunities to get active outside and learn new skills. “Our trip showcased snow sports as a fun and enjoyable way to move and stay healthy, even if there’s a chill in the air,” commented Kimberly King, SSS President.

LSSM is very popular in the Rocky Mountains.  This January, the Colorado Ski Country USA First Class program celebrated its second year, giving more than 800 5th graders across the state the chance to try skiing or snowboarding for the first time. Participating resorts provided each student with three free lift tickets and one free lesson. According to one parent, the program has “really helped us bond – it’s become our “thing.” And in a time in your kid’s life when it’s only getting harder to “hang out,” this program really brought us together as a family.”

Winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and sledding are great ways to get moving outside during the cold winter months. As one LSSM fan said, “humans were not meant to hibernate!”

LSSM is made possible by the support of national, regional and state associations, retail organizations, product suppliers, and individual resorts across the company. Next year, LSSM hopes to expand its program to reach even more kids and families in every part of the country.

Pro Kits: Joss Christensen’s Gear

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

By: Shay Williams, Freeskier Magazine
February 21, 2012

Triple threat Joss Christensen has steadily been making waves throughout the competition scene. One of three guys who compete in all three disciplines regularly, Joss is busy jetting around the world, stacking AFP points as he hunts down Gus Kenworthy for an overall title this year.

For the Park City-native it all starts with the sticks, and for that, Joss skis Fischer‘s Guru because it’s “amazing for for both pipe and slope. It’s super light and agile.” Coupled with the skis are the Fischer X17 bindings and the Soma X-110 boot which he likes as it “allows for more natural movement and power when jumping.” Joss is new to Fischer’s program as of last fall, but he’s been making good use of the gear.

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Nashoba Valley still thriving as local ski area

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

February 9, 2012
By: Tony Chamberlain
Boston Globe

Family-run location keeps luring visitors back

WESTFORD – Al Fletcher likes to tell a story about his daughter, Pam, who at the time was not yet 3. When the lifts closed at the end of one day, she threw a tantrum demanding that they be started up again so she could continue skiing.

Since Al owned the ski area, Nashoba Valley, the lift operator called him to ask if he should indulge the little girl.

“Hell, no,’’ Al remembered saying. No one can quite remember how long the tantrum went on. But everyone knows how that girl grew up to be a national champion ski racer, World Cup winner, Olympian, and television commentator, a career arc undoubtedly fueled by the passion that tried to get that ski lift restarted so many years ago.

Now Pam Fletcher, “Fletch’’ to her former teammates, is back at the ski area Al founded nearly a half-century ago, and that is carrying on its original mission, catering to families. Run by the family that founded it (Pam’s brother, Al, bought it from their father), she serves as events marketing and sales manager.

Though he says he’s retired, 80-year-old Al Sr. looks in on things a couple of days a week.

“I was selfish,’’ he said of when he arrived in the area and bought a tract of land with the 248-foot vertical hill in the middle, with a couple of pleasingly steep faces.

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10 Winter Getaways to Suit Every Age

Wednesday, February 1st, 2012

By: NY Times
February 1, 2012

SUDDENLY it’s the end of January and you realize the children will be off for Presidents’ Day next month — an ideal opportunity to squeeze in a short family vacation.

But coming so soon after the holidays, you don’t want to travel too far. After all, there is still spring break and summer vacation to plan. Ideally, your destination should be somewhere you can reach in an easy drive or on a nonstop flight and that will have enough activities to occupy the children — or at least wear them out — so the grown-ups can actually relax and have some fun, too.

How about Scottsdale, Ariz., where children can enjoy mornings spent horseback riding cowboy-style or exploring nature trails in the Sonoran Desert, followed by a mellow afternoon at the pool for the grownups and gallery hopping in the evening? Or go your separate ways — the children to ski school, while you hit the spa— in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. Want something you will all enjoy together? Explore ancient Mayan temples in Mexico, bike along Miami’s shore or ice-trek through gorges in Banff, Alberta. Since you don’t have time to research all of that, I’ve done much of the heavy lifting for you. Here are 10 family-friendly winter escapes you can run off to for a weekend or longer at a range of prices.

Banff, Alberta

For the Kids: Spotting wolf tracks on snowshoe tours, yelling “mush!” from a dogsled and trying out gentle slopes for beginner skiers and boarders. For ages 8 and up, there are also ice walks through frozen gorges. Banff Adventures Unlimited offers four-hour ice walks through Grotto Canyon, past unusual rock formations, Native rock art and icefalls (40 Canadian dollars for children 8 to 12; 62 dollars for adults; Canadian dollars are about the same in value as U.S. dollars).

