Tag Archives: laid-back skier

Old skis repurposed as new furniture

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Colorado/Photo by: Colleen Smith

Old skis never die: they turn into furniture

For avid skiers, after making countless turns in the rarefied air through the powder, over the bumps, around the trees, one’s sticks become like a couple of very close, reliable friends. When ready to retire a pair of skis, many keep their trusty planks out of the landfill and in their life by repurposing skis as wall mounts, fences, racks for coats or bottles of wine, even sleds.

As I wrote in my article published in The Denver Post, “Old skis never die. They turn and turn and turn and turn and then turn into furniture.

At least that’s the case at Colorado Ski Chairs in Manitou Springs. The small business founded by Adam Vernon and operated with his son Keagan Vernon repurposes up to 200 pairs of old skis per week.”

For more about repurposed skis that preserve mountain memories, here’s a link to my feature article:

 

 

 

 

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LAID-BACK SKIER: What’s in your ski jacket pocket?

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By Colleen Smith

Does any sport require as much gear as alpine skiing? I doubt it.
In addition to the basic mantra—“skis, boots, poles”—the checklist
includes countless essentials and incidentals, depending on how hardcore
or laid-back your skiing style.
Most of us don’t have the liberty of jetting off to the Southern
Hemisphere for summer skiing, so it’s been months since we’ve clicked
into our skis. (Or board.) And as ski season opens, creature comforts that
keep a day on the mountain from going downhill tend to slip our mind.
Jog your skier’s memory with this list:

Pass or lift ticket: You can get on the mountain without any of the items
below, but without your pass or lift ticket, you’re not skiing resort runs.

Goggles/sunglasses: I keep my goggles strapped to my helmet. Yes, I
wear a brain bucket, and you should, too. A helmet won’t save you if you
get T-boned by another skier or rider or slam into a tree trunk, but a helmet
protects your noggin. Plus, ski helmets are warm, if not cool.

Lip balm: Your lips lack oil glands, and alpine altitudes have no mercy
when the sun’s blazing. Winds further dry out your kisser. Lip balm with
SPF 15 or better is best. If you’re a ski bunny concerned about how
you’ll look in your on-mountain shots, opt for a product with sunblock,
moisturizer, and a flirty tint of color. Mwah!

Eye drops: I wear contact lenses when I ski, but even if you don’t, the
combination of high, dry air, cold wind, and blinding snow turns eyeballs to
ice cubes. Eye drops in tiny, single-use tubes fit easily into a pocket. Pick
an inside pocket so liquid stays warm from body heat. To avoid dry-eye,
use drops at lunch or when you take a break.

Cell phone: Stash it in a handy pocket so you can whip it out to connect
with other members of your party on the mountain, or to shoot a photo of
that stunning light on the fresh powder and the first tracks you just carved.

Whistle: I don’t ski the hardcore back-country, but, because I was a
Girl Scout, I keep a whistle in my pocket. Just in case. A whistle does not
weigh much. On a similar note, if you ski the back-country, don’t run the
risk of making risky runs sans avalanche beacons and a small, fold-up shovel.

Tissues: Skier’s nose, a medical condition that involves a runny schnozz,
comes along with the ride, but there’s little more disgusting than snotsicles.
I keep a supply of tissues in my right hip pocket, and I keep that pocket
unzipped so I can quickly access tissues rather than wiping my drippy
nose on my ski mittens or neck gaiter.

Lens-cleaning cloth: Don’t use tissues on your goggles. The best
ski jackets come equipped with a lens-cleaning cloth attached to an
elastic strap that stores in a pocket. If your jacket lacks this feature, add
a microfiber cloth to your jacket. Don’t wipe the insides of your goggles,
though, or you might ruin the lenses.

Money: Remember that a burger on the mountain can easily set you
back $10, so if you’re bringing cash, bring plenty.

Medicine: Once, I got a migraine while skiing, and had to download on
the gondola. Ever since, I keep an anti-migraine tablet or two in a pocket.
Medication won’t take up much room and might be worth its weight in gold
if you need on-mountain relief for achy muscles or other maladies.

Neck gaiter: An acupuncturist taught me Chinese medicine’s theory that
pathogens enter the body via the small of the back or the back of the neck.
When I ski, I’m much warmer with a neck gaiter protecting not only my
neck, but preventing me from taking it on the chin. Plus, neck gaiters can
function as headbands.

