Thursday, December 27, 2012

Over the Edge in Steamboat

The Ski House of the Day is the Over the Edge Chalet in Steamboat, and "over the edge" (as well as "over the top") it is indeed!  This spectacular ski house has been voted (by Reuter's/Trip Advisor) as one of the top ten rental homes in North America (according to Moving Mountains) it's a special one!

Looking more like a grand hotel than a house, the massive, impressive, ski-in/ski-out home sits perched majestically on the mountain:

I love the way the living room looks like it is part of the outdoors with windows all around!   Those windows take full advantage of this perfect mountain setting, and the full wall ivory-white fireplace seems to blend in with the snow just outside:

The views from this beautiful kitchen are as dramatic as those granite counters:

And the huge round dining table nestled between a roaring fire and a gorgeous view is a sophisticated place for an apres-ski dinner:

The house has seven beautifully decorated bedrooms, and seven+ bathrooms -- it sleeps 16 people in 9,000 sf of luxury mountainside space!  And, there seems to be another fireplace everywhere I look!

Check out this cozy space for an intimate apres-ski glass of wine...

In addition to a home theater room, there's also a spectacular game room...(I could be pretty comfy sinking down into that soft leather sofa after a day on the slopes)...

...but this place takes the concept of "game room" way over the edge to an entirely different level...with a full basketball court -- right inside!

If there's any time left over after all that...there's a spectacular hot tub and gas fireplace on the roof-top deck:

Imagine star-gazing from the hot tub on the roof-top of this magnificent ski house with the snow falling on you! I love it!  Between the open sky and that open railing there's an endless view from this gorgeous spot.  It looks like the top of the world (...just be careful about going over the edge!).  Wow!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Ski House

On this Christmas Day, the Ski House of the the beautiful Creekside Chalet in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  With a huge Christmas tree in the living room window, and decked out with colorful Christmas lights on the snow-covered trees outside, to me this ski house looks just like a Christmas card that says Merry Christmas all over it: 

The house borders the National Forest,  has good access to the ski lifts, and looks like the perfect place to be for a snowy Christmas ski holiday...

Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Uber-Inspiring Obermeyer Place

Here's a ski house built on inspiration.  This residence was the brainchild of (and bears the name of) Klaus Obermeyer, the father of the now ubiquitous down ski jacket.  So, today, on Klaus Obermeyer's 93rd birthday, the Ski House of the Day is the beautiful Obermeyer Place Penthouse in Aspen, Colorado:

Just a few blocks (or short shuttle ride) from the ski slopes, the 2-bedroom penthouse condo has gorgeous contemporary styling, and a bit of that sleek European feel...

...I love the hardwood floors and the modern gourmet kitchen:

The condo is beautiful, and Aspen (the skiing as well as the lifestyle) is in a class by itself.  But the namesake of this ski house is what most intrigues and inspires me.  Obermeyer Place was Klaus Obermeyer's idea as the revitalization of an area in need of redevelopment. After having achieved extreme success in Aspen, he wanted to give back by creating a mixed-use complex in which there would be an affordable place for local businesses to create their own success stories, just as he had done here (according to The deluxe residences in this development are the basis of that opportunity, surely a win-win. (According to an interview in Huffington Post, one of the things Obermeyer admires most is people creating win-win situations).  Inspiring indeed!  Obermeyer Place is even built on the site of Obermeyer's first factory...and how that factory came to be is a legendary part of ski history.

Born in the Bavarian Alps of Germany in 1919, Klaus Obermeyer learned to ski almost as soon as he learned to walk;  and as a child made his own first pair of skis out of a wooden crate!  He spent his early adulthood as an aeronautical engineer;  but after WWII he immigrated to the US and in 1947 ended up in Aspen as a ski instructor.  As Obermeyer has told it, he would only be paid if his ski students completed their ski it was in his best interest to keep them on the slopes.   Skiing in Aspen in the 1940's was an extremely cold activity....and students got so uncomfortable that they would leave class (or leave town altogether).  So with his ulterior motive of keeping his students (and himself) out on the slopes, and equipped with few resources...he fashioned an unusually warm "ski coat" out of the goose-down comforter that his mother had insisted he take to "North" America when he left Germany!  This new ski jacket innovation was huge success...and the rest, as they say, is skiing history.

In addition to introducing the first ski parka, Obermeyer went on to introduce numerous other "firsts" to improve skiers' comfort, including:  the first plastic ski boot, dual-layer ski boot, "flow" boot (from a viscous liquid car grease), ski turtleneck, nylon wind-shirt, high-altitude sunscreen, mirrored sunglasses, and more!  With the slopes of Aspen as a constant real-life testing lab, Sport Obermeyer has grown into a company with about $30 million in annual sales, according to the Aspen Times.

