Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Women's Alpine Adventures, Okemo, VT

Each winter Heather returns to Okemo Mountain in Vermont to teach the Women's Alpine Adventure Clinics. This program has been a highlight of the year for many women for over 17 years. Started by Janet Spangler, then led by Jennifer Speck and now by Maria Tomaselli, this is one of the best women's programs in the country. There are five, three and two all day sessions held from

January to early March. Five or less women are in each group and receive all day ski/snow board lessons from the same instructor each day. The total number of students in each session varied from 24 to 56 this year so far. The program includes early morning stretches, breakfast, lunch, welcome cocktail party and for the five day programs, an awards dinner. At least once during each session the students are video taped and critiqued.
During the three or five day sessions there are clinics which allow women to try bumps, racing, alternative equipment, snow boarding or even cross country/snow shoeing. At the end of every session there is the thrill of having challenged yourself and having suceeded in reaching a new level of skiing/boarding. Women of all ages participate; sixteen is the minimum age and many of us were lucky to have known Muffy Prendegast who skied with us until she was 91. All our students move way outside their comfort zone and set new higher limits for its' boundaries - all in a supportive and fun environment. My students can't wait to call home after a session to let their family or friends know that they skied the bumps/black diamonds/double black diamond/glades, or did a 360 freestyle move or "got air". At the end of each sessions alumnae awards for years of attendance are given out; two, four, eight, twelve and this year, sixteen for Shirley Berkowitz!

Friday, February 01, 2008

A Visit to California

We flew out to California to visit our daughter Zoe and her family; husband George and sons Nick (4) and Tommy (1). We spent some of the time in Palo Alto where they live and five days at Heavenly Valley Ski Area in South Lake Tahoe. Above are shots of Scott, Zoe and the family in the condo living room, Nick and Tommy being towed in a sled and one of Tommy and I looking very happy.

The condo at the Lakeland Village Resort was right on the lake and very comfortable. We were surprised to see boats moored right near us and lots of ducks! The lake doesn't freeze as it is VERY deep. Happily it was a clear sunny day for the first two days and then the snow began again and continued for the rest of our stay. Our drives home took twice as long but the skiing was fantastic! We all went up the mountain in the gondola, Nick went sledding and then we had lunch outdoors!

Scott and George skied and snowboarded on Sunday and then Scott and I skied Monday and Tuesday. It continued to snow throughout and we had fresh deep powder both days. We skied in the trees for most of the time and loved it! Once in a while the sun would come out and we'd see the fabulous views of Lake Tahoe and the surrounding mountains around us.