Nov 26, 2008

Mezzalama here we come!

I knew it was cold this morning even before I opened my eyes. A peek out my window confirmed frigid temperatures as smoke slowly curled out of my neighbor’s chimney very visible against the blue sky. My own personal holiday card, the brown frame of my window outlined the hillside of pine trees and chalets draped in snow, a view I never get tired of! Two huge storms and cold temperatures have given Chamonix a great start to the ski season.

Today began our new training program for the 2009 ski mountaineering season, Nina and I are charged up! We have asked a fellow American Christy Sauer to come join us for the big dance at the end of the season, the Tropheo Mezzalama. Held in April in Cervinia, Italy, The Mezz is done in teams of three and competitors must race and ski roped. The technical challenges combined with the high elevation (racers summit a 4000 meter peak on course), make the Mezzalama a mecca for the fanatical ski mountaineers. We hope to be the first official U.S. women’s team to complete the event. In addition to the obvious challenges, the Mezzalama also demands speed with army officers controlling time checks along the course. No time cut, no race.

Christy will train and race in Aspen while we compete here in the Alps. She has just returned from summitting Ama Dablam, is an avid trail runner, nordic skier, and has skied many of Colorado’s fourteeners - a perfect fit. I will be reporting on our progress throughout the season. So with those lofty goals in mind, it’s time to train.

Christy on Ama Dablam
Christy on Ama Dablam

We already have a few days of on snow training under our belt and a solid season of dryland training, but finally we are able to get on snow in our own valley. Roughly two and a half feet has fallen at lower altitudes in the past few days-up high a great deal more. Looks like we were not the only ones ready to hike and earn some turns, the Le Tour ski area parking lot was rather full and so many tracks cut up the snow that the lifts may as well have been running. The sun was a huge motivator, its always nice to be able to look down the Chamonix Valley and see the town tucked in at the base of the Mont Blanc massive.

Nina ready to rock

We grabbed our lightweight kit and headed to the snow. The base of Le Tour is the highest of the five ski domains in Chamonix at 1462 meters (4800 feet), with the 15,000 foot ceiling of Mont Blanc emphasizing the huge vertical difference for which Chamonix is famous. Le Tour is a great learning area but can be very difficult to navigate when foggy, and certain areas have high avalanche danger. Our tiny 157cm Ski Trabs with match box bindings always earn us a few stares, that or perhaps the one piece spandex suits we have gotten used to wearing. While we qualify as spandex-geeks, the suits are amazingly useful with pockets for food, extra skins, and of course my tunes. Along the thigh of my suit reads “Crazy Idea” (brand name) in sparkles - the ski mountaineering world is bringing on the bling for its female racers. I think its pretty appropriate that my suit does say “Crazy” on it as sometimes during competition that thought flashes through my mind on a regular basis. May as well be crazy in style. In any case, the French have a deep respect for the sport of ski mountaineering so we get a few smiles as we throw the skins on and head up the hill. People with skis and outfits (serious 80’s pastels and fluorescent numbers) of all kinds have turned up to enjoy the pow. Nothing really goes out of style in France.

We warmed up for twenty minutes before beginning three intervolts of ten minutes at what we call half marathon (or race pace) with a three minute rest. Upping our overall speed is top priority. Both of us have great endurance and this year we hope to increase the rpms. Warm-up time was over quickly and Nina upped the pace but we kept out heart rates in check, no going over 160. A few times we passed someone who maybe didn’t want to be passed by two chicks in spandex and the race began. The lighter gear is a huge advantage and eventually they would fall off the pace. The terrain was perfect, nice long flats to practice skating technique, varied with steep pitches reminding us to pole hard with our arms, and short little downhill sections to practice skiing with the skins on. Best part about intervolts, they go by fast and soon we were at the top ready to enjoy the chilly run down. While not the best powder boards toteing a whopping six centimeters underfoot, we got some nice fluffy turns on soft Colorado-style snow. After warming down a bit, we headed home for some hot chocolate, a good day’s training tucked under our belts and one step closer to the Mezzalama. Brava Team U.S.A.!


Nov 19, 2008

2008 Pierra Menta

9800 meters of uphill over four days of racing. I stared wide-eyed at the profile of the Pierra Menta. Thank God this was a team event. My partner, Nina Silitch and I sat at the pre-race briefing and began to feel the nervous butterflies. Big ones. Maybe more like bats or small sparrows. We stood in line as they inspected gear and taped electronic timing DAG timing system chips to each ski. 21 female teams had signed up this year, a record number for women, and 150 male teams. Looking at the competition, the teams were very strong, stronger than at he World Cup. Nina was coming back from a nasty strep throat-car accident-strep relapse combo, and I was just plain scared, but thankfully so was everyone else. Our goal? Simply to finish the famous race as the first U.S. women’s team and do the best that our bodies allowed.

Saturday dawned sunny and warm. It was day three, the famous stage of the Grand Mont. A beautiful course complete with an exposed arete and 3000 people waiting to sing your praises at the summit. The weather was good, but we were tired and maybe wondering a bit how our bodies would react to the 2700 meter stage. We had never tested ourselves this way. Thursday, day one, seemed like years ago. 2450 meters, it was a “mellower” stage changed due to avalanche danger. Friday, day two, had gone well. The longest of the stages at 2980 meters it was very technical. Adding insult to injury the last climb was up a tree filled gully with slightly iso-thermic snow. Skins were failing, people were falling and the sun was hot. After three false summits we were VERY ready for the finish. We had watched as one female team we were closely following lost a ski during a transition. Placed on an uneven surface, the ski flew off the ridge down hundreds of meters. Our friend, Fabienne sat down and cried, and we touched her on the shoulder as we moved on. “Its okay,” said her teammate Jane. “We can have a rest now.” After that Nina and I just wanted to complete the stage, all gear in tact. Thanks to snow the day before the start of the race most all the descents (minus one ice death slide reminiscent of skiing at Buck Hill in Minnesota) were in great condition. We both grew up ski racing, so the downhill was a relief and where we made up lost time.

The start of the Grand Mont stage that morning as usual was unexpected with no warning as usual. The tape dropped allowing all the categories to blend together and chaos ensued. “Watch your poles, keep them by your sides, get a good rhythm.” Nina is always the voice of reason calmly reminding me of proper technique, when its time to eat, and setting the right pace. We turned the corner after a long flat cross country section and my heart dropped as we saw the steep climb. It was a wall of ice with competitors picking their line kick-turning their way up the slope, tiny dots in the distance. Extremely technical with everyone fighting for a their place, it was the most challenging of the ascents. This is after all the Pierra Menta, and Areches-Beaufort, France, the cradle of the ski mountaineering world. Nothing about this race was easy.

We heard a loud shout and again someone lost a ski, I tried to stop it, but it went flying down the slope. A quick check ensued that our bindings were secure. Closer to the top the terrain mellowed out, the 1100 meters gained quickly by the steep slope. We were surprised to find we are pretty good at kick turns after about one hundred or so. One final crossing over avalanche debris to the summit. Nina lost her footing and started to slide, another competitor grabbed her pack, his team-mate planted his pole under her skis. A reminder that this is a race, but the unwritten rule in the mountaineering world is as always safety first. We moved on towards the summit and could hear the crowds and clanging cowbells. “Eat if you can Lyndsay,” Nina reminded me. Frantically shoving a gel in my mouth I was sick of the taste and fairly certain I had gotten more all over me than actually in my mouth.

“Allez Niiiinnnaaa, Allez Lyyynndsay.” Spectators had the start list and cheered us by name, switching to “go go go” or “way to go America.” We were absolutely blown away at the support we were receiving. The sound of bells was deafening and it was incredible to see that people skinned up or took the telepherique at 5am with cowbells the size of your head straight off the neck of the family cows. Others brought wine, food, and some with accordions to serenade racers with old French folk songs. The Pierra Menta is the Tour de France of Ski Mountaineering and the energy was awesome. Some spectators slowly followed behind on course like angels. At the transitions they would plant poles for you, brush off skis, making everything just a bit easier as the hours pass- although we did hear that they were not quite as kind to the male racers. Some told me I imagined these angels, which admittedly is entirely possible.

