Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Adventure Begins...

The very first idea for this week was to head out to Emigrant Peak, just past Chico Hot springs in Paradise Valley. All the peaks out there are so majestic, huge, with lines that just beg to be skied. Every time we drive with the kids out to Chico, I sit in the car and stare at those coulars and wonder if I'll ever get up there to ski them.

With plans for a huge skiing posse that fell off one by one, Kurt and I headed to Chico intent on skiing Emigrant, then heading over to Cooke City to ski some of the epic deep snow on the Top of the World, then travel over the scenic Beartooth Pass and down to Red Lodge where we'd hook up with the rest of the group.

Sounds like an amazing ski trip, no? Unfortunately, warm (ish) temps, cloud cover and rain are wreaking havoc with our plans. Its just not getting cold enough at night to freeze the snow well at any elevation below 10,000 ft. And because of this, the snowpack is becoming very unstable as it becomes more and more rotten, but there is still a LOT of snow, so things are sliding all over the place.

We had the possibility of skiing Emigrant peak, which is high enough and looked beautiful to climb, and we drove up the dirt road out into this tight choked off valley, but came across, you guessed it, a huge avalanche which had slid down and made an enormous snow bridge over the little river running through there. We couldn't drive the truck over the talus, broken trees and snow, so we hiked up quite a ways, but the snow level was still so far away that we would have needed a 2am start, with no guarantees that the snow would be skiable when we got up there!

Needless to say, we enjoyed the hike anyway, and chose not to ski emigrant. After a soak in Chico's amazing hot springs, we hit the road and headed in the direction of Cooke City to see what was skiable there.

This was Kurt's first time through Yellowstone, and it was a great day to drive through! Windy but sunny, the Bison were all over the place, it was like Bison Festival day. The elk were out grazing at Mammoth Hot Springs, as usual, a beautiful red fox was hanging out right by the road hunting, the Bison Calves were laying in the sun, there were Osprey nests, an Antelope... I saw more wildlife in that one drive through the park then I've seen in all my trips combined!!

We pulled in to Cooke City, which is kind of in between seasons right now, and got directions back to the...

THE PASS IS OPEN! GOTTA GO! More adventures later!!

OH, ps, I have lots of photos starting from the next morning after the camera was charged.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

BYE! No posts till Monday probably

Bye, guys! Goin' skiing in the Beartooths, and maybe Cooke City! I'll post on Monday when I get back... stay safe and see you soon!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

In Other News... China gets rocked by aftershocks...

When I think about the fact that I wish I had a babysitter so I could go skiing, a news item like this makes me really, once again, realize how spectacularly lucky I am.

(From NPR News Via Twitter:)
Powerful Aftershocks Rock China; Death Toll Rises

Two more powerful aftershocks hit Sichuan province, China, this afternoon, as the confirmed death toll from the May 12 quake grew to more than 67,000.

Tuesday's aftershocks measured 5.2 and 5.5, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The Chinese media reported that the tremors caused several hundred thousand additional homes to collapse in the already devastated Qingchuan county.

Meanwhile, further south, another 80,000 people were being evacuated from areas downstream of the newly formed Tangjiashan Lake. Landslides triggered by the earthquake blocked a river, creating the lake where water levels continue to rise daily.

Chinese troops at the lake have plans to detonate explosives in order to drain some of the water. Heavy machinery was also being used to open a channel for diverting water, though the work is not expected to be completed until next week.

The Next Day... Reflections on Scary Time

Good morning! Yesterday was an interesting experience for me. As the day went on, I got a bit more rattled, distracted, and freaked out, and kept sort of "realizing" that the slide had happened. I was surprised all day at how strongly I was reacting, because I didn't feel scared, I didn't think, while it was happening.

I got a call from Angela, who sort of debriefed me on what had happened and talked me through it, and that helped a lot. I was feeling really confused about what I could have done differently, and really freaked out at having made a potentially fatal bad decision, and that that decision had put Jill in danger.

So, things to learn and take away from this situation: FIRST, it had been raining for the last five days in the Bridgers up at 8000 feet, and so the 2' or so of new snow that had fallen did not bond well to the relatively bomber snowpack below.

