Who’s ready to ski and ride?

By Courtney DiFiore

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As if there isn’t enough awesome activities happening on Stratton this weekend, this morning there was a Be. Ready Free Workshop held at the Ski and Snowboard School building. Sure we love the winter for skiing and riding but come opening day, a lot of us aren’t in the best condition to really shred the mountain how we imagine. I picture myself taking run after run whilst jibbing trees and pulling sweet tricks, but let’s face it; my body isn’t used to those movements.

It’s been a whole summer without riding and skiing for some of us (myself included), so our muscles need some refreshing. This workshop focused on fitness and correct practice of exercises that relate to our ski and snowboard performance. Participates ranged from kids to adults of all levels and all walked away with an opportunity to Be. Ready for our fast approaching winter season. Getting ready a little early never hurts right? :)

Full Palette Findings

By Myra Foster.

I don’t know about you, but Brussels sprouts have never been among my favorites.  Until today.

Caramelized on a  Vermont  Country Grillstone during a demonstration today at The Full Palette,   this formerly suspicious vegetable will be the star of my harvest table.

Grilled mushrooms topped with brie,  perfectly charred onion,  salmon,  snowpeas, even tomatoes hold up to grilling thanks to the Martin Hemm’s grillstone,  which adds savory flavor to every dish.

It took  two years of trial and error to develop  a cooking stone that would stand up to the heat of a wood or gas fired grill. Hemm, an affable architect and structural engineer was up to the challenge.

He tried limestone and granite. Marble is perfect for serving, chilled and topped with sushi, but not for cooking.  Then it hit him! Igneous rock, formed by heat and pressure. He zeroed in on basalt, a natural stone that won’t break,  and is porous to keep any fats away from the food and from dripping onto to the fire (which can produce carcinogens).

You can sear diver scallops, grill flaky fish and all vegie shapes and sizes,  add a tasty marinade while you cook and clean it all up in flash with the Vermont Country Grillstone, always available at  Vermont Marble Museum in Proctor or online http://www.vermontcountrygrillstone.com.

I paired my my grilled cheddar and tomato on baguette with a pint of Northshire Brewery’s newly unveiled Sicilian Pale Ale, made from ancient grain with a hint of blood orange.  And that’s just a sample of what you’ll find in the Tasting Tent.  http://www.stratton.com/events-and-activities/events/2013/09/full-palette.aspx

Flying down Stratton isn’t just for skiers and snowboarders

By Craig Panarisi

Checking the weather this past Friday, I couldn’t help but to notice the weekend was going to be another beautiful one! Sunny skies, warm temps and light North winds. Quickly I was online and posted the great weather forecasted, “…light north winds at Stratton and gondola will be running, let’s fly, see you there at 10am…”

Sure enough, at 10am paraglider pilots from across New England started showing up at the gondola. By noon, 10 of us were standing on the top of Upper Standard waiting for the wind to be just right. Seeing the colorful gliders spread out ready to be flown not only was a treat to all who rode the gondola on Saturday, but watching as we launched one by one was thrilling!

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Although conditions were light, meaning we were not going to be flying very high, just getting some of the first flights ever off of Stratton was worth it! Not getting very high in a paraglider is relative! We all were able to launch off of Standard and glide out over the resort and Sun Bowl several thousand feet up! Sweet!

The photo above is me launching then turning and heading over the Ursa lift. Once over Ursa, I caught a little lift and began making gentle 360 degree turns to stay in the rising air. Allowing myself to drift with the wind, I was mesmerized while circling over lower Black Bear and the tree tops just below me. A few more drifting 360’s later, I was directly over the newly stumped trail Sunbeam and could clearly see my fellow pilots landing in the Sun Bowl parking lot. Outrageous!

Landing in the grass and unhooking from the gliders, the pilots toothy smiles told it all. This is the life, there is nowhere better to be. Flying down Stratton isn’t just for skiers and snowboarders!

Almost Back to Fall Foliage

By Erin Morley.

For some of you this news may not be as great as I think it is. But as I stare out of my new office window which looks to the mountains surrounding Stratton, I am seeing punches of color. The foliage is in its infancy and we have a ways to go before the orange, yellow and reds dominate the trees, but I am loving what this represents.

