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How many of you have taken a skiing road trip recently? Over the past few seasons, I’ve ridden lifts with numerous retired couples skiing their way across the continent; getting the best value from their Epic, IKON and Mountain Collective passes.

Using cars and RVs, they traverse from one resort to another, taking occasional non-ski breaks. It’s a return to the collective skiing fantasy promoted by ski magazines and filmmakers for as long as I can remember.

As romantic as the skiing road trip seems, moving from one place to another can be a pain. There’s packing and unpacking. Moving stuff in and out of hotel rooms and friends’ homes. Waking up in unfamiliar places, etc. etc. It gets old, especially as we get older. 

There are exceptions. Last season, we toured the Dolomites on a guided ski safari. That week skiing from mountain inn to mountain inn, enjoying great food, beautiful scenery and our small group’s camaraderie made it one of our all time best skiing experiences.

But I’ve reached a point where I no longer want the hassle of moving around. I thought that renting a place in Salt Lake City for the season would do it. But that, too, requires a drive to one of the nearby areas. Because the place has become so overpopulated, Ski Utah and Ski City USA, two of the local ski promotion entities, encourage people to use public transportation to get to the resorts. At this age, I prefer to drive.

The solution, which many of you long ago discovered, is in the form of staying on or very close to the hill. 

Our Vail friends have the good fortune of walking to the end of their driveway and stepping into a private community van for a short ride to the lift.

And our Deer Valley friend simply walks down his heated driveway and up his community’s heated road to reach the slope.

Talk about skiing luxury!

For those of us without homes on or near the hill, there are the hotels, lodges and inns that are. They can be pricey at big name resorts. But some digging can produce surprising bargains.

For example, from March 6-15, Chalets Montmorency at Mont Sainte Anne in Quebec has a five-night deal for $175 (Canadian) per person, double occupancy. 

Generally, exchange rates make skiing in Canada a good deal.

And, as I’ve explained in past columns, Europe has many great bargains. Click on the adjacent Inspired Italy or Alpskitour ads to get a few ideas.

Ski club trips also can be economical. 70+ Ski Club consistently offers well-priced trips with slopeside lodging. Click on its ad to learn more.

It turns out that for this aging couple, the season has had a few too many moves. And the way things are scheduled, there will be more. 

I’m not sure where we’ll ski next year, but wherever we go, except for when we’re on the hill, we won’t be moving around.

RIP: Mammoth Mountain Founder, Dave McCoy, 

Dave McCoy, who started and developed Mammoth Mountain in California, died February 8. He was 104. McCoy started Mammoth in 1942 and operated the resort for 68 years. When he was 22, he was the California State Skiing Champion. He skied until he was 92. Watch the video about Dave and Mammoth, produced when he was 98.

OOPS!

Last week’s appreciation of Alta neglected to make reference to the Wild Old Bunch, the group of older skiers who gather daily for lunch at the large round table in Alf’s Lodge and Wednesdays for dinner at 5:30PM at the Chuck-o-Rama in South Salt Lake’s Fashion Place Mall.

 

 

Avalanche At Alta

This week’s issue has a not-to-be-missed letter from Harriet Wallis advising her nephew to exercise more caution in the backcountry. Last week, avalanche danger and control closed Alta, Snowbird and Little Cottonwood Canyon for two days. During the shutdown, Mac Charval was able to video a slide as it tumbled across the road heading for the Alta Peruvian Lodge. My understanding is that there was no damage.

Apple iWatch DOES Like Skiing, After All

Thanks for reader Steve for advising that iWatch users look under “D” for Downhill Skiing  in the device’s “Workouts” function.

Bootster Booster

Jim Cobb, who invented and manufactures The Bootster ski boot shoe horn regularly receives fan mail for this clever compact device. He sent in this comment from a senior skier: Thank YOU for creating and providing the Bootster so that all of us “old and stiff” skiers (and our old and stiff boots too!) can keep getting on the snow even as time marches on.  The Bootster is essential for any skier grappling with the ordeal of getting boots on. Click on the adjacent ad to learn more.

Prevent Cold Temp Phone Failure

Typically, even when my phone is in an inside pocket, it loses juice on cold days. Yesterday, at Alta, it was 21F, time to try a product I picked up at the Snow Show in Denver. It’s an air-activated warmer, similar to a disposable glove warmer. But this one has a peel-off layer that exposes a tacky surface to affix the warmer to the back of a cell phone. I stuck it onto the back of the phone’s protective case. I checked several hours later and the phone was warm and almost fully charged. It’s made by Ignik Outdoors.  A 10-pack costs $19.95; 30-pack, $29.99. (Use discount code WarmSenior15 for a 15% discount exclusive to SeniorsSkiing.com readers through March.) The company also makes hand warmers. All of its disposable warmers come in resealable pouches, which, when used correctly, extend the life of each warmer.

Please Help

February is when we pass the SeniorsSkiing.com collection plate. Donation messages are posted throughout the site. When we started this labor of love six years ago, we decided to make it weekly and free. Since then it has grown substantially, forming a global community of older skiers. By the end of this season, there should be 20,000 subscribers. As we grow so do our expenses. Advertising and your donations help cover some costs. Mike and I cover the rest. For those of you who have donated, we appreciate your support. If you enjoy SeniorsSkiing.com, please click here to help.

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