Hand-warmers, toe-warmers: Some dismiss these as for sissies only.
Not I. I live by the “start warm; stay warm” theory. I don’t wait until my
fingers go numb: I crack open hand-warmers from the get-go. I use toe-
warmers on super cold days because I don’t have boot heaters. That’s
another discussion.

Glove liners: I prefer silk ones because they’re warm, but super light
and not too bulky to stuff in a pocket. But be careful when handling your
skis if wearing only silk liners. Your skis’ edges can slice the silk.

Ski cinches: While you can get by without a Velcro bands to lash your
skis together, this strap takes up little space, weighs almost nothing, and
makes life much easier. As you shoulder your skis, they won’t separate
awkwardly.

Common sense: Granted, there’s no ski jacket pocket to hold common
sense, but when you’re on the mountain keep your wits about you. Know
the code; follow it. Ski safely; ski the whole season.

Colleen Smith—the author of “Laid-Back Skier: As In Skiing, So In Life”—skis Colorado and writes from Denver.

Interested in purchasing Laid-Back Skier?  Check out our previous blog post about local businesses who carry the book.  Not in Colorado?  No big deal!  Laid-Back Skier can be found on Amazon.

 

 

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Going Skiing? Skier’s Packing List Reminds You What You Need On-Mountain

Let’s face it: Skiing requires a lot of equipment, many layers of clothing, and some creature comforts to make the day on the mountain a peak experience.

Use this checklist from the back of the gift book LAID-BACK SKIER: AS IN SKIING, SO IN LIFE to help remember your ski essentials—skis, boots, poles—and what you want in your ski jacket pocket. You’ve got room to add your own special items to the list, too.

LAID-BACK SKIER is available in lots of ski resorts, gift shops, and fine boutiques.

Or order the charming book through Amazon.com or your favorite bookstore.

Have fun out there. Wag your ski tails!

LBSCheckList

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Laid-Back Skier: A Gift Book About Life’s Ups & Downs

ImageLaid-Back Skier: As In Skiing, So In Life is a small gift book from a small publisher: Friday Jones Publishing. A valentine to beautiful books, Laid-Back Skier includes a skier’s journal and a skier’s packing list, in addition to 38 original color illustrations of ski bunnies and snowboarders, and artfully magnified snowflakes.

I wrote, art-directed and published Laid-Back Skier as a pure expression of my passion for both printed books and skiing. This book is a pleasure to hold and gives readers the pleasure of turning pages and reading an actual book, cover to cover. Laid-Back Skier is an antidote to the digital age—a lure away from your computer and back to the not-so-distanct past when books were more highly valued by more people. There is no Laid-Back Skier for e-readers, but the sensual quality of the book is part of the experience.

Printed in full-color on high-quality, environmentally responsible paper stock, Laid-Back Skier, an ideal gift for all occasions and ages, reminds readers of the joys of winter and the inevitable ups and downs.

If you’re interested in a charming gift, please consider Laid-Back Skier. I’m happy to fill orders directly if you contact me through fridayjones@me.com or order through Amazon.com or visit one of the stores listed below. My small gift book has lots of small-business retail partners, and you’re sure to enjoy these bricks-and-mortar stores.

Hearth Fire Books – Evergreen, CO

The Bookery Nook – Denver, CO

West Side Books – Denver, CO

Boulder Bookstore – Boulder, CO

Gallagher Books – Denver, CO

Broadway Book Mall – Denver, CO

32nd Avenue Books Toys & Gifts – Denver, CO

The Stationary Company – Denver, CO

Haley’s Heart – Denver, CO

Artemisia &Rue – Denver, CO

Cry Baby Ranch – Denver, CO

Shop Around the Corner – Denver Pavilions

Lionshead General Store – Vail, CO

Colorado Ski Museum – Vail, CO

Betty Ford Alpine Gardens – Alpine Treasures Gift Shop – Vail, CO

The Bookworm of Edwards – Edwards, CO

Sugarlicious – Denver, CO

Georgetown Gateway Visitor Center – Georgetown, CO

Cures ‘n Curiosities – Keystone, CO

Next Page Bookstore – Frisco, CO

The Bookies – Denver, CO

Hammond’s Candies – Denver, CO

Vail Cascade Village Market & Café – Vail, CO

Wishes Toy Store – Avon, CO

Swoozie’s – Denver, CO

Bonnie Brae Drugstore – Denver, CO

Quacker Gift Shop – Denver, CO

Lakewood Heritage Culture & The Arts – Lakewood, CO

Catamount Ski Area – Hillsdale, NY

Tattered Cover Bookstore – Denver, CO

Kids’ Cottage – Edwards, CO

Wild Bill’s Emporium – Vail, CO

Roxy – Vail, CO and Beaver Creek, CO

Breck Kidz – Breckenridge, CO

Djuna – Denver, CO

Blue Skies – Boulder, CO

Museum of Outdoor Arts – Englewood, CO

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Ski Season Comes to a Lackluster Close, but “Laid-Back Skier” Thrives

