This week’s Short Swings! message is straight-forward:

If you enjoy receiving, please support us financially.

Many of you have been generous in our past February fundraisers.

This month, we hope to expand the number of donations by asking more of you to donate a minimum of $10; not much considering the cost of a hot chocolate or a bowl of chili.

For those readers donating $50 or more, we’ll send a terrific navy blue BBQ apron imprinted with this striking vintage skiing woodcut.

All donors will receive a personalized thank you note and some stickers.

The fundraiser will continue through the month.

To donate, click here.

Thank you!!!!

Ski Patrol Drones Used at Val Thorens

Many ski resorts outlaw drones for a variety of safety reasons. But ski patrol in Val Thorens, the French mega-resort, are employing drones to monitor lifts and avalanche management systems, and to perform a host of other duties. Among the examples you’ll see in this short video produced by drone-manufacturer, DJI Technology, is how an infrared-equipped drone, is able to detect a skier buried in an avalanche. This is impressive stuff that, before long, we’ll be seeing at many areas.

Idaho’s Tamarack Resort Plans Expansion

Tamarack Resort

Tamarack, which opened in 2004, went bankrupt in 2008, and got new owners in 2018, recently applied to the US Forest Service to add 3000 acres to its existing 1100. The addition, including multiple lifts, would elevate it to one of North America’s biggest. Tamarack, in west central Idaho, averages 300” a season.

Elan’s Folding All-Mountain Ski

Elan, the Slovenian ski brand, is big on innovation. I used their asymmetrical skis a few seasons ago in the Dolomites. Right and left ski were used on hard pack. Switch the skis and they performed differently in powder and soft, heavy snow. Now, Elan is using a similar approach in its new, folding Voyager model. The technology was developed as tactical equipment for the Slovenian Army. It incorporates a hinge and locking swivel-plate which holds the binding.  The company appears to be promoting Voyager for ease of carry-on and transport. Click here for an amusing explanation. Another Elan product currently under development is a “smart ski”, embedded with sensors that will provide real time coaching feedback through a headset. Couldn’t find a price for the Voyager.  

Yellowstone Club’s New Trail Map

Yellowstone Club, adjacent to Big Sky

The closest I ever got to the Yellowstone Club, was skiing a perimeter trail at Big Sky in Montana. Yellowstone Club is the “private and secure” ski and golf resort where business and entertainment celebs have homes. Bill and Melinda Gates are there, as are Tom Brady, Justin Timberlake, and before his death, Warren Miller. Click here to see the resort’s new trail map.

Two Idaho Areas Join Low Cost Multi-Pass

They are Soldier Mountain and Pomerelle Mountain. Indy Pass costs $259 and gives passholders two days of skiing at each of 61 participating areas.

Death and Fantasy Ski Videos

Arianna Tricomi is a three-time Freeride World Champion. In 2018, the Italian was Euro Skier of the Year. She recently recorded this touching and informative video after being unable to save a 15-year-old buried in an avalanche. The point she makes is that little is discussed publicly about risks and preparations made when filming fantasy skiing in challenging terrain. The final edited versions may attract less prepared skiers to mimic the lines, often with tragic results. Her message, while it may not apply to many older skiers, is still an important one: In order to prevent more unnecessary deaths, there needs to be more open discussion and disclosure about behind-the-scenes planning of extreme skiing videos.

Classical Guitar Après Ski

Dr. Jon Paul Yerby is a gifted classical guitar artist and educator who performs globally. He’s not a skier, although, he’s told me that skiing is one of his aspirations. But he is an outstanding musician, as demonstrated in this performance of the  J.S. Bach Prelude. This and other of Jon’s performances are a nice way to enjoy a relaxing senior skier après-ski.



  1. Thank you for sharing the drone video. What a wonderful and logical use of drones.


  2. Alan S Cort says:

    On what statistics is the comment regarding Tamarack’s expansion making it the largest NA ski area based? If the expansion is approved and built out – that would be 4100 acres. Big Sky advertises 5850 acres, and Powder Mountain 8464 acres. Lots of ways to claim “biggest” – just wondering. Thanks – Alan

    • Jon Weisberg says:

      Alan, You’re right! Not sure where I saw that, and, now that you mention it, regret writing it. Anout to reword the item. Thanks! Jon

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