Would you pay an additional $49+ not to wait in the lift line? Express lines have been available for years for members of exclusive clubs and for skiers accompanied by instructors. Now it will be available for a fee on a day-by-day basis at Snowbird (UT), Killington (VT), Copper Mountain (CO) and Mount Bachelor (OR), all areas owned by Utah-based Powdr Corp.

Years ago, friends at Snowbird with “black passes,” went to the head of the line on the Tram and other lifts as a benefit of membership in the resort’s pricey Seven Summits Club.

In the late 60s I skied Chamonix with an American photographer living there. Organized lift lines were nonexistent. He pushed his way to the front of the pack and slipped some francs to the lift attendant. It was uncomfortable to me, but perfectly normal to him.

Now that privilege will be accessible to anyone with spare change. Dedicated fast access lanes are being established at the most popular lifts at each of the participating resorts (Snowbird’s Tram, not included). Starting Nov 1, skiers can purchase the Fast Tracks add-on in advance or on-mountain. Fast Tracks — quantity to be capped daily –will be available to all skiers holding day passes, season passes or Ikon Passes.

Is this new level of premium pricing a natural evolution of how lift tickets are valued? I think so. A few years back, areas assigned different values to lift tickets based on how far in advance they were purchased, day of the week, holidays., etc. Some areas discount passes based on military service, student status and age. Remember when 60 year olds got free skiing? In the US, the age threshold has been steadily increasing. Now, generally, you need to be 75 or 80 to get a deal, if any exists.

Most resorts and the bundled pass offerings discount for early purchases. Their purveyors get to invest that capital any number of ways.

Who will make the add-on Fast Tracks purchase? Anyone with a cushy account planning a trip to the mountains. They paid for the flight, the lodge, lift tickets, etc. Why spend time on the hill waiting in line? That’s the market…and those to whom the added cost means nothing.

So much about skiing, like life in general, has changed, and those changes may grate on those who have been enjoying it for decades. If this works for Powdr Corp, it’s just a matter of time before paying the additional fee to get to the head of the line will be commonplace.

The Season Is Underway…

…at least in Finland where Levi and Ruka have opened with the benefit of recycling last season’s snow. The procedure, know as “snow farming” stores snow from the previous season in protective structures and redistributes it on trails once temps have dropped enough to keep it from melting. Here in the US, Copper Mountain (CO) fired up its guns last week to prepare for US Ski Team training staring October 22 and its general opening on November 22. And, as of this writing, resorts around the West have been dumped on. Alta has about 18.” Wolf Creek opens Saturday; Arapahoe Basin on Sunday. Winter is here!

Welcome Ski Idaho!

Ski Idaho, which promotes the state’s 17 ski areas, is our newest advertiser. The best known of the resorts is Sun Valley. Less frequented but with substantial vertical and snow are Grand Targhee (actually in Wyoming but a participant in the Ski Idaho initiative), Schweitzer, Tamarack, and Pebble Creek. Many private jets are parked at the airport in Hailey, the gateway to Sun Valley. Not so at the other areas. Any senior skier wanting to expand the list of areas skied or planning a reasonably priced family ski holiday is well-advised to look into Idaho. Its official nickname is “the gem state.” Precious minerals and stones aside, it is one gem of a place to explore and ski!

Snowboarder To Be Featured on $1 Coin

Source: US Treasury

Vermont will be represented in a series of new $1 coins issued by the U.S. Mint.The coin will feature an image of a snowboarder. The “American Innovation” series of $1 coins started in 2018 and will eventually include a coin for each state, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Vermont’s coin, to be released in 2022, shows a snowboarder holding the edge of her board while doing a trick.

Full Tilt to be Retired

Source: Full Tilt Boots

The 3-piece  boot, particularly popular with many SeniorsSkiing.com readers, will be retired after this season. It is made and distributed under the K2 umbrella.

Man Completes London Marathon in Ski Boots

Credit: Guinness World Records

Paul Bennett ran the London Marathon in ski boots, as a fund-raiser supporting injured military personnel. His time: 5 hour, 30 minutes, 20 seconds. He was 7 seconds faster than the last ski boot marathon runner.

On this side of the pond, last week, 87 untramarathoners in Utah ran into a blizzard that dumped 12″ – 18″ on portions of the high-elevation, 5o mile course. Officials called off the race, and there were no injuries; a far different outcome from last May’s mountain race in China when 21 runners died from exposure.

