I am very fortunate to have been able to donate my time for three consecutive years now to the Wounded Warrior Ability Camp at Disabled Sports USA Far West, an amazing non profit out of Alpine Meadows, Lake Tahoe that provides affordable inclusive physical and recreational activities that build health and confidence to the disabled. The Ability Camp is a week long program that provides specialized instruction in adaptive alpine skiing and snowboarding for up to 25 soldiers and marines disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan.
This year, Disabled Sport’s USA Far West hosted 18 wounded warriors and their guests at three different Lake Tahoe resorts. Big thanks to Northstar, and Squaw and Alpine Ski Resorts for sponsoring such an amazing program.
If you participated in Disabled Sports USA Far West’s Wounded Warrior Ability Camp anytime in the last three years, you may find your galleries via this link.
Pretty Faces premiered in Tahoe a week ago thanks to the coordinated efforts of local She Jumps coordinator Meghan Kelly and Heavenly Resort.
Pretty Faces came about thanks to professional big mountain skier and SheJumps co-founder, Lynsey Dyer with the objective of giving women and girls a source of inspiration with an all female ski film. Despite making up more than 40% of the skiing population, female athletes are rarely represented in ski films. Frustrated with being used as models rather than athletes, Lyndsey wanted to put females front and center. When funding ran out, the crowd sourced Kickstarter project almost doubled it’s $60k goal, raising $113,534, making it clear that everyone is interested in celebrating female achievement in the sports world.
In addition to Dyer, other featured female athletes and key figures include Rachael Burks, Elyse Saugstad, Ingrid Backstrom, Wendy Fisher, Angel Collinson, Nadia Samer, and Devin Logan. Additional sponsors include GoPro, Eddie Bauer and REI.
If you would like to see Pretty Faces in a theater setting, the tour is still coming to the following locations: Bend, OR; Ashville, NC; Grand Rapids, MI; Washington DC; Vancouver, BC; Leavenworth, WA; Anchorage, AK; Plymouth, NH. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the video online and stream on demand.
I am very fortunate to have been able to donate my time for more than four years now to Disabled Sports Far West, an amazing non profit out of Alpine Meadows, Lake Tahoe that provides affordable inclusive physical and recreational activities that build health and confidence to the disabled. Unfortunately, because my life became so hectic between running photography and managing a retail store, I haven’t been able to dedicate as much (or any) time to the program as a snow sports instructor in the last two years. To make up for my lack of personal time, I enthusiastically dedicated my time instead as a photographer for the Wounded Warrior Ability Camp. The Ability Camp is a week long program that provides specialized instruction in adaptive alpine skiing and snowboarding for 25 soldiers and marines disabled in Iraq and Afghanistan and culminates in a gala, dinner and silent auction that is always a joy to attend.
There are many reasons that I love to dedicate my time to this week specifically. That being said, the most amazing part is spending every day for a week with a crew of unbelievably interesting, dedicated and strong personalities. It’s fun to watch the group of strangers open up to each other and me over the course of the week, as their skills on the snow grow they gain confidence and as the week goes on, they gain intimacy with each other.
I’m so thankful that I live in Lake Tahoe where not only do I get to bask in the beauty of our outdoor lifestyle on a daily basis, but I get to share it with others.
I’m proud to be a supporter of local volunteer organizations like Disabled Sports Far West and to support those who were wounded defending our country.
Thank you for your service.
These are a few of my favorites from the week but if you’d like to view the entire gallery, you may do so by following this link.
Keep Tahoe Adaptive.
On Saturday, December 14th (I know, I know, it’s
FEBRUARY oh jeez, MARCH) we celebrated International Women’s Ski Day out at Kirkwood Mountain Resort in conjunction with SheJumps. The day was intended to bring women together into a unified group to celebrate girls in the mountains.
“We believe that by encouraging girls and women of all ages and abilities to storm mountains on 12/14/13 we are supporting a strong, healthy, and vibrant community of women in the mountains,” says Tamra Geryk of SheJumps.
It’s pretty difficult to have a bad day on the mountain when you’re shredding with a posse of strong amazing women. To all the ladies who were with me that day, sorry it took me so long to get to the photos.
Missed the event and want to join in on the fun?
Keep an eye on the Pacific Coast Events Page for SheJumps. There are Get the Girls’ Out Days every month in the Tahoe Basin at various local resorts and they are a great way to find new friends to ski with.
I’m not going to lie, I’m a little sad that Tahoe just got an epic amount of snow that turned us into full fledged winterland and I’m not there to shred with my friends.
I know, my life is SO ROUGH.
Sometimes you need some girl action.
Or as Vanessa said afterwards, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.”
Either way, you can’t go wrong with a posse of shredding ladies.
I’m not going to lie: I was both overjoyed and nervous at the prospect of photographing Kenny’s planned proposal to his longtime girlfriend Rebeccah. The stakes are high for a proposal: there’s only the briefest of seconds to capture that initial reaction and you can’t recreate it. Combine that with the fact that you are either hiding in bushes or pretending to be doing something else and the entire situation was enough to make my adrenaline rush.
When Kenny first approached me, I knew exactly what he wanted: the gorgeous Lake Tahoe in the background, the sun out, the snow of Heavenly Mountain Resort and him down on one knee. Instead, the weekend of the proposal brought us 8 feet of snow, swirling winds and a veritable white out. We shifted gears, slightly changed plans, conspired together and with the help of Meghan Kelly, surprised Rebeccah in the best way possible.
After a full day of lessons, Kenny managed to convince Rebeccah to brave the resort, snow and cold temps one last time at 3:45 PM. Meghan and I were waiting about half way down Patsy’s Run at the top of the face. Kenny told Rebeccah that he was going to ski half way down and stop and take photos of her showing off what she learned in her snowboard lesson. Meanwhile, Megs and I were prepared, waiting on the side of the run, pretending to take photos. When Rebeccah snowboarded up to Kenny, he told her to take her goggles and mask off so they could take a photo together with his iPhone. She said in hindsight, she noticed us with my camera and thought, “That’s a really nice camera, maybe they’ll take a photo for us.” When they finished taking their selfie, Kenny got down on one knee and I swung my camera onto them.
Shooting a proposal was so thrilling. I’m super happy for these two fellow Texans. Thanks so much Kenny for choosing me as his Tahoe Engagement Photographer. I feel super lucky that I was the one who captured this awesome and inspiring moment. Also, thanks for sharing a beer with us at Himmel Haus afterwards!