Articles by: Jan Brunvand

Add This Great Book About Skiing History to Your Bookshelf

Add This Great Book About Skiing History to Your Bookshelf

To Heaven’s Heights: An Anthology of Skiing in Literature It’s an eclectic mix of stories celebrating skiing as sport, transportation and more.  It’s for anybody who loves skiing – even reading about skiing. Many of the selections are nostalgic accounts of learning to ski, or descriptions of ski treks of long ago and far away. Others are exciting accounts of accidents,[Read More…]

by April 18, 2023 0 comments Other News
Jan Brunvand Turns 90!

Jan Brunvand Turns 90!

Congratulations to SeniorsSkiing correspondent Jan Brunvand on schussing into his 90’s! Enjoy Jan’s top ten reasons he enjoys being a senior skier.  (Originally published December 2017) #10. I have nothing to prove.  I don’t need to ski bumps, steeps or crud. It’s challenging enough just skiing blues at age 84. #9. Skiing impresses my non-skiing peers. When folks ask “Are[Read More…]

by March 23, 2023 11 comments Other News
Correspondent Jan Brunvand with his 1953 Studebaker Starlight coupe. In the background, early snow on the Wasatch mountains. Credit: Jan Brunvand

Still Searching for Stein’s Studebaker

It’s a known fact that the great, late skier Stein Eriksen bought a new Studebaker in April 1953 from the dealership owned by Everett Kircher, founder of Michigan’s Boyne Mountain ski resort, where Stein was working at the time. The unknown is which model he owned, and what happened to Stein’s Studebaker. I’m interested because my wife Judy and I[Read More…]

by January 26, 2023 7 comments Other News
Fifty-Five Years (So Far) of “The Greatest Snow on Earth”

Fifty-Five Years (So Far) of “The Greatest Snow on Earth”

Part Six: Jan and Judy Become Senior Skiers. We moved to Utah in 1966 when we were in our early thirties. We retired in 1996 in our early sixties, and now we are in our eighties, still skiing what is hyped as “The Greatest Snow on Earth.”  It’s a catchy slogan and mostly true. Many of our best skiing memories[Read More…]

by March 15, 2021 14 comments Features
Return To The Rockies

Return To The Rockies

Part Five: Jan and Judy Move To Utah Our residence in Illinois proved to be similar to grad school in Indiana. I progressed in my academic career, we had another baby, and (sigh) there was no skiing. But a phone call changed everything. At SIU-Edwardsville, we were renting from a colleague on sabbatical, and we had just started looking for[Read More…]

by March 9, 2021 0 comments Nostalgia, Ski History
Jan, Judy, Erk, 1962.

Moving To Indiana Then Idaho

Part Four: Jan and Judy Find Lots Of Places To Ski. We returned from Norway in 1957 and headed to Indiana University. We skied Caberfae near Cadillac, MI, a couple of times, but otherwise, our four years at IU were devoted to my studies and having Bloomington’s New Year’s Baby in January 1960. Where and when would we ever start[Read More…]

by March 2, 2021 7 comments Nostalgia, Ski History
Judy in powder on her new skis and outfit.

Skiing In Norway: 1956-57

Jan and Judy Get New Ski Gear, New Snow Adventures In A Land That Loves Skiing. After breaking her leg on our disastrous first ski date in Michigan, my wife Judy was still a bit stiff  in the left leg when we arrived in Norway in late June 1956 to begin my Fulbright-student year studying Norwegian folklore.  But we had[Read More…]

by February 22, 2021 9 comments Nostalgia, Remember When?
My Skiing in College

My Skiing in College

Our First Ski Date Didn’t Go Well. [Please consider supporting with a donation. We appreciate your help. Click here.] Growing up Norwegian-American in Lansing, MI, I was introduced early to skiing and became fairly proficient by my teens. When I entered college in 1951, I was ready to improve. I joined the Ski Cub at Michigan State College (not University then), and[Read More…]

by February 8, 2021 3 comments Nostalgia
Jan Brunvand, age 3

Growing Up Norwegian-American on Skis

A classic ski poster shows a blonde baby in a quaint wooden cradle, one outstretched hand holding ski poles, with a pair of skis protruding from the other side. The caption is “Norway. The Cradle of  Ski-ing.” This poster reminds me of my roots. I was on skis from before I can remember. An undated snapshot in the family album proves this.[Read More…]

by January 12, 2021 4 comments Nostalgia, Ski History
Miss Tweedie Goes Skiing In Norway