Finally reaching the end of the third skin, our friend Fabienne was there, the women who lost the ski the day before. She cheered us on. “Now the arete, everyone is up there, they are waiting for you! Courage!” Skis securely fastened on our packs we began picking our way up the rocks. It was slippery and exposed, and we made up time catching other teams as the racers ahead were bunched up waiting to clip and un-clip their slings on the fixed ropes. The Pierra Menta requires use of a harness with two slings set up in a via feratta fashion. Leading men had brushed much of the snow off the rocks making it muddy and icy and not for the faint of heart. I was happy to clip into the line. Falling was not an option. One spectator sat on a rock playing his harmonica. Seeing the flags on out packs he began to play, “When the Troops Come Marching Home.”

“You are American?” One of the guides asked as he helped us clip in. “This is not too hard for you?” We said we were fine with big smiles and could hear him tell his fellow guides how cool it was that we were competing. It gave us new strength.

Ascending the final 20 meters, the last ridge of the summit hid the 3000 people waiting in ambush. Running into the huge crowd all pain was forgotten as we heard cheers of “Courage, bravo, bravo les filles!” We ripped skins and clicked bindings, the crowds urgently reminding us to check bindings and boots. I have never experienced such supportive spectators, willing you in unison to complete the race safely and in one piece. The level of respect for just doing the Pierra Menta was evident. The last descent I can’t really remember feeling my feet. It was a high speed traverse around the peak, then down about 1200m of extreme skiing through forest and ending in a tuck to the finish. Get me a coke please and a piece of that awesome pound cake. Boots and wet clothes off immediately. Dinner that night had us sitting next to some Tyrolean guides from the German speaking part of the Dolomites in Italy. It was their seventh Pierra Menta. Each year they came for vacation and told us it was the hardest race yet and that we would break 10,000 meters this year. Only one more day.

Day Four began a bit like the movie Groundhog Day. We have done this before. The daily routine starts the same. Eat, prepare, race, suffer, finish. Eat again, rest, daily massages (great perk), eat yet again, prepare gear, sleep. We didn’t speak this morning morning for the first fifteen minutes. Just silently followed the routine. Pack the packs, get the skis ready, get dressed, check beacons, helmets, sunscreen, food, warm-up. They announced due to snow the course has been shortened 300 meters. What a gift! The final stage was only 1500 meters. The first climb started and was quickly interrupted by a mid forest hike through mud and trees. The snow had melted on the exposure and the change of movement was welcome, we are fast on the boot packs. We could hear the women yelling in French behind us. Nina and I had a chance to move up a few places in the general classification so their voices spurred us on as we dug deep and found we still had some fight left.

The ascent was long and extremely warm. Sweat, salt, and the occasional drop of sunscreen was getting in my eyes. Nina set a good pace, and it was easy to just follow and not have to think. I was redlined. To spice things up there was a 20 meter ski down ice and powder with the skins on, a true test of balance, and then a brief ascent to the transition. Making up time on a great ski down, we again had to put skis on packs and be part of a “Rambo” run down a muddy gully. Men were not afraid to hurl themselves down these slopes and we went as fast as we could just to get out of the way. Fear of getting trampled made up more time and we caught some stronger teams. We could see a glimmer of respect from some of these women who have competed their whole lives in this sport. One last 300 meter climb and a short ski to the finish. “Bird’s nest it,” I said to myself and just shoved the skins in a tangled mess in my suit for the last time and followed Nina down. Clasping hands through the finish we threw our arms around each other. Nina’s son Birkin had made a “go mommy go” sign, not only is she an insane competitor, but a mother of two.

We finished the Pierra Menta in 14th place out of 21 teams. Without hesitation we both agree it was the hardest thing we have ever done and laugh as we think of the things that went through our heads as we battled the mental demons. I had decided out there that I was ready to give it all up, surf, and move to Bali. Nina thought about going back to cross country and staying home more with the kids. Elation at the finish erased the low moments. However, we agreed to wait at least a week before considering doing it again. We are ready now, bring on the Patrouilles des Glaciers. But first we need some sleep.


Nov 10, 2008

lakes/oceans

Photo courtesy of Casch 52

kitesurfing and surfing

Action Sports Maui utilizes the latest developments in each sport to give our students every advantage. We have three schools running simultaneously to provide the best location for each activity. Action Sports’ comprehensive range of programs can take a beginner all the way through to extreme sports athlete.

Cheyne Horan School of Surf is one of the world’s top professional surfer schools. Cheyne has been competing on the ASP World Championship circuit for more than 20 years. He open a school in Bali in 1998 and a school in Surfers Paradise, Australia in 1999. Winner of the World Masters Championship in 1999, Cheyne has coached national teams and has won World Championship tournaments in every major surfing country. He has created his own curriculum and has trained all coaches to follow his method.

Dominique Punnett rippin’ it up at Corky Carroll’s School of Surf in Costa Rica

Welcome to Corky Carroll’s Surf School. We offer private or group surfing lessons at our Huntington Beach, California surf school and information on our at our Costa Rica Surf school. Each school operates emphasizing safety and the basic fundamentals taught by creating “muscle memory” skills in paddling and standing, essential to successful surfing.

Las Olas Surf Safaris Las Olas Surf Safaris for Women in Mexico is recognized as the world’s premier surf camp for women. Since 1997, Las Olas has introduced over 2000 women to surfing with the motto, “We make girls out of women.”

GirlieCamps is a shout out to all the girls who love the waves and are already addicted to the lovely sport of surfing and also to those who - until now - were standing at the beach, looking at the waves and thinking “I wanna do that, too!” Camps are for all ages (they have skateboarding too) and are held in the French surfing mecca Biarritz near the Spanish boarder.

Kite Club Cabarete in the Dominican Republic is a kite boarding school with a reputation for it’s open and friendly atmosphere. Where all levels of kiters from complete beginners to pros come to take kite surfing lessons, rip up the waves, or just chill out and watch the show.

Photo courtesy of Outdoorhobbies.org

Kitesurfingschool.org provides a full up to date sight of all kite surfing camps around the world, go nutz!

Mojo Surf provides the holiday experience of a lifetime. Choose from a 5 day surf adventure heading up the coast from Sydney to Byron Bay, a relaxed surf Weekend Escape out of Sydney on a Friday night and returning to the big smoke on Sundays, a chilled out afternoon surf lesson in Byron or flexible Surf & Stay packages in Byron or our secret “off the map” location, Spot X…

Pura Vida Adventures is about giving women the opportunity to either learn or improve their surfing skills in a fun, non-competitive environment. Our surf camps are situated in the scenic village of Malpais on the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. Expansive beaches and a tropical rainforest surround Malpais, creating fascinating landscapes and stunning views. This region is also a haven for all levels of surfers. The main beaches, Playa Carmen and Santa Teresa, provide easy, fun waves in which to learn while the surrounding area has it all… point, reef and beach breaks.

Kate Olson
Kate Olson, she’s a kitcher!

SurferGirls in San Diego offers surfing lessons, day surf camps, and overnight surf camps. We feature youth surf camps for girls, an all-girls surf camps, teen surf camps, adult surf lessons for women.

Surf Diva Surf School, established in 1996 by twin sisters Izzy and Coco Tihanyi, has enjoyed its reputation as the world’s #1 surf school for women for over 12 years!  With Izzy as the ‘Surf’ and Coco the ‘Diva’, the Surf Diva boutique opened its doors in 2004 and has been selling a variety of fashion forward and functional surf gear ever since. Camps are offered in La Jolla, California, and Costa Rica.

