I hope you’re having a good Summer. If you’re one of our Southern Hemisphere readers, I hope it’s a good ski season.

By way of update, there are a number of changes at SeniorsSkiing.com. Mike has left the operation. He has a new boat, a new cottage on Prince Edward Island, grandkids, a band, clubs, etc. Something had to give, and that something was participation in SeniorsSkiing.com.

As a result, I’ve added role of Editor to that of Publisher.

The site has been streamlined to make it function more smoothly. The most noticeable change is the elimination of the pop-up window that was used to collect email addresses. It has been replaced with a sign-up notice at the top of the home page. If you’ve received this email, you do not need to re-register.

We resume publishing October 1 and will continue publishing every other week through mid-April. When we asked about this potential scheduling change in a Reader Survey, the majority of respondents supported the biweekly schedule. Advertisers also are okay with it.

Speaking of Reader Surveys, please click here or in the box below to participate in our latest. It has 17 questions and will take no more than five minutes to complete. The results will update us on many subjects essential to our understanding of how to develop and deliver the best content for you.

Survey promotion with graphic

There currently are 17,000 subscribers (I use “subscriber” loosely, since SeniorsSkiing.com continues to be free, supported by advertising and the February fundraiser).

As for advertisers, I’d appreciate any suggestions or referrals for companies that you think might benefit from reaching our highly defined niche market of older snowsports enthusiasts. We ski more frequently and spend more freely on Winter activities than younger generations. SeniorsSkiing.com is one of the industry’s great advertising bargains, and I’m happy to work with new advertisers to make the cost especially attractive.

And, if you have friends and contacts whom you think might enjoy SeniorsSkiing.com, please forward this note or simply send them the link to the site so they, too, can sign up for a free subscription.

Many thanks for being part of this ever-growing global community.

A lot of older skiers and boarders enter our ranks every day. We’re growing in numbers and we’re not going away!

2020-21 SEASON: 5th Best on Record

The National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) announced that skier visit numbers to U.S. areas totaled 59 million for the 2020-21 ski season, the 5th best season on record. A skier visit is counted every time a skiing or snowboarding guest visits a ski area or resort. NSAA began surveying visitation in the 1978-79 season. Additional data shows that the average U.S. ski area was open for 112 days this past season, up from 99 days in the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 season. In previous seasons, guests skied most often on weekends and holidays, making it a consistent challenge to fill the slopes midweek. This past season, weekday visitation was responsible for 48% of total visits, a 27% increase from the previous season. Capacity restrictions, remote work and school flexibility allowed for more skiers and riders to visit ski areas midweek.

Mike Wiegele Dies at 82

Heli-skiing pioneer, Mike Wiegele, passed away mid-July. He emigrated to Canada from Austria in 1959, eventually landing in Blue River, BC, where he started Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing. Click on the above image to screen a delightful short video about Mike’s life.

Ski Mountaineering to Debut in 2026 Winter Olympics

 

Ski Mountaineering to be event in Milano Cortina Winter Olympics

The ski mountaineering program at the Milano Cortina games will feature five new ski mountaineering medal events: two men’s events (sprint/individual), two women’s event (sprint/individual) and one mixed-gender relay event. The events will utilize existing terrain and not require development of new venues or structures.

Major Improvements at Steamboat

Steamboat is making major investments in upgrades to mountain and base area. When completed, it will be Colorado’s second largest ski resort. Click on above image to learn more.

Video Shows Proposed Gondola for Little Cottonwood Canyon

Salt Lake City’s Little Cottonwood Canyon is one of the most avalanche-prone roads in North America, and the fact that Alta and Snowbird are at the end of the canyon, make it highly congested. Among the numerous proposed remedies, two have survived. One is a dedicated bus lane with strategically placed avalanche sheds. The other is a gondola system starting near the mouth of the canyon and stopping at Snowbird and Alta before returning to a large parking structure. This video shows how the gondola would work.

Drones: The Future of Ski Area Maintenance and Rescue

Val Thorens in France is an innovator is its use of drones. The resort uses them to check lifts and remote equipment and, using infrared technology, to locate individuals buried by avalanches. Click on image for a short, informative video explaining more.

62-Year Old Skied 12.4 million Vertical Last Season

Brad Blacketor (foreground), 62, skied 12.4 million vertical feet last season.

Brad Blacketor, 62, skied 12.4 million vertical feet last season. The Lone Tree, Colorado resident averaged 66,000 vertical a day over his 188-day season, according to an article in Summit Daily. Using his Epic Pass, he took 7,363 lift rides, starting Nov 6 at Keystone and ending his season May 16 at Breckenridge. He says his approach to skiing so many days a season is “…because sooner or later we are all going to run out of time.”

 

15 Comments

  1. Craig Amundson says:

    Jon,
    Skiing has been a challenge for the past several years, primary because of my old knees. This season I’m facing the challenge head on…a couple months ago I went to an orthopedic doctor who told me my knees were as bad as his…arthritis seemed to be the biggest problem. I was pleasantly surprise there was no damage. I have since been going to a physical therapist & riding my bike 10 miles a day, several times a week. I’m happy to report my arthritis has improved dramatically.

