Saturday, November 24, 2012

A MoveShake Story

Alison Gannett, A MoveShake Story from RED REEL on Vimeo.

I was just on the Alpine Initiatives blog and came across this beautiful video that I found worth sharing. Meet Alison Gannett. For more information and further inspiration visit

With three nonprofits, two for profits, a 75 acre farm and a professional skiing career, Alison Gannett has a lot on her plate. Although, as a warrior for climate change, there is not much Alison sees as impossible.

Determined to walk the talk, she strives for 100% self sufficiency at her farm in Paonia, Colorado. Alison has created real change speaking as a climate change consultant to businesses and audiences large and small. She recognizes the deep connection between the environment and her outdoor passion with the Save our Snow organization and inspires other women to fall in love with the outdoors by teaching them how to ski, mountain bike and surf with her Rippin’ Chix camps.

But, there are some things Alison just can’t control. No matter the effort, despite her hard work, there will still be challenges even she cannot overcome. This MoveShake story brings us into Alison’s life as an eternal optimist as she faces the destruction of the everything she has built, and what that vulnerability has taught her.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Bonus Footage from Superheroes of Stoke

Can't wait for more of this soon! Enjoy.

Chattanooga, TN

Went to Chattanooga, TN last weekend for another premiere of MSP's Superheroes of Stoke. I felt like TN was a pretty random place to have a ski premiere, but it turned out to be a great time. 

The day of the premiere Byron and I went to a place called Stone Fort. There were boulders all over the place with so many options it was almost overwhelming.

Felt good to get outside and do something active while traveling. Being active while traveling has been a goal of mine this fall since I've been on the road so much. It's been tough at times to find that balance or the time even, but I feel like I've done a good job of staying healthy.

I do wish that the options for food at airports were better. It's super challenging at times to find a healthy meal. Been traveling with a lot of snacks to keep my mind off of the available food in the airports and the second I get home I've been juicing and making smoothies like crazy! Even purchased a new blender to step up the smoothies! My favorite smoothies recipe right now is half and avocado, blueberries, strawberries, spinach, one banana, spirulina, maca root, hemp milk, and protein powder. Try it out!

Back in Tahoe now for my first week home since July. Feels so good to be back. Woodward at Tahoe has been the best place to hang while I'm waiting for winter. Off to Hawaii in a few days! Hope to return to mountains covered in snow. If not, I might have to chase winter!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Women's S.A.F.E. A.S. Workshop

Are you SAFE AS...

Lel Tone researching the avy forecast in the morning...
Michelle Parker checking beacons prior to departure...
Elyse Saugstad practicing proper travel techniques...
Ingrid Backstrom assessing the snow pack in the field...
Jackie Paaso knowing how to due a proper beacon search...
Sherry McConkey continuing to refresh her knowledge over time...

Do you know how to be as S.A.F.E.  A.S. us?
Skiers Advocating and Fostering Education for Avalanche and Snow Safety.....

Lel Tone, Ingrid Backstorm, Elyse Saugsted, Jackie Paaso, Sherry McConkey and myself are proud to present with Squaw Valley, Wildflour Bakery, and the High Fives Foundation a S.A.F.E. A.S. Women's Introductory Clinic on Avalanche and Snow Safety as a FUNdraiser for High Fives... 

WHAT: Women's Intro to Avalanche Safety and FUNdraiser Day with classroom and on-snow training, morning yoga, delicious and healthy Wildflour Lunch, and apres party and raffle at Rocker.

WHERE: Squaw Valley

WHEN: The main event is December 8, 7am-5pm with an informal, optional Wine Social at Uncorked at 6pm Dec. 7

WHO FOR: Women, ages 14 and older who are interested in snow and avalanche safety in and out of bounds and who enjoy a good time for a good cause.  Participants are asked to provide their own avalanche beacon, shovel, probe, and backpack.  Maximum of 30 participants.

WHO BY: Taught by Squaw Valley's own avalanche forecaster, Alaska heli-ski guide, and AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) Avalanche Instructor Lel Tone, hosted by ski professionals Elyse Saugstad, Michelle Parker, Jackie Paaso, and Ingrid Backstrom, with yoga by certified instructor Sherry McConkey.

WHY: We hope this event will:
                --Heighten community snow safety and avalanche awareness
                --Foster an open, welcoming environment by which to encourage participation and communication
                --Provide a really fun experience for everyone
                --Raise money and awareness for High Fives BASICS, an amazing cause bringing snow       safety into schools

HOW MUCH: $80 - Includes yoga, classroom and small group on-snow instruction and skiing/snowboarding plus lunch and light apres. Tickets will be included for those who do not have Squaw season passes. All proceeds go to charity.

Additional support provided by Uncorked, The McConkey Foundation, Rocker, Women of Winter. Sponsored by Salomon, Helly Hansen, Arcade, Mountain Hardwear, The North Face, First Ascent, Scott, Anon, Kask, and


Lead Instructor Lel Tone has been a member of the Squaw Valley Ski Patrol since 1994 and the Assistant Avalanche Forecaster since 2004. Lel has been a helicopter ski guide in Alaska for Chugach Powder Guides and Tordrillo Mountain Lodge for the last 14 years. She is a licensed Avalanche Blaster in the state of California and an Avalanche control route leader at Squaw. She is an AIARE (American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education) Level 1 and 2 Avalanche Instructor. Lel has been teaching avalanche courses in our local community and around the West for the last 10 plus years.

