36 Hours in Stowe (NYT)

Ski Guide 2010

by Lionel Beehner, New York Times, December 13, 2009

WHEN people envision the idyllic Vermont ski town – soaring church steeple, covered bridges, no chain stores in sight - they envision Stowe. It is the grande dame of Green Mountain ski resorts, with a Main Street that is as folksy as a yellowed New England postcard, which makes it all the more shocking that the ski resort is owned by AIG, the insurance behemoth bailed out by the government."  Read the rest of the story here.

(Don't go looking for the Brew Trail (in the article, see: Saturday, 4 pm, #8 A Secret Trail,) though, you won't find it. It is the Bruce Trail – while it's accessible from the top of the Quad, just off the beginning of the Toll Road, it is beyond the Resort's boundaries; it's not patrolled. If you go, have a cell phone with you.)

Need to know current conditions, which lifts are running, and which trails are open?

... and more, including retail store hours, and on-mountain eatery hours? Everything you need to know about what's going on at Stowe Mountain Resort in an easy-to-read group of rotating web pages: stowe.com/livetime

Frostbite is Serious

You wouldn't believe how stunned and embarrassed I was, as a ski patroller and EMT, to have been diagnosed, earlier today, with 2nd-degree frostbite on 5 toes -- 1 on my left foot and 4 on my right. This, after several weeks of increasing discomfort and painful walking! In fact, just last Sunday, while on patrol, I sent a guest to the hospital with 3rd-degree frostbite. We are trained to be aware of and look for early frostbite signs. Despite my custom foot beds, which I've had for several years, my feet and toes do still, on occasion, get cold. Over the past six weeks we've had some incredibly cold days; and, in the last two weeks, several days well below zero. Wind chill adds to the risk of frostbite. While in our base or on-mountain stations I and my fellow patrollers almost never take our boots off, let alone our socks, too, to examine our feet and toes, looking for the telltale blanched white that is the beginning of frostbite.

Here are my lessons learned:
  1. When it is below freezing and your feet/toes are very cold; and, then, you're aware that they're not, it means they are numb -- not warm.
  2. Every hour or two, take a break, go inside -- base lodges, for example -- remove your boots and socks and examine your toes. If they're white, frostbite has started -- you're done for the day. Don't rub the affected areas, but do everything else you can to keep them warm and dry -- extra sock layers, blanket/towel wraps. You can soak in warm, but NOT hot, water.
  3. If the affected areas have become inflamed and shiny, you're into 2nd degree frostbite, which typically also means that there is some permanent damage. Get yourself to your doctor or local Emergency Department. Having missed the first stage and signs while I was still wearing my boots, I didn't 'recognize' what was going on. I continued to ski for several weeks.

Read this CDC Winter Weather|Frostbite page.

The outcome: after my diagnosis this morning, I was sent across the street to Copley Hospital to meet with Peter Kramer, a sports physical therapist. When I asked Peter how soon I could resume skiing, he answered, "April." I'm bummed big time. I'll be seeing Peter regularly over the next few weeks. I'm home now, wearing two layers of cotton socks, with my feet resting on a heating pad set to low. But I'm not going to lose any of my toes.

And, starting next Wednesday, I'm back on patrol -- not on the hill, but rather, working the rest of the season in a warm First Aid/Patrol station as the base EMT.

Lesson learned.

Avoiding the Dreaded Knee 'Pop' (NYT)

KneeBinding You're skiing slowly on an intermediate trail and you suddenly slip. You're not out of control – you weren't going that fast – but you are off balance. One arm flails behind your head as you teeter and twist backward until your hips awkwardly sit down on the tails of your skis. Then you hear a loud pop in your knee. (NYT)

Read the complete article here.

  • The KneeBinding was developed in Vermont and is based in Stowe.
  • Dr. Bryan Huber, quoted in the article, is a member of the Mt. Mansfield Ski Patrol and a principal of Mansfield Orthopaedics.