NEXT, when we were skinning up and my binding was punching through and my poles were sinking in, I should have listened to my gut and decided not to ski. I do know that those are wet slide conditions, and I said it out loud a few times, and Angela reiterated that I should ALWAYS listen to that little inner voice. Better to be TOO conservative than buried in a slide, yes?

NEXT, we should have skied a lower angle, like Bronco face, but Angela said that pretty much ANYTHING on that mountain at ANY aspect is prone to slide right now because of all the rain, so the snowpack is relatively rotten. LOW ANGLE, not ASPECT. Aspect, when snow is rotten, doesn't matter quite as much.

NEXT, I should have done a more aggressive ski cut, and done it two or three times.

SO. Thats a lot of things to learn. One good thing that I learned is that the "what to do if you are swept into one" list was in my head and functioning properly. Too bad that I got an opportunity to learn that and practice those skills, but its a bit relieving to know that they are in there.

The last thing is, you can bet that Avalung Tube is gonna be in front of my mouth when I ski in the back country from now on! WOW!

Thank you, guys for helping me out yesterday afternoon while I sort of processed what happened. I'm feeling great today, ready to get back at it, and really grateful for the terrific, patient, and knowledgeable support group!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Alls Well That Ends Well... and we walked away from it.

Jill and I went and skied the Bridgers today, which was great fun. Until it wasn't. And then it was again. I talked to Angela P, goddess divine, her majesty, queen of the ridge, this morning, because she's pretty savvy there with all things back country. Jill and I were going to do Slushman's this morning, but Angela told me that things that are steeper than the Bronco Face are sliding, so maybe not to go all the way up, but sort of ski that angle.

That was fine, Jill was in snowshoes anyway, so we hiked up Powder Park, and then straight up bronco face (well, in a zig zaggy kind of way). The snow felt pretty darn rotten, the binding area of my ski was punching in about 2", and if I weighted my poles, they went about 2 1/2 feet in easily.

Now I know that this means possible wet slide conditions. And it was later in the day than we wanted it to be, we left the car at about 10:45, and it took, um, a little while to hike up to the road that winds around to the North Bowl.

We discussed whether or not to just ski straight back down Bronco face, more turns, lower angle, but crappy snow, or to find something North facing that would have better snow and could potentially be a bit steeper. We chose to ski Abelain's, a little gully like shot on the South end of the North bowl, which is very North Facing, but also pretty steep.

The North Bowl had a bunch of little mini slides in it, and this was one of the reasons that we chose to ski a different aspect (Bronco Face and the section of the North Bowl that had slid face the same way, but the bowl is steeper).

I did a ski cut along the top of Abelain's, and nothing moved. Here, I should have turned and done two more aggressive ski cuts. But I did not. I decided that it looked good and felt solid.

I took two turns, in fog, in the back seat, and decided to traverse across under the rock band into Abelain's proper. There was old avi debris in the gully, but nothing new had moved. I skied across the gully and made my first turn into it, when I saw the snow moving past my skis.

It occurred to me "Oh, look, a little slough. That's cool, better be careful." I made another turn back away from the bowl thinking I would ski further out of it, and immediately felt my skis slide out from under me sideways. I was on my ass and moving fast.

Okay, ski out, ski out, I thought, and because the snow was very wet and very heavy, it was also moving slower than I expected it to, and my legs were parallel under me. I tried to get back over my feet, as I still had all my gear, and my skis were pointed in the right way that if I could get back on them, I'd ski right out of the slide, which I was kind of in the middle of.

I couldn't get over my skis, and as I tried, I noticed that I was gaining speed, and getting buried. My head and shoulders were still above the snow, and then I thought, okay, can't ski out, this is an avalanche, and you need to start swimming.

I was backstroking, trying to slow myself and let the slide get ahead of me, and to stay on top. I had the "big potato chip" idea in my head from the company that makes the airbags for snowmobilers, and I was still gaining speed.

It occurred to me as I watched down the slope at this thing really picking up speed that if I started tumbling, I was screwed, and I could feel my waist getting pulled deeper into the slide, and then I thought, okay, well, self arrest, maybe? So I started trying to stick my downhill ski across the slope into the firm, deep stuff that it was scraping along. I realized that my legs were kind of twisted under me, but I felt myself slowing, and I started punching my hands in and trying hard to slow my body so the slide would pass me.

This, luckily, is exactly what happened, and I sat there and watched the slide continue, off my lap and down the mountain for another minute or so.

