All My Posts

  • The Alicorn and the Tulle Skirt

    Why making a homemade Halloween costume is a supremely bad idea that will bring your child immense joy. My daughter announced she planned to be an Alicorn for Halloween. Yeah, I didn’t know what that was, either. It’s a magical combination of a Pegasus and a unicorn.  “Pegacorn” makes more […]

  • First Turns of the Season

    Fall is more known for raking leaves and trick-or-treating than setting a metal edge to snow. I say stuff your pockets full of candy corn and sneak away while the kids are at school to make a few turns. I’m never in a rush to get out and ski when […]

  • Luxe Camping Gear

    Sounds like an oxymoron, but there is such a thing as luxury gear for backpacking, from high-tech pillows to whimsical lighting. Why not? My two sons and I just spent a superb three days backpacking in Colorado’s Indian Peaks. Our campground had a lake view and a perfect sawed-off stump […]

  • Getting Wrecked at Copper Mountain

    And I mean “wrecked” in a really good way. When the kids go back to school, our July 4 weekend will be the trip they write about in that obligatory “What I Did this Summer” essay.   In front of us, grey pads the size of lunch trays were suspended […]

  • Camp Desserts: Beyond S’mores

    S’mores are the go-to dessert for most campers. But if you’re ready to try something different, there are tons of easy and scrumptious desserts you can make in the woods. One of our favorites is Bananas Foster in Foil Packets. Traditionally, the dessert is doused in rum and then ignited, […]

  • Zen and the Art of Sea Glass Collecting

    Combing a pebbled-covered beach is a little like raking a Zen rock garden. I’ve discovered a new form of meditation: searching for sea glass. I’ve never been able to meditate in the traditional sense. I’ve tried. But my mind soon wanders and starts to churn on all of life’s crud: […]

  • Spring Break at Vail

    I’ve always loved spring skiing, but the reasons have changed slightly over the years. Spring break today means something vastly different to me than it did some decades ago when I was care-free college student.  Back then, while fellow coeds were jetting off to Ft. Lauderdale to party righteously in […]

  • What’s in Your Pack?

    It’s handy to have a backpack full of snacks, water, and sunscreen on the slopes, but is it safe to ride the chairlift with a pack?   The story has already achieved legend status. In January at Arapahoe Basin, a skier wearing a backpack got snarled up on the lift […]

  • Head in the Snow

    The best way to spend Trump’s Inauguration Day was to ski powder with a posse of hard-charging women at Breckenridge. This blog is rarely political. However, I must admit that one of my favorite days on the slopes this season was the day Donald Trump was inaugurated. You know how […]

  • Crested Butte: Big Drops and High Speeds

      I was standing on the vertiginous slopes of Crested Butte’s double-black North Face with my son and his ski team this past February. Accessed off the North Face T-Bar, the area is like an enormous rumpled-up sheet, filled with steep cirques, cliffbands, benches, ledges, and chutes that plunge through […]

  • A Cold Day in Heaven

    Warm spring days are ahead, but let’s take a moment to reflect on those cold days on the slopes.

  • First Descents

    The first days out on snow don’t always go so smoothly. More than once, I’ve made it all the way to the lift only to discover a thick layer of storage wax on my skis. One season, my husband showed up at Copper with no ski pants. There he was, […]

  • Ski Flick Psych-Up

    One fall years ago, in the middle of a screening of a new ski movie from Warren Miller, my 4-year-old daughter fell asleep on my lap. It sure was an expensive nap.  (PS: Yes, she was wearing earplugs to mitigate the thundering soundtrack.) As our kids have grown older—they are […]

  • Escape to Crested Butte

    When life gives you lemons, sometimes the best course of action is to pack up the car and head for Crested Butte. On Christmas night of this year, my 83-year-old dad had a seizure. It had been—unbeknownst to anyone, least of all him—precipitated by a raging gall bladder infection. His […]

  • P is for Panda

    There are five things I love about Ski Cooper: Pandas, powder, platoons, close-in parking, and prime rib nearby. It’s the perfect place to learn to ski and snowboard, get a dose of history, have an untracked adventure in a low-key way, and cap it all of with a mighty steak. […]

  • The Big Payoff

    A decade after teaching my son Aidan to ski, he and I ripped a big line on a 45-degree chute at Breckenridge and I realized this: We have finally arrived. Earlier this season, Aidan and I had hoofed it up a goat path from the top of the Imperial Chair […]

  • Loveland: Where Gore-Tex Meets Good Vibes

    A weird day makes for high adventure at Loveland Ski Area. Over the holidays, I had one of my strangest days on snow, including a cosmic run-in with a Buddhist monk from Fort Collins. This day will also remain, I’m convinced, one of my most memorable days on skis with […]

