5 Tips for Battling Cold Weather [Family Edition]

Powder and storms on Middle Bowl

There have been times in recent years that we were a “fair weather” ski family. We’ve all heard of “snow snobs”… those skiers that only come out for powder days (not that I blame them.) And we were “sun snobs”, only taking our family out on sunny days… warmer weather meant more skiing and less tears.

But this season we’ve been wrestling a busy schedule and picking only sunny days means we aren’t skiing much at all. So I’ve embraced the idea that,

“There isn’t bad weather. Only bad clothing.”

In fact, many of our favorite ski days have looked like this:

Snowy Day at Needles Lodge

Snowy Day at Needles Lodge

Last Friday when the wind gusted at 40 mph, we still made it up to Snowbasin and had a fantastic day skiing. Here are my tips for keeping your kids (and yourself) warm and happy.

1. Get a balaclava. A.K.A a ninja hood. Our bodies loose heat most rapidly from the head, the groin, and the armpits. SO…keeping the head and neck covered helps keep the whole body warm. Even a lightweight balaclava will keep your head, neck, and face significantly warmer and protect you from the wind. In my experience, a “ninja hood” style balaclava works better than a Buff or gaiter.

2. Keep those ski socks dry. As a mom, the thing I dread most about skiing is getting all the kid’s gear on. I would like to save time by putting socks and boots on before we leave the house. But on cold days that is a bad idea. It is hard to keep sweaty feet warm. Better to let the kids ride up in socks only and put the boots on right before getting out of the car.

3. Get a helmet, even for the really little ones. I’ve often thought, “why does my toddler need a helmet? She barely moves and I hold her up most the time.” Until someone ran into my husband and her. So, sure, we all know helmets are a safety thing. But they are also very warm and many brands have vents for warm days.

Powder Day off Needles Express

4. Invest in good layers. A few basic rules I live by when it comes to layers: First, layer a high-wicking fabric close to the skin, like Patagonia Capilene or REI midweight long underwear.  For exceptionally cold days I add a fleece layer. Fleece bottoms or ¼ zip tops. Finally, down jackets are warmer than synthetic. Down Jackets are also compressible, meaning they pack easily, are less bulky, and can be used year-round for camping, hiking, and backpacking. Here are my favorite kid jackets.

5. Not all chemicals are bad. Don’t be afraid of the chemical hand warmers. They are great for keeping kid’s hands warm! Just exercise caution when using with a young infant or toddler who cannot communicate if they become too hot.

In the end, embracing the weather is part of embracing the adventure. Howl into the wind and trek off into the white… dressed to conquer. 

Ogden Valley Ski Team (OVST) Hosts South Series G.S. races at Snowbasin

Snowbasin, UT, January 11, 2014:  OVST athlete Bridger Harrison       enjoyed victories on both Saturday and Sunday on a weekend that included many great performances by local Ogden area skiers at Snowbasin Resort.

Harrison claimed first overall in the United States Ski and Snowboard Association –Intermountain division South Series Giant Slalom races with combined times ( 2 runs) of 1:17:02 and 1:12:78.  Competitors from the Park City Ski Team, Snowbird Ski Team, Brighton, Rowmark Ski Academy, Summit Ski Teams and others competed along with host club the Ogden Valley Ski Team.

OVST enjoyed other top performances from local skiers Luke Kaschmitter with a 1st place Sunday and 2nd place Saturday in the U12 division. Eden’s Isabella Foo’s claimed two 4th place finishes in the U12 class. Also in the U14 class, Ogden’s Tommy Walsh had 5th and 7th place finishes while Christian Belmont had 2 top ten performances with a 6th and 10th.   Mikayla Guimond was 7th in Saturday’s race. In the U16 class OVST’s Chris Kubick finished 2nd and 1st. Other local skiers had solid performances and gained valuable experience including; U10 Girls-  Reagan Harrison the youngest competitor in the field who was just 0.4 seconds out of a medal. Jayden Quinn  U12 Girls – Pearl Marden (2 top 20 finishes), Mackenzie Kubick, U14 Girls, Savanna Larsen ( 2 top 20), Natalie Quinn ( 1 top 20)  U12 Boys Jimmy Walsh ( 2 Top 20 ) Andres Torres ( top 20) , Maddox Lister, Mason Phillips and Luke Philips.  U14 Boys Ogden’s Hunter Young, Levi Olsen, twins Finley and Andy Pinkas and Noah Poisson.

