October 2005


FROZEN WORLD:FICKLE SNOWSnow makes our world possible. Without snow we cannot ski: That's a fact, simple and irrefutable. As a cyclist needs road, a paddler water, a climber rock, we need snow. But here's the rub: We have no guarantee of snow. The cyclist, the paddler, the climber-they will find what they need. They enjoy a predictably. Not so the skier.

Snow may come early, it may come late, it may not come at all. It is unpredictable in amount, in consistency, in location. It is impermanent and fickle. We cannot, with certainty, plan on snow, yet it is the most basic element in our sport, the foundation on which all else builds. Without snow, we are bound to dry earth.

Now, as autumn wanes, winter draws near. Calendar pages fall as leaves to the ground. Skiers stir restlessly with the days and think: Calendar dates be damned. For us, for skiers, it's all about ... Read more >


DOWNHILL DRYLAND Skiing in most locales requires that you go down hills as well as up hills and across the flats. Due to the wonder of gravity, you have less time to learn how to go downhill by actually skiing down the hills than you have on the flats or up the hills. If you spend what little time you do having skiing downhill being tense and defensive, your chances of becoming a better downhill skier just by skiing more are ... Read more >

October 2005


Competitive Edge: IT AIN'T OVER 'TIL GAMES TIMEPre-Olympic race seasons are funny things. On one hand, they provide a good glimpse as to what one might expect to see in the big show, a.k.a. the 2006 Winter Olympics. This year, we might see predictable winners step to the podium when it opens February 12 in the northwestern Italian alps. On the other hand, the season ... Read more >

Fireside: DALE NIGGEMAN: Racer, Tinkerer, Inventor


"I never thought CAT skis would turn into a mass market product. My biggest motivation was for myself," laughed Dale Niggeman. While the invention of CAT skis started as a personal quest for self-improvement, today Niggeman's dreams reach farther than his own race results.

At the urging of friends in 1985, Niggeman started cross country skiing. Like many Nordic skiers, he moved from casual tours to entering citizen races. Competing in both classic and ... Read more >

October 2005


LETTING THE CAT OUT OF THE BAGAs I CAT skied on a sandy beach in Costa Rica, a beachcomber gaped at me and said, "It's not snowing, you know." I gazed back at him and with a straight face, responded, "It's supposed to tonight." He stared at the sky.

Finally, skiers have skis for training and recreation anywhere when the ground isn't covered with snow. CAT skis or Classic All Terrain skis, invented by Dale Niggeman, go beyond the confines of roller skis. While "Classic" refers to the striding technique used, as opposed to the skate or freestyle method, "All Terrain" is exactly what it says. Just about any terrain on which you can ... Read more >

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