I looked up at Jill, who was standing there watching, and have never been so grateful to know that my ski partner knows how to use a shovel in my life.

Jill, with a very level head, suggested that I traverse out of the remainder of the bowl. I hung out there for a minute while this massive wave of adrenaline crashed over me, and then I did just that. Looking over my shoulder, I saw Jill create her own series of mini-slides on every turn, and she wisely made large, soft turns which she traversed out of every time, and then traversed out of the bowl to me. We stood there and watched her slide go to the bottom, and it was at that moment that we both realized how big the slide was that I was in. We stood there and looked at it for a minute.

After looking at the photos, it seems pretty obvious that the slide I was in was on the same angle and aspect of all the other naturally or skier triggered slides in the bowl. I had, unfortunately, thought that Abelains, being on the far south side of the bowl and facing a totally different direction, was not in the "slide area" but when you look at this pic, well, it says it all, doesn't it?

"Well, that was a lot more exciting than we wanted it to be!" You bet. Thanks, Jilly Bean. Glad to have been out there with you.

There were about 20 people out there on the hill today, skiing all aspects and having a great time.

Be careful out there, guys!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Beartooths next weekend and the weekend after!

Big group possee! Lets go! Camp at the bottom of the pass and lets ski! June 5-8! Looks like a big group, as the PSIA NRM board meeting will be there! Lemme Know if you Wanna Caravan or Carpool!

Too read about last year's trips, click here

The PSIA NRM Board Meeting is in Red Lodge on Saturday, the Spring Meeting is in Bozeman on Sunday.


Lots of people can knit. This girl can REALLY knit. She works at Styx here in Bozeman, and she can make anything. I mean really, literally anything! She made me this AMAZING bag out of Mango Moon Recycled Silk, which is silk yarn from saris, and the proceeds from the sale of the yarn go to benefit women in Nepal.

HOW COOL IS THIS??? It was my mother's day present!

If you like this kind of stuff, you should join Ravelry, and search for LiatM, so you can see the LACE she is making! And the Snake mittens she made for Bodhi.

Spring is here! Our first trip up Kirk Hill!

I finally, finally hiked up Kirk Hill today! Wya and I headed up our favorite hike today in the lovely brisk cool spring weather and looked at all the wildflowers blooming like crazy! Spring is officially here!

Camel Bak makes a BPA free Bottle!

CamelBak has responded to consumer demand with a bottle that's contains no BPA! Click here to read the faq all about the new materials. Way to go, CamelBak!

Watch the Rover land on Mars LIVE!

HOW COOL IS THIS? Here is a video of what they HOPE will happen. Visit the NASA website HERE to read more about it and watch it live at 8pm EST.

And... all day yesterday, I was building a shiny NEW website for my Hard Head coaching, but I am still waiting for Photo permissions, so its not live yet. But its cool! And everyone has been SO helpful! And the quotes people are giving me are AMAZING and I can't wait to share it with you!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Defeat of the Lazy! Make it Happen!

Alright! I am glad everyone had a great time laying around and nursing thier boo boos, decompressing and eating bon bons!

Time to lite er up and git er done!

What have you been putting off? Its summer time (although you cant tell because its SNOWING outside!), and you are out of a job. Time to tackle those chores that take some concentrated effort.

There really is no time like the present! Get all fired up! Put on the coffee! Project away!

My goals for this weekend: list all my crap on ebay so I can pay for baby sitters for the next month of epic skiing (Granite peak? Teeton Pass? Beartooths? YES YES YES!)

Get to work on turning Hard Head Performance Coaching into a brand with a website and some collateral materials so that I can get HIRED to coach all over, thus making money for babysitting easier to come by, and allowing me to do the job I love the most much easier!


(The impetus for this post courtesy of my outstanding mother, who doesn't take crap from anyone and believes you can do it if you just think it through and get started! Thanks, mom!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

8" of fresh at Bridger Bowl! Powder Day May 22!

Mason Griffen of the Bridger Bowl Ski Patrol (intern) just sent me this. 8" of fresh at 20% moisture. IT's MAY! I WANNA GO!!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Battle of the Lazy

Here is an interesting human conundrum that so many people are going through now that ski season has come to a screeching halt: everyone thinks they are lazy.