Miss Tweedie Goes Skiing In Norway

“Was ever anything so vexatious?” One of the most enthusiastic English Victorian tourists who made a ski trip to Norway was Mrs. Alec Tweedie, author of A Winter Jaunt to Norway (1893). Not only did she sketch a vivid picture of Norwegian skiing equipment, technique, and terrain, but she also reported on the second-ever Holmenkollen Day events. Mrs. Tweedie, then[Read More…]

by April 1, 2019 1 comment Ski History
In Praise Of Ski-ing

In Praise Of Ski-ing

When this passage (below) from The Mountains of Youth (1925) by Arnold Lunn was published, “skiing” still had a hyphen and “ski” was both the singular and plural form. Lunn (1888-1974) invented downhill and slalom racing, introducing them when the sport was mostly jumping and nordic racing. Lunn was knighted in 1952 “. . . for services to British skiing.”[Read More…]

by December 31, 2018 2 comments Ski Heroes
Alta. Credit: SkiUtah

Snow In Literature: Lesson #1

Utah Poet Offers Instruction And Advice For Beginners In Sonnet. The following loosely-rhymed sonnet is by Utah skier and writer Emma Lou Thayne (1924-2014). It appeared in her 1971 book Spaces in the Sage and was once printed on a ski poster sent nationwide to advertise Utah’s “Greatest Snow on Earth.” Thayne earned a master’s degree in creative writing from[Read More…]

by December 5, 2018 1 comment Nostalgia
How did a ski silly ski song to the tune of a classic melody wind up on a Folkways record which became a classroom classic?

My Career As A Folk Singer

An Undergraduate’s Parody Ski Song Led To An Academic Achievement.     As an undergraduate at Michigan State University in the early 1950s I joined the ski club, and I learned, among other things (like how to kick turn), a bunch of ski songs. We sang them driving up to Caberfae resort near Cadillac and apres ski in a local[Read More…]

by November 26, 2018 4 comments Remember When?
The Kircher Studebaker dealership in Detroit in the early 1950s. The car on the left is clearly a ’50 or ’51 bullet nose model, even though only the back of the car shows here. Those are the only years this model was made.

My Search For Stein’s Studebaker

Having A Studebaker In Common With A Legend Prompts A Sherlockian Pursuit. Stein Eriksen bought a new Studebaker in April 1953. That much is certain. I’d like to know which model Stein bought, what happened to it, and if there is a photo of Stein with the car. Why? Because my father-in-law bought a Studebaker that same spring, and my[Read More…]

by October 24, 2018 6 comments Nostalgia, Ski Heroes
The Flat Light Polka

The Flat Light Polka

It isn’t just senior skiers who suffer in flat light, but whiteouts may take a greater toll on our sometimes diminished vision and balance. Case in point: the few falls I’ve had in recent ski seasons were all in flat light conditions. One crash last February caused a minor injury and led to the realization that I shoulda known better.[Read More…]

by October 9, 2018 14 comments Features
Soft Skiing for Seniors

Soft Skiing for Seniors

When I heard of the book Soft Skiing I had to check it out. At age 84, that’s how I ski— with minimal effort, smoothly, cruisin’ the blues. The subtitle of this small paperback was encouraging: “The Secrets of Effortless Low-impact Skiing for Older Skiers.” The author, Lito Tejada-Flores, was “born at 13,000 feet in the Bolivian Andes,” and he[Read More…]

by January 14, 2018 6 comments Other News
A guy with the right attitude that I met at Deer Valley a couple of years ago. He told me he wanted to add to the message on his helmet, “ . . . but not today.

