Category Archives: Skiing

Tahoe Problems

Wow, what a season in the Sierra Nevada – it started snowing in January and really didn’t stop until March 6th. I skied my first groomer of 2017 in mid-March, that tells you something! A season like this has left me conflicted so many times. Ski powder or hang out with the triplets, ski powder or work, ski powder at the resort or in the backcountry… as a friend put it… Tahoe people problems.

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We got a lot of snow this year! 

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The triplets love playing in the snow too, but I wonder if they think this winter is normal

Yesterday I skied “the Cross” on Mt. Tallac – the South Shore’s gem of a mountain. There are so many lines on the Cross right now. I had gone in with the idea of skiing “the elevator” but seeing a few tracks in it, led me to a line that looked just as steep instead that was untracked. It didn’t go that well for me and I started a reasonable amount of slough and took me down for a few seconds. I was able to ski out of it, but I was shaken up a bit. It made me question my decision making ability and whether or not I should be in the mountains in precarious situations or home with my little guys. The answer is probably both, but I need to be happy with the decisions I make and also try to learn from them. I read this quote today, which made me feel a bit better:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt

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When the mountain kicks your ass, it’s best to laugh it off. Exiting “the Cross” (Photo by First Tracks Productions)

I’ve had some victories and I need to remember those. I skied Halls of the Gods for the first time a line that’s been on my list forever and the conditions were pretty great. I skied Mt. Tom, hiking over 7,000 vertical in under 7 hours and skiing great snow all the way down. I skied the Eagle chute above Emerald Bay in powder. And I finally skied the Bear Scratch. In between some of these tick list lines, I had a lot of fun days skiing powder at the resorts and a lot of great backcountry runs with friends. There is still many days left in the season and if I keep putting this type of pressure on myself, I’m going to get burned out. I’m already starting to feel it. I love skiing and I can’t stop thinking about it. I was the same way with soccer and I’m the same way with triplets. In an ideal world, I’d be paid to ski until 2pm every day and then hang out with the triplets the rest of the day, but I’m not sure what kind of person that would make me. Would I then be immune to the struggles of all people, certainly. Let’s be honest, I have it pretty good!

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I got an AT set up this year which I’ve skied a handful of times, here I am skiing out of Halls of the Gods for the first time ever. Good to add a line to the tick list. 

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The summit of Mount Tom – skied from 12,800 down the Elderberry headwall to car at 5,600. Good to know I still had it in me. I missed my boys being gone just 2 days though.

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Luckily the skiing has been good close to home. Here my buddy Domi drops into one of the Emerald Bay chutes

After my little scare yesterday and my continued perception that I’m under performing in the mountains, I’m excited to spend a few weeks focusing on skiing with the triplets, skiing at the resort while it’s open, not comparing myself to some of the slayers on Instagram, and maybe getting out of the Tahoe bubble for a bit. I can always get back to objective skiing in late April or May – or in years to come. In saying this, I cringed a bit, knowing this is a once in 25 year season, but I need to accept that I am enough, I’ve done enough, and my decisions may not always be right, but they are better than making no decision at all.

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Skiing with Declan a few weeks ago! The boys have been skiing about 5 times each and last time was the best time yet! 

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Taking advantage of a warm week in March to hit the beach with my 4 favorite guys. 

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing, Tahoe, Triplets

Season Recap via Video

 

About half way through the season, I had the goal of documenting my first real ski season as a triplet mom. I had an old GoPro that had likely crashed one too many times, so by the time I acquired a new one, it was late March. I still was able to collect a bit of footage and compile it into this Triplet Skier Mom Edit! I hope you enjoy it!

Kt Miller interviewed me for this story on Teton Gravity Research. It has more updates than I’m providing here!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing, Tahoe, Uncategorized

Desk Dreaming

After my morning routine with the triplets, I arrived at work at 8:30 and went through my emails and to do list for the day. I paused for a minute to dream of a generic great adventure, standing high above the world on a peak with amazing vistas, I inhaled the crisp clean air, imagining the challenges I overcame to get there. I snapped back to reality with a work related phone call and then decided to check Facebook where I saw that Matilda Rapaport had died after being caught in an avalanche in South America, undoubtedly the same type of adventure I yearned for. I cried – right there in my office chair. Paralyzed, I thought maybe I should take a break and walk my dog, but I decided to write this. I didn’t personally know Matilda, but she became the kind of person you thought you knew because we had a lot of mutual friends and I followed her on Instagram. I knew she was 30, just married. Though our lives are totally different, I can remember when I was 29 and recently married and all the great things that have happened since. I’m sad because she seemed like the kind of person that would’ve loved what the next chapter of life would bring. Last year, I had a similar reaction to the passing of Liz Daley, another beautiful soul who I may have only met once, but felt connected to. I don’t know why these deaths are so sobering. I feel I’ve gained a sense of risk adversity were I would not ski terrain in snow conditions where avalanches could occur – I mean, I won’t even bike scary things since having the triplets. As females, we’re also reassured in avalanche courses that we are more risk averse – statistics show it. But statistics do not mean it will never happen. I’m sad today for the years these women, who were smart, adventurous, loving, and fun, won’t get to spend on our planet, because we need more people like them now, more than ever. Sending love to Matilda’s friends and family.