Inspiring:  because an Aspen ski instructor turned his blanket into a fortune and created a new industry in the process.  (What might today's ski bums be "sewing up" as the next generation of innovators?).

Take an Aspen lift ride with him and hear Klaus Obermeyer in his own words.

Inspiring:  because even with his enormous financial and innovative success, he has said that his biggest achievement is the fun they have in their company!

Here's Klaus in a birthday interview at the base of Aspen three years ago.

Inspiring:  because a 93 year old businessman is still skiing (nearly every day!) - faster than you'd expect and having a blast doing it!

In addition to all those positive vibes, Obermeyer is also inspirational in that he is a responsible steward of our environment.  On  he is quoted as saying:    "The Earth and its natural beauty is a gift.  It allows us to celebrate life and to experience the magic of nature...We must step lightly on the planet, we are here for only a very short time, and it is not right to destroy something that gives us such great beauty..."   Obermeyer's business practices reflect that inspiring philosophy.

According to , Klaus is an inspiration to those around him because of his boundless energy, enthusiasm and optimism.  So, for all of these many reasons, I think Klaus Obermeyer is an inspiration to all of us (...and the next time I put on that Obermeyer ski-wear in my closet, I'll have some new-found inspiration on the slopes for sure!).

Literally and figuratively built on the success of that legendary comforter-turned-ski parka in Aspen, the ski house called Obermeyer Place, like the man himself, and more importantly because of the man himself, is truly inspiring!

Happy Birthday to the uber-inspiring Klaus Obermeyer...and thanks for the inspiration!

Friday, November 30, 2012

The Tiny Grande Studio

Tomorrow starts with only 25 shopping days left til Christmas, the Ski House of the Day is the Grande Studio, a small ski apartment in La Grande Terche/St-Jean d'Aulps.  As with Christmas presents, good things come in small packages.  It's a tiny and compact space and almost as basic as it gets...but it packs a punch because the skiing is at the spectacular Portes du Soleil, and the gondola is just a short 100 meter walk away!

The apartment starts with a living area that has a pull-out double bed:

...the kitchenette is tiny, but looks pretty complete:

...and the basic bunk-room can sleep three:

But here's the real reason I picked this house today...take a look at the incredibly cute Christmas Market right at the base of the slopes:

Pick up all my Christmas gifts while waiting in the lift-line...that's my idea of Christmas shopping!  (I think I just might need that third bunk to stow all my shopping bags of gifts though).

It's a tiny, basic ski house, but with skiing in the French alps, and a Christmas shopping experience like this, I think it's pretty grande indeed!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Adirondack Skiers Estate

The Ski House of the Day is this gorgeous Adirondack estate in Lake Placid, NY.  The home reminds me of the classic great camps of the Adirondacks with its abundance of rustic elegance and charm:

Skiing is at nearby Whiteface Mountain, and the quaint and picturesque village of Lake Placid is nearby as well. Plus, for skiers who might want something to do in the off season...the house is actually on the Whiteface Club golf course!

 This home (listed on the market for $1.2 million) is huge at 4,300 sq ft and is oozing with that wonderful combination of Adirondack charm and ski decor with its log timber construction, woodwork, vaulted ceilings, and things like the large antler chandelier in the living room:

It's unmistakable as a ski house with antique wooden skis along the wall...and the ski-pole floor lamp next to the sofa:

There's another antler chandelier over the log dining set:

In the kitchen there's a beautiful combination of modern (appliances, counter tops, etc.) and rustic (logs along the walls and log supports around the kitchen island)...and I love those log bar stools:

Whiteface can be a bitterly cold skiing the radiant heat in the floor of this home probably is a most welcome feature apres-ski here!

Also perfect for thawing frozen feet are the three native stone fireplaces in this house:

The home has five bedrooms (plus 6 bathrooms) with more Adirondack-style log furniture like the bed in the master (and that great sleeping chair in the master could come in handy too):
...and check out that great mirror framed in vintage skis:

Among the bedrooms is this inviting kids bunkroom with very sturdy-looking log bunk beds:

The log seating area on the balcony overlooking the living room looks like a quiet, cozy spot to relax apres-ski, or maybe to read a seasonal story to the little ones:

I love the Adirondack style and the warmth of this home....and I think it's a fabulous ski house!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ski Tipi

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, the Ski House of the Day is this amazing Tipi in the White Mountains of New England:

Like the Native-American way of life, the tipi is both dramatic and simple at the same time.  The tipi is located in the woods near Littleton, New Hampshire, on a totally private 31 acre site with numerous hiking trails in a setting that allows a complete connection with nature.  As said on the rental site for the tipi:  "you are unlikely to encounter any other humans, but be prepared to meet...turkey...and even moose!"

