Monday, July 30, 2012

Steamboat Deluxe

Colorado has had a rough 2012 so far...the hearts of the world are with you, Colorado;  and here's hoping that all is well in the beautiful Centennial State from now on.

Colorado is a magnificent state, and with the 7th Annual Steamboat Wine Festival set for this week, the Ski House of the Day has to be one in Steamboat!  The multi-day wine festival kicks off with "Wine on the Mountain" a very cool wine tasting event at the top of the gondola, continues with events like the "Mud, Sweat & Cheers" a bike-ride / wine-tasting combo, and leads to the signature event, the "Toast of Steamboat - Grand Tasting."  It's been a while since I've skied at Steamboat, and I am looking forward to getting back there...I just have to decide whether I'll go for the skiing, or for this wine festival!  Either way, here's a new ski house in Steamboat worth a look (Steamboat Ski & Resort Realty has the whole scoop).

This impressive ski house is (oh-so-appropriately) located on Ski Trail Lane and has ski-in ski-out access as well as panoramic views of the valley.   The house is called  Ski Trail Lane Duplex but with 5,734 sq ft of space (in just one of its sides) is absolutely huge and strikes me as "deluxe" rather than "duplex"!

Check out this gorgeous living room with soaring stone fireplace:'s a peak at the view, and at the other side of the living room is an impressive, huge custom-built log staircase (but not to worry, there's also a glass-enclosed 3-story elevator in the house!):

The kitchen combines beautiful sleek features like the granite slab counters with the rustic features like the log beamed ceiling:

And it's not the kitchen, it's extra food prep space in the butlers pantry:

Here's one of the five bedrooms...with its own fireplace, vaulted ceiling, and wall of windows --  what a beautiful room to wake up in before a sunny Steamboat ski day!

And the piece-de-resistance -- for wine festival week?  There's a 600-bottle wine cellar in this Steamboat deluxe ski house!


Saturday, July 28, 2012

Home of Legendary Canadian Olympian

With the Summer Olympics currently underway, I thought the time was right for a look at where a former Olympian lives.  The Ski House of the Day is the home of an amazing Olympic skier...who has devoted her lifetime to living the sport of skiing.  The skier is Nancy Greene, legendary Canadian Olympic skier, and the  "ski house" is Nancy Greene's Cahilty Lodge.  The lodge is more than a house, as it is actually a condo-hotel....but the lodge is home to Nancy Green, on the slopes of Sun Peaks Resort in British Columbia.

This condo in Cahilty Lodge looks surprisingly spacious and complete...
(a similar flexible 3-bedroom "lock-off" version of this condo recently sold for $247,000)

...and check out its fantastic location right at the base of the ski trail:

But the thing that I think is most impressive about this "ski house" is the Olympic skier who built it, and now lives there, Nancy Greene.

Nancy Greene started skiing at age three at Red Mountain, and by the time she was a teenager she was on the Canadian ski team participating in the 1960 Olympics at Squaw Valley.  But it was her Olympic victory in Grenoble in 1968 that really made history.  She was favored going in, but suffered an injury just a month before the Olympics, and her chances were suddenly in serious jeopardy.  But she gave it everything she had...and even injured, Nancy decisively won the Gold!

Nancy (along with her husband) has taught skiing, coached skiing and has lead and been involved in numerous other endeavors to promote and expand the sport of skiing (too numerous are the accomplishments to list here!) ever since.   Nancy is the Director of Skiing at the resort, and according to the lodge's website she skis regularly with guests! (Skiing with an Olympic Gold medalist is a "golden" opportunity for guests, for sure!).

(Oh, and speaking of "Gold", the Liquid Gold Beer and Whiskey Festival will be happening there this weekend - sounds like that could be a good time, eh?).

So, this "ski house",  isn't just a ski me, (like Nancy's Olympic Gold) it represents what is possible in spite of challenges, and seems to be a tangible result of a life-long dedication to skiing.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Skier's Tahoe House

Olympians make us proud -- no matter what the sport, no matter what the season, no matter what.  Each of them inspires hope and possibility by being at the Games in a sincere spirit of international sports competition.  So, with the 2012 Summer Olympics opening today, I thought it would be a good time to check out the ski house of one former Olympic skier, of course!

The skier is Bob Ormsby, who competed in the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary (Slalom and Giant Slalom), and was a member of the US National Ski Team for eight years:

...and the Ski House of the Day is Bob Ormsby's secluded Lake Tahoe house.

Bob, a life-long resident of the Tahoe area, purchased the house a few years after the '88 Olympics.  His house is situated in a peaceful setting among the towering pine trees of Lake Tahoe, and backs up to forest service property: the house ski-in / ski-out for cross country skiers, with a network of trails right out the door.  And for alpine skiers it's close to Squaw Valley (site of the 1960 Olympics) and Alpine Meadows Ski Resorts.  

