Tag Archives: Ski with the Pros Weekend

Do you know our Pros? Meet Lel Tone- Worlds Top 10 Guides, Elite Level Paddle Boarder and Professional Avalanche Forecaster

 Do you know our Pros? Meet Lel Tone -One of the Worlds Top 10 Guides, Elite Level Paddleboarder, Professional Avalanche Forecaster and Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Weekend Supporter!

Lel Tone- how does one begin to describe one of the most accomplished individuals in the ski community?  We are beyond excited that Lel will join us as Ski Discovery this weekend.

When it comes to skiing, fitness, reality TV competitions—or just life in general—Lel Tone earns the highest marks in every discipline. She started skiing as a child in the Alps, then left Switzerland for the U.S. when she was ten. She began ski racing while in college in Vermont, and later migrated to Lake Tahoe, a place she now calls home between guiding gigs, fitness missions, and televised tests of wilderness endurance.

Check out Lel and Lysey Dyer shred some powder in Kashmir:

From Lel:  “Skiing seems to be the thread that has held my whole adult life together. I find it intriguing that the little moment, at the age of two, that my mom and dad helped me put on these little plastic skis that they bought at the grocery store in Switzerland would be such a defining moment for the path my life would ultimately take. 

I met my husband Tom, ski racing in college. We were on the same team and co-captained our senior year there. It is skiing that has played a central theme in my professional career choices.

During the winter, Lel throws bombs as an avalanche forecaster for Squaw Valley Ski Patrol, and navigates steep, complicated terrain as a lead guide in Alaska with Chugach Powder Guides and for Tordrillo Mountain Lodge.

As a child growing up in Switzerland, the mountains, always present, majestic and near, always around made Lel feel at home.  “As I’ve grown and changed over the course of my life they have taken on different meanings for me. They are a place devoid of judgment, they are a place of solitude and beauty, they are a place to push yourself and your limits, they allow me to just BE in the moment to see my life for the gift and miracle that it is. More recently the mountains have been a place that I can learn from and help teach others about. I hope they will never stop being an inspiration to me. “

She was named one of the World’s Top Ten Guides by Outside Magazine in 2014 and the Best Outdoor Guide by Sunset Magazine in 2015. Lel holds Level 3 avalanche certifications and is a licensed blaster in California. She is also an instructor with the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and the National Ski Patrol, as well as a certified EMT.

In the summers, she holds her own as an elite-level paddleboarder for Tahoe SUP and Teva. A multi-sport, multi-season athlete, Tone has competed in freeskiing competitions and professional mountain-bike races. In 2015, Tone harnessed this competitive streak as a member of the winning Endurance team on National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Survival Alaska.

The most important thing to remember when in the mountains is humility.  Mother Nature calls all the shots. Period. The mountains don’t care about your goals, your agenda, and your ego. We must be prepared, be smart, try to make sound decisions and be ready when the timing is right and the mountains allow us to do what we desire.”

While researching Lel, I was struck by her quote on FB :

“The greatest thing I learned in my 8th grade Latin class was “Carpe Diem”, to “Seize the Day”….It is a small concise phrase that has had a tremendous effect on my life. It reminds me every day to appreciate every moment we have on this amazing planet. To make every precious second count. I see this most clearly when I am spending time in the mountains, It is what has motivated me to find a way to live, work and play in them. I feel so fortunate to have a job that allows me to share that joy, that appreciation… that time in the mountains with other people.”

See you this weekend Lel!

 Info on Lel from:

(From <http://team.eddiebauer.com/post/125271969720/lel-tone-skiing-guide-more>)

(From <https://coolerlifestyle.com/features/this-is-me-lel-tone.html#8w0KMgT4i6tuTumY.97>)


Do you know our Pros? Meet Claire Smallwood -Epic Skier, Executive Director and Co Founder of SheJumps *PLUS* a Private Chef

Do you know our Pros? Meet Claire Smallwood -Epic Skier,  Co Founder and Executive Director of SheJumps *PLUS* a Private Chef…

The Billy Poole Foundation is thrilled to welcome the one and only Claire Smallwood to Ski with the Pros Weekend this year!  Claire is not only a legendary skier, but she is also a demigod in the field of women’s empowerment.

