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Vol. 1 No. 5
 
Features:

A Basin Comp

Brighton
Couloir Extreme
Photo Gallery
Rip Tip

 

Interviews:
Staffan A.
Lori S.
Stuart K.
 
Depts:
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Comp Results
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Chair 13
About No. 5
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Lori Stahler: Obturator foramen, T-Race, phlanges, free skiing without judges, syndesmoses, and the quest for the tele-racing top of the world. Descender talks with rad racer, Lori Stahler.

Descender: When did you go freeheel?

Lori Stahler: I got started tele skiing in 1993 when a friend of mine took me out on lace- up leather boots and a pair of very skinny skis called Swallows. I picked it up pretty quickly on the groomers, but I remember having trouble in any crud or pow, which wasn't a surprise since I had trouble skiing crud and pow on my alpine skis. I was used to skiing ice in the east.

D: Where is your favorite place to ride?

LS: My favorite place to ski is Alta, although I usually ski at Snowbird. I have a pass there. When I have time after my racing season, I like to go south to Elk Meadows where there is some great backcountry with no one to bother you.

D: Any tricks in your bag?

LS: The one trick in my bag is yoga. I either go to classes at my gym or I have a video at my house. When I do yoga before I go out skiing, I get on my skis and feel so centered and on top of my skis it's amazing.

D: Why did you start racing?

LS: I got into racing because I used to alpine race. One day, when I was first learning to tele, I skied by some US Tele Team members training gates. They let me jump in with them... I had such a blast! It was like an entirely new sport. The next season I bought some better boots, Arkos, from one of the racers, and went to my first tele race at the Utah Winter Games and did very well. Then I went to my first US Nationals and placed 3rd in the Classic Terrain race, which was a huge surprise to everyone. From that day on, I was hooked.

D: How has your race season been going?

LS: My season was OK, but not great. I won the first four races that we had in the Wasatch at Snowbird, which were part of the Utah Winter Games and were also Western Regionals. I also won the 20th annual Groundhogs Day race at Alta. I injured my knee during the second World Cup race at Big Mt. Montana, but I continued to race on it so that I could finish up the season without being penalized. My best finish in the World Cup races was 9th and at Nationals I placed 1st in the Classic Terrain race and also had two 2nd's and a third. I think I could have done a little better if I had been completely healthy.

D: Racing or freeskiing?

LS: Right now I only race. I do not compete in freeriding events. I don't think I want people judging the way I freeski. When I am freeskiing, I want to be freesking. If I were being judged, I wouldn't feel like I was freeskiing. Maybe when I'm done racing I may change my mind. Although, I have been a judge at a few tele freeskiing competitions and it is kind of nice being on the other side for a change.

D: How does it feel to be ranked as one of the top women skiers in the world?

LS: I don't think that I can accept the title of being one of the top ranked women tele racers in the world, maybe in the country. To be ranked as one of the top racers in the world, I would have to travel to all 15 World Cup tele races throughout the entire winter. This year I only made it to 5 and only completed 3, which realistically will not allow me to be ranked anywhere close to the top. If I had the time and money to be able to travel to Europe and Scandinavia for all the other World Cup races I think I could be ranked in the top 15 in the world. I am ranked 2nd in the United States but it would be nice if we had more female tele racers out there.

D: Along with being a ripping racer you're a Massage Therapist (LMP). How can massage help with teleskiing?

LS: I think that massage can improve performance a lot. Massage allows the blood to re-circulate and moves the lactic acid and other toxins out of the muscles, which allows your muscles to recover faster. But you must remember that these toxins move out of your muscles and into your blood stream so it is important to drink plenty of water to flush the toxins out of your body. If you don't do this, you may get sick. Having massage work regularly helps us to ski and train harder and more often because your muscles will work more efficiently. It is very important to stretch your quads and gluteus as well as your hamstrings. It would be hard for me to explain all of these stretches in writing, but even more important would be to stretch your ILIOTIBIAL BAND or IT band. This is an area most people don't even know about. When I work this area during a massage most people are amazed at how sore or tender it is and asked what muscle it is. Well, it's actually a long band of fascia on the lateral (outside) surface of the thigh. You could say it separates the quad muscles from the hamstrings. The IT band attaches to the tensor fascia lata muscle up by your hip and your gluteus maximus muscles, which I think everybody knows about. The other end of the IT band attaches to your tibia. Keeping this band stretched along with your quads, hams, and gluteus will help the legs to feel better!

D: What gear do you use? To race and freeride?

LS: I ski on Elan alpine skis. I race on one of their stiffer skis, the PSX, and I freeski on a wider and softer pair, the Spitfire and the Nomad. I use Voile bindings. On my race skis, I have the Voile releasable with a three pin and a 30mm riser from the top of the ski. On my freeskis, I have a Voile three pin cable with an Alta shim (20mm), without a releasable. It's an FIS rule to have a releasable binding when racing in any FIS race, but I like to go with a little less weight for freeskiing. I use the Scarpa T-Race boot from Black Diamond. They are quite stiff and very powerful and energetic. This year the T-1 and T-Race are quite different from last year's model. They've really come a long way!

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