I don’t mean to be a bummer, but I really need to get this off my chest. Does anyone else out there get the feeling that things, in general, are falling apart?

You call a company “help” line and wait for 15-20-30 minutes to speak with someone…that is, if you’re not disconnected. All that while being told “your call is important to us.”

Yes, it’s hard to find and hire people. But does that justify the Target cashier rudely refusing to verify the price of an item when politely asked?

What about reserving and purchasing a Powder Mountain lift ticket online? Several of the resort’s owners are from tech. Wouldn’t you think the online process they set up would work? It didn’t for me, and based on comments from people who work there, it doesn’t work for others. Fortunately, real people answer the phone and are helpful.

The other day, at Park City Mountain Resort, I tried downloading a free App to request a ride from the shuttle service. Completing the process required clicking twice on the button on the right side of my phone; the same process that shuts the phone down.

Compared to what’s going on the world, these are minor irritants; incremental reminders that things are not as promised; that, perhaps, the sky is falling, but not right away.

If you haven’t seen “Don’t Look Up,” Netflix’ star-studded comedy about the end of the world, you may want to. I fall in the camp of those who enjoyed it. Others find it more irritating than entertaining. At first glance, it’s about a large comet on a direct collision course with Earth. Metaphorically, it’s about the long-term perils of climate change or, more immediately, the effects of Covid.

I know from past comments that some of you prefer not to pay too much attention to the pandemic. From a skier’s perspective, ski areas, from Sun Valley to Ischgl have served as super-spreaders: places where people from afar have transported the virus, infecting others who carried it back to their home communities. By now that’s old news. But the ongoing resistance to wearing masks and/or getting vaccinated – also old news – is giving the virus more opportunity to keep spreading, killing, and interrupting our lives.

What’s the point of this venting? I’m reaching a point that, knowing I have just so many years ahead of me, I’m reducing exposure to the aggravatingly repetitive drumbeat of news, pundits, etc.

Maybe it’s time to reduce the volume and focus more on things that bring me happiness and joy. It will be a narrower vision but, possibly, a happier one.

Stevens Pass Petition Update

As previously reported, about 20,000 Epic Pass holders at Washington’s Steven’s Pass petitioned Vail Resorts (VR) to refund 60% of the cost of their passes. That, because VR sold passes, knowing that only 60% of terrain and lifts would be open this season. Now, the signatories are being urged to email VR cancelling the “auto renew” feature for their 2022-23 season passes.

Park City Patrol Averts Strike With New Contract

Park City Professional Ski Patrol Association voted to approve a new contract with Vail Resorts. The agreement gives the ski patrollers a $19/hr average wage and tenure recognition. It also provides wage parity with Colorado residents, meaning that a rise in Colorado’s minimum wage will be matched for patrollers at Park City.

Duck, Duck, Moose

Two moose crossed a heavily used trail at Steamboat recently. A skier captured the scene. A few weeks ago, on The Canyons side of Park City Mountain Resort, moose (without skis) on two trails, prompted those trails to be closed. Moose-sightings at The Canyons is not unusual.

Be Happy You Weren’t on THAT Chair


Skiers on a chair at Beech Mountain (NC) had the unpleasant experience of riding through a cold geyser resulting from a ruptured water line. A few unfortunate souls were stuck in the powerful spray for extended periods when the lift stopped. Why management did not stop the lift to prevent people from being sprayed is a question that may be asked by their attorneys. Yet another example of things, in general, breaking down.


Photo by Melissa Shelby

If you’re in or around Cascade, Idaho Jan 30 – Feb 3, try to take in the Idaho Sled Dog Challenge. World-class mushers will compete on the 300-mile qualifier for Alaska’s Iditarod. The Idaho event is considered one of the world’s toughest. For more details visit idahosleddogchallenge.com.

Getting Back to Basics

The winter sports market in China is touted to be more than $126 billion, growing to $160 billion by 2025. Among the drivers, hundreds of new ski areas and the Beijing Winter Olympics. Tmall Winter Festival is the country’s major annual Winter shopping event. Click on the image (above) to screen the curious video promoting snow sports. At least, that’s my interpretation of the piece.

Children of Patrol

This video is much easier to understand. It’s about the children of members of the Jackson Hole Ski Patrol. Several of the kids have become patrollers. It is six-minutes, family-oriented, and  delightful!!

Calgary’s Ghost Area

Fortress Mountain reached its peak sometime in the 1980s. This 10-minute video sponsored by Black Crows Skis tells the area’s story and that of the crew determined to bring it back to life.


  1. Blame that terrible computer programming on the youngsters that have been hired to replace us older and more experienced (but higher paid) laid-off programmers so the CEOs can make (as in Apple’s latest exec comp will show) 98 MILLION in incentives! Not that there’s anything you can do about it other than read your proxy statements and vote down executive compensation. I vote with the boards recommendations on everything EXCEPT executive compensation.

