Cassandra came to mind last week as we took our first flight since the craziness began.

In case you missed that part of Greek Mythology, after Apollo gave Cassandra the gift of prophecy, he turned it to a curse, causing her prophecies not to be believed.

Stay with me on this one. 

The flight was one familiar to many Eastern skiers: SLC to JFK.

We geared up with face masks, face shields, and wipes. 

Pam had changed flights so many times, even Delta was confused. At one point, she upgraded us to First, a luxury generally reserved for Frequent Flier miles and overseas travel. The logic: last on/first off.

This was our first encounter with Salt Lake’s new airport, which is still under construction. Our terminal was big, beautiful and empty. 

Granted, the paucity of travelers contributed to the speed and efficiency of the place, but I had the feeling that, even when busy, this airport will be on top of its game. 

Next stop was the Delta Sky Club. More big and beautiful and filled with signs and notices reminding people to wear masks. Even the WIFI password carried the message: wearmask.

If you choose to continue reading, it’s only fair to disclose that I believe in and respect science. I understand that we live in what some have identified as a post-truth society and have been exposed to its supporting arguments. There may be some truth to post-truth, but I still weigh-in on the side of science. 

Back to the Delta Sky Club, which, as we waited for our flight, became more populated.

At any given time, about two-thirds of the travelers were masked and sitting far apart. The rest were not.

On a trip to the restroom, I counted 19 maskless travelers. A few had an empty glass in front of them – which, in their minds, must have qualified them to slip under Delta’s rule of not requiring a mask “while actively eating of drinking.”

I spoke with a Delta supervisor who explained that in the month since the new Club opened, it had become increasingly difficult to get passengers to wear masks.

Not so on the plane, where people were mask-compliant.

What does this experience have to do with skiing? 

Many of you rely on planes to get to mountains. Indeed, most Western resorts rely on airlines to get skiers to their lifts and lodges.

If people, out of selfishness, petulance or a sense of not wanting to follow what is good for themselves and for their communities, choose not to follow scientific advice, our return to the “new normal” will be delayed even more.

Which brings me back to Cassandra. She spoke the truth about what would happen. But she was afflicted with the curse that others wouldn’t believe her. 

I write this knowing it conflicts with other points of view. Most readers have more ski days behind them than they do ahead. Speaking for myself, I want to enjoy as many of them as I can, as healthily as I can.

It’s time to believe Cassandra.


Flurries (Almost) Everywhere

Tuckerman’s Ravine in Spring.

The season is about to start. Over the past week (even earlier) snow fell at higher elevations throughout the West and elsewhere, even Tuckerman’s Ravine on Mt Washington (NH). Snow guns are operational. Lifts are running across the Alps. One Scandinavian area unpacked snow saved from last year and spread it on a slope for early race training.

First North American Ski Area Now Open

Wild MountainTaylors Falls, Minnesota, is the first North American area to open for the 20-21 season. Four chairs and multiple rope tows service a variety of terrain with a short vertical. Mt Norquay Banff, Alberta, will open Saturday.

Fire Destroys Large Fischer Ski Factory

The factory, in Mukachevo, Ukraine, manufactured 25% of all Alpine and Nordic skis sold internationally. In addition to Fischer, brands made there include Rossignol, Scott, Alpina, Splitkein and Tecno. About 1,500 were employed. The fire occurred Tuesday, October 13.

The Skiing Gypsy

Murray Sandman (aka The Skiing Gypsy) is a 70+ Aussie blogging about his multi-continental ski adventures. He first contacted us following the  series a few seasons ago about skiing the Dolomites. Our trip was organized by Inspired Italy, the superb and reasonably priced local outfitter. Murray emailed his DIY approach, which you can find – along with other experiences and advice – at

Great New Winter Clothing Site

Orsden, which made excellent parkas and pants, has pivoted to a curated e-commerce site with wonderful-looking women’s and men’s casual winter clothing. Some of the brands will be familiar; others less so. If you’re seeking something to relieve your Covid-confined existence or to brighten someone else’s special day, click here.

Special Occasion Gondolas

The Gondola Shop’s Sauna: only $25,7000.

The Gondola Shop in Fruita, Colorado, buys and repurposes gondola cars. They design and rent them out for weddings, transform them into saunas, and are in process of preparing 20 or so as individual dining rooms that will sit in Telluride’s Town of Mountain Village.

End Is Near

Living in the US? You may be on the receiving end of an endless stream of fund-raising appeals from candidates for office. A Washington, D.C. friend refers to it as “silly season.” Election Day is upon us. We cast our mail ballots before leaving Utah last week. Most people our age fully appreciate the importance of participating in the system by voting. Skiing can wait. It’s time to cast your vote.


  1. Lawrence Budnick, Jr says:

    If I’m outside and social distancing I do not wear a mask.
    In a store, church etc. I follow the guidelines and wear a mask.
    History will show that this shutdown of our nation was not required.
    We’re making progress due to the president’s “Warp Speed” program.
    I’m thankful that we have a person that gets things done and not a

    • Bjørn Lunde says:

      Warp speed: we are still in reverse, destroying the environment as fast as possible for the sake of the extractive corporate interests to the detriment of the climate and the health of everyone, young and old….including us skiers! POW: Protect Our Winters from radical “conservative” greed.

  2. Thank you for your comments on the new SLC airport terminal. Too bad people are still non compliant ( or at least at the time of your writing). This is what deters us from traveling by air which puts us in close proximity to the public. You confirmed my fears and that is why we will not be taking our several flights from Cal to SLC this season.

  3. Jeffrey M Fine says:

    Everyone gets to assume their degree of risk regarding COVID-19 protocols. My wife is a scientist and refuses air travel at this time. We curbside our groceries and sanitize everything before it enters the house. We have not been in a public building since March 8th. We’re willing to follow this protocol until a successful vaccine is administered because today’s inconveniences will insure our future…

  4. I’m sure others will comment on this as well, and maybe provide an explanation, but the ravine on Mt. Washington you refer to in “Flurries (Almost) Everywhere” is named Tuckerman Ravine – no possessive.

  5. Cansnowplow says:

    Jon, your Cassandra comment asking whether or why would someone jeopardize everyone by not wanting to wear a mask, nor wearing one while nursing a drink or purposely disregarding your neighbor’s protection by thinking one feels hurt if they don’t have the freedom to ignore one anothers’ needs? Selfishness is too mild a word. Petulance or spitefulness or maybe cruel or hateful, to name only a few of my gut feelings toward these offensive people. Now-a-day we would refer to such imbeciles as having a “moderate intellectual disability.” Maybe a six foot electric cattle prod is what is needed by airline staff or upcoming ski resort staff. Sort of the 2020 “shock treatment.” Is it time to bring back corporal punishment? Otherwise, society will go to the extreme with the adage, you hurt me and I’m going to hurt you back, and hard enough to make you remember for a long time. Perhaps Jon, you are our modern day Cassandra and only a few believe your “read between the lines” predictions!

  6. George Blakeley says:

    A good cross section of the views of those in our country,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *