Monday, March 31, 2008

Bridger Bowl Extends 2007 - 2008 Season!


We are pleased to announce that Bridger Bowl will be adding 6 customer appreciation days to the 2007-08 season. This extended operating schedule will include 2 closure days when Bridger Bowl will be closed to the general public on April 9-10. The regular season with full mountain operations and services will end Sunday, April 6, 2008. Beginning Monday April 7th, Bridger Bowl will have 4 lifts operating (Snowflake, Powder Park, Bridger and Pierre's Knob) with skier services available in Jim Bridger Lodge only. There will be limited snow sports lessons and no Playcare starting April 11th. Season passes will be honored the same as during the regular season. All adult lift tickets will be $25. The final day of the season will be Monday, April 14, 2008.

Starting April 7th, snow reports will be posted starting at 7:00 a.m. daily on the snowphone at 586-2389. For automated snow and weather information, 24 hours a day, visit

With fantastic snow conditions, a 100 inch base depth and more winter weather in the forecast, the board, management and staff looks forward to celebrating one of the best season's ever at Bridger Bowl.

For More Information, Contact:

Doug Wales: Marketing Director


I Passed my Level 2!!

WOW, what an incredible weekend. I am completely exhausted. I passed my level 2, and I have great pics, but I'm working with Jill right now on her performance plan for D team tryouts, so I'll have to post tomorrow. I am officially going 100 miles an hour right now!!

Training at Big Sky tomorrow and Wed with my FAVORITE trainer, Squatty, (YAY!) and then taking the level 3 Thurs and Fri!

Cross your fingers!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Please Feed The Beast!

So, the season at Bridger is ending shortly, which means the kids are with a sitter at almost $500/wk. Gulp. I've paid for my exams (yes, both of them, I've decided to attend the 3!!) but I still have to pay for travel to Aspen, Vail, Snowbird, and the second half of Academy. It doesn't look like I will be able to swing Mammoth, as my family can't come with me, and my traveling partners can't afford to go.

I'm gonna try and get some stuff up on Ebay this week, but if anyone has any ideas for fundraising, or babysitting, let me know! We are SO close!!!

Anyone wanna buy a painting? Or need a sculpture?? Or want me to give the performance talk?

Thanks for your help and suggestions!!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Gave Self Carpal Tunnel. one handed blogging.

Ow. Five days sick on the couch working on my presentation literally gave me gnarly carpal tunnel! It hurts so much its waking me UP! Good God. So, short posts for now. Skied Big Sky with Ethan today, too fun. Got to ski hard for a bit with Jill, and it was lovely. Stayed on my feet, am starting to feel better, almost like I did the day before my break thru with Charlie. Five days to get on the other side of the learning curve again. Excited to travel and give my talk, which went very well at Bridger. Nervous about money and travel, we are getting broke from all the baby sitting I am using to train. Sad not to live amongst big extended family!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Go Time: Articles related to Performance Talk Posted

Rather than printing out a bunch of copies to hand out, I've posted related articles from coaching skating and climbing, and posted them on the sidebar. Feedback is always appreciated, and thanks for visiting and reading!

Anyone going to Lost Trail March 29 and 30?

I am looking for rideshare and hotel to split. Leaving night of the 28th, returning night of the 30th.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Bootfitter of the Year coming to Bridger Bowl!

We have a preliminary schedule for Brent Amsbury of Park City Pedorthics to come to Bridger Bowl the weekend of March 29 and 30!

Come get a consultation ($35) and see the WONDERS he can do for you!! If you'd like an appointment, email right away as spaces are limited.

We love this man so much that we've gone back to Salt Lake THREE times this year! Once for me, once for Shannon, once for Alisa, and we are all THRILLED with the results. To read about my bootfitting sessions with Brent, click here, then scroll down one post.

Hell Froze Over Today!

Backcountry Blog: Backcountry Adventure from customers, Gear Reviews and Outdoor Industry scuttlebutt for Backcountry addicts

Check out this great post!

My first contribution to ABCs of skiing: Why do my thighs burn when I ski?

Visit here to see the answer on ABCs of skiing, or read below, and let me know what you think!

The short and most probable answer is that you are "in the back seat". Its possible to be in the back seat even when you are pushing as hard as you can on the cuffs of your boots. If you break at the waist and stick your bottom out, or bend at the knees to drop your seat lower, like sitting in a chair, you are engaging your quads.

Try this exercise. Stand in your boots. Stand up just as tall as you can. Now, drop your heels down into your boots. Then, relax your shins against the fronts of your boots, naturally. Now, tuck your tailbone under just a titch to take any sway out of your back. Now, pretend like someone just punched you in your stomach, allowing your spine to curve just a bit. Elbows go in front of torso, hands outside of elbows.

WHEW! You should be in a good dynamic, strong posture now. You should have an angle of about 15 degrees in your lower leg, and it should match the angle of your back from the hips up. Your bottom should be right over your feet, and you should feel even pressure all along the bottoms of your feet.

If you feel your thighs, try thinking of your femur as a line. If, looking down, the line of your femur is pointing from hip, to knee, to any place in FRONT of your toe piece of your binding, your thighs are probably engaged, and you are probably slightly back. Try pointing the line that your femur makes from your hip to your knee and then right AT your toe piece of your binding. Now your flex and athletic stance are coming from the ankle and knee, rather than your waist and hip.

Remember that forces are generated in each turn, and that you are constantly striving to get back into balance over your feet, right over your skis. Muscularly resist the urge to get dumped in the back seat at the end of each turn, and you will find yourself with less work to get back in the middle, neutral, ready position.

Let me know if this helps, and feel free to visit for more info!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Kate to give Performance talk at Bridger, Aspen, and Snowbird!

I'm so excited! I will be giving my favorite talk for the early morning clinic at Bridger on Friday! I am super excited about that, and then, even better, I get to travel to Snowbird and to Aspen and give it to them as well! Can you EVEN imagine?? How exciting!

The talk is about tactics and tricks to set yourself up to feel comfortable, calm, and focused in performance situations, if that's standing in front of a camera, an examiner or selector, or just standing at the top of a run that wants to spank you!

Sweeny DOES pull it off!

Sweeny Almost Pulls it off!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

She Can be Taught! Learning to suck less in the bumps at Snowbird

I want to write a longer post about both of these things, the carve and the bumps, but Its 2am and we have an early morning clinic! So here is a quick summary which I will expand on later:

I pop in the bumps. My hands fly up, my steering move is too quick, single footed, and I am not moving in the direction of my new turn. Hence, I am constantly getting compressed and flying over the handlebars.

Rob gave me a great progression to fix this:
Whitepass turns on the groomer.
Whitepass turns in the bumps.
Allow the compression/absorption phase to be what draws your old downhill ski onto its outside edge.
Phase out the whitepass.
As your absorption phase happens, allow your body to cross your skis over the bump, pulling you onto your new outside edge of the new inside ski. This takes trust and commitment, but is super key to making the move less abrupt.
Use your pole plant to stop your rotation like you would in a short swing.

In this video, I think you can see the top two turns are my old style turns, and I kind of go down the progression, until the last six turns or so are smoother, and I have probably the best ski to snow contact yet! I'll post a bump video from the day before as soon as I get a chance, so you can see it before the 20 minute progression that we did. TOO FUN!!

She Can Be Taught! Short Radius turns at Snowbird

WOW, this is A LOT more fun than it used to be! Reilly taught me how to steer, Charlie Stocker taught me how to rotate my femurs to create higher edge angles and to draw my heel up near my butt to shorten the inside leg, Rob gave me a pole plant, and Josh put the whole thing together simply and efficiently in a way that made total sense. Now, I have a turn that I can start to USE and play with. There is still a long way to go, but its getting better! Thanks for all the help, guys!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Level 3 Tasks: One Ski Turns 3

Level 3 Tasks: Short swing turns 2

Level 3 Tasks: Short swing turns

In Salt Lake!

Hey there! Alisa, Shannon and I are in Salt Lake City, getting Alisa's boots canted to undo her massive knock knee issue. We skied today at Snowbird, and although Shannon had to stay in the hotel (she has the ick), Alisa and I ROCKED it with four hours of side slips with a turn in a corridor. Yes, indeedy do, we are that insane.

