As an ambassador for Wild Roses, it seems very fitting that my own philosophy in life goes hand in hand with that of Wild Roses.

Nina taking a pause to day-dream

A women‘s life is not about climbing the highest mountain or being the first on the top. It is about the passion of doing things for a greater reason. Life can be an adventure, but the greatest adventure is giving life a meaning. What are you up to next?

Wild Lily Rose- by Nina

Are you already working on a dream?

I have lots of dreams, and always have ever since I was a little girl. Many times people said, and they still do, “Nina you want to do too many things! You can’t do it all!” Hey, we only live once, so why not make the most of it, and go for a dream! One of my favorite teachers and mentors at Holderness, Norm Walker, often said to us and his football team before going into a game, play this game like it were your last!

Still Dreaming....


The dream I am working on at the moment is my ski mountaineering World Cup dream. I fell in love with this sport not too many years ago when I moved to the Alps. I have always loved the mountains, sports and skiing, and ski alpinisme harmonizes those three passions.  I have not devoted my energy and commitment to one sport since I was a young girl when I rode horses competitively. To see more about how this dream evolved, check out my about and first tracks pages. Like any dream, this one does not go without challenges and sacrifices, but hand in hand it has its rewards.

Birki and Nina chasing dreams together

So far this 2011 season we have had 2 World Cup races both in France. The first was in Pelvoux on the 12-13 of January and the 2nd, in Gavarnie, Pyranees. Both of these races had sprint races on Saturday similar to the style of sprint racing in cross country skiing with a qualifying round, 1/4 finals, 1/2 finals and finals. This event gives the spectators a chance to see a little about skimo racing in the span of 3-4 minutes. This event is totally different than a race of 1:45 hr-3 hrs and takes a different sort of focus and training. For more info on the sport and results you can check out the International Ski Mountaineering Website.

Chamonix Ski Alpinisme Team

Pelvoux was a fun weekend of racing as we went to the race as a club from Chamonix.

All smiles in the sunshine!

It is great to the sport growing and even better to see our chamonix ski alpinisme club membership growing exponentially (as we only started last year), with even more women this year!  The ambiance at Pelvoux was also exciting at the sprint race, with crowds cheering on the sideline. I finished up the weekend in 11th place, with some equipment troubles in the race on sunday. This race in particular saw many equipment troubles due to snow conditions or lack there of. It is important to keep your gear in good condition and check it regularly but sometimes you can’t avoid unfortunate mishaps that happen on course, and it is the nature of the sport.

Here is a video of the sprint race and main race at pelvoux to give you an idea of the event.  Here is a cool video of  a young American woman who is on fire right now in the sprint world of cross country, Kikkan Randal, She helped start a non profit group called Fast and Female– empowerment through sport, helping young women in the sport of cross country skiing.  Be sure to Check her site out and this video of her winning the gold in the last sprint.

Gavarnie World Cup

This weekend I made a trek to the Pyrenees…a mere 10 hrs from my home. NPR podcasts, new ipod playlists, audio books, and lest we forget, Madame GPS helped me get to my destination. One of the great things about the Ski Mo world cup is the international ambiance of people from so many nations. It is also the chance to get to see other parts of the world. The Pyrenees are really a beautiful part of Europe, a mecca for cyclists and ski alpinists as well as pilgrims. My dad speaks highly of this area as he followed the Camino de Santiago and the route passes very near this area. He will complete the last section of the camino this spring.

Gavarnie….A very small town

The sprint race was won of my best world cup results so far. I really enjoy the sprint races, the energy and the focus it takes.  I made it to the finals and finished up 5th overall. The big race was pretty good for me, but there is always room for improvement and things to work on. Overall I was happy with my own result of 9th place, another personal best, and look forward to the next World Cup in Transcavallo in 2 weeks in Tambre Italy.

I am forever impressed with the high level of athletes in the world of ski mountaineering, world cup level or not. They come from all types of backgrounds, often juggling jobs and family with training and they all deserve kudos to for their strong efforts.  One in particular who impresses me is Nathalie Etzenberger of Switzerland, mother of 3 children, over 40, on the podium 2 x this weekend with the other two women under 25. Brava mama!

Sprint Race Day
Looking out towards the main course
Nina in the lead in front of Mireia Miró in the Sprint Finals
Sprint Downhill- The last time I ran gates was at CVA when I was 14! Wow!

Here are two excellent videos of the last two world cups that really give you an idea of what this ski mo racing is all about, especially the sprints

Click on the links to see:

Pelvoux World Cup Video

Gavarnie World Cup Video

With my result from these 2 World Cups I have qualified  for the World Championships for the 3rd time.  The 2011 World Champs will be held in Claut, Italy and there  I will be joined by fellow USA teammates. Based on qualifying results, the US 2011 ski mountaineering worlds team is:  Men: Brandon French, Travis Scheefer, Pete Swenson, Scott Simmons, Luke Nelson, Bryan Wickenhauser, Max Taam and Greg Ruckman; Women:  Sari Anderson, Monique Merrill, Janelle Smiley, Nina Silitch, Jari Kirkland, Amy Fulwyler, Jessica Philips and Jaime Falcon. I am really looking forward to hanging with the team very soon!

Toasty Warm in my Wild Roses Reversible Puff Jacket
This side is warm too!

This weekend it was cold – 14. Thank god for hand-warmers (I do not really know what the ingredients are in these but they sure do the trick!) and down mittens, they were lifesavors between sprint rounds.

For more photos of the weekend click on the picassa link

Gavarnie World Cup

Yogi Tea also kept me warm and healthy! They really should have a daily Yogi Tea twitter message. Yesterday my Yogi Tea message was “The smile you give comes back to you” and today’s was “to be calm is the greatest state of mind“. I thought both of these messages were very appropriate as two of my mottos to live by are:

Give it your best with a smile


Calm Peaceful Mind



Never give up!

(you can go to my About page to see more of these words to live by)

Just to remind you, as I have to remind myself  when the going gets tough, on or off course, “Never give up!”

Never give up your dream, what ever it may be.

Keep working on your dream!

What is playing on your ipod right now? One of mine happens to be  ”  Raise Your Glass by Pink, no less…and Just a dream   Just a Dream by Nelly

So, Raise your Glass to your DREAM!