ski bummette

Southern girl playing in the Rockies, living in a Dude's world, and writing about adventures in the great outdoors.

Archive for the category “Crested Butte”

Around the World on 7 Peaks

Press-Meet-Banner

This week a group of Nepalese women, who call themselves the Seven Summits Women are receiving international acclaim for being rockstar mountaineers. Women between the ages of 21 and 32 have joined forces to change the perception in Nepal of women in mountaineering. They are on an adventure and on a mission to do just that by climbing the highest peak on each of the seven continents. They are hoping to attract more women to the realm of climbing by visiting schools as a group and explaining their mission, which includes education, empowerment and environment. The team have taken out loans, used up their savings and looked for sponsors in order to make this happen. All in the name of women empowerment through adventure in the great outdoors. Keep up the amazing work ladies! I can’t imagine how many girls you inspire everyday!

Saphalhos!!

ChhurimEverestRecord-621x324Earlier this month, Chhurim, a Nepalese woman, became a Guinness World Record holder by becoming the first woman to scale Mt. Everest twice in same climbing season. In fact the 2 trips were only a week apart. 21 women have reached the peak of Mt. Everest, but only Chhurim has been able to reach it twice in one season. In the article, she addresses that it is rare for women to accomplish physical feats such as this because “they are considered not as strong as men and face many problems like finding toilets,” which shows how much impact all of these women could have if they showed the world that they can hold their own at something most people in the world would never attempt to do.

Here in Crested Butte, a small but significant portion of our community is Nepalese. I have worked with Sonam and Namkha in the restaurant that I worked in for years until just recently. I managed to learn a few basic greetings in both the Nepalese and Sherpa languages, such as “how are you? > Kasto Cha?” or “thank you > Dhanybhad” “good night > subha ratri” They were often  the lights of the restaurant. You never heard them complaining. You never saw them get angry. but you did always see them smiling. I have an intense passion for travel and learning about different cultures, so I can’t imagine how much I probably annoyed them (although you’d never notice it) by asking questions about their lives in Nepal. Most of the Nepalese in CB are Sherpa, and have made a huge mark in town with their out-of-this-world food at both the Sherpa Cafe and Momo. Many were guides back in Nepal, some of them having double digits worth of Everest climbs. Their stories fascinate me. You walk into any bar here and hear the same story a million times of what somebody “hucked” that day or how many ski days they have put in this winter. But if those lovers of bragging rights sat down just once to hear what their busser at dinner that night did in a day back in Nepal, they would quickly be humbled. It is a culture that I had never encountered before moving here, and one of the many things I love so much about our community.

CB Ladies Join Forces with SheJumps!

I wouldn’t say I am a shy person. I do choose moments to speak publicly wisely though. I usually think my thoughts through and know what I am getting into before talking to a large group of strangers. Exactly a week ago on opening day here at Crested Butte, I had to throw every reservation in my head out the window and just go for it. KBUT, our local radio station handed me the mike and I looked down at the lift lines that were busting at the seams with people and told them all about what makes me tick these days. SheJumps! Luckily I had the support of some amazing ladies around me who were representing awesome women doing awesome things together. Dressed in our best, hot pink pants that came up to the boobs, blond disco afros, giant fur coats, TUTUS, ladies joined me at the tent CBMR graciously set up for us and introduced SheJumps to Gunnison Valley.

Check out the write up of Opening Day on SheJumps! 

Check out me as a featured “jumper” on SheJumps!

A few ladies from elsewhere in Colorado, who have actual credentials with SJ, board member and regional directors, Liz, Mel, and El, came down for the day and gave me a ton of support for my first event. It was great to have their input with everything, and to talk to women who were passionate about other women getting out there. Their enthusiasm for SJ was contagious, and the excitement of what we, as women, can do this winter through such a strong organization was inspiring.

I love my little ski town. There are so many awesome women in this valley who dominate at whatever they do, and I would love to combine our passions and bring the ladies together. It’s going to be an exciting season here in CB!

 

 

Welcome to Town Ladies!

A force to reckon with!