Surf Sister introduces women (and men!) of all ages and abilities to the sport of surfing in a safe, fun, and supportive environment, and offers advanced technique classes too. We learn and play on beautiful beaches near Tofino, British Columbia -rated as some of the most spectacular in the world.

Surf Goddess Retreats is a surf, yoga & spa vacation in Bali created especially for women just like you. We provide a space where you can have fun learning to surf, while also taking time to pamper yourself in an enchanting environment that will revitalize your body, mind and spirit.

Witch’s Rock Surf Camp located in Costa Rica is focused on quality instead of quantity using a one to three student to teacher ratio.  With our surf camp packages we build on previous lessons, creating confidence and the skills needed to improve  We have taught thousands of people to surf-we can teach you too!

Surfersvillage, Surf School Guide, and Windfinder are all specific surf/kiting directories. Surf the net for the real thing at hundreds of camps worldwide.

Photo courtesy of Seakayakit.com

kayaking, canoeing, and rafting

2Adventure.com This site showcases it all, kayaking trips, kayaking vacations, sea kayaking, Baja Sea kayaking, whitewater kayaking,  and even extreme kayaking in a variety of exotic locals.

Adventures in Good Company Ready for adventure? Life is not a dress rehearsal. ACG offers canoeing and sea kayaking trips from the Boundary Waters to Croatia. Dream destination not on their list? No problem, they do trips to order.

Adventures Through Kayaking Discover the enchantment and wonder of the beautiful waters and unmatched skies that abound in the Great Pacific Northwest. You don’t even need experience as we cater to small groups, assuring a personal touch from our professional, experienced guides. So bring your family and friends, or journey and join us yourself, to enjoy the spectacular life and scenery of the Olympic Peninsula.

Kayak Adventures Worldwide We love to share the beauty and magnificence of the Alaskan wilderness with people. We hope to expose you to, and educate you about, the wonders of the areas in which we operate. Resurrection Bay and Kenai Fjords National Park are both phenomal areas of pristine beauty - and they are best explored by kayak! What a fantastic way to view wildlife, glaciers, and the rugged coastline.

Kokopelli River Guides Join us with some of your best girlfriends to spend a few days of rafting or inflatable kayaking down Southern Oregon and Northern California rivers. Leave the testosterone behind.

Mariah Wilderness Expeditions Join Mariah Wilderness Expeditions for Women’s whitewater rafting trips in California, and International Adventure Travel Trips and Tours to Costa Rica, Baja, Peru, Tierra del Fuego. Raft fun and exciting rivers, sea kayak in Baja, and explore the rainforests, rivers, beaches, and culture of Costa Rica. Female trips as well as family adventures.

Photo courtesy of Braziltrails.com

Out for Adventures British Columbia sea kayaking tours are Out For Adventure Wilderness Tours Ltd. most popular Vancouver Island adventure vacation. OFAWT Ltd. offers British Columbia Sea Kayaking Tours and Ontario canoe trips - all fully guided adventures. Licensed to operate in both provinces OFA has achieved an excellent record for the highest quality and customer satisfaction attainable in its field.

Paddling.net. Online directory of whatever floats your boat.

Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center has been the premier school for whitewater kayak instruction in the Rocky Mountain West since 1982. Our kayaking school is on the banks of Colorado’s famous Arkansas River so your white water classroom is just outside the door!

Women’s Quest offers ocean kayaking on our retreat in Hawaii. We paddle across Kealikakua Bay and play with the spinner dolphins and watch the whales breach. We kayak over to the Captain Cook monument, have lunch and snorkel on one of the most beautiful reefs in Hawaii. We keep our kayaks handy at our retreat area so we can jump into the ocean and paddle as we please.

Photo courtesy of Saildirector.com
Photo courtesy of Saildirector.com

sailing

Sunsail has fleets of modern, well-maintained yachts, watersports of every kind and family-friendly beach clubs in 39 stunning locations around the world. Participate in a flotilla with friends and family and experience informally guided sailing allowing you to explore your own way.

The Moorings The Moorings is the world’s premier yacht charter company, offering unmatched quality, service and attention to detail, for 40 years. We have the most desirable locations around the world. You’ll appreciate the comfort and easy handling of our custom-designed yachts, mostly less than 3 years old. Contact us to experience The Best Sailing Vacations in the World!

Photo courtesy of Amrnour.com

Photo courtesy of Arnmour. com

scuba diving and snorkeling

2Adventure.com Looking for an adventure below the surface? Browse through a Caribbean, Costa Rican, Thailand, Hawaiian, Pacific or Florida scuba diving adventure vacation. There are diving and snorkeling adventures, for everyone from the beginner to the experienced diver. No crowds, no itineraries, nothing to do but sit back, relax and enjoy your day.

Adventurous Wrench Belize has the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world. Come snorkel with us among brightly colored reef fish (or sharks and rays!), and scuba divers can visit the world-reknowned blue hole. After some relaxation at the beach, it’s time to take the adventure inland, where Belize is covered with tropical jungle, dotted with ancient Mayan ruins with our Mayan archaeologist guide.
Liveaboard Diving Try a SCUBA safari! Most divers know that there is no better way to explore the oceans of remote diving destinations than from the comfort and convenience of a liveaboard dive boat. No need to carry your scuba equipment around or worry about getting to the dive boat in time. Use our website for a quick and easy comparison of all the best liveaboards throughout the world’s finest dive spots,

Earthwatch Institute Biodiversity abounds at coral reefs, they are the richest of marine habitats and could be under serious threat from climate change. Both oceans and climate change are priority research areas for Earthwatch and our research is vital to ensuring coral reefs are properly understood so that we know how we can best protect them. Whether you are a qualified SCUBA diver or you just love to snorkel, if you join one of our reef-based projects – in amazing locations from Belize to The Bahamas – you’ll be contributing to helping ensure the survival of these vital ecosystems.

Green Bikini Travel Green Bikini Travel in Bali provides unique and worry-free travel experiences. We hope to embolden female travelers by offering an authentic and affordable trip. When you escape with Green Bikini Travel, we take care of all the details. All you have to do is pack. Be bold; break out your bikini!

PADI is the world’s leading scuba diving training organization. With more than forty years experience and 5300 dive shops and resorts worldwide, PADI training materials and services let you experience scuba diving from nearly anywhere. Scuba diving with PADI Instructors, Dive Centers and Resorts can help transform your life through education, experience, equipment and environmental conservation
Not sure where in the world you want to SCUBA? Check out iexplore for all the hot spots.

Photo courtesy of msoutdoor.com
Photo courtesy of Msoutdoor.com

waterskiing, wakeboarding, and wakesurfing

Blue Turns Watersports Blue Turns is peerless in providing the Pacific Northwest with professional coaching in wakeboarding, inland surfing, waterskiing and wake skating. Our instructional venues provide guests with cutting edge coaching technology, Headzone communication systems to maximize efficiency, a full inventory of high-end equipment to choose from, and boats that most people only get to ride behind in their dreams.

Coble Waterski and Wakeboard Camp in Lillington, North Carolina is one of the world’s finest and most complete water ski training facilities! The camp consists of 10 private lakes. Only one boat is allowed on each lake at a time so you will have premier training conditions.

DFWSurf Wake Surfing is a new water sport, which is increasing in popularity. The DFW Wake Surf School in Dallas provides student with the basic techniques needed to wake surf. Including safety, proper fat sac placement and eventually the ability to surf without a rope.

M2 Sports located in Highlands, Texas teache the kind of skiing your parents didn’t know about. New techniques, new sticks and inquiring minds have redefined a new skiing culture. Skiing has come full circle and we here at M2 are stoked. Wakeboarding is a way of life. It offers a sense of community and it’s a lot of fun. Here at M2, we provide our students with top of the line training programs that allow all abilities to take both sports to next level.

