Behind every skier, there's a story.
We do it for the love of the run.
There's just something about skiing; it gets a hold of you. That feeling of freedom, those unparalleled mountain views, and the sweet relief of taking your boots off at the end of the day root their way into your very being. For the Love of the Run: Stories from the Slopes encompasses five unique, interactive digital experiences that give you a glimpse into different slices of Colorado ski culture. Whether it’s stepping into the boots of an adaptive skier, exploring the streets of Aspen as a local, goofing off in the terrain park, or racing down the legendary steeps of Crested Butte, For the Love of the Run is all about uncovering how skiing enriches the lives of Coloradans. We hope their stories inspire you to make the most of your time on Colorado's ski slopes.
I came to Crested Butte in early ‘90s to fall in love with skiing again. I was an Olympic-level alpine ski racer and competed at the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, France, but for my energy and my personality, it was really hard being in the elite, competitive arena. I started to lose sight of why I loved to ski. So I packed my car, hit the road, and Crested Butte, Colorado was one of my stops. That first winter was incredible; I was introduced to my husband, and I guess I got taken over by the community. We’re now raising our boys here; Crested Butte is home. Can’t wait to show you around my beautiful town!
Can't wait to show you around my hometown, LET'S GO!
"We’ve got big hearts here in Crested Butte;
spirits run high. People move here to adventure."
My Crested Butte
Why I ski
There is something unique about skiing that brings families and friends together. This was the case with my family growing up, and my oldest brother, Mark, led us in that direction. My parents decided to move to the mountains near Squaw Valley because of his passion for the sport, and that passion trickled down to my older brother, Craig, and me as well. I looked up to my older brothers and wanted to have fun skiing with them.
In the years since Mark’s death, I’ve gone through many different phases of trying understand the accident and how it has affected the way I live my life. My brother Mark (age 13), Craig (age 11), and myself (age 7) were training with the Squaw Valley race team that day. We were playing a high-speed chasing game called Fox & Hounds. Craig, my other brother, was the fox and all the kids on the team were chasing him. I was the youngest of the group and had a hard time staying up with the pack. I got to the bottom and saw a teammate getting on the lift and followed her. She told me Mark had crashed and then took me to him when we reached the top.
No one really saw Mark’s accident. The assumption was that he was skiing really fast to try to catch Craig, or “the fox.” I skied up to him and then noticed his blue lips. I don’t recall thinking about death much before that day, but when I saw his lips, I knew he was dead.
Mark's service was at the top of Squaw and we placed his ashes on the mountain that summer. It was important to my parents that Craig and I kept skiing even after the accident; they never faulted skiing for Mark’s death. He was the one who connected our family to skiing, and it is the core of who I am because I felt that I have had to carry on that passion for him. I am proud that I did not let that day knock me down and that I found a way to carry on and honor his legacy.
"Mark was the one who connected our family to skiing, and it is the core of who I am because I have felt that I have had to carry on that passion for him. I am proud that I did not let that day knock me down and that I found a way to carry on and honor his legacy."
Let's go skiing at
Crested Butte Mountain Resort
"My home away from home"
My Olympic ski racing career
I learned to ski when I was two years old in Squaw Valley, California, and I was put on the Squaw Valley Ski Team when I was four years old. Skiing became a huge passion of mine, so I went to Burke Mountain Academy in Vermont for high school to train at a higher level. I made the U.S. Ski Team as a sophomore in high school and competed with the team for seven years. My best ski race finishes were actually here in Crested Butte at the 1991 U.S. Nationals. I placed second in Slalom, second in Giant Slalom, second in Super G, fifth in the Downhill, and ultimately won the overall. All of those races were on International, still one of the most popular groomed runs at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. Those results earned me a spot on the 1992 U.S. Winter Olympic ski team.
During my last World Cup season, I would daydream about when I was skiing with my brothers at six or seven years old and how much fun it used to be. I loved racing, but I hit that point where I just missed the fun and freedom. So, I quit the circuit, gave up my college skiing scholarship, and packed up my car. I promised myself one last winter to have fun skiing again. I called friends in different ski towns to stay with them, and Kim Reichhelm’s couch in Crested Butte was one of my stops. I started skiing with Murray Wais and Steve Winter of Matchstick Productions and finally started having fun.
Crested Butte was hosting the U.S. Extremes competition that winter in 1996; I had no idea what to expect, but I entered with the encouragement of my friends, and fellow Burke Academy classmate, Shane McConkey. He helped me pick out a line that no girl had ever done before. The crowd just was roaring and screaming; everyone was super stoked on the line. I came in third and then went on to win the World EXTREME Skiing Championships in Valdez, Alaska later that winter. At that point, I had made Crested Butte my home base, but I got picked up by skiing sponsors again and became a professional freeskier. In addition to competitions, I also started filming with Matchstick Productions and Warren Miller.
Throughout my career, I've learned to embrace fear. I like the rush of accomplishing things that I am nervous about. I just I love that exhilarating high that you get from doing something that your mind is telling you not to do.
I wasn't trying to change the female industry; I was just skiing for me. It feels good and it’s been rewarding to be involved in that whole transition of the skiing community towards embracing female big mountain skiers.
Crested Butte Mountain Resort Ambassador
I’ve had an awesome relationship with Crested Butte Mountain Resort. It’s just about promoting a fun, friendly place that has awesome skiing. I like to tell people that Crested Butte is the perfect resort because there is something for everyone here. You can find super challenging terrain as well as great groomers for beginners.
Though I have a technical race background, the kid side of me loves to be in the trees, to jump off rocks, and ski through narrow chutes. Skiing terrain like this at Crested Butte has made me a better skier.
Meet my Boys
My husband and I are raising our two boys as skiers, and they now ski race. I love and appreciate all of the effort and energy that my parents put into my ski racing, and I’m trying to pass that forward to my kids. My parents also now live here in Crested Butte, and they come to all of the boys’ ski races. I think that we all are just reinforcing the joy of being together.