The West Elk Project is a media website that covers everything in the sports and arts scenes going on in and around the West Elks of Colorado. It gives Gunnison Valley, where my stomping grounds of Mt. Crested Butte is located a voice. The West Elk project showcases local talent and products as well as keeping you updated on what is going on in the world-wide ski community. As the only female contributor for them, I hope to be able to bring a woman’s perspective to the table. I hope to showcase the amazing and talented women in our beautiful valley. Check us out and see what is happening in a very real ski town community. A place many refer to as Never Land because no one really stops being a kid here, you know, except for the whole trying to make a living part.

CB ladies taking it to Moab

Check out my 5 tips for the women who just moved to our special little ski town for the first time. It can be a bit of a transition, and not just because of the weather. Ski towns are known to be male-dominated, which is precisely why it is so important for us ski bumettes to stick together. It is imperative to be discrete, have ladies-only activities, to continue to feel beautiful, and to respect this magical place we all managed to find.

Not a Dude’s World Anymore

“Believe in the power of girls…”

croons Emily Haines, lead singer for the group Metric, whose beautiful voice becomes the background noise for yet another awesome, inspiring short-film by Lynsey Dyer.

SheJumps.org,founded by Lynsey Dyer herself, is a powerful non-profit organization that brings women across the country together to share experiences through activities in nature. Those behind this all-female project encourages women to take the “jump” that will bring each of us to our next level of our potential in whatever it is we want. SheJumps challenges women to take their dreams and make them a reality. It allows women to talk things through in online forums and organizes a way for women to connect with each other and plan events in towns close to them.

Ladies get involved! Do you want to teach a clinic on something you are passionate about? Do you want to get into a new outdoor activity and meet rad ladies in your area? Jump In! And if you are in the Crested Butte area, start the ski season off with a women’s ski day on opening day at CBMR, costumes encouraged! Check back for more details!

Watch as these fearless ladies send cliffs, jump into the air with nothing but a wing suit on, rip sick lines down a massive mountain, and train all year long for everything they love to do. Pretty Faces shows so many angles in which women are so powerful in what is simply not a dude’s world of extreme sports anymore.

“She Jumps” Beauties, Skis and Guns

It is full-on fall here in Crested Butte, my favorite season. It is the time of year to sharpen the chainsaw and build the wood piles just right. It is a time for baking with pumpkin, drinking hard cider, and prematurely wearing down jackets. The weather is perfect for those last few mountain bike rides before trading it in for different toys. But more than anything, it is a time to watch every video possible about skiing. We are getting excited about skiing pow even before the first dusting, so what better way to anticipate a perfect ski season than watching some rad ladies rip in beautiful Alaska?

Who says men have to be a part of a perfect weekend filled with sick lines, sleds, and guns?

Alison Gannett: Badass Beauty on Planks and Wheels

Photo by Sarah Mah Rarick

Depending upon who you talk to, the name Alison Gannett can mean a lot of things. To a ski-bumette, she is a rad skier who holds her own as a professional world-champion big mountain free skier; to us green babes, she is an innovator in the eco-friendly way of life who actually “walks the talk;” to a bike chick, she is a kick ass mountain biker who manages to take her skills on the snow to the trails; and to a novice at almost any extreme sport, namely, skiing, mountain biking, or surfing, she is an amazing teacher who knows exactly how to ease women into their next personal level of fitness.

During this summer’s Bike Week, here in Crested Butte, I was lucky enough to be able to take one of her skills courses. A small group of women came together, most of us beginner bikers who were scared to go to that next scary and thrilling level. With the help of Alison’s excellent teaching strategies, we were all cruising over obstacles that had always been daunting on the trails. So, thank you, Alison, for the power you provided each of us in the saddle.

Ms Gannett was gracious enough to answer a few questions ranging from her skiing career, being a ski-bumette, her local Paonia farm, and why she loves our valley.