About Ogden Valley Winter Sports Foundation

The Ogden Valley Ski Team, sponsored by the Foundation, provides a fun and challenging way for young men and women to improve their skiing, and to develop the skills and discipline that will provide lifelong enjoyment of an active outdoor lifestyle. For more information or to join one of our many programs or participate in our Ogden Valley Ski League races please visit www.ogdenvalleyskiteam.com

For a full list of results click HERE

 

Après Entertainment with Jeanne Jolly

Join the fun in the Cinnabar Friday afternoon with award winning singer Jeanne Jolly playing Folk & Country.  The musicians play from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. For more information about Jeanne Jolly check out the following link:

jeannejolly.com

 

St. Patty’s Day Celebration March 17th, 2014!

Celebrate St Patty’s Day the Snowbasin Resort way!  New this year, we will be putting out THREE POTS of GOLD on the mountain or in the lodges or both.  In these POTS OF GOLD there will be three different prizes with one prize being a 2014/2015 Adult Premier Pass.  The other prizes are yet TBD.  The search for these great prizes and Pots O’s Gold will begin at 9 am and last until 4 pm.  If by noon that day none of the Pots O’ Gold are found, then you will have to tune into Facebook and Twitter that day for hints that will be released every half hour.

Food specials all day at all the Lodges this year will include the traditional corned beef and cabbage, Shepard’s Pie, and Guinness Beef Stew.  Bag Pipers will also be in Earl’s Lodge during the afternoon spreading the St’ Patrick’s Day Cheer for all.

Then at 3:30 pm in Earl’s Lodge, the party begins through the entire lodge.  Specials will be provided by Bushmills and ‘This Must Be the Band’ will take the stage for a FREE live music show.  This Must Be the Band is the premier ‘Talking Heads’ tribute band in the country and they only play Talking Heads tunes for 3 or more hours if possible. This is a show not to miss.

This Must Be the Band” is Chicago’s only and therefore best Talking Heads Tribute Band; only performing Talking Heads music, and, if possible, 3 to 4 hours at a time.

thismustbetheband.com

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Time:  All Day.  Show at 3:30 pm in Earl’s Lodge

ALL AGES!  FAMILIES WELCOME!

More information:  801-620-1000

Apres Slide-TMBTB

Snowbasin Resort Blood Drive March 6th

Snowbasin Resort will be hosting a blood drive on Thursday March 6th from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm in the Huntington Room of Earl’s Lodge. To make an appointment, please contact Steward Marsh at 801.710.6797.  Contributors need the following to participate: Photo ID, minimum of 110 pounds, 18 years old or older,  remember to eat well and drink extra fluids before.

Your blood donation will benefit patients being treated at:

- Primary Children’s Medical Center

-Hunstman Cancer Hospital

-Shriners Hospital for Children

-University of Utah Hospital

-South Jordan Health Center

Cinnabar Superbowl Party Feb 2nd!

The Cinnabar is hosting one of the best Superbowl parties in all of Utah.  High Definition Big Screens, enough prizes for everyone (and we mean everyone), and incredible food – and best of all it is all-you-can-eat.  Two rooms with enough HD TV’s that everyone gets a great view – there is not a bad seat in this house.  Delectable food on the buffets from wings, wraps, to soft pretzels, and a full complement of desserts.  Full bar service available and trivia prizes!

4:00 pm-8:00 pm

All ages welcome.  Must be 21 to consume alcohol.

