Will I get hit by a boarder?

For most of my skiing life, I looked forward to next season with enthusiasm. But several years ago, I began to face the season with some anxiety. Was I in good enough shape? Will the knees continue to do what they’re supposed to do? Will I get hit by a boarder? Should I listen to my wife and go south?

Inevitably, my love for playing on snow overrides those concerns. And my impression is that most of you share the point of view. If not, there wouldn’t be as many of us still skiing. Those over 52 comprise 20% of all U.S. skiers and boarders.  

A ski through the park.

But the questions linger. For many, the older we get, the less confidence we have in our ability to return to earlier performance. Unless you’re in poor health or very poor physical condition, we should consider Bernie Weichsel’s advice. Bernie is a lifelong skier, winter sports marketing entrepreneur, past chairman of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, and member of the SeniorsSkiing.com Advisory Council.

“Everyone gets in shape for the new season differently. Some people do pre-season conditioning. Others do it on the slopes with a lot of easy gliding,” he explains. Not of the “do as I say” school, Bernie tries to ski, at the very least, the same number of days as his age — a goal he encourages all to emulate.

My first time on the snow for this season will be in January, and if things go as expected, I’ll rack up at least half my age, the most days skied in several years. 

It will be good reward for working out five days a week. A few months ago I started to work with a trainer.My goal was to improve stamina and explosive energy. The trainer introduced me to several diabolically effective routines. Diabolical, because they require major effort. Effective, because hiking and walking staircases, I feel stronger.

 

And (sometimes) I listen to my wife and go South. That’s next week’s agenda.

 

If you’re a bit anxious about returning to the hill, give it a try. Most people are back in the groove after a few runs or a few days of runs, enjoying the thrill, the fresh air, and the scenery. So if you think you’re too old, think again. Go skiing!

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Vermont Nordic Ski Center Stores Last Season’s Snow

Craftsbury Outdoor Center in Northern Vermont was able to save about 6,000 cubic meters of snow from last season. Working with the University of Vermont, the 500 acre Nordic center preserved more than 60 percent of its original snow supply. It’s an important development for low-elevation Nordic centers as the globe warms. Click here for The Boston Globe’s full report.

Mt Norquay (AB) Carpool Incentive

Paid parking is used as an economic incentive to reduce traffic and encourage carpooling. Mt. Norquay Ski Resort in Alberta is trying a different approach. Once a month, the resort lets all car occupants split the cost of a single $89 lift ticket and get their own pass for the day. The area also encourages use of free shuttles from Banff with $20 tickets for the day.

Wise Counsel From The Pontiff of Powder

Jackson Hogen (aka, the Pontiff of Powder) is a reliable font of useful advice, which he conveys through RealSkiers.com, the go-to website for info on skis and other gear. A recent missive presents the case for tipping your bootfitter. It’s really about the value a good bootfitter delivers to your skiing comfort and pleasure and how that service deserves a cash reward. It’s a simple idea and a good one. If your fitter delivers good service, give him (or her) a few bucks. BTW, RealSkiers.com is available to SeniorsSkiing.com readers for half its $19.99 subscription fee. Enter SS20 on checkout. 

Last Minute Shopping?

Here are five sites for unusual and interesting ski and cold weather gifts.

The Buffalo Wool Company

This is the place to get the most wonderful socks, hats and gloves. The socks I use are made primarily of bison down and merino wool. They’re soft, comfortable and wear forever. Visit https://thebuffalowoolco.com.

BRR! Skincare

This company makes a variety of skincare products specifically for skiers and others spending time in the cold. They use botanicals to protect against the effects of cold and wind on the skin without any toxic ingredients.  Visit https://www.brrskincare.com.

Vermont Glove

This little company has been hand making gloves in Vermont since 1920. They’re full grain goat leather and last forever. I use the heavy duty Farmer model for splitting firewood and other outside chores. Wool liners make them cozy on very cold days. They also make a mitten. Visit https://vermontglove.com.

Bootster

This is one of my favorite skier gifts. It’s the effortless way to get foot into ski boot. The smart design makes this little shoe horn for ski boots easy to fit in parka pocket so it can be used after lunch.  Great $25 gift. Visit http://thebootster.com.

NW Sales Connection

Here’s a fantastic site to find reasonably priced women’s and men’s ski clothing in a wide range of sizes and styles. You’ll also find a full range of kid’s ski wear and women’s swimsuits. Enter discount code seniorski10 for 10% off. Visit https://www.nwsalesconnection.com.

The “Snow” Song

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas is the 1954 musical-comedy film starring Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney and Vera-Ellen. The Crosby and Kaye become a popular song and dance team following WW II, meet Clooney and Vera-Ellen in a nightclub in Florida and accompany them by train to Vermont. The film begins and ends with the song “White Christmas” and includes classics such as “Sisters” and “Gee, I Wish I Was Back in the Army.” On the ride from Florida to Vermont they sing “Snow,” in a delightful quartet laced with references to skiing. Click on the picture for a nice treat.

3 Comments

  1. Thank you for the SNOW song what a classic…
    It’s finally snowing in Jackson Hole 🙂

  2. Avatar Martin Griff says:

    Speaking of listening to the wife, I finally listened to mine when she suggested that I do planks.

    They take up just a few minutes a day and no fancy equipment is involved. If you have a floor in your home you can plank.

    I noticed a change in core strength within days. When I started it was a struggle to keep in position for 30 seconds. Within two weeks I was up to 2 minutes. I put my phone in timer mode and watch the seconds tick away while listening to music or the TV.

    While stamina and leg strength are the goals of many skiers getting in shape for the season, a strong core is just as important for success in tackling a snowy trail.

    I may have to listen to my wife more often.

  3. Avatar Carolyn Hughes says:

    Wonderful nostalgia from Irving Berlin! It’s SNOWing here in Vermont!

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