Tag Archives: tahoe

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!


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.


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


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!


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!


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


Outdoor lovers already, next up walking, then skiing!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing, Tahoe, Triplets

3rd Annual Angora Lakes Triathlon RESULTS!

I’ve finally gotten around to compiling the results. I’m not sure they are perfect but everyone who participates knows that this event is about (1) having fun (2) pushing yourself and (3) bragging rights among friends. I think the most fun thing is the slight competitive spirit everyone has when there are no prizes and not much training. At the finish line I heard friends ribbing each other – “you were beating me, but then I passed you on the run,” etc. My husband asked me what my favorite part of the event is and I said that it’s the end, when everyone keeps saying how much fun they had! When I first did this event with just one other friend, I knew more people needed to get in on it, so I am elated that we continue to grow each year!

Congrats to the men’s winner – Lee Collins, the women’s winner for the 3rd year in a row – Lauren Lindley, the Masters winner – Terry Daniels, and the Youth winner – Marin Underhill!

A sample of some of the great photos that came out of the event.

The start (Photo by Gretchen Eichar)

The bike (Photo by Gretchen Eichar)

The run (photo by Gretchen)

The men’s champion – Lee Collins (photo by Gretchen)

The swim (photo by Gretchen)

Women's champion - Lauren Lindley (photo by Court Brock)

Women’s champion – Lauren Lindley (photo by Court Brock)

The cliff jumps (photo by Court Brock www.powdork.com)

The cliff jumps (photo by Court Brock http://www.powdork.com)

Happy swimmer (photo by Gretchen)

The finish (photo by Officer Underhill)

So without further ado…

1 Lee Collins – 1:04:50
2 Dane Shannon – 1:14:07
3 Terry Daniels – 1:34:39, Masters Winner!
4 Dan Sussman – 1:36:39
5 Adam Muskovitz – 1:40:21, **SWAN DIVE!
6 Scott Mitchell – 1:52:31
7 Andrew Peter Klotz – 2:03:55

1 Lauren Lindley – 1:14:08, 3 time champ!
2 Patricia Sussman – 1:22:36
3 Meghan Kelly – 1:31:25
4 Michelle Kelly – 1:34:25, *on a mtn bike!
5 Raina Blasser – 1:35:08
6 Melanie Shasha – 1:35:40
7 Michelle Sweeney – 1:35:55
8 Rachel Sigman – 1:38:37
9 Erica Harris – 1:39:02
10 Karen Fink – 1:39:05
11 Jessica Star – 1:40:21
12 Debra Scolnick – 1:41:12
13 Mandi Winnicki – 1:42:56
14 Liz Lundholm – 1:43:59
15 Jenn Boyd – 1:44:12
16 Arica Davis – 1:47:37
17 Tara Chitwood – 1:51:58
18 Judy Weber – 1:52:04
19 Madelyn Rios – 1:52:04
20 Sarah Jones – 1:54:30
21 Allison Wall – 1:54:38
22 Sierra Bertolone-Smith – 1:54:38
23 Claudia Bertolone-Smith – 1:54:38
24 Jade Star – 1:56:50
25 Ali Warren – 2:01:25
26 Marin Underhill – 2:01:25, Youngest Competitor
27 Maggie Levi – 2:03:40
28 Lyndsay Bryant – 2:03:40
29 Virginia Evans – 2:04:02
30 Amanda McRae – 2:06:48

To see all the photos from the event, go here.

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Filed under Biking, Fake Triathlons, Tahoe

Wow Part 2

I’m finally equipped to report on last week’s awesomeness. It started off by me throwing and mostly landing eight backflips on a kicker I built with fellow Kirkwood Freeride teammates Will B and Trout. The session made me feel strong and ready to throw them while freeskiing.

Then I had two great full days in the backcountry – one was home in Tahoe where we found powder nearly 10 days after the last storm.

Powder in the Desolation Wilderness

Powder in the Desolation Wilderness

The other was down in the Eastern Sierras where we finally figured out the lay of the land outside the Twin Lakes area and were able to find the Incredible Hulk. Conditions in the couloir were a bit firm for me to ski it as I had forgotten my whippet, but I’ll definitely return. All in all it was another beautiful day in the backcountry with great people.

The Incredible Hulk and one of its couloirs (Photo by Jeremy Martin)

On Monday morning I awoke to the amazing news that my team was the recipient of the 2013 Polartec Challenge Grant! Our proposed trip was to sail from Iceland to Greenland with an all female crew and ski first descents! We are extremely honored and have a lot of planning and preparation to do over the next few months!