Pine Lake Ski School in Bloomfield, Michigan attracts people of all ages and skill levels. Whether you want to learn to ski for the first time or improve your skills for slaloming, barefooting or wakeboarding, each student receives one-on-one individualized attention from one of our talented instructors who will help you build your technique and your confidence.

Orlando Wakeboard Academy we believe wakeboarding is a sport that should be based on having fun with friends and family while allowing each person to push themselves beyond their expectations. We offer instruction for wakeboarding, wakeskating, wakesurfing, and waterskiing to all ages and skill levels. We pride ourselves on being one of the most flexible and affordable wakeboard camps / schools in Orlando.

Waterski.com provides a directory of waterskiing in exotic locals around the globe. Have ski, will travel, check out Egypt, Sri Lanka, Greece, even Protugal. The list is constantly being updated, add your $.02.

Photo courtesy of Aquaskier.com


Nov 10, 2008

trail/road

Nathalie Tortora and le Mont Blanc
Nathalie Tortora and le Mont Blanc

mountain biking

Active Safaris The Munda Biddi off- road trail is fast becoming recognized around the world as Western Australia`s world-class off-road cycling experience. There are not many places in the world where a 900-kilometer cycle track could be built through a semi-undeveloped natural corridor. With Western Australia’s vast areas of forests and bushland, gentle terrain, and year-round cycling weather,this gives any cycling enthusiast an ideal setting for an off-road cycle experience.

Big Mountain Bike Adventures At Big Mountain, our goal is to provide an experience of a lifetime on a mountain bike. We’re talking about life altering, or a least one that makes you feel so alive that you howl out loud. Trips planned with the utmost detail to locals around the world.

Dirt Series The Dirt Series by Rocky Mountain Bicycles is the instructional program that we, as coaches, wish had existed when we started to mountain bike. Dirt Series holds co-ed and female only camps in the Pacific Northwest, and in BC and Alberta, Canada.

Photo courtesy of Epicbreaks.com

Fat Tyre Mountain and Heli Biking Fat Tyre Adventures has some of the best mountain biking on numerous scenic trails in New Zealand’s South Island. We specialize in exhilarating heli-bike rides, epic day trips, and multi-day mountain bike tours. Fat Tyre can offer you single track, all mountain, cross country and free-ride Mountain biking trails.

Girlfriend Go Tours was created out of a desire to share passion for travel and love of life. We want to inspire and empower women to achieve their athletic potential, to participate in healthy travel, and to savor different cultures and flavors of the world. International and domestic tours include a focus on physical challenge with daily biking, hiking, and cultural adventures. Discovering the world with friends from the seat of a bicycle.

Helibike.com Freeride New Zealand Style! The Wanaka heli biking terrain is sub-alpine and we cater for all levels of ability and experience although helibike riders are expected to have an intermediate skill level and of reasonable fitness. At one end of the scale we can offer full day rides on challenging tracks or for the less adventurous, easy going cruises down grassy double tracks taking in the breathtaking scenery. The choice is yours.

Valerie Alexander. Keystone Xterra
Valerie Alexander. Keystone Xterra

Over the Bars Come get dirty with us! This unique mountain biking experience spans far beyond the saddle. Over the Bars located in Snowmass, Colorado, provides a holistic experience designed to improve mental and physical performance on your bike. Bolster your skills and your confidence in mountain biking while enjoying the camaraderie and beauty of this fun environment.

Pacific Cycling Tours offers scenic, adventurous, wine tasting, and special interest cycle tours designed for you to experience New Zealand at its purest. A New Zealand Tourism Award winner and family-owned business, we combine our deep knowledge of the New Zealand landscape with our passion for adventure and attention to detail. PCT is concerned about protection of the natural environment and have special concessions from the Department of Conservation and private landowners to have access to off-road areas that are exclusive to Pacific Cycle Tours.

Ride the Alps specializes in point-to-point trips in the European Alps and other special destination trips, including the Tibetian Plateau. RTA believes there’s nothing like the sense of achievement that comes with following a classic route to reach your final destination. The benefits of guided trips are three-fold; enabling mountain bikers to experience more of the local area, to ride the trails that suit them best and consequently give them the confidence to try and learn new biking skills.

Photo courtesy of SMH.com.au
Photo courtesy of SMH.com.au

Western Spirit Each year between March and October we run hundreds of cycling trips throughout the United States, and in the winter we head south to Mexico and Costa Rica. On our mountain bike trips we ride some of the best trails in the country while camping in and enjoying the backcountry.

White Room Adventure Tours Are you ready to adventure in a place where the mountains are picture perfect, the rivers run crystal blue, mountain bike and hiking trails are endless and everyday ends with amazing food and wine? France has it all and we are here to help you explore a country and continent that is easily reached yet rarely experienced.

Women’s Quest What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life? Go on a Quest! Women’s Quest is the ultimate adventure to refresh your spirit, rekindle your passions and strike balance in your life. Each fun-filled health and fitness retreat combines physical, mindful and spirit-filled activities with challenging adventures that enliven, refresh, and encourage self-confidence and self-expression. Retreats are held in some of the most beautiful places on earth, immersing you in gorgeous landscapes, and combining a variety of activities to spark your senses, revitalize your body, and soothe your soul.

Feel like you’ve biked there and rode that? Check out Iexplore’s top ten mountain biking vacations for some new inspirations.

road biking

Adventure Associates provides a fantastic 18-day tour through Vietnam, combining cycling, kayaking, ocean cruising, travel by riverboat and railway, rejuvenation, and the cameraderie of adventurous women! From north to south, we cover many of the major attractions along the way, by bike you’ll see breathtaking scenery at a natural pace and participate in the traditional and modern lifestyles of the Vietnamese people.

Adventure Cycling Association Our 2009 tours slate is ready – and we have new web features to help you discover the tour that is right for you. We offer every kind of bike adventure imaginable — from one week to three months, epic to relaxed, self-contained to fully-supported and catered, and there’s a huge menu of places to choose from, either close to home or far away.

Biker Betties at the Ride for the Cure. Aspen, Colorado
Biker Betties at the Ride for the Cure. Aspen, Colorado

Backroads is the world’s number one active travel company. Backroads was begun with the belief that a great travel experience is all about having choices. Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Who do you want to go with? And in what style? From medieval hill towns to winding coastal roads, you can explore the world with the freedom you’ll only find on two wheels.

Cicloposse offers both guided and self guided trips throughout Italy. We design our trips with maximum flexibility in mind, so that you can explore Italy at a pace that best suits you. It is absolutely a vacation and not  a race! All our routes are carefully designed to show you the best of Italy on the quietest roads possible.

Val and Lynds at the Aspen Criterium

Dude Girl Trips The French Alps are one of our most beloved regions on the planet, and one of the world’s most dramatic mountain ranges. World-class riding, fine food and wine, and warm, convivial accommodations. We’ll climb the big ones such as l’Alpe d’Huez and Col du Galibier, and we’ll catch the peleton and your favorite riders battle it out in the grand spectacle of a race, Le Tour de France!

Trek Travel we’ve taken it to the next level! Whether you like to ride your bike as a means of relaxation or discovery; a time to bond with the kids, the ‘guys’ or ‘just the girls’; or to push yourself to the limit, this year’s domestic and international new trip line-up has a unique twist to match every motivation and schedule. Wanna race like Lance? Race trips also available.

Womans Tours Welcome to the only all-women bike tour company in America. At Womantours we specialize in small, inn-to-inn road bike tours for women only either in one local or pack up and bike across the country. We design our bicycle trips for women of all ages, abilities and interests, and in the most beautiful places around the United States and abroad.

