Staff Bios

About our team

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Phil Pugliese

Site Owner / Ski Tester

I started skiing in the mid-70s in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania; from then on, I found myself entrenched in the industry. I have worked in various ski shops from suburban to ski town to resort, giving me a well-rounded perspective on what skiers want from their gear. That experience was parlayed into my time on Epicski as the Review Editor and also consulting with manufacturers as a product tester. Along with being a Masterfit-trained bootfitter I am a fully certified self proclaimed Gear Guru. Not only do I keep up with the cutting edge of ski gear technology, but I am an avid gear collector and have an extensive array of bindings as well as many vintage skis.

Tester Info:
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 185 lb
Years Skiing: 40+
Days Skiing a Year: 90+
Home Mountains: Mt. Rose and Squawlpine Meadows
Preferred Terrain: Bumps, trees, steeps along with a well manicured groomer.
Skiing Style: Finesse with moments of power
Current Boots: Salomon S/Max 130

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Tricia Pugliese

Site Owner / Ski Tester

Skiing became my passion from the moment I turned 18; it was because of that passion that I volunteered at a small school in Northern Michigan to start up a learn-to-ski program for kids. A little over 25 years later, I moved to the Lake Tahoe Basin to make skiing my life and my career. I am still passionate about helping people enjoy their skiing experience, whether face to face or online. Besides being an owner, I am the site manager here on Pugski.com, and I review both hardgoods and softgoods for manufacturers. I am also a Masterfit bootfitter and a consultant to industry insiders about the importance of women's ski gear.

Tester Info:
Height: 5'6"
Weight: 135 lb
Years skiing: 30+
Days per year: 75+
Home Mountains: Mt Rose, Squawlpine Meadows, Arapahoe Basin
Preferred Terrain: Trees, of course, but making tracks in fresh corduroy brings a smile to my face, too.
Skiing style: Finesse
Boots: Lange RS 110 SC Dual Core
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When Phil and I are not talking about skiing, writing about skiing, or actually skiing, you might find us cooking, golfing, mountain biking, or enjoying a beverage with friends on the patio at Chez Ziggy.

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Susan Brown

Senior Editor

I have long felt more comfortable with skis on my feet than without. I grew up skiing in Colorado, graduated from CU-Boulder with an English degree, and for some reason immediately moved to Washington, DC. I actually used my English degree there, but I didn't ski very much. I worked as an editor at several organizations, including a newsletter publisher and a division of the National Research Council.

After moving back west in 2000, I ramped the skiing back up and now manage about 75 days each season, mostly at Copper Mountain, Arapahoe Basin, and the Aspen areas, but I have grown to love ski travel as well: Jackson Hole, Altabird, Taos, and Crested Butte are my go-to spots, and trips to Europe and Canada stand out as well. Since returning, I have worked both freelance and volunteer jobs, including resort and region editing for getskitickets.com, and compiling, editing, and publishing large catalogs and directories for our local school district. It has been a great pleasure to combine my love for skiing with my love for putting commas in the right place.

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Andy Mink

Ski Tester

About me: I've skied on and off since middle school and before in the 70s but picked it up more consistently after moving to Reno/Tahoe in '82. Slowed down for many years and returned with a vengeance during the '16-'17 season.

Tester Info:
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 225 lb
Years skiing: 40+ on and off
Days per year: 75+
Home mountains: Mt. Rose, Squawalpine
Preferred terrain: Groomers but getting more comfortable off-piste and various less-than-optimal conditions
Skiing style: Finesse at a moderate pace
Preferred ski characteristics: Narrower (<90) with good carving chops but expanding to wider as necessary
Boots: Head Raptor 140 RS

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Dave Petersen

Social Media, Graphic Designer and Vintage Ski Historian

Initially taught by my sister's boyfriend in the 1970s, I began my lifelong skiing adventure in the Midwest. Over the years I have enjoyed skiing numerous areas in North America and Europe, with Breckenridge, CO, being my home mountain resort.

I am an environmental graphic designer/freelance designer by profession. I graduated college with a double major in art and business administration, and with a minor in geology. As for hobbies (besides skiing) I enjoy travel, snowmaking, and collecting retro/vintage ski equipment and memorabilia. I am married, and we have a son who has been skiing since he could walk. My niece recently described me best: "Dave's love of mountains and snow is legendary."

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Ron

Ski Tester

About me: At 55 with more surgeries than you want to know about, I depend more on skills than muscle. I strive to ski efficiently.

