Entries in Dana Allen Photography (4)


Big stix, cool trix, and getting our snow fix

This winter has been fun and Dana Allen, my husband, has been working hard to capture the essence of adventure in our snowy surroundings. I am lucky to be able to travel with him and I am honored to be a subject in his art. Here is a little taste of what he has been up to. Be sure to check his website out at DanaAllenPhoto.com 

The Winter of 2013 - Ski Adventurin' from Dana Allen on Vimeo.


Epic East Coast Weekend

It had been a balmy winter in Vermont before the weekend of February 26th and 27th. I was contemplating taking up speed walking as a second sport due to the lack of snow. Moral was running low to say the least, but things were looking up for my graduate degree due to all of the time I was spending indoors. I convinced myself that skiing ice moguls was not all that bad and that at least I was building up some strength for the upcoming competitions out west (most of which have been cancelled by the way). The one consolation was that no one else was getting snow either, and I am one of those people who likes to know that everyone else is having a sucky time skiing too.

Then the skies opened up for three days straight and dumped over 30 inches on Mount Mansfield. Saturday February 26th was amazing, and I was able to ski with writer and photographer Berne Broudy and her husband and co-owner of the Outdoor Gear Exchange, Mike Donohue. We had an absolute blast lapping the Stowe side country in blower pow. I was literally choking on snow, which was a nice surprise. The next day I went out for my first day with the Meathead Films crew and my fiancé and photographer Dana Allen to get some epic shots. Below is what I ended up with for stills. Hopefully there will be some video to come. We will see. The East Coast brought the goods that weekend, and I made it my mission to partake as much as possible. Ski The East!


Free Helicopter Rides in British Columbia!

It is not every day that I get to ride in a helicopter, so once a year for the Freeskiing World Tour stop in Revelstoke, British Columbia, I try my damndest to make it into the finals so I can get a lift. This year, my first run on the North Bowl venue went well. I had a smooth line with a decent sized air and a fun little straight line that put me in seventh place at the end of the day, the exact same place I was in after the first run last year. I was elated to be able to get another free ride in the heli.

If you have not had the awesome experience of getting dropped off at the top of a mountain by one of these incredible machines, I highly recommend you do so. Usually they are quite pricey and you would have to sell your car or your first-born child to get into one, but just for reference, Silverton Mountain is doing $159 heli drops. Check it out. Silverton is cool skiing anyway and the locals are a form of entertainment unto themselves.

So there I was at the top of “Mac Daddy” face in Revelstoke with the wind and snow whipping around me from the force of the rotors. On one side of the peak was a multiple thousand foot cliff, and on the other was the freshly avalanche controlled face that I was going to ski for my second run. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous. For faces like “Mac Daddy,” athletes are only allowed to inspect visually which means that you have to find features that will tell you where you are when you are skiing down so that hopefully you don’t get lost. You also have to guess how big any cliffs you will be hitting are. Sometimes you guess right, and sometimes you guess wrong. It all depends on how good your binoculars are.

Standing at the starting flags on the top of a 2500 vertical foot descent would make anyone feel alive.  It can be extremely scary as well, but the sense of accomplishment when I ski through the finish far outweighs the nervous anticipation. The snow on “Mac Daddy” was variable and difficult to ski, and so I made it a point to stay on my feet, ski the line I had planned, and not do anything too crazy. This apparently worked because I finished my run in one piece, got a second heli ride to the spectator ridge, and later found out that I had placed 4th overall. Doing well in a competition is always gratifying, but for this event it was simply the cherry on top of the twice in a lifetime (now) opportunity to heli ski for free (not counting the entry fee for the event and the plane tickets from Vermont). I will definitely be going back next year. Below is a video of a fellow FWT athlete and Moment Skis team member who talks about the trials and tribulations of being on the FWT. There is a short interview and clip of me, but mostly this is cool because he drops what we think was around a 110 ft. cliff. Nasty!


A little about me


I have just started this new page, and so I thought it would be good to just re-post my "About" page to let you all know what I am doing with my life and why anyone should care. The truth is, that all I am really good at it having fun, but I think this is an important trait, one that people seem to be lacking as of late. So...this is the documentation of me having fun. Take it or leave it.


Ski History:

I grew up skiing in Stowe, Vermont where I raced for the Mountain Mansfield Ski School and then the Mount Mansfield Winter Academy. In highschool it came to me that stick chasing was not for me and after College, I spent a season skiing in Italy and France on the Mont Blanc Massif where I developed a love of Big Mountain skiing and various cured meats. I moved to Crested Butte, CO for the 07-08 (0-heaven o-great) ski season and decided to hang around and see what the west has to offer. Trying my hand at the Freeskiing World Tour in 2010 was one of the best decisions I have ever made as I ended up placing second at the Telluride Freeskiing World Tour Qualifier where I was presented with a very shiny plate and enough money to cover the cost of food and lodging for the event. In the winter of 2011 I decided to compete in five of the seven stops on the FWT and was happy with the results, placing 5th in Revelstoke, 4th at Jackson Hole, and 5th again at Kirkwood. I am currently going into the 2012 season in 9th place overall! Wooohooo!



Life History:

As you now know, I grew up in Vermont...Hippie central. My parents are not "back to the landers," but they do care deeply about my family's health and thusly about the health of the environment that we live in. Living in such a beautiful place fostered a deep connection to place in me. Where we live makes us who we are, and I believe that because of this we need to work hard to make all our habitats beautiful and nurturing. I also firmly believe that if a person does not value their own health, they will not value the health of their environment and certainly not the environment of others. To learn more about how to help people care more about themselves and their natural surroundings, I have decided to go back to graduate school at the University of Vermont and study at the Rubenstein School of Natural Resources. I have finish my first semester and am excited to begin with my second here in Burlington, Vermont. It will be tricky with the ski competitions, but I think it will work. In addition to skiing and schooling, I am engaged to be married this summer and am working furiously to plan a smashing wedding here in Vermont. Wish me luck with everything!