May Selby hiking in Snowmass, Colorado
May Selby hiking in Snowmass, Colorado

hiking

Adventure Out Adventure Out is California’s premiere outdoor school specializing in surf camps, rock climbing classes, backpacking trips, mountain biking, and wilderness survival skills instruction. Our mission is to share decades of wilderness experience while achieving our wildest adventures in the outdoors. In addition to insuring that our students enter the oceans and wilderness areas both safely and responsibly, Adventure Out strives to instill a sense of environmental stewardship. As a member of 1% For The Planet, Adventure Out donates a portion of gross revenues to environmental conservation.

Adventure Trekking Few would disagree that the Himalayan mountain regions of Nepal contain some of the best places in the world to go trekking. Largely inaccessible by road, combined with the well-worn foot tracks developed between villages over centuries, makes trekking the best way of seeing the Himalaya. Choose from treks like Everest Base Camp & Gokyo Lakes, Annapurna or Langtang to less popular trekking options including Mustang or Kanchenjunga Base Camp. From short, easy treks to month long expeditions, from tea-house trekking to camping ‘rough’, Nepal has it all.

Black Feather Hike the Land of the Midnight Sun. Explore the stunning scenery of the Canadian Arctic - Ellesmere Island, Auyuittuq in Baffin Island, Devon Island, The Tombstone Range in the Yukon or a new trip in Katannilik on Baffin. Join a small group of like minded (female or co-ed) adventurers for a most unique trekking holiday in the very far north.

Photo courtesy of www.banffinfo.com
Photo courtesy of Canadian Mountain Holidays

Canadian Mountain Holidays Heli-Hiking Our Heli-Hiking trips offer you mountain wilderness to explore – as rigorously or gently as you would like – while you enjoy the exquisite comforts of our remote mountain lodges. During any of our trips, activities ranging from ambling and walking to hiking and trekking, or even full-blown mountaineering, are tailored to suit your wishes and ability. Our guests, not the guides set the gait.

Costa Rican Adventures Travelers visit Costa Rica, Belize and Panama, exploring the rainforest, the cloud forest, the white sand beach and the coral reefs. More than just a hiking trip (or a rafting trip…or a jungle tour), our adventures are an active exploration into the cultural, biological and geographic aspects of the rainforest and our own impact on the world around us.

Geographic Expeditions A pioneer of travel to remote and challenging destinations including Bhutan and the Galapagos has been at the forefront since 1982. Geographic Expeditions offers a varied portfolio of overland tours, treks, walks, and expeditionary voyages to the world’s most astonishing places. Our passion for eyes-open travel to out-of-the-way places is reflected in our expert leadership, excellent accommodations, intimate group sizes, hand-crafted private itineraries, and deep in-country savvy

InkaNatura Travel Follow in the footsteps of the Inca on the Inca trail to Machu Picchu with its gorges and passes and climactic mountain views. The Incan trail to Machu Picchu traverses a startling variety of microclimates, beginning with an arid cactus zone on the Urubamba valley floor, rising through native Polylepis forest to bleak high-altitude grassland, and ending in mossy cloud forest draped with orchids and bromeliads.

Photo courtesy of Jaunted.com
Photo courtesy of Jaunted.com

Kirra Tours Enjoy the best of New Zealand’s majestic scenery on a guided walk holiday. One to ten day adventures complete with the services of certified guides, comfortable accommodation in remote huts and all meals. A highly recommended active holiday that will leave you with lasting memories and a real sense of achievement.

Mind over Mountains is nestled in the heart of the San Jauns in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. MOM offers female adventure retreats designed for women who want to challenge and nurture themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. If you are drawn towards Mind Over Mountains, you probably have an adventurous spirit and are looking for a unique life experience.

REI Adventures says if you really want to learn about a place, walk it. Whether you’re trekking in Nepal, through Patagonia or around Europe, hiking brings you close to the land and its people. Side trips help vary the pace and allow for cultural exploration.

The Hole Hiking Experience Explore Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and Teton Valley, Idaho with The Hole Hiking Experience. We offer naturalist-guided hiking, skiing, snowshoe and wildlife excursions with a personalized tour focus. Nature awaits you.

Tracks and Trails co-owner Julia Tregaskis
Tracks and Trails co-owner Julia Tregaskis

Tracks and Trails Take a breath of fresh air while walking in France, Italy and or Switzerland. Enjoy stunning mountain views; from the Matterhorn, to the Tour du Mont Blanc. Choose from day walks or multi-day trips and learn about the flora and fauna, history and culture of the area. We cater for all fitness levels, organizing trips to meet your expectations.

Not exactly sure where you want to wander? Croatia? Slovenia? Responsible Travel offers a vast directory of walking holidays from specialist operators designed to support local people & minimize environmental impact. Listed holidays are for people of every walking ability, from introductory walking to high altitude trekking holidays.

Wanna plan your own hiking escapade? Check out EveryTrail for a directory of U.S. trails.

Photo courtesy of Welovecostarica.com

horseback riding

Equitour USA America’s oldest horseback riding vacation company offers trips all over the globe. Have you ever considered the tremendous advantages of adventure travel on horseback? A horse can take you to beautiful and remote places which are difficult to reach in any other way. At the same time, you can practice a challenging sport which has been a favorite of mankind for millennia. Destinations like Africa, Asia, Europe and South America offer a wonderful variety of adventure tours on horseback.

Equitour UK At Equitour Worldwide Horse Riding Holidays we believe that we have a horse riding holiday for just about everyone. Whether you are looking for a trail ride, stationary ride, instructional riding holiday, a horse riding safari or short break ride we think you will find that perfect horse riding holiday here.

Hidden Trails What are our trips about? They are about galloping on endless beaches, forging rivers, cantering through forests, trotting along age-old trails, gazing at beautiful vistas, and encountering foreign cultures. Most of all, these trips are about getting away from the cycle of work and never enough free time.Escape from the rituals, which long ago froze our nights and days into little more then routine, because deep inside we all feel the longing of the nomads, whose lives we lived thousands of years ago.

Sarah Nathanson on Paladin. Loudoun Horse Show

In The Saddle We specialize in horse riding holidays all over the world. From ranches in the Rocky Mountain states of Montana and Wyoming, beach and mountain rides in Europe, horseback safaris in Africa and riding expeditions to remote and unexplored parts of the world.


Nov 10, 2008

rock/mountains

Florence Kalbermatten leading at Basura. Castelbianco, Italy

rock climbing and mountaineering

ATAKA! Top Experiences Climb in the Alps with an Italian flair! ATAKA has been successfully coaching and guiding clients to the summits in the Matterhorn and Valdostan Valley’s for three years. Based in Cervinia, Italy, ATAKA! offers mountain hiking and mountain ascents. Custom trips are available-the only way is up!

Ataka! Top Experiences
Ataka! Top Experiences

Chicks on Cracks Moab Desert Adventures presents a unique opportunity for female climbers - come to Moab and learn to crack climb or improve your crack climbing skills in the world’s foremost crack climbing destination, Indian Creek. Join the guides and guest guides of Moab Desert Adventures for a weekend of instruction, invaluable safety training and fun! Come climb on world renowned desert sandstone, practice placing solid gear, mock lead crack climbs, learn invaluable rope safety and self rescue techniques from an AMGA certified guide, and enjoy good food and hang-time with like minded women.

Chamonix Experience Founded by renowned mountain guide and foremost Everest expedition leader, Russell Brice, Chamonix Experience is a mountain guide and adventure bureau based in the Chamonix Valley at the foot of the Mont Blanc massif. We have over 25 guides working with us, all IFMGA qualified with years of experience guiding in the alpine region. We offer a full range of activities and adventures from week-long courses and tailor-made programs to private guiding for groups and individuals.