Today, Bob applies the competitive spirit from his days as an Olympic ski racer to his own real estate business;  and, fortunately for us regular skiers, he offers his cozy Lake Tahoe house to renters.  I find this ski house to be inspirational because of the Olympic ski history of its owner.  (Hey, I wonder if I could absorb some skiing skills just by being there?).  The house seems like a great place to relax and enjoy nature - summer or winter.  I like the comfy-looking, wide open living area, and the warm alpine feel of all that wood:

The house has three bedrooms (and two bathrooms);  and I love the private upper deck off of this bedroom:

In the rental listing it says that "there are many outdoor games at the house"...but for me, the games that I'd connect to this ski house are the 1988 Winter Olympic Games.  
Let the Games begin!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Maddox House at Jackson Hole

The Ski House of the Day is the beautiful Maddox House (formerly a rental) in Teton Village at Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

Maddox House is a four story "ski-in" house with decorator furnishings and English country charm combined  with a Western flair.  The main living areas are on the third level, and include a bright, cheerful, spacious living room with a vaulted ceiling and lots of windows.  I love the western, Indian-inspired prints in the living room, as well as all the bright red window treatments...

This level also has a colorful kitchen -- with bar stools that remind you that you're really in the West...
...and a large dining room with western elegance...

There's a nice hot tub out on the deck, too (just use your imagination for the snow), and that outdoor heater probably comes in pretty handy during ski season:

Maddox House is huge...with six bedrooms, like this comfortable-looking one...

...and this cozy-looking bedroom with a vaulted ceiling:

The twin bedroom comes furnished with its own "guest" to keep watch over the sleeping kids:

With plenty of room for a large extended family and the happy feeling that all the color seems to convey, Maddox House looks like a great ski house for a family reunion, or maybe a birthday celebration for someone special in your family!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Argentinian Log Cabin

If you're going to ski in South America, it may as well be at the largest ski resort there...Cerro Catedral.  And why not experience some "typical" local color too?  The Ski House of the Day is one that has just that - the local color of Argentina!  It's the Bariloche Log Cabin, in the Patagonia area of Argentina.  The cabin is a classic Patagonia style log and stone cabin...with custom made wooden details, handsome Bariloche masonry work, and an unusual integrated glass skylight in the ceiling. The rental website describes it as a handcrafted Patagonian architectural masterpiece!  (Yes, it is ski season in South America now):

I think the cabin looks quaint and cozy, and I like the fact that its style is typical of its locale:

One more locale-specific detail about this cabin is that is has a quincho.  Typical of cabins and homes in Argentina and Chile, but unfamiliar to me, a quincho is a separate, detached BBQ structure in which there is a built-in grill under a roof.   They sometimes have a thatched roof;  and the word "quincho" is sometimes translated as a BBQ hut or BBQ shack.  I love to grill and I use my gas grill often in the summer as well as the winter...but it's out in the weather (snow falling on the meat slows the cooking process).  So wow, it sure would be nice to have an entire separate structure strictly dedicated to grilling.  Here's a look at the outside of the quincho at the Bariloche Log Cabin:

What?  That's not the cabin...that's the quincho!  Looks like a pretty substantial structure to me!  And here's the inside of the quincho...plenty of wood for the fire(s)...and some near-the-fire seating :
Okay...I think the apres-ski dinner has to be something grilled at this ski house!   

And by the way, the skiing is at Cerro Catedral which is 20 minutes away.  On the trails...

...or in the back-country...

...(quincho aside)....the local color here is white.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Bogong Rover Chalet

The Ski House of the Day is the Bogong Rover Chalet in Victoria, Australia. The chalet, in the Bogong High Plains, is owned and operated by the Rover Section of the Victoria Branch of the Scouts of Australia.  This organization is dedicated to fun and adventure while serving the community, so there's a communal atmosphere where everyone staying in the chalet pitches in to make things work.

The Bogong Rover Chalet is a place where the Rovers Scouts learn the skills of back-country skiing, ski-touring and learn the day-to-day operation of a ski chalet.  Getting there requires an 11 km trek on they caution visitors that if you can't carry it in your pack, don't bring it:

The chalet has dormitory style rooms that can accommodate up to 35 people (they bring their own sleeping bags), it has showers, and the kitchen has a grouping of picnic tables for mealtime. The chalet uses solar, gas, wood and runs its own generator for power, but has no mobile phone reception in the chalet itself, and has no tv, fact, they discourage any electronics at all saying that "ipods are you'll need to make your own fun."  And to help make your own fun, there's a guitar and a "didgeridoo" to play in the chalet (didgeridoo...?).