  • Gift Guide For Campers

    It’s not too late to stock up on gifts that are perfect for campers. Herewith a list of some of my favorite pieces of gear–and a few items I’m putting on my own list for Santa. Trek-Light Hammock ($70-$80) A lightweight hammock is probably the single most loved nonessential gear […]

  • We’re with the Band

    A cluster of black socks paired with knobby knees, sneakers, and baggy shorts is a dead giveaway that you are in the general vicinity of a high school marching band competition. It’s not a Cosmo fashion “don’t.” Think of it more as Geek Chic. My son, who is a freshman, […]

  • Tickled Pink

    Grab your pink wig and butterfly wings, find a pink boa for your child, and get up to Vail tomorrow for the annual Pink Vail fundraiser for cancer survivors I once walked 26.2 miles in 100+ degree heat through dubious parts of Denver, Colo., with a group of fellow moms, […]

  • The Perils of Course Crew

    At a ski race, whether it’s the 2015 World Championships or a Youth Ski League race at the local hill, spectators tend to focus on the ski racers. Naturally. But what of the volunteers who prep the course? It’s harder than you think. A few weekends back, I crashed […]

  • What Bode Miller’s Crash Has To Do with Parenthood

    Bode Miller crashed horrifically during the Super G race at the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek last week. He was having an sensational Bode-style run that put him 0.56 seconds ahead of the leader at the splits. The run would have landed him on the podium […]

  • 2015 World Championships, Don't Miss It!

    16 Reasons to Drop Everything and Head for cialis 10mg the 2015 World Championships…Right Now! There are still 5 days, 19 hours, 16 minutes, and 45 seconds left before the closing ceremonies of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Vail and Beaver Creek. Which means you would be wise […]

  • Free Skiing and Snowboarding!

    Colorado resorts offer free skiing for 5th and 6th graders. No strings attached. And if the deal isn’t free, it offers skiing for less than a price of a child’s lift ticket at Aspen in the 1960s.   Everyone complains about the cost of skiing, and it is, undeniably, an […]

  • Incentivizing Newbies

    Copper is offering the deal of the century for new skiers and snowboarders. Tell your non-skiing friends they no longer have an excuse to get up to the mountains. I recently blogged about a free skiing deal in Colorado for elementary aged kids. But Copper Mountain is going one better […]

  • Cooper, Not Copper

    Every time I tell people I’m heading to Ski Cooper, they say, “Cooper? You mean Copper, right?” While we ski a fair amount at Copper, my kids often have ski races at Ski Cooper, which is about 10 miles down the road from Leadville and far enough off the I-70 […]

  • Little Slednecks

    A day at Vail’s Adventure Ridge with pint-sized adrenaline junkies means snowmobiling, ziplining, and tubing. Half a dozen kids, some as young as seven and all less than 100 pounds, sat straddling snowmobiles at Vail. Each had on a pint-sized but burly looking full-face helmet. The fellow in charge was […]

  • The Fudge Factor

    Making good on a promise meant a very ridiculous day for this mom. There’s a very good reason I was skiing a week ago at Copper with an enormous stuffed bear on my back. Over the summer, when it was time to sign our kids up for ski racing programs […]

  • Breaking the Mold at Aspen Highlands

    The irony of the ski race is that kids don’t ski. Much. But at Aspen Highlands, the terrain demands a new plan of action for race day.     The last time I boot-packed up Aspen’s Highland Bowl, I was pregnant.  I was skiing with my then boss, who insisted […]

  • Adventure Racing for Kids

    From mud pits and ziplines to mountain biking and rappelling down a cliff face, this year’s kids’ adventure race at Vail boosted self esteem and suppressed the usual bellyaching. Here’s something I love about kids adventure racing: Kids bike, run, and climb—and I mean hard—for nearly two hours and they […]

  • My Oatmeal Brain

    My broken arm is making me a bad mommy. Really it is. Let’s review a few of the things that I fumbled in one week after I had my arm shortened. (That’s not a joke; I’ll explain later.) It would seem my brain has turned to mush. First, I forgot […]

  • The College Reunion

    Let’s Do the Time Warp Again Under a giant white party tent, revelers buzzed in a convivial frenzy over glasses of chardonnay. A man leaned in, beer in hand, and whispered in my ear, “I’m going to give you a hickey before the weekend’s out.” Now this would otherwise be […]

