Stowe’s Sugar Slalom: It’s about 10 a.m., and the little brown shack at the bottom of Stowe’s Gondolier trail has been sending up steam for hours. Nearby, helmeted heads line both sides of two long wooden troughs packed full of snow. The troughs are exactly chin-high to the smallest faces, which eagerly await the opening of the sugar shack door. Finally, it opens. More sweet-scented steam billows out, and a man in a checkered flannel shirt emerges with a pot of thick boiling syrup, which he pours into each trough. Little hands plunge wooden tongue depressors into the hardened treasure, scooping gooey strands into their mouths, then digging for more. This is sugar on snow, icon of Stowe’s annual Sugar Slalom. » Read more
Take a Seat: Look ahead. It’s perhaps the most oft-repeated advice in ski racing. Look three gates ahead in slalom, two in GS, as far downslope as possible in downhill. But at the moment, “ahead” is the six inches between my nose and the snow. I am struggling, for the third time in quick succession, to right myself without using my legs, which are strapped irretrievably into a monoski. I have traded the security of my own skis for a hip-hugging molded fiberglass bucket mounted on a shock-absorbing frame, attached to a ski and stabilized by two outriggers. With the proper guidance, this baby can go in excess of 70 mph, in control. Under me, however, the well-engineered machine is little more than a twirling teacup ride, its movements capricious and random. » Read more
Trading Races: The New Yorkers wear black, and they are impatient. Here on the exposed summit of Bald Mountain, they crane their necks in search of stragglers. Nobody wants to be rude—at least not blatantly rude—but as the minutes pass, the financiers check their watches with increasing frequency and stomp their feet with diminishing discretion. A gathering wind blows the clouds on the horizon ever closer, threatening to obscure that mostprecious of January commodities: sunshine. Finally, from somewhere deep inside the herd, a voice cries out: “Chamonix Rules! As one, the group pushes off, hellbent for the distant sunlit ridge above Deer Valley’s Empire Canyon. As for the stragglers? Well, they know the rules. » Read more
Cowboy Up: By the third gong I register it as the come-and-get-it bell. In this case, signaling lunch-a lunch I have neither procured nor prepared nor even thought about until this moment-at Skyline Guest Ranch in Telluride, Colo. With a practiced cowgirl gait (disguising my determination to scuff my new cowboy boots), I mosey on down a dirt trail that leads from the barn toward the cluster of log cabins that are my home for the week.
Skiing History’s ‘Where Are They Now’
Kjetil Andre Aamodt: With eight Olympic and 12 World Championship medals, the “Baby Shark” is cruising happily through retirement. » Read more
Tommy Moe: From Jackson Hole to Alaska, the former Olympic downhill champ now makes a living as a mountain and river guide. » Read more
Annemarie Moser-Proell: The Austrian “Sportswoman of the Century” says her 62-win World Cup record was made to be broken. » Read more
Racer Next on Ski Racing.com
Columns from the 2014-15 ski season.
Should You Put Your Kid on Ice this Summer? Parents may be agonizing over summer skiing. Is it right for my kid? How much? When? How far? » Read more
The Best Advice You Never Got: When it comes to advice, of course, timing is everything. When the student is ready, the teacher is there. » Read more
The Prodigy Problem: Throughout the season, I’m often asked whether I think certain kids are going to go “all the way” or if they “have what it takes.” This time of year, parents can get starry-eyed or blurry-eyed at their kids’ performances in these seemingly all-important championship events. » Read more
The College Try: Ever since racing for Sierra Nevada College myself, I’ve loved the vibe of college racing. It’s fun but intense; team-oriented but still individually rewarding. » Read more
Failure is the New Success: Not to be a buzz-kill, but as the racing season cranks into high gear, it’s time to have a chat about failure. It is inevitable. It is painful. It is also a rite of passage on the route to success. » Read more
Who’s Got the Look? On the eve of the World Championships, we put a lot of energy into predicting who’ll medal. We analyze past results, equipment, training, course conditions, physical condition, weather and of course luck to consider. But the one thing that can trump them all is confidence. » Read more
Hermannator I – The Original: Long before a young bricklayer from Flachau captivated the ski world’s attention, another, quieter, Hermannator from Zell am See was changing the sport. » Read more
Ski Racing À La Carte: How parents can afford to keep their kids in the sport. » Read more
I, Ski Racing Parent, Do Solemnly Swear… Why you need to take this pledge to keep our young athletes in this sport. » Read more
The Price is (Not) Right: I recently posed a broad but simple question to ski friends on Facebook: What are some ways to make ski racing more affordable? » Read more
» Follow this link to see more of my work in the Articles Archive.