Archive for 2014

Sizing Up Ski Season: How To Prepare Your Kids

Tuesday, September 9th, 2014

By: Lindsey R. McKissick
5280 Magazine 
September 9, 2014

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Last year, Loveland Ski Area opened for the season on October 17. That’s only about six weeks away, folks. While experienced skiers can usually get away with merely dusting off old boards and skis for their first day on the slopes (although, we’d recommend a bit of pre-season conditioning to prevent that dreaded calf burn after your first run), that’s not the case with kids. Frank Bulkley III, owner of Eskimo Ski & Board Shop in Centennial, gave us the lowdown on what parents should know before the snow starts falling.

5280: When should kids start skiing or snowboarding?
Frank Bulkley: The key is for kids to be 30 pounds. Ski bindings won’t release under 30 pounds, so we won’t rent until children hit that weight.

What about age?
That’s really a decision based on the child’s personality. Through talking to customers and dealing with my own kids, four seems to be a good age. For kids to enjoy getting out on the mountain, they need an attention span—and it has to be perfect conditions. You want it to be warm.

Is it important to get a specific brand of board or skis for kids?
For beginners and intermediate skiers, rental gear will cut it. The most important thing is to actually bring the child with you. Don’t guess on boot sizes because a fitted boot is the most important part.

Cold kids on the mountain can make for a long day. What’s important about the accessory gear?
Clothing is very important. There is a huge difference between ski gear and a winter coat; ski jackets need to be waterproof, have cuffs, and insulation. Secondly, buy a helmet that fits. If you get it too big, it won’t cover their ears and they’ll get cold. Also, I always suggest goggles over sunglasses to stay warmer.

The age-old question: gloves or mittens?
The warmest glove is called a mitten.

We all know children grow fast. What’s the best option for your dollar in terms of gear?
Eskimo has three options: You can rent gear for the season from $99. You can purchase gear each year through a trade-in program ($50 trade voucher each season to Eskimo), or you can rent for the day from $15. Your decisions should be based on the child’s age and ability levels. [Editor's Note: These are fairly common deals that parents can find at ski and snowboard shops along the Front Range.]

What’s your one main piece of advice for a happy ski season?
Kids don’t like their parents to teach them. Stick them in ski school.

Follow assistant editor Lindsey R. McKissick on Twitter at @LindseyRMcK.

Lynsey Dyer Is Making an All-Female Ski Movie and Here’s Why

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

By: Steve Casimiro
September 3, 2014

adventure-journal-lynsey-dyer-01Nearly three years in the making, the all-girls ski film Pretty Faces is nearly completed, and maybe soon Lynsey Dyer can take a break. But not quite yet: Dyer, one of the most acclaimed American big mountain skiers of the last decade or so, is spending long hours in the editing bay, hustling to raise the funds to get Pretty Faces over the finish line, and not sleeping a whole lot.

This is how it is with passion projects, and Faces is driven by nothing if not passion. Dyer first made her mark in the ski world at age 16, when she won the downhill gold at the Junior Olympics, and she went on to win every big mountain contest she entered, as well as taking the 2005 Freeride World Tour overall title. She was named Powder’s female skier of the year in 2011 and has appeared in dozen of magazines and films. But her treatment as a woman in the boy’s world wasn’t satisfying. As she told an interviewer last year, “I had dedicated my winters to filming for years, putting my body on the line and oftentimes wouldn’t see worthy footage ever show up in the films. That, or we’d only see quick blips from girls spread out in films, easily lost. I knew if it was happening to me it must be happening to others.”

In 2006, Dyer co-founded SheJumps, an organization devoted to encouraging girls and women to get outdoors, to find themselves through sport, and by 2010 she was starting to map the idea that would become Pretty Faces, in hopes of inspiring others to a life in the mountains, and to time in front of the camera. With completion almost in sight, I caught up with her to see how it’s going.

You’ve been in front of the camera countless times, but this is your first as director. Why make a movie? Why make this movie?

