2017 Event Recap
Sunshine On My Shoulders: Snow Mountain Memories
By Andrea Goddard
(From the SFL Bulletin Spring 2017)
“If I had a day that I could give you,
I’d give to you a day just like today.
If I had a song that I could sing for you,
I’d sing a song to make you feel this way.”
As Nancy Stevens’s guitar anchored us, we let our voices rise and fall with Denver’s beautiful, simple melody, filling the Indian Peaks Lodge lobby with a warmth that more than made up for the nippy air we’d breathed on the trails earlier that day. Oh, if I could only bottle this, I thought, a lump growing in my throat. This was my week, these were my people, and the challenges plaguing my life had finally receded to a respectful distance. The song and the act of singing it (with dear SFL family members Ken Leghorn and Julie Coppens among us, and with some others of us unable to attend and being deeply missed) was like voicing all the hellos, thank-yous, and goodbyes that ever needed to be said.
The 2017 International ski week was quite the hit for well over 250 skiers, guides, and fabulous, helpful others. The Snow Mountain Ranch staff (coordinated and led by Marie Huston) couldn’t have been kinder or more accommodating! Trail conditions were superb, with good, solid tracks that made for great skiing, and the weather was positively balmy!
Besides the rewards and challenges of a week of skiing on great trails at altitude, we were also treated to a brand-new event at SFL International… shooting an audio-guided laser rifle with instruction and guidance kindly provided by representatives from the U.S. Association of Blind Athletes. Visually- and mobility-impaired participants engaged in target practice, alternating shooting with skiing, and felt exhilarated when they got more shots than they’d thought possible. This was made possible by an incredibly generous gift from veteran guide Svein Thorstensen from Norway, In an effort to bring the Ridderrenn’s biathlon experience to SFL.
The week’s off-trail highlights included a few dances (the last with a live band cranking out great tunes), a trivia night, and Wild West night, where some of us bravely mounted an increasingly irritable and violent mechanical bull, while the rest of us alternately dared others to ride, then groaned with and applauded for them when they fell off!
A golden on-the-trail moment for Yours Truly came the day the MIPs did our group ski on some of the less-traveled trails. The small handful of us and our beloved guides had paused in our skiing along a quiet stretch of track when we all heard the clear, high, sweet notes of a recorder arising from what seemed to be out of nowhere, serenading us with “Edelweiss” and another well-known melody. The crystalline notes fell into the awed silence of the moment… an evanescent stillness that spoke for us all. The minstrel was none other than my very own guide… the talented and incomparably witty Glenn Beachy!
“Yes,” I thought, back singing with Nancy and her guitar, moved and openly crying now:
“If I had a wish that I could wish for you,
I’d make a wish for sunshine all the while.
Here is an article that was published in the Juneau Empire shortly after the 2017 event. It does a good job of telling about the experiences at SFL of two first-time guides.
Many people who attended the SFL 2017 event in Colorado have posted individual photos as well as photo albums to the SFL Facebook page. If you are
not a follower, you may view the photos here
2017 Race and Rally Results
View or download the Olav Pedersen Race and Rally results (MS Excel format) from the 2017 event.