Secrets of the Ice is a Norwegian website dedicated to archaeological discoveries in melting glaciers and ice patches in Norway and elsewhere. Glacial archaeology is a developing science as the planet warms, and objects from mummified people to ancient skis melt out of the ice. In Norway, one ski was carbon-dated to 650BC Another ski, from 750AD, was found with a complete binding. 

Digervarden ski (c. AD 750). Source: Secrets of the Ice

Click here to read a well-written account of what has been learned about these early skis. 

What do you think future peoples exploring the mysteries of mountainous areas will think about trees covered with women’s underwear? Were they a weird form of public art created by even weirder humans recreating in the cold?

A few years ago (maybe he still offers the service) a guy at Alta hired himself out with a metal detector to find lost skis buried in deep powder. Those of us who’ve been through that experience, know its value. I always found my skis, but it can take time.

At one point, I hid coins in nature with the idea of finding them in the future. I remember one such hiding spot with my daughter on a rustic perch overlooking a glacial lake. It was over thirty years ago. It makes me want to go back as a family and find them. 

Reconstruction: Alfons & Adrie Kennis © South Tyrol Museum Archaeology/Ochsenreiter

In the Spring, I wrote about visiting Oetzi the Iceman in the Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy. He’s been dated to 3300BC. It’s a wonderful small museum, and several of you posted comments about your visits there.

A couple I know in Salt Lake City went off route on Everest several years ago and found a well-known American climber’s jacket and other of the missing climber’s artifacts. He disappeared in the 30s.

Many of us could have some interesting archaeological finds simply rummaging through the pockets of old ski clothing. When I was 12 an uncle gave me the anorak he used in the 20s or 30s. In a pocket was an ancient stick of Wrigley’s gum, complete with foil and paper wraps. I couldn’t resist the temptation. It was awful.

There are so many things waiting to be found. We constantly consume and dispose. Given our collective concerns about ski area safety, would it be a surprise if those future glacial archaeologists also found the scattered remains of older skiers?

Alterra To Purchase Sugarbush

Alterra Mountain Company has entered into an agreement to purchase Sugarbush in Vermont.

Women An Important Part of Jackson Hole History

Most ski and ski area videos are male-oriented, if not male-dominated. Jackson Hole has a delightful 90-second video on the impact of women throughout its history, starting with the fact that in 1920, the town elected the first all female government. Click here.


Areas Open and Opening

Lifts are running across North America. Here’s a partial list of open areas and those that soon will be:


Killington VT) Open

Mount Snow (VT) Open

Sunday River (ME) Open

Bristol Mountain (NY) Open

Wildcat (NH) Nov 15

Gore Mountain (NY) Nov 15

Greek Peak (NY) Nov 15

Hunter Mountain (NY) Nov 15

Whiteface Mountain (NY) Nov 15

Big Boulder (PA) Nov 15

Sugarloaf (ME) Nov 15

Loon Mountain (NH) Nov 16

Titus Mountain (NY) Nov 16

Mont Tremblant (QC) Nov 22

Snowshoe (WV) Nov 22

Stratton (VT) Nov 23

Sugarbush (VT) Nov 23


Arapahoe Basin(CO) Open

Eldora (CO) Open

Mt. Norquay (AB) Open

Lake Louise (AB) Open

Winter Park (CO) Open

Copper Mountain (CO) Open

Banff Sunshine (AB) Open

Mammoth Mountain (CA) Open 

 Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (CA) Nov 15

Steamboat (CO) Nov 15 

Park City (UT) Nov 22

Alya (UT) Nov 23

Solitude (UT) Nov 23

Aspen and Snowmass (CO) Nov 28

Big Bear (CA) Nov 28

Big Sky (MT) Nov 28

Jackson Hole (WY) Nov 28

Snow Summit (CA) Nov 28

Taos (NM) Nov 28

Big Bear (CA) Nov 29

Snowbird (UT) Nov 29

Revelstoke (BC) Nov 39

Aspen Highlands (CO) Dec 7

Buttermilk (CO) Dec 7

Deer Valley (UT) Dec 7

The Summit at Snoqualmie (WA) Dec 7

June Mountain (CA) Dec 21


Boyne Mountain (MI) Nov 15

Crystal Mountain (MI) Nov 22

Boyne Highlands (MI) Nov 28

Military Week at Taos

Not Forgotten Outreach, Inc. (NFO), the Taos, NM, non-profit that organizes annual ski outings for past and present military at Taos Ski Valley, will host the 7th  Not Forgotten Outreach Ski Week, January 21 – 26, 2020. The event is open to military, their immediate families, and Gold Star Families. Participants enjoy deeply discounted lodging, lift tickets, lessons and rentals. Through a VA Adaptive Sports Grant, NFO is offering five scholarships for skiers/snowboarders currently on active duty with vision, intellectual/cognitive, or physical-related diagnoses. Click here for more info.

Ski Safety PSAs

High Fives Foundation is dedicated to prevention of life-changing injuries and providing resources if they happen. The non-profit is based in Truckee, CA, and much of its snow sports activities are in Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. Among its many good deeds is production of Public Service Announcements educating people about on-snow safety. High Fives just released this short PSA on what to do when someone is injured. It is an excellent refresher. 

Ski Conditioning Series

Source: Parlor Skis

Powder Hour is a six-week online conditioning series featuring former US Ski Team member, Hilary McCloy. The program focuses on strengthening key muscle groups required to ski safely and powerfully. Parlor Skis, the New England custom ski company, is subsidizing the cost of the series by providing the first two free. The series cost is $75. For more info or to register, click here.

International Ski History Association

A Worthy Donation

International Skiing History Association is the non-profit dedicated to preserving and presenting skiing history. Its publication, Skiing History, is a joy to read. Digital subscriptions are free to subscribers. ISHA is seeking donations, all of which are tax-deductible. Please visit and help ISHA continue its important work

The Man Behind The Ski Maps

Jim Niehues is the artist whose paintings are the basis of the maps of more than 300 ski areas. Ski Utah produced this 4 minute video of Niehues explaining his work.


  1. Steve Downing says:

    Snowshoe is in WV, not NC
    Sugar Ski Mountain In NC is open
    Appalachian Ski Mountain opens today (Friday)

  2. I liked the items, many more ski areas need to promote senior skiing ,over 80’s .
    The seniors should ski free such as they are at Boyne MTN in MI.

  3. Bretton Woods opened on Wednesday..

  4. Perfect North Slopes, Indiana, opened Nov. 15, the earliest date in its 40 year history.

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