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Random rambling, Skiing

A day before the big day

1 day until the triplets turn 1! Unbelievable. Declan and Beacan have been standing on their own and trying to take steps. Cormac is close behind. He loves standing and swaying back and forth.

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Declan at the playground a few weeks ago!

Goofing around on Scout's bed the day before their 1st birthday

Goofing around on Scout’s bed the day before their 1st birthday

Martha came to town a few weeks ago and I had a great time showing here around.

Martha enjoying Tahoe's backcountry

Martha enjoying Tahoe’s backcountry

We capped off the week with a showing of Shifting Ice and Changing Tides at the Tahoe Art Haus and Cinema in Tahoe City. It was my first time seeing it on the big screen! Very cool! If the Winter Wildlands Alliance Film Festival is playing near you, check it out!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Random rambling, Skiing, Tahoe, Triplets

Just Like That!

Everyone says your kids childhood will go by fast. It has, but fast is inevitable when your birthday is in months. But amazingly, I looked at the date today and realized I’m only 37 days away from my breastfeeding goal of 1 year. WOW!

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These guys are just over a week away from 11 months old!

I’m very goal-oriented. I used to keep track of all my ski days with my goal being to ski at least 100 days a year for 5 years. When I accomplished that, I got a bit more lax about my records and, during my 7th season in Tahoe, Scout ate a few seasons of my ski journal and I just stopped keeping track. I only skied 11 days last year due to the triplet pregnancy… but rebranding myself as a skier mom made me curious about how parenthood impacts my days on the hill. This season, I’ve adopted the motto “quality over quantity.” A lot of long time skiers or ski professionals have this motto. In the past, I was sure I wasn’t a good enough skier to be selective about the days I skied. I needed 10,000 hours to master this sport and was far from it having grown up in the flat lands! There’s no time to relentlessly improve my skiing, only time to have fun in the mountains and, if I think about it, it is still a luxury I’m fortunate to have.

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Yeah, I’m thinking this will be a high quality run.

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Another one of the quality days I had this year. Photo by Matt Bansak

Thanks to the Vail Resort Epic Mix app, I was able to figure out how many resort days I had this year: 32 days split between Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Breckenridge. Next up, I had to figure out my backcountry days – I went through my phone and had usually taken a photo so I noted all these dates. Then I tried to rack my baby brain for when I had not taken photos – too cold, windy, alone, etc – I counted 13 backcountry days. So 45 ski days this year as a mom of infant triplets – not too shabby! Of course, I couldn’t have done this without my amazing husband, my own mom, my in laws, my forever Swedish friend, and our new au pair! It takes a village – and I’m not talking about a cookie cutter ski village!

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New years day and some of the best turns I’ve ever had!

Who knows, maybe I’ll get 100 ski days in this year!

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When your kids spend Christmas at the ski resort, you could say you’re pretty dedicated to skiing!

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Outdoor lovers already, next up walking, then skiing!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing, Tahoe, Triplets

Trials and Trip-ulations of a Skier Mom

Winter has arrived early in Lake Tahoe this year. After 4 consecutive years of sub-par winters, the early snow is a welcome gift. After taking last year off, I’m excited to ski, but knowing I’m also busier than I’ve ever been and so I feel a need to make ski days “count.” This is a somewhat dangerous way to think if you’re traveling in the backcountry, so it’s required me to shift my attitude, avoid social media a bit, and revel in the journey. Here are a few lessons from the 5 days I’ve been skiing so far this winter…

1. I have to be efficient. I often pump on the way to and from skiing. I’m pretty sure a Sierra at Tahoe employee caught a glimpse of my milk makers while changing into my pumping bra after skiing a few runs up there early season. Solution: wear pumping bra under sports bra to avoid embarrassing encounters!

Early season turns at Sierra


2. Pumping en route to a backcountry ski, I decided to forgo bringing a coolor and simply buried my pumping parts in the snow near my truck. As I skied back to the truck, I noticed ravens circling above. I panicked – they had the ziploc bag my pumping parts and milk was in. Where was everything!?!? AHHHH! I literally started yelling! I hurried over to the bury location and, sure enough, nothing was there. My friend had picked up the scattered parts, but there was one missing. I looked around in despair, but spotted 2 of the 3 birds perched on a tree just a few hundred feet away. I waded through the thigh deep snow and saw a little pock mark in the snow. I reached down and pulled out the missing part! WOW! Solution: Bring a cooler, even birds love breast milk!

Great ski partners also help you find your pumping parts!