New Aspen Logo

Old Aspen logo. Source: Aspen
New Aspen logo. Source: Aspen



The original aspen leaf design was introduced in 1946. Now, 75 years later, it has a cleaner, new look. The design’s last iteration was an aspen leaf with ski tracks forming the stem. The new version is an outline of an aspen leaf. More on how the resort will be celebrating its 75th in future issues.


Big Expansion for Sunday River

Sunday River to expand into Western Reserve. Source: Sunday River

Sunday River (ME) announced a major expansion that will get underway in 2022. This, as reported in The Storm Skiing Journal website. The terrain expansion will eventually double the size of the resort. Click here for resort’s explanation.

30% Discount on Ski Books

Use code SENIORSSKI when placing online orders for any of the 27 ski titles published by Arcadia Publishing. The offer is valid through November 7.

Air Access to Mammoth Mountain Increases

United Airlines is starting flights from L.A., San Francisco and Denver to Eastern Sierra Regional Airport in Bishop (CA), about 49 miles from Mammoth Mountain. Another service, Advanced Airlines, which bills itself as providing “public charter flights,” will provide flights to Mammoth Yosemite Airport from three Southern California airports (Burbank, Carlsbad and Hawthorne). It’s 12 miles from the resort.

This Ski Film Was Made 101 Years Ago!

Arnold Fanck, a German documentary filmmaker and pioneer of the mountain film genre, is credited with creating one of the first ski films. “The Wonder of Skis” (Das Wunder des Schneeschuhs) was issued in 1920…101 years ago! It shows skiers in a variety of alpine beauty spots, executing surprisingly beautiful turns. Length of this segment: 30 minutes. Click on image to screen.



  1. Hi Jon,
    So disappointing to read about the Fast Tracks line-cutting option. Sounds like it’ll apply only to Mineral Basin lift at Snowbird (unless it’s successful). Last March the Mineral lift felt like the most crowded lift by far. So we’ll adjust and keep skiing!

    • Jon Weisberg says:

      Hi John, At the Bird, the policy will apply to Peruvian, Mineral Basin, Little Cloud, Gad 2, possibly another quad or two. You’re absolutely correct, we have no choice but to “adjust and keep skiing!” Jon

  2. The obvious concern about the Fast Tracks system is that it might be killed by its own success. Have you seen the TSA-Pre lines at DIA lately?

    • Jon Weisberg says:

      Rich, Which is why Clear was introduced a few years ago.Airports, ski areas, amusement parks, etc….the arms race never stops!

  3. Victor Polonski says:

    It is nice that some people can afford to pay extra to “bump the line”. The fact you have to be 75 or 80 to get discounts is discouraging, Has Seniors Skiing discussed with any of the Ski ticket conglomerates (IKON, EPIC, etc) discounts for older skiers? There are many subscribers to Seniorsskiing.Com which represents a large group.of dedicated skiers and it would be a great benefit to us. In addition, a great marketing tool for the site.

    • Jon Weisberg says:

      I agree, Victor but our thinking isn’t shared by Vail Resorts or Alterra. You may want to explore the Indy Pass which seems to be a good deal, albeit at mostly smaller areas.

    • Gordon Oliver says:

      Hi, Epic does have discounts for 65 and over and veterans. You just need to pick the one that best suits, where you are going to ski each year.

  4. Elliot P Holar says:

    Sorry, but may just have to start going to areas where they don’t distinguish between the premium-paying aristocracy and the rest of us hoi poloi.

  5. Bernie Krasnoff says:

    Likely the majority of Senior Skiers like myself, mostly ski on weekdays. Doubtful that Fast Tracks will adversely effect weekday skiers.

  6. Drew A Arent says:

    just what skiing needs another perk for the wealthy. their will be so many in that line a regular ticket holder will wait forever to load.

  7. Thanks for sharing the 1920 ski footage! They really had guts. No edges, no heel control and they were doing jumps that would not be done by many skiers today!

  8. Jon,
    According to Paul Richelson at Richelsons Feet First, the Full Tilt boots will still be available but under the K2 brand name instead of Full Tilt.
    I’ve been in the Full Tilt Classic for the last 10 years since I had my hip replaced.

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