Tester Info:
Height: 6'
Weight: 168 lb depending on Belgian beer consumption...
Years skiing: 24
Days per year: 60 plus
Home mountains:Steamboat, Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain, Loveland
Preferred terrain: Bumps, trees, steeps, powder, perfect groomers
Skiing style: Finesse
Preferred ski characteristics: A combination of fun and serious: damp but not dead, stiff but not a plank. The ski should flex consistently and ski balanced.I like a ski that can hold a carved turn or be released for controlled drifting in trees, bumps, and powder. I prefer skis with camber, low rise, shorter-run tip rocker, and very little tail rocker.
Boots: K2 Recon 120
Ski's: Liberty V92 (179), Liberty Origin 96 (187) and Stockli Laser Ax (175), Liberty Origin 112(184)

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FairToMiddlin

Ski Tester

I love testing skis! When I am not testing, I love skiing pow (that might be first, shhhh)! If those aren't available, I am happy to ski whatever the mountain has to offer, from easygoing terrain to butterflies in the the tummy. I spend a lot of time on SL skis; I am addicted to improving technique, and I crave the feedback they provide.

Tester Info:
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 190
Years Skiing: 20
Days Skiing a Year: 50-60
Home Mountains: Loveland, Copper
Preferred Terrain: Pow!
Skiing Style: Aggressive/technical
Current Boots: Fischer WC Race 150

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Draghtguy Kevin

Ski Tester

My passion for skiing intensified since moving to Colorado in 2007. Now, in my upper-40s, I ski 50+ days per season mostly at ABasin, Loveland, Copper Mountain and Aspen. Chasing snow and a cat trip or two help fill my season. To me, the ski day doesn't end when the lifts stop turning. Après done right only adds to a glorious day sliding on the snow.

Tester Info:
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 215 lb
Years skiing: 25+
Days per year: 50+
Home mountains: Arapahoe Basin, Loveland, Copper, Aspen
Preferred terrain: Bowls, trees, steeps, bumps; good groomers with a proper ski are a riot as well.
Skiing style: Aggressive with power and speed
Preferred ski characteristics: I favor skis with metal, camber, and flatish tails. I don't mind a touch of rocker but don't want a banana.
Boots: Fischer Podium GT 130 and Head Raptor 140 RS. Both with ZipFits.

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“T-Square” Terry Terry

MODERATOR

I am avid skier and ski instructor. As a kid, my parents opened doors for me to many things: I ran through some, and they threw me through others. When I was in 7th grade, Mom threw me through the door to skiing. (Thank you, Mommy.) The next year, my big Christmas present was double lace-up leather boots, straight wooden sticks, long poles, and safety bindings (they released the toe in both directions!) with windmill "safety" straps.

I skied through junior and senior high school and then took off 25 years for college and a Navy career. (There isn't much skiing on Guam or Midway Island.) I started back up in 1996 with my 30-year-old equipment -- which lasted about half a run. I then got used equipment, took a lesson, and rediscovered my love of skiing. A month later I hired on as a newbie instructor at Ragged Mountain. In fact, my first paycheck after retiring from the Navy was as a ski instructor. Teaching became a passion.

I fell into adaptive ski teaching my second season back; I just enjoy the challenge and the smiles. I am certified as a PSIA Level II Adaptive instructor and PSIA-E Master Teacher, and I teach at the Dartmouth Skiway. After recently retiring from my second career as a professional engineer, I now have more time to ski!

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SkiNurse

Ski Tester

I started skiing in 1984 in California, but I don’t think that any skiing I did counted until I moved to Colorado in 1991. My first ski testing was February 2015 at SIA. My bucket list this season includes more backcountry, Taos, and a heli trip to Silverton.

Tester Info:
Gender: Female
Location: Colorado
Occupation: Token short person
Height: 4' 13 1/2"
Weight: 120 lb
Years skiing: 30+
Days per year: 60+, which includes hiking for turns during summer
Home mountains: Copper Mountain, Loveland, Arapahoe Basin, Vail
Preferred terrain: Variable terrain with trees, chutes, open bowls, and little (key word) drops. Powder days, of course, are always the best, but I am happiest if I have skis on my feet, so a bluebird groomer day is ok by me, too.
Skiing style: Finesse
Preferred ski characteristics: I like a ski that is playful, but not wimpy. It has to be able to go wherever I want to go on the mountain. Through trial and error, I have found that I prefer skis 82 to 105 mm wide and 153 to 160 cm long.
Boots: Lange RS 110 SC

