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Skiing Triple Digits: Days 83-88, All. Vail. Love.

On Days 83-88 of my Skiing Triple Digits Quest, I stayed close to the mountain I know and love: Vail. Even on Day 83, I began the day’s adventures with a few hours of skiing at Vail before skiing the Minturn Mile with a group of friends. Skiing the Minturn Mile is always special, and on this occasion, we celebrated Antony’s birthday après-ski at the Minturn Saloon. Vail, however, continued to be the beginning and end of my best skiing adventures on Days 83-88.

Day 83: Thursday, March 13
Vail and the Minturn Mile

A birthday hug on the top of Ptarmigan Ridge:

day 83-march 13

Day 84: Saturday, March 15

A common sight in an area called the Vail Shop Yard. I think it looks a lot like McMurdo Station, Antarctica…especially that area between MCM’s Heavy Shop and Waste Barn:

day 84-march 15

Day 85: Sunday, March 16

Taught a ski lesson on a demo pair of Nordica Wild Belles:

Day 85-march 16

Day 86: Tuesday, March 18

Worked in my home office in the morning…and then went out for a few hours of amazing afternoon pow followed by a playful walk with Kai:

day 86-march 18

Day 87: Thursday, March 20

Taught skiing and met up with Ant for an inspired end-of-day blue-uniform run together:

day 87-march 20

Day 88: Friday, March 21

Mesmerized by blue skies and Gore Range peaks:

Day 88

Want more backstory?
Read about the quest here:
Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest


Skiing Triple Digits: Days 73-77, The Logan Academy

On Days 73-77 of my Skiing Triple Digits Quest, I got in five more days of skiing at Vail. For three of these days, I skied with a team of superstar skiers as a part of Vail’s Logan Academy, which is a three-day clinic with a national team instructor, for which I was honored to be selected as a participant.

Day 73: Saturday, February 22

On this day, I taught a ski lesson to a four-year-old, and as I’m not used to teaching such young people, I think it was so traumatic that I forgot to take a photograph! If I had taken a photo, you would have seen me doing some extreme pizza wedging with a screaming child between my legs…

Day 74: Tuesday, February 25
Vail, Logan Academy

Herb, of the most excellent mustache:

day 74-feb 25

Day 75: Wednesday, February 26
Vail, Logan Academy

Taking the T-bar, Outer Mongolia:

day 75-feb 26

Day 76: Thursday, February 27
Vail, Logan Academy

Logan Academy crew under overcast skies:

day 76-feb 27

Day 77: Saturday, March 1

Yours truly, in blue:

day 77-march 1

Want more backstory?
Read about the quest here:

Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest

Badass Polar Adventures and Explorations

As you know, I love some of the world’s coolest places, Antarctica among them. I made my first trip to McMurdo Station in Antarctica to work in 2003, and then over the next few years, I spent 25 months there living and working for four summers and one winter season. While at McMurdo, I learned a lot about the history of exploration in Antarctica, and…of course…I read books, too, like Shackleton’s Endurance.

This week, I created two Learnist boards that compile and curate resources related to both North and South Pole exploration. First, if you want to know about Borge Ousland’s historic solo, unsupported expedition to the North Pole, then click the link to do your own virtual exploration:

Borge Ousland’s First Solo Trek to the North Pole


But if you’re more interested in exploring South Pole historic firsts, then check out this board:

South Pole Exploration: Historic Firsts

south pole

I’ve been curating a lot of content for Learnist, primarily on the topics of nature, adventure, and the outdoors. Check it all out here, on my Learnist page, and leave a comment if you’d like to request that I create a board on a specific topic you don’t (yet) see there!

Thanks for your support!

The Vail Summer Love Weekend Getaway!

Skiing Triple Digits: Days 26-30, Ski Girls Rock!