The Bogong Rover Chalet claims to have the only privately owned ski tow in Australia:

In the late 1930's charitable donations funded the chalet project...and when the chalet was built in 1940, it was the only ski lodge in the entire area (ski resorts in the area were developed years later).  Over the decades that followed, improvements have included the addition of a ski room, a new kitchen in 1953 that involved pushing a huge cast iron stove into the chalet from Rocky Valley on greased poles, an environmentally friendly waste system, a kitchen renovation in 2000, and more.  Surely each of these improvements benefited not only the chalet and future users of it, but also benefited the young people who, through their service, made them happen.

There's an external emergency shelter in the chalet as well...which is a good thing since the area has an average annual snowfall of about 4 meters of snow:

I admire the existence of this chalet because it is a symbol of what can be accomplished through the goal of service to others...a ski house that was built and still exists because of a dedication to skiing, adventure, serving the community!  And the Bogong Rover Chalet still serves its original purpose...the education of young people in a fellowship of open-air and service.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Top Quality Loft-Condo in Niseko

The Ski House of the Day is the loft-condo, Yasuragi-by-Odin,  in Niseko, Japan.  Built by international boutique developer Odin, this ski house is "just right" in my book for a top quality Japanese ski experience!

The loft, one of five in an iconic and dramatic "butterfly" shape building with floating roof, is a stunning 3-bedroom 3-bathroom luxury ski home.  There are some common areas in the building, including this ski lounge (where skiers can swap stories about the deep powder):

The interior of the loft-condo has a placid, streamlined look with only those natural colors that resemble the snow and the trees outside.  With floor-to-ceiling windows the inhabitants won't miss one minute of watching the snow falling all around.  Here's a glimpse at the bedrooms which look sleek, peaceful and relaxing:

Odin's philosophy in creating places like this center around luxury...not just luxury as commonly defined, but rather a "quality of life" luxury that is defined by specifically creating time to really experience life.  Creating time...a worthy philosophy indeed.

And in keeping with that philosophy, one of the best features of this loft-condo is its outdoor Japanese-style "onsen-type" spa.  (Onsen means hot springs in Japanese and implies cultural and social connections to relaxation, communication and healing).  Here's something worth making time for:
Tranquil and fantastic!   And by the way, check out that deep powder within reach of the spa!

The location of the loft-condo is in the Lower Hirafu area of Niseko, and is a 15-minute walk (or quick shuttle bus ride from the front door) to the ski lifts.  The NY Times says that Niseko is Japan's own St. Moritz, but to skiers it's also a powder-lovers paradise.  Odin says it's called the Asian Whistler, and  Powderhounds compares Niseko to a "snow factory" constantly pumping out the powder.  Nice -- not only a top quality ski condo, but some top quality powder time, too!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Independence Day Chalet

In honor of the Fourth of July...the Ski House of the Day is the Londerry Vermont Chalet.  I like the chalet, and really like its pine-forest setting, but the main reason it was chosen today is because it's a ski house that is proudly flying the American flag...even in the snow!

The living room looks very comfortable...

 ...and the kitchen looks bright, modern and complete...

There's a nice game-room for apres-ski fun and games:

...and there's a large hot tub on a screened in porch, too.

This five-bedroom, three-story ski house is located in Londonderry, Vermont (which the NY Times has called  "a town that's still down to earth in a high flying ski region"), on wooded property in a private setting with a pond and rolling hills.  It's conveniently located near skiing at Magic well as Stratton, Bromley and Okemo.

And since the chalet is close to Magic can celebrate the Fourth of July in Londonderry at the Magic Mountain Fireworks!  (The fireworks at Magic this year are set for this Friday!).

Happy Independence Day!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Canadian Alpine Log Chalet

On Canada Day (Canada's birthday), The Ski House of the Day has to be Canadian!  So my pick today is the Alpine Cougar Log Chalet in Fernie, BC.

According to Powderhounds, Fernie is the quintessential Canadian ski resort, and has the reputation for the best powder in the Rockies!  And this ski house has views of some of that powder from its natural alpine setting on a mountain minutes away from the ski slopes.  It's a 1900 sq ft Scandinavian hand-crafted log chalet.  The massive logs that support the roof seem like trees growing right up out of the ground; and I love that wrap-around deck that's covered by the extended roof.

The interior logs are beautiful, and all of that wood gives the comfortable living room has a really nice natural alpine feel:

And I love the gigantic stone fireplace with log mantle in the living is beautiful and perfect in an alpine ski chalet:

If you're going to make a log chalet, this is the way to do it...check out the log stairway and log beams supporting the balcony  and second floor:

...and more logs in one of the 3+ bedrooms in this chalet:

But here's what I think is one of the best features...the inviting hot tub outside tucked under one of those log-supported roofs with views of the Canadian powder:
...a perfect place for apres-ski...especially after skiing all that powder in the Canadian Rockies!