World War II produced many heroes. One of Norway’s best known died earlier this week. Joachim Ronneberg led the ski-assisted raid that destroyed the facility where Nazis were producing “heavy water,” a component they would have used to produce an atomic bomb.

He was 23 when, according to his obituary in the The New York Times, he and eight other “…Norwegian saboteurs skied across the Telemark pine forest in winter whites, phantom apparitions gliding across moonlit snow. . They halted at a steep river gorge and gazed down at a humming hydroelectric power plant where Nazi scientists had developed a mysterious, top-secret project… Hours later, in one of the most celebrated commando raids of World War II, Lieutenant Ronneberg and his demolition team sneaked past guards and a barracks full of German troops, stole into the plant, set explosive charges and blew up Hitler’s hopes for a critical ingredient to create the first atomic bomb.” Ronneberg was 99. The complete Times obituary provides a brief history lesson on the epic event.

Kirk Douglas and Richard Harris starred in “The Heroes of Telemark,” a 1965 British film based on the raid. The most definitive book on the raid, “The Winter Fortress: The Epic Mission to Sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb” (2016) was written by Neal Bascomb. Click here for “X-C Skiing Saves the World,”’s 2016 book review.

RSVP for’s 5th Birthday Party!

Help celebrate our Fifth Anniversary, 5:30 – 8:00 PM, Wednesday, November 14, on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Meet other metro area senior skiers. Win Apex Ski Boots, a trip to Okemo in Vermont, Orsden ski parkas, a season of ski insurance from Safe Descents, The Bootster device to help get boots on, the DeBooter device to get them off, discounts on Masterfit boot products, etc.  Lots of SWAG from areas all over the country. Meet a representative of Alpskitours based in Italy’s Aosta Valley. All free except for cash bar. RSVP, [email protected].

Buying Boots? Use a Professional Bootfitter.

If you’re considering buying boots, PLEASE, use a professional bootfitter. It is one way to assure the positive outcome of your purchase. We highly recommend using the services of bootfitters who have gone through training with Masterfit’s America’s Best Bootfitter (ABB) program. To find one near you visit:

New England Areas Get a Head Start

Sunday River, Maine, opened last weekend. Mt Snow will open this weekend, the resort’s earliest opening in its 64- year history.

Mind-Boggling Ski Videos

These feats are not to practiced on your home hill.

Skiing East Face of Matterhorn: The six-minute video starts with the climb up Mt Cervin (aka Matterhorn). The skiers unrope themselves from bolts in a rock face and ski — ever so cautiously — a steep, rocky face, until they let loose on saner terrain.

Line of Winter: This three-minute selfie from GoPro shows Nicholas Falquet skiing what appear to be high elevation vertical walls covered in deep powder. Can’t tell if he has a cable attached to his back. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.


Caught in a Crevasse: This one is 17 minutes and shows a skier falling into and being rescued from a deep crevasse. Lesson here is to avoid crevasses and if you’re in those conditions, to ski with others with rescue skills and equipment.



Park City’s BIG SHOT!

Sunrise Rotary Club in Park City (I was a member during my Park City years) set a world record on Saturday, October 13 with its 3rd annual Shot Ski Event. If you’re not familiar with shot skis, they’re skis affixed with shot glasses. For competitions — or just for fun — the glasses are filled with booze (in this case from Park City’s High West Distillery).  The entire ski is hoisted and the contents guzzled by the participants. To reclaim the record from Breckenridge, 1275 Parkites showed up to lift 508 skis (2570 feet long) off Main Street. Congratulations, Sunrise Rotary for raising almost $30,000 from the event!

Axe Throwing and New Pod Hotel at Whistler

Among other new developments at Whistler this year are the Pangea Pod Hotel and apres ski axe-throwing. Two more reasons to visit Whistler Blackcomb, one of North America’s largest and most fascinating resorts. It has an added benefit for seniors — its relatively low elevation (long vertical, nonetheless) makes it easier on the lungs.

One Comment

  1. Roger Skugrud says:

    That was not a cable attached to his back. But kind of a selfie stick sticking up from his backpack , To give a another viewpoint of his descent.

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