It’s been in my head for so long and I’d always expected someone to make it but when it didn’t happen I felt a responsibility to give back to the sport that gave me so much. We always see the dudes going on adventures, washing dishes, or putting it on the line in ski films to do what it takes to make skiing a priority, but we only see tiny hits of it from the ladies’ side. Young girls need to be exposed to those stories so they know “if she can do it then so can I.”

Who wouldn’t work hard try to find a way to throw all your friends into a vehicle and follow the snow on a great adventure? This film was built in part to offer that platform to all those girls who may have wanted to showcase what they could do but didn’t have the big name sponsors or resources to be filmed in the craziest places. All footage was welcome and some girls really jumped on that opportunity. We have a special film to showcase because of it.

Read More

Sugarbush Resort Launches $99 Midweek Season Pass for Baby Boomers

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

By: Sugarbush Mountain
August 19, 2014

Win Smith, president and majority owner of Sugarbush Resort in Vermont, turned sixty-five this month. To celebrate, Smith is giving a birthday present to his generation by launching a season pass product targeted at skiers and riders sixty-five and older. The Boomer Midweek Pass is a $99 midweek non-holiday season pass to Sugarbush, offering access to two mountains, 111 trails, and 16 lifts. That’s a deal even the AARP can get excited about.

A generation ago, turning sixty-five meant retirement, Medicare, and a slower pace. Smith disagrees with that notion. “When my AARP card came in the mail, I threw it in the trash. So did my friends. We do not consider ourselves ‘retired people.’ We are entering the prime years of life.”

Sugarbush, under Smith’s leadership, sees an opportunity. Many baby boomers are active travelers who have achieved a certain level of success. And they are at a place professionally and personally where they exert more control over their schedules, and can enjoy more leisure time.

The sixty-five-plus crowd, whether pursuing a second career, reaping the benefits of a more relaxed work schedule, or having officially retired, actually has the ability to ski midweek. And the midweek non-holiday experience at Sugarbush is a very desirable one: The slopes are quiet, the groomed runs can last through late morning, and the restaurants have a steady purr instead of a low roar. Smith’s $99 Boomer Midweek pass is such a great deal, it makes it easy to justify the spend.

Smith, a former president of Merrill Lynch International who found a second career in Sugarbush, skis approximately one-hundred days a season, “If I were skiing with the Boomer Midweek Pass, skiing at Sugarbush would cost me less than $1 a day.”

Not everyone in this crowd has as much energy as Smith—who also published a book recently on his experience at Merrill Lynch. However, a limited season pass for $99, when lift ticket window rates hover close to $90, makes a lot of sense.

VOLCOM LAUNCHES TRUE TO THIS VIDEO SERIES AROUND NEW BRAND MESSAGE

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

K2 Skis Partners with Slopestyle Phenom Maggie Voisin

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

By: K2 Skis
August 13, 2014

Impressive 2014 season lands Voisin a spot on K2’s elite pro team

Seattle, Wash. (Aug. 13, 2014) – Ski industry leader K2 Skis is proud to announce that slopestyle superstar Maggie Voisin will be joining the K2 family. Voisin is the future of freeskiing; at just 15 years old she is already one of the top women slopestyle skiers in the world. Now that Voisin has teamed up with K2 she will have both the support and the innovative ski technology she needs to continue progressing the sport.

“I am extremely excited to have Maggie join the K2 family and the Ski Alliance,” said Alyssa Clark, K2 Skis’ Marketing Coordinator and Women’s Ski Team Manager, who grew up in the same small Montana town as Voisin. “Not only does she exceed her age with her talent on snow, Maggie is also very mature for being just fifteen. She has a carefree, fun personality, which is a necessary ingredient to being a part of the K2 crew. There are big things to come from Maggie and we couldn’t be more stoked to support her on her journey!”

Maggie Voisin, who grew up in Whitefish, Mont., began her ski career as part of the local race team at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Pressure from her brother led Maggie to change her focus to freestyle, and since she made the switch she has accumulated an impressive number of major awards while garnering international recognition.

