When he's not traveling the world resuscitating homes, This Old House host Steve Thomas is most likely skiing with his wife, Evy, and 15-year-old son, Sam. Thomas averages 50 days a year on the slopes, ranging from his home area of Sunday River, Maine, to more exotic locales, such as Valdez, Alaska. Thomas first skied as a 7-year-old in Southern California, but he didn't get serious until seven years ago, when he became obsessed. By hiring a ski coach at Alta, Utah, and cultivating an equipment quiver that includes almost a dozen pair of skis, Thomas has become a first-class skier and gearhead who is just as comfortable discussing base bevels as floor joists.
Born Nov. 14, 1952
Laying The Foundation "My big break came when I got into a pair of Strolz boots with a 3-degree cant. They probably have 100 hours of bootfitting in them. I don't care what they cost. They changed my life. I also tune all my skis. All skiers should learn how to do it. I'm even fanatical about pole length and weight, the grip, the gloves, all of it. This is a gear-intensive sport¿you have to invest in it."
Simply The Best "I don't know of any sport better than skiing, especially for families. I tell my son, 'You don't need to use drugs, you need to make turns.'" Thomas has solo sailed the Pacific seven times and the Atlantic once, but says a recent family heli-skiing trip in the legendarily steep Chugach was "an experience I wouldn't trade for anything."
White Nights "I dream about skiing every night when I'm working on the road, staying in some hotel. You're lying there in the polyester sheets thinking about the day that you had thigh-deep powder on High Rustler, the day you spent eight hours in the white room. It's about feeling 100 percent alive."
This Old Mountain House? "I've been trying to talk our executive producer into doing something in a ski town for years. He looks at me and says, 'I don't ski.'"