When did you start skiing and when did you decide to go pro in the sport?
I was full bore into my environmental career when a Warren Miller film crew saw me free skiing in Crested Butte and asked me to be in their movie. They talked me into competing, which was a tough but rewarding route into my new career as a professional skier. I was a teased traumatized chubby dorky math geek, always sucked at conventional sports, even kickball.
When you were/are unsure of a situation on skis or on a mountain bike, how do you get through it?
I now try to put aside the little voice in my head that tells me I can’t do something, think of some situation similar that went really well, and then talk myself into the fact that I am a strong powerful person that can do this, and then I try to stop overthinking and just go.
What made you want to start Rippin Chix, and what is you favorite part of teaching a clinic?
I started Rippin Chix in 2002 because I realized that sports had given me incredible confidence that spilled over into my everyday challenges in life. I also realized that not many programs were teaching women in baby steps, women were being turned off from sports forever because some guy’s only advice was “just go for it”.
As a respected female bad-ass, have you ever felt that being a woman has created more obstacles for you in your career advances?
Being a woman has been a bit tough, as my sports are very “dude” centric, with T and A for gals being more important than talent. I wanted to prove that gals could ski crazy lines and jump big cliffs. Sometimes it has paid off being a woman with perseverance, as some ski companies would hire me to do women’s designs as they only had men in the office.
How did skiing affect your outlook on environmental issues?
My favorite thing about skiing was not the championship titles or starring in ski films, it was creating my own women’s only ski expeditions to wild countries and places that had never been skied. Since I wanted to marry my career as an environmental scientist, I would photo document glacial recession. For my Global Cooling Tour, the most powerful part for most people is seeing that lines I skied just ten years ago are now gone.
What led to your decision to buy a farm, and what is your favorite part of running it?
I have been trying to walk the talk for over ten years now, especially after working with some people like Al Gore, who inspired me to not do what he was doing. I wanted to reduce my carbon footprint and see what worked and what did not – firstly starting with travel, then house, vehicle, and ultimately the biggest elephant in the living room – FOOD. My favorite part is bringing weeds to the pigs, and my least favorite part is letting the chickens out at 5:30am.  The cool part of this giant experiment, is that we have halved our carbon footprint with keeping an outdoor sport lifestyle!
and just for fun,
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
My favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley is all our trails and public lands! We often take for granted what many people don’t have!

USA Olympic Women: Making CO Proud

It has been a hard year so far for Colorado.

The lack of snow this winter meant a hard economy with tourists opting out of ski vacations with no snow. The lack of snow also created a weak foundation in the backcountry causing 7 total avalanche deaths in the state. The lack of moisture created a dry climate with a record heat wave throughout the state, causing rampant wildfires destroying over 165,000 acres of land and over 700 homes. Aside from Mother Nature’s power, human evil took on a new face when a gunman opened fire in a crowded movie theater at the premier of “The Dark Knight” in Aurora, CO, killing 12 people and injuring 58.

I made Colorado my new home because of its beauty, its bountiful wilderness that I could explore, its majestic mountains that I could ski down and climb up, its endless physical challenges in my active life, its progressive view (in many areas of the state) on human quality of life. When I arrived, I knew it was where I belonged. And every problem we face as a state, affects me personally. However so does every light that comes from it.

You may have heard that the Olympics are going on right now in London. As a fan of people excelling in an active lifestyle, especially women, I am so proud of those that are representing our state and our country in what they do best.

Missy Franklin, a 17 year old high school student from Aurora, CO, recently won the gold in the 100-meter backstroke. Just minutes after swimming in the semis for the 200-meter backstroke, she was able to warm down at the diving pool, then head straight into the race. Shaken after hearing about the tragic shootings in her hometown, she managed to push emotions aside and concentrate on her time in the water.

Helen H. Richardson, The Denver Post

Emma Coburn, I’m proud to say is a Crested Butte native. Growing up as an active skibumette, she once was a downhill ski racer before she moved to dry land. Now a student and queen of the track at University of Colorado, the lovely Coburn made her home state proud by winning the Olympic trial’s Steeplechase. She will be running the 3,000-meter Steeplechase preliminaries on August 4, making her Olympic debut.

