October 17th 2015 - Written by: alison

CROP-fit: Holy Terror Farm Ski Training & Harvesting with Osprey Athlete Alison Gannett

I feel the chill in the air this week, watching the leaves turn, and suddenly everyone starts to talk about skiing/snowboarding. We can’t help ourselves — powder is just too addictive. Here at our homestead, Holy Terror Farm, we can ski and bike out our door AND still manage to grow and raise almost 100% of our own food.

At first I was worried that I wouldn’t be “training” as hard here in Paonia as I was living in Crested Butte. Little did I know how hard farming was! We joke daily about starting a new fitness trend – “CROP-fit” – hauling water, food, animals (weights!), weeding (yoga), herding dogs/animals (cardio). Farming like Little House on the Prairie involves using every muscle in the body, in a fantabulously comprehensive way. Ever tried lifting a 400 pound pumpkin?

Worried that you don’t have a farm for your training? Stay with me and I’ll give you my favorite ski/snowboard trick below.

Right now, we are harvesting about 2000 pounds of winter squashes.


I pick about 100 pounds of tomatoes a day, seed and core them, solar-cook them down to paste and then can them.

Back Camera

For winter preservation of zillions of peppers, I ferment them, dry them, or roast them.


Last week, our Scottish Highland cows met their maker and are now in the freezer, along with their much coveted fat which we use everyday – for cooking, chicken/dog feed, candles and soaps.


I’ve learned firsthand how our ancestors kept fit — and it didn’t involve a gym or any fitness gimmicks. Fitness was an inherent part of survival and life. Incredibly, now when I ski, bike or surf, I find myself even more all-over fit than when I was “training” in a less farm-focused manner and with no injuries.

But asked what my favorite quick way to get in shape for ski season, I will always resort to running in the mountains — preferably bounding downhill with a loaded pack (Osprey of course!). That simulates those muscles that contract when you are riding your board/boards and the extra weight make those muscles respond more vigorously.

You will know that you have achieved your plyometric training when you find it difficult to sit down or go downstairs. Voila – your first days of skiing/boarding will be a piece of cake now.

A silhouette of a woman hiker on the Biafo glacier in the Karakoram Himalaya in Pakistan

ALISON GANNETT is a self-sufficient farmer, World Champion Extreme FreeSkier, pro mountain Alison Gannett and Spot by Jim Brettbiker, award-winning global cooling consultant, and founder of the multiple non-profits. In addition to her busy careers as an athlete, athlete ambassador and keynote speaking, she runs her KEEN Rippin Chix Camps – women’s steep skiing, biking and surf camps around the globe, featuring Osprey Packs. She has starred in many movies, TV shows, and magazines receiving many awards for her work including National Geographic’s Woman Adventurer of the Year, Powder Magazine’s “48 Greatest Skiers of All Time” and Outside Magazine’s “Green All-Star of theYear” next to Leonardo DiCaprio and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Always an advocate of walking the talk, she has reduced her carbon footprint in half and has also spent half a lifetime working to make the world a better place. In 2010, she and her husband Jason bought Holy Terror Farm, beginning the next chapter of personal health and self-sustainability.

December 3rd 2014 - Written by: alison

Holy Terror Farm: Fall Harvest with Alison Gannett

I love and I hate farming. It all started with a quest to grow and raise all our own food five years ago. I even remember the last month I needed to actually go to the grocery store – April 2010.


Certainly there are a few key exceptions – coffee for my hubby Jason, chocolate for me, spices that we can’t grow, and life-maintaining Real Salt from Utah – for ourselves and the animals.


But back to the love and hate thing – I adore having this connection to our land, this feeling that we are doing something immensely important, and this incredible sense of self-reliance. Everyday I learn something new that my grandmother must have done her whole life.


She never had to figure out make all this garden/orchard/pasture bounty to last for months – to render lard/tallow, make butter, dry herbs and veggies, can tomatoes, ferment peppers/cucumbers, cure squash/pumpkins/nuts/shallots/onions/animal forages (corn, sunflowers, barley, wheat)….the list is endless.