The tipi has a circular opening in the side which serves as its front door...and has flaps at the top that can be moved as needed while the central firepit is in use.   The tipi is 22 ft in diameter, and 24 ft tall, with a central stone firepit.  Furniture consists of five log couches arranged in a circle around the firepit.  There's room for ten people to sit around the crackling fire, and room for six to sleep.    There's a simple grate which can go over the fire, and a kettle for heating water.  Simple, basic, grounding...and fun.  For a really unique experience, I think the tipi is simply perfect!

The Pilgrims celebrated the original Thanksgiving with the Native Americans of nearby Massachusetts who actually lived in bark-covered structures, with animal skins inside.  No matter the housing distinction, this tipi is an amazingly unique place!

Ski areas nearby include Cannon, Loon and Bretton Woods, but in the winter wonderland surrounding the tipi in winter, cross-country skiing right out the door (...flap) could be the thing to do here.

The tipi reminds me of the significance of the basics...simple shelter, warmth, and camaraderie / cooperation with others....reminiscent of that original Thanksgiving and that Native American way of life.  Even though Thanksgiving is a day for Americans to give thanks, it's also a celebration of our earliest success achieved through the cooperation of our diverse cultures.

Simplicity, nature, and cooperation among different people (and of course, unique ski houses)....these are among the things I'll celebrate and give thanks for this year.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Ski House Rising

Here's something that was news to is Homemade Bread Day.  Who doesn't love homemade bread...and would there be anything better during apres-ski than to enjoy the aroma of homemade bread baking?  Well, here's a place where they just might be doing that right now -- because this ski house has an authentic brick oven / bread oven right in the kitchen!  The Ski House of the Day is the KV Ranch near Mount Snow, Vermont.  You can't miss the fantastic brick oven in this huge, Vermont country kitchen:

Like the bread itself, the bread oven looks like it's done some rising of its stretches from the floor past the balcony and all the way to very tall ceiling.  Although there's also a beautiful (and also very tall) fireplace in the living room area, to me it looks like the brick oven is the heart of the house.
Here's a close-up (I know, looks like pizza going in, but you can see how great this bread oven is!):

According to the rental site, this "ranch" is actually a restored 1790's barn....

 ...and the high ceilings make that dramatically obvious:

How's this for breaking bread?  Check out the legs on the table and benches (re-purposed barn posts?):

I'd imagine that the delicious aroma from the bread oven rising up by this ping-pong table is pretty sweet:

This unique, spacious house is 4,500 sq. ft. in size, and includes six bedrooms, plus 3 1/2 bathrooms...

...and a nice view of the ski slopes:

Since it's Homemade Bread Day, I might actually make a loaf of homemade bread today...I just wish I were able to watch it rising in front of this view, and then watch it baking it in the brick bread oven in this ski house!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Franklin Veterans Memorial Ski Lodge

In observation of Veteran's Day, the Ski House of the Day is itself, a memorial to the veterans of the United States.  It is the Franklin Veteran's Memorial Ski Lodge, located in Franklin, New Hampshire.  This cute, modest ski lodge (a day lodge rather than a residential house) sits at the base of the Franklin Veterans Memorial Ski Area:

The idea for a ski area/lodge was hatched by a group of local WWII veterans (presumably in the 1950's), and in the early 1960's the city of Franklin asked the Army Corps of Engineers to construct the ski area on land that had been donated to the city years earlier.  Then Franklin's residents, organizations and businesses mobilized to get the job done.  The Franklin Outing Club was formed to run the area, and in 1962, the city donated $4,000 to construct the ski lodge as a memorial to those who gave their lives in WWII and the Korean War.  Thus was the beginning of the Franklin Memorial Ski Area and its Ski Lodge.

As a veterans memorial, the fireplace inside the ski lodge displays a plaque with names of some of the veterans honored by this lodge...and of course, outside, the American flag proudly presides over the lodge and the slopes for all skiers to see.

The ski area consists of just six trails, a rope tow (with it's original motor) and a T-bar, but has more heart and soul than most of the mega-ski resorts anywhere.  It's a quaint family ski area, where people help one another, where generations of families ski together, and where grandparents can watch their grandchildren's entire ski run from the comfort of the lodge.  It has been described as a "community treasure."  Anyone is welcome at this small ski area which is only open on weekends. And where else can you find a bargain like adult lift ticket for a weekend day is only $15 and just $10 for kids!  And for active's free.

Here's the amazing part...the ski area continues, to this day, to exist on the generosity of volunteers, donations and the fundraising efforts of the community.  Generations of skier-volunteers have been running this ski area since its inception....doing things like grooming the trails, maintaining the lifts and the lodge, serving as ski instructors and ski patrol, and working the snack bar inside--all without any compensation.  They hold an annual Winter Carnival (to supplement the cost of running the place) with events like the cardboard sled races, snow golf, pancake breakfasts, etc.  The ski area and the people who keep it running focus on families and community, and isn't that what our veterans have, and continue to, work to protect?  This ski area and ski lodge are a really heartwarming, hometown type of patriotism! (You can hear some of their stories on the video from their website).