Cosley & Houston Alpine Guides based in the Easter Sierra of California is comprised of UIAGM guides Kathy Cosley and Mark Houston who have been guiding together for twenty years. offering a range of programs around the world. Trips range from a day’s rock climbing at our local crags in the Chamonix Valley, to major expeditions on far continents. We love to ski and have hut-to-hut tours in the Alps. Kathy offers female only trips and is part owner of MountainWoman.com, an internet retail site specializing in clothing, equipment, information, advice and resources for outdoorswomen.

Lyndsay on MP3 at Telematica. Castelbianco, Italy
Lyndsay on MP3 at Telematica. Castelbianco, Italy

Exum Mountain Guides We offer climbing instruction and guided climbing in Grand Teton National Park and in many adjacent climbing areas. We are the oldest guide service in North America and the most prestigious. Exum has guided the Grand Teton for 79 years. Programs range from a fun day on the rocks for the whole family to serious alpine adventures throughout the Teton Range. We are an American Mountain Guides Association accredited guide service with some of the most experienced guides in the world.

High Alpine Mountaineering offers some of the most magnificent Alpine rock climbing, mountaineering, and ski trips available in the Alps. Michael Silitch, the founder and primary guide, is an internationally certified UIAGM/IFMGA rock, alpine and ski-mountaineering guide.

Icicle Mountaineering Established in 2000 Icicle has grown to become the largest UK provider of specialist ski and Alpine climbing courses, based in the Alpine capital of Mont Blanc. We also offer a range of trekking and snowshoeing courses, and expeditions around the world. Icicle is also home to Ice Angels, our female only course program. We can run every single Icicle course with a female Mountain Guide, and women only clients

Grand Tetons courtesy of TPorter2006

Lynn Hill Climbing Camps In addition to practicing useful and perhaps even life saving skills, these camps are designed to give you a comprehensive experience that will help you become more conscious and efficient in your climbing. During the camps we will work on a balance of skills that will help prepare you for a variety of climbing styles, whether it be crack climbing, technical face climbing, sport climbing, or bouldering.

Mountaingirl runs fun and challenging climbing workshops and private guiding for women in the UK and Chamonix. Whether you’re a beginner or experienced leader, our courses will help you improve in: alpine rock climbing, ice climbing, mountaineering, trad climbing and bouldering. We work with top female UIAGM mountain guides, so that you get the highest-quality training and guiding available - by people who also happen to be some of the world’s best (and nicest) climbers.

Summit Hohberghorn, Switzerland

Sawtooth Mountain Guides is the premiere year-round mountain guide service of the Sawtooth National Recreation Area. We specialize in custom mountain recreation ranging from half-day jaunts to multi-day adventures. Headquartered at the base of the Sawtooth Wilderness from the mountain village of Stanley, Idaho. Our specialties range from day treks and multi-day mountain adventures for special groups, as well as rock climbing, fly fishing, and mountaineering for individuals and families in summer. Often we combine mountain activities with other adventures such as river-running or mountain biking to round out an exciting vacation.

Segel und Klettern or Sail and Climb! Are you a climber who would like to sail? Or sailor who would like to climb? Perhaps you are a beginner who would like to learn a bit of both. Add biking or hiking to your sailing tour, or just enjoy a few stress free days on a sailing boat with friends or family. Sail and Climb tours offers unique experiences in all of the above. We create unique holidays for our guests who are looking to experience the very essence of travel in harmony with nature without compromising safety and comfort. Select a destination and begin your journey! Sail and Climb tours is your perfect partner for an unmatched experience.

Kalyimos, Greece
Kalyimnos, Greece

Suntoucher Mountain Guides Suntoucher Guides out of New Mexico are some of the most experienced and qualified rock and ice climbing guides in North America. Owner, head guide, and guide trainer John Kear is one of only a handful of American guides to have completed the International Guide Certification, UIAGM. Co-Owner Carolyn Parker is an AMGA Certified Rock guide and Athlete Trainer. We specialize in small ratio guided ascents and professional instruction.

Wild Walks New Zealand Wild Walks is based out of Wanaka and Queenstown. We specialize in hiking and climbing in New Zealand’s Mt Aspiring National Park and the South West World Heritage Area. We guide only small groups (max 5) on our New Zealand hiking and climbing adventures we take you where no one else can. From tough treks to easy walks, we provide a true wilderness experience.

The Women’s Wilderness Institute The Women’s Wilderness Institute offers high quality outdoor adventures and backcountry trips for women and teen girls in the Rocky Mountains and southwestern deserts and rivers. With more than 50 courses per year for women of all ages and fitness levels, we have an adventure for you. Whether you want a rejuvenating backpacking or river trip, the technical challenge and support of a women’s only rock climbing or mountain biking course, the stillness of backcountry yoga, or the creative inspiration of wilderness writing or outdoor photography, you’ll find it here!

Christy Sauer on Ama Dablam

expedition mountaineering

Alpenglow Expeditions was founded by Adrian Ballinger after working for nearly a decade and directing one of the largest international guide services in the U.S.A.. Adreinne found that many guides services in the industry were more focused on tagging summits than teaching mountaineering skills. Alpenglow was created to combine our guides’ passion for climbing big mountains with their desire to teach others. We feature high altitude expeditions around the world, and are one of the first American companies to require AMGA or UMIGM guides certifications with your safety in mind.

Adventure Consultants is a world-renowned mountain guiding company with a legacy of climbing expeditions to the world’s highest peaks, and wilderness treks to the more remote corners of the globe. Our programs are run by world class mountain guides, offering you adventures that are completed with quality, service, and safety. We offer 28 expeditions, treks and wilderness journeys to the Himalaya, Antarctica, South America, Greenland, Alaska and the Seven Summits and have excellent climbing schools in New Zealand and the USA. Whether you are taking your first steps into the realm of the outdoors, or are a seasoned adventurer, you will find the quality of the experience offered on an Adventure Consultants expedition second to none.

Christy Sauer on Ama Dablam
Christy Sauer on Ama Dablam

Alpine Ascents International leads international mountaineering expeditions that have become benchmarks of quality in the climbing community and operates what we believe is the finest mountaineering school in the country. This expertise is based upon years of experience, not just from individual AMGA accredited mountain guides, but through experience on certain peaks where details are fine-tuned over time. Innovations like daily weather reports, established season-long base camps, environmental pioneering, and operating our trips with small climber-to-guide ratios led by Alpine Ascents guides are just some of the factors that keep us in the forefront.

Martina Palm skiing from the summit of Choy Oyu

Himalayan Experience is directed by Russell Brice, who has been leading expeditions to the Himalayas since 1974. Himalayan Experience offers guided mountaineering and trekking expeditions to Everest, Cho Oyo and Shishapangma. Our long association with the Himalaya has led to the formation of the most respected Sherpa team in Nepal. The team has been working together for over fourteen expeditions. The result is an incredible level of teamwork, communication, understanding and support - a unique factor that makes Himalayan Experience the envy of others. Your Himalayan expedition is likely to be the biggest adventure and perhaps most serious undertaking of your life. We appreciate this and provide the best and safest possible chance of success.

 Jagged Globe's Everst coordinator Mara Larson navigates the ice fall.
Jagged Globe’s Everest coordinator Mara Larson navigates the ice fall.

Jagged Globe Established in 1987, Jagged Globe has been widely recognised as world-leader in providing mountaineering expeditions, treks and courses for over two decades. Quality underpins the attitude we bring to the planning and organization of every trip we field, whether it be to set records on 8,000-meter peaks, to climb ice in Scotland, to ski in the alps, or to trek lost valleys of the Indian Himalaya. We never marginalize the resources needed to provide you with the first-class experience we promise you when you book with us.

Mountain Madness For more than 20 years Mountain Madness has been combining the physical challenge of climbing and trekking from the seven summits to oceania. Our AMGA accredited guides are highly skilled professionals selected based on their technical proficiency, careful judgment, teaching styles and great personalities. They are dedicated to the world of alpinism, many having first ascents and successful summits on major peaks in the Cascades all the way to Mount Everest. Mountain Madness guides bring a wealth of natural history, cultural anthropology and linguistic knowledge for their group’s enlightenment.