  • 11 Best Camp Books for Kids

    A Few of My Favorite Reads When I was writing my family camping book, I checked out a few camping-themed picture books from the library to read to my kids at bed time. One night, while reading the supremely clever Duck Tents by Lynne Berry, I had an epiphany. I […]

  • Arapahoe Basin: Pond Skimming

    Springtime at the Basin means pond skimming, pink bikinis, caped crusaders, and mashed potatoes. A well-muscled young man skis across a long, thin puddle of water in what may be a red Speedo but is more likely his underpants. He is soon followed by Duff Man, a Homer Simpson superhero […]

  • Soccer Mom, Not so Much

    Ski-Racing Moms: Support Crew with Benefits. Horse moms, swim moms, and soccer moms have nothing on ski racing moms. The proof is in the powder. A friend was recently telling me about the perils of being a horse mom. A corporate executive by weekday, she mucks out horse poop from […]

  • Summer Ski Gear Storage

    Mud Season: Time to Store Your Gear Just yesterday the trees were budding and the robins were singing. Today it’s dumping. Ridiculous spring weather aside, for most people it’s time to store the skis, snowboards, and boots, and put away the parkas and ski pants. When a brand-new gear setup […]

  • Lunch with Lindsey Vonn

    A recent day at Beaver Creek meant girl power, inspiration from a World Cup ski racer, and a serious overdose of pink. When your child is having a pivotal life-changing moment, you wouldn’t necessarily know it. levitra india You probably won’t find out until much later. Certainly when they ask […]

  • 11 Ways to Keep Little Hands Warm on the Slopes

    Keeping kids’ hands warm is the Holy Grail of temperature regulation when skiing and snowboarding. When your little chickadees have toasty fingers, they’ll stay out longer and ski more—which means you get to ski more. It’s win-win. Try these tips, and if all else fails, wrap small hands around a […]

  • Need for Speed

    Better than Band Camp: Steamboat’s Speed Camp for Ski Racers My tweenage son, who weighs in at a willowy 70 pounds, recently was clocked at 59 miles per hour. He was not in a car. Or on a bike, for that matter. He was balled up in a tuck, sliding […]

  • World Cup Ski Racing is for Kids

    Little Chickadees at the Birds of Prey If you and your kids have never watched a World Cup ski race live and in person, you need to add it to your family’s To-Do List. In early December, I spent the day at Beaver Creek watching a men’s GS race on […]

  • Bad Mommy Moments

    True Confessions of Parenting Gone Wrong (and how you can create your own ad campaign out of it) Nobody’s perfect, right? Try as we may to channel our inner June and Ward Cleaver, most of us fall short every now and again. I like to call these transgressions from perfection […]

  • Gandalf From Scratch

    Seriously. What Was I thinking? I had business lunch recently with a woman who I hadn’t met before.  We soon discovered a shared pay someone to do your assignment history of overzealous wedding planning, a fondness for camping with kids, and the dubious distinction of having served as a laundromat […]

  • Leaf Creatures

    Autumn is the Perfect Time to Turn Leaves into Roosters and Turtles. With the essay order arrival of fall, leaves are bursting in fiery shades of gold, crimson, and orange. My favorite are the ones that remain stubbornly green at the center but rimmed with red and yellow. As if […]

  • Keen Vail Kids Adventure Race

    Adventure racing requires teamwork. What happens when serial squabblers (kids, that is) compete? My children bicker incessantly over the most inane things. buy essays cheap Who goes first at piano lessons. Who gets the blue water bottle. They argue over cupcakes, radio stations, pizza slices, hunks of watermelon, stuffies, lacrosse […]

  • Island Camping in Maine: Part II

    High Adventure on Isle au Haut Click here to read Part I It wasn’t total deprivation. We did have a bag of those enormous oversized marshmallows, dark chocolate chips, and graham crackers. The kids roasted the marshmallows over a roaring fire and stuffed themselves with s’mores. After dinner we climbed […]

  • Island Camping in Maine: Part I

    High Adventure on Isle au Haut In my twenties, my hiking shoes were a well-worn pair of Timberland work boots. I’d trekked in them from the Uintas to the Black Hills to the Gunks. They’ left a trail of knobby prints around the Annapurna circuit in Nepal and through the […]

  • Mountain Bikus Interruptus

      I have a burly dual-suspension Proflex mountain bike that dates from the late 1990s. Amazingly, I now see this bike characterized on the Internet as “vintage.” Mine is in mint condition. In the first few years I owned the beast (the bike weighs about 7 million pounds), I did […]

