Arapahoe is running its guns.

Big Sky, Alta, and Lake Tahoe are among the Western ski destinations that have received natural snow. A few areas in the Austrian and Italian Alps are already operating.

It’s all about to happen again. 

Farmer’s Almanac predicts a “Polar Coaster” with wildly swinging temps. NOAA is expected to give its prediction sometime in October. 

Source: Farmer’s Almanac

Did you see last week’s report that North America’s bird population has declined by 29% over the past 50 years? What about melting glaciers? One Swiss community recently held a formal funeral march for the loss of its Pizol glacier.

The Pizol glacier has lost up to 90% of its volume since 2006.
(Keystone / Gian Ehrenzeller)

The UN this week is holding its Global Climate  Summit. Last week school kids throughout the US and abroad demonstrated on behalf of the environment.

The ski industry is taking a stand through a variety of climate initiatives, but it’s probably too little and too late.

So what are we older skiers to do?  Groan and bemoan or go skiing? The way things are going, it’s not going to last forever. Nor are we. My idea is to do what I can to save what we can for our grandkids. But my BIG IDEA is to stay fit, make sure my ski gear is ready for the fast-approaching season, and GO SKIING. We need to enjoy it while we have it. The future is barreling our way and it may not be kind.

Do Wider Skis Lead to Knee Injury?

John Seifert, PhD, professor of exercise physiology at Montana State University, recently presented research results showing a relationship between use of wide skis and knee injury. Wide skis, he explains, force skiers to use a more upright stance, thus causing knee-supporting muscles to be in a less-than-optimal position to exert force when something called Ground Reaction Force (GRF) is at its peak.

He defines GRF  as “…the force exerted by the snow in contact with it. GRF is always present, even in deep snow, as it’s part of what makes a ski turn. GRF is influenced by skiing velocity and turn radius. On hard snow with wide skis, this is why drifting is so common or the turn radius is lengthened in order to minimize forces.”

The negative effects of GRF are minimized in deeper snow. But using a wider ski on hardpack increases risk of knee injury.

The research is interesting and complicated. Jackson Hogen at Realskiers.com wrote a good summary of Dr. Seifert’s presentation at PSIA’s 2019 National Academy. It is titled “Why Wide Skis Aren’t Good For Your Knees” and can be accessed by clicking here.

Scarpa Boot Recall

SCARPA recalled all Fall 2017 Maestrale and Maestrale RS ski boots purchased in North America. Under certain conditions, the boot shell may crack. Click here for more guidance on identifying the boots in question. Scarpa will repair recalled boots.

Solitude Introduces Paid Parking

In an effort to reduce traffic congestion in Big Cottonwood Canyon, Solitude will charge for parking this winter. Single drivers will be hit with $20, carpoolers will pay as little as $5.

Park City’s Sunrise Rotary Club Aims For Ski Shot Record

Ski Shot Competitors on Park City’s Main Street

My friends at Park City’s Sunrise Rotary Club are shooting for the longest Shot Ski world record on October 12. They hope to break Breckenridge’s record set in January. Sunrise Rotary expects to attract 1,310 people, who will gulp a shot of High West booze from shot glasses set in old skis. Entry fees go toward the club’s grant’s program. Last year Sunrise Rotary Club granted $23,000 to community organizations.

If You’re Planning a Park City Trip This Season…

…a fascinating outdoor exhibit on the area’s early geologic history is a must see. Located in nearby Silver Creek, the idea for the exhibit came when an excavator uncovered a petrified tree trunk estimated to weight 5 to 10 tons! The Park City Sunrise Rotary Regional Geologic Park was sponsored by Rotary and several other local and regional organizations.

Aspen Swingers

Someone in Aspen has been installing old-fashioned handmade swings on hiking trails, looking out on local beauty spots. If this gives you an idea for your community, go for it.

R.I.P. Pepi Gramshammer

Pepi during his racing youth. Source: Denver Post

Austrian national ski team racer, Pepi Gramshammer, died August 17. He was 87 and had recently suffered a series of strokes. A Vail resident since 1962, he used race and sponsorship funds to start Hotel-Gasthof Gramshammer two years later. The hotel, in Downtown Vail Village, is one of the resort’s most venerable hostelries.

R.I.P   Davo Karnicar

Davo Karnicar Source: Teller Report

Slovenian adventurer Davo Karnicar was the first to ski from the summit of Mount Everest to its base camp. He and his team spent a month climbing the south face of Everest. Following a few hours’s rest he began his descent. He skied from over 29,000 feet to base camp, escaping collapsing ice walls, strong winds and crevasses. He died September 16 in a tree-cutting accident on his property in Slovenia. He was 56. Click here or his obituary in The New York Times.

What a Toy!!!!

This short video shows a skier toy from the 1970s. Anyone out there have one?

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