Claire is a brilliant business woman who can not only speak four   languages (yes! 4!), ski like a superhero, create and conduct amazing outdoor skills programs for women of all ages, but also bring to life amazing culinary delights as a private chef.

Claire, Lynsey Dyer, and Vanessa Pierce founded SheJumps (501c3) in 2007 with a vision to rally all the phenomenal women of the outdoor sports world to create a network – and environment -designed to provide opportunities for women that may not have the ability to build their outdoor skill set on their own.   That discussion over coffee has since morphed into a 51-person team, including 45 volunteers around the country, working to introduce women and under-served kids to skiing and other sports.

“What inspires me about my work with SheJumps is the chance to create opportunities for women and children who would normally have none, and to plant the idea that it is possible to live an adventurous and inspiring lifestyle, no matter who you are or where you come from.”

Part of the allure of the outdoors is the mutual admiration and respect outdoor enthusiasts have for the call of the wild.  Claire understands both the intoxicating aspects of Mother Nature, as well as its unpredictable. crazy whims.  SheJumps programs are designed to instill both the love of the grandeur and the critical respect that nature demands. Life skills are taught in all SheJumps programs which prepare people for the crazy twists & turns life will throw your way – indoors and outdoors.

Through both SheJumps and her own ridiculously fun self,  Claire embraces the outdoor community, shares it with all she meets and clearly serves as one of its revered ambassadors.

Wise words from Claire –




“Don’t be so scared. I wish that I’d gotten more encouragement to say, ‘It’s OK to do this and fail.'”




So when not running SheJumps, Claire has another passion  – creating delicious meals.   There is nothing better than bringing people together with food.  Sharing stories after a great adventure with great people while enjoying a meal is a highlight all its own.

There’s a lot to be learned from making desserts:

 Combining sugar, butter, and flour teaches you the tenets of a good life: “Stay organized, put some love into it, dream big, have fun, and don’t forget to clean up your mess.”

Thank you again for joining us for the 2017

Billy Poole Ski with a Pro event at Ski Discovery!!

Do you know our Pros? Meet Galen Bridgewater – Banked Slalom & Freeride Competitor, Pro Snowboarder & Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Regular!

Meet Galen Bridgewater –  Banked Slalom & Freeride Competitor, Pro Snowboarder & Billy Poole Ski with the Pros Regular!


Galen Bridgewater, simply put, inspires smiles and happiness!   A regular at the Billy Poole Foundation’s Ski with the Pros Weekend, and vehement enthusiast working to empower today’s youth,  Galen immediately wins the hearts of everyone she meets.  Her love of the sport and unbridled excitement is clear as she boards with our kids and mentors.   She innately encourages everyone to up their game. (This is partially due to the fact that she’s the fastest snowboarder out there)  From first time riders, to those who have boarded for years, Galen inspires everyone to challenge themselves and go for just that little bit more.


Galen is wildly in love with the art of snowboarding. She splits her time between the beautiful and wild states of Montana and Alaska, and exudes a work hard to play hard ethic. As a child her parents moved her cross country twice a year to follow their dreams of being ski professionals, immersed her in the mountain life and taught her all the lessons that come with it. As she grew her focus on ski racing and big mountain skiing shifted to snowboarding. Now, Galen’s focus and riding are sharper than ever.

After numerous podium finishes from Freeride World Qualifiers and the banked slalom scene, Galen has set her sights on a new stage, the MT/AK backcountry and developing youth snowboard programs.

“I love snowboarding, for me, it is like a dance. Every time I strap in there’s a new song playing and so many beautiful ways to interpret and ride down these magnificent mountains. I would like to share this passion (as it was shared with me) to more kids in need. Eventually, I would like to develop some wilderness snowboarding therapy for the underprivileged kids here in my community.”

We cannot wait to see Galen and dance with her at our event on February 3 & 4th.

Galen, with roots in the Mad River Valley of Vermont, chilling with another participate that also happens to be from the Mad River Valley!

See you in less than two weeks Galen!