“Snow is the cosmetic of the Earth.” That’s one of many memorable lines from Moby Dick, Herman Melville’s masterpiece about one man’s obsession with the destruction of a gigantic white whale.

Riding early morning lifts, especially on a powder day, brings Melville’s observation to life. The smooth, undulating surface conceals what’s below. My skiing dreams and day-dreams invariably show untouched surfaces. There’s a reason we call it virgin snow.

With rare exception, conditions like that don’t last long. Dropping into an untracked slope and leaving your own lines is a joy. By definition, joy is ephemeral — a fleeting moment of intense happiness. Powder snow is ephemeral. Anything that is temporary is ephemeral. We’re about to enter another season, and we’re not getting younger. Relish the anticipation. Experience the joy. Embrace it all.

Bootster Is THE ESSENTIAL Older Skier’s Accessory

Our newest advertiser is Bootster, a compact ski boot shoehorn that makes boot entry effortless — even when they’re cold and stiff. It utilizes a super slick material that eases foot into boot. It is compact and fits into a pocket. Many of you will have your own techniques: talcum powder; various sprays; etc., etc. but Bootster does the job with perfection. No need for contortions. It’s one of those simple solutions for a persistent problem. Having used an earlier version of the design, I fully endorse its effectiveness. And at $25, it’s an ideal gift for any older skier on your list.


Documentary Explores Abandoned Colorado Ski Areas

Abandoned is the title of a soon to be released documentary about independent Colorado ski areas that no longer exist. The film explores skiing before the influence of corporate resorts and current effects of climate change. I’ve only seen the trailer. It’s well worth watching.

Tremblant Video Shows Latest Improvements

Last week’s Short Swings! column described Mont-Tremblant’s new high speed quad and the expanded glade areas it serves. This very cool short video shows it with unusual creativity.

Jiminy Peak, Bromley, and Cranmore offer savings through their respective value cards (check websites for details):

  • Jiminy Peak‘s costs $62 and includes two days of skiing followed by savings of lift tickets purchased throughout the season.
  • Bromley‘s costs $81 before December 14 and includes one day ticket and $30 off additional tickets throughout the season.
  • Cranmore‘s is $89 and includes one day ticket and $20 off additional tickets throughout the season. Every seventh ticket is free. Cranmore also allows those purchasing a ticket after 2:00PM to use the same ticket the following day.

Ikon Pass Price Increases Oct. 10

The full adult pass (unlimited access to 14 destinations and 7-days or 7-days combined at 21 destinations; no blackouts) is currently available for $999. Starting Oct. 10, it increases to $1,049. The IKON Base Pass (unlimited access to 12 destinations and 5-days or 5-days combined at 23 destinations; 10 blackouts) is currently available for $699. Starting Oct.10, it increases to $749. More at www.ikonpass.com.

Maine Ski Hall of Fame To Induct 19th Century Adventurer, Others

Norman Libby, the winter adventurer who was the first to ski Pleasant Mountain (Shawnee Peak) in the 1890’s will be inducted (posthumously) to the Maine Ski Hall of Fame, Oct 27 at the Grand Summit Hotel at Sunday River. Also being added to the Hall of Fame are Karen Colburn and Anne Dowling, US Freestyle Champions; Leon Akers, cross country coach and ski shop owner; David Stonebraker, prep school ski coach; Warren Cook, Sugarloaf ski executive, and Kristina Sabasteanski, biathlete. The Maine Ski Hall of Fame is a program of the Ski Museum of Maine.

Skiing the Great Indoors

The world’s largest indoor ski resort will open in Shanghai, China in 2022. It will feature three slopes, numerous other attractions, and four hotels with a total of 1,000 rooms.



  1. Norm Reynolds says:

    A cheaper version of the “bootster” is a pair of grocery bags. Put one over your foot, slide the boot on, and just leave it there. No worry about your foot sweating. Boots aren’t porous, maybe more sweat absorbs into your socks and less in the liner. May as well get a second use before the bags end up in the central Pacific.

    A more sophisticated solution is dive socks, socks SCUBA divers use to enable wet suits to slide on easily. They cost about $20 and are real colorful.

  2. Jon
    I greatly enjoyed your poetic works about riding early morning lifts on a powder day. The connection to Melville’s writing about the ocean is spot on.

  3. That should have read: poetic words.

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