I heard a massive avalanche one time. Chamonix in the late 60s. Several minutes later a fine dust covered everything. When it stopped, it was an inch or two deep.

When you ski in the West, you often hear the early morning thuds of dynamite and bombs dislodging unstable slopes. It’s impressive.

I like to seek silence, pausing in the trees, away from the sound of cable and the chatter of other skiers. When its fresh, snow muffles its surroundings. Maybe you’ll hear a bird, a squirrel in a tree, or nothing.

Quietude can be part of the experience. But like other life wonders, we need to slow down to hear it. Being aware of our surroundings, wherever we are — but especially on mountains in winter — is part of the richness of our experience.

It doesn’t matter if you’re skiing Hunter Mountain, Jackson Hole’s Hobacks, or Catherine’s in Alta. Simply enter the woods and listen.

November 14 Party in Manhattan

RSVPs are being emailed in. We’re looking forward to meeting you in person. If you’re in the New York area and want to attend, please send me a short note at [email protected].

Last week, I mentioned that APEX Boot Systems is providing an $800 pair of its ultimately adjustable and superbly comfortable boots. 70+ Ski Club is giving a free 4-day trip to Okemo in Vermont. Richard Lambert, who heads 70+, will be on hand to answer questions about upcoming trips. Orsden, which makes incredibly comfortable and good looking parkas, is giving two parkas for the event. Sara Segall, the company founder expects to attend. There will be Bootsters to help you get your boots on and DeBooters to help get them off. The Buffalo Wool Company, which makes remarkable socks from bison and silk is sending a selection of products. And GearBeast, which makes the perfect cell phone carrier for skiing and other activities, will have numerous pieces to give away. Different resorts and state ski associations are sending lots of SWAG. And if you want to learn about fantastic skiing packages based in Italy’s Aosta Valley, where you ski in Italy, Switzerland and France, Mauro Cevolo of advertiser, Alpskitour will be there. For more on the party, click here.

Trail Masters

We sent 100+ patches, stickers, etc. to last season’s Trail Masters. The only one returned was addressed to Thomas Bolstad. If we receive your correct address, we’ll resend.

The Art of Fear Ski Camp

I know several older skiers who are unable to realize their potential on the slopes because they’re afraid. A few are afraid of injuring or reinjuring themselves. Others limit themselves to the same terrain because they fear taking it to another level. My wife, an athletic person with excellent skiing form, gets concerned when we approach the steeps. Kristen Ulmer is an author and life coach who helps people overcome their miscellaneous fears. She will host The Art if Fear Ski Camp, March 9-10, 2019 at Alta. The cost is $579. For more information visit The Art of Fear 2-Day Ski Camp.



  1. Jon
    I appreciate your comments about quietude. When I find myself alone on a trail I often stop, look and listen. Moments of quiet on a mountain in the winter are cherished moments.

  2. Jonathan Wiesel says:

    And cross-country skiing: no lifts, fewer people, less grooming noise, no concern about snowboarders coming up behind you… Serenity!

  3. I was a ski instructor at Okemo (Ludlow, VT.) during the 70’s, and frequently would help the ski patrol sweep the mountain at the end of the day. What a delight it was to stop at the top of a trail and listen to the quiet, often as dusk was falling, before heading down. One afternoon we had a freak snow shower that delayed the start of sweep. It only lasted 15-20 minutes, but put down 1″-2″ of fresh snow. No harsh edges on ice that afternoon – only the soft swish of skis on fresh snow. Thanks for reminding me!

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