Something Old. Something New.

I just read two books about trails.

The old one is American Skiing, published in 1939. It’s author, Otto Schniebs, was one of the Arlberg Technique pioneers in New England and contributed to the development of several areas.  He founded the American Ski School of Boston and coached at Dartmouth College and later at St. Lawrence University.

When was the last time you saw someone do this?

The first chapter, “Adventure on Skis in the Colorado Rockies,” is a colorful account of a Spring visit to the Elk Mountains between Aspen and Crested Butte. This was ’39 and Aspen didn’t start as a ski area until ’46; Crested Butte in ’62. Schniebs and his companions encounter a variety of terrain, snow and avalanches. The text is fun to read and is richly illustrated with photos. Throughout are page references to technique, which is covered in the next section, where he uses motion picture stills to explain a full range of ski moves ranging from those for beginners to achieving jump turns, and somersaults!

This is followed by ruminations about organizing ski areas, building trails and slopes, a single sentence on mechanical lifts, longer sections on ski patrol, developing instructors, ski schools, and equipment.

The book has many photos, including a fold-out panorama of the northern Adirondacks (Whiteface to Mt. Marcy to Redfield in Winter), a classic shot of Dick Durrance, skiers in Tuckerman’s Ravine, etc.

I’ve had my copy since 1962. Google shows first edition copies for less than $50.

The new book is On Trails: An Exploration, by Robert Moor. This New York Times Bestseller is a wonderful read. The information — it does not cover ski trials — is fascinating and presented with graceful and engaging prose. We accompany the author as he explores a multitude of ancient and modern trails. His observations take us into the realms of natural and human history, economics, philosophy, and literature. Who knew that studies of how ants travel have been digitized and the results used to inform flows in factories and warehouses? The trail and road walkers he encounters range from amusing to weird. I highly recommend On Trails. The pages turn on their own.

New Zealand

Mt Hutt has a 120″ base, and plans to remain open through October 15. The 6800’+ resort is one of the highest in New Zealand.


Listed below are the deadlines for lowest season pass prices in Vermont. Note the threshold ages for skiing free (some may require a small processing fee).

  • Bolton Valley: September 25 Ski Free: 75
  • Bromley Mountain: October 15
  • Burke Mountain: October 9
  • Jay Peak Resort: October 9
  • Killington Resort: October 12 Ski Free: 80
  • Mad River Glen: October 15 Ski Free: 70
  • Magic Mountain: October 15
  • Middlebury Snow Bowl: November 30 Ski Free: 70
  • Mount Snow Resort: October 18
  • Okemo Mountain Resort: October 9
  • Pico Mountain: October 12 Ski Free: 80
  • Smugglers’ Notch Resort: October 31
  • Stowe Mountain Resort: October 8
  • Stratton Mountain Resort: October 9
  • Sugarbush Resort: September 13; Boomer Pass (Age 65-89) Price: $139; includes midweek, non-holiday skiing at Lincoln Peak and Mt. Ellen. Ski Free: 90


Take five minutes and give yourself a treat. The Man at the End of the World is a beautiful video about an older couple living in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. If you enjoy the clip, click “like’ in the lower right corner to help it score well in a video competition.



Leave a Reply

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