Talking To Yourself, Skis Delivered, Robert Frost, New Mystery And A Correction, Weather Coming Up, Windham Mt MidWeek Seniors.

Our day trip to Attitash included at this free view of the White Mountains. Credit: Attitash.

As reported in this space, the snow weather here in New England has been sketchy once a burst of fluff in early December disappeared or turned to ice. We had a miserable melt the second weekend of January with temps in the 70s, preceded by several weeks of mediocre snow making weather. That has all changed.  Winter is in. Temps are the teens, and a Nor’easter has delivered the goods.  The MLK weekend was a huge success around here stemming from that big snow fall and snow making for most resorts, setting attendance records across the region.

White Mts in background, we conquer Attitash.

So we set out for our very first day of Alpine skiing with one of our famous day trips to New Hampshire from the Boston area. The target was Attitash, a venerable, family-friendly, classic area with very decent snowmaking, beautiful, wide trails that we like, and magnificent views of the White Mountains on a blue-bird day. Taking advantage of those post-MLK conditions, we lucked out with a low, online ticket price, an empty lodge, no lift lines, and almost “private” trails.

With new boots and new gloves, we made our first run on the beginner’s slope. We immediately started talking to ourself. “Bend zee knees.” “Inside edge.” “Toe pressure.” “Forward, forward.” “Athletic stance.” After Run One, we made another adjustment, focusing on just one self-instruction: “Edge, edge, edge”.  The psychologists call this self-instruction, providing ourselves cues that help us perform. For children who have learning difficulties, self-instruction or, more formally, cognitive mediation, provides a built in tutor who can add a helping reminder. Anyone learning a new skill can benefit from this technique.

Some models of learning call this phase “conscious competence”. We are aware we are doing something new and processing our self-instructions and actively watch the result, aka feedback.

Eventually, after many repetitions of successful performance, the need for self-instructions fades away, and we have “unconscious competence”.

We are curious if other senior skiers use this kind of self-instruction, especially when starting out the season or approaching new situations. Do you talk to yourself? What do you say? How did you learn to do that? Does it work for you? What works? What doesn’t? Have you ever had an instructor tell you to talk to yourself? Share your insights with other senior skiers. Note Comments Below.

This Week

Snowmaking is robust and widespread at Windham.

A day trip area near NYC?  Correspondent Joan Wallen describes her experience at Windham Mt, in the heart of the Catskills and just two and a half hours from the Big Apple. The resort has a special 50+ Midweek program that offers lessons, lunches, presentations, and yoga. Sounds like a nice package.

Correspondent John Nelson reports on his experience with Ski Butler, the ski delivery service that brings rental equipment to you. For those traveling to far-away resorts, the savings in airline baggage fees alone makes Ski Butler worthy of a look.

We have a nostalgic look at Moriarty hats, 60s and 70s icons of the “skier-look”.  Yes, we still have two left over from college days, and, yes, they are both over 50 years old.  And we still wear them, tiny moth holes and all.  The cognoscenti at ski places nod knowingly at us, sometimes commenting. Imagine a hat as a conversation starter. This article is a reprise from the earliest days of

We bring you another in our Snow In Literature series, again a poem by Robert Frost: “The Wood-pile”.  Speaking of wood piles, how much of yours is left?  Better be a little more than half this time of the year, say the old farmers.

Not Barb Ferries.

We add a correction to last week’s Mystery Glimpse.  The two racers were not Beth Ferries and Buddy Werner. Thanks Chuck Ferries and others for the tip.  See the correction in this week’s article and our new mystery.

As predicted, winter time weather is finally settling in. The Skiing Weatherman Herb Stevens give us the Big Picture for the next two weeks, as well as regional forecasts.

Thanks for reading  Tell your friends, and remember there are more of us every day and we aren’t going away.









  1. I absolutely talk to myself (not necessarily outloud) when skiing. Helps move off of bad habits toward the reinforcing activity (think forward flex at the ankles; stop pushing out with the outside leg, etc.). Hoping it helps convert a taught point to muscle memory.

  2. If I am skiing badly or get a bit scared on a difficult run I pull over to the side and give myself a good ‘talking to’. It has always worked for me, although I don’t recall when I started- probably as a child when I was having trouble with my pony.

  3. Yes, I often talk to myself, primarily “bend Zee knees” and “belly button down the slope.”

    An additional comment regarding weather. I live in the Midwest (Naperville, Illinois) and have been waiting for some good snow to determine if I should spend the money to go out West. It really has not been conducive to even . making snow. FRUSTRATING !!!!!

  4. Arthur Sexauer says:

    Note today is day 46:) From the start I focus on edge to edge carve. No slide just accelerate and stay neutral over the skis. All mountain type not race skis. Remember neutral is good on soft snow, forward on firm. Back set, then you end up in the trunck! Go fast take chances!

  5. Nicola Nelson says:

    Yes of course I give myself advice, especially on moguls (“downhill ski, get forward, get your arms forward,” etc). And sometimes I just say, “well, you have to ski it to get down, so just make that first turn.”

  6. I actually journal and make note of things that work and things that don’t work. I review the notes before the next season’s trip. On mountain I tell myself, no pivoting to start the turn, weight shift and roll the entire ski on edge. Trust the ski and enjoy the ride.

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