Lyndsay on Motorcycle Hill. Denali, Alaska

advanced technical and mixed alpine climbing

Jon Bracey Guiding One of Britian’s leading alpinists with first ascents in the Himalayas, Alaska, and the Yukon. Keep up to date with his exploits on his Scarpa Blog. Extremely talented, Jon specializes in taking clients up difficult routes including the North Face of the Eiger and the wall of the Grand Jorasses.


Nov 10, 2008

the zone.

Photo courtesy of Recovoxnews

adventure racing

Checkpoint Zero provides extensive coverage of U.S. adventure racing.

Gulf Coast Adventure Racing provides information for the beginner to the advanced  in the exciting sport of adventure racing in the Gulf Coast Region.

Muddy Buddy To all our Partners in Grime, welcome to the Muddy Buddy Series. This unique trail running and mountain biking adventure race is sure to be fun and challenging for everyone, and of course we will have the infamous mud pit at every event! Our team is working hard to make this year the best series yet, so grab your buddy and prepare to get dirty!

Odyssey Adventure Racing Escape from the ordinary and experience Odyssey Adventure Racing’s bold and daring endurance competitions. Whether you’re interested in our full series of adventure races, trail running races, triathlons & duathlons, or a unique training academy, a skills clinic and/or a positive team building event — Odyssey has a challenge for you! We’ve produced more adventure races, training academies, skills clinics and other multisport competitions than any other sports promoter in the country.

Team Crested Butte, 2006 Subaru Primal Quest. Moab, Utah
Team Crested Butte, 2006 Subaru Primal Quest.
Moab, Utah

Sleepmonsters If you’re into Adventure Racing you’re in the right place! You’ll find all you need to know right here and can see the latest reports from our network of Adventure Racing sites around the world. (To visit them click on the flags below.) If it’s going on in Adventure Racing … it’s on here!

Xterra Start racing! Ready to find your adventure? Become part of the Xterra family and be part of the growing adventure sport trend. Xterra specializes in trail running and off road triathlons held around the country and the world.

USARA Home to the United States Adventure Racing Association.

bootcamps

CrossFit is the principal strength and conditionining program for many police academies and tactical operations teams, military special operations units, champion martial artists, and hundreds of other elite and professional athletes worldwide. Our program delivers a fitness that is by design both broad, general, and inclusive. Our specialty is not specializing. Combat, survival, many sports, and life reward this kind of fitness and even punish the specialist.

Shula Sarner at the Boston Marathon
Shula Sarner at the Boston Marathon

running

Beyond Running Beyond Running is the creation of Scott Jurek. Since 2003, he has brought trail running camps, day clinics, stride analysis, coaching, and consultations to runners from all walks of life with varying experience. Through Beyond Running, Scott teaches clients to become healthier and stronger runners. And because training is more than just logging miles, Scott instructs clients to make training a lifestyle.

Dude Girl Trips Run at your own pace! This trip is not a race. Our trail running trip is about getting out on trails and doing what we love. It’s about stopping at the next ridge to take in the glittering blue lake below, or taking a moment to refresh in a meadow stream. Running? It IS about running. But you have 10 hours to make to the next camp, so use the time in this glorious setting wisely. Run fast. Run slow. Or somewhere in between. The trails are yours.

Marathon Tours Since 1979, Marathon Tours and Travel has been specializing in offering travel services to runners and their friends to the world’s best running events on all seven continents. We are a Boston-based full-service travel agency that provides group specials and individually customized itineraries.

ski mountaineering

Severine Pont, Swiss National Team
Severine Pont, Swiss National Team

SkiMountaineering.org provides a comprehensive ski mountaineering database of competitions located around the world.

United States Ski Mountaineering Association Ground zero for U.S. ski mountaineering events and information.

adventure and competitive swimming

Go Swim! Who are we? We are a group of swimmers who swim really fast, and like to help others learn how to reach their competitive potential in the area of professional and recreational swimming.

Swimtrek is the world’s leading swimming holiday operator, running swimming tours to the Mediterranean, Caribbean, Middle East & Northern Europe. We go island or lake hopping following routes of cultural, historical and geographical significance. Pools are great for training, but nothing beats open water swimming holidays for fun, freedom and for a great feeling of achievement. All locations have been chosen for their excellent water quality. SwimTrek swimming holidays are suitable for most standards of swimmers, so why not experience something different and exciting?

triathlon and ironman

Active.com Your guide to an Active Planet, you will find it all here, events, coaches, gear and nutrition.

Carrmichael Training Systems As it has since 2000, Carmichael Training Systems leads the coaching and personal guidance industries with proven and innovative products, services, and content. The results speak for themselves; no other coaching company produces more champions in such a wide variety of sports and age groups than CTS. Of the four American cyclists to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, CTS coached three: Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, and David Zabriskie. From its corporate offices in Colorado Springs as well as regional centers and coaches around the country, CTS continues to deliver on its mission: To inspire and empower the athlete in EVERY BODY to perform at their best.

Coach Elizabeth Waterstraat USAT certified Triathlon coach and voted best triathlete blog and one of the best sports blogs around, this coach knows her stuff.

Endurance Sports Travel Our goal at Endurance Sports Travel is to eliminate the hassles and aggravations of your travel to a foreign race. We make every effort to ensure that your trip and race will be enjoyable, successful, and memorable.

Multisport.com Paula and Heather have combined to develop the most innovative training programs with ‘feminine’ issues and angles in mind. We have worked to create personal and manageable programs drawing from our combined 25-plus years of racing and training. At the core of it all is our understanding of the somewhat new and evolving place that athletics is taking in our lives and in the lives of women as a whole. In addition, all the special needs and considerations you may have as a female athlete will be addressed.

 5430 Sports Boulder Half Ironman
Lyndsay on the run. 5430 Sports Boulder Half Ironman

The Everyday Triathlete is a triathlon training club & coaching service that is focused on the athlete that wants to get the most out of their training while maintaining the work, life, training balance. Programs are designed to fit each athlete’s schedule while helping them reach their ultimate triathlon potential.  We understand the demands of everyday life and the minimal time athletes have to train so each program remains flexible to meet the athletes ever-changing work and life responsibilities.

TriChic is a company dedicated to female triathletes of all levels. Our team, Team TriChic, is an internationally recognized team for all female age groups. We provide team members special discounts for retail products, coaching,nutrition planning, in addition to great articles, training tips, workout plans, diet plans and team apparel.

Trismarter Put our incomparable combination of elite triathlon experience and insatiable interest and studies in sports nutrition and exercise science to work for you in preparation for the ultimate test of fitness and mental fortitude: TRIATHLON. We work with triathletes of all abilities, around the world, not because it is our job, but because it is our passion. It is because of this passion that Trismarter.com clients can rely on my commitment and assurance that they will receive the most professional and highest quality triathlon training.

ESPN Athlete Kate Bertine. Winston Crooke for ESPN

ESPN Athlete Kathryn Bertine. Winston Crooke for ESPN


Nov 10, 2008

clouds

Photo courtesy of Paragliding.org

paragliding

Air Sports Net Welcome to Air Sports Net, Air Sports Net is a web site providing resources for hang gliding, paragliding, ultralights, powered parachutes. Our databases consists of over 1800 links to hang gliding, paragliding, powered parachuting, powered paragliding, skydiving, and ultralight products and services. If you are looking for equipment for hang gliding, paragliding, powered parachuting, powered paragliding, skydiving or ultralight, check us out first.

Fly Above All Paragliding School Leonardo da Vinci dreamt of flight and inspired others to make the dream come true. Now you can discover the joy of free flight in a paraglider or hang glider. Fly Above All is one of the largest flight schools in the country, known for training competent, safe pilots using our Progressive Learning Techniques. Come learn to fly in sunny Santa Barbara, California!