When Voisin arrived on the freestyle skiing scene two years ago she immediately made waves by winning the women’s slopestyle competition at the 2013 Association of Freeskiing Professionals World Championships in Whistler, B.C. Her first competitive season was so impressive that ESPN named her Rookie of the Year in 2013. During Voisin’s 2014 season she became the youngest skier to ever medal at the X Games when she took home the silver in slopestyle. Voisin was named to the inaugural U.S. Olympic slopestyle team, and if not for an ankle injury that sidelined her during the games she would have been the youngest American to compete in the Olympics since 1972.

“I couldn’t be happier to be joining an amazing company like K2,” said Maggie. “They have always shown a really strong commitment to women’s skiing and I absolutely love their skis. I can’t wait to get my new K2 gear on the snow this season!”

About K2 Skis
Seeking fun through innovation since 1962, K2’s all-mountain philosophy and technological advancements continue to lead the ski industry. Whether in the park and pipe, on resort groomers or deep in the backcountry, K2 is all about having fun while skiing the entire mountain. The brand’s progressive ingenuity and comprehensive approach to maximizing skiers’ experiences and performance in any condition is evident throughout its collection of award-winning products that not only include skis, but also ski boots, helmets, goggles and backcountry safety tools. For more information on K2’s latest ski products, dealers and team activities, visit K2skis.com.

Top 7 Ski & Snowboard Camps of Summer 2014

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

By: Warren Miller Entertainment
June 4, 2014

10387044_10152217771598719_4910222016980519814_o

For most passionate skiers, jetting off to winter while the northern hemisphere languishes in the heat of summer is both an exotic luxury and a non-negotiable, must-do bucket list item. When it’s your lifelong dream or if you just need a little more inspiration to dig out your gear while everyone else heads to the beach (again), ski camps of all sorts abound, and not just for the kids.

We’ve rounded up and broken down a few of the most highly regarded camps, for all ages and from far-flung ones to those you don’t even need a passport to access. Not only do summer ski camps offer a welcome taste of winter, but a chance to choose your own adventure, up your game, and ski with some of the industry’s most accomplished athletes, including NASTAR athletes and Warren Miller Entertainment film stars, up close and in person.

1. Ingrid Backstrom’s Women’s Freeride Ski Camp, August 1-8, 2014
Chillan, Chile
For women only, all ages, advanced intermediate or higher

For the ladies only (sorry boys), Ingrid Backstrom is holding her popular freeride and backcountry ski camp for the third year in a row. This year, Ingrid and organizing partner PowderQuest have moved the location from La Parva, outside of Santiago, to the spectacular southern Chile ski resort of Nevados de Chillan. Backstrom, who will again be coaching with fellow professional skier Leah Evans (founder of Girls Do Ski), says that Chillan is one of her favorite places to ski in Chile. Famous for powder skiing through mossy, old growth forests, abundant untracked lines in both the off piste and resort-accessed backcountry, Nevados is a perfect place to up skills in gorgeous, playful terrain, so that you, like Ingrid, can effortlessly and gracefully outski the boys. As an added bonus, thermal springs dot the landscape, and South America’s best ski bar – SnowPub – awaits in Las Trancas.

2. SASS Global Travel: Sessions run from August 2 – September 6, 2014
Bariloche, Argentina
For ski and snowboard, adults, men, women, separate under-18 sessions, advanced intermediate or higher

Sass Global travel is known for running some of the best and most adventurous backcountry ski and snowboard camps in the heart of Argentina’s stunning lake district. The company focuses improving skills out in the Alta Patagonia backcountry, and is based at the Cerro Catedral ski area. SASS gives clients an extensive choice of dates, unlike most other camps in South America that only run one session per season. Available programs run from 8 days to 36 days, and offer something for both the under-18 crowd as well popular adult sessions. SASS’s staff roster includes male and female ski and snowboard pros, guides, including WME’s Michelle Parker, who says the camps are so fun to coach, the terrain so fabulous, and the other coaches and clients and so wonderful, she can’t imagine doing anything else with her summers.

 

Read More

Snowboard Sustainability – Made in Vermont

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

By: Roger Lohr
April 24, 2014

Burton Snowboards in Burlington, VT is working to make snowboarding sustainable well into the future. Burton is the dominant snowboard product company, and this commitment to sustainability can be an example for other businesses in the snow-sports world to emulate.

