Avalanche Alerts And Deaths, Keep Warm, Telemark Memoir, Snow Tool Mystery Glimpse, Tire Chain Reminders, Why You Have To Enter Email Again.

Europe is getting buried by severe storms. Some mountain towns have been cut off or evacuated. Credit: Al-Jazerra

Over the past week, there have been monumental snow falls in Colorado, California, the Canadian Rockies, and most of western Europe. Click here for snow totals over the last seven days from different resorts in the Alps from OnTheSnow.com. In California, I-80 was closed due to spin-outs and low visibility that came with heavy snow and rain. More was forecast for this week.

Multiple feet of new snow are falling on existing bases on both continents. That combination creates an unstable snowpack and brings extremely serious avalanche risk. In fact, seven deaths have already occurred in the last week both in North American and Europe from avalanches, according to Snowbrains.com. Some of these were backcountry skiers, another couple were snowshoeing in the Alps, one death came when snow swept through an avalanche safety class in Silverton, CO.

Obviously, winter snow sports depends on snow and cold weather. When the weather becomes severe, it is wise to pay very close attention to where you are going, whether you are prepared, and even it is wise to venture forth.

There’s a very instructive expression for those who sail, boat, fish, or otherwise head out to the ocean that also applies to those who live and play in snow country.

If you go to sea, you must know what you’re about. 

If you’re not, the sea will find you out. 

Snowfall in Europe, January 2019

Indeed, if you head to snow country into significant weather, please know what you are about. If you ski in backcountry, follow common sense rules: pack a shovel, avalanche beacon and related equipment, ski with a group, watch the warnings. If you are driving in the mountains, make sure your car has the “box in the back” with emergency tools, including chains. [See Marc Liebman’s article on tire chains in this issue.] If you’re just out there skiing the groomers, know your limits, keep hydrated, know when to head to apres ski.

Otherwise, you could get found out.

This Week

Correspondent Harriet Wallis brings a very funny article on keeping warm.  Her advice to women is pretty specific: Ladies, Don’t Wear Black Underpants On Super Cold DaysFind out why by clicking here.

Author Roger Lohr (c) and two buddies try a three-man tele turn. What’s with the group turning thingy, guys?

SeniorsSkiing.com’s XC editor and publisher of XCSkiResort.com Roger Lohr shares some memories of his Telemark skiing experiences. Did you know that Telemark skiing and NATO have some things in common? Did you know that making group Telemark turns is a “thing” in that sport? 

Our Mystery Glimpse features what looks like a bit of daredevil skiing with a device that was meant to be helpful at ski resorts.  What are we talking about?  Click here.  Also, we reveal the names of those flying family members who were ski jumping in tandem from last week’s MG.  Not surprisingly, several readers got that one.  Easy.

Our bet is that most seniors think negatively about snow chains. Unwieldy, noisy, clunky, but ultimately necessary in certain circumstances. (See above comments on severe winter weather.) Correspondent Marc Liebman reminds us why these nuisances are important to master. Click here on his tire chain story with a link to some resources on how to select the right chains for your vehicle.

Finally, we re-cue our explanation of why our readers sometimes have to re-enter their names and emails. We do this because we have a lot of new readers who may not know how our no-password access to Subscriber-Only Content works. We also do this to stem some of the nasty-grams we get from some frustrated readers who are not shy about letting us know about their frustrations and what they think of our so-and-so online magazine. So, to those people, we say: Be nice.  There are reasons you are having these re-entry issues.  Click here for more.






January is Learn To Ski And Snowboard Month. Bring a friend to your favorite resort. There are 140 ski resorts offering nearly 300 special learn-to-ski programs this month. In fact, some resorts are celebrating Learn To Ski month with celebrations on January 11th. Click here for more.

Thank you for reading SeniorsSkiing.com.  Remember, there are more of us every day, and we aren’t going away.






One Comment

  1. Your avalanche (sea) aphorism reminds of a motto we took to heart at the USFS National Avalanche School in 1975. Our instructors were among the great avalanche experts of the time. We were riveted! One of them asked, “Do you know what the rule of thumb is about avalanche prediction?” Pens poised, we waited. “There is no rule of thumb.”
    I’d guess that presentation has saved a bunch of young lives over the years, mine included.

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