    Would you be interested in my physical therapists recommendation for low impact exercises that could be published in Senior Skiing? I’m scheduled to see her tomorrow & will ask the question. She is associated with Essentia Health System, Duluth, Mn.
    Best,
    Craig Amundson

    • I am glad to hear that you have not given up on skiing. The PT work will be a big help!
      As a 40+ year ski instructor I can not help but “read between the lines”. It has been my experience that people having knee issues while skiing, but not while walking. Are applying edging with more down pressure than is needed. You are not alone in this.
      I have help many people over come this including instructors and patrollers.
      I would love to help you this!

    • I too have bad knees and have found all of the common ‘ski’ exercises to be painful and worsen the problem. I would love to see low impact ski exercises that I could to get in shape for the season.

  2. Dave Irons says:

    Hi Jon,
    I filled out the survey but it won’t mean much. Living where I do I have a dozen ski areas within a two hour drive and I haven’t bought a lift ticket in 50 years. And I have enough skis and equipment to last into my nineties. I was at Mt Abram signing my book on their history a few times but had a hard time getting motivated with all the hassles created by the pandemic.I expect to ski more this year, especially at Lost Valley the topic of my next book. If all goes well I will again be writing my ski column and will plug Seniors Skiing. You might even hear from me on a topic or two. All the best,
    Dave

  3. Cansnowplow says:

    Many of us take what you and your gifted crew are doing with your weekly newsletter for granted, I’m sorry to say. So THANK YOU for being so generous and dedicated to we seniors! I already find myself looking forward to reading your and other authors’ articles this ski season. Your newsletter format makes for easy reading. The comment and ability to respond to comments are the best, as it allows readers who are non-authors to contribute. I am drawn by authors with experience and wisdom, not so much on claimed expertise. One begets the other. Ruinations in the “Joy of Skiing” need to be addressed weekly. With the top 2 ruins being the safety of seniors on the trail and the price of lift tickets in the USA going through the roof, strategies along with what to do about safety and ticket/ passes should be a weekly subject.

  4. Finding seniorsskiing.com encouraged me to get back into skiing last year after a decade away. I’m looking forward to expanding outside my mid-Atlantic area this season.

    • Jon Weisberg says:

      Great to hear that SeniorsSkiing.com helped get you back on the hill. All best for the coming season!

      • Susan Sims says:

        Hi Jon, I just turned 70 and have not skied in 20 years. Once an avid skier, life just got in the way. Now I want to get back at it and will need all the new equipment and conditioning suggestions I can get!

  5. Patricia+L+Randall says:

    What a wonderful short film on Mike Wiegle. I love these kind of things I find in seniorskiing.com. It was one of your senior woman contributors from Utah who encouraged me to keep skiing after surgeries and reaching 75 and when all those around me thought I should think about giving it up. We moved close to a great ski area 6 years ago just to ski, so giving it up is out of the question. Thank you so much to the gentleman taking over and keeping this GREAT newsletter coming. I am definitely in favor of more articles re seniors skiing safely and how to avoid the crazies.

  6. Yessss! This is wonderful information! –
    Last winter, after a multi-decade hiatus, move from the icy East to the powdery Southwest, and recovery with physical therapy from a knee fracture, I decided that it’s now or never. After talking with my PT and physicians (one of whom is a skier) and promising to be prudent, I gave myself a 78th birthday present of ski lessons at our local ski center. First afternoon with the novices; after that, two more with a private instructor. Wow! Next season I will definitely be back for more. Life is good!

  7. Hope for a non-COVID year!

  8. Norman Freund says:

    This year is the first for over 60 years that I have been unable to ski because, living, in the U.K., Covid travel restrictions have made it impossible to travel to the Alps. I ‘be just returned from a hiking vacation in my favourite ski resort, Wengen, and feel confident that I’ll be back there to ski this coming winter.

  9. Robert Rice says:

    I would like Seniors Skiing to show the age that ski resorts give seniors free passes

  10. This past winter I decided to start skiing again after a respit of 30+ years. Looking forward to easing into an enjoyabe season of getting myself back on the slopes and have a go at it with glee. I am also looking foward to the challenge of cross country.

  11. Rick Hamilton says:

    I XC in the Cleveland area, and, in particular in our MetroPark system that circles the city, east to west. Near our home we have public golf courses owned by the MetroParks that allow XC on the perimeter areas of the courses, when posted, and the parks purchased groom&track equipment a year ago to and now also make skate-skiing available and have rentals on hand. We can also ski open fields. I’m hoping Amtrak will be able to lift the mask mandate by next winter, as I can take the Zephyr to Truckee to ski Royal Gorge with family, do some back country and be able to get to Glacier on the Empire Builder, or further west if one desires. I’d like to hear from anyone who uses Amtrak to travel for recreation, as I also will be using it to transport my bike on routes that allow that. I enjoy the camaraderie of the train and look forward to traveling more again soon, umasked. In retirement, I’m 73, the time consumed by train travel should no matter.

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