The days are long, tedious, exhausting – feed, water, harvest, cook, feed, water, irrigate, harvest again, dry, preserve, freeze, jar, vacuum seal. When tasked with putting up all our food for the long winter, quitting is not an option. Skipping out for a bike ride and leaving the tomatoes to freeze and burst or the walnuts to be stolen by the squirrels he “inbox” is never empty.


But in the end, with the root cellar and freezers full of our 10 months of hard labor, we are pleasantly content to enter the long winter. Now finishing our fifth year, it has gotten a bit easier as we have figured out our ancestor’s systems. And while I wish we could take irresponsible vacations together more often, the “prepper” in me feels ready just in case.


In reality, I will most likely just have the world record amount of our farm food in all of my Osprey Packs (Transporters, Ozones, Snowplay) as I travel to my many KEEN Rippin Chix Steep Skiing/Adventure/Powder Camps this winter – Silverton, Crystal, Whitewater, Red Mtn and to anywhere the snow is DUMPING! Join me?

Think Snow!

August 22nd 2013 - Written by: alison

Live Every Day as if it Were your Last

Nothing like an alien brain tumor the size of tennis/baseball to spice up my summer! For the past two years, I had noticed that my coordination and memory were just not spot on, but I attributed it to stress and my insane work, play and farm schedules. But starting in February, things began to get very strange: First I fell asleep at the wheel about a hundred times from the Outdoor Retailer show to Silverton, Colorado. Then I forgot to pack entirely for my three week Canadian adventures and my KEEN Osprey Rippin Chix Camps at Crystal Mtn, Red Mtn and Whitewater. I ceased to pay all house bills, insurance or do any invoicing or sponsor updates and, what’s worse, didn’t even notice. I actually forgot to catch a plane to Reno where I was the keynote speaker for Microsoft and a roomful of CEOs. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was on June 30th when I almost burned the house down cooking our piggy’s bacon for breakfast. While I was oblivious to my actions and just moving through life like everything was normal, Jason was most definitely freaked out by my behavior. It was if there was another person who now inhabiting my body.

After I just about killed myself with the now infamous bacon incident, Jason called our local rural Paonia doctor and begged for something to be done immediately. Dr. Meilner obliged and called every hospital within a two hour radius to see who could perform a CAT scan at midnight on a Saturday night. Finally Saint Mary’s in Grand Junction could take us, and Jason coaxed my almost lifeless body out of bed and into our ancient Subaru. Strangely, the alien tumor made a potent move at that point, and about the last thing I remember was directing Jason to where the hospital was located. Next thing I knew it was two days later, I was suddenly entering surgery at the Ann Shutz neurosurgery center at University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora. I couldn’t understand why all my family had flown or driven in to see me — luckily I didn’t comprehend the papers I signed, as this surgery is most deadly (hence the sudden arrival of all the family). Next thing I knew, I woke up in the ICU, which was a scene out of the bionic woman TV show, and my brain was clear and sharp. Immediately I demanded my dental floss, much to the glee of the hospital staff, my friends and family, and especially Jason who had not left my side; my feisty normal self was back! Again, I had not known that many people take several years to recover their memories and often have partial paralysis, although I did have amnesia from the bacon moment onward and most of June was a more than a bit blurry.

I’ve been out of the hospital for just over a month now, and can’t believe how fast the recovery is — way easier than it was for eight ACL/meniscus/articular cartilage knee surgeries! I’m back to working planning the upcoming ski and bike seasons, which I love (thanks Osprey!), walking and hiking, lots of farm work and joyous harvesting, fracktivating and planning a big keynote speech next week for the EPA, The Whitehouse and The Green Sports Alliance. More than anything, I notice the wonderful little things in life — a great night’s sleep in a comfy bed, petting the dogs, eating our amazing food and kissing my amazing guy. I’ve reflected on how amazing my life has been — how I have gone after everything like it could have been my last opportunity. And even though I am a bit petrified for my full body PET scan and three spinal MRI’s on September 6th, I feel confident that my neurosurgeon, my naturopath and my naturopathic oncologist Dr. Nasha Winters and my Ketogenic Diet with the Namaste Health Center in Durango will take me to a whole new level of health and well-being. Cheers to this wonderful life — the sky is blue and there is a big puffy white cloud that is so pretty, and I’m actually able to go eat four squares of organic dark baking chocolate right now!