So today, thank a veteran for their service...and check out the Franklin Memorial Ski Area and Lodge;  and maybe this winter (if you're in New England) take what could be one of your most meaningful ski runs...a ski run in honor of our veterans.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Vermont Ski Lodge with NJ Attitude

Still reeling in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy which hit my home state of NJ pretty hard last week...I'm  encouraged by the New Jersey attitude toward rebuilding.  And in honor of that NJ attitude, today's Ski House of the Day is one that is not only owned by a group of New Jersey skiers, but was overhauled, renovated, rebuilt, and updated by New Jersey skiers - with attitude.  It's the High Life Ski Club's Ski Lodge, near Killington, Vermont:
The High Life Ski Club, based in northern New Jersey, purchased this 1844 Vermont farmhouse forty years ago (1972).  The place had been sitting vacant for years, and was in need of a complete overhaul.  With determination and New Jersey attitude, the lodge was quickly made ready for that first 1972-73 ski season.  And, major renovations continued through the following years, too.  As the club's website points out, "There was a drive on the part of the club in the 1970's to create something good to be passed along to future members.  They have succeeded."

The first thing you might notice in this spacious ski lodge is its large stone fireplace in the living room.  I stayed in this ski lodge in the '80's, and remember warming my frozen feet in front of this fireplace, which looked exactly the same way back then!  There's also a large quasi-commercial type kitchen with lots of space for food storage and cooking by multiple people simultaneously:

The lodge sleeps 50 people in 11 bedrooms... also has a third floor dorm, and has 5 bathrooms.

In addition, there's a boot-room with shelves for drying 50 pairs of ski boots!  (Hmmmm....You smell that?...Nothing else smells like that...I love the smell of ski-boots in the morning...).   

Another skier-friendly feature here is the ski tuning bench in the basement.

Here's something that I was surprised to see in this ski lodge (and I absolutely love)...the newest feature and, it seems, the club's pride and joy, is the architecturally stunning "Barn" rebuild/renovation that has created an amazing social space, and includes a bar, dance floor, gorgeous spiral stairway leading up to a loft, beautiful woodwork, and even some really nice snow-theme decor on the walls: a really cool game room area:

....and a comfortable-looking loft for tv and/or reading (...reading? Really?):

The Barn is beautiful, and is perfect for a ski club's lodge - it's an awesome renovation!

Although the fireplace retains its original charm, much of the rest of this lodge looks so much better than it did way back in the day!  Although I have good memories of the time I spent in this ski lodge...the renovations and improvements have made it better than it was back then.   And so, in its own way, this ski house is proof that New Jerseyans, when challenged, will rebuild/renovate something of value and make it better than before.  And surely that's the way it will be with the New Jerseyans currently challenged to rebuild our beloved Jersey shore so devastated by Hurricane Sandy last week.  Just like this ski lodge...I look forward to the Jersey shore being rebuilt, with NJ attitude, and emerging even better than before.

As so well said on the Lodge's web page,

"History does not end with the present...we have the opportunity to build on the past and to create a new legacy for (the) future..."   

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Ski House on "Mountains of Love" in Vermont

In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, as I sit here in NJ, having many friends and neighbors suffering loss of one kind or another, and absorbing the fact that much of my beloved Jersey shore has been washed away by the storm, I find it so heartwarming that the Vermont Ski Areas Association has stepped up to help.  They are calling their effort Operation Mountains of Love which will kick off at the Boston Ski & Snowboard Show tomorrow, and will offer numerous generous incentives to encourage donations to help victims of Hurricane Sandy in the NJ/NY/CT area.  We can feel the mountains of love already.

One of those Vermont Ski Areas, Okemo, (which incidentally opens for the season tomorrow!) has already donated $10,000 to Hurricane Sandy recovery, and they are challenging their community of skiers to join them.  One of their specific incentives is to offer a free lift ticket to skiers/riders who donate during Thanksgiving weekend, and they are also offering discounted lodging during the next two weeks to anyone affected by the storm.  Pretty generous, and NJ feels the Okemo mountain of love, too.  Because of this, my pick for the Ski House of the Day, is one that sits on that mountain of love....slopeside on Okemo.  It's the Bixby House, a beautiful new two bedroom home right on the slopes at Okemo's Jackson Gore.

This ski house is a modern, two-bedroom home , well-situated on the mountain, and in a community with an abundance of amenities.

After having had no power at my own house for the entire week following Hurricane Sandy, the first thing I notice about this lovely, comfortable home is...all the lights that are on(!)...

...and, the first thing I will notice the next time I'm skiing at Okemo is...the mountain of love I'll be skiing on: