In case you haven’t noticed, ageism hasn’t gone away. The only difference is that over the years we’ve become the object of this form of cultural disdain.

That’s why I thought it would be good to pay respect to some really old timers.

Last month, we hiked to a grove of Bristlecone Pines, the oldest trees on the planet. The ones we visited have been around for about 3,500 years. They’re in Great Basin National Park, at the eastern edge of Nevada. One bristlecone, in California’s White Mountains, is almost 5,000+ years old!

The hike required some effort on rocky but well-marked 10,000’+ terrain. 

Gnarled. Tortured. Grotesque. They’re good words to describe Bristlecones. Many look dead except for the greenery coming from some twisted branches. These trees are ancient and thrive in the harshest and rockiest conditions. They deserve respect.

Pando at Fish Lake, Utah

Not far from where I spend summers near Capitol Reef National Park, is the Pando, a massive Aspen tree clone reported to be one of the largest organisms on Earth. Aspen trunks spring up from underground runners. An entire grove has the same genetic markers. In the Spring, when one develops leaves, they all develop leaves. In the Fall, the entire grove turns color simultaneously. Observe an aspen forest when the leaves are changing and you’ll witness one entire section changing its leaf color one day; another section changing a few days later. I mention the Pando near Fish Lake, Utah, because researchers have identified its root system as 80,000 years old! Unfortunately, they also tell us human activity is leading to its demise.

What does this have to do with senior skiers?

Many of you, responding to the Spring survey question asking what pissed you off most during last season, indicated two major irritants: 1) loss of discounts and high ticket and food prices and 2) rude, out-of-control skiers and boarders. (We’ll have more on the survey in upcoming issues.)

Your responses reflect a shift in the US ski industry’s business model which is systematically eliminating discount benefits many came to expect. That could be viewed as disregarding the interests of Boomer skiers. They also reflect a general lack of regard from other skiers/boarders. It’s surprising how many of you wrote that you or someone you know was hit by a young, out-of-control person.

We older skiers and boarders have been around a while. Maybe not as long as Bristlecones and the Pando, but we, as they, deserve respect.

Ski Pass Developments

  • $60 Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows  Season Pass for Military Vets : The resort will issue up to 6000 passes to active duty, reserve, veteran, and retired members of the military. Click here for details. Congratulations, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows!!!!!
  • $99  Angel Fire Season Pass for all US K-12 teachers: Price increases to $199 when the season starts. Bravo Angel Fire!!!!!

  • New $199 INDY Pass: 68 Days at 34 Resorts: A new, multi-resort ski pass, called Indy Pass, is now on sale for the 2019-2020 season. It provides two lift tickets each – 68 total days – at 34 independently owned resorts for just $199.
  • A-Basin Joins IKON and Mountain Collective: Arapahoe Basin, which last season decided to drop out of the Epic Pass, has joined both the IKON and Mountain Collective passes. It’s a terrific area and these are terrific decisions.
  • IKON Adds Zermatt: IKON also added Zermatt in Switzerland with either seven or five days (no blackouts) depending on the IKON product owned. It is IKON’s first Euro resort.

China is World’s Largest Beginner Ski Market

A new report shows that as of 2018 there were 742 ski areas in China. The number includes indoor areas. Last season China had 21.1million skier visits. Between 2017 and 2018, thirty-nine new facilities were built. Three percent of the total are identified as destination resorts with a vertical of 1000’ or more. The longest vertical is slightly more than 2900’. The report concludes that China is the world’s largest beginner ski market.

12-Story Indoor Area To Open in Meadowlands (NJ)

Big SNOW America at American Dream is the Meadowlands (NJ) indoor ski and snowboard park. It is scheduled to open October 25. The 12-story, 180,000 square foot structure will be operated by Mountain Creek, also in New Jersey.

102 Year Old Skier Publishes Autobiography

George Jedenoff, 101 1/2 and still skiing!

George Jedenoff, now 102, has just published his autobiography. George celebrated his 100 birthday skiing at Snowbird. He returns annually to Little Cottonwood Canyon to ski Alta. The book, titled My Centenarian Odyssey, recounts fleeing the Russian Revolution as an infant with his parents, graduating Stanford University with honors, serving in WW II, entering the steel industry, and eventually becoming president of Kaiser Steel. It can be accessed through Apple Books (and through Windows systems) at no charge.

 

Videos Worth Watching

For a quick hot day chuckle, watch this vintage short about rollerskating, amusingly narrated by Warren Miller.

Or try this trailer for the Timeless, the new Warren Miller feature.

 

3 Comments

  1. Avatar Edward Cohen says:

    Hi, Jon
    Do you know how I can get this deal? I’ve tried website for Squaw and been unable to find. Sounds TOO good. Maybe they meant $60/DAY?

    “$60 Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Season Pass for Military Vets : The resort will issue up to 6000 passes to active duty, reserve, veteran, and retired members of the military. Congratulations, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows!!!!!”

    Ed Cohen (Related to Baruch by marriage)

  2. Avatar Edward Cohen says:

    Thanks for the link, Jon.
    I’ve begun the process. What a bargain!
    Hope all is going well with you as you plan for the upcoming season

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