Spring Is Here, Quitting Time? Corn or Mashed? Beech Top-to-Bottom, Diggins World Cup, Ski Art III, Skiing Weatherman.

Spring: Time for renewal. Time for change. New directions.

“It was such a spring day as breathes into a [person] an ineffable yearning, a painful sweetness, a longing that makes [them] stand motionless, looking at the leaves or grass, and fling out [their] arms to embrace [they] know not what.” John Galsworthy, The Forsyte Saga.

The slightly updated quote [pronouns]  brings us to where we are on the calendar: Spring has descended and the “ineffable yearning” is happening as we speak.  The sap is running in the sugar bush, maple syrup is boiling (and boiling), and it becomes impossible to ignore the change in the air.

Sign of spring: Tuckerman Ravine, 1938. Credit: Mt. Washington

Especially, this year. We made it through in one way or another, and we “fling out [our] arms to embrace [we] know not what.” We are in that special place called the interim, between the way things were and the way things will be.  We know how it was this year—creative adaptations to restrictions and constraints for those who were determined to book time on the snow—but we can only hope the future season will approach normalcy.  We can hope, but we don’t know; no one does. Such is the nature of the interim.

However, we know that Vail is doing some bet hedging. The ski resort empire has dropped the price of its Epic pass by 20 percent for 2021-22.  That’s $200 off the Epic and about $150 off the local Epic, both sharply undercutting the rival Ikon pass. Season pass sales last summer helped Vail buffer the losses to revenue from the epidemic, and cutting prices dramatically will help ensure more of the same for the upcoming season. Presumably, people who buy passes intend to use them, unless they can’t because of virus restrictions.  We don’t know for sure but we can bet a number of last season’s pass buyers—Epic and Ikon—regretted buying a pass when the industry shut down and/or tried to get credit or their money back. Will those who grumbled and who didn’t get the value they expected last season step up to buy a discounted pass when the future is still behind a veil of uncertainty?

Regardless, the season pass is the future. Clearly, Vail has strategically pushed the market in that direction. Forget about buying a walk-up lift ticket, unless you intend to ski just one or two times in a season.  Let’s hope this upcoming season finds all those tricky dependent variables clicking into place: people buying, restrictions removed, and snow piling up. At least that’s what we ineffably yearn for.

By the way, the Epic Northeast Midweek Pass for seniors 65-plus has dropped to $271.  In the west, the Tahoe Value Pass is $359 for seniors. Pretty tempting.

Good luck, Vail.

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Attention Donors: We will start sending premiums from our recent fundraiser this week and next.  Please be on the lookout for our mailing to you.  And please be patient as the mails aren’t what they used to be.

Holiday Break: SeniorsSkiing.com is taking a break for the Easter/Passover holiday.  We wish everyone a peaceful and restoring holiday, hopefully with friends and family. Be safe.

Update on Co-Publisher Jon Weisberg: Jon had been hospitalized since mid-February and is finally in rehab. He is on the mend and is looking forward to getting back in shape. Thanks for all your concern.

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This Week

Our Question For You this week asks if when you will call it a season.  What’s your criteria? How has this decision been affected by the restrictions/constraints imposed by resorts to keep employees and visitors safe? Click here.

Correspondent Marc Liebman opines on corn snow—when it’s good and not so good—and mashed potatoes. He asks if you know the difference and what to do when faced with both conditions.  Click here.

Diggins says experience is teaching her about her capabilities and how to win. Credit: Cross Country Skier

Cross-country editor and XCSkiResorts.com publisher Roger Lohr reports on Jesse Diggins World Cup victory in this year’s XC FIS competition. She’s the first American woman to win a World Cup title in history, and the first American to win gold since Bill Koch’s victory in 1982.  International competition at the World Cup level is intense, and her victory is a huge achievement for the US team and for women in sports.  Click here.

An almost unworldy mood at the start of a run.

Once again, correspondent/videographer Don Burch has produced a wonderful, expressive video in his Ski Art series. Some of these images would be great prints to mount in your den.  Click here.

Our Vicarious Vacation series continues with a run down Beech Mountain, NC, top to bottom.  You’ve seen the Alps and the Rockies in this series. Now, it’s time for a more prosaic example of Southern Skiing at a mecca for skiers in the mid-Atlantic. Click here.

Dawn at Round Vally from the grooming team. Credit: Mountain Trails

Correspondent Pat McCloskey takes us to Round Valley, UT, where he fat bikes around a network of trails maintained by a community foundation.  Pat took a break from his ski-week vacation at Park City to visit the nearby center for all kinds of winter and summer outdoor sports. Round Valley has trails for fat biking, xc, snowshoeing, and winter hiking/running, with enough space for everyone to stretch out. Pat notes the locals and local seniors are fit and take advantage of the snow, 300 days of sunshine, and the beautiful surroundings.  Click here.

Finally, the Skiing Weatherman Herb Stevens reports the pattern that continues to dominate the weather this time of year: The West is wild, the East is winding down, although there might be a chance for another dose of snow in the Northeast this week. This pattern of wild West, wimpy East seems to have hung in over the past several seasons.  Click here.

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

 

 

One Comment

  1. Thank for the picture update. Last time there was 1969. Still remember the sun, snow and the all the turns. Boy to be that young again.

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