  2. Wendy Falcone says:

    Hey Jon,

    I understand your thought process on the virus. I would bet your watching CNN, ABC, MSNBC and possibly FoxNews. I would suggest trying: Newsmax or OAN. There are also many websites that offer real news. Information is everywhere from doctors and scientists who have courage saying that the Masks DO NOT stop the spread of the virus. Also most people who have and are spreading the virus have had 2 jabs and a booster.
    There is also plenty of info out there that those receiving the shot are likely to end up with major health issues or even death. Consider all the front line workers (nurses and doctors and police and EMTs) who are not willing to take the shots. Would you buy a stock your stock broker isn’t willing to buy?
    I am happy to share any info with you that will help. As far as your death, God numbers our days. You are not going early or late based on anything in this world. He has you here for a purpose and until that is over your stuck here 🙂

    • “Plenty of info that those receiving the shot are likely to end up with major health issues or even death.”

      Geez, I would never have thought I’d read such a statement from a skier. Wow! Just wow!

  3. John E Farley says:

    Sorry to be controversial, but it is people like Wendy (post above) who are responsible for the spread of the virus, many deaths, and ongoing disruption in our lives. The truth is that deaths are FAR lower among the vaccinated than among the unvaccinated. Many orders of magnitude. And while masks and vaccination do not stop ALL transmission, you are much less likely to spread the virus if you are vaccinated and wear a good-fitting N-95 mask. All facts conveniently left out of the aforementioned post. And the number of doctors and nurses who are unvacinated is relatively small – a tiny minority. So again, misleading post. Personally, I am sick and tired of not being able to go in lodges because of the selfish people who refuse to were masks – even whern there are big “masks recommended” signs on all the doors. As to God numbering our days, I have always heard that God helps those who help themselves. Get vaccinated and boosted and wear a mask, or if you refuse to do that, stay out of the ski lodges or better yet, stay home.

  4. I totally agree with John Farley. In fact I was about to write a very similar response to the accusations of Ms. Falcone. The latter cited OAN and Newsmax two right wing news outlets who consistently spread dangerous and misleading “facts.” that can harm people. I plead with her not to join me on the lift or in the lodge without a mask. I prefer to be safe rather than sorry.. I also note that 100% of the U.S. Ski team is fully vaccinated. Thank God!!!!

  5. Brian Fitzgerald says:

    If you want the facts…without prejudice to party or ideology and are looking for a non partisan analysis that is statistics based with data from both here and abroad that cites and details its source references with links vs. generalized statements…. read Pandemia by Alex Berenson.

  6. Wendy is sadly misinformed. Newsmax? Really? Totally agree with John Farley.
    As far as Jon Weisberg’s assessment of attempting to get in touch with and get answers from ANY company, it has gotten to the point of abject discouragement. Getting Passes and info for Okemo gets you to Vail resorts, and they did not have a clue! Bring back the old-timers, or train the young-uns in communication skills with seniors.

  7. Peter L Burkett says:

    Wendy, let’s make one thing perfectly clear: if you stray from the cat litter box of CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC you will be cancelled.

  8. I still abide by the old adage that “the truth is somewhere in between the 2 sides. I laugh at both extremes. Doom and controversy sells “news”.

  9. I think it is time to stop the mask fights and vax attacks. Both sides are set in concrete and no one will change their mind on these topics. Attacking someone, regardless of their position, is counterproductive and I would hope stop on this site. Each person should be allowed to express their opinions openly here and not expect a personal attack in response.

    • For what it’s worth, the author of this article set the tone for this issue and, in my opinion, should never have started this topic in a skiing newsletter. That being said, I believe if a person is reporting information which is totally false, it can cause irreparable harm to others and needs to be corrected.

  10. Katie Van Hees says:

    Jon – I agree with you on the movie “Don’t Look Up”. Can it be because of our mature age or how we view this new world that we get it?
    Having just returned from a 10 day trip to Banff and Panorama ( using my Mt. Collective Pass), I am cancelling my March trip to the Dolomites. Flying into another country is absolute hell and most of the unending paperwork is done on a computer and then their sites don’t work. Now I am back home trying to get compensation via the internet for delayed luggage from my trip insurance and Westjet leg of this trip. My Gawd! Not to mention the preplanning where my flights were changed constantly and then you must PHONE the airlines customer service to reschedule. HAHAHAHAHA. So much fun listening that awful music for hours.
    Oh, and by the way, masks and vaccine proof are mandatory in Canada if you want to go inside anywhere. But you know how stupid those Canadians are……..? They still live in igloos.
    By the way, I loved Panorama. Not a real fan of Sunshine or Lake Louise.
    Always a fan of yours, Jon. I feel the same way. See you in Utah soon?

  11. Victor Polonski says:

    This is a bummer “ongoing resistance to wearing masks and/or getting vaccinated – also old news – is giving virus more opportunity to keep spreading, killing and interrupting our lives” … why are you making Senior Skiing political. The truth is masks do not make a difference (ie. Sweden) nor due lockdowns (John Hopkins report). Let’s get back to skiing!

  12. David Brennan says:

    great vid on Fortress…love the old history of this industry. Good Luck

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