$26 per person for the buffet (Must have food to consume alcoholic beverage)

Food Begins at 4:00 pm

Full Menu Click Here

First come first serve – no reservations

Opening day on Strawberry

Opening Day on Strawberry at Snowbasin is one of the favorite milestones of the season . When Stawberry opens it means things are just starting to get into full swing on the mountain, it means that everyone gets to spread their wings a bit more and best of all it means that a whole slew of new lines and powder shots are ready to be reunited with on the mountain.

Strawberry is a special place for me. I’ll never forget my first visit there. It was a solo sunny Sunday about 10 years ago. I had never been to Snowbasin before and when I arrived in the middle of the Strawberry bowl I stopped for a moment to catch my breath and appreciate the grand surroundings of the Sister Ridge to my right, Demoisy Peak to my left and a beautiful view across the Morgan Valley to the East. I sat there totally alone in the vast emtyness of a deserted World Class Ski resort wondering where had all the people gone. I had to pinch myself to check if this was real. Ten years have passed since that moment and more than any other that was the driving force behind a decision to trade in the surfboard for a snowboard, to start a new chapter of life living in the mountains and playing in the snow at Snowbasin.Brent Blakley near Coyote Bowl

Ten years later and Strawberry is still a favorite destination on the mountain. On any given day our band of powderhounds waits for the Strawberry signs to drop, letting us know that Ski Patrol has done their job and now the bounty is ours. It’s a race to the Strawberry gondola base and the first tracks down are the best. Even though the saying is “no friends on a poweder day” we like to keep the group together as we take the Strawberry Traverse over to the other side, blasting powder turns and hero jumps toward the last pitch of Elk Ridge. A glance above reveals a string of empty gondola cars, our chariouts waiting to carry us upward then we dive down the steep and wide face of Carnahan’s.racing to be one of the first to get to the top.

Once you’ve made it to the gondola and begin you’re accent to the top you get the satisfaction of knowing that you will be one of the first on that day, with your powder friends, to sample a big bite out of the best Strawberry you ever tasted. Arrival at the top of Strawberry is usually rewarded with a breathtaking vista west across the Great Salt Lake,. Take a picture if you dare sacrifice a precious moment, or if you’re like us you’ll maintain a steely focus while you crank down the bindings, and check your zippers before you taste one of the best powder runs of your life, on Strawberry at Snoowbasin.

 

Shred for SMED

This Saturday, January 4th, the SMED Foundation will be joining us to kick off National Safety Month. This first weekend the focus will be avalanche awareness and the SMED Foundation will be supplying fresh batteries for guests who bring up their beacon to the beacon park. The Beacon Park will be located to the east of Needles Gondola line in the base area.  Snowbasin Ski patrol will be doing demonstrations in the Beacon Park from 9 AM – 2 PM and at 3 PM in the Huntington Room they will be going over Avalanche Awareness.

The SMED Foundation will be having a contest for all those who enter the beacon park or come to the Avalanche Awareness class. You could win an Avalung pack, 100.00 gift certificate to Gear 30, Ifly, and much more! Winners will be announced after the Avalanche Awareness class.

About SMED’s Foundation:

SMED’S Foundation believes that the natural beauty of God’s earth is not only to be viewed but rather explored, especially the beautiful white powder.  In memory of Ryan Smedley, who was not able to escape the ferociousness of the cascading avalanche on March 11, 2006, we commit to further the education, bring awareness and protection against avalanches in the backcountry for skiers and snow boarders. Smed’s motto stands for: Stay Mindful Educate Daily Safety. Don’t just see it, live it.

For more information about SMED’s Foundation contact Allison Beeson at (801) 458-1285.

Adventuring Solo: Making the Case for Skiing Alone

Solo Adventures in Skiing

Solo exploring: It’s what I do. One day I just got tired of waiting for adventure partners to join me outdoors, so I took matters into my own hands and headed out on a trail run by myself. It might not seem like a big deal to you but, growing up with a protective mom in an urban southern city, I felt very vulnerable, as if everyone was wondering what a girl was doing out in the elements by herself — and that I might fall down the mountain and no one would be able to find me for days.

Hey, no one said fears are rational.

