And So Begins The 2020-21 Publishing Season.

Fasten your face masks firmly in place; this winter is going to be like no other.  

Masks were everywhere in the Perisher lodge. Credit: John Harris

The entire snow sports industry has spent the summer planning how to open up when the snow flies.  Uncertainty about the future makes people anxious, however, the semblance of a cohesive, cogent plan with precautions goes a long way to calming customer nerves. The industry has done a terrific job trying to figure out how to manage this unprecedented public health threat.  Changes in business as usual are keys to managing the “Covid Season.”

We’ve created some changes, too, that might help you as this strange winter starts to evolve.

Classifieds Are Coming!

For one thing, we’re going to launch our brand new Classified Ad section next week.  Starting 10/16, you will be able to place a classified ad on  We’ve developed a number of categories where you can offer  everything from gear or collectibles to ride shares and meet-to-ski to condo rentals.  As a introductory promotion, you’ll be able to post an ad for 30 days in any category for $1.  Regular rates will be quite reasonable and based on how long you want your ad to be accessible to our readers. As with all dealings online, readers are encouraged to use caution and common sense in contacting others through this service.

Alternatives to Alpine: Make More Tracks

Over the summer, we’ve been watching industry news releases and have scrutinized some of the plans for re-opening ski resorts. All of these plans are thoughtful and respectful of both the virus and customers. All contain a degree of restrictions on customer behavior which may or may not wear well as the season goes on. In fact, the Cross-Country Ski Area Association has extrapolated that the rise in walking and bike riding this spring and summer might correlate with increased interest in Nordic skiing, snowshoeing and other ways to get outside in the winter and “make more tracks”. 

As a result, is introducing a new section, “Make More Tracks”,  initially devoted to articles about XC skiing, snowshoeing, fat biking, and other snow activities.

Nordic or XC skiing and snowshoeing are ideal for the Covid Season.  Outdoors, of course, socially distanced, reasonably priced, uncrowded, the sports lends themselves as a perfect alternative to Alpine skiing. Snowshoeing, by the way, is also ideal for seniors who have given up skiing due to health, fitness ,or lack of interest reasons.

If you haven’t tried XC skiing as a senior skier, you are missing a completely different way to enjoy winter outdoors. If you’ve been away from the sport for a while, you have a plethora of new types of equipment and gear to learn about.  And, if you haven’t noticed, there are many XC-oriented resorts that have grown in the past decade that offer unique winter vacation experiences. 

Our Make More Tracks initiative includes a Resource Guide with tips and advice from Roger Lohr, editor of, and Jonathan Wiesel, international XC trip planner and guide, trail designer, and resort owner, both experts in all aspects of XC skiing.  We will include at least one Make More Tracks article per weekly issue of and devote an entire issue in November to these sports.

This Week 

We’re publishing our new boot recommendations for seniors, developed in cooperation with America’s Best Bootfitters (ABB) and the 2021 Masterfit Buyer’s Guide. This is an industry exclusive, Subscriber-Only offering that can be accessed after confirming your name and email address.  Click on the third box in the top menu to get to the story.  Boot recommendations are graded by traditional or walking, including specific boots for men and women. 

The ski season has just concluded Down Under. We can learn a lot from the experience of Australian skiers and how resorts managed the virus. John Harris, our new correspondent in Australia reports on the recent season, noting what worked and what didn’t. Despite a dearth of snow, the season went on, and “car parks were full.” Click here for the story.

One aspect of the Covid Season that hasn’t been discussed is what happens to shared ski houses.  The problems of distancing, scheduling, cleaning and the like are important consideration.  Correspondent Alice Winthrop discusses these issues and proposes some approaches.  Alice is the designer of Resercal, a new app for scheduling and managing shared vacation properties.  Ski clubs, this is for you. Click here for her story.

Crested Butte Nordic has rentals for $20 a day. Credit: CB Nordic publisher and Nordic editor Roger Lohr discusses the impact of the Covid Season on Nordic skiing.  This is the first of an ongoing series of Make More Tracks articles.

As a regular early-season feature, we’ve been watching winter weather forecast conditions every year.  This year, La Nina is in. Find out how warmer waters in the eastern Pacific are going to impact snow levels in North America.  We also share the Farmer’s Almanac’s prediction for 2020-21. Compare and contrast.

And to celebrate the last gasp of summer, here’s an article from correspondent Josh Foss on lessons learned from surfing with dolphins. 

Finally, here’s touching video below from Alta, praising the work and dedication of the ski patrol. These guys keep us safe, and they deserve this impressive shout out.

Thank you for reading  Please tell your friends and remember, there are more of us every day, and we aren’t going away.



  1. Just my thoughts. After the disasters in gondola lines in Vail in February 2020 will anyone want to now be separated by 6 feet social distancing in lift lines this year ? I suspect many senior skiers will cancel sking this season until life returns to normal. The enjoyment might not be worth the aggravation. Being 80, I cancelled all trips , even to Disney.,

    • Larry, this is a choice we will all make. Personally intend to ski, but it will be at local areas and perhaps not in a a location where a gondola is necessary. I live in a region where there are 53rd tier ski areas within easy day range, and I’ll be there. Like you though long trips are not on my dance card either. Smaller can be better.

  2. Thomas Seybold says:

    I am in the lower hudson valley 40 minutes from 2 small areas that are free to over 70 skiiers, so at 78 this works, have not heard about the logistics yet, that will be part pf my decision proccess. I also have son on Colo with a family house in Blue River ( Breck) I won’t be making my usual visits this year unless something changes..

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