Fall is my second favorite season behind winter, of course, as I uncontrollably jump up and down at the first sign of snow. Fall is my second favorite time to enjoy the outdoors. I can’t wait to step outside, zip up my hoody and head to my favorite trail head. At some point in the hike my hoody is unzipped and tied around my waist, but that work is all worth it when I reach the summit, feel the cool breeze on my face and take in the magnificent fall foliage. That peaceful moment when you feel completely surrounded by nature, and you have left the hustle and bustle of the real world down below. It’s a great time to check in with your priorities, let go of the things that really don’t matter, take a deep breath of fresh air and appreciate your life, loved ones, health and happiness.

I love sharing this experience with people that don’t have access, on a daily basis, to this type of activity. But there are people in my life that may not be able to make it up the 2000 vert. climb to the top of Stratton. So I love the fact that the Gondola is there to do the hard work and then everyone can enjoy the fun adventure-like trail to the Stratton Fire Tower. The climb to the top of the tower is an adventure all its own. When you start the ascent, you are below the tree line, but as you rise above the tree line the breeze starts to pick up and you feel like you are climbing into the sky. Then you end the adventure with spectacular views and that cool peaceful state of mind.

Balance 101

by Myra Foster

Those  first “Back to School” ads always  hit me like a high-dive into the icy Dorset quarry.

A jolting reminder of that bittersweet balance between memories and possibility. Excitement and  nostalgia.

It’s been years since Labor Day signaled both the end of a lovely languid summer vacation and the promise of shiny shoes,  monogrammed backpack and new notebooks ready to be filled with French translation, algebraic formulae and big ideas.

Yet as August wanes,  I continue to make my annual pre-school pilgrimage to Northshire Bookstore where I choose an empty Moleskine and my personal first-semester syllabus reading list.

  • Train my brain to be quiet.  Even if I can rarely sit still.

 Required Reading Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind

  • Stretch. Literally and metaphorically.

Required Reading  Warrior Pose: How Yoga (Literally) Saved My Life

  • Eat More Kale.  Reap the bounty from farmer’s markets, roadside stands and my backyard.

Required Reading  Drink the Harvest: Making and Preserving Your Own Juices, Wines, Meads, Teas and More.

And now for the electives.  Crochet? I could make an afghan for P. Kiddy.  Clarinet? I played through elementary school maybe I could pick up where I left off. I got it. Tap Dancing.

Back-to the Future

Back-to-the Future
By Pat Ryan

August is “Back-to” month at Stratton and I began to wonder what that means to me. First thing I think of is Back-to-School. Now that really flips a trigger inside me and I silently scream not yet, I can’t deal with this! I’ve been out of school a long time, but after 25 years of the school routine you just don’t lose those kinds of feelings. Onward to other more pleasant thoughts, the back-to- basics idea, which I appreciate because it’s a good restart for things like eating right and keeping things simple in this complicated life. But, by far, my favorite is back-to-the-future where I can really make a positive difference for myself.

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Back-to-the-Future is an old movie with Michael J. Fox, who travels back in time to a point in his parents’ life. Of course he gets involved in their life and it jeopardizes his own life so he starts to disappear. It’s a funny mess as he is continuously horrified at how his actions are changing what he knows as his life, right before his eyes. Never fear in the end he eventually works it out to his enormous relief. I guess he liked his life.

So I’m thinking about my personal back-to-the future and remind myself that I need to keep working at staying in shape, eating right and having fun. Luckily for me that is really easy to do when you work at Stratton and can step outside to a world that makes hiking, biking, skiing, golf, tennis or doing an insanity workout an everyday occurrence. I can even throw in a cooking class or do some yoga, it’s my choice.

There’s nothing like creating my own time machine.

I Could Not Decide………..

By Sky Foulkes

Saturday was a spectacular day to get some outdoor exercise in, sunny and temperatures in the 70’s – what more could I ask for. Now the big question, what to do?

