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Skiing With My Idol

aspen-gondolaDo you have a ski idol? My parents worshipped Warren Miller and Suzy Chaffee. My daughter adored freeskier Simon Dumont, then Alex Schlopy, from her time at the Dumont Cup at Sunday River. My son idolized Shane McConkey. Me – Kim Reichhelm – so imagine my enthusiasm when my husband spotted her at après ski in Aspen, at the hip 39-Degrees at Sky Lodge.

kim-heather (1)I remember Kim from her time on the US Ski Team and the Women’s Pro Tour, 16 years racing. Kim is a most accomplished alpine skier, a two time World Extreme Skiing Champion and ski movie star going back to Greg Stump’s “License To Thrill”, and more recently Match Stick Productions “Sick Sense.” She’s currently a K2 ski tester and rep for Gorsuch.

kim-heather-aspenPinch me. She actually agreed to ski with us. Our ski day at Aspen Highlands was amazing, gorgeous snow, under Colorado blue sky and I was matching turns, following my new ski buddy (okay –my idol). Kim skis so fluidly, a real head turner (btw: she’s tall, slender and beautiful), and she’s hard to keep up with. But she’s no prima-donna, she’s friendly, fun and wants everyone to enjoy their time on the slopes. kim-heather-aspen2She talked to me about skiing “efficiently” – it wasn’t a harsh critic of my skiing, but it was a genius (and tactful) pointer, as I followed her trying to emulate her effortless style. She also mentioned in her subtle way that it’s important to stand tall on your skis, easy for her to say standing at 5’10”. Power is grace, and Kim skis with tremendous smoothness generated from her physical strength, her confidence and her ability to interpret terrain – quickly.

4snowmass-villageKim Reichhelm founded Women’s Ski Adventures in 1989, hosting guided ski trips at Vail and Alta, where she focuses on boosting confidence on the slopes. In 1995, Kim’s clinics expanded to coed Steep Skiing Camps, coaching advanced and expert skiers with Pep Fujas in Alta, Telluride, Silverton. Kim also guides skiing in Japan, and heli ski trips in Alaska, Chile, Greenland.

I love that Kim is a super strong female 1aspen-highlands-bowlskier. We need more Kims in the ski industry; women who ski phenomenally and want to encourage other women to overcome their alpine anxiety, ski better and go to exotic ski locales, to go heli-ski, and leave their fear behind.

Kim’s 2017 Women’s Ski Adventures:

Vail, Colorado January 9,12 March 6-9
Alta, Utah, February 7-10
Lake Louise, February 20-23

So I met my idol, and Kim Reichhelm was just as I had envisioned – kind, cool and passionate about skiing. BTW: she can ski heather-powder-vailthe pants off most guys. Some ski idols are super nice and approachable – others are in their fame bubble with no use for followers and fans. I have met Bode Miller, Warren Miller, Lindsey Vonn, Ted Ligety. Next on my list is Linsey Dyer. I hope you get to meet and ski with your idol. Who would that be? And where?

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Heather Burke, 2016 Copyright, Photos by Greg Burke, property of LuxurySkiTrips.com