Top Ten Reasons I Enjoy Being A Senior Skier

#10. I have nothing to prove.             I don’t need to ski bumps, steeps or crud. It’s challenging enough just skiing blues at age 84. #9. Skiing impresses my non-skiing peers. When folks ask “Are you still skiing,” they mean “still” as in “At your age?” not “still” as in “Is there still any snow up there?” I try to[Read More…]

by December 11, 2017 21 comments Features
Novice Skier Loses It On The Slopes

Novice Skier Loses It On The Slopes

An Urban Legend From The World Of Skiing. Editor’s Note: Jan Harold Brunvand is a frequent contributor to An avid skier, he is a retired American folklorist, researcher, writer, public speaker, and professor emeritus of English at the University of Utah. Jan is best known for popularizing the concept of the urban legend, a form of modern folklore or story telling. Urban Legends[Read More…]

by November 20, 2017 7 comments Features
One page shows several days. Each image represents a separate day.

Creating Your Own Ski Season Photo Book

Start Now To Produce An Attractive Photo Book with Minimal Camera and Computer Skills. Many seniors keep track of their ski days, planning (or hoping) to ski their age each season. With a little more effort, and with minimal camera and computer skills, one can create an attractive ski-season photo book. I think my ski books, compiled for the past ten years,[Read More…]

by December 7, 2016 1 comment Features
Full Tilt boots: comfort, warmth, convenience.

Back to the Future With Full Tilt Boots

Rear Entry Boots For Comfort And Convenience. If you bring up the subject of ski boots among senior skiers, you’re bound to hear someone lament the demise of rear-entry boots or praise the old Raichle Full Flex boots (AKA Flexon Comps). Today when some oldsters need boot horns to get into their ski boots and boot jacks to remove them,[Read More…]

by October 7, 2016 12 comments Boots
Skiers are attracted to fly-fishing because of the skills, the outdoors, and the lore.
Credit: Jan Brunvand

Fly Fishing: Three Ideas For Getting Started

There Are Parallels Between Skiing And Fly-Fishing. Ski season is over; what now? Some turn to hiking, biking, tennis, or pickle ball. For me it’s fly fishing. The pursuit of wily trout with fake insects has things in common with skiing. Both involve exercising in beautiful places, both are great family activities, and both offer satisfying complications of gear and[Read More…]

by May 10, 2016 0 comments Features
Author compares patches with Richard Allen of Vintage Ski World . Credit: Jan Brunvand

History, Memories, Books, And More

ISHA’s 2016 Skiing History Week at Aspen. The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) and the US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame held their annual Skiing History Week at Aspen on April 5 – 10. My wife Judy and I attended, partly for the presentations, but also for the $32 day passes. How avid are people about skiing history? Very![Read More…]

by April 25, 2016 0 comments Ski History
Riding Coonskin Lift down at the end of a day. Credit: Jan Harold Brunvand

Road Scholars Ski Telluride

Wonderful Value With Close-to-Lift Lodging. “You can’t find a better value than Road Scholar” is their claim. My wife Judy and I decided to test it the first week of March with the Telluride program run for Road Scholar by the Mountains and Plains Institute of Fort Collins. The price of $1495 each seemed a bit daunting. But, when I[Read More…]

by March 28, 2016 0 comments Features, West
Here's a portion of a Roads Scholar group at Craftsbury Outdoor, VT.
Credit: Road Scholars

Have You Tried Learn-And-Ski Trips With Other Seniors?

Before Road Scholar, there was Elderhostel. My wife and I did 11 downhill learn-and-ski trips with Elderhostels from 1999 through 2009 when the programs were listed in a paper catalog, and registration was mailed in. We drove to most of the Western resorts from our home in Salt Lake City. For Tahoe and Winter Park, we took Amtrak, which was convenient,[Read More…]

by January 13, 2016 0 comments Destinations
Reviewer Jan gleefully shows off his $20 season pass for 75+ skiers.
Credit; Jan Brunvand

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Powder Mountain—Second Biggest Resort

Mega But Low Key Resort Close To Salt Lake City Has True Bargains For Seniors. Until this season Powder Mountain ski resort advertised, “More than 7,000 acres. The largest resort in the United States. A hidden gem.” Now that Vail Corp. combined Canyons and Park City Mountain Resort into 7,300 skiable acres, the claim of largest no longer stands. But[Read More…]

by January 6, 2016 4 comments Resort Reviews