Jason Albert

HomeAuthor Jason Albert

Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.
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Something a bit different on the podcast today. In the spirit of high mountains and the autumn season which is often the time many seek any iteration of mountain film. During normal times, we flock to touring mountain film festivals to celebrate. You know, solid storytelling and vibrant images to help us dream a bit bigger. Some of you may have already watched LHOTSE, a film featuring ski mountaineers Hialree Nelson and Jim Morrison as...

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Last week Matt Futterman of The New York Times wrote two stories of interest to readers of FasterSkier. One piece was titled “Winter Sports Athletes Are Crisscrossing Europe for Races. Is That a Good Idea?” Futterman advanced this story on Twitter with the following statement: “It’s a really strange moment for the Olympic winter sports schedule to begin. All you have to do is everything medical experts have been telling us to avoid.” It’s a really...

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  Within my pay-grade back in November 1993 was the cost of a weekend pass to the renowned Banff Centre Mountain Film and Book Festival. Living in Northwest, Montana at the time, the drive north and across the border and up to Banff was a streamlined affair. Beyond my means, however, a warm place to stay near Banff. Even back then, the somewhat tony Canadian town had a posh flare. So a friend and I...

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When we began this series, The Escape, we imagined it would be a slippery slope. It turns out the slope is blue-ice slick. Cabin-lust is real.   This past spring, just as Covid-19 began making headlines in the U.S., one of the best treat makers on the planet, Zoë Roy, was chef at Talus Lodge. Roy, along with a friend who is rumored to ride bicycles in all forms, settled at the lodge for approximately two-months...

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  “I train because I like to race but I also train because I enjoy it, so I never took a pause,” said Kris Freeman from his New Hampshire home. That’s straight-up Freeman. Focus. Intensity. A plan. Even during COVID. Let’s face it, enjoying the process became a necessity for many as public sporting events have been mostly cancelled since mid-March. Six feet distant, mask-wearing, hand-sanitizing have become as much a part of our daily...

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FOMO: Fear of missing out. FOMO through the lens of envy is probably not the way to thrive. FOMO through the lens of seizing the day, on the other hand, has a lovely ring to it. Chad Salmela: biathlete, skier, running coach, forever linked with “HERE COMES DIGGINS”, husband, and parent. He is also the lone member of his family of four without a Finnish passport, although he has Finnish ancestry. His wife, Mimmu, hails...

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When the country began shutting down in March, sporting good retailers initially shuddered. It appeared many if not all sectors of the economy would bottom out. “Everything was dicey in February and starting early March,” said Boulder Nordic Sport (BNS) founder Nathan Schultz about the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. I was about to head off to Italy for the World Masters to wax there. Everybody in the Midwest was getting ready for the World...

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Thirty two years old and wise as wise can be. Clare Egan brings a calm intellect to the sport of biathlon. Speaker of many languages and head of the International Biathlon Union’s athlete committee, Egan is respected by her peers for on-snow performances as well as her leadership in the IBU board room. We spoke to Egan earlier this month as she was training in Antholz, Italy with U.S. women’s head coach Armin Auchentaller. The...

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With the ever-evolving nature of the pandemic, two months out from our article titled “Covid-19 Trends and Early Season World Cups“, we thought it an appropriate time to review Covid-19 trends in Europe. If the International Ski Federation chooses not to modify Period 1 and Period II on the World Cup, Finland, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy will host already calendared events. In early June, when we first examined Covid-19 in those countries, the overall...

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A clean slate cancelation of U.S. Ski & Snowboard’s cross-country national racing calendar. That’s a piece of the collateral damage in the niche world of domestic ski racing. The cancellation includes SuperTour, U.S. National Championships, SuperTour Finals, and the Junior National Championships. We’ll get to how these races may be replaced in a moment. First, U.S. Ski & Snowboard set forth a series of bullet points regarding the reasoning and considerations for the wholesale cancelation....

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For skiers and race organizers, remaining nimble and realistic are keystone 2020 attributes as the global pandemic commands our attention. Amidst the disruption, the New England Nordic Ski Association (NENSA) remains committed to organizing races for the 2020-2021 season. Justin Beckwith, Competitive Program Director at NENSA, said the aim is clear during uncertain times: under-promise and over-deliver.  As a case study, New England poses several challenges. Geographically several states with differing Covid-19 mandates share borders...

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This won’t be easy. Seeing a “normal” World Cup season go down will take considerable coordination, stakeholder buy-in to behavioral modifications aimed at community wellness not necessarily individual needs, and broader control over the spread of Covid-19. Here in the U.S., the major sports, NBA, WNBA, NHL, MSL, and MLB, have opened their respective seasons. The models for each league differ, the NBA maintains a relatively strict bubble, whereas the MLB chose a more lax...

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In this episode of Nordic Nation, we speak all things trail design with John Morton. Based in Vermont, and global in perspective, Morton provides insights into the literal ups and downs of trail design and how full-blown nordic centers and small scale trails can bring a modern vibe to an old-school sport. He runs Morton Trails locally but has a global reach with projects based in China. His most recent trail work at Paul Smith’s...

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Keen on speed and the full complement of waxes to juice the skis? Then you’ve likely noticed the “full complement” has become markedly reduced in recent years when considering perfluorinated products. Further, PFOAs or C8 (eight chain) fluoro compounds were effectively banned in the EU as of July 4, and are no longer available for most uses in the U.S., including ski wax. Older waxes formulated with C8 are considered the most effective at repelling...

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In the thick of the elite winter sport scene for more than 25 years. That would in part define Luke Bodensteiner. He strung together an Olympic cross-country ski career and ended his over two-decade stint at U.S. Ski & Snowboard as their Chief of Sport. For roughly the past year, Bodensteiner has worn two hats at the Utah Olympic Legacy Foundation (UOLF): Chief of Sport Development and GM of Soldier Hollow (SoHo), the cross-country and...

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Matthias Scherge is the director of the Fraunhofer  Microtribology Center in Germany. As one of the major European research institutes specializing in industrial lubricants, Scherge and his colleagues have a hand in the ski wax game. Currently, Scherge is assisting the International Ski Federation (FIS) to implement its fluoro-free policy. Specifically, they are determining the thresholds at which a positive or a negative test will be triggered when testing a ski base for fluoros.   Scherge...

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FasterSkier interviewed Constance Beverley, the CEO of Share Winter, last week. Share Winter is a non-profit focused solely on providing access to snowsports to a more diverse community of children. As Beverley states in the interview, the primary goal is to share winter. Beverley was part of U.S. Ski and Snowboard’s virtual panel: “Discussing Racial Diversity In Snowsports” This interview has been edited for length and clarity.   FasterSkier: Can you tell me a bit...

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Mid-Summer and mid-fishing session, we connected with Great Britain’s Andrew Musgrave near his home in Trondheim, Norway. Musgrave underwent surgery on both Achilles tendons recently and is on the mend. In this episode, we discuss his comparatively down season last year, his plans to remain healthy, and how excited he was during the interview to spot what he described as a weasel swim past. If you are new to the podcast, FasterSkier, or Musgrave…here’s some background....

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Last week, FasterSkier connected with Ben Popp, Executive Director of the American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF) based in Hayward, Wisconsin. It’s mid-July and needless to say, some of our readers are already thinking about the 2021 Birkie. Amongst the topics we discussed were the possible modifications for that marquee race and how the organization is preparing for several possible scenarios. We also touch upon the ABSF’s agreement to purchase and develop Telemark Lodge.      FasterSkier:...