  • Nature Detectives on Wheels

    This summer, after a decade-long hiatus from mountain biking—and when I say mountain biking, I mean the blood-on-your-knees, dirt-in-your-teeth  variety—I was thrilled to find myself navigating roots and rocks and whoop-de-doos on a dirt trail with my two boys, ages 8 and 11. Until this point, my kids hadn’t done […]

  • Nature Detectives Kids Club

    The first rule of hiking with kids is this: Never say “hike.” It’s a four-letter word. So earlier this week, when I took the kids on a hike to Walden Ponds, I told them we were going on an adventure. An outdoor nature treasure hunt. Arghhhhh! They were gung […]

  • One Weird Mother’s Day

    On my strangest mother’s day ever, I found myself ruminating on high school massacres and fetal microchimeras. This past mother’s day, while most other moms were out eating Eggs Benedict and French toast, I was on an airplane, flying back from a book event in San Francisco. For reasons unknown, […]

  • My Job as a Ski Tuner

    There is a blob of red wax on my black leather Dansko clogs. This is my fault for not wearing work boots, I suppose, but still. The wax blob represents the indignity of my new job as a ski tuner. I can now add that to my resume, which currently […]

  • Dude Soup at the P-Dog

    Twenty-five years after a rollicking spring break trip to Alta, Utah, one mom returns on a girls’ trip of another sort. There’s nothing better than being with your kids.  Except maybe not being with them.  If you’ve ever snuck away on a girl’s trip—or even if you’ve spent the evening […]

  • Kids Are Gross

    I Love You, But Yuck! Let me start with this disclaimer: I adore my kids. They are delightful creatures: sweet, charming, and downright loveable. When I hug them, I bury my nose in the soft folds of their necks and try to breathe them right in. I would step in […]

  • A Day in the Life of a Ski Racing Mom

    Or “Why I sent out my holiday cards in March” There’s a good reason I mailed my Christmas cards in March. Really there is. This season we can count three ski racers in our brood. And as long as we’re counting, consider these numbers: Our 11 year old has some […]

  • The Ultimate Camp Checklist

    Based on a 1956 study by a Princeton psychologist, Miller’s Law suggests our short-term memory can hold a maximum of only seven items. My camping checklist has 214 items on it, I am not kidding. And unless your cranium has considerably more RAM than the average person, what you need […]

  • Reading List: Camp Books for Kids

    When we took our kids on a llama-trekking/backcountry-camping trip in Southwest Colorado, we read them the book Your Mama’s a Llama cialis professional while snuggled inside the tent. It was perfect. Here’s a list of camping-themed picture books, early readers and chapter books for kids. My favorites–and some excerpts–can be […]

  • First Aid Kit Checklist

    Camping with Kids Be prepared for common medical eventualities whenever you’re in the outdoors with children. Kids fall and scrape their knees on rocks. They step on prickly pear cacti in their bare feet. They get blisters when they hike. They get gnats in their eyes when they bike. uk […]

  • Backcountry Essentials Checklist

    What’s in Your Pack? Here’s a list of 12 things you should have in your pack when you forge into the backcountry even for a day hike. Especially if you’re bringing the kids along, you want to be prepared for every eventuality short of the apocalypse. Because you are big […]

  • Camp Gear on Daybreak

    So this morning, I was waiting in the lobby with two shopping carts of camping gear to do a segment on CW2’s Daybreak morning TV show in Denver, and the receptionist asked me to just hold up a minute. They were going to send another guest up first. Just happened […]

  • New School S’mores

    When it comes to dessert, gastronomes would likely consider the Jet-Puff marshmallow to be a tad lowbrow. A little bit June Cleaver. If you’re like me, you might even have bizarre memories of mini-marshmallows and mandarin oranges suspended in your Jell-O. For some strange reason, green Jell-O, with lots of […]

  • Sugarbugs & Cheese Weasels

    Terms of Endearment “C’mon pumpkin butter, let’s go.” Pumpkin butter? I overheard a mom using this pet name on her toddler the other day. I thought I’d heard them all. Used them all myself. Bunny, sweetie-pie, dumpling. Considering the incredible amount of careful consideration and hand-wringing debate parents put into […]

  • Camp Blueberry Pancakes

    Cakes in Camp A have a friend who was long in the habit of serving those little boxes of cereal for breakfast when camping. Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks. That sort of thing. And to be sure, her family could evacuate camp and get home in short order. We’ve always gone for […]

  • Teaching Junior to Ski

    There’s a good reason that my parents dumped my five brothers and sisters and I into the ski racing program before we could successfully negotiate a T-bar. Having recently immigrated to the US from Ireland, they were ill-prepared to teach a half dozen little people to ski. They were taking […]