Celebrating Life in August!

What does a passionate skier like me do in August?  Celebrate life….of course!

Well there were no ski mountains to conquer this month and add to my list but that did not make August boring by any stretch of the imagination.  Why?  Well August is my birthday month!  So there were celebrations with family in Canada, celebrations with friends in NYC and more celebrations with friends in Vermont.  I’ll let you guess how many years I have left to achieve my goal!

Vermont is my home and I’ve spent many, many years skiing at Okemo Mountain Resort.  Okemo has an excellent ski school and is a very welcoming mountain for skiers of all abilities.  Jackson Gore has added some fun and steeper terrain and I’ve spent many a weekend enjoying/cursing the bumps on Big Bang!  I encourage you to visit the mountain.  It is a gem among the many mountains in Southern Vermont.  If you let me know you’ll be there – I’ll introduce you to my friends and share a beer with you at The Loft!

I was 16 when I first put a pair of ski boots and skis on my feet.  My first trip down a hill was in an urban setting on a man-made hill in Ottawa, Canada we city kids affectionately called “the Carlington Ski Hill”.  While Carlington Hill makes Wikipedia as a “notable geographic feature in the neighbourhood” part of it was formerly a ski hill with a tow lift named for Canadian alpine skier Anne Heggtveit.  In recent years it has been used as a sledding hill and a snow dump for the city of Ottawa!

Proud of my Canadian heritage, here is some information about Anne Heggtveit.  Anne Heggtveit was a Canadian alpine skier born in Ottawa, Ontario on January 11, 1939.  She first gained international attention in 1954 at the age of 15 when she became the youngest winner ever of the Holmenkollen – a Giant Slalom event in Norway.  She went on to win first in Slalom and Giant Slalom in the US National junior championships as well.  Although she suffered from several injuries between  1955 and 1957, she still earned a spot on Canada’s team at age 17 and competed at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Cortina, Italy.  At the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley, California Heggtveit won Canada’s first-ever Olympic skiing gold medal!!!  You’ll find a ski run named after her at the Camp Fortune Ski Resort just outside of Ottawa.

While I am no Anne Heggtveit on a pair of skis, I share her love and passion for the sport.  So my first run down Anne Heggtveit Hill and I was hooked!  I have skied Cortina, Lake Placid and Squaw – all Winter Olympic Game sites and try to channel my “inner Anne” each time!

To date I’ve skied a total of 11 new ski mountains since starting this at the age of 50:

  • Stowe, VT
  • Trois Vallees (Val Thorens, Mirabel, Courcheval) France
  • Mont Sainte Anne, Quebec Canada
  • Le Masif, Quebec Canada
  • Lake Placid, NY
  • Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Cervinia, Italy
  • Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe CA
  • Sugar Bowl, Norden CA

So while there may not be any snow or mountains for me to ski this month, my passion for the sport keeps it front and center in my mind.  I’m in the planning stages for the coming ski season and Chamonix, France is on my calendar for February.  I understand there are opportunities to visit Italy and Switzerland on this trip which means not only adding three new ski mountains – but skiing three countries in one trip……now that is AWESOME!

Do you have a suggestion  for me this year?  Want to join me?  I welcome your suggestions on new mountains I should consider this season and stay tuned as my plans solidify for this ski season’s new mountain adventures!


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