For the Grown-Ups: Three ski areas (Mount Norquay, the Lake Louise Ski Area and Sunshine Village) in a Unesco World Heritage site, Banff National Park. After a day on the mountain, adults can enjoy some farm-to-table dining or soak their sore muscles in hot springs. Family rates for two adults and two children (17 and younger) at Banff Upper Hot Springs, where temperatures are kept between a steamy 98 and 104 degrees, are 22.50 dollars.

Where to Stay: The Douglas Fir Resort & Chalets, about four minutes from downtown Banff, has two indoor water slides and offers rooms with full kitchens and fireplaces, from 109 dollars a night including free unlimited use of the Town of Banff shuttle bus. The Fairmont Chateau in Lake Louise, just outside Banff, offers supervised activities in their playroom during ski season for ages 3 and up. Rates start at 279 dollars a night; children 5 and under eat free.

Getting There: Nonstops under four hours are available from major United States cities including Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Chicago and Phoenix, into Calgary International Airport, less than two hours from most ski resorts.

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Tuesday Trick Tip

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

By: Henrik Lampert
Freeskier Magazine
January 10, 2012

Freeskier Trick Tip: Zero spin with Colby James West — Presented by Contour

This week the talented Colby James West gives you some tips on how to stomp the zero spin. This stunt may look easy, but it’s tricker than one might imagine. That being said, get the word and give it a whirl.

Freeskier Trick Tip: Zero spin with Colby James West from Freeskier Magazine on Vimeo.

Kevin Pearce rides again, thanks to family

Friday, January 6th, 2012
The Daily Nightly
Kevin Tibbles writes

LUDLOW, VT. – The first time I met Kevin Pearce he was flying high. It was the run-up to the Vancouver Olympics and this young kid from Vermont was poised to take the podium on snowboarding’s half pipe for the U.S. Olympic team.

He was a good looking, quiet young man who seemed to have his head screwed on straight. One of the most memorable things he told me was that his strong family bonds helped him keep his feet on the ground in spite of all the publicity and promotion that comes with being a world-class athlete.

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Then things went terribly wrong.

During a training run on Dec. 31, 2009 in Park City, Utah Kevin missed a new maneuver called the “Double Cork” – he slammed his head into the side of the icy course and was left in critical condition. The impact was so severe he even cracked his helmet.

Suffering from traumatic brain injury, doctors placed Kevin in a medically induced coma so his brain could heal. After about a month in critical care, he was moved to Craig Hospital in Denver, a world renowned rehabilitation center that specializes in treating traumatic brain injuries. He suffered severe memory loss, impaired vision and had to learn to walk again.

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US Freeskiing names ski pipe roster

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

By Devon O’Neil
ESPN Action Sports

January 5, 2012

The road to the inaugural Olympic halfpipe skiing gold medal rounded another corner Wednesday, as U.S. Freeskiing — the newly formed arm of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association — named nine athletes to its first Pro Halfpipe Team. This comes on the heels of the IOC’s decision in April to add ski halfpipe to the Olympic program for 2014.

Winter X Games champions Simon Dumont and Jen Hudak headlined the team, which was selected based on competition results from last winter. They are joined by David Wise, Torin Yater-Wallace, Gus Kenworthy, Tucker Perkins, Devin Logan, Jess Cumming and Brita Sigourney. Mike Jankowski, the halfpipe coach for the U.S. Snowboard Team, is working in a similar capacity with skiers until more funding allows the organization to name a coach.

“At this point, my role is to be a leader,” Jankowski said, noting some of the skiers have their own technical coaches. “I’m here to get this group together and create a team environment of success similar to what we have in snowboarding.”

The U.S. isn’t the first country to form an official national ski halfpipe team. France’s includes Winter X athletes Xavier Bertoni, Kevin Rolland, Thomas Krief and Benoit Valentin and Canada recently announced the members of the Canadian Ski Halfpipe Team.

The U.S. skiers attended an orientation camp this week at USSA headquarters in Park City, Utah. Among other activities, the athletes had blood drawn to “make sure everyone’s operating at an optimal level,” Jankowski said. They also were tested for fitness on a stationary bike and for strength, power and mobility by the sports science staff at the team’s Center of Excellence. Members of the USSA’s high-performance staff will analyze the results and come up with individual programs to optimize each athlete’s performance next winter, Jankowski said.

