Archive for January, 2012

Powder Day Rorschach Test









What or who are you expecting to see exactly? It’s a powder day for crying out loud!!!!! And if you are seeing anything those aren’t the floaters in your bloodshot eyes you’re looking at, those are your buddies tearing it up! Yeah, that game show buzzer that sounds when a contestant gets the wrong answer should be screaming in your head right now. But thanks for playing!


The Snow Circus

Commitment Issues

Maybe you didn’t know this but ski resorts are like relationships. Early in the season when you are all twitterpated over the new snow, it’s easy to focus on the POW and not the underlying rocks that can rip your heart and boards apart.  It doesn’t take long to wise up and return to your old faithful standby. That would be the boards that have been around the mountain (more than) a few times. They may be well used and scratched with a few nicks on the edges but the two of you have weathered and enjoyed many storms together. Yes, you have made many fond memories together and you know they will always be there for you no matter what. Well, that is unless they break or completely delaminate on you.

There is something else to beware of when starting any new relationship.  It’s the classic bait and switch tactic. Here’s an example; Imagine you are standing at the top of a run with your new powder boards. There has been recent snow fall and you see pushed around snow on the run. And there is always some off piste stash to play in. Piece of cake! Those new boards of yours will slide through that stuff like hot melted butter on mashed potatoes. Then you discover that those potatoes are three day old leftovers that someone put in the freezer. Crud! That’s when it dawns on you that you are in a co-dependent relationship and suddenly all you are focused on is survival.

Yes, mountains are like marriages and you have to commit to the fall line in order to enjoy the downhill ride… That’s when it’s important to focus on the magical powder and brilliant blue bird days you enjoy together.

The Snow Circus

Oh Canada!

Our snowbird friends have flown south once again. There not trying to get away from the snow. Oh contraire, they are here for the good stuff at Schweitzer! Our tuques are off to you as we welcome back the Calgary Senior Alpine Club.

Everyone who skis or rides knows what an alpine club is. There is something special though about the senior part. After all who doesn’t want to still be riding well past retirement age?

So here is a simple explanation of what Senior stands for;

S – Skiing

E – Enthusiasts

N – Nature-loving

I – Inspirational

O – Over-achieving

R – Relics

Yes, they have truly stayed the test of time. Just remember, some of them started out (and survived!) on wooden skis with long thong bindings and (bur-r-r-r-r) cold wet leather boots. Thank goodness for today’s technology. It will make it a lot easier for the rest of us to enjoy our golden years. That is if we are blessed enough to live that long! So, stay healthy and keep in shape. Some day in the future you too can find yourself inspiring and motivating future generations of mountain riders!

The Snow Circus


Some people pay big bucks for this stuff. They go to their dermatologist to have their micro-dermabrasions done. While it is nice to have someone do this for you, think of the time you are wasting sitting around some boring sterile office. Another cheaper, do it yourself option is to go to the local drug store for products to keep your skin smooth. But that’s not much fun either. Here at Schweitzer we offer complimentary exfoliation treatments with the price of your lift ticket. Mountain multi-taskers love this program because you can do it while you are riding around the mountain. Plus, the smile on your face will also make you look years younger. And bonus, there is no down time! So, the next time you are up here riding around the mountain and are complaining about the wind and blowing snow, just remember you being naturally refreshed and renewed. That should give you a lift!

The Snow Circus


Get out them boards, wax ‘em good and let the hosses run! Ride ‘em hard and put ‘em away wet. Yes, it’s a snow rodeo out there on the mountain!

This week a Texas stampede of skiers has arrived as we welcome the Austin Ski Club to Schweitzer. Some of us are even wearing our cowboy (girl) hats in your honor. Heck, some of us just wear them because we like them. However, when you’re out there skiing, helmets are recommended. It’s hard to keep a broad brimmed hat on your head when you’re flying down the runs.

You may also find some of the  club members “skiing” at Taps. At the end of the day when those boards are back in the barn those Texan’s know how to party. So, if you run into any in the bars be sure and give them a nice north Idaho howdy!

 The Snow Circus

Ask Helen

Helen Thompson was nothing short of a legend at Schweitzer.  She raised her family here and worked at Schweitzer for several years.  Her perma-grin greeted guests in the Lakeview Lodge at the “Ask Helen” table where she provided information to guests and would offer advice if asked.

I met Helen around her 80th birthday.  She was looking for a way to stay active and get back to a place she loved – Schweitzer.  At that time we were doing Elderhostels several times a year and she became a host for those programs.  While we initially worried about having someone in their 8th decade keep up, our worries soon became how to keep up with her.  Once she had a hiking stick in hand you had to work to keep pace.  Our guests marveled at this wonder woman with a heart of gold.

