Archive for March, 2013

Talons Challenge 2013 – Siezure Free

// March 5th, 2013 // Comments Off // Skiing

This past Saturday I was able to participate in the Talons Challenge at Beaver Creek with a special friend of mine, John Olson.  I have known John since he was in his early teens, now ten years later John continues to struggle with a severe seizure disorder but that does not seize him from living life to the fullest.  In spite of numerous surgeries, medications, and continual epileptic eruptions John enjoys climbing peaks, swimming, cycling and skiing the most difficult terrain he can get his skis on.  With some funding help from a company called Cyberonics, and an implant placed in John’s chest by the same group, we were able to take on the challenging task of skiing 14 of Beaver Creek’s most challenging runs that add up to over 26,000 vertical feet of black and double black diamond skiing.  This challenges the quads of even the fittest expert skiers and the only rest a skier’s quads get is on the high speed quad chairlift which zips participants back up the mountain at ten meters per second – hardly enough time to clear out the lactic acid.

The day began at 8:30 a.m. with a ride up the opening chair.  By 9:30 we were 1/4 of the way through and by 2:10 with weary legs and a hardy appetite we had completed our goal, and just in time too.  This week John is undergoing extensive testing and will spend five days in the hospital.  My hope is that the strength he needed to pull off the Talons Challenge will help him also get through this challenge.  We are routing for you John, and praying to – Well done!


// March 1st, 2013 // No Comments » // Skiing

On Christmas morning my wife Amy opened her stocking to find a big surprise – I had signed her up for a Ski Mountaineering Adventure Race without her knowledge.  Even though this gift was complimented with some new ski gear, I think that her stomach dropped and a bit of doubt and insecurity began to show.  We had talked about the idea of doing this but she wasn’t pulling the trigger so I figured I would pull it for her.  Throwing on skins and gliding up the mountain is one of her favorite past-times and methods for working out, it made perfect sense to me to give her a training goal.  Well it worked.  We both got on board with a program, she invested herself into it, practiced harder and more consistently than ever, added variety to the routine and it became more fun – for both of us.  I don’t know who was more brave – me for signing her up, or her for going through with it.

Soon race day was upon us and due to nervousness Amy didn’t sleep much the night before.  The start would be early and as the gun went off the snow began to fall.  Initially the course would take racers up over 2,500 vertical feet and then skins would come off followed by a rapid black diamond descent.  One more round of skinning would lead to a final boot pack ascent and a speedy finish through the race course on Gold Peak.  Throughout the race I was able to offer support by using the lifts to follow the competitors.

As the video shows Amy thought she was somehow behind the other female racers when in fact she was only behind four others – in the MEN’s division!  Amy had won the women’s division of her race, her first race at that.  I was so proud of her for giving it her all both in training and in the race.  More than anything what this event did was give us something to focus and work on together.  Winning was not important though it did feel good.  What was of more importance is what it did for our relationship.  Amy has always been supportive of me and my adventures, but this time I go to support her and we got to help each other in the process.  Goals are important to have and they become more meaningful and more achievable when we strive for them side by side.Up!Amy on the Podium

Racers at the Lionshead Starting Line

Racers at the Lionshead Starting Line