3. When, it’s cold, it’s COLD. Left my pump in the car and had to hook it back up after a few hours of skiing in the cold. Solution: be tough, which you already are if you’re a mom.

4. Messing up has bigger consequences. I was skiing around at Kirkwood when I swiped a tree. I heard a jingle. I stopped and checked my pocket. It was ripped and the keys had fallen out. STAY CALM. I have nerves of steel thanks to the multiple times I’ve had to accomplish things with 3 babies crying. My eyes darted, I saw a dark spot right behind me in the snow. The keys. Phew. My babies would not be going hungry. Solution: practice makes perfect… stay calm.

A father of 2 making his ski days count! After sampling this powder, a pushed it a bit and almost lost my keys!


5. Weighing 205 lbs in March 2015 had a way of keeping my legs strong. I’ve lost all the weight, but exercising twice a week since then has made the impact of early season skiing a lot harder! I’m sore! Solution: I only really have 2 or 3 hrs to ski anyway, so ha, but maybe I’ll pull out my alpine set up a few more times this year!

Working out the early season kinks


6. MOM GUILT. This is unavoidable, but I’m such a happier person after skiing and I know the triplets see this when I come home and dive right into hanging out with them. Solution: Go skiing!

Excessively hard to leave these future skiers but one day I won’t be able to keep up!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Random rambling, Skiing, Tahoe, Triplets

Introducing the Tahoe Triplets

One of the reasons I have not been regularly blogging is because I found out in early September that I was pregnant with triplets and it has been a bit overwhelming. We went through many of the stages of grief I guess – not because we were sad, just because it was quite shocking news to receive. While we were trying to have a baby, we weren’t trying to have 3 at once! After the news was broken to us at the 10 week ultrasound, I mourned the loss of skiing through my 7th month of pregnancy and really, just being a normal pregnant person! We’ve totally accepted the triplets now and are even excited (terrified, but excited!). It is quite a unique and special thing to have “spontaneous triplets.” Look that up if you feel the need to ask “are they natural?” It’s like being part of a special club? I think! Anyway, because I miss the old days of adventuring, I thought I’d make a list of all the cool things the triplets have done in utero:

1st Trimester

  • Rode Mr. Toads Wild Ride, Van Sickle, and the Bench
  • Downhill mountain biking at Northstar

I opted not to hit this jump at Northstar, but this girl styled it! I started practicing turning down unnecessary risk pretty early since that has never been easy for me!

  • 3rd Place at the 4th Annual Angora Lakes Triathlon

The start of this years Angora Lakes Triathlon

  • A lot of sailing on Lake Tahoe
  • Learned to be a pretty good waterskier!

I got to waterski about 8 times this summer/fall and really started to improve!

  • Wakesurfed

Surfing Lake Tahoe is always fun!

  • Whitewater kayaked a few Class 3 runs

This is my pal Amanda hitting up Hospital Bar on the South Fork American… I had hit the same line 30 seconds earlier.

  • Rode the Downieville Downhill

Riding the technical section of the Downieville Downhill the day before I found out about the triplets.

  • 3 day backpacking trip in the Hoover Wilderness

2nd Trimester

  • Ran 4 miles in the Chicago Marathon

I’m all smiles here, but a few hours later I realized I wouldn’t be running a lot during this pregnancy!

  • Surfed in Santa Cruz

Surfing at the hook on a mellow wave day. Best part was the sea otters swimming nearby!

  • Sailed in the SF Bay

Rachael Burks and I sailing in the San Francisco Bay. Photo by my buddy Greg Marsden!

  • Road bike ride in the Oakland Hills
  • Skied at Mammoth, Heavenly, and Kirkwood (7 resort days)

We hit Mammoth on opening day so I could ski as early in the pregnancy as possible! My jacket still fits in this photo!

  • Backcountry skis at Carson Pass and Echo Lakes
  • Swam a lot of yards – still doing this!
  • Mountain biked Corral loop, Tahoe Mountain, and Powerlines

Evening ride with preggo partner in crime Nira on Tahoe Mountain.

I still have a few weeks till my 3rd trimester as technically I’m 25 weeks pregnant, but things happen a lot faster with triplets. They say add anywhere from 10-14 weeks so if that is true, I look and feel like someone due in about a week! The goal is to make it as close to 36 weeks as possible. Most pregnancies are 40 weeks. I’m slowing down quite a bit and walking and swimming seem to feel the best at this point. But at this point, the triplets have been exposed to quite the variety of outdoor sports and should be pretty well rounded athletes! I’ve been debating whether or not to start a triplet specific blog or just momentarily cover this journey here. I think the most interesting thing will be the comeback so I’m leaning towards business as usual on meghankellyteles.com. If you have an opinion, let me know!

This is me just 10 days ago and just under 24 weeks along. Yep, super pregnant!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Biking, Random rambling, Sailing, Skiing, Tahoe, Whitewater