Two fronts for sustainable efforts include an environmental focus on the full impact of Burton’s operations such as product design, development, manufacturing, packaging, and shipping, and a social focus on the people who support Burton, including factory workers, employees, dealers, riders, and communities.

The environmental focus is generally known in the world of business where each decision takes root with an eco-influence. Since 2008, Burton has focused on improving not just the use of sustainable materials, but the process as a whole. From the production of snowboards and outerwear to luggage and apparel, Burton incorporates a sustainable perspective everywhere possible.

For example, recycled plastic bottles are transformed into pellets spun into thread to create fabric. The bluesign Restricted Substance List has been applied across all Burton factories and product teams are working to get as many bluesign-approved fabrics as possible into Burton lines in future seasons.

In 2012, Burton unveiled an enhanced manufacturing code of conduct and an extensive restricted substances list associated with the company’s finished goods factories and key materials suppliers. Audits of Burton suppliers are now being conducted to evaluate and address Burton’s social and environmental compliance with applicable global regulations and industry “best practices.” A social compliance policy is in place that ensures contracted factories uphold Burton’s standards and meet targets for continuous improvement, and supplier contract clauses deal directly with working conditions.

Ali Kenney, Burton’s global sustainability director commented “We’re seeing great progress throughout our supply chains. We’ve been able to reduce packaging dramatically, we have factories all over the world collaborating with us on an environmental facilities assessment, and we even have factories coming to us with new ideas around sustainability.” Burton has also included an employee-run environmental committee dubbed EPIC (Environmental Protection, Integrity, Conservation) that focuses on fun ways to improve the company’s impact on the environment.

Burton has placed in the top two spots in the Vermont alternative-commuting challenge and has received the silver ranking for a Bicycle Friendly Business by a national bicycle organization. The facility has showers, a secure bike shelter called “The Wheelhouse” and 15 loaner bikes for anyone to use around town. Community-building experiences, like free bagels for alternative commuters, group rides to work, and an annual competition for the most creative commute encourage, green commuting. A partnership with the local transportation agency offers free bus passes to all employees. Carpoolers get preferred parking with the slogan “Two or more, closer to the door. Carpool, fool.”

There are 18 composting and recycling stations throughout Burton’s headquarters and a group sorts through all of it to determine the progress toward zero waste and educate employees. Organic vegetable plots are available on site for employees, who want space to grow their own. More than 6% of all employees tend plots.

In the mornings, Burton employees are offered complimentary organic fruit from a local food co-op and organic coffee and espresso from a Vermont coffee roaster. They’ve also partnered with a local company that supplies locally made organic hand soaps to employees.

Read more

How to Store and Protect Your Skis/Snowboard in the Off-Season

Monday, March 24th, 2014

By: Willi’s Ski Shop
March 24, 2014

One of the most common questions we field around this time of year is how to properly care for and store ski equipment in the off-season. This is an important topic as it has an impact on the condition of your skis before your fall tune up, as well as the longevity of your equipment in general.   In this post we will cover where you should store your gear, how you should prep it for storage and why it is important to do so.

What is a Summer Tune Up?

Willi’s will complete any repairs that are needed, grind your base, sharpen the edges and apply a summer wax. A summer wax is when we melt wax onto your skis/snowboard and completely coat the base/edges. Unlike a typical wax we DO NOT remove the excess. It is instead left on your base as a protective barrier against drying out, corrosion and dirt. In the fall come back to see us (and check out all the cool new stuff we’re getting in!) to have the excess wax removed from your skis. There is no additional charge aside from the original summer tune and you will be ready to head out on the hill!

Why Do I Need a Summer Tune Up?

Preventative maintenance is an essential part of making sure your winter gear lasts a long time. Keeping the edges rust free and preventing the base from drying out will help ensure your equipment has a long happy life. Dry bases can be ground down to fresh material and rust can be removed from your edges, however pitted or deep rust may not all be able to be removed. Also any rust on the edges means we will have to grind your edges more than we would have to for a normal sharpening. The same goes for an overly dry or worn base. If we need to grind a thicker layer of material away, ultimately it will shorten the life of your skis/snowboard. The best way to ensure longevity of your equipment is to make sure that you are taking measures to protect it during the off-season, as well as during the winter!

