Sunday, April 3, 2016


Hello? Jack Frost? I just wanted to call and let you know that I missed you this winter. I hope that you are ok and that your absence these past few months is something you can correct starting next November. Let me know where to send the "get well soon" card.


you fan- sven

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Ski Stories

I bought a new pair of skis last weekend and as I was waiting for them to get mounted a friend of mine asked me what I'd bought. I started to explain, but found that I was explaining about other skis first- as this new pair of skis was a quiver ski. By the time my story was done my friend looked at me and asked, "so how many pairs of skis do you have?"

I thought about it and while I didn't (and still don't) know the actual count I know it's over 20 pairs of skis. As I write that I can feel myself getting defensive since I feel very justified in each pair of skis, and in fact still feel there are several holes in the quiver. Please keep in mind this quiver includes: alpine, Nordic, back country, and telemark skis.  Within each of these categories I have several sub categories- in other words all the skis have a purpose.

But that isn't the point of this post. Instead, I got to thinking about all of these skis, and of skis I no longer have- I realized there are some fun stories tied to those various boards. I want to try and recall and share some of those stories. So here we go.

The first pair of skis I'm going to talk about were literally my first pair of skis.

I don't know who made them, but I know that they were the first skis I stood on and slid on snow.  I don't have any memories of skiing on them, but I did find a photo of my Mom and I skiing at Pleasant Mountain, I'm guessing it's '75 or '76.

I still have these skis. They've stayed with me for 40 years. I don't reflect about them often, but from time to time they catch my eye and I think back to other childhood skiing memories. Some of which will come out in this series! But it was the other day that these skis caused me to think about something I'm not sure I ever thought about. See, I've been a skier for most of my life, and most of the time when people ask me about my skiing when I was a kid they assume that it was my Dad that taught me how to ski, after all he's the one in the Maine Skiing Hall of Fame, but it was my Mom that taught me to ski.

In fact, I don't have any real early memories of skiing with my Dad, but I have a lot memories of skiing with my Mom. I can remember skiing up at Sugarloaf and doing a race but going the wrong way around each gate. I can remember my Mom making me learn how to sidestep and herringbone up the hill in our back yard after I skied straight down the hill. I wanted her to just carry me up. I remember her helping me onto the Pine lift at Pleasant Mountain. It was my Mom that taught me how to ski.

So while many say I ski like my Dad (which is a huge compliment), it is my Mom that I owe for helping me first find my love of gliding on snow. Thank you Mom.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Virtual Skiing?

I’ve been searching for a cross-country ski video game, and I’ve had no luck.  Why is that?  I can find numerous games for downhill skiing, snowboarding, BMX, race cars, and all sorts of shoot’em’ups- but nothing for Nordic.

Part of the reason I find this so fascinating is one of the most famous and successful pieces of exercise equipment is a cross-country ski simulator- the Nordic Track.  For millions of people cross-country skiing is done in shorts and tennis @shoes while watching CNN.  I’ll bet they've never had a binding ice up or missed the wax.

So when will it jump to the video game world, especially now that we have the Wii or XBox Kinetic?  While this thought started out with a sarcastic tone, I’m now thinking I might be on to something.  When I look through the bicycling catalogs or check out my favorite cycling websites I find several bike trainers that hook into the video game system so that you can race or tour various places around the world while getting a workout.  You can ride the famed climbs of the Tour de France with your trainer providing ample resistance as pixels flash across the screen in an animated accent up Mont Ventoux.  We could accomplish that same thing with a simple hook up to a Nordic Track! 

Just think, instead of having to go outside, which in itself requires getting dressed in what some might call ridiculous clothing, we could go down to our living room and jump on the machine and plug in the White Mountain Classic 30KM or the course for the Great Glen 300.  If we wanted to feel more worldly we could plug in a tour of Norway or race around the trails near St. Anton.  This could be the best new way to explore the world, and you could even program in your chosen weather.

No more waxing skis, no more drying wet boots, no more looking for that lost glove.  It would cut down tremendously on the amount of laundry that would need to be done.  Just like the spinning bikes and their events and classes that have cropped up in health centers, we could even have mass start events where everyone skis like crazy- but nobody goes anywhere!

Ok, now I’m getting really excited- I could sell all my skis, poles, boots, wax, wax table, iron, car rack and box, a ton of lycra, and this would put cash in my pocket and free up a good amount of space in my basement.  But wait- before I go hog wild with my new indoor cross-country ski career maybe I should reflect on what I love about this sport.

The sensation of cold clean air being ingested deep into my lungs.  The sound of a ski gliding over fresh snow, the view of snow capped mountains, the look of fresh snow on evergreen bows, the smile on my daughters faces after they make it down a big downhill, the snow on my dogs noses as they sniff yet another tree well.  I just love the experience on moving across the Earth on skis, that and I think the outside world looks better in real life than it does in HD on a TV.

Ok time to go outside and go skiing.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


I know that our resorts here in the east are now only three months or so away from testing snowmaking. I know there is a 50/50 chance that I'll ski before the end of October- and that is exciting. But I know there is a 100% chance I'll be skiing by December.

But running the Winter Olympics in a place that only has 2" of snowfall per winter? That's stretching what we should expect from snowmaking.

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Different Way To Spend Time in the Mountains

This August the 20th and final edition of the 24 Hours of Great Glen will take place. This is an endurance mountain bike race were competitors race around the clock, on teams or as solo riders. All of this happening in shadow of Mount Washington.

I've been doing this race for awhile, in fact the only one I missed was year one. I love this event and I had the opportunity to talk with Ben Welnak of Mountain Bike Radio about the race. Here is a link to the interview. I hope you enjoy.

Mountain Bike Radio interview.

See you in the mountains.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Conway Road Gap

I've always wanted to do a road gap, ever since seeing a skier jump a train in some 1980's Warren Miller movie. I've never done it, never even been to a road gap jump before.  Now I use the excuse that I'm too old.

Then I saw this, doesn't change that I may be too old, but certainly puts a smile on my face as it's local and pretty cool.


Conway Road Gap.

Friday, November 29, 2013


I just got back from watching Frozen with the family. It’s a cute movie and one that has shown me the ultimate super power- the ability to make snow- lots of it! And we’re not talking the styrofoam type of man-made snow (no offense as we’d be screwed without that stuff)- but legit powder day type of snow.

The funny part was that the winter conditions she was creating were an issue in the movie, and I get why, but I couldn’t help but think that there was another whole storyline that was being missed. That and when the characters RAN down these perfectly filled couloirs I was losing my mind- SKI THEM! The worst part there was a reindeer in the movie- and his name, Sven.

Still it was a cute movie, and as we drove home I could see the lights on at Shawnee Peak as they are cranking up the snowmaking over their way to get open in a couple of weeks.  And it’s been all manmade snow out there thus far this season (well except the Jay Cloud storm from a couple weeks ago that I missed, grumble, grumble)- and those guys that are out doing the work of hauling hoses and checking lines and moisture content are doing it all without magic- so hats off to them! I’ve snuck up to Sunday River a few times to get in a pre-dawn climb and ski, and I’m itching to get out for a full bore day on the hill. I’ve even snuck out on the athletic fields for a bit of fast grass Nordic skiing just to try and get the legs moving. Soon, soon- I keep telling myself.

Anyway- the ski season is here. It’s starting with a bit of a whimper- but that’s ok, it’s starting. But soon we’ll be enjoying snow just like I saw in Frozen- and I can’t wait.