I’m not a big gift-exchange person [I think the last gift I got from a loved one was when my (ex)boyfriend gave me a picture of a piece of jewelry he said he intended to buy me (and didn’t)], but gift guides are expected from a blogger these days. My advice is to know the person to whom you’re giving a gift well enough to know what it is they would like. There are tons of gadgets and gear and stuff to buy for people; I’m sure you can come up with something.

Now that that’s out of the way, if you’re shopping for me, you might need a little help. Maybe people don’t buy me gifts because they don’t know what to get me, so I should help out a little with a wish list. (Note: I really don’t want anyone buying these gifts for me. Except number 10, that would be OK):

1. Kitchen knives.
You all know I don’t cook. But maybe I would if it weren’t so life-threatening to slice a tomato with my dull, lame, plastic-handled, serrated kitchen knives. Do you know how much good kitchen knives cost? I could buy Dynafits for that. There’s no chance I’ll spend Dynafit money on kitchen knives, but if I got kitchen knives as a gift, I’d be stoked because I’ve always wanted them. No one would ever think of buying kitchen knives for me since a) I’m outdoorsy so people think I want outdoorsy stuff (and they’re right) and b) I don’t cook. Vicious circle.

2. Driveway clearing service.
I’ve never paid anyone to clear my driveway. I turn the hose on the neighborhood kids when they ring my bell, asking to shovel for money. Why spend good money on that? I just do it myself, it’s good for my back, right? You know what’s also good for my back? Not having to shovel the driveway so I can go ice climbing instead.

3. Ski photo shoot. Going out into the backcountry with Hagephoto or Charlie Renfro with the sole intention of getting cool ski pictures of myself would be rad. I have one picture of myself skiing, taken by my friend Scott Fennell four years ago on my first season back on skis after my painful and debilitating knee scope. It’s a cool picture but less than extreme. I‘m not counting this one as a ski picture. Seriously. I’ve been skiing since I could walk,* and I have ONE picture of myself skiing. This is a pretty lame state of affairs. How can I decorate my house with awesome photos of me skiing if I don’t have any?


I don’t count this as a ski picture either, since my skis are no longer on my feet.

4. A ski or bike lesson. That picture above made me think of this one. Seriously, three pictures of me doing ski-related things and two of them are of me fucking up. Evidently I need lessons, but I would never spend money on this. OK, not “never” but “rarely.” I want to continue to get better at my favorite sports, but my inner cheapskate holds tight to the idea that if I just keep doing the sports, I’ll get better by osmosis, which is really kind of true. But I’ll get better even faster with a coaching session or two, or ten.

5. A weekend getaway I have no control over.
Even when I travel for fun it’s usually for work. I like adventure and can’t resist adding some extra level of difficulty to any trip I take, so getting an expenses-paid, no-optioning-allowed, fixed-itinerary weekend to myself would be awesome. It would be like a press trip without the mandatory post-trip writeups (which I’d probably do anyway. You should take my MacBook away when you send me on this trip).

6. A ski patroller. Evidently they auction them off occasionally (I suspect it’s how they get punished for accidentally cracking a smile on the chair lift). How did I not know about this? I could have gotten one years ago, they’re good for lots of stuff.

7. Ski and bike tuneups. It’s not that I don’t know how, it’s just that I don’t WANT to. Do it for me, major points. Hell, take my bike to the shop and have them do it for me, I’m fine with that too. I dream of perpetually waxed and tuned boards; clean, working deraileurs; perfectly cut skins; all my gear where I can find it (OK, I know that technically I can find it if it’s tossed on the chair in my bedroom, but “put away” works too, and it’s all that much better if I don’t have to do it myself).

8. Lead climbing.
I really like ice climbing, but, you know, I have really nice teeth. I endured years of humiliating braces in high school and I keep up on my whitening treatments, and now my teeth are so good that every time I go to the dentist, she clucks, shakes her head, and says “wear your seat belt!” So I like to ice climb but I don’t like it THAT MUCH. Not enough to make that sort of sacrifice. If you really don’t want to spend any money on me this holiday season, you could always just lead all the hard pitches.

9. A flat screen. I don’t have a television. I don’t have cable. I don’t care about it and I don’t want it. But every now and then I just want to watch Brad Pitt’s love scene in Thelma and Louise or the volleyball sequence in Top Gun (oh, just go watch, it’s even better when it’s in Italian even though I didn’t notice that the first three times I watched it) in all their big screen glory. High-def and 3-D is too weird, but life size would be all right. Honestly, I’d probably use this thing once a month, but I’ll never buy it for myself, so what a coup to find a 52″ in my stocking, right? Okay, no, I don’t want this (I sorta do) but I can’t think of anything else and I have to finish the list with:

10. Heli-skiing. Taking myself heli-skiing seems a ridiculous extravagance. Dedicating an entire mortgage payment to one day of skiing when I could just hike my ass up to the top myself is way too self-indulgent. But if someone else wanted to take me heli-skiing, I could totally justify it because it’s just mean to make THEM hike all the way to the top.

I hope that list helps out any intrepid gift buyers. If you’re still stuck on what to buy me or someone you actually know in person, try checking out Columbia’s new line by clicking on the ad below. I don’t get paid per click or anything, but they did sponsor this blog post because they are just plain awesome.