My friend Kurt thinks he is lazy. Never mind that he'll do four laps up some 3500 vertical before noon and then go ride his bike to Yoga class. He can't get his paperwork done.

I think I am lazy. Never mind that I'll plow through a pile of paperwork, run a ton of errands and clean my house, I'm lazy.

I've been getting a bunch of emails from people with post ski season let down, and I think its especially difficult this year, with everyone gearing up and up and up to the tryouts, and then having this intense tryout situation be the last day of the season, its like running 100 miles an hour into a brick wall.

So this is kind of a two fold discussion: first of all, lets address the laziness.

There is this terrific quote: Nothing is ever so difficult as when it is done reluctantly.

And this is certainly true. I watched it tonight while Ethan was trying to write his book report. I saw myself do it when I stood, staring, at the epic pile of clean laundry that needs to be put away. I watched my sister stare at the pile of tax paperwork she needs to do, and go work on something else instead.

We all have fear of tackling the big thing. We can all justify putting it off for one more day, one afternoon. Sometimes, I think this can actually be a healthy choice. Another friend of mine is incapable of play until she has crossed everything off her list. And guess what? Something gets added to the list every day, so there isn't a whole lot of play that happens.

Here's another good quote: What we do with our days is what we do with our lives.

So I guess we are searching, once again, for balance.

I think that post ski season, first, we all need to be a little loving to ourselves. We all worked really hard this year! Everyone was fit and strong, everyone was dedicated to exams and tryouts. Everyone went through an emotional ringer that was totally exhausting.

I think two weeks of decompression are in order here! What does that mean for you? Two weeks on the couch watching South Park? Two weeks with some moderate exercise and a lot of family time? Two weeks of solitude after a social season?

Give yourself a break for a bit. Its okay to decompress and be "lazy".

HOWEVER, as we are searching for balance, I'd suggest dipping your toe into the pool of accomplishment once a day, just to test the waters and see how you are feeling.

You'll have up days and down days, days in which the decisions you are making in your life will make sense, and days in which you will feel a bit lost.

Today was a mixed bag for me, I inexplicably slept until noon. This is not something I do! Bodhi was watching Power Rangers on YouTube on my computer, and I fell back to sleep, thinking I'd get a 15 minute nap. Three hours later, I woke up.

Now, I expect this, and am okay with it, if I've been busting my butt for weeks and need to recharge, or "catch up" on sleep. But random massive amounts of sleep after I've been sitting around on my butt for two weeks, hmm, that made me upset. I woke up thinking of myself as "lazy". I was angry, and cranky at myself for wasting time, not accomplishing stuff, and setting myself up to sleep late tomorrow as well.

Because of this negative criticism of myself, I set myself up to have a crappy, unproductive day. And my bad attitude rubbed off on Bodhi, as well, who picked up on my negative energy and whined, cried and moved like an anchor through molasses all day long.

How, then, to look for balance? How do I not fall down this hole?

First, I think, is forgiveness. Tolerance and forgiveness. Perhaps, my body needed to sleep, and I was unaware of it. Perhaps, I had plenty of sleep, but today, I just slept more for no reason. Do you need to solve the root problem in order to let it go? I don't think so. For whatever reason, I slept late.

When I give my performance talk, I talk a lot about things you can control and things you can't control. Can I control the fact that I slept late? No. It already happened. Can I control what I do about that going forward? You bet! I can let it inform the rest of my day, or I can look for some love in my heart and some patience for myself, let the past go and look for something positive in the next moment of my day.

This is a huge challenge sometimes, as we love to hold on to negative feelings. For some reason, humans are incredibly adept at criticism.

I have a little progression that I use to 1. Stop myself from unproductive negative criticism, 2. Get in a positive frame of mind, and 3. tackle the day in a way that salvages what is left, either in productivity, or, if that's not possible, at least in mood.

First, I think of something that Liat, my sister told me, that she learned in treatment: "This is not a catastrophe. The sinking of the Titanic was a catastrophe."

Right. Put it in perspective. Whatever. You screwed up, something didn't go how you wanted it. Let it go. Find forgiveness in your heart, and lets move on.

Second. Find your bliss. Right now. Something I do with my coaching clients is have them "Be Here Now" doing a 5 senses meditation. It takes as long, or as short as you like, and it can put you in your body right now.

