Covered Ground: January 1981

Meet the ladies of the '80s and get schooled on heli ski guiding and gold medal winning

No doubt about it, the women are hot! PHOTO: Russell Kelly
No doubt about it, the women are hot! PHOTO: Russell Kelly

Our cover skier from the January 1981 issue of Powder is C.C. Kinney of Aspen—a comely believer in the bare essentials of skiing.

Inside Vol. 9 No. 6 we meet the Ladies of the ‘80s and writer Tina Cole fist bumps all the badass mountain mamas of all shapes and sizes taking their rightful place on the mountain.

The roster—accompanied by ultra ’80s action shots—included gals like Nordic skier Chrissy Lewis, and freestyle-skiing champions Stephanie Sloan and Greta Paulsen, among others.

“The women who impress me the most are the ones whose style isn’t all that different from the fine men skiers who usually create a good gawk or two as they flash on by. There are a lot of ladies these days who have promoted themselves from the ‘gawker’ to the ‘gawkee’ position,” writes Cole.

Cole also calls out the (timeless!) need for legitimate women’s skis for ladies who are “perfectly capable of skiing the pants off of most fellows and keeping up just fine with the best.”

The issue also devotes nine pages to a Q&A with Stein Eriksen, the Norwegian ski racer and Olympic gold medalist who had some things to say about the après scene.

“I don’t care what people say about nightlife and drinking,” he says, “if you want to feel on top of your skis, your mind has to be absolutely crystal clear, and you have to be in top physical condition.”

That would explain exactly why we don’t have any gold medals, wouldn’t it, guys?

His advice for a powder day is a bit easier to abide by. “Forget about the idea of going back and forth across the terrain. Just point the skis down the fall line.”

Now that we can handle, Stein.

Writer Eric Sanford offers some tips on how to land The Ultimate Ski Job, as a heli ski guide in Canada.

  1. You should know how to ski. Well. Better than that.
  2. Take an avy course. Now take another. Work with ski patrol for two+ years. You still know very little.
  3. Be a doctor. Yes, actually. Or at least an EMT.
  4. Be a mountain guide. Or at least know rescue techniques for rocks and glaciers, bivouac and emergency procedures.
  5. Be in shape. Be as in shape as a national-level ski racer.

And that’s the easy part, Sandford says. Other bullets on your heli guide resume should include weather forecasting, mechanical engineering, fluency in German, Japanese, and French. A little Italian helps, too. You’re a woman, you say? Just meet all the criteria, double them, and you’re in! Happy flying.

The issue also called out a few of the era’s trend setters, like 44-year-old J. “Silver Fox” Sandberg whose likes included being outdoors, steak and potatoes, and folk music. Dislikes: warm beer.

Trendsetter Thomas Knudson, weighing in at 25 years young, offered some words of advice to readers: “Never play cards with a man named Doc and never eat dinner in a restaurant called Mom’s.”

Tom Likes: athletic women. Dislikes: “Running out of gas in the Nevada desert at dusk when all the rattlesnakes are crawling out on to the highway to warm themselves and all there is to eat is a can of asparagus.”

Someone find this guy and get the rest of the story…