I was in a place I shouldn’t have been. When I entered the gate, I thought I had been on this part of the mountain years earlier. But as I descended, nothing about it seemed familiar.


It was steep beyond my comfort. There were bumps and trees, and the surface was getting icy. Signs on the trees warned this was a cliff area.

At my age, this was no place to be skiing alone.

I heard scraping skis below me and saw someone near a rope line skiing to the left. 

Then I was alone. My skis were long past their useful life. My goggles kept fogging. I had a phone, but not a whistle. It was at home in a pack. No use to me now.

Before passing through the gate, someone had warned me not to go. I said not to worry, I knew what I was getting in to.

That was a mistake. Steep, Icy surface. Tight trees. 

I wasn’t scared, but I had lost confidence. Side-slipping and kick turns were all I could muster. Even when I found a stretch of softer snow, I couldn’t bring myself to make a few turns. 

It was beautiful in there. Cliffs above and below; twisted trunks rising to blue sky. Quiet.

How would someone find me? Maybe they’ll start looking when my car is the only one left in the lot?

Eventually, I saw a trail.

I must have been in there 30 or 40 minutes. It’s unlikely I’ll try it again, but if I do, it will be on better skis, I’ll have a whistle, and I won’t be in there alone.

Vail Announces Northeast Passes and Rewards Program

Vail just announced two regional passes for the Northeast (US). The Northeast Value Pass (adults, $599; college students, $419) provides unlimited, restricted access to Okemo, Mount Snow and Hunter, 10 restricted days at Stowe, plus unlimited, unrestricted access to Wildcat, Attitash, Mount Sunapee, Crotched, Liberty, Whitetail, Roundtop and more. The Northeast Midweek Pass ($449) has similar access, but restricted to Monday through Friday, and five restricted midweek days at Stowe. 

Vail also announced ‘Epic Mountain Rewards,’ which gives pass holders a discount of 20 percent off food and beverage, lodging, group ski and ride school lessons, equipment rentals and more at the Company’s North American owned and operated resorts.

For details, click here

2020-21 IKON Pass Discount

Renew your Ikon Pass and Ikon Base Pass before Wednesday, April 22, and (depending on the pass) get up to $100 on next season’s IKON Pass.

When Skiing Utah, Visit The Lift House

My first visit to a ski shop was when I was 10. It was a narrow and deep store in Albany, NY, and what I remember most is the rich smell of leather boots. Over the years I’ve been in many ski shops: some okay, some quite good, and some terrific. Spending much of the winter in Utah, I’ve been reminded that The Lift House, the venerable store near the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon, is an absolutely terrific place. Its location is ideal for people skiing Alta, Snowbird, Solitude or Brighton. It is consistently well-stocked with the top equipment and clothing brands. And the personnel are knowledgeable, helpful, and friendly. Years ago, when we visited with kids in tow, The Lift House is where we rented. Over the years, it’s one of the places I’ve relied on for quality tunes. It’s the kind of place with a deep inventory of useful accessories And when they have a sale, they really mean it. Many people stop on the way to the mountain to purchase discount lift tickets. For example, a weekday at Snowbird costs $130. At The Lift House, it’s $97. An Alta day pass is $125. At The Lift House it’s $105, a better deal than the $119 if purchased directly from Alta online. There are other excellent shops in the area, most with similar brands, some specializing in only the most expensive ski and casual clothing. When headed in the direction of Big and Little Cottonwood Canyons, The Lift House is highly recommended.

International Skiing History Association

The International Skiing History Association (ISHA) is the non-profit with the mission of preserving and advancing knowledge of ski history and increasing awareness of skiing’s heritage. ISHA publishes Skiing History magazine the bimonthly filled with interesting articles and great illustrations. A six-month digital subscription is free. Click here or on the adjacent ad to subscribe.

Two more things from ISHA:

  • As a member ($49 annually; $59 international members) you’ll receive hard copies of Skiing History and have access to the organization’s digital archives. Among other things, you’ll find a guide to more than 160 ski museums and collections in 22 countries.
  • If you’re attending Skiing History Week in Sun Valley, March 25-28, sign up for ISHA’s annual Awards Banquet. Click here for details.

How Snowbird Trails Got Their Names

It’s not that often that we get to know the stories behind the trail names. The Snowbird website has a wonderful short article about how many of its trails were named. Written by frequent SeniorsSkiing.com contributor, Harriet Wallis, it’s informative and amusing. Who wouldda thunk that the West Second South trail refers to Salt Lake City’s long gone red light district? It’s an easy trail named for a the street of easy women.

This Self-Massage Device is Essential for Older Skiers

Last year, a skier friend recommended the Tiger Tail, a highly effective self-massage tool that doesn’t require getting on the floor, like you do with a foam roller. OMG!!! What a fantastic device! I get off the mountain and roll out my quads. At home, when my calves start to cramp, Tiger Tail comes to my immediate rescue. The company’s website is rich with useful text, picture and video instructions. Last month at the big industry trade show in Denver, I met Spring Faussette, who invented Tiger Tail and owns the company. She’s offering SeniorsSkiing.com readers a discount code for 30% off Tiger Tail and the company’s other products. Visit the Tiger Tail website and enter snowski50 during checkout to receive the discount.

Mont-Tremblant, Extends Season

The Quebec area will be open through April 19, and kids under accompanied by an adult will ski free.

One Comment

  1. Dave Irons says:

    This should not happen on a history poster. It is Tuckerman Ravine, no apostrophe ‘s.

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