Jan skied for the first time in her twenties at Camelback, where she was told to “point herself toward a hay bale” to stop. She has improved greatly since those days! For a while, she lived near Spring Mountain, where she skied frequently. She was the advisor of her local high school ski club and met people who started her on the journey with ski groups. Jan has been working with and escorting ski groups up and down the east coast and occasionally out west for more than 30 years.
Where did she achieve her impressive numbers this year? Where didn’t she ski might be a better question! Jan is someone you feel has “never met a stranger” and she has friends all over the country. Besides Blue Mountain, where she instructed twice a week, she skied, and in some cases escorted ski groups, to: Alta, Snowbird, Solitude, Deer Valley, The Canyons, and Park City in Utah. She skis with the FOG’s (“Friendly Old Guys”) in Solitude, one of her best-loved resorts, and has a season pass to Alta, her absolute favorite mountain to ski in Utah. She escorted groups to Stowe, Sugarbush, Jay Peak, Okemo, Mt. Snow and Killington in Vermont. In addition, Jan went to Mt Bachelor and Hoodoo, where the fog was so thick they had to ski in the trees. She also did some touring, which is walking uphill with skins on the skis before skiing down, with her sons. She did this twice at Teton Pass in Jackson Hole and across from Mt. Bachelor in Oregon. Locally, Jan skied at Jack Frost and Camelback and internationally, she visited Chamonix, France for 7 days, skiing three of the four areas there.
At the end of ski season, Jan trades her skis for a recumbent bike, and starts riding! This year, she left Utah April 5, spent less than 36 hours at home, and headed down to Florida to Bike Florida for seven days. She has ridden in RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) 14 times, which is 500+ miles across Iowa in the last full week in July. Some years, the temperature never went below 100 degrees! When asked if people typically lost weight during the week, Jan explained that often no, since the locals share their regional cuisine and beverages along the way. As one friend told her, “to train for Ragbrai, you drink and get back on your bike!” She has also biked half of the Coast to Coast Southern Route, biking 1,500-miles from Texas to Florida in three weeks, as well as doing rides in Idaho, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Delaware, New York, Michigan, and Maine. This summer she plans to do Bon Ton, a Fingerlakes bike tour, in July and possibly a bike tour in Wisconsin in September.
For 34.9 years, Jan was a special education teacher, working with children from 5 - 21 years old. She attended Millersville University for her undergraduate degree and has received master’s in counseling degrees from West Chester and Gwynedd-Mercy. While working for her tour group to escort the Ski Club from Lehighten School District to Killington, she met Lenny Steigerwald. He suggested she join the staff at Blue, which she did four years ago. She earned her Adaptive Level 1 pin this season, to go along with the Alpine and Children’s Specialist certifications she already had. She is working toward her level 2 in Alpine, and has already banked some of the skiing requirements.
Jan loves to visit her sons. One splits his time between working as a forest ranger in McCall, Idaho during the spring, summer, and fall seasons and living in Jackson Hole, Wyoming during the winter. The other lives in Seattle with his wife and two-year-old son, but the family is currently touring New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, and Arizona on a two month sabbatical from work. Her grandson is off to a good start of following Jan’s adventurous example! It’s easy to picture her taking him skiing or bike riding all over the country while making new friends along the way!
Sheri Miltenberger, May 2016
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Ready for the 4th of July!
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