Laid-Back SkierAfter several epic ski seasons, skiers in Colorado faced a low-snow winter at most resorts. Last year, for example, Vail reported about 530 inches of snow. Closing Day skiing was optimum.

This year, sadly, I won’t make the trek for Closing Day because so many lifts are already closed, and my ski buddy Betsy tells me rain is in the forecast.

Sigh.

On the bright side, we skied a lot of bluebird days. I logged more than 300,000 vertical feet, according to EpicMix. To put that figure in perspective, Mt. Everest—the planet’s tallest peak—is just shy of 30,000 feet above sea level. So 300,000 vertical feet is more than 10 Mt. Everests. Granted, going up on a chairlift and down on skis is a lot easier than the way the mountaineers make their ascent.

As ski season winds down, we’re winding down our marketing efforts for Laid-Back Skier: As In Skiing, So In Life. This season, we managed to get our lighthearted gift book into about 40 bookstores, gift boutiques, and museum shops.

And almost everybody who picked up our book raved about the way Laid-Back Skier looks and feels.

Independent publishing is an uphill battle, but we’re enjoying the run.

P.S. – Remember to renew your season pass in April to get the best deals!

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Laid-Back Skier book signing at Swoozie’s in Cherry Creek North

We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to meet some of you at Swoozie’s on Monday April 2, 2012 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Come out to Swoozies’ newest location in Cherry Creek North in Denver to check out the store and get your copy of Laid-Back Skier signed!

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Why I Published My New Book: “Laid-Back Skier” When Books Are Going Downhill

Yes, I’ve read all the abysmal news about the post-literate age and the demise of printed books. In fact, all those discouraging words served to inspire my new book “Laid-Back Skier: As In Skiing, So In Life.”

Of course, snow skiing inspired me, too. As I carved turns, I began crafting this new book’s text in my head. All the while, I envisioned a charming book in three-dimensions, with luscious eco-friendly paper pages and colorful illustrations between hard covers.

 I’m trained as a writer, and I’ve made my living as a writer. Consequently, books are an integral part of my life. They have been since I was a wee one. In fact, in my baby book, my mother noted that “book” was one of my first spoken words. My mom told me I always loved to be read to; and she related more than once that whenever she tried to skip pages – turning more than one at a time to rush through a reading – I always busted her.

“Laid-Back Skier”is for people of all ages and not for skiers only.
 
I hope mothers and other adults will read “Laid-Back Skier” to their children or grandchildren. I intend this book for “skiers, riders and snowflakes of all ages.” The vocabulary might include a few words kids won’t know, but the book will provide an opportunity to learn. Besides, they’ll be captivated by the playful pictures, anyway. For Friday Jones Publishing, Denver artist Patty Leidy did 38 original illustrations.

“Laid-Back Skier” will delight adults, too. I hope this book reminds adults of the tactile pleasure of sitting with a book, turning pages, relishing full-color illustrations reflecting the text, reading. Yes, reading! An actual book!

“Laid-Back Skier” is a quick and easy read with special features.

If you’re like I am, reading is not as easy as it once was. We’ve created an ADD culture with head-spinning distractions bombarding us constantly. “Laid-Back Skier” takes that into consideration. Intentionally, I kept the text very simple with only one sentence per page in the body of the book. Just about anybody can read this book and recall the joyful accomplishment of reading a book cover to cover.

To add to the practicality of the book, I added a skier’s journal and a skier’s packing list.

“Laid-Back Skier” is my second brainchild brought into the world by Friday Jones Publishing, my independent publishing company. Last September, Friday Jones Publishing released my first novel, “Glass Halo.” While the books’ subject matter varies greatly, both books present artful design and attention to graphic details that make quality 3-D books worth preserving even in the 21st century.

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