I keep a list of the places I’ve skied since I was 10. In a few weeks, I’ll be 75. The list totals 85 areas, mostly the US and Canada. The others are in the French and Swiss Alps. One, an indoor area that no longer exists, was in Japan.

Photo: Rylo

That, and the recent addition of Canada to our annual list of paces where seniors can ski free, got me thinking about just how many areas there are. Note that I used the term “areas,” not “resorts.” Some of the places I found are indoor ski centers. Others are quite small and have few amenities. I don’t want to give the term, “resort” a bad name.

According to one Google reference, as of last season, Europe had 3,478 ski areas. That’s a lot more than the 472 in the US. When you add Canada’s 219 areas, and Mexico’s one little ski resort, North America totals 692.

By comparison, Australia and New Zealand, combined, have 62. And all of South America has 30.

Africa has seven areas: two in Algeria, one in Lesotho (I once travelled there on non-ski-related business and met the king), three in Morocco, and one in South Africa.

I counted a total of 728 areas across Asia; most of them in Japan. The list of Japanese areas I used was a bit confusing, so my count may be off. There certainly are more than 500 Japanese areas. Currently China has 7 areas, but as reported here last year, there are plans to build 500 more by 2022, when China hosts the Winter Olympics.

India has 11 areas; Pakistan 9. A few years ago, I wrote a piece about North Korea’s newest resort. The country has two. South Korea has 20. And, in case you didn’t already know this, there are areas in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Even Mongolia has a ski area. And in the Middle East, there’s skiing in Lebanon, Iran, Israel, Syria, Turkey, and United Arab Emirates (indoor, of course).

Add them up and they total 4997 ski areas. I’ve only been to 85! If any of you have skied unusual or out of the way places, tell us about them in “Comments,” or drop me a line at [email protected].

Pass the Bucks

Last season Vail sold 750,000 Epic Pases. This season, Alterra expects it will sell 250,000 Ikon Passes in this, the first full season for the Ikon Pass. These passes come with a cost for senior skiers – the elimination of local area passes and the senior discounts they offered. While on the subject, Valle Nevado in Chile, just became part of the Ikon Pass.

LGBTQ Skiing

ELEVATION is a series of annual gay ski and snowboard weeks. It started 16 years ago at Mammoth and has been a presence in Park City for the past eight years. This season, the event will also be held at Mont Tremblant.

Colorado Has the Goods

Breckenridge and Keystone received 5’ since mid October. Both open this week.

Skiing With Grandkids

This article from the Ski Utah website gives practical advice for parents of young skiers. If you’re a grandparent, taking young ones out on the hill for the first time, it will helpful.

Maine Ski Hall of Fame Inducts Seven

The Maine Ski Hall of Fame recognizes Maine skiers who have brought distinction to Maine skiing or made significant contributions to the sport. This year’s inductees are US Freestyle Champions, Karen Colburn and Anne Dowling; Leon Akers, cross country coach and ski shop owner; David Stonebraker, prep school ski coach; Warren Cook, Sugarloaf ski executive; Kristina Sabasteanski, biathlete; and (posthumously) Norman Libby, Bridgton winter adventurer who was the first to ski Pleasant Mountain (Shawnee Peak) in the 1890’s.

The Hall of Fame is a program of Ski Museum of Maine.

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  1. I’ve got you beat in the list department, Jon. I have a list of every day spent skiing since 1973 – over 900 so far. It’s nice to look back and think about how I spent about three years of my life defying gravity.

  2. Normand L Reynolds says:

    On the list of ski areas/resorts/whatever, do no-lift areas like Tuckerman’s Ravine or St. Mary’s glacier count?

  3. My list is far more meaningful. It consists of every day I cut school in order to ski. It’s a lot. I went to school a long time, undoubtedly a cause and a effect relationship, but it was worth it.

  4. David collins says:

    Vail Resorts reports 925,000 epic passes sold this year. 100,000 were military passes.

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