Should I go for a swim in the snowmaking pond, take a ride on my bike, or go for a run?  Well instead of trying to decide, it just seemed easier to do all three!  A morning swim around the snowmaking (well a couple of times around actually).  If you haven’t used the snowmaking pond as your outdoor pool, you don’t know what you are missing.  It is awesome with clear water and a refreshing temperature; just follow the shoreline and it is about a 1/2 mile around.  Now it was on to the bike for a ride; choosing to go on one of my favorite (yet hilly) roads, Winhall Hollow, and then lap around Londonderry (to check out the Saturday Farmer’s Market of course) and then back across Winhall Hollow.  After some refueling I went for a nice run along Kendall Farm Rd, which is like the flattest 4 miles around here!!  And of course to top it all off a post workout dip in the snowmaking pond and off to Bondville for lunch.  What a morning, three different sports and all before lunch.  What will I do in the afternoon/evening?  Maybe up to the mountain for an evening of music on the Commons.  Get out and enjoy exercising in our big outdoor gym – it doesn’t get any better than this!!

What’s Cooking for the 2013-14 Season

What’s Cooking for the 2013-14 Season
By Myra Foster

There’s a new restaurant in town. And I ran into the owner today,  getting his hands dirty. Literally.  Peter Micioni was scrubbing  walls in the old prep kitchen while his team stripped the place bare to redefine a space that will be The Fire Tower Restaurant and Tavern, anchoring the Commons end of Stratton Village in time for the upcoming winter season.

1075691_191812527646805_1040285992_n“I love to build things,”  says the former Wall Street executive whose Act II has been all about Vermont,  starting with Wheeler Woods homes in Jamaica and now opening our newest restaurant here in the Village. Peter and his family have been Stratton homeowners and skiers since the 1990s, and they are creating the sort of dining, and gathering, spot they know skiers and snowboarders will love.

And it starts with a name. Family and friends got together and brainstormed ideas that would reflect the rich history, tradition and community that is Stratton Mountain, now spanning three generations and four seasons. “What do we all have in common,” they asked. “Everyone hikes to the firetower.” If you have yet to make the 1.5 mile roundtrip from the summit, fall foliage is right around the corner and the views stretch clear across four states and mountain ranges.

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The Fire Tower’s casual atmosphere welcomes skiers and riders to enjoy great food and good times with a Vermont artisan inspired menu perfect for foodies and families alike.  A refined selection spans the range from burgers and pizza to ahi tuna or the signature Fire Tower shrimp – with fine wine in a very nice glass. “It will be big,” Peter says about the wine glass, just one of the myriad details he has well in hand.

“The structure will be rustic, complemented by urbane design and finish,” he explains as we walk through the spacious dining areas which are lined with locally milled post and beam timber about to go up around the perimeter. Stopping to look at the model,Peter points to the hostess stand and pick-up point for carry-out orders. Ready for this? Order – and pay – on your smartphone as you ride Ursa to the top for one last run then make tracks to the Firetower Tavern where dinner or après-ski spread await.

Adding The Fire Tower Restaurant and Tavern to my top 10 list of reasons why I cannot wait for winter.

Capture. Compare. Improve.

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By Courtney DiFiore

The thing I love about golf is that it’s a lifetime kind of sport. You can begin playing as a kid and continue into old age. Many other sports I play take a toll on the joints, involving a lot of impact. With golf, I know that I’ll still be able to play in 50 years. Will I be paying well in 50 years? Mhmm debatable.

Two days ago I would have told you that my game was doomed to stay as is; however, then I learned about V1 and the sky became more blue, the grass greener and life a little sweeter. J V1 is the #1 video swing analysis system in golf and lucky for me, Stratton Golf School now uses this program!

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I made my way over the golf school ASAP to check it out. This software is seriously awesome. Stratton instructors take a video of your swing on their iPad (that’s the ‘capture’ part), then they analyze it with you and ‘compare’ your swing with other pros. V1 has thousands of golfers’ swings from local golf pros to top PGA instructors. As the instructor goes through your analysis, the iPad is recording the whole thing. Then it’s sent to your email. You can even have it sent to your phone as a text message. So now I have a locker on golfacademy.com that holds my video lesson forever. How cool?!

I look forward to doing this again at the end of the season so we can compare me to my old-self rather than a pro. Though it was pretty awesome being put next to a PGA pro and hearing that our swings are very similar. Apparently, I missed my calling as a golfer!

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