But it was her stories that kept us all enamored.  Stories of going to college when that was not something that women did.  Stories of losing the love of her life too early and raising a family on her own.  Stories of a career working for the US Forest Service while raising a family.  Most of all, I loved her advise about how to raise good kids.  She knew how to do it and did it well.  She knew the value of hard work and ethics and lived it as well as taught it. 

Helen was a pioneer woman who lived what she believed. I will forever cherish the hours we spent and the gift she gave to the mountain.  When you needed anything you could just ASK HELEN.  Rest in peace Helen – you deserve it.

Mary Weber-Quinn
Schweitzer Director of Events and Activities

Schweitzer Schwag

If you could personalize your own winter gift bag, Schweitzer’s got this season’s coveted goods!

This week we are filling that bag with lots of fresh powder and sweetly gladed tree runs. We’ve also thrown in some steeps along with some great groomer action.  Whatever’s your preference we have the perfect perks for you. And, every day we are adding fresh new seasonal sensations for you to enjoy!

There’s a Schweitzer schwag bag here with your name on it, so, hurry up and claim it. If you don’t some creative person could show up with some fake ID just so they can have yours too! Like that untracked powder line you just missed because you were late – Ouch!

Yes, the Schweitzer schwag is here and we’re giving it away! Well, along with a pass or a lift ticket that is…

The Snow Circus

Sarah – we are sorry you left so soon

It’s always sad when a young person leaves us too soon.  With Sarah Burke it is especially sad.   I  watched Sarah with interest both professionally and personally for many years and was always impressed by the influence she had over our industry.

While she was a pioneer in women’s freeriding – changing the rules for both X Games and the Olympics,  she brought a whole new viewpoint to a predominantly male sport.  But more importantly in my personal life, she was the woman chosen as a role model by my 3 daughters.  As a parent, you know your children will find a hero, someone to inspire them and demonstrate that person they want to be.   We were so fortunate to have Sarah take that podium in our girl’s lives.  Being one of the first females and certainly the foremost female freeride competitors, she was the epitome of passion.  Skiing steeps in movie or wearing gold in competition she lived the dream so many have.  She led the way for girl skiers – making her way into the  X Games and gaining the respect for women in the freeride culture.  Interviews were well thought out, words were well chosen – she seemed to know there were hundreds of little girls who had her on a pedestal higher than any x-games podium.

As an industry we thank you for demonstrating women’s talents and opening doors into the X Games and Olympics.  You proved that with talent and drive you can change a sport.  As a mom, I thank you.  You provided inspiration and demonstrated a life filled with passion.  For that I will be forever grateful.  Our hearts go out to Rory and her family.

Mary Weber-Quinn
Schweitzer Director of Events and Activities



Sweet mother of mountain mercies, La Nina is back!

If you didn’t take some PTO or call in sick during the last two days, you really are sick. However, on behalf of all of us powder hounds – THANK YOU FOR STAYING HOME!!! It’s just more for us!

Right now we are experiencing the best POW conditions of the season. There are even expositions worthy of Hollywood going on under the lifts. You can hear the ooooooohhs and aaaaaaawhs and giddy hoots and hollers all over the mountain. Yippee and Yeeeehaw! There has been enough new snow to take your breath away from the fresh face shots.

Right now powder hounds all over the northwest are giving La Nina a group hug. They are almost delirious with delight that she has returned to grace us once again with her favors. Some might even liken it to a religious experience. Yes, even the trees seem to be rejoicing. At least it sounds like it as shouts of hallelujah and amen can be heard from their midst all over the mountain!

The Snow Circus

I Have a Dream

This weekend we are celebrating the life and vision Martin Luther King upheld for equality. He demonstrated that dreams have the power to change the course of people, nations and history. 

Dreams give you the magic to create something out of nothing. Admit it. You have spent millions of imaginary dollars in your mind fantasizing about what you would do when you win the lottery. You’ve taken vacations in exotic destinations and you’ve topped out a Ferrari Testarossa on the autobahn.  Yes, you’ve got a bucket list to bust Bill Gate’s billions! Even if you haven’t managed to manifest it yet, hey it’s still a lot of fun!

Right now it is the collective dream of skiers and boarders everywhere to experience a major powder dump. How about an endless season of daily powder dumps to take your breath away (that’s what they really invented snorkels for anyway).

If you don’t have a dream – get one! Create a vision today of what your perfect winter season will be. Just remember, dreams don’t materialize all by themselves. You need a plan of action. You can’t win the jackpot without a ticket whether it’s the lotto or the lift.

Snow Circus


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