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Burton launches Burton Mountain Festival tour

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

By: PRESS RELEASE
January 3, 2012

All New Burton Mountain Festival Coming Soon to a Resort Near You

BURLINGTON, Vt. (December 22, 2011) For the first time ever, Burton is launching the Burton Mountain Festival tour, a completely new experience that offers riders a full day of FREE on-snow entertainment, including Burton 2012 product demos, live music, sponsor giveaways, mini parks for the smallest snowboarders and amateur snowboard contests at select stops.

Presented by MINI, the Burton Mountain Festival kicks off on December 30th at Copper Mountain and then will travel on to nine additional resorts around the US, which are all listed below.

Dates Location

Dec 30–Jan 1 Copper Mountain, CO*

Jan 6–8 Mammoth Mountain, CA*

Jan 14–16 Mt. Hood Meadows, OR*

Jan 20–22 Park City Mountain Resort, UT

Feb 3–5 Northstar, CA*

Feb 10–12 Keystone, CO

Feb 18–20 Boyne Highlands, MI

Feb 24–26 Waterville Valley, NH*

Mar 2–4 Killington, VT*

Mar 16–18 Mountain Creek, NJ

*Features a Burton Pro-Test amateur snowboard competition.

Burton Mountain Festival stops will include up to four key elements: Burton Test Ride, Riglet Parks, Pro-Test and live music for an entire day of good times. And while each festival stop will be unique, the foundation of the festival is the Burton Test Ride program, which will be at all 10 stops.

Test Ride is where virtually the entire 2012 Burton hardgoods line will be on tap for riders to test at absolutely no charge. Riders can try out a variety of boards, boots and bindings to get a feel for their ultimate set-up.

In addition to Test Ride, six of the Burton Mountain Festival stops (noted with an asterisk above) will have a Pro-Test event, which is an amateur snowboard competition for men and women featuring halfpipe and slopestyle contests that will award a total of $7000 at each stop.

At every Burton Pro-Test event, riders can also win four wildcard spots to compete in the US Open pre-qualifiers, and all Pro-Test events are 4Star TTR World Snowboard Tour events. A few of the Pro-Test competitions will be extra amazing, including the stops at Killington and Northstar where the contest will run through the Burton Stash parks.

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How-To Tuesday

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

By: hondo, TransWorld SNOWboarding
January 3, 2012

How To: Alley-Oop Backside Rodeo to Fakie With JJ Thomas

Time to take your pipe tricks to the next level. Let JJ Thomas teach you this rad trick. If you can get this one, your buddies will be so jealous.

How To: Is Presented by NIKE

How To: Alley-Oop Backside Rodeo to Fakie With JJ Thomas

For More How To’s check out TransWorld SNOWboarding’s 20 Tricks at your local shop or on iTunes right HERE

How cool would it be to travel gear bag-free but still get to ride your own setup?

Monday, January 2nd, 2012

January 2, 2012

Ship Your Gear

Navigating the airport with all your stuff, craning your neck to see if it makes it up the conveyor belt to the plane, and waiting for it to come down the “Special” luggage chute at your destination are never fun. How cool would it be to travel gear bag-free but still get to ride your own setup? Save time, money and worry—Ship Your Gear.

Last year, FedEx® introduced the Ship Your Gear program to help you avoid baggage fees and the hassle. As baggage charges from airlines increase, it’s now more expensive to fly with your gear than ever.

SIA Special discount

SnowSports Industries America (SIA) has negotiated a consumer discount on shipping of up to 16% off select FedEx Express® services, up to 8% off select FedEx Ground® services and up to 15% FedEx Ground service to Canada processed through FedEx Ship Manager® at fedex.com or FedEx Ship Manager® Software. This program is open to consumers eligible for a U.S. based FedEx account. To enroll, visit fedex.com/shipyourgear. You can also ask your local shop if they participate in the program. They can help pack up, fill out the paperwork and take payment from you right there.

*Some airlines do not charge for a first bag and 3-5 checked bag can be as high as $125 depending on the airline.

FedEx Ground Sample List Rates

All sample rates* are based on a standard ski/snowboard bag (72″ x 12″ x 8″, 25 lbs and may change at ship date. Rates may changes due to surcharges and other fees.

FedEx Rates - Snowlink