Les Ailes du Mont Blanc/The Wings of Mont Blanc Learn to fly in one of the world’s most beautiful parapenting meccas.


Photo courtesy of Inmagine

skydiving

Drop Zone Welcome to Dropzone.com! Dropzone.com has been serving the skydiving community for more than a decade. We have grown from a single page to where it is today - the single best source for skydiving information anywhere in the world!

Perris Valley Skydiving With some of the most modern and complete training programs available, we ensure you enjoy the exhilaration of a jump as safely as possible at California’s Skypark in San Diego. Each skydiving lesson is taught by an experienced staff of instructors, with the highest credentials, that will provide as much skydiving information as possible and answer any questions you might have regarding southern California Skydiving.


SHE GOES TO



Nov 10, 2008

shop

online retailers

Athleta has been outfitting women since 1998. As athletes we push ourselves everyday to exceed our goals, to hit our personal best, and test our limits. At Athleta we subscribe to the same energy. We are constantly seeking out the very best fabrics to tailor our performance delivered apparel into hip, feminine styles.

Backcountry.com his is where it all started. Our roots were simple but our vision was and still is clear; we dedicated to being the best online retailer of the best built outdoor and backcountry gear on the planet. From the start our founders were intent on selling quality gear over the Web and what they found was that if the content is good and the products of the finest quality that people will come. If you’re as intense about your gear as you are about your adventures then you’re in the right store.

Melika is a godsend, clothing that actually fits the active woman. Their mission? To share the inspiration of the Pacific Northwest lifestyle with women everywhere. Melika performance activewear and swimwear is made in Oregon to fit your life, your style, and your sport.

MSOutdoor.com There are plenty of activities that we are involved in that take a special dedication and level of performance. Our equipment and clothing should hold up to that same challenge. Choose an activity to find the best equipment and apparel we have to offer specificly with you in mind.

Outdoor Divas Women are not small men. At outdoor DIVAS we live by this motto. Outdoor DIVAS is more than just a shop with a selection of “ladies models”. By devoting 100% of our space, inventory and energy to active women, we offer superior products and a selection of gear and apparel that is designed exclusively for women.

Performance Bike Over twenty five years ago, Garry and Sharon Snook began Performance, Inc. in the basement of their home in Chapel Hill, NC. It has since grown into the nations leading Bicycle mail order and retail company.

REI At REI, we love to get outside and play, and we know first-hand the importance of quality outdoor gear. We stand behind all our products with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and we design our own line of award-winning REI brand gear and clothing. Whether you’re new to outdoor adventure or a seasoned pro, we gladly share our enthusiasm for our products—and the trails, slopes and waterways where we play.

Sierra Trading Post Owner Keith Richardson founded Sierra Trading Post® in 1986 in Reno, Nev. The company purchases name-brand overstocks and closeouts and passes savings on to its customers—selling dress, casual and outdoor clothing, footwear, home furnishings, accessories, and gear at savings of 35 to 70 percent.

Specialized Suspension Sciences Since the start of our Designs for Women line our aim was to deliver a full uncomprimising range of products designed for females with an option for every woman-bikes and equipment that are technologically advanced backed by science, and 100% inspired and built for the women we see everyday.

Title Nine offers clothes that move for women on the move. Title Nine is evangelical about women’s participation in sports and fitness activites. We are a group of quirky women and men who love to play and work together, and use the products we sell and want to turn all customers into Title 9 fans.


Nov 10, 2008

meditate

Photo courtesy of Goa Park Hyatt
Photo courtesy of Goa Park Hyatt

spa retreats

Canyon Ranch More than just a fabulous vacation, Canyon Ranch is an experience. This is the place where it all comes together and, in one amazing moment, you realize how great you can feel when you’re living healthy. Since 1979, Canyon Ranch has set the standard for health resorts all over the world. We aim to inspire people to make a commitment to healthy living, turning hopes and intentions into the highest enjoyment of life.

Women’s Quest
Women’s Quest is the ultimate adventure to refresh your spirit, rekindle your passions and strike balance in your life. Each fun-filled health and fitness retreat combines physical, mindful and spirit-filled activities with challenging adventures that enliven, refresh, and encourage self-confidence and self-expression. Retreats are held in some of the most beautiful places on earth, immersing you in gorgeous landscapes, and combining a variety of activities to spark your senses, revitalize your body, and soothe your soul. Comfortable accommodations, inspirational talks, expert instruction and healthy, delicious meals, combined with massage, yoga, and creative activities round-out each retreat.

Pilates and yoga guru Kate Olson

Aziza Healing Adventures creates unique custom-made, and scheduled North American and international wellness and personal growth retreats. Programs are ideal for singles, couples, women only, and private groups interested in an alternative holistic personal growth experience. Agendas are designed to heighten awareness, inspire insight and improve the relationships and life of those who participate. We combine gentle outdoor activities such as yoga, hiking, swimming, labyrinth walks and meditation with fun creative exercises involving paint, clay, collage and found objects. The therapeutic process is effectively supported by the Expressive Arts, Reiki and Gestalt therapy principles.

Esalen Institute offers 500 workshops each year in a wide range of topics relating to our greater human capacity. Over 300,000 people have come from all over the world to participate in Esalen’s forty-year-long Olympics of the body, mind, and spirit, committing themselves not so much to “stronger, faster, higher” as to deeper, richer, more enduring. Esalen is a place with a global reach. It is a place, as Thomas Wolfe said about America, where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.

Inward Bound Yoga Retreats Inward Bound yoga retreats are among the top yoga retreats in the world, offering some of the best global and glorious adventures in personal renewal with exquisite options in Costa Rica, the Mexican Caribbean, South America, Jamaica’s Round Hill, and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Guests include men and women looking for world class yoga retreat vacations with opportunities for immersion in adventure, world-class spas, tropical rainforests, European sophistication, meditation, natural earth energy, shamanic healing ~ always grounded in yoga, both active and restorative.

Lux World Travel is passionate about providing our clients with a vacation that offers renewal to your mind, body and spirit. Picture yourself gazing in awe at the Great Pyramid and Sphinx in Egypt. Meditate at ancient Buddhist temples in Tibet,  participate in healing shamanic ceremonies in Machu Picchu, Peru, or practice yoga on an inner journey in Bali. Programs are designed for anyone whose desire is to connect with the powerful energy of historic sacred sites and learn ancient healing practices in some of the most spiritual destinations in the world. Truly, travel for the journey inside you.

Just Let Go Metteyya Foundation Burgs is a highly attained and expert meditation teacher and healer based in the UK. He teaches the way of an enlightened being in the face of modern challenges: offering a variety of courses on Meditation, Chi Kung, Chi Yoga, and internal Alchemy to both beginners and advanced yogis. The courses accommodate all levels of aspirants,and range from day and weekend workshops to week and month long retreats. This site is the portal to his teaching and the online community.

Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

Shambhala is a global community. There are more than 170 centers and groups around the world, as well as thousands of individual members. Shambhala Meditation Centers offer courses in meditation and other contemplative arts and disciplines, and also host community gatherings, celebrations, and family events. “In essence, the emphasis of the Buddhist path is to help us attain enlightenment, and the emphasis of the Shambhala path is help us create and maintain a good society. When we put these two together, we have the Shambhalian Buddhist view of enlightened society.” — Sakyong Mipham

Yogoloji is all about body rebalancing, relaxation, and calm, and yes its all about great activites, seei ng the environment at its best and enjoying the way nature challenges us as we take you to our favorite yoga chill-out spots around the globe. Your limitations are only what you believe them to be. During your Yogologic break as much (or as little) about yoga as you choose- no prior experience necessary. We will introduce you to all yoga is as you begin to feel the benefits and have the opportunity to enjoy other new activities.