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ScotsSkier

Ski Tester

Tester Info:
Height: 5'7.5" (looks like I have shrunk 0.5 inches in last couple of years!!)
Weight: 165 lb.
Years Skiing: 52
Days Skiing a Year: 100-150
Home Mountains: Mt. Rose and Squaw Valley - Masters Race coach at both mountains
Preferred Terrain: race course, steep, deep
Skiing Style: aggressive, dynamic
Current Boots: Tecnica real deal WC plug
Occupation: USSA L200 race coach
Augment Skis Brand Ambassador

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Mendieta

MODERATOR

As the newest skier on our staff, I bring a fresh perspective to the group. I am a bit of a math nerd: a scientist by background and an engineer by choice. I spend a good part of my day dealing with mathematical problems, so I find life balance in arts and sports. I fell in love with skiing in the 2014-15 season, when I took my very first lesson on my very first day on skis and never looked back. I grew up playing basketball and soccer, and I have continued to participate in sports and coach kids as an adult.

I also love playing guitar and spending time with my wife and children. When I am not reading and posting about skiing technique and equipment, you will probably find me discussing wine and music in our non-ski forums.

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AmyPJ

Ski tester

Home mountain is Snowbasin, UT. I am a higher level intermediate skier who still gets tentative and straight up scared at times. 50 years old, 5'5”, 130+- pounds. I have skied approximately 100 days per season for the past 4 seasons. I suffered a tibial plateau fracture in 2015 while skiing that created some fear issues that have taken quite a while to resolve, and still creep in at times. I'm just beginning to link turns in crud and chop, and have started dabbling in moguls more this season. When not skiing, I like to mountain bike regularly in Utah, and in the past was a competitive equestrienne. I get a fair amount of coaching from @utskier, who I ski with regularly and is a PSIA Level III instructor.

Tester Info:
Height: 5'5"
Weight: 130
Years Skiing: 5 (with any regularity)
Days Skiing a Year: 90-100
Home Mountains: Snowbasin, UT
Preferred Terrain: Utah powder
Skiing Style: Finesse w/ a healthy dose of fear
Current Boots: Tecnica Mach 1 95 LV

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Jim Kenney

Travel Correspondent

I am a husband, father, former Navy civilian employee, current part-time defense contractor, and eternally unfulfilled ski-bum wannabe. A Washington DC-area native, I have skied recreationally since 1967, all while based in the snow-challenged Mid-Atlantic US. I began my ski writing and photography avocation in 2000 and since then have expressed the joy of skiing through hundreds of articles hosted by a variety of online websites and hardcopy publications. While I have visited close to 90 ski resorts in North America and Europe, I also enjoy the local hills in my home region, and my ski reporting garnered a West Virginia Division of Tourism’s Stars of the Industry Award for Best Web/Internet/E-Magazine Article.

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UGASkiDawg

Ski Tester

About me: I am the father of two USSA Alpine racers, both of whom are in their sixth year of racing. My nom de guerre is UGASkiDawg due to my passion for all things Georgia football and skiing. As a family, we travel around the state for races, and I have skied at every area in Colorado except Howelsen Hill and Granby Ranch (fka SolVista). My favorite places to ski are Snowwater Heli Skiing, Alta, Telluride, Crested Butte, and Aspen Highlands. I consider myself an advanced sometimes expertish finesse skier when my head is in the game. I learned to ski on old straight skis and still continue to evolve and adapt my skiing style to modern skis. I ski with my feet much too close together as my expert children are so fond of reminding me.

Because I prefer soft snow, I spend 80% of my ski time off piste and generally consider groomed terrain a necessary evil on the way to the goods. These new Kästle MX83s are making me rethink that, as I’m enjoying the groomed terrain a lot more. We will see if that keeps up as more terrain opens this year.

My favorite ski partners are my girls, but I don’t get many days with them as they are always training gates. I treasure the spring days after the race season with them at ABasin.

Tester Info:
Height: 5'10"
Weight:165 lb
Years skiing:27
Days per year: 50-60
Home mountains: Copper Mountain and Arapahoe Basin
Preferred terrain: Anything with soft snow
Skiing style: Finesse
Preferred ski characteristics: Of the skis I've owned, my favorites have been Line Prophet 100s and Blizzard The Ones, and my least favorite was the Rossignol B3. I just rebuilt my 2015-16 quiver to include Kästle MX83s and Blizzard Peacemakers.
Boots: Lange RS 130 with Booster straps

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Ziggy

2006-2019

You pee on one dirty helmet, and the rest of your life, you are labeled a dirty helmet pee'er. In my defense, the helmet was ripe -- and I mean ripe -- for a cleaning, anyway. Where do I fit into the picture? Well, the "Chez Ziggy" section of the forum was named after me.


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