Older skiers have older eyes, and all skiers eventually experience decrease in snow contrast sensitivity. The most common culprit is cataracts, the cloudiness that forms on our lenses, causing the eyes to lose clarity and decreasing the quality of light focused on the retina. Cataracts can start forming when we’re in our 40s and 50s, though they’re more commonplace in our 60s and 70s.

Less common are processing issues related to diseases such as glaucoma and macular degeneration. They decrease the quality of the signal transmitted to the brain.

Many of you ski with contacts. I never figured out how to get them in and out without struggling. It was especially frustrating on powder days.

Arctic region snow goggles
Early snow goggles









For years I simply wore glasses. Then I used the OTG goggles. OTG stands for Over The Glasses. There was a lot of fogging. Next step was the battery operated fan goggle. When they worked, they worked well. When they didn’t – which was frequently – AAARGH! 

A-BOM makes a goggle that works like an electrified windshield. I used it for a few years. As I recall, it works.


My go-to solution is a prescription insert. It fits into goggles designed to accommodate inserts. Smith, Oakley, and Anon are among the companies that offer them.

Finding an optometrist that understands how to make a good insert may be a challenge. The last time I had an insert made was at a prominent optometric shop in Salt Lake City. I thought that being so close to the resorts, shops in SLC would have the know-how. I was wrong. The place I selected couldn’t get one of the lenses to stop falling out of the frame. It required multiple return visits.

I carry my specs in a hard shell case for use in the lodge or if conditions are such that I don’t want to wear goggles.

Another alternative is laser surgery. Some people I know swear by it. A few have developed complications. 

For the time being, I’m sticking with inserts.

Alterra To Invest $181 Million in Resort Improvements

Alterra Mountain Company, which owns ski resorts and the IKON pass, announced it will invest $181 million in capital improvements across its 14 North American mountain destinations. Major 2019/2020 projects include new high-speed lifts at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Winter Park, RFID lift access at Deer Valley Resort, an expansive renovation of the Bobbie Burns lodge at CMH Heli-Skiing & Summer Adventures, and an upgrade of Steamboat’s gondola.

US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame Dinner Discounted for SeniorsSkiing.com Subscribers

The US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame’s annual induction ceremony is April 6 in Salt Lake City. The ceremony will culminate Snowsport History Celebration, a gathering in Park City of International Skiing History Association, US Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, and North American Snowsports Journalists Association. The ceremony will be at Salt Lake’s Little America Hotel. SeniorsSkiing.com subscribers may purchase tickets to the gala at a $100 discount ($239) through March 15 by entering SENIORS2019 when purchasing. If you live in the area or are visiting, this should be a terrific evening. This year’s inductees include racers Bode Miller, Kristin Ulmer, Hilary Engisch, and Andrew Weibrecht.

Tickets: https://skihall.com/induction/tickets/

Full event details: https://skihall.com/induction/schedule/

Lodging: https://skihall.com/induction/lodging/

George Jedenoff, 101 1/2 and Still Skiing

George Jedenoff, 101 1/2 and still skiing!

This video issued by Ski Utah is titled The Optimist. It shows George skiing with his son at Alta. George explains his philosophy of optimism and staying fit so he can continue to enjoy life on snow. An added bonus are some brief comments from Harriet Wallis, frequent SeniorsSkiing.com contributor. The video is 5 minutes long. It will bring you joy.

ORSDEN Parka and Pants SALE


Orsden makes good-looking, functional, ski parkas and pants. Because they sell directly to consumers online, the products cost about half of what they would in a shop. The company just announced a 50% off end of season sale for its products. Parkas are $165; pants, $100. When I looked there was a full selection of sizes and colors. This is one terrific bargain.

Short Swings! Hiatus

Over the next four weeks, Short Swings! may be really short or nonexistent, while I’m skiing  in the Aosta Valley and the Dolomites. Will report on the adventure from time to time and when I’m back in early April.


  1. Ron Currie says:

    Hey Jon, RE: Skiing Eyesight

    I have used gas permeable hard contacts for many, many years. Very few and easily solvable issues.
    Been through most of the problems you mentioned.

  2. Jim McGuire says:

    1/2 face shield Helmet (uvex) is new to me and working very well. When I get fog on my glasses a simple lift of the shield floods the are with cool air and the glasses are clear.

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