Ingrid Backstrom is considered to be one of the most influential professional big mountain skiers in the world. She has appeared in 9 Matchstick Productions movies, three Warren Miller Entertainment Films, ‘All.I.Can.’ by the Rocky Mountain Sherpas, the documentary Steep, and has won Powder Magazine’s ‘Best Female Performance’ five times. She considers herself extremely fortunate that skiing has taken her all around the globe, including Pakistan, Antarctica, Greenland, and first descents in Baffin Island and on 20,000ft. Reddomaine Peak in China.  She has AIARE Level 1 certification.

Elyse Saugstad was raised in Girdwood, Alaska and since that time became passionately involved with freeride and backcountry skiing as a professional skier. Between 2007 and 2009 Elyse won many International Freeride Competitions she entered and in 2008 was crowned the Freeride World Tour Champion. For the past few years she has worked with many noteworthy ski film companies  such as Salomon Freeski TV and graced the pages of ski magazines around the globe. Elyse has worked with Chugach Powder Guides as a guest athlete. She has AIARE Level 1 certification.

Jackie Paaso has been a professional skier and a member of the Squaw Valley Freeride Team since 2009. She spends the majority of her winters competing on the Freeride World Tour and has many notable results like winning the 2010 Squaw Tram Face event and the 2012 Chamonix event. This past spring she filmed with Warren Miller Entertainment for their 2012 movie “Flow State” exploring the Norwegian Arctic. Jackie has been expanding her knowledge of big mountains and avalanche terrain all over the world. She has AIARE Level 1 certification.

Michelle Parker is a 25 year old professional skier who was born and raised in Squaw Valley and has been a member of the Squaw Valley Freeride Team since 2006. She films with Matchstick Productions and is featured in the latest film ‘Superheroes of Stoke’, whereupon this past fall she was awarded IF3’s ‘Best Female Performance’. Michelle is addicted to chasing winter in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and spends most of her time in the mountains skiing, climbing, hiking, and biking. Michelle has AIARE Level 1 certification.

Sherry McConkey is an outdoor enthusiast who has been teaching yoga for seven years. She is a certified Anusara teacher, a form of yoga that focuses on alignment. Anusara is great for athletes to help with restorative stretching/yoga whereupon your body can heal, gain strength, clear the mind, and ultimately enhance your athletic performance. Sherry is also the founder of the Shane McConkey Foundation, a Tahoe non-profit organization. Sherry is in the process of being AIARE Level 1 certified.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5 Things I've Learned

I recently did an interview with Women's Movement called 5 Things I've learned. Below is a snip it from the interview...

On passion…Through skiing, I’ve learned about health, discipline, the power of the mind, business, design, and so many more things. Most importantly, though, skiing has taught me about passion and what it means to be a passionate person. Skiing drives me and it’s built a foundation in my life that extends out to almost all aspects of my life. ‘Passion’ is one of my favorite words and favorite characteristics in humans. When someone has passion it radiates from them—it’s such a beautiful thing.

For the whole shebang head over to Women's Movement

Don't know where to start...

Since I returned home from South America, I've been traveling more than ever. Every week I've been in a new place and have barely had enough time to sit down and reflect on the past couple of months. Since July, I haven't been home for more than 5 days. It's been a wild fall to say the least. All of my trips have been super fun, but I've neglected posting much on my blog which is a bummer because playing catch up and sharing everything that has happened seems impossible.

The Above photo was taken by Ben Girardi. This summer at SGT I had some of the most amazing ladies come down as clients. Our group rolled deep with 11 chicas at times. It was amazing to be surrounded by such amazing female rippers, both skiers and snowboarders. Nicki Slechta and I had our hands full with this crew as we would wake up early to do yoga in the morning, ski all day (harder than the guys), come down around 4:30, have a snack, run at least 4-6 miles, eat, dance, sleep, and do it all over again. This group of ladies were definitely the highlight of my summer and I have been fortunate enough to visit a few of them during the MSP movie tour.

Despite the conditions this summer being less snow than the average year, we still made the absolute best of it. Half way through the camp season, I was joined by the Mountain Hardwear crew in Bariloche for a photo shoot. We made a hut trip out to Frey, one of my favorite places on earth, and traveled to Chile in search of better snow.

In Chile, there really wasn't much snow at all. We arrived in Portillo with a thawed lake, lot's of slush, and hot temps. Again, we made the best of it and strapped out skis onto a few borrowed kayaks to get across the lake for a days adventure with not much skiing involved. Upon reaching the other side of the lake, we quickly realized that we wouldn't be skiing. Wet slides and massive boulders were falling off the mountain. At least the food was really good!

The views were also really good. After Portillo, we had a few days in Santiago before heading back to the states. Heimer, Josh, and I soaked up the culture eating delicious food and touring the streets of Santiago.

We visited the fish market way too early in the morning. My senses were on overload after soaking up the fishy smell of the crazy assortment of fish at the market.

Santiago has such an amazing contrast between old and new. The architecture throughout the city gives you such a good feel for time and change.

So many stray puppies walking around, hard to resist not taking one home. After a few days in Santiago, we were ready to come back to the states where both Heimer and I would start our crazy fall movie tour with MSP.