It was actually VERY cool, because Lis worked on getting her skis to move simultaneously and on finishing her turns, and WOWIE the picture is different! Taking the turn apart that miniutely was amazing, for me as well, and it set us up to ski our buns off when we got Rob in the afternoon.

Lucky for us, we got him all to ourselves! (Well, this very cool guy, Greyson, a race coach and Atomic rep was there as well). Rob gave me HUGE help in the bumps (whitepass turns in the bumps anyone?) and we are going to ski with him again tomorrow. Shan is gonna make it out on the hill as well, and I am going to pretend that I DIDN"T catch her cold. Rock on!!

Photos of Alisa's boot fitting, Shannon on the Rocker Board, and client pics and photos coming soon, thanks for your patience!!!

Level 3 Tasks: Charelston Javelin Insanity

Level 3 Task: Bridger Candidates skiing no pole medium radius turns in the bumps.

Level 3 Tasks: One Ski Turns

Saturday, March 8, 2008

What a Day! Ruby Scraper Award, big skiing breakthrough!

WOW, what a day. First of all, we had our morning meeting, and I won our Ruby Scraper award! Every month, Dave and Bonnie give out an award to an outstanding employee, and today, I was recognized for being encouraging to people to train! YAY! It was really cool, because sometimes I think people think I am crazy or annoying with my whole obsessive training pathology, so it was really really cool for my boss to say "Good Job!" about it. I feel loved!

Next, Karen gave a great talk about teaching in the Affective Domain, all about really reaching your students when they are being affected by their emotional mind. I love that topic!

Then, I had my Mitey Mites, who are really doing well, and I took them into jump city and we watched the National Slolom race, and then we learned how to carve! And they DID it! And one of them actually THANKED me for teaching him how to ski better!

THEN, I got to eat lunch with my kids and Tom in Playcare, and THEN I got to go back out on the Elans into Charlie Stocker's next clinic. From 1 - 4, about, we were out working on all kinds of stuff, and at the end of the day, I had a HUGE breakthrough! YES! Why does this always happen with 10 minutes left to pratice? It was awesome. I will make a little video about it tomorrow.

Tomorrow: Waffles, ski with Bodhi, race clinic, exam scoring clinic, then straight to Salt Lake City to ski with Rob Sogard for three days and to get Alisa's boots done!

NCAA Skiing Results Posted at Skiing in the Shower

The Championship Slalom is happening at Bridger Bowl today, and you can get all the news and results right here! look in the sidebar on the right for NCAA news and updates, and get out to see the race if you can!!

Friday, March 7, 2008

(In the words of MacDaddy...) Who was that Righteous PSIA Dude??

(Charlie Stocker shows us effective movement patterns)

(Josh and Rick work on effective movement patterns)

We had a GREAT all day clinic today with Charlie Stocker from Vail. He'll be here for the next few days, and it is SO exciting to have some great visiting pros here! YES! Thank you Bonnie for putting me in as many of the clinics as you can spare me for, that is LOVELY and sweet and exciting!!

Today's all day clinic was on moving along the length of the ski! Familiar territory that can't be visited enough.

I learned a TON today, (after teaching my first Black level Ski PE, which was also very exciting...) Lets see...

Quote of the day: "Don't surprise your skis, and they won't surprise you". Yes, I like that one a lot. Also, old ideas are important, but being open to new ideas is equally so. Lets use things that have worked while looking at things that evolve the sport or our understanding of the sport.

(Angela can carve!!)

(Bonnie gets out and skis it! YEAH!)

(Charlie watches Michael do it right)

I found my mantra, and strangely enough, its the one part of Secret Tactics of Martial Arts Experts that I had been having trouble applying to skiing. One chair ride with Michael and Alyssa fixed that.

"If you are walking along with nothing but a bamboo cane, and suddenly someone attacks you with a sword, you should take their sword from them. This, then, is already your victory."