Women’s Gymnastics

And maybe they aren’t from Colorado, but these beautiful badass flying women that make up the US Women’s Gymnastics team were simply too extraordinary to watch not to post. Making their country and women everywhere proud, these women teamed up to win the gold for the first time in 16 years. They each got stronger over each event as they nailed the mats with confidence and power. Showing that women can both be feminine and strong, these gorgeous ladies are making history.

The Basics of Bikes: Colorado to Carolina

Photo by Trent Bona

When I moved to a ski town, honestly I hadn’t put much thought into the few summer months we have. I love playing outside, so naturally I was excited to hike, fish, camp, backpack, etc as the snow started to melt away my first spring in Crested Butte. I hadn’t thought about how much I would miss the adrenaline rush of going downhill on skis though. Luckily my problem was quickly solved when I turned my attention to bikes and single track. However, it wasn’t exactly love at first sight. I was used to falling at speed on skis, and the snow provided a soft cold pillow every time I ate it. On a mountain bike, the rocks and hard ground (and occasional poison ivy patch in the southeast) provided little cushion.

Last summer was a lot of learning in some of the most epic mountain biking terrain available, and this off season road trip has provided plenty of opportunities to get comfortable on 2 wheels across the country. The southwestern desert provided a bounty of rocks to maneuver over and around as well as the opportunity to learn to change a flat tire because of a quite defensive cactus. The southeast has countless trails for all levels of riders through thick vegetation, not to mention it has been so much fun to ride in my home state of North Carolina. With a great teacher and travel partner by my side, I have come a long way. I’ve learned that falling is a part of getting better, that regardless of everything I learned about being a lady, spreading my knees wide and sticking my butt out will only help me on a bike, and that mountain biking, like most things I love, is all about having fun in the great outdoors.

Trading in Skis for Mountain Bikes in the American Desert

Off season, or mud season, is an interesting part of living in a ski town. It is a part that I had not considered when I moved to Crested Butte with visions of snow-filled mountains in the winter turned to exquisite views and countless places to wander in the summer. It is the in-between time of seasons when snow melts and turns to mud; when dog poop that was strategically buried in snowed-in yards suddenly comes into the open air and into our senses. It is a quiet time of year where no tourists come to visit, and few businesses choose to stay open. It is nice to suddenly not see a stranger no matter where you go. It is also a time when people who grasp the ski-bum life by the horns take to the road or to the beach. Last year Trent and I opted for the latter and spent a few weeks back packing through Nicaragua, a nice change of weather and scenery.

This year we packed up the truck and took off toward the South-Western US. We said good-bye to what was left of Colorado snow behind in exchange for desert sand. We traded in our skis for mountain bikes, and our hearts that live for mountains shifted in awe for exquisite red rock formations.

And our journey begins…

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Melting into Mountain Bikes and Other Holidays

Today is a very special holiday. It marks the beginning of spring, the end of winter, and brings the promise of wild flowers and mountain bikes. Today is Closing Day! Crested Butte Mountain Resort officially closes its slopes, and the town parties.

Okay, that isn’t entirely true. You see, usually on this special day, we acknowledge that in fact it’s not the end of winter, far from it. Last year it was still snowing in June! Closing Day actually represents either migrating west to the desert for biking or Central America for surfing. The few that actually stick out our “off season” usually have at least another month of winter as they trade in their resort gear for their backcountry gear.

This year is different. It isn’t a secret that this season has been missing one crucial thing. Snow. Oh we got our random 10-inch days when friends became strangers in the lift line while we got our fix of fresh pow, but in the past month I have been mountain biking more than I have been skiing. Very un-ski-bumette of me, I know. But when skiing no longer has the adrenaline rush we are after (aside from dodging rocks), we mountain folk find something that does. It’s just usually not until summer.

This closing day may be more about drinking on the bar decks in the sun than skiing, but it is still a very special day here. It is officially spring, and we no longer have to feel guilty about not using our hard-earned passes.

Happy Closing Day everyone! Enjoy the beauty of winter melting into spring and skis traded in for whatever it is that brings you joy in these few warm months.

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