Fast forward a few years and you’ll find that solo adventuring is now my norm. I do get a chance to hang out with friends from time to time, but I don’t allow my love of being outdoors to get squashed by not having a partner.

Solo Adventures in Skiing

The most common place you’ll see me by myself? On the ski hill. I simply can not stand idly by and let a season’s worth of pristine Snowbasin powder go untouched by my skis. It took some cautious first days to get used to skiing solo, but then I bucked up, got some confidence and thought to myself, “So what if people wonder why I’m here by myself? [By the way, they weren’t.] Skiing is the one thing I do for pure enjoyment. I’ll be darned if I let others stand in my way.”

Solo Adventures in Skiing

But no one was standing in my way. In fact, if anyone took that role, it would have been me — at least me before I put my brave pants on. But once I did, I was liberated. The more I faced adventures head on, the more confidence surged, not only in my my ability to play outdoors alone, but in my personal endeavors. I found myself holding back less in life and charging forward more — and wondering why the heck I waited so long to lead my own life.

I’ve also learned the beauty of “me” time. Take, for instance, this Christmas. As my family is over 2,500 miles away, I was spending the holiday without loved ones; however, I couldn’t quite fathom the idea of being alone, sulking in the shadow of a Christmas tree. So I put those brave pants on (read: ski pants) & made the short trek from bustling Salt Lake City to the peaceful quiet of the snowy valley where Snowbasin resides.

It was at this picturesque resSolo Adventures in Skiingort that I found an atmosphere of acceptance. Folks donning Santa hats and smiles were all around me: an outdoor family of sorts. No one judged me. I took the chance to talk to others on the lifts, or ride completely alone as it suited my mood. Whispering through trees or laying rails down on groomers, the adventure was my own. Add to that the brilliant sunshine on still untracked powder stashes and Snowbasin’s incredible red rock outcroppings and you’ll understand why I felt deliriously lucky to be in the midst of it all.

Don’t sit home. Take charge. Adventure and a better you is waiting above the city, above the noise: a glistening slice of confidence that somehow transcends the ski boundaries and seeps into your daily life. It’s addicting, this solo exploring — and it’s empowering.

A Christmas to Remember

Family watching Santa arrive

The smell of citrus and cinnamon. Bright starbursts exploding over white ski runs, over white blanketed trees, over rose cheeks from the cold. Hearty laughs from Dad. Roaring fires to warm the face and carols sung to a starry sky. That is what I remember most about Christmas growing up.

I don’t remember what I got from Santa when I was eight. I don’t remember which toy I waited in earnest for. What I remember is where I was; who I was with.

Arriving at Snowbasin’s Christmas Eve celebration I feel like I’d transferred back in time to my childhood. Back to a time when Christmas was more than check lists, gift buying, and a series of errands. Back to the joy of anticipation, the wonder of beauty, and the peace in simple moments.

We arrive early, maybe 4:30pm, but the party has long started. And despite the crowds all searching for a table and chairs, everyone is in such a great mood. With every elbow bumped and toe stepped on I hear, “Merry Christmas,” at least a dozen times over. At one point I stop in the middle of Earl’s Lodge, with candle light falling around me, spin in a circle and think, “it is like we are all one big family!”

Christmas Eve at Earl's Lodge

Then Santa arrives in his decked out “ski sleigh” and I can’t help but run outside with all the kids, giggling as anticipation brims over. I even ditch my mom, who was saving the table, to do it.

All the kids run inside and wait for a chance to sit on Santa’s lap for one last Christmas wish before Christmas morning.

After a dinner of turkey, pork, ham, creamy potatoes, crisp veggies, and decadent desserts we meander outside for the highlight of the evening: the ski light parade and fireworks.

And just like when I was a little girl, staring up at the towering Rocky Mountains, the air fills with citrus and cinnamon. Mixes with the smell of cold and snow.

The bright starbursts explode over white ski runs, over white blanketed trees, over rosy cheeks from the cold. There are hearty laughs from Dad. Roaring fires and carols sung… all to a starry night sky.

Watching Fireworks at the Christmas Eve, Snowbasin