Duo aims to ski all 12 months before 2012

By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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Diane Giuliani thought it would be fun to be able to say she skied every month of the year in the Golden State. With a year of record snowfall and her ski buddy of 25 years, Peggy Reis, by her side, Giuliani decided this year could be the year to make it happen. So far, Reis and Giuliani, 54, of Colfax have gone eight for eight. In June and August, they had to get a little creative and do some backcountry skiing, but the pair said they don’t mind having to go off the beaten path. “In some ways I guess it’s more fun because you are completely isolated and you don’t have the buzz of the ski resort,” Giuliani said. “It’s quiet. It’s serene.” Away from most of civilization, Giuliani said she and Reis get a chance to chat about life, not to mention a brutal workout. “It’s also kind of more of a full-body workout. You are just working so hard,” Giuliani said. “You are climbing up hills. We just go because we want the exercise.” The skiers have to traverse rocks and sun cups in their quest to conquer the backcountry. Both women are accustomed to taking the path less traveled though. After surviving breast cancer last year, Giuliani decided to take a more alternative path to her health. She switched to a plant-based diet. Thrilled with the results, Giuliani decided she wanted to make sharing nutrition with others her life’s work. “It gives me energy. I’m not feeling weighed down by animal products,” Giuliani said. “Internally I feel so much better.” In a few weeks the wife and mother of two will complete her certification in Holistic Health Coaching from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She is completing additional training through a program at Cornell University in plant-based nutrition. Giuliani is part of a team that is starting a non-profit organization for cancer patients and survivors called Wellness Within, set to open soon in the Auburn-area. Until then she is coaching clients locally and helping to teach nutrition classes in Colfax. Reis, a cardiac nurse from Chicago Park, has climbed a peak on every continent (all over 18,000 feet) with her husband Tom Holdrege. Reis said while the skiing feat certainly isn’t one for beginners, her experiences with mountaineering and backcountry skiing have prepared her for it. She and Holdrege have explored the Fiords in Norway and skied in the Tyrolean Alps in Italy. Even with all their world travels, they are still enchanted by the adventure California has to offer. “We had such a high precipitation year. I’ve always wanted to ski every month of the year. I have friends in Colorado that live near the high elevation peaks who have done it,” Reis said. “I work three days so I can ski Monday and Tuesday.” With a few more months left in the year, Giuliani is confident she and Reis will go twelve for twelve before 2012. “I can always count on her. She is always ready to go,” Giuliani said. “She doesn’t him and haw.” Reach Sara Seyydin at