Erika’s Birthday Blog


West Yellowstone sunset over the Rendezvous ski trails

From the time I was 12, I have spent nearly every Thanksgiving and, consequently, every birthday, in the beautiful West Yellowstone, Montana. Today I turn 25, a quarter of a century, and although some might miss being at home with friends and family, a ski festival birthday has it’s perks.

1. More birthday wishes!

West Yellowstone offers some of the best early season skiing in North America and attracts hundreds (maybe even thousands) of skiers to the trails. First-timers, old veterans, racers, coaches, the young and the old(er) flock to West Yellowstone making for a huge crew of birthday well-wishers (in addition to providing ideal conditions for agility practice).

The Rendezvous ski trails are the literal rendezvous point for hundreds of skiers this time of year. Skiing and social hour!

The trails buzz with excitement as skiers take their first snowy strides of the winter, and, thanks in part to Facebook, nearly everyone on the trail wishes you Happy Birthday! Nothing like the constant hum of birthday hugs and wishes to make you feel special:)

2. Lots of snow!


Goob playing around in some fresh POW!

Snow happens to be one of my favorite parts of winter and West Yellowstone (usually) has a lot of it. This means that I can ski, build snowmen, make snow angels and throw snowballs to my heart’s delight and finish the day with hot chocolate and mini marshmallows.

About a 1:1 ratio of hot chocolate to marshmallows

Some might consider November to be a little grey and dreary, but in West Yellowstone, a November birthday means playing in that fluffy white stuff all day.

3. Presents galore!

Fresh poles, gloves, boots and skis galore! Many of the major ski companies send representatives to West Yellowstone for the annual ski expo which means stickers for days and also new equipment for the season. A West Yellowstone birthday means I get to try out my new Fischer skis and Swix poles, test my Toko gloves and Swix long underwear against the frigid temps, cruise the trails in some new Salomon boots, and show off our sweet PodiumWear suits. So many presents!

Annie showing off a bouquet of new Swix Triac Poles 2.0 and some fancy new Toko gloves! Thanks to Swix, Toko, Salomon, and Fischer for the presents !

Being in West Yellowstone for my birthday also means I get to spend the day with some of my favorite people and do that thing I love most…ski!

The #Annies on Annie street in Bozeman…maybe one of the best birthday “presence” around 🙂

We have a few more training days here before the SuperTour and first races of the season begin on Friday. The competition looks solid with some Canadians traveling down to compete and many other strong American skiers. We kick off the weekend with a skate sprint followed by a skate 10km (15km for men) individual start race on Saturday. First though, some birthday cake and a few more powder-filled adventures under sunny skies.

For those still searching for the perfect gift, check out the Women’s Sports Foundation Face-Off Challenge! The WSF is helping cover some of my travel and training expenses this year and looking to grow the fund for future female champions. Annie and I did our own face off in the gym today in honor of the event…

Preeeetty intimidating!



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