Cycle through your senses:

I see. But what do you truly see? I see the grey of the snow on the hills as it slowly fades down to gree, I see the electric green of the new buds on the trees, the darker green of the pine needles. I see my hands in front of me, they are dry, brown, and I see the veins in them.

I smell. Smell is a huge memory trigger. Smell can ground you to your intimate relationship with life faster than any other sense. I smell the pizza that Tom cooked earlier. I smell the overripe mango sitting next to me, the campfire smell still on my sweatshirt. If I opened the door, I'd smell wet pavement and cut grass.

I taste. I taste the Fat Tire I am drinking! The taste is bitter and smooth at the same time, and feels different around my tongue. When you are out on snow, you can open your mouth and taste the mountain air, it tastes differently depending on where you are in the world. The air at Big Sky tastes differently than the air at Bridger Bowl.

I hear. I hear the music I am listening to, Govinda, a hypno trance Indian music, and behind that, I hear my kids talking in the bathtub, the sound of the water, I hear the fan in the other room, and the sound of the rain on the window. I hear the cat meowing.

I feel. I feel (and I am talking only about physical sensations right now, not emotional feelings. This is a taking stock of the present moment, being truly present, not analyzing how we are in this moment, just being in this moment.) I feel tense in my face, which I am now relaxing. I felt a knitted brow, which I just allowed to open, and suddenly, my face feels light. Go down your body taking stock.

Suddenly, I am here, I am present. Now, I can make a choice. Tune back into the critical voice that wants to beat me up for all the ways in which I feel I failed myself today, or make a choice to move forward into positivity. I don't know about you, but I'd rather get another shot at a great day.

If tuning into your body made you present, but isn't what brings you bliss, ask yourself over the next few weeks to find things that fill you with a sense of well being. You need things that are almost instant, things that take ten minutes, things that take an hour, and things that take all day.

My instant one is the sensation of the weather on my skin, all alone. So I take a moment and go outside, around the corner from my family, and feel the sunshine on my face. Or the rain. And I breathe in the air, and I feel myself filling up. Sometimes, depending on how tough the day is, this isn't enough for bliss, and I move on to my ten minute one. A chapter of a book in peace. Finding peace in a house full of boys can be challenging. Sometimes its hugging my boys and building a Lego ship with them for a few minutes. It depends on the day.

After I feel like I've touched something positive, I always feel more grounded, and less like things are or could be hopeless. The downward spiral has been checked. Now, I look at my choices: I can tackle the things I am "Supposed" to do, or I can do something that refills my emotional vessel. When we do things that disappoint us, it also depletes us.

I usually choose to do something short and constructive, so I feel like I can cross it off my list. Checking my email and responding to short questions is something I can do relatively quickly, and it makes me feel like I am on the ball. Email for others is a time trap, so make choices based on you and how you usually respond. Can you go online and pay two bills? Can you do your dishes? Ask yourself for a half hour of productivity.

Then, take your win! You got something done. OH, here is the critic again: yes, lots of people get stuff done. Yes, lots of people always have their dishes done and their laundry put away and their taxes paid. But we aren't talking about lots of people, we are talking about you doing something for you that was challenging. Say thanks, and say good job.

Now, you've gotten started. You have a choice: continue on the productivity path, or give yourself an hour or two of refill time: a hike, a run, a bike, playtime with kids, a book in the hammock... whatever it is that counterbalances the 'mistake" of the morning, and helps you feel that you are moving forward.

We all suffer from inertia. You can choose to literally get the ball rolling and then follow the path. Once you've started, its SOOO much easier to keep going! To keep laying in bed, to keep watching tv, to keep cleaning, to keep at the paperwork, to keep hiking up that steep hill...

Be patient with yourself. It takes practice to find balance. It will take a lifetime of practice. Ask yourself if the harsh criticism of the fact that you've gained weight (Wow, I got 18 emails after I posted that from other people who also have gained between 5 and 15 pounds after ski season ended!) is going to help solve the problem. Probably not. Getting proactive in a manageable way is at least moving in the right direction!

Here's a quick PS on this one... Lots of times, when we have a monumental task, like cleaning a house we've been ignoring or unpacking after being on the road forever, or handling bills and taxes, we think: First, I have to clean my house or workspace, then I have to get organized. Then, I have to tackle this entire thing all at once.