November 19th 2012 - Written by: alison

Finding The Perfect Moment in Pig Poop and Powder

Putting straw atop her compost pile on the farm. Photo courtesy The Denver Post

Alison Gannett is a World Champion Extreme Freeskier, founder of The Save Our Snow Foundation and an award-winning global cooling consultant who has spent her life dedicated to solutions for climate change.

A reporter asked me yesterday how I find time to shovel pig poop and run a farm with my busy schedule. In general, I avoid this job at all costs, but for some weird reason, I bonded with it this week and decided that it is extremely similar to skiing powder.


November 13th 2012 - Written by: Kelsy

Alison Gannett: A MoveShake Story

“We’re all dying deep down for a reconnection to something bigger.”

Alison Gannett is a mover and shaker to the core. A world-champion freeskier, Alison also runs three nonprofits, including the Save Our Snow Foundation, and inspires other women to fall in love with the outdoors by teaching them how to ski, mountain bike and surf with her Rippin’ Chix camps. On top of that, she’s a busy climate change consultant and speaker for businesses and audiences large and small. And more recently, she and her husband Jason, took the leap into farming the 75-acre Holy Terror Farm in Paonia, Colorado. Determined to walk the talk, she and Jason strives for 100% self sufficiency on the farm, taking big steps each year to make the world around them a better place.

May 18th 2012 - Written by: alison

Counting My Blessings After a Rough (and Dry) Winter In Colorado

Spring is here, and I’m currently building a new hoop house for the tomatoes at our farm, but I can’t help but thinking about powder today. Water is going to be desperately short here in Colorado this year for us farmers, and for those of us farming powder this past season, it was a bit of a rough winter. I’m usually the person that just misses every storm, and is stuck listening to everyone spout on about last week’s epic while I watch it rain. This year was different, maybe some good karma long overdue, or not, but regardless, I was beyond blessed on every ski expedition. Sixty-three feet of fresh in Silverton, too much snow to count in Canada at Red Mountain and Whitewater, then seven feet at Kirkwood covering almost all the rocky nastiness.

Me with my herd of Scottish Highland cattle. We move them everyday to fresh grass, improving the health of the cows and our fields. Photo by Halffro Productions

I hope some Osprey folks out there got some great turns in this winter, while staying safe in the scary backcountry. I was just demoing Osprey’s new sidecountry ski pack, the Karve — it’s so sleek and convenient. I am wearing that my Karve in the above photo. Best part, aside from the look, is that it contours so well to your back that you forget about it, and don’t even notice you have something on, even on the chairlift!

Editor’s note: Colorado, especially counties in the Northwest part of the state, is heading into what may be the worst drought in more than a decade — partly due to a much below average snowpack as Alison mentioned. Learn more about what you can do to help stop climate change over on Alison’s website.

Alison Gannett is a World Champion Extreme Freeskier, founder of The Save Our Snow Foundation and an award-winning global cooling consultant who has spent her life dedicated to solutions for climate change.

January 3rd 2011 - Written by: alison

New Year’s Resolution – Green to the Extreme?

This year has marked some of my greatest strides in moving towards a more sustainable life, as Jason and I bought a 75-acre farm in June, and have since grown and raised everything we needed for this year. Well, actually there are a few exceptions – coffee and chocolate for sure!

Read more about our quest in this wonderful Christmas feature article in the Denver Post

The great part about farming is that we don’t have to grow much in the winter – just lettuces, kales, herbs, chickens and pigs, which leaves plenty of time to SKI.

The backcountry skiing at and around the farm is excellent and I’m centered between Aspen, Telluride and Crested Butte for those dangerous avalanche days. I’ll also be traveling the country with my Global Cooling Tour, showing folks how to reduce their energy use/carbon footprint while also saving money. Or join me for one of my Rippin Chix camps, where you can demo one of Osprey’s stylish and organizing Kode snowsports packs or the game-changing Raptor mountain bike hydration packs.

Don’t forget your new year’s resolution – DOT – “do one thing” to help make a difference!


Whether your pack was purchased in 1974 or yesterday, Osprey will repair any damage or defect for any reason free of charge.