Skiing Archive

Scroll the list below or use the navigation tool on the left side of each page to find stories and interviews from all of your favorite Athletes on the La Sportiva Ski Mountaineering Team.

Conquering Super Long's

Conquering Super Long's

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

This past June, the two of us, Joey Schusler and myself, set out in hopes of making it from Boulder to the summit of Long’s Peak. But what made this trip a bit unique was our crazy idea to do it by riding our bicycles, with our ski gear, and make it back to Boulder all under our own power, completely self-supported.

Superior Avalanche:  Ten Conclusions I Should Always Remember

Superior Avalanche: Ten Conclusions I Should Always Remember

Friday, April 19, 2013

On April 12, 2012, I was caught and tumbled by an avalanche while skiing Mt. Superior in the Wasatch.  My partner Jason Dorais wrote this report.  I've added my thoughts below.

Luke Nelson: World Championships

Luke Nelson: World Championships

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When I went to Europe for the Ski Mountaineering World Championships a few weeks ago I intended on writing a brief write-up every day about the races and the things Team USA was up to.  Well, as often happens, I found myself much busier than expected and chose to take extra time to recovery or (gasp) ski! So here I find myself, home for almost two weeks, sitting at the keyboard trying to figure out how to share what happened. 

Luke Nelson: Mini Golf in France

Luke Nelson: Mini Golf in France

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A few of us in from the US Ski Mountaineering team arrived in France yesterday.  We had a super long travel day getting to Pelvoux, but fortunately it was uneventful.  I snuck in a run last night just as the sun went down, which I ended up finishing in the dark.  After a nice dinner, we all crashed hoping to get rid of some jet lag. 

2013 US Ski Mountaineering Championships- 2 Days Away

2013 US Ski Mountaineering Championships- 2 Days Away

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Well it's time.  The first big race of the ski mountaineering season is Saturday, followed by the second big race on Sunday. I have spent the last several months working with Adam St. Pierre (Boulder Performance Medicine) and Rob Shaul (Mountain Athlete) preparing myself in the very best and systematic way possible.  For the first time I have included a very rigorous strength training program to kick off the training cycle and then at least twice a week since.  Adam developed a very thoughtful progression of endurance training, based loosely on my training from last year.

Janelle Smiley - Transition

Janelle Smiley - Transition

Thursday, December 20, 2012
This winter I’ll be heading to Europe to train with the best ski mountaineering athletes in the world. This is a dream come true! Thanks to sponsorships from La Sportiva and GORE-TEX® Products, I hope to represent the U.S. at the Ski Mountaineering World Championship in Febuary 2013.

Janelle Smiley - True SkiMo

Janelle Smiley - True SkiMo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012
This race had it all: skiing, racing, alpine climbing, perfection. I wish all the races could be this dynamic. This race was a monumental step in the fast growing sport of ski mountaineering in the US. 

Sari Anderson- Wrath of the Fohen

Sari Anderson- Wrath of the Fohen

Friday, May 11, 2012

As I arrived in Geneva, the pilot informed us that it was 2 degrees Celsius, considerably colder than the 82 degrees it had been at home when I left. I bundled up for the drive to Chamonix to meet my teammates Lyndsay Meyer and Nina Silitch wondering if I was ready for skimo racing again after mountain bike racing in the desert the weekend prior.


Elk Mountain Grand Traverse

Elk Mountain Grand Traverse

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Every race has its ups and downs, both literally and figuratively. The GT is so unique because, unlike shorter ski mountaineering races, it goes on for 8 to 15, or even more, hours.

The Prestigious HVTT

The Prestigious HVTT

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Welcome to the Prestigious Hidden Valley Time Trial – the HVTT. Gloat when you win, throw a tantrum when you lose. Or, at least, come up with excuses. Problem is, none of us knows a damned thing about skiing. We’re all climbers. We’re the Skimo equivalent of a bunch of kids who just watched Cliffhanger and decided they were going to do a climbing race.

Racing for a Remodel

Racing for a Remodel

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Apparently, the promise of a home remodeling project is good motivation for me to race hard. After a lot of hand-wringing last week about the Winter Teva Mountain Games (WTMG), my husband Ian promised that if I raced and won, we could get the new shower we desperately need in our bathroom. 

2012 Ski Mountaineering National Championships

2012 Ski Mountaineering National Championships

Monday, January 9, 2012

With winter being absent in most of the western US, I think there was a lot of uncertainty going into this years US Ski Mountaineering Championships. Training, for me at least, was very challenging due to the limited snowpack. For many of the racers it would also be the first race of the year, which also added to the unknown. 

Racing Again

Racing Again

Friday, December 16, 2011
Since it's cold, snowy and December, I suppose it is time embrace winter. My new La Sportiva RSR skis and bindings are ready to race and my Hi5s are waiting for some more powder.

