The Ski Capital of The East

Ahhh…3 day weekend, we meet again. This Friday Foxy and I are putting up our Out of Office replies and getting an early start to the weekend in VT. Why the vacation day? We are heading up to Stowe & Jay Peak to visit my brother and sister in law. My bro and sis in law are luck enough to live in the adorable town of Stowe, VT, and are nice enough to let us stay with them during ski season 🙂 We’re looking forward to a great weekend of skiing, though we will undoubtedly get our butts handed to us on the slopes by my ski bunny brother and sister in law.

The mountain is absolutely beautiful, and perhaps I’m biased, but I think it’s the best mountain in all of New England.

The town is also absolutely adorable, full of cute shops, pubs, gorgeous churches and covered bridges…

And of course, they do get a ton of snow, so it makes for great skiing. This will probably be our last ski trip of the 2011 season, so we have to go out with a bang!

I’m hoping to ski all three days, which will definitely make me extremely sore. I say, BRING IT ON! In addition, I’m hoping to squeeze in a quick run (or two) while I’m there so I don’t fall too far behind on the 100 Miles in March Challenge. Stowe is extremely hilly, so I figure it’s never too early to start prepping my legs for a little race I signed up for in July 😉

What are you up to this weekend?

Safety on the Slopes – A Case for Helmets

When I first got back into skiing in ’09, I used to think that wearing a helmet wasn’t necessary for a slow poke like me. I thought that they were simply reserved for people who tore down the mountain, did tricks or liked skiing through glades. Since I was none of the above, I figured I was perfectly fine pizza pie-ing down the mountain sans helmet.

That was until I took a few falls while skiing last winter. This was in large part due to starting to challenge myself to start trying tougher terrain. You can’t improve without challenging yourself, so as I felt more comfortable I pushed the bar a bit. So I started to casually look into helmets and price them out online. Since I was still a casual skier, I felt like I didn’t want to pay $100 for a helmet, so I kept up the search for a good deal. Unable to find one, I decided perhaps renting a helmet to see which one I liked best might be a good solution.

I rented this little gem one weekend:

It was during that ski trip to Stowe Mountain Resort that one of my friends, who was a very experienced skier, took a bad fall by hitting a patch of ice shortly after getting off the chair lift. She was skiing at what was probably her slowest speed of the day, and with extreme caution because of the crowded trail. I wasn’t there when it happened, but her boyfriend told me that she hit a patch of ice, went flying straight forward and hit her head extremely hard on the packed ice. The fall was so hard that she had a gash in her helmet. She managed to get herself together and ski down the trail, head up the chair lift and visit ski patrol to get tested for a concussion. It wasn’t clear how many tests they ran on her, but they said she was OK to ski for the rest of the day, but she ended up calling it quits early because of a headache and a sore neck. That’s what really sealed the deal on buying a helmet.

[Read more…]