I think very few people have the 14 hours straight that they need to get all orgainzed and on the ball before they can tackle a big task. It is easier to work in a clean environment, that's true. But if your issue is that you have something that you need to do, and you can't seem to NOT procrastinate while you are heading towards it, give yourself a break. Just work the task at hand for a managable amount of time. Chances are that once you are in it, you'll be able to keep going. Chances are that you can focus if you ask yourself to, even if your workspace is a bit messier than you'd like.

If its truly a catastrophe, take your paperwork to the coffee shop, and get'er dun!

So right now, I choose to let go of my excessive sleep, take wins for getting some errands done, even though I didn't tackle the big thing I needed to do, drink my beer, and go snuggle my kids. I have tomorrow. And the day after that. And those days will be good, and productive. And I look forward to them!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Okay. So its been an amazing month, with nothing but fun great stuff to report. But this blog is supposed to be WARTS AND ALL, so here it is:

AHH!!! I have gained 8 pounds in the last two weeks. I kid you not. And I am FREAKING OUT. I know I shouldn't be. I know that I will get back to work and it will come right off.

But having JUST been a fatty about a year ago, its SO scary, and it was SO hard to hike it all off last season, and I got a bit HAYWIRE about my food and relationships with food, and I SO don't want that to happen again.

SO, rather than freaking out, we are going to have a plan of attack. Right now, that means mowing our pasture for an hour or two every day with a push mower, because that doesn't cost anything and is quite a workout.

Tomorrow morning at 5:30, Jill and I are going to hike Storm Castle, only 2 miles but super steep. This weekend, I am skiing. I don't know where or with whom, but this nonsense must stop! Welcome back to training logs, I need accountability to make it happen!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bridger Bowl 07-088 Season Pics are up!

Here they come! There's a lot more that need to go up, but here are some of the photos from Bridger Bowl's 07-08 Season! Enjoy!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Aspen Photos are up on Flickr!

There are more than 300 photos from our Aspen trip, so if you were there, click here to download whatever pics you like!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Welcome to the team, Megan Harvey!

Wow, what a day. Yet another amazing addition to my "official" training team, without whom I would have NO chance of success, Megan Harvey, who was my first Academy Coach, met me after I'd been skiing for two months again, and who gave me my first set of real skis, because I was too broke to buy gear, has blushingly let me call her my Mentor, which is what I called her anyway behind her back.

Aside from being an amazing source of never ending energy and playfulness, Megan believes in me, and has from the first day I met her. The author of the Alpine Technical Manual, and a three term D Team member, Megan is an incredible woman, and I'm constantly blown away by her generosity with her time and everything else.

She's also a great friend. So, we (and that's the royal we, I guess) are thrilled and honored to have Ms. Harvey on our team. Thanks, Man!!


Can I just say that 25 WOMEN TRIED OUT FOR THE DEMO TEAM THIS YEAR??!! Heck Ya! And there will be even more in 2012!! GO GIRLS!!!

What the hell is a Ground Zero Zen Master?

It's Michael Hickey, ladies and gentlemen! Last March, when I told Michael that I wanted to go to the D team in four years, even though I couldn't ski, he said, "OK" and agreed to be my coach. He got me fit to start the season strong, and then worked on my skiing from a very zen place. Patience.

Michael has been more than a skiing coach, though, he has been a place that I can go for a reality check. He lets my blab and makes sense out of the psychosis that is my drive, and points my compass.

For that reason, we've decided to call Michael what he is: the Ground Zero Zen Master.

Thanks for your perspective and patience, Michael!!

Squatty Schuller, welcome to the team!!

Earlier this year, I had the undeniable pleasure of working with Squatty Schuller at Aspen/Snowmass. While I was there, there was a lot of amazing recruiting going on. Megan showed me every nook and cranny of all the hills, we got to train with every clinic we could get to, I explored the town and was treated to a week at Megan and Rick's lovely home.

I told Megan that all that Aspen had to offer was amazing, but the thing that tempted me the most was this man. You can look all your life for a coach who clicks. What Squatty says makes sense. My skiing changes completely every time I get within ten feet of him. I knew when I met him that if I had the chance, I'd give everything I had every day to him because he is that kind of coach.