Manaslu, 8156 meters - First Complete Ski Descent

Manaslu, 8156 meters - First Complete Ski Descent

Friday, October 14, 2011

And Manaslu this year was special for another reason...skiing. Each of the previous three times I have climbed the peak, I have dreamt of skiing it. The mountain is perfect for a serious ski descent; with the right skills and conditions it is possible (but serious) to ski every foot of the mountain, from the summit almost all the way into basecamp.

Dreams of skiing on Manaslu... the autumn Himalayan season begins!

Dreams of skiing on Manaslu... the autumn Himalayan season begins!

Friday, August 26, 2011

he Himalayan season is another exciting one. Once again I will be guiding Manaslu (for the fourth time) and Ama Dablam (for the ninth time). These peaks challenge me every time and this season has some extra twists.

Torrey's Trifecta

Torrey's Trifecta

Thursday, July 14, 2011

All classic descents on one mountain - how about all three in a day? Unfortunately with the snowy spring, it was not until the last day in June to tick this off my list.

Grand Teton

Grand Teton

Sunday, June 5, 2011

On Saturday, I skied the Grand Teton. I've been after this all year, and I'm happy that it's done . . . for now.

North Face of Buckskin Mountain

North Face of Buckskin Mountain

Monday, May 16, 2011

Buck Mountain stands about 12,000 ft tall in the southern Tetons.  There are three prominent lines off "Bucky's" north face--the Bubble Fun Couloir, the Newc Couloir, and the North Couloir.  Brian wanted to ski all of them, and that's what we set out to do. 

Mt Otis Trip Report

Mt Otis Trip Report

Friday, May 6, 2011

May 1st we were able to get up into RMNP and get in some good skiing. We had some people in from Europe and we got to show them some great touring in the park and we also got a lot of people out on the Hi5's

Aspen Power of Four

Aspen Power of Four

Friday, April 29, 2011

When organizers in Aspen announced the first ever Power of Four, a ski mountaineering race covering 27 miles from Snowmass to Ajax with over 12,000 feet of climbing, I was intrigued. An epic race in my  backyard? Yes, please. 

Ski Repair Kit: Build Your Own

Ski Repair Kit: Build Your Own

Friday, April 29, 2011

If you're heading into the backcountry for a day or multi-day tour it's key to have a ski repair kit. You never know when something is going to crap out. You can save the day and avoid a potential epic by putting together your own kit. Here are a few things I have in my pack: 

San Juan Rando Race

San Juan Rando Race

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

At 7800 hundred feet it was just a light drizzle, but as we wound our way up and over Red Mountain Pass from Ouray to Silverton it quickly turned to snow. The 2nd Annual San Juan Rando Race was held 6 miles south of Silverton on Molass Pass. Pulling into the parking lot just after 7am, with the glow of excitement on familiar faces, we jumped out of the car and shared the joy with fellow racers.

Breaking into the Boy's Club

Breaking into the Boy's Club

Monday, March 28, 2011

The EMGT podium is an elite boy's club. A quick look at the results from the past ten years reveals many of the same names; Mike Kloser, Pat O'Neill, Jimmy Faust, Bryan Wickenhauser and Pierre Wille to name a few. I'm proud to say that this weekend not one, but two women's names will be added to that list.

The Hulk Hogum

The Hulk Hogum

Sunday, March 20, 2011

 I often, even on a powder day, find myself clipping into my 65 mm race skis, which weigh 2.1 pounds per foot.  Why?  Because going light = going higher and longer with less effort.  Because going light allows me to ski routes like the Hulk Hogum. 

Wasatch Powderkeg 2011

Wasatch Powderkeg 2011

Sunday, March 13, 2011

This past Saturday was the running of the 9th annual Wasatch Powderkeg. This year's event, like last year, was held at Brighton Resort in the heart of the Wasatch. Brighton is a wonderful host for the resort and the terrain around the area (most of the race was held outside of area boundaries) made for a brutally fun race. 

A Low Snow Year in the Alps

A Low Snow Year in the Alps

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

When you arrive in the Alps and all the locals tell you it's been the worst snow year in 5 decades, it's easy to get a bit depressed. Especially when your hometown (in this case Squaw Valley, CA) is getting pummeled by a storm cycle that ended up dropping almost 15 feet of snow in the two weeks I was gone. 

Final thoughts on the 2011 World Championships

Final thoughts on the 2011 World Championships

Saturday, February 26, 2011

As I sit here in the Venice airport, I can’t help but reflect back on the last 10 days.  It truly has been an amazing experience to represent the United States at the World Champs. Claut and the surrounding towns are a gem in the Dolomites, many people see the Dolomites around Cortina and further west, but as Pete described it this area is the “sleepy” part of these amazing mountains. The landscape here is stunning, awe-inspiring, breathtaking and any other adjective that has a similar meaning.

Italy Day 2

Italy Day 2

Friday, February 18, 2011

Things in Claut are starting to heat up, both figuratively and literally. Many more teams are arriving by the minute. It is very interesting to see all of the racers and teams in fully decked out kits, spandex race suits, and the most intimidating look they can muster. The weather is also heating up, today the fog finally lifted and showed us the beauty of the Dolomites. Today the entire US team went up to the race area and spent a couple of hours exploring the area around where the course will be held.