[More] Snow's Coming!

Starting this afternoon through tomorrow afternoon, the forecast according to:

Stowe Mountain Resort links:

What are you doing reading this? Shouldn't you be on your way to a spectacular skiing weekend?

Tip: Ski Fitness

Check out Chris Rueckert in Stowe. He's one of the best Certified Personal Trainers around; I've been working out with him and taking his classes for almost 3 years. You can find him teaching Pilates for Ski, just one component of the Ski/Ride Conditioning program at The Club at Stoweflake (802 760-1123.) You can also get a workout with Chris at the new Stowe Mountain Lodge Cooper Wellness center (802 253-3560) up at the Resort.

Here's an extra tip: Chris is also a talented glass blower; ask him to show you the beautiful glass Christmas ornaments he makes and sells!

Are your skis ready?

If you haven't yet met Graham (a former World Cup technician) and Mila Lonetto, and their black dog, Shelby, take your skis and go meet them at their shop, Edgewise, as soon as you get into town. Graham's been tuning my skis almost since he arrived in Stowe more than four years ago.

Here's what you need to know:
After you've had Graham tune your skis and you've yo-yo'd a few laps up at the Mountain, come back to this post and tell me what you think.

A Little Holiday Cheer From Kim Lambrechts

Kim is Stowe Mountain Lodge's Director of Food & Beverage. He moved to Stowe from the Maldives where he spent a year as the director of food and beverage at the Four Seasons Resort Maldives. I met Kim shortly after he arrived at the Lodge and watched as he and Executive Chef Sean Buchanan, planned, organized, recruited, and built a culinary gem at the top of the Mountain Road.

Earlier this week, I asked Kim to whip up a little holiday cheer for you and here it is -- Enjoy!:

Front Four Maple-Chili-Tini

Ingredients 3 oz of Sunshine Vodka 2 Tablespoons of Vermont Maple Syrup 1 Teaspoon of Finely Chopped Habanero Chili 1 Tablespoon of Fresh Squeezed Lime Juice 4 cubes of Ice

Best Practice Infuse the vodka with the chili and let it sit for about 10 minutes to extract the natural flavor. In a shaker combine the ingredients, shake well.

Xtreme Sports ID

Vermont Sports Magazine - September 2008

Stowe, VT, and Maui, HI -- Everyone has seen Lance Armstrong's "Live Strong" yellow rubber bracelets. XTreme Sports ID takes the bracelet to a whole other level, by turning the simple piece of silicon rubber into a lifesaving piece of information. Each bracelet bears a medical symbol, a toll-free phone number, and the wearer's unique ID number. If, say, while on a bike ride you are hit by a car and left unconscious, whoever comes to the rescue can call the toll- free number embossed on the band. The voice system prompts the caller to enter the ID number, also embossed on the band. Once the wearer's ID is located, the caller is prompted to enter #1 for medical alerts, #2 for emergency contacts, and so on. You can even record "in case of death directives," "do not resuscitate instructions," and "organ donor" information. When you purchase the band, all you need to do is log onto the Xtreme Sports web site and create your ID record. The band is $8 for the first year and coverage can be renewed online for $5/year.

The bands are available in a variety of colors and are sized for small children as well as adults. The bracelets are attractive, comfortable, and virtually impossible to destroy. Anyone who does outdoor sports, and especially anyone who embarks on solo adventures, would be wise to wear this ID bracelet. Xtreme Sports ID national sales director Bryan Gillam of Stowe says, –Why carry your identification when you can simply wear it?– Xtreme Sports ID is headquartered in Maui.

For more information, visit www. xtremesportsid.com.

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I'm already wearing one. Many of my fellow ski patrollers at Stowe Mountain Resort will be wearing one. They'll also know to look for them on guests who need help. Buy yours at the new Spruce Base Camp up at the Mountain, set to open on November 22nd; or, if you're not local, send me an eMail.