We were heading down into Last Chance, a rather gnarly bump run at Bridger that sort of routinely kicks my ass, and I was thinking (as Michael suggested), about the terrain as the attacker with the sword. If I take his sword away from him, I would be making the bumps ineffectual at attacking me, either by being less resistant to them, or charging them where I need to, but skiing them effectively, supply, and efficiently. Inneresting!!!!

I actually had my two best bump runs down Last Chance, probably ever, although I still have a bracing leg, especially when I get tired.

I will take your sword from you, this is already my victory.

We also talked about diving turns and climbing turns, steering, stance as it applies to steering, patience into the fall line, describing an arc that is allowed to be smeared, and so on. It was a great day. And I got to ski the Elans on the groom for the first time, and they rocked. Although, they are SO short that I can find myself on the end of the diving board in relatively no time at all!!

Mental health note for the night: Home life, challenging. Boys miss me, which means Ethan is lovely and clingy, and Bodhi doesn't want to talk to me (owie). Tom and I are... well, because I want this to be an honest chronology of my journey, I will write a private post on what is happening there, and one day, I'll include it in the journal. Its awfully hard to put that stuff up as it happens, but that's what has made this the toughest month ever for me, and, I am sure, for him as well. We are doing the best we can in a rather gnarly situation.

Thanks for the chat tonight, Ric B. you are an angel, and here is love and hugs for Sue, who is a hero. You two are very inspiring.

Vlog: thoughts on Demo skiis and sucking in powder...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ridge Hippies (and Kate and Jill) unite!

Jill Imsand came to Bridger today (with her skis!), and while I was typically slow, kludgy and totally unprepared, we managed to get 2 1/2 hours of really great skiing in. She had her first ridge run, we hiked up and looked down into Hidden (ON MY LIST TO SKI SOON!!!), and then headed out into the Bridger Gully with Mason as our guide. Too fun. Thigh deep cream cheese powder. Ahhhh....


The view from the very top!!

This is the entrance to Hidden, if you drop down right in the scoop in front of you, you are skiing a sweet steep narrow chute. The sign there is the ski area boundary.


Look down over the edge, that's Hidden! People are saying its never been this good in memory, so full and fluffy!! I can't wait. I am going to practice tight turns in deep powder so I can actually try to ski it rather than hop turn, run into the rock, stop, hop turn, run into the rock, stop...

Thanks for coming today, Jill! It was great to see you!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Its a pitty that I have to train so hard...

I spent the afternoon on the ridge with the AMAZING Jeff Abelain! He is teaching me SO much about tactics, and steeps and powder, I am just !!! happy!

We did drops all afternoon, this was the first one, and I skied out of it well, but got excited and sat down after. By the end of the day, Jeff had me dropping and then skiing off! AWESOME!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

NCAA Skiing Championships are at Bridger Bowl this week!

Finals are Thursday and Saturday! Come out and watch, these guys are AMAZING!!!

And this is why I bought a POC helmet.

This is a horrific crash, so terrifying to watch. But he came around as they loaded him into the helicopter, and he remembered the race, just not the crash. He did not require surgery, but had a concussion, because the POC helmet he was wearing did its job, and dispersed all the impact (and came all apart!)

Bode Miller Rides the Fence

This is truly unbelievable. And he did it right after one of his US Team Mates had a horrific crash.

Skis on Sale!

There are some REALLY great deals on race skis! Visit here, and for more options, visit here!

Snowsports School Party at Norris Hot Springs!!

Big Sky, Bridger, Moonlight and Yellowstone! Come to Norris Hot Springs THIS FRIDAY after work, soak, listen to Jawbone Railroad play awesome tunes, have some good brew, and blow off your exam stress!

Bring a current pay stub for a $5 entry fee (rather than $7) Thanks, Norris!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

In other news... we skied Morning glory into the Z Fan! WOW!


Kate sidestepping up the traverse on the way to Morning Glory.

Ed sidestepping up the traverse on the way to the South side of Bridger.

Hiking along the traverse on the top of the Bridgers. Point my skis down that hill and I'm on my way to Bozeman! The other side is the top of Bridger Bowl.

Almost there... the traverse over to D route is LOOOONNNGGG and beautiful!

I skied with the Boys of Winter today! Doug Monger, ridge hippie extraordinare gets ready to ski it!

