My wife and I have a long-running gag. She’ll say, “Life is short,” to which I’ll respond, “So are you.”

Life IS short.  A brief opinion piece last week in The New York Times makes the point that we should squeeze as much out of our time as possible. The author writes: “…the appreciation of our own lives has much to do with the ever-increasing awareness of its relative brevity. It is this — an awareness and acceptance of our own mortality — that makes us human. And it is the impetus, I’d argue, for living our lives to the fullest.”

Those of us pursuing our passions live life to the fullest. Skiing is my passion and has been since I got the bug 65 years ago. As I’ll explain this week when presenting at the annual meeting of the National Ski Council Federation—the organizing body of ski club councils—older skiers are able to stay with their passion, in part, because of modern technology. Ski and boot technology make it easier to do more with good technique and less effort. Snow-making, grooming, and lift technology improve the process of getting up and down mountains. Medical advances—replacement joints included—give many of us the opportunity to continue to play in the snow.

Last season, I experienced a drop in stamina. I’m working at turning that around. I take a daily brisk 3-mile walk, half of it up a steady incline. I’m into a gym routine, guided by Dominick Juliano, my 85-year-old friend who in 1953 won the professional Mr. America competition. Around the same time, he appeared on stage as part of Mae West’s show in Vegas . For all his years and in the face of many challenges, Dominick has retained his good health, great physique, and his remarkably positive outlook. For seven years, he and wife, Carol, sailed with Carol’s then young son from the West Coast, through the Panama Canal, across the Caribbean and the Atlantic and around the Mediterranean. They met as croupiers in Vegas. His tells his story in The Essence of Being(Balboa Press, 2015).

At the end of next month we’ll return to our normal publishing schedule.

Helmet Tech: Worth the Cost

Helmet-wearing skiers/boarders have fewer head and other injuries according to a paper published in the June issue of Wilderness & Environmental Medicine. The research found that helmets protect more against cuts and bruises than concussions and that those wearing helmets are less likely to be injured. The authors mention three helmet technologies with brain-protecting technologies. They are D3O, MIPS, and EPS 4D. We at SeniorsSkiing.com believe the additional cost for a helmet with one of these technologies is worthwhile.

Rent Vermont’s Pico Peak for the Day

Pico Peak is available for private rental Tuesdays and Wednesdays January 8 – April 4. The cost is $6,500 for up to 250 guests. Food and beverage services are available for an additional fee. In recent years, other areas, including Utah’s remote Eagle Point, have introduced similar offers. If interested, contact groups@picomountain.com.

New York’s Hunter Mountain Expands

Hunter Mountain is investing $9 million to increase its skiable acreage by 25%. The expansion includes five new trails separated by four large glades. The areas will be accessed by a new high-speed six person chair. The upgrade includes an entrance, parking lots and lodge for Hunter North.

Deer Valley, Squaw Get New Management

  • Deer Valley‘s long time president and COO, Bob Wheaton, is stepping down following 38 years at the resort. He’ll take on an advisory role at Alterra Mountain Company, which recently acquired the resort. His replacement is Todd Shallan, a seasoned resort, hospitality and recreation executive. One of his earlier positions was Director of Asset Management for KSL Capital Partners, one of Alterra’s organizing entities.
  • Ron Cohen is the new President and Chief Operating Officer of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, another Alterra-owned resort. Cohen has been interim President & COO since April. An attorney, Cohen previously was Chief Administrative Officer and General Counsel of Mammoth Mountain.

Clever Device to Save Your Phone

Recently stumbled across this superb and inexpensive product. The Gear Beast  is a smartphone lanyard with a pocket for cash and/or cards. Worn around the neck, it prevents losing or dropping your phone. Gear Beast fits all size phones and retails for $9.99 direct from the company or from Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy and other online sources.

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