Articles by: John Nelson

Maura Grady of Ski Butlers adjusts the bindings on Rossignol Soul 7 HD skis, one of the models the company offers. Credit: Jon Nelson

Jeeves, Bring Me Some Skis…

…And Boots. Ski Butler Service Takes The Schlep Out Of Ski Vacations.  I’ve always wanted a butler. After watching all of those episodes of “Downton Abbey,” who wouldn’t? And like the wise and efficient Carson on that popular TV show and movie, Ski Butlers offers an indispensable service, making the lives of traveling winter recreationists a whole lot easier. Ski[Read More…]

by January 22, 2020 0 comments Gear
Skiing off the top of Wolf Creek, with Alberta Peak in the distance. Credit: Samual Bricker courtesy of Wolf Creek Ski Area.

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Wolf Creek—The Snowiest Surprise

This Resort Has All The Characteristics Senior Skiers Love. It was a powder day at Colorado’s snowiest resort when we pulled in. Where were the crowds? Not here, they were in places like Aspen, Vail, and Winter Park. “There are maybe 500 people here,” said our shuttle driver. “Have fun!” Wolf Creek Ski Area is a delightful throwback situated on the[Read More…]

by February 25, 2019 1 comment West, Resort Reviews
Ski Host Carlan Silha is fit and fortunate to ski so many days at 74.
Credit: John Nelson

The Archetype Senior Skier? This Guy Sure Looks The Part

74 Year Old Long Time Ski Host Books 120 Ski Days A Year At Big White. Jealous? It might seem strange that an American from the Spokane area knows this sprawling British Columbia ski resort better than just about anyone. Carlan Silha has been serving as a snow host at Big White for 20 years, longer than anyone at the[Read More…]

by February 6, 2018 0 comments Destinations, International
Duwamish River, looking to downtown Seattle, used to meander through the salt marsh.  
Credit: John Nelson

Cycling Series: Around Old Seattle

Biking With A Mission: Hit The Historic Parts Of Town. Editor Note: You can download a cue sheet for this “Forgotten Seattle Bike Tour” by clicking here which will take you to correspondent John Nelson’s blog.  It turns out the bicycle is a great time machine. I recently devised a tour to take in some of Seattle’s most famous historic[Read More…]

by June 4, 2017 0 comments Features
Fred Frost, 74, skis 35,000 - 40,000 vertical daily.

Super Seniors Rack Up Vertical at Whitefish Mountain Resort

Up the mountain he goes, down the mountain he goes. Repeat, endlessly. Fred Frost, 74, is a marvel of skiing stamina, regularly racking up more than 4 million vertical feet per season at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Frost is among the many hard-charging senior skiers at the Montana resort who take advantage of a free-ticket policy for anyone older than 70.[Read More…]

by March 8, 2017 2 comments Other News
Ready to ride on a firm day at Stevens Pass. Credit: John Nelson

Gear Review: K2 Pinnacle 105

Big-Mountain Lovers Won’t Find A Better Age-Busting Ski. By age-busting, I mean the K2 Pinnacle 105. makes everything easier — and it made me feel about 20 years younger. The Pinnacle 105 is on’s list of best Big Mountain skis for seniors in the West. If you’d like to receive the list, click on this link and subscribe on the form[Read More…]

by February 21, 2017 6 comments Skis
Much of the skiing at Schweitzer Mountain has great views of Lake Pend Oreille and the surrounding mountains.
Credit: John Nelson

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Schweitzer Mountain Resort

Northern Idaho’s “Little Secret” Steps Up Dining Amenities. Pat Rotchford, 76, sat in The Nest, the new top-of-the-mountain restaurant at Schweitzer Mountain Resort, looking very happy. He was drinking red wine by the fireplace with his friend, Debbie Stanley, eating prime rib sliders and Vietnamese spring rolls—not your typical mountain fare. “Everything we’ve had here has been excellent,” said Rotchford,[Read More…]

by February 13, 2017 0 comments West, Resort Reviews
Skiers and snowboarders rise above the clouds on the Crystal Chair at Sun Peaks. Credit: John Nelson

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Sun Peaks, BC, Senior-Easy Big Mountain

When You’re No. 2, The Saying Goes, You Try Harder. That’s true of Sun Peaks Resort, Canada’s second largest ski area behind behemoth Whistler-Blackcomb 200-plus miles away in the coastal mountains. This excellent resort near the British Columbia city of Kamloops offers three mountains to ski, a well-designed, bustling village and even a fair bit of off-piste, side country powder[Read More…]

by January 24, 2017 1 comment Resort Reviews, West
The Alpine T-Bar serves low-angle intermediate terrain near the 7,606-foot summit of Big White. Credit: John Nelson

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Big White, Big Senior-Friendly

Big Choice Of Intermediate Runs, “Master” Lessons, Bring Seniors Back Each Year. It’s hard to find a resort better suited to older skiers than the popular British Columbia destination of Big White. Located in Okanagan region of B.C. near the bustling, fast-growing city of Kelowna, Big White is indeed big, with a sprawling village that boasts the most ski-in, ski-out[Read More…]

by January 17, 2017 1 comment West, International
A skier hits the slopes of Powder Keg at Mt. Hood Meadows. 
Credit: John Nelson

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Mt Hood Meadows

Free Skiing For 75-Plus.  Nice. This resort on the southeastern flank of a 11,249-foot volcano has a lot to recommend it: great terrain, great proximity to the hipster-haven of Portland, OR., and ample snowfall from regular winter storms. If you’re 75 and older, you’ll have another reason to love Meadows: It’s free. “It reminds me of the Matterhorn—it’s just so[Read More…]

by January 4, 2017 5 comments Resort Reviews
The powdery slopes of Mt. Bachelor await skiers at the top of the new Cloudchaser Express lift. Credit: Jon Tapper

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Mt. Bachelor, OR

New Lift Opening On Dec 16 Makes Mt. Bachelor Sixth Largest In US. The season seems to go on forever at Central Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor, where Pacific storms dump huge annual totals, and the upper-elevation slopes hold onto the snow. From November to late May, Mt. Bachelor keeps the lifts spinning for an ardent group of skiing faithful. Among them[Read More…]

by December 13, 2016 2 comments West, Resort Reviews
John Andrew points out ski areas he's skiied on a the wall-sized map in his Renton, Wash., home. 
Credit: John Nelson

Skiing North America: Every Resort, Everywhere

An 85-Year Old Believes Someone Has To Do It; It Might As Well Be Him. So many ski areas, so little time. Yet at age 85, John Andrew is still busily crossing them off his list. Over the past 20 years, Andrew has been on a mission to ski all 700 alpine resorts in North America. He’s currently at 528,[Read More…]

by October 31, 2016 8 comments Ski Heroes, Home Top Box 4
Landscape arch in the Devils Garden Trail in Arches National Park.
Credit: John Nelson

Cycling Series: Rolling Among The Rocks At Arches

Once Past The Crowds, Another World Opens Up. Looking out the window of a car just can’t capture the otherworldly beauty of Arches National Park in Utah. In this stark and dramatic landscape of towering spires, delicate arches and balanced rocks, I chose to bike and hike on my pathway to discovery. I visited Arches in Fall 2015. I pulled[Read More…]

by May 17, 2016 0 comments Features, West
Crater Lake water is pure and deep blue.  It's 33 miles around the rim and 4000 vertical feet of ups and downs.
Credit: John Nelson

Cycling Series: Around Crater Lake

Riding The Rim Was One Of The Best Rides Ever. As I topped a ridge near 8,049-foot Llao Rock on the north rim of Oregon’s Crater Lake, I had that giddy moment cyclists get when everything comes together. I felt great. I had just finished one of my biggest climbs of the day. And I was alone on a road[Read More…]

by April 26, 2016 1 comment Features, West, Home Top Box 4
A skier rides the upper-elevation Edelweiss Chair at Alpental.
Credit: John Nelson

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Alpental—Accessible And Challenging

A Short Ride From Seattle, Alpental Super Seniors Ski For $12. It was a rare sunny winter day in Seattle, and I was stuck working in my office. I kept looking out the window, thinking, “I wish I was skiing.” Why not? Daydreaming wasn’t getting the work done, so I bolted out of the city, and an hour later, I[Read More…]

by March 21, 2016 0 comments West, Resort Reviews
Clearing skies over Cowboy Mountain at Stevens Pass.
Credit: John Nelson

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Stevens Pass—Low, Low Prices For Seniors

It Is Hard To Beat These Lift Ticket Prices For 70+. I learned how to ski at Stevens Pass, so whenever I return, it feels a little like a trip back in time. The lifts are updated, of course, but I can’t help reminiscing about those days more than a half-century ago as I learned how to make a parallel[Read More…]

by March 15, 2016 2 comments West, Resort Reviews
A skier heads off the top of Great White Express at White Pass. 
Credit: John Nelson

SeniorsSkiing Guide: White Pass, WA, Free For 73+!

Kudos To Senior-Friendly Ski Resort Three Hours From Seattle. As I got ready for a day of skiing at White Pass, I ran into a gregarious septuagenarian with a big smile on his face. “It should be a great day,” he said to me happily as we crossed paths. Fresh snow had fallen on the empty weekday slopes. And if[Read More…]

by March 1, 2016 0 comments West, Home Top Box 1, Resort Reviews
SeniorsSkiing Guide: Mission Ridge On A Snowy Day

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Mission Ridge On A Snowy Day

Day Trip-able Area From Seattle Offers Senior Bargains and “Uncrowds.” “My wife and I are retiring and moving here this year,” the skier from the Seattle area said as we rode the chairlift at Mission Ridge. “We love it here.” I could see the attraction of this gem on the eastern slope of the Cascade Mountains. Mission has bargain pricing,[Read More…]

by February 18, 2016 0 comments West, Resort Reviews
With Mount Shuksan looming behind, a snowboarder shreds soft snow at Mt. Baker Ski Area.
Credit: John Nelson

SeniorsSkiing Guide: Mt. Baker, Snow Catcher

Hey Seniors, Low Ticket Prices In The Northwest! Mt. Baker is a storm factory. This North Cascades ski area holds the world record for snowfall in a season—an incredible 95 feet dumped here in 1998-99! I arrived in mid-January to a modest three inches new, but that was on top of a foot that had fallen the previous day. The[Read More…]

by February 16, 2016 2 comments West, Resort Reviews
SeniorsSkiing Guide: It’s Hard To Beat Crystal Mountain On A Sunny Day

SeniorsSkiing Guide: It’s Hard To Beat Crystal Mountain On A Sunny Day

Pacific Northwest Resort Is Largest Plus Reasonably Priced For 70+ Seniors. When I stepped off the resort’s gondola, I was treated to a stunning view of 14,410-foot Mount Rainier just 12 miles to the south. Not a bad way to begin a spring-like February day at Washington’s largest ski area. I clicked in and started with some of Crystal’s cruisers. Many of[Read More…]

by February 10, 2016 0 comments West, Home Top Box 1, Resort Reviews