This is Ed, he's 71. He kicked my butt on the hike, the traverse and skiing down! ROCK ON!

Getting ready to drop in. I'm the one in all black.

Yup, Morning Glory is steep, and beautiful! We didn't ski straight down it by the big rock, but we looked down at the pinch and made a strategy for later in the week. It needs a tiny bit more snow, and its full of Avi debris, so its gonna be a challenge. What a great day! I've got to remember to soften my downhill leg when I'm in deep pow like this, I kept ending up back and inside. Doug has more photos and videos, so I'll get them up soon!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Decisions Decisions

Thanks for all your help and support! I had a relatively sleepless night last night thinking about all this, and I have decided that I will not be doing my clients any favors if I pass my 3 this year. I am going to listen to my gut, and to all of you most awesome ski industry types who have been so supportive of me, and keep training hard, but save the 3 exam for next season.

I'm gonna focus on my level 2 certification, and keep working on steeps and bumps every day, so that when the time comes, I am super confident and feeling good. Thanks so much for all the help, and advice, and THANK YOU for hanging in there over the last three weeks or so when I was a bit... um... difficult to deal with.


***UPDATE*** But, you know... never say die... (Yes, she's insane. She goes back and forth. Her life is full of drama. She's not happy unless its a ridiculous insurmountable challenge... what's your point??)

My point is just this: I'm going to train hard for my 2. I'm going to ski a lot. And whatever happens in April happens in April.


Wow, what a day. Here we are. I am skiing better. I am below the level 3 standard. One of my coaches thinks I should keep driving hard and that I have a shot, one thinks it would be a bad idea to go if I'm not gonna blow the doors off of it, and I'm probably not.

Lots of Level 3 candidates take their exam two or three times, and I'd like to be able to go, thinking of it as a 3 day clinic, a great learning experience, and a way to know where I am vs. where the standard is.

There is the idea of having mastery. I have heard over and over from lots of people that if I have the best two days of skiing in my life and pass, it will be a very bad thing, because then I can get in to teaching situations that are actually above me. This I don't want. But I am feeling better and better on steeper, gnarlier, ickier terrain. I skied big turns in South Bowl and North Bowl. Not GS, but I'm getting faster and more confident.

I am just stuck. If I put my head down, focus and train, and try for it, am I being stubborn and pig headed and not listening? Or am I believing in myself and training through adversity?

In the last two weeks, I've been in the toughest emotional situation I've been in since my dad died. And I skied the best I've ever skied. So I can perform in adversity. But someone telling me I won't make it nearly destroys me. So I challenged myself today to ski really well even though I felt destroyed. And I felt off, but still skied well, I thought, even in challenging snow.

What do I do? Should I take the exam in a different division? Should I keep working for it? Should I get realistic and just take the three next year? Should I take the 3 to get the experience and not worry about what people might think about why I am trying?

I love training. I love working hard. I love good criticism, I love being told, "This is what I am seeing, this is what I want to see" and coming back a few days later with it fixed, or improved and wanting more. I want to keep that up, I want to drive hard, because there is no worse feeling than wondering what you COULD have accomplished if you had only tried your hardest.

But is that okay at the expense of what other people are feeling? Am I an unrealistic bull dozer? Is my desire to work as hard as I can offensive? Am I working in a world of stupidity over here, not listening to what wiser people are telling me? And what about the people that are telling me to go for it?


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Guess Who Taught the Clinic on Friday??

OH MAN! Are we LUCKY or WHAT?? Bonnie set up a surprise clinic for Shannon and I! We found out on the chair lift on the way up to the clinic that WE WERE TEACHING IT!! All was good until I found out I had a lesson at nine, so I didn't actually get to try to affect change in the skiing of my trainer, supervisor, clinicians and high level skiers!

Shannon took the WHOLE clinic, and did a great job, I heard, talking about movement patterns in skiing. WAY TO GO, GORGEOUS!! I'm so proud of you!!

Ha Ha Hop Turns!

WHOOPS! Oh, man, I meant to mute it. You really don't need to hear me babbling... turn your sound off for a sec...