So there you have it! Just four days will have me smiling for months to come!

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing, Tahoe, Travel

It was worth it!

Clear and cold conditions have made the skiing in Tahoe awesome. I’m not alone in thinking this season has completely made up for last season. I can’t remember it being this cold in Tahoe for this long and am hearing that from longtime locals as well.

Dawn at Elephants Back (Photo by Will B)

Pow turns days after the storm (Photo by Lauren Lindley)

Pow turns days after the storm (Photo by Lauren Lindley)

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing, Tahoe

Get Avy Savvy! Upcoming Avalanche Education Opportunities!

There are a number of really cool and affordable or free avalanche awareness clinics coming up in Lake Tahoe that I’m looking forward to attending. Some of these are women’s only, but others are open to everyone and the price is right – FREE!

Friday, December 7th: Free Community Avalanche Seminar at Alpenglow Sports, 6:30 pm

Saturday, December 8th, 7am – 5pm: S.A.F.E. A.S. Women’s Only Clinic / Squaw Valley
Women’s Intro to Avalanche Safety and FUNdraiser Day, to benefit the High Fives Foundation. Locals Elyse Saugstad, Michelle Parker, Lel Tone, Sherry McConkey, Ingrid Backstrom, and Jackie Paaso are proud to present this one-day event at Squaw Valley that will raise snow safety and avalanche awareness in a comfortable, fun, and welcoming environment. All levels welcome. The price is $80 -includes lift ticket, lunch, and yoga (all money goes to charity). AMAZING DEAL! Limited to 30 so sign up now! For more information and to register go to: http://www.highfivesfoundation.org/index.php/events/2012-11-12-19-50-00

Also, if you’re not a female and still want to get involved with High Fives and become more educated on backcountry travel, check out their B.A.S.I.C.S. program launching this year.

Thursday, December 13th: Greg Hill Slideshow, 7pm, Squaw’s Olympic Village Lodge
FREE and raffle ticket sales benefit the Sierra Avalanche Center! Come hear the man who skied two million feet speak about his journey and the deadly slide on Manaslu this past fall.

Wednesday, January 9th: Avalanche Safety-The Human Factors
Alpenglow Sports, Tahoe City / 6:30-8:30pm
Megan Michelson will share her first hand experiences from last year’s Steven’s Pass avalanche where three people were killed. Megan wrote about this tragedy in this fall’s Outside Magazine. Read the article, Tunnel Vision on her website. Megan will lead a discussion about the human factors of avalanche safety, an ever-growing field of study. What is human nature when traveling in groups? How does group mentality contribute to or hinder safety? We’ll discuss some rules of thumb to follow. Enjoy wine, snacks, and door prizes as well as 20% off everything at Alpenglow Sports (excluding skis, boots, bindings, beacons, skins and poles).

Get educated and have fun all season long! Hope to see everyone there!

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

Tahoe’s Split Personality Disorder

November and I have a love-hate relationship. I usually get incredibly antsy about winter in a month where it usually snows enough to make it cold and icy on the mountain bike trials, but not enough to ski. This November weekend changed that relationship. In fact, the options were plentiful and almost equally enticing. The mountain biking was as good as it’s been all year. The temperature mid-day was perfect for climbing or hiking. And I even heard reports of powder skiing above 8000′, easily accessible near Carson Pass. While snow is always hard for me to turn down, I know winter is coming and so I opted to bask in the sunshine and hit the tacky dirt and warm rock. It turned out to be one of my favorite weekends in Tahoe in my least favorite month! I might have to revise those rankings.

Taylor taking in the view near the Van Sickle Trail

Taylor on the Van Sickle decent

Friends on the top of Castle Rock

Taylor at the end of her lead on Castle Rock

Juliana making some moves up Castle Rock – a 5.8 Sport Climb

The author near the top of the climb. Stellar views of Lake Tahoe await.

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Filed under Biking, Tahoe


Yes, it’s winter in Tahoe. More wintry than it ever was last year. Even enough snow to make some turns!

Quick session yesterday at Heavenly to work out the kinks before a full on session today at Kirkwood. Bring it!

Here’s a quick video of the turns before my GoPro ran out of batteries.

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Filed under Backcountry Skiing, Skiing, Tahoe