Sacrifices and Adjustments

Sacrifices and Adjustments

Thursday, February 17, 2011

There are times when decisions need to be made with many more people in mind other than myself. Okay, probably all the time... Anyway, having been away the previous weekend for a funeral on the east coast, I made the decision to skip the COSMIC race at Monarch and spend the weekend with my family.

Grand Teton Attempt

Grand Teton Attempt

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Doesn't matter if we go up or down.  I'm not going to need these," he said.

"True."  After another minute or two, I started taking my skins off too.

"You missed a night's sleep and drove a long way, but those are shitty reasons."

Travel to Italy

Travel to Italy

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Well in an attempt to actually post on a daily basis from the Ski Mountaineering World Championships I thought I would drop a quick note about traveling to Claut. The flights from Idaho Falls, Idaho to Venice Italy were pretty uneventful. It was a long time to be in a tight space packed with people, but luckily all my flights were on time and both of my bags arrived in Venice the same time I did. I enjoyed an hour and a half drive with Roberto, although it was a bit awkward as he spoke no english and I no Italian. The couple of times we tried to talk about something pretty much ended in uncomfortable laughter and nods. Neither of us really had any idea what the other was saying.

Ski Mountaineering

Ski Mountaineering

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It was a beautiful clear, warm, early Sunday morning as we pulled into the Monarch parking lot. The only people scurrying around were dressed in spandex, pulling short skinny skis out of their cars. This has been the routine for the past couple of years with ski mountaineering competitions. Get up early, put on some tight clothes, grab a 160 length 65 underfoot ski, do a couple quick sprints and line up at the starting line.


Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, Decisions

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I was really looking forward to the International Ski Mountaineering World Championships in Claut, Italy next month but unfortunately it is not going to happen for me. Decisions have to be made with my entire family in mind which is why I'll be staying in Colorado. I am extremely bummed to not represent the United States this year but deep down I know it was the decision that needed to be made.

Preparing for the Ski Mountaineering World Championships

Preparing for the Ski Mountaineering World Championships

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A little over one month ago I qualified for the US Ski Mountaineering Team at the US Championships in Jackson Hole, Wy. Since that moment I have been working very hard at preparing to represent the US in Italy at the World Championships.

Anticipation

Anticipation

Friday, February 11, 2011

This new ski gear is the other reason for all my anticipation. Before I leave for Cham next week I should be receiving my new La Sportiva 188 Hi5 skis with RT bindings! I skied the setup a couple of weeks ago in Utah at this winter's Outdoor Retailer show and was super-impressed. 

My First Day on the RT Binding

My First Day on the RT Binding

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The weather put a damper on my weekend plans.  Not wanting to let a Saturday go to waste, Bart and I hooked up for some skillz training in the Triangle Couloir.  The Triangle Couloir is a ~2400 foot shot in Little Cottonwood Canyon.  While the Triangle isn't endowed with the height and beauty of its stepsister the Y Couloir, or the nobility of its westerly cousin, the Coalpit, the Triangle does have one allure: a 200 foot unskiable ice fall right at its midline.

Mt. Baker: Up the North Ridge, Down the CD Route

Mt. Baker: Up the North Ridge, Down the CD Route

Sunday, February 6, 2011

On Memorial Day, Brother Aaron and I set out to climb and ski Mt. Baker.  We woke up to rain.  We drove up Glacier Creek road in the rain, and when we hit snow about 2 miles from the trailhead at about 3000 feet, we started hiking and then skinning . . . in the rain.

Who is Luke Nelson?

Who is Luke Nelson?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Between recovering from that effort and prepping for World’s, Restwise had a chance to catch up with this rising star.

Why Have Flat Tails?

Why Have Flat Tails?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

It is a question I have heard for some time. Why have straight tails on your skis? The usual answer involves creating snow anchors while ski guiding. Well, I have a new answer because of an adventure I had last Thursday (January 20th) in the Wasatch range near Salt Lake City Utah with a good friend Matt. The new answer is the ski tails can be used as ice/snow axes to penetrate a layer of ice and enable you to climb out of a dangerous situation. For the real life story read below.

Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Link Up on Skis!

Wasatch Ultimate Ridge Link Up on Skis!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Perhaps, in the future, I'll make some other WURLOS-related posts, like, what you think about during 21.5 hour tour, or why I dry heave when I see GU, or essential WURLOS equipment (or lack thereof), or how to cure to being afraid of vertical exposure, or how about, Making Sense of the Senseless? For now, the mountains . . . . 

Stickshift in Ski Boots

Stickshift in Ski Boots

Tuesday, November 30, 1999

I left the house at 5:30 this morning, and decided to drive to Aspen in my boots to save on time. I wouldn't necessarily recommend driving in your ski boots, with a manual transmission no less, but it's not a problem in my Sportivas.