I spent Days 26-30 of my Skiing Triple Digits Quest at Vail, teaching skiing with the Ski Girls Rock program inspired by Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn. I spent my first days as a ski instructor laughing, learning new jokes from middle-school girls, and skiing through bumps and trees. Here are a few details and photos from these five inspired days:

Day 26: Tuesday, December 24

day 26

Today was my first official day as a ski instructor at Vail. I taught a small group of young skiers with the Ski Girls Rock program and had a great day! I love Vail during the holidays…town feels festive, trees sparkling with lights.

Day 27: Wednesday, December 25

day 27

More Ski Girls Rock teaching…great day skiing bumps and trees. Merry Christmas!

Day 28: Thursday, December 26

day 28

Another day of Ski Girls Rock. The season is shaping up well, snow dripping like frosting from the Northwoods trees.

Day 29: Friday, December 27

day 29

Skied again with my Ski Girls Rock crew. We cruised through Shangri-La glade and played with our shadows on the Teacup Express.

Day 30: Saturday, December 28

day 30

Final day with my Ski Girls Rock skiers. Happy in work, life, love.

Want more backstory?
Read about the quest here:

Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest

Skiing Triple Digits: Days 20-25, Pizza Level I

As a newbie ski instructor, I completed a ton of training early in December, and at some point, they (“they,” being Vail Resorts) just had to let me put on a blue uniform and go for it out there on my own. During Days 20-25 of my Skiing Triple Digits Quest, I audited two lessons and got to try out my teaching technique, and I also passed a three-day Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA, or “pizza”) Level I Certification Exam. Here’s how it all shook down:

Day 20: Friday, December 13
Vail, First Day in Blue

day 20

Today, I audited a class and got to practice teaching a group of kids how to use ski poles. I worked with another instructor, Calen, but I also got to get out there in a blue uniform, which is kind of weird when people come up to you and ask random questions like…where’s the nearest groomed black run?…or…where’s lost and found? Just because I have on a uniform now doesn’t mean that I necessarily know these things any better now than I did seven seasons ago when I arrived in Vail, but now I’m supposed to know. Er, still figuring it out.

Day 21: Monday, December 16
Vail, Follow-up New Hire Training

day 21

I was reunited today with my crew for a final day of training. Laughs and smiles on the gondola…I really love these people!

Day 22: Tuesday, December 17
Vail, PSIA Level I Certification Exam

day 22

Today, I spent all day at an indoor training session (snooze) for the first day of a three-day PSIA Level I Certification Exam. We watched and listened as the speaker flipped through a PowerPoint presentation. When it was time to go, I bolted out of there and got in touch with my gal-pal Tammy, who met me when she got off work for a full-moon skin up Arrowhead. The skiing down wasn’t great…but it was better than being indoors all day long!

Day 23: Wednesday, December 18
Vail, PSIA Level I Certification Exam

day 23

Today was the second day of the three-day Level I Cert, and we all got to hang out with our trainer and examiner, Dave, who normally works at Beaver Creek. Even though it could be nerve wracking to get evaluated in front of peers on ski maneuvers, teaching technique, and skier analysis, Dave made the process less intimidating…and even fun.

Day 24: Thursday, December 19
Vail, PSIA Level I Certification Exam

day 24

Today was the final day of our Level I Certification Exam, and I passed! Whoo hoo! New knowledge, a bit of professionalism, and a slight raise were my rewards. By the end of the three days, I felt like I’d really gotten to know everyone in my group, and we all had fun going through the process together.

Day 25: Friday, December 20
Vail, New Hire Audit

day 25

Today, I completed my final audit requirement, which meant that I was officially ready to teach as a ski instructor at Vail. I skied with Christy’s class and helped as needed. Overall, the training and certification process was a positive one. I had lots of fun, met a bunch of new people, and learned a ton in the process. Plus, working with kids (and adults who act like kids) is super refreshing. This is the type of work environment where it’s ok to laugh, ok to have a passion for skiing, and ok to end the day with a snow angel.

Want more backstory?
Read about the quest here:
Skiing Triple Digits: The Quest