Where Should You Store Your Skis/Snowboard?

Ski/Snowboard storage location is an important part of the equation when it comes to keeping your equipment in the best condition possible. Ideally you want to keep your gear somewhere inside your house, in an area that is both temperature and moisture regulated. A cool dry place such as a bedroom, coat closet, or displayed in your man cave are great locations. You want to avoid leaving your gear in a garage, attic, shed, backyard or unfinished basement. These types of locations will not adequately protect your gear from rust and other issues that may result from too much moisture. If a storage location is too hot, it can lead to de-lamination of your skis or snowboard by heating up the glue that binds all the layers of the gear together.

Ski Storage Do-Dont

 How?

Another frequently asked question about off-season storage is how to store your gear. The first item to address on that topic is should your equipment be standing up or lying down. Either way is actually fine! If you want to lay your skis/snowboard down and slide it under the bed, that is a perfectly acceptable solution. If you would like to stand them up in the corner of your bedroom or in your closet that is also a great way to store them. The main trick is to make sure that your gear is not covered up by piles of boxes, other sports equipment or anything else that may bend the skis/snowboard out of shape.

Read More

New York Announces Launch of Ski Bus

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

By: SAM Info
March 11, 2014

New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the launch of the ‘I Ski NY’ Bus, a new, dedicated bus line to 13 upstate ski mountains from New York City and Toronto to begin service for the 2014-2015 winter ski season.

Currently, only two mountains—Hunter and Windham Mountains—are consistently serviced through bus transportation out of New York City. Both of those mountains have established relationships with New York City tour operators to bring busloads of skiers and snowboarders upstate on weekday and weekend trips.

Under the new plan, the State will provide bus service to 13 different mountains from New York City. Additionally, when the established New York City tour operators are not going to Hunter or Windham, the I Ski NY Bus will make the trip. The plan also includes a secondary market from Toronto to expose western New York ski areas to the same transportation opportunity.

Trips from New York City will be offered to 13 different mountains:

In the Hudson Valley/Adirondacks/Catskills regions: Thunder Ridge, Belleayre, Plattekill, Hunter, Windham, West, Gore, Whiteface and Catamount Mountains. In the Central New York region: Greek Peak, Toggenburg, Labrador and Song Mountains

Trips from Toronto will be offered to six mountains in Western New York: Bristol, Holiday Valley, Titus, Kissing Bridge, Peek n Peak and Swain Mountains.

“New York is home to some of the best winter resorts in the world, and with more operating ski areas than any other state in the nation, the region is the perfect winter getaway,” Governor Cuomo said. “With some of the best ski slopes, snowmobiling tracks, hiking trails, and scenic views, we want New Yorkers to know they should stay in New York and all out-of-state visitors to feel welcome to partake in all that Upstate has to offer.”

“We think this new program will have a positive impact on our overall skier visits,” SANY president Scott Brandi told SAM. “Making it easy and affordable to get to the slopes is our primary goal.”

A Snowboarding Event You’ve Never Seen Before

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

By: Larry Earvin
March, 4, 2014

red-bull-event-imageRed Bull Double Pipe will be 180’ wide and 550’ long, making it the largest halfpipe ever built.

With janky halfpipe conditions being a red hot topic in snowboarding right now, Red Bull has decided to take snowboarding to the next level. In the coming weeks Snow Park Technologies will be building two perfectly groomed halfpipes side-by-side. The event will be the first of its kind in snowboarding.

March 19th-23rd Red Bull Double Pipe will take over Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, Colorado.

Dual pipes will allow the riders to transfer from pipe to pipe utilizing all that is available to them including rails, wallrides, channels and other unique features. Not only will the riders be encouraged to use both pipes they will also be judged on their style, creativity and overall use of the course.

Double Pipe Dimensions

The Red Bull Double Pipe in total will be 180 feet wide, 550 feet long and 22 feet tall with an approximate 4 foot wide spine located in between each pipe.

Read More