Last time I was in Aspen, Squatty offered to coach me. He took me carefully up to and through my level 3 exam, at a time when I felt all alone and like no one believed in me, this man brought me back up. He introduced me to a fleet of people who helped me through the exam process, and who I now count as friends and mentors.

Thanks for officially joining my team, Squatty! I'm honored to have you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan

academy slide, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

OMG! I found another one! thanks, Cindy!!

What the heck is up with all the Mike Rogan posts?

Well, Mike Rogan introduces a bunch of the clips on the PSIA's Movement Matrix, an amazing tool that the previous Demo team put together. We watched about 10 video clips one night during the Matrix presentation at Academy, and they all began... "Hi, I'm Michael Rogan with the PSIA National Alpine Team..." and the opportunity was too golden to pass up.

I ran to Cindy Lechtenburg and Megan Harvey and asked them to catch all the video they could of people saying "Hi, I'm Michael Rogan..."

We managed to not only KEEP it a secret from Michael, but we got EVERYONE including people behind the desk, the rest of the team, Steve Nyman from the US Ski Team, even Rogan's BROTHER, as well as the FULL TRAM at Snowbird. At the slide show at the last night's banquet, we inserted these movies after every 10 photos or so. The result was absolutely hilarious.

And Michael took it like a champ. Thanks for being a good sport, Capitan!!

This is just too cute...

snuggles, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Who knew Andy and Chris were so close?

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan

lion, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan, originally uploaded by KateHowe.


mike boogy, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Yes, the man can boogie. We kid you not.

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Yes, Indeed, we roasted Mike Rogan! It was TOO GOOD to pass up!! Thanks for being such a good sport, El Capitan!!

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan

Hi, I'm Michael Rogan, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Mermer Roasts Michael

mermer, originally uploaded by KateHowe.

Sorry its sideways, but its way WAY too good to pass up...

More Academy Pics!

Here they come! 400 more academy pics and some video! Click here to look at them!

Pics from Academy are up!

SOME of the pics from National Academy 08 at Snowbird are up! More coming, plus video. Thanks to Cindy Lechtunberg for her endless energy documenting this event, the pics that are up are all taken by her!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

FUN FUN FUN Watershed Festival!

Our nearest National Forest access is popular 365 days a year and especially in the spring when dry trails and wildflowers appear while the high country is either mud or snow. Now imagine that it was possible to have another trail much like the M with great valley views and the same mixture of native grasslands and Douglas fir forest.

Drinking Horse Mountain is the nearest mountain south of the M, and plans have been made to build a fabulous new public hiking trail. The wheels are in motion and we are into the final fund raising push. Your participation is welcome. Remember that the U.S. economy is lagging and sometime during the next couple of months you should receive a check in the mail from our friends at the U.S. Treasury. While it might be tempting to buy a new big screen TV and stimulate the economy of China, consider a local contribution to build a legacy project that will be enjoyed by generations of hikers.

Drinking Horse Mountain is just that kind of opportunity. To make matters more interesting, Saturday May 17th is a chance to have some fun at the Watershed Festival at the Fish Technology Center from 10-3. The Festival is built around Arts, Entertainment and Watershed education including an afternoon performance by the Equinox Theatre , and hikes up Drinking Horse Mountain. If I am reading the announcement correctly there will be an opportunity to “Learn from a live Black Bear”.

Beginning at 5:00 the Bridger Creek Boys will play bluegrass music into the evening hours. Free admission. Food and beverages will be available. This is a fund raiser for Drinking Horse Mountain and should be a lot of fun. If you believe the weather forecast it should be hot and sunny…

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

More photos are up on Flickr!

There are two sets of pics now, one is the "Best of Tryouts" with about 100 photos that I like the most, and the other set is all the pics that were in focus!(almost 600 now.) (minus a few repetitive ones). If you see pics of yourself and want to see if there are more, email me at with a link of a picture of yourself, and I will do my best to send you copies of all the photos I have of you.

I have two more CDs to go through and edit, but they aren't reading well on my computer, so hang in there until I can grab them off another computer! I'll get em up as quick as I can.

Thanks so much for having me at team tryouts, I have to say it was an incredible thing to watch, and to be a part of, and I am grateful that I got to participate!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

More photos from Team Tryouts are up!

Here are a few of my favorites, but go here to see all 300 I put up today. Still have three CDs full of pictures to edit and post!